Skeptical Inquirer Publication

Keywords: nonoverlapping magisteria, skepticism, publication, Skeptical Inquirer, Center for Inquiry. CSICON

I have an article “Is there a Philosophical Magisterium?” published in the current issue of the Skeptical Inquirer: The Magazine for Science and Reason, Vol. 45 No. 2 | March/April 2021.  My article is listed on the front cover. The Skeptical Inquirer is one of the leading skeptics magazines published by the Center for Inquiry (CFI). This organization’s origins are partly due to the late James Randi who was a famous magician, skeptic, and debunker.

The concept of nonoverlapping magisteria was introduced by Stephen Jay Gould. It is the idea that religion and science analyze different questions; that they occupy different magisteria. I started seeing this same idea applied more generally to philosophy and science. I was quite surprised to see Massimo Pigliucci’s promotion of this idea at CSICON 2018 (partly sponsored by CFI) during his presentation on “The Variety of Scientisms & the Limits of Science.

My article is mostly a response to Pigliucci. My main theme is that there is no well-defined concept that science cannot investigate. This doesn’t mean that science has necessarily investigated any particular concept, but that it could if it was of value to do so. A magisteria discussion is about “in theory” vs. “in practice.” The editor asked Pigliucci to write a response which is included in the current issue.

Blog posts that expand on portions of this article (there will likely be more) include:

  1. Am I a figment of your imagination?
  2. Is there anything supernatural?
  3. Metrology is not about the weather. Part I – How to weigh a potato
  4. Metrology Part II – How do I measure thee? Let me count the ways.

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