I used the analogy of The Flying Spaghetti Monster Steals Meatballs to poke fun at this spurious way of reasoning.
What Kind of Knowledge Does Philosophy Discover?]. I mentioned a book by Massimo Pigliucci where he says,
The examples above are instances of scientism, a term that sounds descriptive but is in fact only used as an insult. The term scientism encapsulates the intellectual arrogance of some scientists who think that, given enough time and especially financial resources, science will be able to answer whatever meaningful questions we wish to pose ...The implication here is that there are other ways of answering meaningful questions. Ways that are different from the scientific way of knowing. It seemed reasonable to ask what these other ways of knowing are, and what kind of knowledge they have produced. Pigliucci isn't the only philosopher to make this point.
... I think a major reason for the prevalence of a scientistic attitude among scientists is the equally widespread ignorance of, even contempt for, philosophy.
This prompted a response from philosopher John Wilkins [Begging questions about philosophy, science and everything else]. I responded with John Wilkins Defends Philosophy: A Bit of History and John Wilkins Defends Philosophy: Begging the Question.
Now comes John’s latest contribution: Does philosophy generate knowledge?. There are many threads in that post so I’ll try and simplify by dealing with the main ones separately. Let’s begin with whether philosophy is another way of knowing and whether it can produce knowledge.
I am not, I repeat not, arguing for there being "different ways of knowledge" here, although that is an interesting topic in its own right. Larry’s constant repetition of this claim is a red herring. I am not trying to produce knowledge, nor, to my best awareness, have I ever done so, except accidentally and then as a historian of ideas, not as a philosopher. Philosophy does not produce knowledge; that is the job of science. Philosophy examines ways knowledge is claimed to be produced, and the implications of what that knowledge might be for other views we hold. For example, we do not show that free will exists or not. If there is a neurobiological cause of all our actions, then that is the scientific result, and there’s an end to it (until some other science is done that refutes or refines that claim). What the philosopher does with that is try to figure out what, of our prior views on free will, must be abandoned in the light of these results, and what can be retained or revised. It might turn out that, for example, freedom of the will is simply a legal concept, and so we do not need to base it upon causal indeterminacy (my view, by the way). That is not knowledge. That is an argument from knowledge.This is pretty much what I was thinking when I started this discussion. I’m glad John sees it this way.
I do not know any nonreligious philosophers who argue that religion produces knowledge of a different kind. There may very well be some; not much would surprise me about people’s positions whether they are philosophers or not. But it is hardly the default view in analytic or even in continental philosophy.
But there still seems to be a bit of a problem. Lots of well-respected philosophers are theists and they don’t see it the same way John does. They really do think that "scientism" is wrong and that they are in possession of another way of knowing that produces knowledge.
There also seem to be a number of atheist philosophers who don’t necessarily agree with John. I quoted Massimo Pigliucci above as an example. He also uses "scientism" as an insult and he seems to think that it is arrogant to believe that the scientific way of knowing can answer all meaningful questions. Some of these question can only be answered by philosophy, according to Pigliucci. This seems to me to be a claim for another way of knowing and it conflicts with what John is saying when he says, "Philosophy does not produce knowledge; that is the job of science."
I don’t see why John's statement doesn't qualify as "scientism" but I'm sure John will set me straight when he deals with what Pigliucci is saying.