Epistimologically Vicious Circles

I’m always interested when academics look at the martial arts. I had a friend who once commented that in East Asian Studies, it was far more legitimate to write about the artistic decoration of a sword than how it was used. The exotic “material culture” is acceptable, while methods of violence are déclassé. For this and many other reasons, the majority of martial scholarship is incomplete, inaccurate, and/or biased.

So I was quite pleased to read this article that explores the reasons why martial artists seem to have an aversion to digging for the truth. The title is a bit of a buzzword-mouthful, but it thoughtful and written for a popular audience (i.e., it is low on jargon).

“Epistemic Viciousness in the Martial Arts” by Gillian Russell

I stumbled upon this paper because this blog was referenced in a comment on to a post about the paper on the blog “Less Wrong”. Oddly, while I had never read “Less Wrong,” I follow its sister publication “Overcoming Bias.” Such is the circular nature of the “Blogosphere.”


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