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The Popperian Podcast

Mar 31, 2021

This episode of the Popperian Podcast features an interview that Jed Lea-Henry conducted with Maarten Boudry. They speak about how we distinguish between science and pseudoscience (otherwise known as the demarcation problem), Karl Popper’s famous solution involving falsifiability, why the demarcation problem persists and remains a live issue and how Popper’s solution might be inadequate, Maarten’s alternative solution that naturalises the problem and focusses on what pseudosciences have in common and how they operate, the epistemology of conspiracy theories, the limits of science and what constitutes scientism, the interesting question of when is it rational to accept falsehoods, and why the demarcation problem still matters today.

Maarten Boudry is a postdoctoral fellow of the Flemish Fund for Scientific Research (FWO) and current holder of the 'Etienne Vermeersch Chair' at Ghent University. In 2011, he defended his dissertation on pseudoscience, Here Be Dragons. Exploring the Hinterland of Science. He is the author of more than 40 academic papers, published in journals such as Philosophy of Science, Philosophia, Quarterly Review of Biology, Science & Education and Biology & Philosophy. Together with Massimo Pigliucci, he edited two academic volumes: Science Unlimited? On the Challenges of Scientism (2018) and Philosophy of Pseudoscience. Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem (2013). His research interests include atheism and naturalism, evolutionary epistemology, beneficial misbeliefs, reasoning fallacies, and the conflict between science and religion. He is also the author of four popular books on science and philosophy (in Dutch).

*** You can follow Maarten Boudry’s academic work, and find the articles mentioned in this podcast, at Maarten Boudry | Ghent University - and Maarten Boudry – Filosoof en auteur and Dr. Maarten Boudry | Faculty of Arts and Philosophy - Research Portal (

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*** Underlying artwork by Arturo Espinosa