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False Views On The Appeal To Authority

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  • False Views On The Appeal To Authority

    Is pointing to a recognized authority a mistake?

  • #2
    "Do they have sufficient studies in the field that they’re in? If your person has a Ph.D. you can be quite sure that they do."

    This is a very dangerous assumption in my experience. I'm not speaking about the obvious case of diploma mills, but among all seminaries, pontifical institutes, accredited universities, academic departments, and individual doctoral promoters, there is enormous variation in official and practical requirements and quality, and even more diversity among the students who manage to graduate. The first thing I want to know about an author is, 'who was his/her promoter'? Did they author anything together? I will even ask a promoter about his or her perspective on someone's doctoral work. And then, let's assume that a given author was a genius star pupil who wrote an absolutely definitive dissertation, this will represent a first attempt at scholarship of very limited scope. Some professional societies, eg, the Society of New Testament Scholarship, will also require that its prospective members to have demonstrated published expertise in at least one other area and be endorsed by current members. A few European institutes or universities actually require or allow for demonstrated public expertise in two separate areas before awarding a specific degree. Bottom line, what passes for scholarship is often just plain old doo-doo. Am I allowed to say 'doo-doo' here?
    Last edited by robrecht; 06-27-2014, 12:33 PM.
    βλέπομεν γὰρ ἄρτι δι᾿ ἐσόπτρου ἐν αἰνίγματι, τότε δὲ πρόσωπον πρὸς πρόσωπον
    ἄρτι γινώσκω ἐκ μέρους, τότε δὲ ἐπιγνώσομαι καθὼς καὶ ἐπεγνώσθην.

    אָכֵ֕ן אַתָּ֖ה אֵ֣ל מִסְתַּתֵּ֑ר אֱלֹהֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל מוֹשִֽׁיעַ׃


    • #3
      Good point on diploma mills considering recent interactions I've had. I think I'll put that in.


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