[extropy-chat] Appeal to Authority

gts gts_2000 at yahoo.com
Thu Mar 16 23:26:48 UTC 2006

On Thu, 16 Mar 2006 15:30:57 -0500, "Hal Finney" <hal at finney.org> wrote:

> Another problem with appeal to authority is relatively obvious: how do  
> you know you've got a good authority?

Of course that is the problem. That some expert Y said "X is true" without  
a supporting argument is never sufficient reason to accept X as true, at  
least not without qualification. Y could be the world's foremost expert  
and still be wrong.

True logical arguments appeal not to the opinions of other humans, but to  
the Rational Authority, a philosophical concept.

But what about these appeals to the Rational Authority? Perhaps they too  
are fallacious! This goes to something Lee Corbin wrote in another thread.  
As Lee put it, "I see rationality as a tool in the service of
critical thinking! Surely "critical thinking"is a broader concept---it's a  
mode of thought."


More information about the extropy-chat mailing list