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12286Re: [XTalk] Lloyd Re: Choice

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  • Bob Schacht
    Jan 3, 2003
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      At 06:50 PM 1/2/2003 +0000, Andrew Lloyd (PhD Cand.) wrote:
      >Bob,
      >
      >granted that you want to carry on with your reading I'll be brief
      >and boil our discussion down to its heart which is the question of
      >how to get a grip on Wright's narrative approach to realism.

      Thanks.

      >[Bob]
      > > This is a very important point, with which I agree. How are we to choose
      > > which narrative world to subscribe to? Unless we agree that (1) there is a
      > > reality that transcends both you and me and everyone else, and (2)
      > > Narratives vary in how well they map reality, then we are left with a kind
      > > of naive subjectivism guided only by "it sounds good to me." If we take
      > > this road, then how is Christianity different from any other cult? Or is
      > > Christianity only different from other cults in being more successful at
      > > deceiving larger numbers of people? (Which I think is where some people on
      > > this list are at. ) So the dilemma of Wright's critical realism is
      > that it
      > > is, after all, a form of realism, and therefore it must present some
      > way of
      > > understanding what is real, and what isn't. This is why I come back to the
      > > idea is that the subjective/objective difference is NOT irrelevant.
      >
      >My answer here is controversial in some circles (I don't necessarily
      >think its Wright's for example) but not in the pragmatic ones I'm
      >familiar with. You don't choose which narrative to accept or believe
      >so much as it chooses you. This is to say that in the narrative
      >understanding of reality, as opposed to the perception of reality as
      >discrete facts or statements, you become part of a narrative and
      >take it up rather than discretely choosing from the pot of
      >narratives which one to believe and live out experientially. Thus,
      >we are part of a greater whole rather than the master of all we
      >(choose to) survey. Hence "mapping" is an entirely inappropriate
      >analogy and its not so much "it sounds good to me" as "how could you
      >expect me, the person I am, to believe anything but that which I
      >do?" This, I will think will agree, is a somewhat different way of
      >conceiving of realism.

      Despite your disclaimer, this sounds at least similar to what Wright is
      arguing, if not the same.
      However, despite your closing sentence below, it makes of us nothing more
      than pawns of our
      own heritage, doesn't it? If "it chooses you," you seem to argue that we
      have no power to choose
      for ourselves.

      >Against this background we then start making statements, assessing
      >truth claims and adducing facts.

      How can we "assess truth claims" or "adduce facts" if we have already been
      possessed by a
      Wrightian narrative? Or can we only fiddle around the margins on minor
      details, the major
      details having already been fixed by the narrative?
      I would venture to counter with the claim that Wright's claim (or at least
      your version of it) is true
      of the "unconscious" observer, but that through "consciousness raising" one
      becomes freer to choose
      the guiding narrative of one's life, which again raises the question of the
      grounds on which we can make that choice.

      Bob Schacht

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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