D Henwood and Question of "Open Mind"

James Devine JDevine at lmumail.lmu.edu
Mon Jun 26 11:22:26 MDT 1995

Carroll writes:

>> Concerning the question of "open" vs "closed" minds. All
thought has to be based on a closed mind. Does any member of
this group seriously want to explore the case to be made for
palmistry or astrology? I would not, myself, be interested in
exploring anything with anyone who believed in palmistry...  In
any case, one cannot start from a blank mind. I prefer to start
(not arrive but start from) (a) atheism (b) a class view of
human existence. There is an endless list within those
principles for doubt and differences, but I do not wish to waste
my time arguing with those who do not accept those princples.<<

Yes, but I wouldn't say that one needs a "closed mind."  Even
"real" scientists (doing physics, etc.) see the need for a "hard
core" of principles that can be treated as immune to criticism
(though it's good to know what these are). (Imre Lakatos writes
about this stuff.) When dealing with those who disagree with the
core, one has to either "agree to disagree" in order to do some
common work (as Carroll does with the Christians) or simply not
deal with them at all (when there's no earthly purpose to deal
with them, as with palmisters and Seventh-Day Adventists).

for socialism from below,

Jim Devine      jdevine at lmumail.lmu.edu
Los Angeles, CA (the city of emphysema)

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