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Authoritarian Irony

One of Popper's students at the London School of Economics was William Warren Bartley III. According to Rafe Champion, Bartley, along with Popper, recognizes "the authoritarian way of thinking which charactorizes Western thought.
The author understands that Popper was opposed to authoritarian ways of thinking.

What he doesn't understand is that citing Rafe Champion as an authority on what Popper and Bartley's positions are is itself an instance of authoritarian thought. And a very archetypical one at that.

Elliot Temple on July 11, 2009

Messages (5)

I'm not sure if it's authoritarian. Would it be wise to look for knowledge on physics in a pub?

Anonymous at 1:50 AM on July 11, 2009 | #1831 | reply | quote

"citing Rafe Champion as an authority"

Can you give your reasons for thinking that he did this?

I would just interpret the above as saying that: "my information comes from Rafe Champion"; not: "believe it because Rafe Champion said it".

A. Crawshaw at 11:34 AM on January 31, 2014 | #2257 | reply | quote

He doesn't give reasoning. He tells us the source but not an argument that could convince us.

Elliot at 12:07 PM on January 31, 2014 | #2258 | reply | quote

I understand, but some people give citations in order to reference further arguments that then you don't add. You do this, because you can't argue for everything you assert (that is a type of justificationism) . You yourself often make one sentence assertions. Like, authority, that is bad! because we know that the assertion is unproblematic in the context.

You sometimes make criticisms against very trivial errors, and sometimes, like here, blow them out of proportion.

Anonymous at 9:51 PM on February 7, 2016 | #4936 | reply | quote

I just want to add that often also, what is important is not the argument but the assertion itself, which can often be rebutted without knowing the argument that the assertion is a derivation. Demand for the argument for something is often justificationist. Really what you should be asking for, is what problem your assertion solves.

Anonymous at 9:56 PM on February 7, 2016 | #4937 | reply | quote

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