NY Times’ David Brooks’ “epistemic” concern about the financial reform bill

NY Times’ David Brooks has an “epistemic” concern about the financial reform bill presently making its way through Congress.   (The relevant sentence is towards the end of his article.)  OK, I admit it: the epistemologist in me rejoices merely at seeing this adjective on the NY Times Op Ed page.


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NY Times’ David Brooks’ “epistemic” concern about the financial reform bill — 4 Comments

  1. Julian Sanchez claims he remembered the phrase “epistemic closure” from an undergrad philosophy class, but unless that was a really bad class, I think he has his undergrad memories mixed up.

    He seems to be using “closure” in a way that is much closer to the way Kruglanski uses it in psychology, to denote the termination of inquiry, or the transition from a stage of seeking/weighing evidence to a state of having (what feels like) a solid result.

    Surprising that an employee of the Cato Institute is reminding us of this usage, and warning us against the perils of a high drive to shut down inquiry as soon as possible. Maybe he missed class the week they talked about the relationship between political conservatism and a high need for closure?

    Meanwhile, it was pretty clear from the lede that they weren’t talking about us. As soon as we read, “It is hard to believe that a phrase as dry as ‘epistemic closure’ could get anyone excited”… we could tell this article wasn’t going to be about something as juicy as the extension of knowledge via competent deduction from what is known. Sigh. Maybe next week.

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