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The Cambridge/UNC-Chapel Hill/etc. prof best known for his neo-Humean meta-ethics joins Mark, Wes, and Dylan to discuss his book On Truth (2018).
What is truth? A pragmatist like William James wants to define truth in terms of the procedures we actually undergo to confirm a claim. Simon instead buys into a performative/deflationist view of truth. The notion can't be defined in general, but we can describe how it works in a specific domain, like how we judge the truth of scientific claims is different than for ethical or aesthetic claims. Still, none of those domains are going to be "just a matter of opinion." We acknowledge that some people are qualified to make judgments in a particular area through their acumen and expertise with relevant procedures, and those are the people (and procedures) that we regard as reliable sources of truth, even though we're not defining truth as whatever it is they determine.
This is the payoff for two episodes of threshing through the jungles of analytic philosophy, as Simon's book leads us systematically through the correspondence, coherence, pragmatist, and deflationist theories of truth. Then in the second half (both of his book and our discussion) we focus on those domain-specific procedures, making connections to Hume, Kant, Peirce, Collingwood (a new one to us), and others.
Buy the book! And his previous book, Truth: A Guide for the Perplexed (2005), is even more beefy.
Continued on part 2, or get the full, unbroken Citizen Edition now. Citizens also get access to Wes's discussion on Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five.
Image by Solomon Grundy.
One doesn’t have to be “paranoid” to be taken with conspiracy theories this is more the norm than a pathology given the general public’s blinkering cog-biases, on top of out tribal tendencies we tend to be poor at judging causality (complexity, scale, effects over time, etc),
I did some work with a political scientist who was studying corruption in governments and it became pretty clear that when infrastructures/institutions like banks or law enforcement stopped working as designed (no longer invisible in the way the the inner workings of our devices/tools/bodies are when they are working as expected) people immediately started filling in the gaps with simple-minded explanations, you can see Repuglicans take advantage of this when they misleadingly talk about government budgets as being like household budgets when they aren’t the same at all, I always thought science should be taught as a long series of corrections to common-sense explanations.
Rorty (and Stanley Fish, Foucault and Arendt) was right that our fitness/correctness depends not on theories but on functional/civic-minded institutions and the trust in them of the public.
The broader implications of this welcome shift in emphasis along the lines of ‘not something in the head’ but in our manipulations of our environment is being fleshed out nicely by the folks working on enactivism like Dan Hutto and Andy Clark.
ps for an excellent (tho you have to be able to bear his quirky delivery style) geneaolgy of the logic/epistemology of fake news and its roots in part in the Lippmann vs Dewey debates check out:
Marc Lange says
Simon has been and will be at UNC-Chapel Hill from time to time as well. With all due respect to Cambridge, there’s no need to relegate us to “etc.”
Mark Linsenmayer says
Fair enough; I edited the post!
Marc Lange says
August Denys says
I’m a little sorry to say this, but overall I think this was one of the worst episodes of the podcast. In a way, it gives a lot of credence to ground rules that you guys used to use a lot. From that, there was a lot of name dropping and seemingly very little talk of the topic as presented by Blackburn in his book and of himself. I must state that I am not a citizen so I do not have access to the second half; however, I do not think that disqualifies this objection.
There is something of note that I wish was discussed more, that was just thrown as a sort of off hand comment. I am terrible with remembering names because I’m listening to this podcast in the car and I try to remember the details so I can type them on the website; nevertheless, the comment that piqued my interest the most was in relation to Richard Rorty and the statement that “there is no such thing as truth.” Maybe this is my mind working from a more continental standpoint with my recent endeavors into Heidegger, Husserl, Bergson, and Deleuze (and what little I know of Derrida and Foucault), but it made me question whether this statement was taken literally in the podcast or figuratively. Why? Because if it is taken as literal, then I think the question of the thingness of truth was ignored; if it was taken figuratively, then Rorty’s claim would be more extreme in saying that there are no truths at all. It was the first relation that really made me think. In one way, there is no thing in the world that is true, for example, to say “The apple is true,” seems to be neither true nor false, or it has no meaning whereas to say, “The apple is red,” can be true based on the referential event of the two related states.
In a way, this goes back to my recent reading of Aristotle’s Topics where he gives his Dialectical method as well as his definition of definition: “A definition is an account that signifies the essence.” (101b 40) Throughout, what made this podcast episode irksome to me was that the entire time you guys were giving names and not accounts. There were many mentions of deflationary theory, correspondence theory, Pierce, Dewey, Rorty, and more without the normal attempt to give and account for the listeners to follow along with. At the beginning, Blackburn mentions that he was influence to do this by looking in Postmodernism, but the discussion doesn’t go past much of Rorty and Nietzsche, and even then, they are just named dropped and not really developed. For that matter, what of Foucault, Derrida, Deleuze and others? Are they mentioned in part two? If Blackburn wants an authoritative account of truth, then is the account of truth beyond linguistic predicates? To borrow what I once thought from Heidegger and how he helped me understand Kant’s problem with St. Anselm’s Ontological Argument, being that Being is a linguistic predicate and not a real predicate. In this vein, does Blackburn try to make the case for truth being a real predicate or simply a linguistic predicate? I believe that the former is untenable in certain situations because we can’t say, “The apple is true,” to mean anything.
In a basic way, this topic is very slippery and the casual nature of it made it unsatisfactory. Furthermore, without the normal ground rules, the conversation felt more like allusions to others instead of showing of what is being said of truth.
Mark Linsenmayer says
I’m sorry you felt that way. I strongly recommend you just get Blackburn’s new book, which is really easy to follow. If I have time, I’ll go back and listen through and see if I can use the show notes to clarify the preliminaries needed for a newbie to follow the discussion (not saying you’re a newbie; obviously you’ve read Aristotle’s “Topics.” We’re certainly always in danger when we have a prof on of trying to engage with/impress him or her at our highest level rather than slowing down to make sure everything is explained.
We definitely still owe the audience an episode on post-modernism and perhaps Rorty on truth (who is difficult to interpret, and we didn’t read anything by him for this time). However, I think through our previous two episodes we already hammered deflationism and the issue of what the predicate “true” applies to.
According to Blackburn, Rorty and post-modernism more generally do not think that “true” is a useful word any more, because it’s too fraught with an unwarranted universalism and objectivism. A sentence or point of view or assumption presents a model, and those models can be more or less helpful in certain situations for navigating the world (we discuss that in the second half; the irony is that Blackburn IS a pragmatist, just not in the same way Rorty is), but to say that the model is “true” is to say that it corresponds with the real world, the thing in itself. But we’re in no epistemic position to ever compare the model with the thing-in-itself. If you have a model, and you run into evidence against it, than per Kuhn you can just say “well, that’s an anomaly to be explained later,” or you can adopt another model that works better, but all that can be interpreted in terms of a coherence theory instead of a correspondence theory.
And as we said on the episode, it makes perfect sense intuitively for a coherent, well-tested set of beliefs to still be wholly wrong (not matching the “real world”). So that’s an argument for abandoning the idea of calling coherence by the name of “truth.” No, since correspondence can’t be made coherent (either epistemologically–i.e. we can’t compare the model with the world, or per Strawson, even in laying out the theory–because we can’t make sense of “fact” or the other alleged items that the model corresponds with), and coherence is not best characterized by the notion of “truth,” then what are the alternatives?
The pragmatist theory of truth defines truth in terms of “working better” (in some sense), but this suffers the same fate as coherence. (Rorty thinks James is wrong.)
The disquotational theory of truth simply doesn’t work (for reasons described both in this episode and for Tarski). That’s the simplest type of deflationary theory, which theories are supposed to avoid making any correspondence claims, or any epistemological claims at all (see the Tarski ep). Saying apples are red and saying “it’s true that apples are red” is to say the same thing (says the deflationary theory). The statement “apples are red” is true if and only if apples are red. Neither of those formulations is making any claim at all about what makes apples red. Blackburn says the answer to that question is the scientific answer: something about light reflecting off surfaces in certain ways.
Rorty as pragmatist would agree. But Blackburn thinks it’s harmless to retain the word “true” to refer (a la Strawson) the performative aspect of the sentence “it is true that apples are red”; i.e. the person saying this is affirming the statement. Rorty (sometimes) believes that we should just toss the word “true,” and stick to the investigation. It seems like the two are just arguing over the use of words, but words have a political aspect, and while post-modernists see that using “true” promotes absolutism, and so dogmatism and (given the historical circumstances) patriarchy and marginalization of minorities and other things, Blackburn argues that talking about “truth” in general is still politically helpful in this era of nonsense and bullshit.
Luke T says
Good stuff! Thanks to you both for pulling this thread. The following came down the digital pike today, and – though fairly short in length/scope – I found it to add a little more context and “so what?” explanation for me.
Rorty really wanted to emphasize contingency and irony (you guys should really tackle that book sometime), it does raise some serious questions about whether or not there are matters that philosophy can explain better than a “thick” description of who is doing what ,with what means, and to what ends can?
Paul Rabinow takes up the work of folks like Dewey and Foucault but as an anthropology of the contemporary and he’s pretty convincing:
Luke T says
So, dmf, you keep making references to the Dewey-Lippman debates, and your understanding of Rorty’s pragmatism. I am not sure that I understand (or am just not properly-equipped to understand) how the lecture you linked here speaks to all this,
The talk seems nominally interesting, but there is enough assumed background here – that I don’t have access to – such that I can’t integrate it into the greater philosophical discussion. Care to provide some clarity, please? Thanks in advance.
hey LT are you referencing the talk on the epistemology/logic of fake news or the Rabinow?
in the first the question from the debate was about whether or not the public could grasp the complexities of modern life or if we were now at the mercy of experts, ie from a neo-liberal mindset only “markets” could compute such matters and that all too human concerns like truth should be left for more useful rhetorical functions/options.
Rabinow is offering us a take on how we might approach matters if factors like particularity, environment/setting, and the like are what makes something (some situation/event) what it is, and not some generalizable structure (as say one finds in theoretical physics), where we can only really/usefully judge the effects of what we assemble out of what is at hand in relation to our current interests and the like.
A move away if you will from thinking in terms of discovery to something more like assemblage/collage, something more along the lines of proto-types rather than arche-types.
August Denys says
Thank you Mark,
Since you’ve posted this, I have been able to listen to the second part which covered much of what I thought was missing from the first part. I listened to the second part to a few times because, as I am not a pragmatist (strangely enough I had a professor in College who was a hardcore pragmatist), I felt that I was following the things being said, but I can say at this point, I don’t believe I will agree with Blackburn. The episode did mention something that has left me thinking since listening to the episode and that is the question of the performative aspect of the word True/Truth. I will probably listen to it again because, while podcasts are easily digestible, I have a hard time recalling all aspects of nuance. So, the basic question that the second part has left on my mind is the difference between saying “This is the truth,” vs, simply, “This is.” I know last time I mentioned Aristotle, but I’ve been reading him to understand multiple 20th century philosophers better: Bergson, Heidegger, Husserl, and Deleuze. Of the four I mentioned, I took a philosophy of religion class when I was in college and used the introduction of Heidegger’s Being and Time to understand Kant’s critique of St. Anselm’s argument. Now, I have a problem of using stories to get points across; however, the reason for doing this is because this experience taught me a little about predication. In this case, St. Anselm, according to Kant was treating is/being as a real predicate while it was a linguistic predicate. My professor has an easy way of distinguishing these: if I made a dating profile, I would say I want the partner to have red hard and be smart; however, it would be odd to say that “oh, I also want this person to exist.” The first two being real predicates and the second being a linguistic predicate. So, this idea came to mind when listening to the parts about truth. I know I am far from having answers, yet, from this episode, it makes me feel that truth is merely a linguistic predicate and not a real predicate.
Yet, in this vein, in the performative, saying something is true, has a different sense than saying something is. Almost like saying something is true, is saying that this set of relations are actual according to the world. Although, I must admit that my flaw at this point, is being familiar with the material, but I have an inability to connect the names to the accounts (borrowing from Aristotle again). I took philosophy courses in college, but I was not a philosophy major. While I have a history reading a lot of Philosophy, when someone says, “disquotational theory” I know the words, but I do not know what they account for. It is possible I know what they account for, but I don’t know the name they are connected with. So, if I am repeating things already stated… well, sorry, but I still wanted to say thank you. There is much to think about from the second part, which I don’t have time to write about. It was great, but I wanted you to know.
P.S. If you want some Postmodernism on truth, then might I suggest Gilles Deleuze’s Difference and Repetition? Specifically chapter 3 titled The Image of Thought? It’s 38 pages long, pg. 129-167, but it is brilliant. I would even just recommend page 153 on because it deals with, primarily, sense. He defines it as “the condition of the true, but since it is supposed that the condition must retain an extension larger than that which is conditions, sense does not ground truth without also allowing the possibility of error.” In a strange way, Deleuze is a great logician, and this part on sense leads into his other book The Logic of Sense. As this is a postscript, I won’t make it any longer, but if I have piqued your interest, here is an article explaining it better than I can. https://epochemagazine.org/deleuze-on-sense-series-structures-signifiers-and-snarks-part-a-b2f6e6f71341
Again thank you.
Note: it seems Blackburn’s book is a reprint of a book released (in the UK only?) last year: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Truth-Ideas-Profile-Simon-Blackburn-ebook/dp/B01KI4VS2G/ref=tmm_kin_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1534363407&sr=1-1 (in case you want to save yourself some money).
Jennifer Tejada says
Really enjoying his book if for nothing other than just a really nice clear overview of the sort of history of the various philosophical ideas on truth. What strikes me listening to this episode a second time is that it seems like what we seem to be realizing in the age of post truth is how reliant we are sources. We are at the mercy of those who give us the news and when that is undermined we become paranoid and question everything. And similarly, if there is a source, say Trump, who says something when we used to dismiss what he said out of hand we now start to wonder if perhaps he may be correct. For example – he now accuses the Boston Globe of collusion with other papers against him. I guess my point is that there is a kind of underlying trust we have and how quickly paranoia can set in when there is a disruption. I wonder if that’s a good thing or a bad thing. It seems dangerous to become too complacent and reliant on secondary info but it also seems quite detrimental to feel as though you have no way to sort out information should you even really have access to “facts”. In this way I feel as though a discussion on what truth is seems secondary to sorting out if we have access to true information.
When I was in grad school I published a paper that ended up in a science journal. To make a long story short, I was very uncomfortable with the data because I knew that the way I measured things could have been done differently to yield different results. When I took my concerns to my PI, he shared that it is preponderance of the evidence (I had a statistically significant result) and the disclosure of my methods which gave this legitimacy. However, I know the truth which is that though my methods were disclosed, no one knew to ask certain questions because no one else really had experience with this method. Since then I have been quite wary of all data and scientific studies I read. Similarly I have been wary of just about everything. This kind of uncertainty doesn’t feel like a healthy skepticism. It feels a bit closer to a paralyzing uncertainty tending toward apathy.
I’m rambling but my point is that this book seems to aim for ways which make truth less ephemeral, and I haven’t finished, but I still feel like we aren’t quite there when done reading. I am not quite there afternoon listening to the podcast twice! Perhaps you don’t have to make this the last episode on truth!
Jennifer Tejada says
Also – we had a grad school class which was devoted to nothing other than tearing apart studies. We had to read papers and write about all the ways in which their results were flawed. We had to present papers as one would for a defense thesis but instead of defending it we had to carefully illustrate why the results were in doubt. (And hope we caught all the ones our professors did). It was helpful and yet still – leaves me with nothing but doubt.
Luke T says
This is interesting, Jennifer. I wonder if there is more to be said here just about how cognitive or epistemic specialization (especially as it’s accelerated in the last 100 years or so), on the one hand, has contributed amazing wealth and higher standards-of-living to industrialized society. On the other hand, possessing a still fairly-decent education, and a not-unprivileged background, a lot of us yet are not necessarily guaranteed (today) to be able to sort out sophistry from ground truth.
It’s this persistent anxiety perhaps that is so unsettling, that – conceivably – I could go my whole life rooting about to be an epistemic ninja, and still somehow (in the end) be mercilessly fooled or tricked or duped or hoodwinked, and – adding insult to injury – never even know the better.
Maybe even a modest amount of reflective humility suffices for the handsome portion of us to just admit we are relying on the good faith and honesty of others, but – as you point out – it’s not very satisfying for being confident of the ultimate truth.
Our science and human cleverness have outpaced the ability of the ordinary person to make sense of things. And now someone with a giant bullhorn, and whom at least has credibility with a significant minority of the American, adult-aged public, tells me I should now doubt even the straight-forward truth.
It’s sinister but extremely insightful. Take that space for ambiguity and uncertainty (normally a salutary condition) and run it against the elitists that would complicate my coherent world.
“When I was in grad school I published a paper that ended up in a science journal. To make a long story short, I was very uncomfortable with the data because I knew that the way I measured things could have been done differently to yield different results. When I took my concerns to my PI, he shared that it is preponderance of the evidence (I had a statistically significant result) and the disclosure of my methods which gave this legitimacy. However, I know the truth which is that though my methods were disclosed, no one knew to ask certain questions because no one else really had experience with this method. Since then I have been quite wary of all data and scientific studies I read. Similarly I have been wary of just about everything. This kind of uncertainty doesn’t feel like a healthy skepticism. It feels a bit closer to a paralyzing uncertainty tending toward apathy.”
When you (and the rest of us) are uncertain about matters (as with yer research dilemma) that you know a lot about I think that is very different from people being uncertain (or certain for that matter) about things that they know next to nothing about,
The big related problem I think is that we live in a very complicated world full of matters that we can’t possibly know enough about (the now crazy idea of being an “informed” citizen) and so we are dependent on experts or pundits who pretend to be experts.
Maybe someday the PEL fellows will do a show about the Dewey vs Lippmann debate,
I’m with Hannah Arendt (and Richard Rorty) that philosophy cannot do the work of institutions.
I haven’t read Chris Hayes’ pop history on the twilight of the elites but it got pretty good reviews, has anyone read it ?
Luke T says
There might be something to be said here about ‘rational ignorance,’ too. If it’s just more sensible to trust experts than spend innumerable hours becoming an expert on everything, we’re back in the puzzle of deciding who is most credible to outsource our truth-finding to.
And if I can successfully throw sand in the gears of conventional wisdom (a la Trump), maybe I scale up the epistemic problem to a point that any provisional consensus on truth (according to a Rortyian worldview?) becomes so tenuous that it potentially disables coordinated action.
Anyway, I gather that’s what a lot of the hand-wringing is about with such casual deployment of the term ‘fake news.’ Meaning, if we can’t even agree on the most basic of facts or interpretation, any more substantive need to cooperate or compromise or coordinate our behavior become less likely.
Jennifer Tejada says
Hi Luke and Dmf,
We are certainly entering a new world of what we can call truth or facts. The very notion is live in a way that maybe it hasn’t been for a while. We are now in the space of the discovery of intellectual humility which is a fine line between being arrogant or overly confident and being sort of servile.
It seems that the project of “On Truth” is to show that there is a kind of truth we can practically use. What I would like to sink my teeth into is the idea that we don’t need to be certain to move forward – to apply some kinds of guidelines in order to allow one to interact with issues in life.
When I read Socrates I see that he is certain that he can’t know some things but has tools which allow him to still know about things. (I can’t think of a better way to say that but hopefully you’ve read him and know what I’m referring to.) Epistemic self doubt is a good thing. However, it takes a certain kind of person to have it. It seems to me that the people who are the most cautious about what they choose to believe or trust or base decisions on are precisely the people we need making the decisions. I think a lot of people see the doubt and are skeptics because it’s really quite easy to poke holes in things – but not everyone can move forward and avoid becoming completely befuddled by incoherence enough to make decisions – (ex these taxes are good while these others are not, this government program is ineffective but these others are useful etc). We can no longer feel secure that the people whom we have chosen to do the necessary work to make those assessments are actually doing that work well or even at all. And as citizens, we don’t have the time to invest in knowing all of what we should know to vet those things. (See dmf’s wiki article). Obviously I am pulling at a much larger thread but I think it’s the complicated nature of things and the confusion of it all coupled with a general mistrust of those who own that information that leads to a hands in the air, giving up.
What I want to figure out and what I want to pass on to my kids is how to stay engaged when you don’t have all of the information – because rarely do we ever have all of what we need to know when required to act – and do it in a way that honors that very idea – uncertainty and a great likelihood of being wrong. Certainty is a unicorn and even if we can land on an idea of what truth is or isn’t – we still can’t know that having a truth and making a decision about a truth will equal good. Our decisions can still be poor with the best information yet we still have to make decisions about what to do in life. It seems like we need more ways to understand how to act when we realize we don’t have all the facts.
Jennifer Tejada says
Correction – see Luke’s wiki article. Not dmf’s.
hey JT I think there may be two issues in all of that one being how fundamentally dependent we are on experts/institutions and how to best construct and maintain our institutions so that they are as trustworthy as possible and I’m afraid that the reaches/impacts of our technologies have far outstripped our capacities to manage them (or even properly maintain them, the prime examples from our age have to do with the tech/econ of extraction from fossil fuels to data and I don’t think we can fix them or even come up with collective plan-b’s to mitigate their effects.
The second issue is how are we to cope with such tragic news and there I think something like philosophy (see the current fads around stoicism) might be helpful as most people in history (including most people in even the modern “1st” world) have been faced with being a mere mortal in the face of clashes of titanic powers and they have developed means of adapting/coping to make it thru the day so I think contemporary people can as well.
What to tell kids (or anyone) about how to make decisions when you don’t have good information is very tricky to say the least, I would say at best we can try and be aware of our own limitations and to try and get a sense of what people who are in the know do with their own related choices,
Here is Rabinow on ethics in an ecology of ignorance.
ps here is an example of the kinds of changes that would have to be made to have more reliable/trustworthy institutions:
now can they manage to pull it off in the face of the powers of the monopolistic platforms, their financiers, and their politicians?
Luke T says
Thanks for the replies. I am going to excerpt the part of your latest message that I want to speak to, and then give my reply.
“Rabinow is offering us a take on how we might approach matters if factors like particularity, environment/setting, and the like are what makes something (some situation/event) what it is, and not some generalizable structure (as say one finds in theoretical physics), where we can only really/usefully judge the effects of what we assemble out of what is at hand in relation to our current interests and the like.
A move away if you will from thinking in terms of discovery to something more like assemblage/collage, something more along the lines of proto-types rather than arche-types.”
I must say first that I find this fellow (Rabinow) novel and modestly interesting, but fairly impenetrable. He seems to be abounding in theses statements and assertions, and all the more elliptical and oblique with his explanations/justifications. Maybe that’s because I’m not as comfortable or familiar with this genre of social critique, but my initial impression is that it is somewhat sophistical. (I hope you can persuasively disabuse me of such notions.)
All that being said, let’s assume for the moment that this guy (Rabinow) is dead-to-rights with his critique. What’s the payoff? Why do we care? Does this say something, as you suggested above, about the limits of philosophy to give us any more than a ‘thick’ description of who is doing what, with what means, and to what ends?
If that be the case, what should I/we learn from such an insight? There’s a lot of bytes (audio and print) here at PEL already speaking to the limits and presumed hubris of systematizing philosophy. That these grand theorists (the Hegels or the Marxes, to just cite two examples) really are going on a bit with their cleverness.
That the world’s just too complex, particular, and heterogenous to encompass in even the most-nuanced and textured philosophical tome. Is that the kind of argument that Rabinow is after here, finally? Or do I totally misunderstood? Just for my small brain, he’s thrown too much into the pot for me to make sense of things.
Rabinow is trying to outline ways/attitudes with which we can address particular situations as they arise, how we can try and engage with developing fields/projects like with his fieldwork with bioengineering firms, on the question of Truth one can discover what say the mechanisms/functions are in genes that make them work (and make it possible to hack them) so one can say what is true about such matters, but when it comes to saying what we ought (or ought not) to do, with this data, there is no equivalent means of discovery, these are matters that have to be composed and can really only be judged against the interests (even if they include thinking of others) of the people involved so not True in any traditional/philosophical sense. Hope that makes some sense, on the question of judging sophistry this goes back to what I was raising with JT to run into technical/foreign language that one doesn’t understand and find it somehow lacking isn’t necessarily as failing of brain power but does suggest some perhaps unfortunate bias, it might be easier to read his work than to try and follow a lecture to his in-crowd, it’s an interesting experiment the fellows run here trying to bridge the gap between some highly technical sources and a lay audience a good example perhaps of the more general dilemmas of expertise and democracy.
Luke T says
Well, it’s a challenge to grasp, I will say that for sure. I guess I will have to just take another crack at it, and see if I can put things together with the aid of your explanation. The payoff, as you recommend it, sounds worthwhile exploring. But probably I will have to get some more background (to include the print links you highlighted) before I make more estimations of his scholarship. Thanks for your time.
yeah it’s unfortunate (sometimes even tragic) that the language which allows for greater specificity for a group in the know leaves others puzzled/outside but I don’t think there is a real fix for this, no universal language/code/etc.
Here is an interview he did for a popular audience that might be helpful even if the host is a bit of a blowhard:
hopefully that will give some sense of his trajectory.
this is a related bit of ethnography that gets at what a thick description might offer to thinking about valuation:
Luke T says
This interview was a great help, DMF; thanks. I appreciate you linking it and, for friendly future reference, I would personally recommend this as an entry-point into this individual and his work.
I feel like I have enough basic background now to at least approach what he’s recommending with some modest sophistication. Going to back to your original link now.
glad it worked out, grist for the mill