48285Argument, logic and epistemology
- Sep 7, 2011Over in sugar land, Dugan has said that Hale has lost the holocaust argument because he hasn't responded and Der Staudi has attacked Dennis, Joel (!) and anthroposophists in general for their lack of familiarity with epistemology. But Dugan is selective in his application of logic and Der Staudi's epistemological knowledge is patchy. The debate a year ago about 'Ostwald, Steiner and materialism', which I took part in, was to a considerable extent about epistemology. And Dugan's response to an debate he couldn't win by argument was the same as he's accused Hale of: he walked away - here: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/waldorf-critics/message/14690.
Der Staudi, who was involved in this discussion, also failed to respond and instead walked off making claims of superior knowledge as he went. He likes to claim superior knowledge in general over anyone he disagrees with. This can get him into hot water and a few years ago, in a debate over design in nature with Charlie Morrison, he tried to claim that Charlie was ignorant of the principles of design. He tried to claim that he himself had this knowledge, supposedly from stomping around building sites at some point. To anyone who had worked professionally as a designer it was apparent that he had done no more than read about the topic. Unfortunately for him, Charlie turned out to be an aeronautical design engineer (which didn't stop him from continuing to claim superior knowledge). On the other hand, with people he agrees with he will make startlingly inflated claims of cognitive competence. At the moment he is trying to claim that Diana has a good understanding of epistemology. In the debate over 'Steiner, Ostwald and materialism', which she dropped into from time to time, she supplied very little evidence for this supposed ability.
The logic evinced in the ongoing hole crusade to claim that there is no spiritual link between the first 40 years of Steiner's life and the last 25 is apparent by its absence. Der Staudi wishes to claim that it is normal for an author to forget who they were at the end of their life, when they perhaps write their autobiography, and to instead make significant things up. He wishes to do this as part of his 10 year plus campaign to undermine Steiner's work. And the best way for him to do this, in the very few academic circles that might have an interest in Steiner, is to undermine Steiner personal credibility. Trying to demonstrate that he made things up is one good way of achieving this. But he has to keep his own motives for his campaign hidden (or risk looking like he is attacking Steiner for personal reasons) by trying to claim that this endeavour has the effect of improving Steiner's image, of making him 'just like any other man'. The real effect of his work can be seen all around him in the hole where Pete, Diana, and co have taken this demonstration as just more evidence that Steiner was 'a liar', 'a snake oil salesman', 'a megalomanic', someone suffering from brain damage, etc.
So much for argument, logic and epistemology in the hole.
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