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Concluding Remarks

  • Michael R. Matthews
Chapter
Part of the Science: Philosophy, History and Education book series (SPHE)

Abstract

Feng shui is pseudoscientific. The key elements of science – content, methodology, experiment, mathematization, theoretical and conceptual growth and refinement, and social organization – are present only as simulacrums. Unfortunately, the feng shui and qigong communities do not have a monopoly on the juxtaposition of scientific competence and antiscientific commitments and beliefs. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, achieve a first-rate science education that has little if any flow-on effect for the rest of their beliefs or conduct of life. The unique contribution of the science programme to this more general problem-solving, society-improving, and personal flourishing educational goal is the cultivation and refinement of scientific habits of mind. Many reject this characterization of science and of science education fearful that it leads to scientism, but only caricatures of scientism need be feared. Thoughtful proponents of scientism reject reductionism, positivism, dogmatism, and intellectual imperialism. In as much as the modernization of thought about the natural and social world depends upon its reconciliation with science, then feng shui ideology and qigong theory is a barrier to the modernization of thought. All institutions, belief systems, and ideologies benefit from historical study; from understanding themselves in an historical sequence and context. Students can benefit from applying the same historical-philosophical analysis to feng shui. Feng shui belief in society and in classrooms presents not so much a problem for teachers as an opportunity. Its considered and informed examination is a way for students to learn about the nature of science and other important social processes – the impact of marketing, the cultural determiners of gullibility, and so on.

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael R. Matthews
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New South WalesSydneyAustralia

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