Saturday, July 3, 2010

Indoctrination through fear of failure

A pithy description of the process by which graduate students are convinced to ignore their instincts to critique and instead buy into the intellectual mainstream:

"New inductees into the profession are taught that if they are to invest their scarce human resources wisely, they should believe that the best of the discipline's scientific knowledge is contained in the current main- stream "scientific" literature, and to read the heterodox literature is a foolish waste of human capital."
(Paul Davidson, 2003. 'Is Mathematical Science an Oxymoron?' Journal of Post-Keynesian Economics, 25:3)

Presumably there is also a process by which the amount of human capital expended in pursuit of, say, learning formal theory and statistics or Derrida/Heideggerian , makes one loath to confront its limitations.

Intellectual integrity anyone? Anyone?