Re: Science---or Myth?

Gary Blanchard (
Mon, 10 Jun 1996 15:55:41 -0700

Dear Mike-

Thanks for your good post. I especially appreciated the tone of
humility; it's something I have to keep in mind a lot, myself. Please let
me know if you ever feel it getting in the way of our conversation.

I agree with your point that:

> I also think that there's nothing really wrong in boldly putting >
> forth a view that one views as having merit, or more merit than another
> view, as long as one is reflexive about one's assumptions, and willing
> to entertain other views.

But, I recognize that this is like being in favor of Motherhood.

Where I have a problem is in the next part of your post:

> There is something to the clash of ideas. Let's say that I
> put my ideas on the table about a given phenomenon. I provide my data,
> etc. You come along and provide alternative data and alternative
> arguments.

> I defend, and hang on until the rest of my life. You ultimately
> prevail.
> One might call this a masculinist, modernist way of doing things. But
> note what happened...

[I interject: NOTHING has happened, except that you have made up a story
which ends up supporting your previously-held position. Get it? This is
not thinking. This is ungrounded conjecture. This is how many of us
'live in language' - as a fantasy. Back to your comments.]

> -- my putting my ideas out there allowed you to
> articulate yours better...

[ME: who says so? the 'test' of 'ideas' is not simply someone's judgment
about how well they have been articulated. Back to you.]

> ... , and ultimately, your views prevailed.

I notice that despite the above flaws in your argument, you then

> My point here is that I need not give up "taking a position" or a
> "general theory" in order for "progress" of ideas to occur. And note
> -- my defending my position is a social act; it is in the social
> activity of advancing, agreeing, defending and arguing that *general* >
> progress within a field takes place, even if I go down as a result of
> it....
> Hope this is at least modestly comprehensible...
> All the best,
> Mike Mascolo

It is comprehensible, to me, Mike. Just so general and based on a
single case that I find it.....

Best, Gary