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I've been reading through Crisis of European Sciences, which was essentially Husserl's last work, and I wanted to jot down some half-formed thoughts based on it and Dermot Moran's companion to it.


So the entire book seems to be a criticism of the exact kind of scientism that seems to still be just as much of a problem today, where people assume that reality should be subservient to what is easiest to model and understand, confusing their ideal rules with the complexities of the real world being modeled.


One of the most blatant examples of this was something that existed contemporary with Husserl: behaviorism. Behaviorism, particularly early behaviorism, was marked by a blatant disbelief in the existence of interiority or emotions, instead calling these accidental illusions created by the mechanistic nature of biological organisms. John Watson argued that belief in the mind was a kind of spiritual monstrosity, a mysticism that was unacceptable to science. Why? Because it was subjective! If you couldn't objectively watch and measure thoughts, why, how can you say they even exist!?


Now I'm hoping that sounds as silly to you as it does to me because, well, the rather obvious disproof of Watson's assertions is that I'm experiencing thoughts and feelings right now. I don't care if the thinks they aren't real. I can *tell you* that I'm having them. If your notion of empiricism can't account for that as evidence, then your empiricism is flawed!


Now to be clear, that's not saying *science* is bad. Quite the opposite! Science, the rigorous study of the world around us, is deeply important! The problem with scientism is when a particular notion of science and empiricism has outweighed importance against the end-goals of science itself, treating science-as-presently-understood as sacrosanct in a way that it doesn't deserve. Science itself is allowed to continue changing, growing, and adapting against the backdrop of history because science is still a social activity performed subjectively: just like everything else.

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