Critical Thinking & The Citation Needed Fallacy

“Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”
Carl Sagan

1.) Introduction – Philosophical Metaphysics, Science & Religion
2.) Critical Thinking & Belief Systems
3.) Citations, Citations, Where Art Thou Citations?
4.) A Lamentation of Academia & The Folly of Referencing
5.) In Closing / Relevant Reading

1.) Introduction – Philosophical Metaphysics, Science & Religion:

The other day, a poster left a comment disputing the value of the writings at Illimitable Men due to the lack of studies and statistical data used to support the views espoused. Now, although I do not think one needs peer-reviewed studies to put forth observations and formulate opinions in relation to them; I am most intrigued by individuals who believe the absence of scientific evidence is sufficient grounds to invalidate a premise, for this is not only lazy thinking, but presumptive.

It is lazy because it permits the individual to dismiss a thing without consciously evaluating an argument based on its individual merits, and it is presumptive because it assumes contemporary science possesses the technological sophistication requisite to test all conceivable hypotheses. The latter is matter-of-factly untrue, for science in all its grandeur and mighty empiricism is as yet incapable of piercing the realm of metaphysics, which continues to defy quantification.

Consciousness remains an enigma to science, and for as long as this remains true, philosophy will remain hegemon of all things metaphysical and thereby spiritual in nature. This is precisely why philosophy exists, for it has repeatedly endured as a form of top-down investigation into the metaphysical substrate of reality for millennia, filling a vacuum of human need that religion embodies, but does not explain.

Religion is the symbolic mythologisation of the human metaphysical spirit into a myriad of stories designed to provide guidance, whereas philosophising is an evaluative process that attempts to make sense of the human soul and its cosmic abstractions via observation and reason. Philosophy is thus, by definition, not engaged in the politics of academic credentialism, nor bound to the empirical method as a means of discovery or conclusion forming.

Scientific materialism excludes the metaphysical, and is therefore hard-pressed to explain the aspects of humanity it cannot empirically reduce to a measurement. This is why people look to philosophy and religion to lead spiritually fulfilling lives rather than science, for empiricism is soulless in that it only claims what is measurable and experimentally replicable to be true, whilst holding what isn’t as untrue, or at the very least inconclusive.

2.) Critical Thinking & Belief Systems:

Ideological frameworks are belief systems that fill the vacuum left by an absence of religiosity, for whether one wishes to believe in God or not, humans have a propensity to seek a single unifying framework with which to make sense of the world. And so if one is to abandon religion due to a loss of faith, they will invariably act to fill their answerless identitarian void by adopting a completely new ideological system altogether.

In devoutly religious societies, the ruling religion embeds its ideological hegemony into the very essence of the nation by codifying its values into the architecture of its institutions: academia, the media, and law being the most prominent. In Saudi Arabia, this ideology would be Wahhabi Islam, under the Third Reich it was Nazism, and in the contemporary west, its the oppression Olympics more commonly known as political correctness but more accurately termed cultural Marxism.

As was stated in Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power, humans have an insatiable need to believe in something, and that something can be anything, but they have to believe in something, and it need not even be positive – only concretised as a suitable explanation for everything in the mind of the adherent. And although the word ‘belief’ has an overwhelmingly positive connotation attached to it, even a nihilist believes. The nihilist may believe “everything is pointless because it is the product of randomness rather than purposefulness”, and yet this is a belief nonetheless.

The intelligent have a propensity to self-develop hybrid systems of belief consisting of aspects from many different ideologies, religions and philosophies, whereas the masses adopt pre-existing ideology wholesale, leaving vast opportunity to mislead and control them via brainwashing, groupthink and social engineering, but I digress.

Where ideology instructs, science finds, and philosophy observes. This publication consists of the latter rather than the former, for where scientific empirical materialism does not provide answers, and ideology requires blind faith, philosophy allows one to pierce the metaphysical and speculate with good sense.

3.) Citations, Citations, Where Art Thou Citations?

Illimitable Men is built on defeasible reasoning, and so although what is written is not deductively valid in the empirical sense, it aims to be compelling enough in its rationality to prompt the reader to think with greater rigour and criticality. Remember, the overall purpose of this publication is not to empirically demonstrate, but to compel to think.

As such, arbitrarily requiring citations whenever one asserts a viewpoint implies an absence of evidence is evidence of absence, and further implies that the individual dismissing a set of claims based on the absence of empirical evidence does not themselves hold beliefs that aren’t deductively valid. In practice this is untrue, and nothing more than a lazy way to refute premises one finds distasteful, for it is not the genuine nature of people to form beliefs solely on the basis they are backed by empirical evidence.

People adopt viewpoints because they are either A: likable, B: relatable, C: thought probable, or D: conclusively proven. As such, empirical evidence is a sufficient, but unnecessary condition to generate belief; if this were untrue, there would be no such thing as a muslim, nor a communist.

The citation needed fallacy suggests the individual will only hold beliefs that fulfil condition D to the exclusion of all other conditions. This is false, but is asserted as such because the individual asking for the citation doesn’t like the premise put forth.

You see, as corollary to why people believe in things, they likewise often disbelieve things because they are either A: unlikable, B: unrelatable, C: thought improbable or D: conclusively disproven. So often when one is asked for a citation, condition A of their reason for dismissing your premise is superficially conflated with condition D as a means of rejecting your claim and thereby dismissing you with minimal effort. The request for scientific evidence is not an earnest one, but rather a means in and of itself to dismiss your claims. If you actually provide evidence, such a person will look for a flaw in the study as proof of invalidation and therefore maintain their dismissal, as they prioritise the maintenance of personal narrative over the pursuit of truth.

On the topic of scientific proof, science often disproves things, but rarely does it actually ever prove anything. This is because it is a negative epistemology, its propensity is to disprove by trying to invalidate a claim, not prove a claim. And so when one looks to form beliefs in solidifying their understanding of the world, science at its sincerest can only tell people what not to believe, rather than what to. But belief, which is the micro dilution to faith’s macro devoutness cannot function on negative epistemology alone. To believe, something must be a near certainty, and science specialises in creating doubts, not providing assurances.

So how does one believe? Either via delusion, or because upon evaluating a thing you find it to be rationally compelling. Empirical proof is an often sufficient, but ultimately unnecessary condition for generating belief. Even if one does present studies to support their argument, we must be wary that said studies are meritable and haven’t been commissioned by a company with an economic interest in proving a thing, nor corrupted by the bias of mainstream academic politics.

4.) A Lamentation of Academia & The Folly of Referencing:

I shan’t be so bold as to presume all who come across this writing are aware of what referencing is, so I shall labour to briefly explain it. Referencing is an inextricable and integral part of academic writing, in university, you are expected to validate your claims by citing sources that support the things you’ve written.

Sources can take the form of books, studies, or even websites. You populate your writing with sources by adding small numbers in brackets to the end of each claim, and then in the footer of your work you link the numbered claim to its relevant source. This allows the reader to see if there is evidence available to support a claim (or perhaps more accurately: if anybody else is corroborating your claim), in addition to serving as a repository of reading material for those with a deeper interest in the concept referred to.

Referencing can increase a student’s grade to the point it accounts for as much as 20% of the marks obtainable, although it is more commonly in the realm of 5-15% depending on the subject, module and whim of the professor. The hilarity to this of course is that a mischievous student could opt to write something completely unrelated to the assigned task, yet hypothetically receive 20% of the available marks if they’d properly referenced their claims. This is the extent to which academia values referencing, and naturally, it conditions students to think a thing doesn’t have intellectual integrity if it does not cite sources for its claims.

The flaw in this reasoning is that it discourages novel ideas and disputation of academic consensus in subjects where “the correct answer” is more a byproduct of mainstream politics than it is a chain of conclusions derived from credible evidence based research. If unsubstantiated pseudo-scientific studies are used as evidence to assert the truthfulness of fictional sociopolitical beliefs, and one wishes to contest these points in their work, said studies will be used as “evidence” and the student’s claims are untrue, even if the student’s claims are more firmly rooted in objective reality than the study’s. As such it becomes apparent that, irrespective of truth, studies benefit from a greater presumption of credibility than individuals do.

In practice, studies are often revered by collectivist students, low-grade teachers and laymen alike as undeniable proofs of a thing, and referred to as such irrespective of if the study in question is even credible. Alas, in the social sciences in particular, a study is more a hallmark of status, pedigree and credentialism than it is a sign of any real evidence. And this is not only a sad indictment of academia, but likewise, the corrupt nature of the peer review system it heralds; for studies are meant to serve as scientific proofs or disproofs of investigation, not units of ideological credibility ostentatiously masquerading as empiric scientific truth.

Corroboration is thought to increase plausibility, but what if one cherry picks what they cite and ignores or simply dismisses the studies that disagree with their position? If you have studies that are for and against a thing, will you ever possess a true answer, or will you simply pick the answers that confirm your biases? Is it constructive to occupy an infinitely pedantic stalemate where one side’s starting premise of “this is true” cherry picks studies to support its position, whilst those with a starting premise of “this is false” arm themselves in much the same way, only for each side to dismiss one another and conclude nothing?

Doesn’t the fact science is unable to come to any hard conclusion on so many topics highlight its limitations? In the presence of both supporting and opposing studies, is it not rich then that one’s position ultimately comes down to the subjectivity of the studies they prefer, and not the objectivity of the data? And are you not then simply “saying what you think” in much the way a philosophising observer does, except rather than infer with earnest from observation, you partake in a convoluted system of research and peer review prone to corruption born out of prestige preservation and political posturing?

Is it healthy for one to live in constant doubt because nothing is really ever proven, but more things are suggested and interpreted by the data. Likewise even when you interpret the data, there is a metaphysical subjectivity to what you think the data means. Is there empirical methodology to quantify the validity of one’s interpretations, or does one weight the opinion using further subjective metrics like “expertise” and “perceived authority of the opinion holder?”

Is the corroboration of studies an inextricably plausible phenomenon, or can you simply have a house of cards where nonsense corroborates nonsense due to the shared ideological dispositions of so-called independent researchers? Are independent researchers truly independent when their minds metaphysically inhabit the same ideological space? It is notoriously known the social sciences have low replicability (and funnily enough, its most psychometrically valid variable, IQ, is its most disputed), so I’d think not.

Even if one’s starting premise is completely unmarred by prejudice, we now go into the infinitely pedantic exercise of quibbling over the validity of a study due to its sample size, testing methodology, or how long ago it was performed. And if it doesn’t fail on any of these metrics, we can opt to attack it for its lack of replicability, for even if other studies support the same conclusion, perhaps their samples were different, or used different experimental methodologies, and so the study wasn’t truly replicated and therefore yet further doubt can be cast on whether any of the findings hold even the slightest validity.

It is in this way one may proceed in their neurosis of never reaching any meaningful conclusion about anything, and yet due to the academic prestige inherent to citing certain names from certain years and quoting ‘experts’ from certain books, this makes them more superficially credible than an independent thinker divorced from the political neurosis of academic credentialism.

Is this not then, really just an exercise of the most futile befuddlement? To debate and to confuse with contradiction ad infinitum is not, as far as I’m concerned, the height of intelligence. And if one is to accept science is always in the process of disproving itself, then it is safe to assume that nothing is really true; for what is currently believed as true is merely contemporarily true, an approximation of truth held as true due to its proximity to truth, but not a truth in the purest and most absolute sense.

5.) In Closing / Relevant Reading:

I do not believe occupying this continual landscape of epistemic uncertainty and inconclusiveness in a system rife with political bias, inadequate research methodology, low replicability and low data validity that passes for evidence bestows it the credibility it assumes carte blanche. As such, “citation needed” is becoming little more than the most fallacious of thought terminating cliches.

In addition, where scientific empirical materialism does not provide answers, philosophy pierces the metaphysical by observing universal patterns to form rationally compelling conclusions about the nature of the human psyche – such is the purview and purpose of philosophy, as well as this author’s humble writings. Where science flounders, philosophy begins, for just because you cannot empirically prove a thing you observe and deduce to be true, it does not mean one’s observance nor interpretation of their observance is false.

In the attempt to know the unknowable by understanding the unprovable, rational evaluation is a compelling form of evaluation, for there is a disconnect between the metaphysical and materialist worlds, and philosophy serves as the bridge between both.


Thinking, Fast And Slow

If you have a problem you wish to discuss with IM, you can [seek a consultation here]

37 thoughts on “Critical Thinking & The Citation Needed Fallacy

  1. Your text are good. But they are too theoretical. Can you try to publish more practical texts, like the shit test encyclopedia?

    1. Firstly, thank you.

      Secondly: try Art of Manliness, Danger & Play or even wikihow. This is a site for intellectually-minded men, not a “how to chat to girls” or “how to tie your shoe laces” kind of website. I write practical things on occassion (EG: I have a TRT FAQ coming up) – but it’s not the hallmark of this site, and you’re going to be disappointed if you expect me to release that kind of content with any frequency.


      1. Thanks for answering me. By the way, another good book for men is Esther Vilar The Manipulated Man.

      2. I have a lot of relatability and consensus with your posts regarding the 48 laws of power. You mentioned in previous articles that you would have a write-up to all of the laws in question.

        When will you elaborate on the “next” law?
        I think a law that ties in nicely with your a lot of your work here on Illimitable Men and the 48 laws of power is Law 20 “Do Not Commit To Anyone But Yourself.”
        And which law do you think is important to focus on next?

  2. I really liked this post IM. I read it as objectively as possible and couldn’t find any trace of intellectual dishonesty.

    This brings us to another, more interesting point. I would argue that liberal thinkers, in attempting to counter your points (or similar, unpopular or un-PC points) purposely ask for academic citations because they are well aware the status quo will support their opinions. Socjus thought is practically cemented into the foundations of the universities f the current year and professors are roughly 95% left-leaning. Thus work that emerges from academic institutions (including most work from the last 30 years) will have a liberal bias. The uneducated layman would largely be unable to understand the ways in which such academic work can be bias, as there is a ‘focus’ on writing ‘objectively’ in academic work. However, despite this, any student of talent can word their thesis, cherry-pick/manipulate data or discredit the (rare) views thanks to the academic dishonesty of his predecessors.

    What do you think the likelihood of this is regarding people who keep demanding studies to prove anti-establishment points?

  3. 100% agree with the article. During high school, I remember getting points off in which I would critically write about a topic but get marked down for a lack of a citation, were as other students who merely mimicked the argument of an academic were rewarded. Academic institutions don’t seek truth, they are merely organizations aimed at maximizing profit and regurgitating information from ‘scholars’. It’s honestly pretty sad to have such a faulty educational system. Autodidactism all the way.

  4. You’re an absolute animal. Your writing style exudes literary sophistication, lucidity, and never presents itself as pointlessly verbose or dangerously obscure.

    In regards to the content, I struggle to grasp how anyone demands empirical evidence from you, considering what you assert and expound upon is in the realm of social and philosophical analysis. Concepts that every individual covertly and overtly participate in, irrespective of their religious and moral fidelity. Are they seeking out studies to validate every nuance of social behavior that they themselves exhibit and observe?

    That would be ridiculous. I further suspect that these people profess a necessity for data not out of genuine intrigue and skepticism regarding your expositions, but purely for the sake of alleviating any strand of ideological discordance that they harbour.

    Some good shit fam.

  5. The claim that principals discussed by Illimitable Men are unsubstantiated due to lack of “scientific” evaluation is litterally the most asstard claim I’ve ever heard of. One does not need a laboratory to notice that birds fly nor does the universe require that one be a “scientist” to comment on bird flight. The concepts of human behavior and social interaction discussed by Illimitable Men have been discussed by others for litterally thousands of years and concur with the experiences of millions of people currently, billions of people during the course of history. They are self evident and blatant although obfuscated by those who have the wool pulled over their eyes or refuse to face truth. Academic pontification will never outperform the genius of common sense anyway, no matter how “scientifically” academics spin it.

  6. Your discussion of empiricism vs philosophy is wonderful. You thoroughly describe their comparison in depth with careful attention. The reader should also take note that scientific empiricism only quantifies and defines tangibles and relationships between tangibles. Philosophy transforms human thought, changes perception, self perception and consequently behavior.

  7. Readers interested in this subject might also check out Edmund Husserl’s “The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction to Phenomenological Philosophy.” Husserl makes a distinction between the world that can be examined and described in empirical, scientific terms, and what he called Die Lebenswelt (Living World) of human experience that cannot be reduced to scientific cause and effect. A striking example of this is the experience of receiving a smile from someone. A scientist might try to describe the smile in terms of the action of nerves and muscles in the face, but in the Lebenswelt of human interaction, we see the smiler’s spirit, personality, warmth, trust, and erotic intentions. Though this perception of human spirit in the smile is not provable in scientific terms, we do not doubt the reality of our experience of it. Fitzgerald wrote a marvelous account of this sort of perception in the Great Gatsby: “He had one of those rare smiles with a quality of eternal reassurance in it, that you may come across four or five times in life. It faced, or seemed to face, the whole external world for an instant and then concentrated on you with an irresistible prejudice in your favor. It understood you just as far as you wanted to be understood, believed in you as you would like to believe in yourself.”

  8. you claim that this is true: “Referencing can increase a student’s grade to the point it accounts for as much as 20% of the marks obtainable, although it is more commonly in the realm of 5-15% depending on the subject, module and whim of the professor. The hilarity to this of course is that a mischievous student could opt to write something completely unrelated to the assigned task, yet hypothetically receive 20% of the available marks if they’d properly referenced their claims. This is the extent to which academia values referencing, and naturally, it conditions students to think a thing doesn’t have intellectual integrity if it does not cite sources for its claims.” But I legitimately ask: why should I believe you? Is there some sistematic study you did, using methods that can be found and applied by other independent researchers? Did you come to this conclusion by analysing a large data pool or just some particular facts you witnessed or have been made aware from the stories of other people? How can I take this at face value without a reference?

    Moreover: “Corroboration is thought to increase plausibility, but what if one cherry picks what they cite and ignores or simply dismisses the studies that disagree with their position? If you have studies that are for and against a thing, will you ever possess a true answer, or will you simply pick the answers that confirm your biases?”
    That is the absolute basis of science! You need to corroborate each and every claim. You need to reproduce each and every result and only then you can say with 99% certainty that some thing might be true! Science and any type of serious research, is not just a collection of feelings, random ideas and stories. Eliminating corroboration and references from any claim, all you do is open the gate towards what is become known as alternate facts, and alternate reality and all sorts of alternates! Look at climate change deniers, anti-vaxxers and all those other antis that have no ground to stand on yet claim that theirs is an opinion and that is that.
    You say, what if people cherry pick what they cite. This is precisely what these groups are doing!!!

    What you propose is not a liberation of ideas but chaos! And what is really ironic, you do so by referencing some other books to strengthen you claim. You don’t show critical thinking by throwing the very tool that can help to critically and objectively judge an idea, an article, the results of a study, a book etc. You only show a lack of understanding hidden in a nice embroidery of words moulded in an opinion.

    1. For every person who puts their faith in authority, that is a vote for an authoritarian. Science is your god.

      Anti-vaxx? Climate change? You didn’t even throw in conspiracy theorists. Oh forbid we allow people to disagree with a routinely false narrative.

    2. Irrespective of its quality, you are entitled to your opinion, however, I believe you have entirely missed many of the points made within the essay, but to name a few:

      A: that empiricism cannot prove or measure the metaphysical

      B: many studies have poor replicability and actually mislead rather than inform

      C: people use studies to augment their biases and dismiss opposing claims

      Corollary to C: they think their studies are proof of what they think, but find ways to dismiss your studies by bringing their ecological validity into question.

      D: you don’t need a study to hold an opinion.

      Eliminating corroboration and references from any claim, all you do is open the gate towards what is become known as alternate facts

      I do not state there is no value to studies, and neither do I state that corroboration should be eliminated. I say that corroboration can be corrupted when the ideological biases of researchers and learning institutions leads to the corroboration of nonsense in a self-congratulating academic house of cards, rather than it being the result of truly repeated discovery of truth in isolation (which is the assumption implicit to the credibility assigned to corroboration as a mechanism.)

      I’ll put it more simply: If you have a biased and corrupt institution corroborating specific lines of thinking, is it really corroborating in the truest sense, or does it permit and promote certain kinds of research to the exclusion and suppression of others? In the social sciences particularly, if you want to promote a political agenda this is exactly what you would do, and it’s exactly what we’ve seen with the far left liberal bias in the humanities. It’s how nonsense like gender studies can actually pass itself off as a legitimate field of academic enquiry, when it is in fact more opinionated, obtuse and detached from reality than this very blog. The only difference between that subject area and this blog, is that it benefits from the prestige of academia in promoting its nonsense, backed by the superficial corroboration of peer-review, whilst this fair blog does not.

      You are also incorrect with this statement:

      And what is really ironic, you do so by referencing some other books to strengthen you claim.

      The books linked at the bottom of the essay are not used to strengthen any of my claims, and nor are they cited as support for them. For all you know, those books may refute all my claims or not even mention any of them at all, you wouldn’t know, because I didn’t cite, and therefore there is nothing for you to check. The books are simply relevant to some of the wider ideas discussed, they are not claim specific, they are bibliographical, not referential. If you cite a book, you also include the page and paragraph number of the thing you’re citing so what you’re referring to can be checked. I don’t think you know what a citation looks like if you think I’m citing (ironic, because I actually describe what a citation looks like within the essay!)

      Likewise, if your closing opinion is

      You only show a lack of understanding hidden in a nice embroidery of words moulded in an opinion

      Then I’m not really sure you understood much of the logic behind anything that was said, because after all, to you it’s “just a nice embroidery of words” – which only leads me to infer much of what was said went over your head, because if it didn’t, even if you disagreed with the thinking, you’d at least be capable of crediting it as compelling and indicate you understand its nature before proceeding to refute it. You wouldn’t simply dismiss it and reduce it to a nice collection of words in the way that you have.

      Thanks for the comment.

  9. “Absence of evidence IS evidence of absence” when one would expect to find evidence.

    If Bigfoot existed we should expect to find a dead body, biological material with unique DNA (blood, fecal, muscle, bone ect.), Hunter shooting an subject or many other credible evidences that could confirm it’s existence.

    This is not saying it PROVES Bigfoot does not exist however it is evidence of absence.

    I suspect most will agree with this standard when considering non metaphysical topics like BF, aliens or loche ness however when their personal religious beliefs are involved this standard no longer holds without warrant.

  10. Adopting a viewpoint b/c it is likable or relatable suggests that’s you are adopting that viewpoint solely based on emotion or “personal experience” which is not valid enough to prove something is empirically true. In the case of believing something to be true b/c of “relatability” or “likability” something just so happens to be true to YOU because of how you are feeling about it or absent-mindedly thinking about it.

    The citation fallacy is not false, It CAN be false. X is an expert on subject Y. X makes a claim on subject Y. Because said claim is within subject Y, the claim is probably true. It is like you mentioned in the article. There is no such thing as absolute truth in this world. Any form of knowledge is statistically true related to the power of human observation and replication.

    1. Adopting a viewpoint b/c it is likable or relatable suggests that’s you are adopting that viewpoint solely based on emotion or “personal experience” which is not valid enough to prove something is empirically true.

      Yes, I realise this. However people aren’t completely rational beings, and often adopt a viewpoint for non-rational reasons. This is why when someone claims they won’t adopt a viewpoint due to an absence of empirical data, you know they’re lying, because they already possess viewpoints that aren’t backed by compelling empirical data. It’s often just used as a superficially credible way to dismiss something they just flat-out don’t like. That’s what that section is stating. It’s talking about the nature of people, not what does and doesn’t constitute empirical evidence. These are two fundamentally separate concepts entirely.

      The citation fallacy is not false, It CAN be false.

      Agreed. It’s not always a fallacy, but it’s often used as one and hence becomes a form of thought terminating cliche.

  11. Finally! I have been waiting to see some crit stuff show up.

    I once wrote an article on critical thinking and got beat up by everyone on it. People who are taught to think based on this system have been totally programmed.

    There is one major logical fallacy at the root of it. If A then B = valid. If !A then !B = invalid.

    Critical thinking is a solution-oriented decision tree. It does not care or concern itself with Truth or the truthiness of a matter. This is part of a core rewriting of our educational system. Check out their own definition. It is relativism.

    It was designed to create fast workers and ultimately has a tradition corrosive nature to it. I’ll try to find my earlier blog post (taken down) and surface it again.

  12. Science is the “How” of the equation and Philosophy is the “Why.” Nether one negates the other inherently. Science is a great tool, but it’s limits are reached at the observable world. With so many things that we can observe (like emotions, thoughts, or dark matter) Philosophy is a great tool to fill in the blanks so to speak. And the fact that Science can’t explain something doesn’t mean that Science is wrong, but it also don’t men the Philosophy is wrong because Science explains something either.

  13. There’s a MBTI personality type called “the Debater”. Simple-minded flip-flopping jellyfish whose arguments could be easily destroyed if THEY actually believed any of the BS spewing from their rapidly moving pie-holes. They fail to understand abstraction or likely anything theoretical, and are essentially deconstructionists who take great pride in being the devil’s advocate. Thinking they are using Socratic method but with their puny intellects and pointless arguments, THEY should be the ones forced to drink hemlock. Don’t let the feebles drag you down Illimitable Man.

  14. I’m an old reader of yours and I’d like to bring your style to your attention. It has been changing since the earlier texts…

    It seems to me that quite often you purposefully use the most complex sentence structure and words possible. This makes you sound archaic and contrived for no reason.

    Surely there can be a balance between style that draws in intellectual readers and lucidly stating what you mean?

    Regardless, thanks so much for your thoughts and continued work on this site. Always insightful.

    1. I think it requires using the same language for a while. A lot of these topics are more philosophically driven and those sorts of terms are rarely used. I like the direction he is going. We have enough simple blogs out there about how to pick up chicks or get wealthy.
      Just my .02

    2. Disagree. Part of what makes IM’s writing effective it’s not just about the content, it’s a piece of art. For an intellectual audience, spreading knowledge in an artistic fashion is far superior to pure content.

  15. You may be interested in my Demonstrativism videos, which uncover a fatal limitation of western philosophy, including Nietzsche’s attempt at reconstruction, and link up the directions of existentialism, process, pragmatacism, and phenomenology towards truth as a function of a wholly-lived-life-within-the-world-leading-to-sustainability. I certainly hold to the value of abstraction and logic as a bridge, but point out that humans are not disembodied brains. Demonstrativism is thus positioned equidistant from both epistemologically based metaphysics and modern science. Given the requirement for inclusion of the whole-being-in-the-world as a basis, metaphysics must be re-created anew, after re-evaluation of western metaphysics as a pursuit only of the mind and not of the experience.

  16. Hi,

    I read on Reddit that there would be a TRT FAQ on this site. However I could not find it.
    Has it released already or is it coming still?


    1. Intersubjectivity can be mistaken for objectivity (classic appeal to popularity fallacy). Metrics/evidence/empiricism is the only true form of objectivity, but naturally, certain widely experiences intersubjectivities are not empirically measurable (or they are, but we just don’t know how to measure them in a highly correlated way yet), so for these things, yes, I suppose you could think of them as pseudo objective. Pseudo because it’s not really objective, but objective because it can be corroborated by a very large sample.

  17. People adopt viewpoints because they are either A: likable, B: relatable, C: thought probable, or D: conclusively proven. As such, empirical evidence is a sufficient, but unnecessary condition to generate belief; if this were untrue,*** there would be no such thing as a muslim, nor a communist.***

    -Ironic choice of examples

  18. The problem arises when the unscientific attempt to apply the scientific method to “abstract” social or metaphysical concepts.

    Provide an objective universal definition of happiness that applies to all people from all cultures.

    How much does a thought weigh?

    Can you pour happiness in cup and measure it? Can you burn it and change its physical state? Can you shine light through it and see if the spectrums change? Can you measure its effect on other objects?

    Can you demonstrate repeatable results with your measurement of happiness? Will your test be true across all cultures and people?

    What about love, justice, intelligence, sadness, fear, joy, anger, good, evil, freedom? These are all nebulous abstract concepts unlike matter, gravity, and electromagnetism.

    There are things science cannot answer and they fall into the domain of metaphysics and philosophy.

    No citation needed.

  19. As a professor and academic for over 20 years, you’re correct. Look at an academic work from 1900 and you’ll see few citations. Today, a peer-reviewed article has more in the bibliography than in the article itself. Largely its name dropping or labeling. Following academic standards, every single sentence technically needs to be cited since you, the author, didn’t invent the concept out of whole cloth. Today, academics write out their ideas and then find the requisite “authorities” to justify it. It’s rarely the other way around.
    We all know that you can find some academic that supports any claim. Further, how can you verify each paper cited? Read them all? I’ve seen too many papers where a long bibliography contains articles that don’t argue what the author says. Do peer reviewers go to each piece? There are limitless ways for a paper to be structured to justify any position.
    Nice work.

  20. If you want to see machiavellism in practice, watch death note (anime), death note 2015 (live action), liar game (live action) and liar game (manga.

  21. That was painful to read. It is evident that you lack even the most basic understanding of ‘critical analysis’. This is what happens when cultural marxists degrade educational standards, favoring liberal arts over the hard sciences. Clearly, the opinion of our little snowflake author takes precedence over any, and all objective reasoning. I find myself asking……. did a woman write this blog post?

  22. “Consciousness remains an enigma to science”. NO, IT IS NOT ANYMORE SINCE 1913.

  23. This is certainly one of the best essays you’ve written. Not that the others are anything to scoff at, either, although this one is particularly well-conceived in both concept and execution. I’ve always struggled to articulate my disdain for the “citation needed” fallacy, but now that I’ve read this, I’ve found an elegantly simple way to put it:

    The biggest problem with the Citation Needed fallacy is that it outsources critical thinking to strangers and devalues independent critical thought altogether.

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