Original Research

Does scientism undermine other forms of knowledge?

Ndubuisi C. Ani
Verbum et Ecclesia | Vol 37, No 1 | a1558 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/ve.v37i1.1558 | © 2016 Ndubuisi C. Ani | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 01 December 2015 | Published: 16 November 2016

About the author(s)

Ndubuisi C. Ani, School of Social Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa


Science has continually bridged the gaps in knowledge about reality by exerting its prowess in explanation, discovery and invention. Astonished by the successes of science coupled with the demonstrability and (purported) objectivity of scientific knowledge, scholars are lured to nurse the impression that science is the answer to all questions that need to be asked about reality. This has led to an intellectual fanaticism called scientism where science is seen as the only bona fide way of attaining any true knowledge whatsoever. Consequently, other fields of knowledge suffer grievously from being abandoned, belittled or modified to operate using the scientific method of inquiry. Against this backdrop, this paper argues that science is not the only way of knowing reality. Other fields of knowledge and their traditional methods of inquiry are vital in the understanding of reality that abandoning or constructing them in the scientific light is tantamount to having a parochial view of reality. Through its arguments, the research advances pluralistic, inclusive and complementary approaches.

Intradisciplinary and/or interdisciplinary implications: This research challenges the claims and influence of scientism, which holds that science has the answer to every question about reality. The paper contends that other epistemological methods of philosophical, religious, mythical and artistic forms are essential epistemological methods. Hence, the research advances a pluralistic and complementary approach in epistemology.


Scientism; Epistemology; Science; Forms of Knowledge


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