All? Most? Some?

7 August 2009

When you read or hear some writer or speaker — especially a journalist or a politician — asserting

Economists say X.

ask yourself two questions:

  • Is this all economists or most economists or just some economists?
  • Why has this writer or speaker chosen not to specify whether it is some, most, or all?

The same point applies to other areas of expertise. A bald climatologists or scientists or health experts or historians or philosophers should get one to ask the analogous questions. But, right now, I am provoked by yet another article about what economists say.

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