You’re Biased … and I’m Objective

One of the easiest (and laziest) ways to engage in what passes in some circles for critical thinking is to claim that someone who does not agree with you is biased. The implications of such a declaration are not difficult to discover. First, because someone is “biased,” they must be wrong. Second, the person making the accusation is suggesting that they themselves are not biased, and that their view of what happened, how, and why is dispassionate, objective, and thus correct. Third, the declaration of bias in itself is enough to discredit one’s findings or interpretation. One need not demonstrate the existence of said bias or how such alleged bias distorts or discredits one’s scholarship or one’s argument. Asserting it seems to be enough.

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