|2011-08-01 13:21:32||Biased but brilliant -- Op-ed by Cordelia Fine (Melbourne Universtiy) -- NY Times|
An excellent essay on scientific pigheadeness by Cordelia Fine, a senior research associate at the Melbourne Business School, auhtor of “A Mind of Its Own: How Your Brain Distorts and Deceives.”
A basic point of the article is that arguing to win is more fundamental to reasoning than is arguing to find out. So jockeying for intellectual position (lawyering) is a more primitive activity than scientific discussion.
I have put in a few years of effort working on technical standards, which have elements of both: The content of the discussion is technical, but the motivation is commercial/political. In some ways, this can be more refined than either, because the "better" players at least know when they are arguing in good (scientific) faith, and when they are not!