The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters by Thomas M. Nichols

Into the Wild

Read The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters Online Free - The rise of the internet and other technology has made information more easily-accessible than ever before. While this has had the positive effect of equalizing access to knowledge, it also has lowered the bar on what depth of knowledge is required to consider oneself an "expert." A cult of anti-expertise sentiment has coincided with anti-intellectualism, resulting in massively viral yet poorly informed debates ranging from the anti-vaccination movement to attacks on GMOs. This surge in intellectual egalitarianism has altered the landscape of debates-all voices are equal, and "fact" is a subjective term. Browsing WebMD puts one on equal footing with doctors, and Wikipedia allows all to be foreign policy experts, scientists, and more.
As Tom Nichols shows in The Death of Expertise, there are a number of reasons why this has occurred-ranging from easy access to Internet search engines to a customer satisfaction model within higher education. The product of these interrelated trends, Nichols argues, is a pervasive distrust of expertise among the public coinciding with an unfounded belief among non-experts that their opinions should have equal standing with those of the experts. The experts are not always right, of course, and Nichols discusses expert failure. The crucial point is that bad decisions by experts can and have been effectively challenged by other well-informed experts. The issue now is that the democratization of information dissemination has created an army of ill-informed citizens who denounce expertise.
When challenged, non-experts resort to the false argument that the experts are often wrong. Though it may be true, but the solution is not to jettison expertise as an ideal; it is to improve our expertise. Nichols is certainly not opposed to information democratization, but rather the enlightenment people believe they achieve after superficial internet research. He shows in vivid detail the ways in which this impulse is coursing through our culture and body politic, but the larger goal is to explain the benefits that expertise and rigorous learning regimes bestow upon all societies.

Title : The Death of Expertise: The Campaign Against Established Knowledge and Why It Matters
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0190469412
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 240 pages


Melora rated it ★★★☆☆

February 28, 2017

As Nichols would be quick to point out, I was likely to enjoy this book about “the death of expertise” (more accurately, “the death of the acknowledgment of and respect for expertise”) due to the fact that it fits with my existing beliefs. Tom Nichols' book, based on his astonishingly prescient 2...

Emma Sea rated it ★★☆☆☆

August 01, 2017

This was disappointing. Nichols is pretty straight up: he blames "the public's own laziness" (p. 221) for the decline in esteem of expert opinion. I was expecting a lot more interrogation of the corporatization of media and neoliberalism in general as a structure of disenfranchisement and disenga...

Jim rated it ★★★☆☆

February 19, 2017

Marred by the author stepping out of his area of expertise and making causal and explanatory claims without proper data or argument on journalism, education, and philosophy of science.

Stephen rated it ★★★★★

February 12, 2017

"That's just like, your opinion, man" ~ The Dude Abides 1998 (The Big Lebowski) Discussions of politics or matters of substance these days are exhausting, especially over social media. Polarity, discord, and maddening versions of "the truth" abound. As Cicero once said on Facebook, everyone is ent...

Saleh rated it ★★☆☆☆

October 06, 2017

Disappointing to say the least. I am very interested in this particular issue and I expected to find answers. When I stumbled upon this book, without a second thought, I bought it and started reading immediately. I tried to avoid rating and commenting mainly because I expect once enough of those...

Hadrian rated it ★★★☆☆

May 08, 2017

A not entirely new subject, but one that's become more relevant.

Steve rated it ★★★★★

April 23, 2017

This book is sure to put some people off. With good reason, too. We've become accustomed to think of ourselves as experts on everything. We're all guilty of it from time to time. Nichols points out that he himself is not immune. Still, there is a serious crisis of authority in not only the United...

Pavol rated it ★★☆☆☆

May 09, 2017

Our public debates lack intellectual rigor, our scientists no longer enjoy the respect of their authoritative position in a given field, common people ignore facts and asserts their know-nothing opinions as equally valuable. We are living, Nichols says, the age of the death of expertise. Paradoxi...

Crystal Starr Light rated it ★★★★★

January 04, 2018

Bullet Review: Absolutely brilliant, this book punches through to the heart of why Donald Trump was elected in 2016 and other inane beliefs such as why were having “debates” on vaccines and the flat earth movement. Of course, this is probably confirmation bias, as I know I’m not as smart as many ot...

J. rated it ★★☆☆☆

February 25, 2017

Very sloppy, especially considered it was published and edited by Oxford Press. The author is your average Political Science professor whose views on this subject have little more depth than a well researched article by the New Yorker. He quotes studies, reports and anecdotes that are old news to...

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