Month: March 2015

Thoughts on the “Death of Expertise”, Bias, and the Continued Importance of History

Before I begin, please read this great piece by Tom Nichols on “The Death of Expertise.” Nichols writes of how ordinary people in his discussions with him will

“whine that I’m defending the fallacious “appeal to authority,” they might then invoke the dread charge of “elitism,” and finally accuse me (or people like me) of trying to use credentials to stifle democratic dialogue.

Nichols argues that we live in a world where people sit on Google and Wikipedia for a couple of days and are convinced that they know just as much as people with PhDs. When we look at idiots like Jenny McCarthy who rails against doctors, or how being an “expert” in something seems to be a death knell in the political world, there is little doubt that Nichols is wrong.