Why Peter Drucker Distrusted Facts

Stephen Wunker, Harvard Business Review, Nov 04, 2011
Commentary by Stephen Downes

I agree with Peter Drucker here, but we should be clear that there is a difference between 'evidence' and 'facts'. So 'distrusting facts' is not the same as operating without regard for the evidence. But the sort of problems listed here suggest the sort of problems he had with facts (paraphrased somewhat liberally by me):
- for any opinion we have, we can find existing facts to fit
- opinions should be tested against new evidence, not just existing data
- often there is no right answer; decisions are judgements, not right or wrong
- new decisions need new data; existing data reflects yesterday's criteria
- opinions reshape our understanding of facts
This is important, because so much writing in education is little more than some opinion stacked up against some handy (and carefully selected) facts. But rarely does any give set of facts support a single explanation.
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