Jejudo, South Korea
"Brad- I do not think your statements on what Fish was expressing were correct. Certainly they are not what I interpreted,"
--Well, that's why I posted it. I wanted to know what others think.
"but what the hey, I'm just a dumb farm boy."
--What does that have to do with anything?
"The only people who read Stanley Fish are graduate students and professors."
"It is difficult for this farm boy to discuss statements taken out of context that are part of a fairly complex theoretical treatis."
--It's not that complex, but I didn't think we needed the context because of the way he phrased the 'law'. I think what he's saying is that this is what 'really' happens when we talk. Sometimes it is but sometimes it isn't. Fish's anti-foundationalism (or lack of it here) wasn't something I was interested in, I just wanted to know other people's 'take' on the law.
--The essay is a criticism of Posner, Rorty, and Dworkin's Pragmatism. He's simply saying that they aren't all that pragmatic in their Pragmatism. Rorty, in particular, argues that a Liberal Pragmatic view opens up more space for the type of conversation that this law says doesn't exist. Perhaps Rorty does go too far, perhaps his argument is utopian, but my point is that Fish goes too far in the opposite direction.
"Tim's first law-
Tolerance is exercized in inverse proportion to the pronounciations of tolerance by the alleged tolerater.
(that is a wee bit facetious)"
Facetious, yes, but I see your point. In a way, you're saying that when people are so busy screaming 'tolerance' 'tolerance', they neglect to be tolerant themselves. I agree. Tolerance will be shown through actions, not by claiming one's own tolerance.
"Which somewhat explains why academia is the bastion of political correctness."
--Actually, it explains why people outside and inside academia aren't all that different. Tolerance is tough.
"But I digress."
--Gee, I hadn't noticed.
"Toleration is viewed in this discussion as an ideal to work towards."
--Yes, but only under certain conditions. Jaime's right in his chemical factory example; that's a time to fight. I wouldn't be particularly happy with a lawyer who expressed 'tolerance' to the opposing side's views (except as a strategic manuever). In both cases, the point is to win. I just don't think that all conversations have to be about winning. In many cases, shouldn't it be about coming up with the best ideas we can?
See the difference?
My daughter's education matters a lot to me so I decide she should study at Harvard (or whatever). My wife, however, wants her to stay in Korea(in order to learn Korean and Korean culture -- something I also happen to think is important). The point isn't to 'win' the argument but to decide, as best we can, what is in the best interest of our daughter (and when she can talk to listen to her views as well -- once she has some that is). I still think there's a lot at stake here and I don't think that if I decided to let her stay in Korea it would mean I care less. Rather the issue is more important than my winning the argument. I think Fish's law confuses court talk with other types of talk like my daughter's future education talk.
First, how are you going to define toleration?
--I already did. Toleration doesn't mean agreement, it simply means a willingness to listen, to talk, to interact.
"Should we tolerate the Taliban?"
--Should we try to understand their point of view? I think so. We should also try very hard to make our views understood by them (given that the chances of that happening are probably slim, but they will walk out of the discussion, not us. The problem is that they believe they are RIGHT and TRUE. In essence, if you agree with us, you are right, if not, you are wrong. Where did the discussion go?)
--I'm far more worried about those truths that everybody talks about.
"Passions censors speech."
--In order to allow other speech to exist. Passions policy is quite pragmatic. Ron has consistently pointed out that Passions is not a political statement, but a space where some people wish to interact in certain ways and not others. It is one component, not of Rondom, but of Internet tolerance as a whole.
"Institutions of higher learning censor speech."
--In some places and in some areas, but there's still a lot more variety in those institutions than you think.
Bad? Certainly not if tolerance is defined as acceptance of morally or ethically reprehensible behavior.
--Apparently I answered the questions in the wrong way?
Fish's statement in that context is merely a statement of common sense.
--And therefore foundationalist. Perhaps I've inadvertantly come across as arguing for the opposite direction all the time (My first few comments do come off as slightly utopian, my mistake), but what I want to argue is that court talk is not the only type of talk.
"I would prefer to think one should keep an open mind, and encourage discourse with whom your views are divergent."
"Toleration is not limitless"
"and basic human values will control how far toleration will be exercized."
--What exactly are basic human values?
Tim, earlier you said that Passions is free because it doesn't matter, that you can do anything because nothing's at stake. I want to talk about that in another thread if you don't mind.