Saturday, September 10, 2005

First Crack at Opening to Perspectivism Book

Just as the differing religions struggle to be the representative of God, all people in contemporary society struggle to be the representatives of the truth. And just as differing religious and political factions use the authority of their assumed connection with God to validate their views, all people who assert their view as the right view defend it by saying that they have a superior relationship to the truth or how things really are.

I will offer a different understanding of what we all are doing when we assert the superior truth of what we believe that dispenses with the idea that there is one right way in which things are or The Truth, and yet which does not lead to a self-contradictory relativism. My view is a kind of perspectivism, one that does not believe all perspectives are equally valid yet does not justify itself by appeal to absolute truth or the way in which things are in and of themselves.

5 comments:

Paul S. said...

i think this sounds very promising -- can't wait to see what emerges!!

Jeff Meyerhoff said...

I'm still interested in it, but haven't been pursuing it lately due to my motivation for doing it being my trying to be a somebody, and I'm occupied with releasing a book I wrote on www.integralworld.net

Stephen said...

You begin with a number of very broad generalizations...

"Just as the differing religions struggle to be the representative of God"

You assume that it is all the same "God" that they are trying to represent. A 'perspective' would be that their 'Gods' are all competing in the world-space of religious belief.

"all people in contemporary society struggle to be the representatives of the truth."

Really? What evidence do you have of this? Many of my friends don't pretend to represent the truth or The Truth. From where do you get your data?

"And just as differing religious and political factions use the authority of their assumed connection with God to validate their views,"

I don't remember the last time a left-wing org attempted to validate their views by their 'assumed connection with God.'

"all people who assert their view as the right view defend it by saying that they have a superior relationship to the truth or how things really are."

So is that what you are doing?

"I will offer a different understanding of what we all are doing when we assert the superior truth of what we believe..."

By asserting your own 'superior truth'???


"that dispenses with the idea that there is one right way in which things are or The Truth, and yet which does not lead to a self-contradictory relativism."

But aren't you saying that your new way is the 'right way.'???

I'll be curious to see what you come up with.

-Stephen

Jeff Meyerhoff said...

Stephen,

Well, what I wrote seems to have struck a nerve.

Re Gods: I just meant that most religions have a God(s) or kind of God who they say is The God and they differ from each other. Like Muslims have Allah who says particular things through the Prophet and the Koran, while Christians have God who said particular things in the Bible. I’d agree with your statement that “their 'Gods' are all competing in the world-space of religious belief.”

Re truth: I guess there could be psychological studies of this but I meant it more commonsensically. That people believe that their beliefs are true when they espouse them. They wouldn’t adhere to their beliefs if they thought they were false. They’d change to other beliefs they thought true. Don’t your friends who assert things to be the case think that what they are asserting is true? That’s all I meant.

Re God and political orgs: You’re right, I shouldn’t have said political, although there are a lot of political groups that do that. But there are many that don’t.

Re the status of what I’m asserting: I wouldn’t assert that I’m asserting “how things really are”. I don’t know that we can know that. Also, we’d have to define what we mean by “truth.” I can defend my view as the best justified for now and not call it “the truth.” Certainly I, like all others, recommend my view as superior, but it is the status of that superiority that I would want to question and elaborate.

You write, with exasperation, about me: “But aren't you saying that your new way is the 'right way.'???” But I wrote “one right way.” Of course, I, like all people think my view is right, but I don’t think it is “the one right way.”

Jeff

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