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Compartmentalization, or division of types of activity on separate magisteria is a tendency to restrict application of a generally-applicable skill, such as scientific method, only to select few contexts. More generally, the concept refers to not following a piece of knowledge to its logical conclusion, or not taking it seriously.

A common phenomenon in humans is excellent epistemological performance in one domain - and terrible performance in others. This phenomenon undermines 'appeals to authority' but also shows that someone holding an obviously false belief can still be worth learning from.

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