The Epistemically Closed Paul Krugman

by Pejman Yousefzadeh on March 9, 2011

Funnily enough, those who heaped scorn in the past on various figures and entities on the Right for the “epistemic closure” that supposedly runs rampant on the starboard side of American politics appear to have nothing to say about this. Note that Krugman won’t read truly excellent right-of-center blogs like Marginal Revolution, or the Volokh Conspiracy, but he is perfectly willing to read Atrios, because the latter “gets to use all the words [Krugman] can’t.” According to Krugman, all right-of-center folk are either venal, or stupid, or both, and it is just impossible for him to learn anything from them. So he’s opted to learn from a potty-mouth instead. How admirable.

It really is amazing to read a Nobel Prizewinning economist tell us that there is absolutely no one on the Right–whether a conservative, or a libertarian, or some combination of the two–worth reading or listening to. Of course, this supposition is completely silly, but more importantly, it is the natural byproduct of an intellectually stunted and bigoted attitude towards one’s political opponents. It is one thing to say that one disagrees with a particular side. It is another thing altogether to say that one won’t even deign to consider what arguments the other side may have to offer, because of a preexisting determination to put fingers in one’s ears every time the other side tries to give voice to an argument, and scream “LALALALALALALALALAICAN’THEARYOU!!!!!!!!!!” in order to drown out contentions and claims that may interfere with one’s comfortable world view.

I am sure that going forward, those who caterwaul about epistemic closure on the Right will have nothing whatsoever to say about Paul Krugman’s shoddy lack of intellectual openness to differing ideas. Responsible self-criticism takes smarts and intellectual honesty, and neither the caterwaulers, nor Krugman score as highly in these categories as they think they do.

  • http://twitter.com/MichaelWFisk Michael Fisk

    “Epistemic closure” seems to be a construct meant to justify the epistemic closure of the person bringing it up.

    “Why should I listen to them? They’re all closed-minded to the ideas of others.” That being said, as much as they might not agree with their ideological opponents, they should at least have passing familiarity with them so at least they know why they disagree.

    • Brandon

      Actually, this blog seems to read Krugman obsessively, if only to pick apart his consistently flimsy justifications of why he was actually right about all the stuff he’s been wrong about. On the other hand, Krugman said on his blog that he doesn’t read anyone he disagrees with. Why don’t you address actual arguments?

    • Brandon

      Actually, this blog seems to read Krugman obsessively, if only to pick apart his consistently flimsy justifications of why he was actually right about all the stuff he’s been wrong about. On the other hand, Krugman said on his blog that he doesn’t read anyone he disagrees with. Why don’t you address actual arguments?

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Axel-Kaspar-Edgren/635450085 Axel Kaspar Edgren

    Feh, all you guys have to do is prove him wrong – show Krugman a blog that features views, analysis and predictions he can’t go without if he wants to be an objectively well-informed and capable economic thinker and writer.

    Oh, what’s that? You just want to scoff at the impudent leftist economist for his nasty and impolite judgment of right-wing blogs without actually making an effort to show that he is wrong? You think you can just say “Well obviously he is wrong because his statement is so outrageous!” and get away with it?

    Kindly go suck a lemon, cowards!

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      People have shown all the time that Krugman is wrong. I guess it got to him; now he won’t read his critics, no matter how on point they may be.
      And let me get this straight: Krugman won’t read people with whom he disagrees, and we are the cowards? I don’t mind disagreement posted as a comment on my blog. I mind gratuitous insults. I especially mind gratuitous insults that are completely at variance with the facts. Bye.

    • Pejman Yousefzadeh

      People have shown all the time that Krugman is wrong. I guess it got to him; now he won’t read his critics, no matter how on point they may be.
      And let me get this straight: Krugman won’t read people with whom he disagrees, and we are the cowards? I don’t mind disagreement posted as a comment on my blog. I mind gratuitous insults. I especially mind gratuitous insults that are completely at variance with the facts. Bye.

    • Axel Edgren’s last brain cell

      Libtard! What and Where is your argument again?

  • Pingback: Ed Driscoll » You Krugged Up, You Trusted Your Own Profession

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