Sunday, December 03, 2006


I’m not going to defend my attitude toward the South any further, but I would like to, briefly, present a partial explanation of my worldview that may help to clarify my attitudes.

First of all, I stand by my assertion that all human beings have stereotypes and assumptions about any number of things. In educational theory, these are called “schemas” and they are essential for helping us make sense of the world. These schemas are only dangerous stereotypes if we generalize them. Generalization can take the form of two logical fallacies: composition (some parts have a particular quality so the whole is said to have the quality) or division (the whole has the quality so individuals or specific parts are said to have the quality). If you can find that I’ve engaged in either of these fallacies, I welcome getting called on it. I recognize that any time you generalize, you are going to be wrong. I recognize I've made statements that appear to generalize, and for that, I'm mistaken and apologize.

I am, you could say, a “radical subjectivist”: I believe truth is only understood subjectively by groups and individuals, that human beings have little ability to grasp objective truth in this lifetime, and that the best way we can come to truth is recognize the subjectivity of our own views. In all things one should be aware that one’s viewpoints, positions, assumptions, or opinions ARE viewpoints, positions, assumptions, or opinions. As I’ve said, I’m willing to discuss, argue, or accept nearly any position AS LONG AS it is accepted as a position and not a claim to "the truth." So you will find me much more open to discussing and analyzing my own biases than most. If you would like to discuss these biases and argue against them, I’m willing to engage in dialogue. If you’d like to discuss this worldview of subjectivism, I’m willing to discuss that, too. But if you’re going to call me a bigot or an ignorant douchebag because of these biases when I have not engaged in either the fallacy of division or composition (I hope nobody has taken me saying "the South" to mean "all southerners" any more than saying "America" means "all Americans"), I now simply say, you’re wrong.

By the way, you might be interested to know that the person who initially called me on "southern bashing" was...wait for it... MY WIFE.

1 comment:

  1. Yeah, and for that I apologize. I didn't realize I was going to open up such a dialogue. Sorry world. PV is actually not an ignorant douchebag at all. He's a good guy.