Why phil

Chris Burford cburford at gn.apc.org
Fri Apr 14 09:09:28 MDT 1995

Hello Lisa,

 > Date: Thu, 13 Apr 1995 22:07:51 -0600 (MDT)
 > From: lisa rogers <lisa.rogers at m.cc.utah.edu>
 > To: marxism at jefferson.village.virginia.edu
 > Subject: Why phil

I continue to like you candour about what you feel you know and what you
don't. I think it is the basis of a Marxist approach to knowledge. I find
it much easier to concentrate on building up points of agreement that
way, rather than being bogged down in personalised conflicts.

Also, and please reject this if I am loading too much on you, I find your
apprach both dialectical and materialist.

But one point in your thoughtful commentary to Justin I don't agree with.

 > This question, how to get selfish individuals to be nice to each other,
 > is surely also of interest to socialists.
 > Unless one just does not believe that people are like that....

No, I personally don't think people are like that. You may say I am name
calling but I think the very posing of the question this way is reductionist.

This list for example could only very woodenly and partially be analysed
from a theory that we are all selfish individuals.

I do think that in my field of psychiatry, and in Marxist politics, there
remain great distortions from people approaching the questions in a
mechanical and reductionist fashion. Sometimes it is the most sincere
people who do it.



Dear Justin: if you may reply to Lisa, I would like you to consider for
example presenting your argument in the way Lisa has, in some depth, with
the quotations grouped at the end. I find I really have a problem if text
and commentary are spliced in and out of each other often, as you
sometimes do, and I just lose the main argument, and merely pick up that
two individuals seem to be disagreeing with each other.

I don't know if this is a technical style of philosophical argument which
comes from  trying to promote tight definition about the use of terms but I
would appreciate if you could consider other ways of getting your main point
across, as I would like to understand your analytical Marxist views
more fully.  Many thanks for considering something like this. - Chris

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