[hist-analytic] Bete Noires in the Dark

Jlsperanza at aol.com Jlsperanza at aol.com
Sat Feb 6 21:42:16 EST 2010

It's no good that Grice sometimes disqualified PC language. Nobody should  
speak of a 'bete noire' if one is not French. Recall Melville: the beastest  
beast of them all was _white_!
--- Anyway, this quotes below for Jones to reconsider how an inoperant  
harmless noun, scientia, derived from Latin for 'know', scio, becomes a bete  
noire when it attches to -ism!


1541 R. COPLAND Guydon's Quest. Chirurg. Pref., There be ryght many  and  
sondry sortes, aswell of very good and scyentyke bokes, as of  ryght expert 
within this Realme in the scyentycall arte of  Cyrugery. Ibid., Your 

c1875 W.  JAMES in R. B. Perry Tht. & Char. of W. James (1935) I. 523 In  a 
rough way materialism or ‘scientificism’ gratifies no. (1) [sc. an  
of things by their cause]. 1884  Will to Believe  (1897) 165 Subjectivism  
three great branches,we may call them  scientificism, sentimentalism, and  
sensualism, respectively.
1877  Fraser's Mag. XVI. 274 Its dogmatism on the one hand,..and its   ‘
scientism’ on the other, even when most atheistic, are tempered with  
civility. 1895 Daily News 14 Nov. 6/5 By scientism he meant to  express 
that  change 
which had come over the thought of the world in  consequence of the  
additions to the common stock of  knowledge. 1903 Contemp. Rev. May 727  
modern Scientism knows as  the Supersensuous Consciousness.
1921 G. B.  SHAW Back to Methuselah p.  lxxviii, The iconography and 
of Scientism  are as copious as  they are mostly squalid. 1937 J. LAVER 
Painting in  Nineteenth  Cent. i. 73 It really appeared to many educated 
people that at last   all the secrets of the universe would be discovered 
and all 
the problems  of  human life solved. This superstition..we may call ‘
1938  G. REAVEY  tr. Berdyaev's Solitude & Society i. 12 Science has not 
progressively  reduced the competence of philosophy, but it has also  
to suppress it  altogether and to replace it by its own claim  to 
universality. This process is  generally known as ‘scientism’. 1942  F. A. 
conomica IX. 269 We  shall wherever we are  concerned, not with the general 
spirit of disinterested  inquiry but  with that slavish imitation of the 
method and 
language of science,   speak of ‘scientism’ or the ‘scientistic’ 
1953 A. H. HOBBS  Social  Problems & Scientism ii. 17 Scientism, as a 
that  science can furnish  answers to all human problems, makes science a  
substitute for philosophy,  religion, manners, and morals... It is a  
pattern of 
beliefs..a creed that shapes  thinking and affects behavior.  1956 E. H. 
Lang. Mod. Physics vi. 273 This  belief in the  omnipotence of science 
is..making a 
mockery of science: for this   scientism represents the same, 
attitude which, in previous  times,  ascribed such power to a supernatural 
agency. 1957 W. H. WHYTE  Organization Man  iii. 23 Scientism,..the promise 
with the same  techniques that have worked  in the physical sciences we can 
eventually  create an exact science of man. 1969  Encounter Jan. 23/2 There 
is an  
aberration of science..which has come to be  known as ‘scientism’... It  
for the belief that science knows or will soon  know all the  answers. 1972 
R. POPPER Objective Knowl. iv. 185 The term   ‘scientism’ meant originally 
slavish imitation of the method and  language  of (natural) science’, 
especially by social scientists. Ibid.  186 But I would go  even further 
and accuse at 
least some professional  historians of ‘scientism’.  1977 A. SHERIDAN tr. 
Lacan's Écrits iii.  76 The early development of  
psychoanalysis..expresses..nothing less  than the re-creation of human 
meaning in  an arid period of 
scientism.  1980 Times Lit. Suppl. 26 Sept. 1072/2 Naturalism,  in David 
usage, is equivalent to what many know as scientism: the  doctrine that  
there is no 
reason to think that the study of human agents, and  the  study of the 
systems to which human agents give rise, cannot be   pursued according to a 
methodology drawn from natural   science.
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