Tue 8/19/08 11:00 AM
I am interested in intellectual history, epistemology and methodology. Sure they are processes and not issues, facts or objects but I think they are important. I know they are to me. What I believe is that taking the time to research and understand the context and antecedents of an idea is of far more value than merely stating my opinion, whim or surmise. Care and craftsmanship are key values for me. Thoroughly understanding the issues, their context and background, finding real empirical evidence and carefully constructing architecture come before conclusions. Conclusions change over time. They go out of fashion or loose their interest or relevance. Therefore conclusions mean little to me, but method does.

That is why, for me, the difference between Bauerlein’s The Dumbest Generation and Shenkman’s Just How Stupid Are We? is critical. Sure, they come to similar conclusions but Bauerlein carefully crafts an argument based on thorough research and Shenkman rants about what he “thinks.” The difference is their epistemology, their method. They may appear to be similar because of their conclusions. To me they are the opposite because of their methods.


~ by severalfourmany on August 19, 2008.

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