Re: Bias
Sat, 20 Jul 1996 21:49:16 -0700

Mary Beth Williams wrote:

> In <> writes:

>>Is anyone here familiar with the effects of bias on objectivity?
>>Perhaps you should become aquainted with these as well. Lack of objectivity is
>>one of the worst enemies to the progression of any science.

> Anthropology was one of the first sciences to actually re-evaluate the
> entire concept of *objectivity*, and the outcome is not one, according
> to your self-proclaimed *bias*, that you're going to like.
> Post-processual/post-modernist theory relies heavily on the concept
> that all *science*, like everything else, is subjective, and is not
> capable of pure *objectivity*.

I am not asking for pure objectivity. But, do we then say that since
pure objectivity is unlikely, there should be no effort to remain

BTW... I'm not talking objectivity in studying culture, this may or may
not come with time. I'm talking objectivity in conversation and
communcations exchange.

>>I realize that it is far easier to draw conclusions as to someone
>>elses meaning than to actually make an effort to understand what they
>>say, but this is hardly behavior one would expect from a professional.
>>how do you expect us non-anthropologists to take your comments
>>seriously, when you cannot show even the slightest inclination to be

> As a professional, I would expect that, particularly in light of my
> chosen paradigm, that you wouldn't take me seriously if I claimed that
> I was *objective*.

As a non-professional, I would say that I fail to see how ones 'chosen
paradigm' effects the meaning of what I write. And, that any
presumptions as to the meaning or purpose of a post, especially based on
things like general impression, proximity, contrast and assumptions of
relationships to other arguments is by definition bias, regardless of
claims which you or I might make.