Archive Nota Bene Peter Escalante

Scientism and Catastrophe

In  the first film of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s The Decalogue, a doting scientist father runs up tragically against the limitations of the scientific rationality in which he has unshakable confidence. Dr Littlejohn offers similar reflections here, regarding the destruction wrought in the Philippines, on the limits of science and thus the falsification of scientism’s pretensions. But he goes further, and points out that it is not simply a question of what science as modelling and prediction cannot do, but rather, a question of what technical skill and political organization  informed by zealous charity, imagination, and will can do and indeed must do. Human welfare and betterment isn’t primarily a scientific problem, though the sciences are extremely useful instruments toward the achievement of those goods; it is a political problem. The political problem, in fact.

By Peter Escalante

Peter Escalante is a founder and editor of The Calvinist International. He holds a MA in Philosophy.