Skip to content

Arguing from authority

February 14, 2015

A quick addendum to yesterday’s post: I think Russell Scott Valentino is unfair to Masha Gessen on one point. Making an argument using specialized knowledge that not all readers have isn’t an “implicit argument from authority,” or experts could never weigh in on anything. It would be one thing if Paul Krugman said “fiscal stimulus was urgently needed in 2009, and if you don’t understand why it’s because you don’t have a Nobel prize” and another if he wrote blog posts about whether unconventional monetary policy can get any traction at the zero lower bound or what the current crisis says about IS-LM versus New Keynesian models with intertemporal optimization. The first would be obnoxious, the second is wonderful for people like me who have a lot to learn about economics.

The fact that I like it when experts share their knowledge with the less expert is one of the reasons I’m glad Valentino’s blog exists, since his practical experience with translation and his knowledge of translation theory are much more extensive than mine. I have plenty to learn there too.

Advertisements
One Comment leave one →
  1. February 17, 2015 5:06 pm

    Ha, I just now left a comment to that effect on Valentino’s post! I don’t care about all the intentional-fallacy stuff, but that poorly thought-out argument really got my goat.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: