- Cafe Hayek - http://cafehayek.com -
Whitehead on truth-seeking and specialization
Posted By Russ Roberts On October 18, 2011 @ 12:16 pm In Truth-seeking & ideology | Comments Disabled
I’m reading Gary Taubes book Good Calories, Bad Calories , preparing for a podcast we are trying to schedule. One of the themes in the book is confirmation bias among scholars who ignore research and data that conflicts with their established view. Taubes also argues that specialization has a cost and quotes Alfred North Whitehead:
Each science confines itself to a fragment of the evidence and weaves its theories in terms of notions suggested by that fragment. Such a procedure is necessary by reason of the limitations of human ability. But its dangers should always be kept in mind.
A friend of mine has a son who is majoring in environmental studies. When asked about evidence that suggests that climate change might be more complicated than the consensus that it is a crisis and one that is caused by humans, his son said that the skeptics on climate change are often physicists  rather than those who specialize in climate change. Shouldn’t the specialists know more than the dilettantes? Yes and no. They should know more about some things. But on the flip side there is group think  and confirmation bias.
Article printed from Cafe Hayek: http://cafehayek.com
URL to article: http://cafehayek.com/2011/10/whitehead-on-truth-seeking-and-specialization.html
URLs in this post:
 Good Calories, Bad Calories: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories-Bad-Controversial-Science/dp/1400033462/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1318953972&sr=8-2/invisiblehear-20
 physicists: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2011/03/dyson_on_heresy.html
 group think: http://www.econtalk.org/archives/2009/03/klein_on_truth.html
 Image: http://www.blinklist.com/index.php?Action=Blink/addblink.php&Url=http%3A%2F%2Fcafehayek.com%2F2011%2F10%2Fwhitehead-on-truth-seeking-and-specialization.html&Title=Whitehead%20on%20truth-seeking%20and%20specialization
 Tweet: https://twitter.com/share
Copyright © 2011 CafeHayek.com. All rights reserved.