My two favourite kinds of evidence

Filling the pail

One of the things that supposedly makes me a despicable ‘neo’ traditionalist as opposed to a cuddly and buffoonish ‘traditionalist’ is my interest in empirical evidence. The traditionalist needs only the philosophy of Edmund Burke and a fetish for musty leather armchairs. No evidence required. I, on the other hand, want to slice and dice the human endeavour of education like a vivisectionist who kills the object of his inquiry.

Yet I don’t quite see it this way. I think good evidence is helpful to the advancement of an argument, particularly when we are being assaulted with bad evidence all of the time. And that’s the rub: I am not an evidence glutton, furiously feasting upon all the data that is out there, I am an evidence gourmet seeking the best quality that I can find.

Currently, I think there are two kinds of empirical evidence that have the most to offer…

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