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 Solidarity or objectivity; Ignorance or close-mindedness? 
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Joined: Tue Sep 02, 2003 10:00 am
Posts: 41
Location: Newton-Conover Middle School- Newton, NC
Okay, I know Dr. Turner said it would be difficult, but I am completely puzzled! I spent 3 hours and 42 minutes reading this. I read, reread, looked words up in the dictionary, and even attempted meditation, but I am lost. The only thing I think I got was that realists, something I profess to be, is not in touch with the greater community! And that doesn't bother me or inspire me. If anyone can interpret this and provide me a concrete example of the author's purpose, I am all ears (and eyes!)

Amy E. Wilson

Thu Oct 30, 2003 12:12 pm
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2003 11:21 am
Posts: 62
I have just read the first essay, and this is what I got from it:
WEstern culture centers around an absolute truth. They are seen as realists because they search and see the world only in terms of what they see as "correspondence to reality". THey are being contrasted against pragmatist, labeled by realists as relativists. They are labeled such because they see truth as tied to culture and beliefs, and that it is finite (I am speculating on finite). They also see truth as tied to the arguments which one makes. For example an objectivists argues by his rules which are circular and so do others. They have been mislabeled by realists as accepting all "truths" as true, i.e. seeing everything as equally good. And also they have been mislabeled as seeing true as having many different meanings. A Prgamatis in short thinks his views are better, but does not think they "correspond to the nature of things." as the realists do.
He also makes the point that realists try to make themselves god-like in the sense that they want an all truthful view of the world. Where as the pragmatist is more content with solidarity, and unity.
He then talks about the misuse of reason and rationality by realists. They say there is only reason but recognize that people see truth differently in different cultures. This is ironic because while he does not believe it, he discovered it.
He then compares the need for reason by the realists as a psychological difficuty, a fear of not having something to hold onto, like a babies shock when they leave the support of the womb. He also says that realists have an almost unhealthy desire to justify everything, to please God, and themselevs, where as the pragmatist is content in saying that its the way we are, and its what works for us.
The most relevant points he makes, with direct relation to Ishmael is that two things about pragmatism scares Realist: 1-being a member of humans does not caryy certain rights. It strips Humans of being morally superior beings because we can not know all of the truths, like God. 2-We lose the idea that our community was meant to survive, that its our destiny. Which to many, myself at times, is scary.
He then wraps up by saying that this means we should give up on "Socratic conversation, Christian fellowship, and Enlightment Science.", because they represent a degree of social faith and need for solidarity. Finally, he says that science is ok, just that we should not deify it (which realists do by claiming truth), make it a God, because after all it is just a tool.

"But we shall rightly call a philosopher the man who is easily willing to learn every kind of knowledge, gladly turns to learning things. and is insatiable in this respect." Socrates

Fri Oct 31, 2003 10:17 am

Joined: Mon Sep 01, 2003 5:46 pm
Posts: 38
Thanks for this explanation.

Wed Nov 05, 2003 10:10 am
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