We see “scientism” (i.e., the attempt to explain human behavior in terms of physics, chemistry, biology, neuroscience, etc. as incomplete at best:
In his book, Husserl and the Search for Certitude, Leszek Kołakowski notes:
“A baby does not see the same thing that an adult does when it “looks” at objects and is ignorant of their function and place in the purposeful order; an adult perceives objects as endowed with meaning, and he does not add the meaning to his perceptions; when I see a car, I see a car and not a colored surface that I interpret separately as part of a purposely organized universe; when I look at a text in an alphabet unknown tome I do not see what a person who can read it does, and I do not perceives differences that he sees directly, his understanding of the text converges with his seeing into one single act. It is convincing to say that a “meaning” consequently a “universal,” makes itself part of the perception.
Everyone agrees that perception is selective, because it is under pressure from biological and social circumstances.”
(Yale University Press, 1975, pages 54-55)
Professor Clifford Geertz (who died in 2006) looks for levels of meaning and meaningfulness in all human behavior to be explained “not by an experimental science in search of law but by an interpretative one in search of meaning:”
“Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun,” he states, “I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be, therefore, not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretative one in search of meaning.
In this meta-intelligence book, we try to help the student see that mechanical “scientism” leads to a kind of “captive mind” sterility since we cannot get around man’s search for meaning and levels of meaning: since “man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun.”