Sunday, March 9, 2014

Diversity of thought

Here is a quote from an economist named McCloskey, taken from a website on diversity in economic thought.  I really like her conception of true academic freedom, and the quality of intellectual debate and discourse:

“What distinguishes good from bad in learned discourse . . . is not the adoption of a particular methodology, but the earnest and intelligent attempt to contribute to a conversation . . . You can tell whether [an argument] is persuasive only by thinking about it and talking about it with other thoughtful people.  Not all regression analyses are more persuasive than all moral arguments; not all controlled experiments are more persuasive than all introspections”

I like this call to tolerance for distinct epistemologies.  Not just experimental science, not just anecdotes, not just statistics, not just contemplation, but all of the above, have something to expand our minds, to enlighten us.

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