I have had the need to dig deep into the theory of architecture and in doing so I have encountered various authors who make extremely grandiose claims about themselves and their work.
This of course is not a measure for the actual value of their achievements, but sometimes it is hard to find out if an author is just very bad at expressing themselves, want to mask their ideas with jargon in order to make them seem even deeper, or if they really are just fabricating incoherent theories.
I by no mean want to denigrate anyone, but I don't want to learn from authors who are practicing junk science. The problem with architecture are authors who talk not just about architectural theory - but connect various disciplines to it, for example psychology, computer science, mathematics, etc... I have no required knowledge of any of those disciplines - so it is impossible for me to know if they are just using complex constructs from another discipline in a way that is just "sugar coating" for their claims.
A bigger problem is that there are very few people who have studied both architecture and some other discipline in detail and are able to comment both.
In this case I am baffled by two authors: Nikos A. Salingaros and Michael Leyton. Their book make incredible sounding claims, and their homepages and Amazon reviews are full of praise that rings all kinds of alarm bells, but at the same time they have permanent positions in universities which to my knowledge are quite reputable, and they have published a lot...
Regarding Michael Leytons theory of perception and cognition, there is a detailed criticism by Hendrickx and Wageman, but as I said, I am no mathematician... Apparently there is something wrong with the mathematical side of his theory though.
Is there any way to find if I can trust these authors? They seem to gather citations from their students and other people who use their work without any kind of criticism. Do I need to go through the magazines they publish into and find out if they are peer reviewed and of good reputation? How would I go about doing that?
I don't want to pollute my work with bad science, and I am very hesitant to make any claims myself if I don't have good grounds for them. With complex interdisciplinary claims like the ones these two authors do, should I just not use them at all since it seems so hard to find out if they can be taken academically seriously?