A Good Question

June 6, 2009

I’m finished Thomas Sowells Conflict of Visions.   I highly recommend it. 

 He asks a good question. 

The question is not what particular policy or social system is best but rather what is implicitly assumed in advocating one policy or social system over another.

The implicit assumptions get little attention and yet cause significant disagreement.

Whatever one’s vision, other visions are easily misunderstood–  not only because of caricatures produced by polemics but also because the very words used (“equality,” “freedom,” “justice,” “power”) mean entirely different things in the context of different presuppositions. 

Since reading this book, I find it easier to spot when differences in the meaning of words cause disagreement.  Directing the discussion to those  meanings proves effective.  An effective remedy to talking past eachother.

Dispelling caricatures is also very effective.

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