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Philosophy of Sciences

2014 year, number 1

Pseudoscience as a cognitive phenomenon in the context of the modern philosophy of science

A.M. Konopkin
Ulyanovsk State Pedagogical University named after I.N.Ulyanov, Ulyanovsk
Keywords: pseudoscience, interpretation, hypothesis, scientific criteria of scientific character, systemacy, astrology, biorhythms theory


The paper focuses on the structure of pseudoscience as a deviant interpretation of data which has specific cognitive features; those are an indefinite field of application, a limited evidence base, self-inconsistency, etc. The author discusses differences and similarities of pseudoscience and hypothesis as forms of knowledge. Also, he analyzes the systemacy property of scientific knowledge which is that theories and hypotheses support each other while isolation from recognized theories is to be treated as a sign of pseudoscience. Then, he argues the possibility to identify the validity of «here-and-now» hypotheses in a mature science and incorrectness of attempts to analyze pseudoscience as «research programs» (I. Lakatos). In the context of the proposed approach to definition of pseudoscience, he considers some mixed examples, such as cosmologic and psychological theories.