Posted: Jan 19, 2017 9:29 am
by Cito di Pense
Macdoc wrote:I agree neither one or the other has any intrinsic step up on another but science, philosophy and literary criticism depend on a degree of rigor that is not required in literature.
Yet it is literature with it's emotive and imaginative power that can illustrate the experience of a particular approach to a wider audience. In it's most powerful form powers propaganda to sway.

I'm willing to argue a semantic distinction between rigor and convention. We can have convention utterly without rigor (except for rigidity), and if you will assert that philosophy and lit crit depend on rigor, I want to know what you denote by that.

The main tool I have for arguments of this kind is a sensitivity to the similarity, for example, in 'rigor' and 'rigidity'. It's worthwhile to think about how they shade each other. You simply can't make statements like you did without inviting questions of this kind. In your statement 'rigor' is the only remotely controversial word or concept. I'll just leave 'intrinsic' alone. It's filler. Literature may not have any rigid conventions, but can we say that writers have no access to 'rigor' in emulating each other? Even if it's not codified, it can still move people. Scientists codify so that they stop making the same mistakes twice, and literary people don't care if somebody makes a mistake, which may involve rigidity, and that's probably what you mean by your comment.

As for all the swaying, I recognize that interest in politics that most people have. Divisiveness is personally repellent to a lot of folks, but some people get past that and see people just wanting different things. The moral dimension is philosophical, but so what? If you want morality, go with God, otherwise, it's just about muscle, and the bad guys always get that, don't they? That suggests to me that since 'asshole' is the dominant type of human (from the point of view of the minority), you're going to have to wait for a speciation event. Minorities live in hopes of some kind of speciation event.

Maybe there's this hope, at a website called "RationalSkepticism" that a speciation event is in progress. Empirical data help, but keep in mind that speciation events generally take place in isolated populations. Air travel rules this out.