Academia and teaching Science

Epistemic prudence, Noakes, and the limits of authority

This entry is part 11 of 30 in the series Noakes

Wittgenstein said “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent”, and that quote seems as good a place as any to kick off a post on appeals to authority, the death of expertise, and the boundaries of disciplines. As I argued in a 2012 column, agnosticism is often the most reasonable position on any issue that you’re not an expert in (with “agnosticism” here meaning┬áthe absence of conviction, not necessarily the absence of an opinion).