Re: poly: Anarchy and Empiricism

From: Robin Hanson <>
Date: Fri May 08 1998 - 10:28:05 PDT

Perry continues our exchange:
>> >I'm very strongly *inclined* towards anarchy. I favor the system and
>> >believe that there is good evidence for it, but I don't think the
>> >evidence is by any means good enough ...
>> This would be a fine place for you to contrast your high standards with
>> the unscientific sloppy academic economics you complain of. Please
>> point us to this evidence and a careful analysis of it you respect.
>I go through the trouble of saying that I don't think the evidence for
>my position is sufficient by my own standards, and would like to see
>better evidence gathered, and I get asked for evidence up to the
>standards I espouse. Now *there* is a worthless rhetorical device. ...

I'm confused about what you mean by "good enough" and "sufficient".
You clearly feel that the evidence you have in mind is "good enough" to
influence your beliefs, and to serve as the basis of persuading other people
to change their beliefs. And we should always want stronger evidence in
support of any of our beliefs, so there is no such thing as "good enough"
that we don't want stronger evidence.

You have been berating me and the whole of academic economics at length
for relying on evidence that is not "good enough", so I am trying to
understand just what you think is at stake here.
I ask: "good enough" for what?!

Robin Hanson
RWJF Health Policy Scholar, Sch. of Public Health 510-643-1884
140 Warren Hall, UC Berkeley, CA 94720-7360 FAX: 510-643-8614
Received on Fri May 8 17:33:44 1998

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