Skip to content
Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter (A) March 31, 2020

Ist der Naturalismus eine Ideologie?

Thomas Jussuf Spiegel


Naturalism is the current orthodoxy in analytic philosophy. Naturalism is the conjunction of the (ontological) claim that all that truly exists are the entities countenanced by the natural sciences and the (epistemological) claim that the only true knowledge is natural-scientific knowledge. Drawing on some recent work in Critical Theory, this article argues that naturalism qualifies as an ideology. This is the case because naturalism meets three key aspects shared by paradigmatic cases of ideology: (i) naturalism has practical consequences and implications of a specific kind, (ii) those endorsing naturalism fall prey to a dual deception: having false meta-level beliefs about naturalism as being without alternative, and (iii) naturalism has a tendency towards self-immunisation. The article ends by suggesting we pull naturalism out of our collective cognitive backgrounds onto the main stage of critical discourse, making it a proper topic for philosophical critique again.


Beckermann, A. (2012), Naturwissenschaft und manifestes Weltbild, in: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 60.1, 5–26.10.1524/dzph.2012.0002Search in Google Scholar

Bilgrami, A. (2010), The Wider Significance of Naturalism: A Genealogical Essay, in: De Caro, M., u. Macarthur, D. (Hg.), Naturalism and Normativity, New York, 23–68.Search in Google Scholar

Block, N. (1995), How Heritability Misleads about Race, in: Cognition 56, 99–128.10.1016/0010-0277(95)00678-RSearch in Google Scholar

Braddon-Mitchell, D., u. Nola, R. (Hg.) (2008), Conceptual Analysis and Philosophical Naturalism, Cambridge, Mass.10.7551/mitpress/9780262012560.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Buekens, F. (2018), Scientism and the Argument from Supervenience of the Mental on the Physical, in: Boudry, M., u. Pigluicci, M. (Hg.), Science Unlimited? The Challenges of Scientism, Chicago, 53–72.Search in Google Scholar

Chalmers, D., u. Bourget, D. (2009), The PhilPapers Surveys. Preliminary Survey results, URL: (8.1.2020).Search in Google Scholar

Choudhury, S., Nagel, S., u. Slaby, J. (2009), Critical Neuroscience: Linking Neuroscience and Society through Critical Practice, in: BioSocieties 4, 61–77.10.1017/S1745855209006437Search in Google Scholar

Coliva, A. (2016), Extended Rationality, a Hinge Epistemology, Basingstoke u. a.10.1163/9789004332386Search in Google Scholar

De Caro, M. (2011), Beyond Scientism, in: Calcaterra, R. (Hg.), New Perspectives on Pragmatism and Analytic Philosophy, Amsterdam u. New York, 21–34.Search in Google Scholar

De Caro, M., u. Macarthur, D. (2008), Introduction, in: dies. (Hg.), Naturalism in Question, Cambridge, Mass., 1–18.Search in Google Scholar

Elpidorou, A., u. Dove, G. (2018), Consciousness and Physicalism. A Defense of a Research Program, London.10.4324/9781315682075Search in Google Scholar

Field, H. (1992), Physicalism, in: Earman, J. (Hg.), Inference, Explanation, and Other Frustrations, Berkeley, Calif., 271–291.10.1525/9780520309876-013Search in Google Scholar

Fodor, J. (1974), Special Sciences (Or: The Disunity of Science as a Working Hypothesis), in: Synthese 28.2, 97–115.10.1007/BF00485230Search in Google Scholar

Haack, S. (2011), Six Signs of Scientism, in: Logos and Episteme 3.1, 75–95.10.5840/logos-episteme20123151Search in Google Scholar

Habermas, J. (2001), Glauben und Wissen, Frankfurt am Main.10.5840/forphil200272Search in Google Scholar

Habermas, J. (2004), Freiheit und Determinismus, in: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 52.6, 871–890.10.1524/9783050047836.101Search in Google Scholar

Habermas, J. (2009), Zwischen Naturalismus und Religion, Frankfurt am Main.Search in Google Scholar

Hacking, I. (2005), Why Race still Matters, in: Daedalus 134.1, 102–116.10.1162/0011526053124460Search in Google Scholar

Heidegger, M. (1977), Die Zeit des Weltbildes, in: Gesamtausgabe 5, hg. v. Herrmann, F.-W. v., Frankfurt am Main, 75–113.Search in Google Scholar

Heidegger, M. (2000a), Die Frage nach der Technik [1935], in: Gesamtausgabe 7, hg. v. Herrmann, F.-W. v., Frankfurt am Main, 5–36.Search in Google Scholar

Heidegger, M. (2000b), Wissenschaft und Besinnung [1935], in: Gesamtausgabe 5, hg. v. Herrmann, F.-W. v., Frankfurt am Main, 37–66.Search in Google Scholar

Horgan, T. (1993), From Supervenience to Superdupervenience: Meeting the Demands of a Material World, in: Mind 102.408, 555–586.10.4324/9781315242071-7Search in Google Scholar

Jackson, F. (1998), From Metaphysics to Ethics. A Defence of Conceptual Analysis, Oxford.Search in Google Scholar

Jaeggi, R. (2009), Was ist Ideologiekritik?, in: dies. u. Wesche, T. (Hg.), Was ist Kritik?, Frankfurt am Main, 266–298.Search in Google Scholar

Jaspers, K. (1925), Psychologie der Weltanschauungen, Berlin.10.1007/978-3-662-36360-7Search in Google Scholar

Kastrup, B. (2017), On the Plausibility of Idealism: Refuting Criticisms, in: Disputatio 9.44, 13–34.10.2478/disp-2017-0025Search in Google Scholar

Lavazza, A., u. De Caro, M. (2010), Not So Fast. On Some Bold Neuroscientific Claims concerning Human Agency, in: Neuroethics 3, 23–41.10.1007/s12152-009-9053-9Search in Google Scholar

Melnyk, A. (2018), Rez. „Consciousness and Physicalism“, in: Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews, URL: (8.1.2020).Search in Google Scholar

Mills, C. W. (1959), The Sociological Imagination, Oxford.10.2307/1891592Search in Google Scholar

Moser, P., u. Yandell, D. (2000), A Farewell to Philosophical Naturalism, in: Craig, W., u. Moreland, J. P. (Hg.), Naturalism: A Critical Analysis, New York u. London, 3–23.Search in Google Scholar

Ney, A. (2008), Physicalism as an Attitude, in: Philosophical Studies 138.1, 1–15.10.1007/s11098-006-0006-4Search in Google Scholar

Nietzsche, F. (2014), Die Fröhliche Wissenschaft [1887], hg. v. Scheier, C.-A., Hamburg.Search in Google Scholar

Papineau, D. (2015), Art. „Naturalism“, in: Zalta, E. N. (Hg.), The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2015 Edition), URL: (8.1.2020).Search in Google Scholar

Rea, M. (2002), World Without Design: The Ontological Consequences of Naturalism, Oxford.10.1093/0199247609.001.0001Search in Google Scholar

Rea, M. (2007), How Successful is Naturalism?, in: Gasser, G. (Hg.), How Successful is Naturalism?, Frankurt am Main, 105–116.Search in Google Scholar

Roth, G. (1996), Das Gehirn und seine Wirklichkeit, Frankfurt am Main.Search in Google Scholar

Sukopp, T. (2007), How Successful Is Naturalism? Talking about Achievements beyond Theism and Scientism, in: Gasser, G. (Hg.), How Successful is Naturalism?, Frankfurt am Main, 77–102.Search in Google Scholar

Published Online: 2020-03-31
Published in Print: 2020-04-07

© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

Scroll Up Arrow