January 24, 2004


The name of this blog comes from Locke:
"So much as we ourselves consider and comprehend of
truth and reason, so much we possess of real and true knowledge. The
floating of other men's opinions in our brains, makes us not one jot
the more knowing, though they happen to be true. What in them was
science, is in us but opiniatrety; whilst we give up our assent only
to reverend names, and do not, as they did, employ our own reason to
understand those truths which gave them reputation."

I chose the name because:
(1) My main field is the epistemology of testimony (you can download my whole dissertation from this page, or find some other papers here)
(2) As a position in the epistemology of testimony, Locke's quote is a complete non-starter; frequently you have to take other people's word for something, or you'll never be able to confirm anything for yourself
(3) Given the view Locke is expressing, it's kind of appropriate that (2) is true
(4) The only reason Locke used the word "opiniatrety" is the word "blog" hadn't been invented.

Posted by Matt Weiner at January 24, 2004 04:56 PM