Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pet Peeve - Evading Dialogue through Appeal to Authority

"By any chance, does your claim appear in the scholarly literature?" - this is the trendy way that people who cannot address your arguments evade having to do so. It is really just the other side of the fallacy of "appeal to authority" formed as a question. Instead of using an appeal to authority to make a point, they use it to avoid having to consider one. 

They can insulate themselves from any claims that are outside their preferred academic circles. If you do happen to have some applicable scholarly literature they will invariably start looking for some reason why your chosen scholar doesn't qualify to rate being considered. Indeed it is probable that no scholar whose research contradicted their previously held opinions would be "qualified", because the primary motive for the charade is to insulate themselves from have to address the evidence for ideas which conflict with their own.

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