On Judging and not reading

NM nillo at SPAMtao.agoron.com
Thu Aug 26 23:31:34 MDT 1999

-----Original Message-----
From: Xxxzx Xyyxyz <musides at adelaide.on.net>
To: marxism at lists.panix.com <marxism at lists.panix.com>
Date: Friday, August 27, 1999 12:58 AM
Subject: Re: On Judging and not reading

>  It is not necessary to read a book in order to discuss the ideas in it.

We will see.

>  You say ridiculous and untrue?

No this is not what I said.  If you had *read* what I said, you would know
that what I claimed was ridiculous and untrue was Carroll's contention that
the attitude claim "work must be read before one can say anything about it"
would necessarily "bring all intellectual and political activity to a half,
forever."  This was hardly an obscure comment, in fact my exact statement
was that "This sort of slippery slope argument" is ridiculous and untrue.
Ridiculous because slippery slope arguments are inherently ridiculous, and
untrue because it was based on the patently untrue notion that "everyone"
judges works without reading it.  Clearly, people are able to withhold

This confusion on your part pretty clearly demonstrates my proposition.
Read then decide, not create a series of logical fallacies to defend
ignorance of content.

> Do you judge a new plant you see,
>despite knowing nothing of biology? You know it only by its face, and
>there set it relative to other plants. Is this good enough for you to
>judge? And if you did not, what then?

Relative to other plants in what regard?  If I was developing what I thought
was a useful taxonomical system in order to create hybrids, my ignorance of
biology would totally eliminate the possibility of the schema I developed
working, outside of the remote chance that I would happen to stumble on the
right mix.  If I was comparing plants on an aesthetic level, the criteria
would be interely different and biology wouldn't necessaril be a factor at

If someone asked me if I thought one of two plants was poisonous and I did
not know, I would say so.  I would not point to one plant, scream "Poison!"
and then insist that if I did not arbitrarily choose one plant over the
other, the entire intelliectual project of society would collapse

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