Cool Logic

Pietro Pasotti (ILLC)

Quantum Quacks: fraud and nonsense in healthcare culture(s)

September 12th at 18:00, in ILLC Seminar Room (F1.15)

Drawing the line between science and pseudoscience is known to be a hard task that has haunted philosophers and scientists at least since the birth of the Galilean scientific tradition. Drawing inspiration from some works of Wittgenstein, and some of his intuitions on nonsense and the importance of practice, I try to outline a questioning procedure to help us place a couple of exemplary dubious practices on the one or the other side of the `worthiness' line. Most literature focuses on trying to obtain a demarcation between what's science ("and *thus* it's worthwhile") and what's not. My approach tries to go straight to what's worthwhile and what is not, by trying to clarify concepts such as `cure' and `effective therapy'. What needs have a healer for us to put our dear bones in their hands?