After the English language and the language of money and budgets, our 21st century universities speak the language of science. Or should we actually say scientism?
The Cambridge Roundtable on Science, Art & Religion hosts an evening of dinner and discussion at the MIT Faculty Club, Monday April 29th, 6:00 PM, featuring Ian H. Hutchinson, MIT Professor of Nuclear Engineering and Edward J. Hall, Harvard University Professor of Philosophy presenting on the topic of Science and Scientism, part one.
Professor Hutchinson is the author of Monopolizing Knowledge: a scientist refutes religion-denying, reason-destroying scientism (2011). Professor Hall is the author of The Philosophy of Science: Metaphysical and Epistemological Foundations (Publication Date: July 30, 2013).
In preparation for our evening’s discussion, please see our website (www.cambridgeroundtable.org) where we provide the first chapter of Professor Hutchinson’s Monopolizing Knowledge, and where we provide a link to a reading selected by Professor Hall: Thank Goodness! ~ by Daniel C. Dennett.
Ian Hutchinson: The error of scientism — the belief that science is all the real knowledge there is — is responsible for much of the modern suspicion of science, and it underlies the militant atheist arguments against religion. Rejecting scientism enables a principled intellectual reconciliation of science with religious faith, and with the rest of knowledge.
Ned Hall: “Scientism” can also be used as a label for something that is not at all an error: the commitment to regulating one’s beliefs – about any topic, even the so-called “supernatural” – by certain standards of empirical assessment. These standards are certainly prominent within, but not at all confined to, the natural sciences. But reflection on natural science helps make clear what an honest commitment to these standards entails. And one thing it entails, arguably, is a rather severe skepticism about most of the central claims of the dominant religious dogmas.
For more information, please RSVP the Roundtable Coordinator at: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Roundtable is “by invitation only” though we are glad to work with invited faculty to encourage their colleagues to participate. This is our only scheduled Spring 2013 Roundtable.
The Roundtable is co-chaired by: Owen Gingerich, Astronomy (Emeritus), Harvard University Robert Randolph, Chaplain to the Institute and Dean, MIT Roundtable Coordinator: David Thom, Associate Chaplain, MIT
To date, hundreds of Harvard, MIT, BU and Tufts professors have engaged in Roundtable faculty seminar dinner discussions, experiencing the potential to bring added depth to their lives as scholars and educators. Roundtable seminars are dedicated to fostering dialogue that explores the intersection of contemporary academic thought and Christian thought on issues related to science, art and religion. Roundtable invitations are not pre-sorted in alignment with any particular religious or non-religious religious perspective. Scholars from a variety of departments and a collection of university-related clergy are invited: the result has been that a diversity of academic and religious and non-religious views are represented.
Among the recent twenty-nine Cambridge Roundtables:
October 2012 American Politics & Religion: Untangling the Web we Weave Robert Putnam Harvard University, Public Policy February 2012 God, Stephen Hawking, and the Cosmos: Is there a Grand Design? John Lennox Oxford, Mathematics Alan Guth MIT, Physics November 2011 Saints, Sex, and Society Sarah Ruden Wesleyan University, Classics April 2011 What do Scientists Really Think about Religion? Elaine Ecklund Rice University, Sociology October 2010 Political Power and Persuasive Presence James Davison Hunter University of Virginia, Sociology Robert M. Randolph MIT, Chaplain to the Institute March 2010 Can We Be Good Without God? Rae Langton MIT, Philosophy William Lane Craig Talbot School of Theology, Philosophy November 2009 Answering the New Atheists Stanley E. Fish Florida International University, Law and Humanities J. Mark Ramseyer Harvard University, Law
For a complete list of all 29 previous roundtables, click here.