Re: endless relativism

Alessandra Iantaffi (
Fri, 10 May 1996 17:01:49 +0100 (BST)

Hi Gary,

I am probably on the late train ( as we say in italian) to reply this
message, since I have left my messages pile up for a while here at Uni,
while I was at home coping with the hayfever season. I am not too sure
I agree with your view about two realities... Why should Assertions be
different from Assesments? When we say 'this is a rock', are we really
'asserting' the same reality? It could be a rock for me, but the
favourite seat in the garden for another, and an ensemble of molecules
and atomes (or whatever, science has never been my strenght!) for someone
else... How does what we say affects other people? What do we mean when
we utter our realities? I went to see a performance of Beckett's Endgame
in London, recently, with my partner... It bored him stiff, and he
decided that Beckett just wanted to mock his audiences, while to me it
talked of death, and life, and relationships, and God. They were
assessments right? But some of those assesments we do can have on us the
same effect of an assertion.... Take for example a nun, for her the
existence of God is an assertion and not an assesment, is more real than
the rocks, and the law of physics (see the life of the saints), it
affects her life, it is her life. Well, i better stop before I start to
make even less sense that I already do, and make a fool of myself in
front of the all list! I hope that nobody will attempt to deconstruct
those reflections, are they really are not terribly represeantative of
what I am, but only of what I feel at this point in time. have a good w/e!


On Wed, 1 May 1996 wrote:

> Hi--
> Thanks for yours. I wonder where you get the idea that, in the end, I am just
> ...about constructing my constructions, etc.
> I am from the school that there are two formulations of reality, a la
> Searle. One can be called an Assertion, and is capable of being proved, to a
> community of observers using standards accepted as valid in that community.
> Like "Is there a rock there?" Try driving through it and you will discover it
> is not an opinion, or Assessment.
> The second possible reality formulation statement can be termed as
> Assessment, and comprises by far the bulk of what we utter. There are two types
> of these: grounded and ungrounded. A grounded one is an assessment for which a
> minimum of three assertion statements can be produced--"your shoes are scuffed
> and badly worn." An ungrounded one, which comprise the vast bulk of which we
> produce, has few if any such factual formulations to support it: "you are
> hopeless."
> So, then, I assess that while all statements can be said to be constructed,
> they are not all of equal character or value, and hence provide highly
> differing value to one concerned with using them to coordinate action with
> others, themself, or life.
> RSVP.... gary