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How important are the opinions of experts in the search for knowledge?

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Introduction

Essay Question: How important are the opinions of experts in the search for knowledge? Essay Topic 2. It is obvious that we all have opinions, and most of us agree that we are all entitled the right to have one and express it proudly, but are those opinions considered as sufficient evidence to consider them as guidance to knowledge or even knowledge itself? Alas, no. Knowledge -although cannot be limited by a definition since everyone will have his/her own interpretation of the word- is the sum of justified pieces of information that make up an undisputed fact for all to hold as true knowledge. To further discuss this question, I will evaluate the opinion of experts in the search for knowledge, as well as evaluating the case of the opinions of experts in three of the areas knowledge. Have we ever asked ourselves who is an expert? An expert is someone who has gained an enormous amount of experience and advanced knowledge on a given topic or issue. Thus, one might consider that this "expert" is a very reliable source of knowledge as he/she is qualified enough to give an experienced opinion on the knowledge issue. ...read more.

Middle

Simply because history is a narration of the past, thus opinions of experts are simply irrelevant, as they are not needed. But again, it is very interesting to note that history might not be the piece of 'Knowledge' itself, it is not the historical facts alone, but it is also the processing of such facts that forces us to create a fully immersive, coherent and meaningful interpretation of the past. This might call for the opinions of experts who are -most of the time- better than us in the process at hand. Nevertheless, as mentioned before, this so called 'expert' if he/she could not find anything to interpret from the given historical object or fact, evidences and background stories might be fabricated as mentioned above. War history is one place where we can express an example of such a case. For example, consider the Algerian war (1 November 1954 - 19 March 1962). In that war, casualties from the Algerian side were in an estimation of 1,500,000 deaths by the government's statistics, while estimations from historians were 960,000 deaths1. Clearly, something is wrong here, the difference between the two estimations is 540,000 deaths, which means that one of the two estimations is based on a false fact or alas, fabricated. ...read more.

Conclusion

-a strong supporter of supply-side policies- and Gunnar Myrdal (6 December 1898 - 17 May 1987) -a strong supporter of demand-side polices- shared a Nobel Prize for saying completely opposite theories!2 This is a clear indication that this area where the opinions of experts are needed. However, we must consider that not all opinions are 'true' and good enough to use, those opinions need to be justified and proved efficient. Unfortunately, for the case at hand, neither did supply side polices nor demand slide policies proved efficient as they both have pros and cons. To conclude, I 'believe' that the opinions of experts must be built on logical, coherent evidences, and since the evidence exists, opinions of experts in a given knowledge problem are not needed. However if no evidence existed, the fact might be simply fabricated or just 'believed' to be true with no evidence backing up its validity, or it simply might not have yet been proven. Until then, an unproven piece of information should not be considered true 'Knowledge'. Word count: 1552 words. 1 As found on Wikipedia: Algerian War: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Algerian_War 2 As found on "Economics - In terms of the good, the bad and the economist", IBID Press: Chapter 3.4: Demand side and supply side policies, page 374. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 Name: Zeyad Samir Khayyat Class: IB-2 ...read more.

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