Re: MD The Carousel of Faux Philosophy

From: ian glendinning (
Date: Mon May 23 2005 - 10:27:36 BST

  • Next message: Mark Steven Heyman: "Re: MD The Carousel of Faux Philosophy"

    Funny's not a word I'd use Mark.

    I did venture the opinion earlier that to hold partisan political
    debates about national and international affairs was pretty pointless
    on a forum inhabited by the arch-but-unsubtle-rhetorician.

    Platteral shifts not only deflect any meaningful argument, but also
    put distortions of what you actually say in front of others - and off
    the memes run. Selling Chomsky to Platt is very "coals to Newcastle"
    (nope, wrong metaphor, but least offensive one I could think of) -
    anyway - a lose-lose battle I would have thought.

    You need to start with someone just slightly left of Platt - like
    Genghis Khan perhaps - and work from there.

    Brave effort though :-)


    On 5/23/05, Mark Steven Heyman <> wrote:
    > On 22 May 2005 at 9:36, TFP wrote:
    > Nothing I've read in the MD has ever been more hilarious than MSH's 4-page
    > polemic purporting to prove that unless you read and/or agree with Noam
    > Chomsky you cannot possible be considered a genuine philosopher.
    > msh:
    > One of the many tactics employed by TFP is to deliberately
    > misunderstand or misstate a point of contention in order to ridicule
    > it. Often, as here, the point to be ridiculed is a complete
    > fabrication. This tactic is sometimes referred to as the Platteral
    > Shift, in honor of its inventor.
    > The point made in my previous post, with ample evidence, is that a
    > faux philosopher denigrates or ridicules someone else' contributions
    > to philosophy, and then, when questioned, refuses to provide evidence
    > and argument in support of his libelous opinions.
    > Another variation of the Shift is to repeatedly ridicule the ideas of
    > another and then, when asked for evidence, say "This is a forum
    > dedicated to the work of Robert Pirsig. What does this have to do
    > with Pirsig?" For example:
    > "Howard Zinn is a Marxist and I don't believe anything he says."
    > "What evidence do you have that Zinn is a Marxist?"
    > "This forum is about Robert Pirsig, not Howard Zinn."
    > OR
    > "I don't believe any reports issued by anti-American organizations
    > like Amnesty International or Human Rights Watch."
    > "What makes you think they are anti-American?
    > "What does this have to do with the Metaphysics of Quality?"
    > And round and round he rides the Carousel...
    > Best to all,
    > Mark Steven Heyman (msh)
    > --
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