About Rationally Speaking

Rationally Speaking is a blog maintained by Prof. Massimo Pigliucci, a philosopher at the City University of New York. The blog reflects the Enlightenment figure Marquis de Condorcet's idea of what a public intellectual (yes, we know, that's such a bad word) ought to be: someone who devotes himself to "the tracking down of prejudices in the hiding places where priests, the schools, the government, and all long-established institutions had gathered and protected them." You're welcome. Please notice that the contents of this blog can be reprinted under the standard Creative Commons license.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Rationally Speaking podcast: Maarten Boudry on Philosophy of Pseudoscience

What's the difference between science and pseudocience -- and is it even possible to draw a clean line separating them? In this episode of Rationally Speaking, Massimo and Julia interview philosopher Maarten Boudry from Ghent University.

Tune in to hear them discuss Massimo and Maarten's new book, "Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem"... and stick around to learn how Maarten pranked theologians.

Maarten's pick: "Intuition Pumps And Other Tools for Thinking."


  1. What about the link to Maarten´s hoax? It sounded hilarious :-)

  2. It's on Bob's home page! https://sites.google.com/site/robertamaundy/

  3. Searching for a line to draw between what is and what isn't? I suggest One study Nature and find the single absolute. Once found, everything becomes crystal clear.

    And, if you are going to build a castle in the sky, be it science or religion or anything else, make sure the foundation is truth. =

  4. There is one source where at least 99% of pseudoscience comes from today: The Republican Party.

  5. I liked the interview, thanks Massimo.

    I would love to see an expanded discussion on a demarcation of 'science' and 'social science' at some point. It seems that much of the philosophy of social science has been taken over by social theorists, Marxists and other language manglers, and that we need more real philosophy prying into the topic.

    Furthermore, it is clear that some in the science community unfairly characterize all social science as by definition less rigorous than traditional science. Sure, there are proportionally more SS charlatans than S charlatans, much of SS is built on the same epistemology as S; problem is that the subject is simply harder to pin down at the macro level. In other words, all SS may be wrong, but it's not their fault, but the fault of their subject matter...

  6. Great podcast and I can't wait to read the book. I was unaware that the issue had been "settled." At any rate, I'm glad you are re-opening it. Has anyone made the point (I'm sure they must have) that it's easy to tell the difference in retrospect? Newton may not have been able to tell that alchemy was not science, but even us dimwits of today can tell by looking in the rearview mirror.


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