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Help me find the right word (s)

Peter PrinciplePeter Principle Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Assume this scenario: You have a supposed expert and you're going to discredit the expert to an ostensily neutral audience by pointing out the expert's bias. In this case, the expert's bias is made apparent because the expert has referenced a source of information that is, to say the least, hotly disputed by other experts (and probably pseudoscience), but the expert has quoted the source as if it were universally accepted dogma and completely reliable. You say to the neutral 3rd party "Obviously the expert is biased. He has quoted Source A without _________, but in fact Source A is hotly contested and not at all the completely reliable source of information that the expert assumes it to be."

Fill in the blank.

I want to say it's something like "prejudice" but that doesn't seem quite right. It's something that kinda means naive acceptance (when there should be much more skepticism).

"A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding. When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people's business." - Eric Hoffer, _The True Believer_
Peter Principle on

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    yurnamehereyurnamehere Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Without question, maybe?

    yurnamehere on
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    PkErthbndPkErthbnd Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Regard, mabye? "He has quoted Source A without regard..." "Hesitation" might get your point across as well.

    PkErthbnd on
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    darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    "without reservation" is probably what I'd say.

    Is there some reason you're committed to the sentence as it's been constructed there? You might be able to get the idea across better if you revised it, saying "He's quoted the source as if it was infallible," or "as if it was authoritative" etc. The "without" makes the clause about the reliability of the speaker, whereas that particular clause seems to want to be about the reliability of the source.

    darthmix on
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    necroSYSnecroSYS Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited March 2009
    without qualification

    necroSYS on
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    UnderdogUnderdog Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Credibility?

    Underdog on
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    MichaelLCMichaelLC In what furnace was thy brain? ChicagoRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Yeah, I'd re-write/speak the sentence to focus more on the source than the expert, or on their methods for obtaining the questionable source.


    Questionable source
    un-credited source
    un-reliable source
    non-peer reviewed

    MichaelLC on
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    admanbadmanb unionize your workplace Seattle, WARegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    necroSYS wrote: »
    without qualification

    That was the word sitting on the tip of my tongue. From Merriam-Webster:

    Qualification
    1: a restriction in meaning or application : a limiting modification <this statement stands without qualification>

    admanb on
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    endlesswaltzendlesswaltz Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I would rephrase a little bit and say something like "The expert seems biased to me because he has quoted Source A without _acknowledging_ the fact that source A is currently being hotly contested for its validity and therefore unfit to be taken as the truth."

    endlesswaltz on
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    HK5HK5 Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Without equivocation.

    HK5 on
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    darthmixdarthmix Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Hey, you know why I think you're having such trouble finding a word that fits comfortably there? The rest of the sentence doesn't really contain a logical argument; you can't draw the conclusion that the speaker is biased from the evidence presented. He's quoted an unreliable or biased source without giving deference to the fact that it is unreliable or biased. This means either that he doesn't know the source is contested, in which case he's ignorant, or that he does know but is witholding that piece of information to deceive the audience, in which case he's dishonest. Those are both significant rhetorical problems, but I don't know that you can connect either of them to the problem of bias without presenting more information. To show bias, you might have to show that your opponent has some personal interest in supporting one position over the other - an interest that still exists even if the position is not correct.

    But that's advice you didn't ask for, so I should probably stop talking.

    darthmix on
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    KalkinoKalkino Buttons Londres Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    without caveats?

    Kalkino on
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    SerpentSerpent Sometimes Vancouver, BC, sometimes Brisbane, QLDRegistered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I'd rewrite the entire sentence.

    Don't start with 'obviously'. If it was obvious, who you are talking to would already know. Since they don't, you're implying they're idiots.

    Serpent on
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