… is from page 36 of F.A. Hayek’s 1973 essay “Liberalism” as this essay appears as chapter one of Essays on Liberalism and the Economy (2022), which is volume 18 (expertly edited by Paul Lewis), of The Collected Works of F.A. Hayek:
The central belief from which all liberal postulates may be said to spring is that more successful solutions of the problems of society are to be expected if we do not rely on the application of anyone’s given knowledge, but encourage the interpersonal process of the exchange of opinion from which better knowledge can be expected to emerge. It is the discussion and mutual criticism of men’s different opinions derived from different experiences which was assumed to facilitate the discovery of truth, or at least the best approximation to truth which can be achieved. Freedom for individual opinion was demanded precisely because every individual was regarded as fallible, and the discovery of the best knowledge was expected only from that contentious testing of all beliefs which free discussion secured. Or, to put it differently, it was not so much from the power of individual reason (which genuine liberals distrusted), as from the results of the interpersonal process of discussion and criticism, that a progressive advance towards truth was expected.
Note the irony that those persons who insist that today’s truth as spoken by science must not be contested are overwhelmingly persons who boast of themselves as being “progressive.” Yet this hostility to challenging ‘the’ science is a mortal enemy to the progress of science – and, hence, a mortal enemy to the progress of humanity itself.