Re: Understanding Academia

From: Robin Hanson (
Date: Sat May 06 2000 - 16:08:32 MDT

Steve Nichols wrote:

> >>... I have always refused to submit any of my MVT ...
> >>material to any academic journals ... Since I am not a "career
> >>academic" publishing in these journals and playing the silly game you
> >>detail, always seemed pointless to me. ...In my case, MVT offers a

> >>solution to the hard/ mind problem in philosophy,
> >It seems to me that you *are* playing in the academic game, even if you
> >don't realize it.
> But the point is whose rules .... I am outside the academic journal loop, so
> might be said to playing *against* the academic game rather than in it. I
> aim for a big inter-theoretic reduction that will shake-up many academics.

You don't play against other games; you play against other players in a game.

> >Academia has succeeded across many centuries as remaining
> >the most authoritative source people turn to when asking abstract questions.
> Along with the various Churches &c, yes, it has been the "establishment" in
> the human-era past, but with the post-human age will not necessarily
> continue to have authority. It must earn this authority constantly by being
> "correct." ... if academics are wrong surely they forfeit authority?

Being wrong sometimes won't hurt academia very much, if there is no
clearcompetitor that is right more often. You might personally be right. But
aren't an institution people can turn to again and again to ask questions. How
often are people *like you* right? That is, consider the set of people who look

to ordinary people similar to you in terms of ability to answer abstract
questions; how often are they right?

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