Scientism is a belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints. The term frequently implies a critique of the more extreme expressions of logical positivism and has been used by social scientists such as Friedrich Hayek, philosophers of science such as Karl Popper, and philosophers such as Hilary Putnam to describe the dogmatic endorsement of scientific methodology and the reduction of all knowledge to only that which is measurable.

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Scientism may refer to science applied “in excess.” The term scientism can apply in either of two equally pejorative senses:

The term is also used to highlight the possible dangers of lapses towards excessive reductionism in all fields of human knowledge.

For sociologists in the tradition of Max Weber, such as J├╝rgen Habermas, the concept of scientism relates significantly to the philosophy of positivism, but also to the cultural rationalization of the modern West.