Reviews Soundings

Profound and vacuous ambiguity

BMJ 2002; 324 doi: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.324.7350.1403/a (Published 08 June 2002) Cite this as: BMJ 2002;324:1403
  1. Kevin Barraclough, general practitioner.
  1. Painswick, Gloucestershire

    Most doctors feel the need at some time to forage in the intellectual landscapes beyond medicine, but these are difficult places for us. The landmarks that distinguish fact from fallacy, the genuinely enigmatic from the camouflaged banal, are unfamiliar. In medicine we can recognise them. But away from our discipline the paths are marked in foreign runes, and wrong turnings often end up in the quicksand of bogus profundity.

    Sometimes I read things that I don't understand but am …

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