Monday, 14 November 2011

Evidence Based Reasoning

If you are really conducting evidence based reasoning, then its important to be able to state not just the evidence that gave you your belief, but also the evidence that would overturn it. This allows readers to judge your sincerity (for example, if I held the belief that rich people are better people and I will only change my mind if I see that rich people donate less money to charity than poor people, then its clear my views whilst supposedly evidence based are not really, since the evidence I am requiring is wildly implausible and not closely connected to what I am arguing).

On the issue of higher education funding, I am happy to agree that the arguments I've made earlier no longer apply if:

1. These degrees are not mostly taken by richer students, or students from richer backgrounds.
2. There is strong, new evidence that there are high social returns to Arts degrees. (for example, a review article comes out in this literature that posits different findings to the ones I have cited).

I think, its plausible that either could happen. If they did, then the arguments I've advanced no longer apply and so I would retract them.

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