Re: MD Begging the Question, Moral Intuitions, and Answering the Nazi, Part III

From: Platt Holden (
Date: Sun Oct 12 2003 - 14:28:51 BST

  • Next message: Steve Peterson: "Re: MD Begging the Question, Moral Intuitions, and Answering the Nazi, Part III"

    Hi Matt,

    Your first lengthy argument in your 3-part series makes a big deal
    about the role of assumptions in logic argument but fails to
    acknowledge that Rorty's views are also based on assumptions such as
    "Our final vocabulary corresponds to our assumptions." In fact, Rorty's
    whole big deal about "vocabularies" is one elephantine assumption that
    begs the question over the MOQ. (I know, you and Rorty don't believe in
    metaphysics, another huge assumption.)

    That assumptions are vital in logical argument comes as no great
    revelation. Years ago Ayn Rand warned people to "check your premises."
    So I don't think you need to spend a lot of time arguing that argument
    depends on beginning assumptions by assuming your audience doesn't know
    any better.

    The fact that Rorty never makes his own assumptions plain, (or at least
    his acolytes fail to acknowledge them) is typical of postmodernists
    who, in the words of Tom Wolfe, are "veritable zealots who (speak) with
    evangelical fervor in theoryspeak." Contrast this to Pirsig whose
    premises are obvious and clearly explicated without requiring the
    reader to wade through tangled thickets of argot--oops, I mean
    unfamiliar vocabulary. Pirsig has never been taken in by the theory so
    prevalent among today's academics that the more lengthy and obtuse your
    "vocabulary" the more intelligent you must be.


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