The rise of cognition industry and the impoverishment of scientific reason

Stanisław Filipowicz


The article, drawing on the tradition of Frankfurt School, brings to the focus a great paradox of the Enlightenment – a hidden affinity of rationality and mythology. Noticing the phenomenon of great enthusiasm, underlying the message of the Enlightenment, it tries to pin down the starting point of a new scientistic eschatology – bringing to life a mirage of unending prosperity and unlimited profusion, following the advances of science. The idea of accumulation of knowledge is approached as a pivot of a new mythology. At the same time, putting light on the notion of “cognition industry”, the article offers critical insights tracing an inevitable erosion of high-minded dreams and expectations. Cognition industry is studied as a machinery turning up-side down the hopes of the Enlightenment – protecting the interests of instrumental rationality, and replacing the ideal of getting at the truth with the mechanism putting in motion the “production” of truth, operating in a domain of narrowly calibrated utility.


Enlightenment; rationality; cognition; mythology; science

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