Re: Tom Kyte a false idol?

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Date: Fri, 6 Mar 2015 16:49:39 -0800 (PST)
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> Why would you want to cut it to pieces? If someone has a post graduate
> degree from Harvard, he or she is likely very knowledgeable and trained
> in the art of logical thinking. I am very reluctant to discard someone
> who had to poses such traits in order to achieve a post graduate degree
> from Harvard. The same goes for experience. If someone has survived in
> the cut-throat field of IT for 30 years, there is a reason for that.

When someone feels the need to assert their qualifications in the course of an argument (philosophical) I suspect that they feel the need to do so because they do not feel their argument will be accepted without it. For that reason I examine their argument more closely and if I find fault, I present my findings of fault, counter-argument or whatever. Perhaps the "cutting it to pieces" is harsh but I not only expect or even want but crave finding of fault should it exist in any argument I present. That is what science is. I present my case and ask others to show me any failings so that I may correct or discard my hypothesis.

> Actually, argumentum ad verecundiam is also known as the appeal to
> authority. Argumentum ad verecundiam would be if I claimed that I am
> right because Tom Kyte agrees with me. That would be wrong. I am right
> because Jonathan Lewis agrees with me.

There are two "types" of argument from authority: argumentum ab auctoritate is the appeal to authority where an assertion is deemed true because of the authority of the person asserting. "argumentum ad verecundiam" is better translated from Latin as "argument to respect". This term is defined by a legal dictionary as "An argument addressed to the sense of decency". This is an alternative translation of the term. This is an appeal not to the likelihood of the veracity of the source but rather availing itself of respect for "great men, ancient customs, recognized institutions, and authority in general" in order to strengthen one's point or to produce an illusion of proof. In modern usage it is often intended to "shame" the reader away from believing otherwise.

You are correct in that the term is frequently used in the sense you describe. Dictionaries and grammars are descriptive not normative. Therefore I don't want to lean too hard on Latin sources and legal usage, but the term is, after all, in Latin, a "fossilized" language.

As you don't want to delve into inductive reasoning, I'll briefly say that these terms are usually used there in a counter-argument to an appeal to a source outside the domain of their authority.

Given the repeated defeats of stock market experts at the hands of gorillas throwing darts and infants with crayons, thousands (close to 10,000 I believe) of criminal cases now being re-tried following the revelation of the failure of "experts" from the FBI crime lab and the deaths of infants and children caused by falsified and erroneous research by respected experts being believed and children therefore not vaccinated for measles and other childhood diseases, I prefer to look at the argument or the research rather than the source.

> > their position is therefore incorrect and thus one's position be
> > correct. I will not delve into inductive reasoning but it is
> > essentially the same sort of fallacious reasoning.
> >
> > I have been reading papers by many of the people mentioned and I
> > only accept those providing sound evidence and reasoning. Tom Kyte
> > invariable provides and insists on a script that sets up the test case
> > and executes the verifying test (and usually releases any memory
> I couldn't agree more. Proofs are essential in our field and Tom always
> proves his statements.
> >
> > "Don't accept authority simply because it comes from some great man or
> > is written in a sacred book." - The Buddha
> You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a
> kind word alone.
> Al Capone
> --
> Mladen Gogala
> The Oracle Whisperer
> Je suis Charlie
Received on Sat Mar 07 2015 - 01:49:39 CET

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