Removing+Our+Blinders+-LJH-1

Removing+Our+Blinders+-LJH-1 - Lawrence J. Hanks Draft -...

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1 Lawrence J. Hanks Draft --- Draft ---- Draft ----Draft--- Draft – Draft Removing Our Blinders: Towards an Objective Analysis of an Argument Practically all human activity is undergirded by some notion of how we perceive life. While this reality permeates all that we do, there are competing notions of truth coexisting even as citizens of various polities hold on dearly to their construction of shared values. Controversies arise when there is a perceived breach in a shared value or when there are disparate interpretations of a shared value offered as reality. Each side spends a goodly amount of time pointing out the chinks in their opponent’s armor. Scholars are most adept at putting forth their cases without acknowledging the limitations of their own advocacy. In point of fact, the notion of advocacy is antithetical to the ideal of scholarly dispassion and objectivity. While “objective” scholarship abounds to support a host of perspectives, seldom do scholars lay bear the values and perspective which inform their “objective” analyses. The primary purpose of this essay is to provide a framework for evaluating arguments. The essay explicates three (3) fundamental guiding assumptions, which provide the intellectual foundation for the argument offered in this essay. The essays proceed to put forth a number of “blinders” which are crucial to making the case that we are indeed challenged when we endeavor to be more rational than emotional, more objective than subjective, and more other regarding than self regarding. This essay also puts forth an
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2 analytical framework for arguments, which mitigates the impact of the aforestated predispositions; it concludes with an appeal for tolerance as we proceed to pursue “win- win” outcomes. Fundamental Guiding Assumptions Guiding Assumption #1-Absolute or virtual objectivity does not exist for practical purposes. (Lyotard 198; Norris 1993) We all see the world from our own unique perspectives. These perspectives are influenced by a variety of factors. Some of the more politicized ones are age, gender, race, physical ability, and sexual orientation. Rather than claiming objectivity, scholars should acknowledge their biases and seek to account for them in their analyses. Guiding Assumption #2-While there are facts which are objectively “true”, endeavoring to debunk or defend arguments as “right” or “wrong” is usually less useful than explicating the strengths and weaknesses of a particular position. Guiding Assumption #3-Although human being in general, and scholars in particular, value rationality, objectivity, and the greater good, our analyses of “truth” is often blurred by emotions, subjectivity, and our own self interest. (Hoefler 1994, 538-545)
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3 “Moats In Our Eyes:” Barriers Which Keep Us from Truth The road to truth is fraught with many detours. This essay will examine some of the more formidable ones. I will refer to them as “ The Six P’s.” They are as follows: (1)
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This note was uploaded on 10/15/2011 for the course POLS-Y 386 taught by Professor Hanks during the Spring '11 term at Indiana.

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Removing+Our+Blinders+-LJH-1 - Lawrence J. Hanks Draft -...

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