Re: "Militant Middles :-)"

Danny Yee (danny@STAFF.CS.SU.OZ.AU)
Mon, 27 Feb 1995 19:27:53 +1000

Warren Sproule thinks I've been taken in my Rick Wilk's manifesto. (I
certainly wasn't trying to extend some kind of complex joke!)
> The
> laudatory responses of astute minds like Yee and McReery - who are either
> taken in, or extending the joke beyond the capacities of my funnybone -
> signal the possible misinterpretations.

While I'm no fan of normative rules for either anthropology or science
(as I've mentioned many a time already, I'm a fan of Feyerabend),
I do think it is necessary to have *some* kind of agreement about
presuppositions in order to achive anything (*). Rick Wilk's manifesto
seems like a reasonable attempt to list some epistemological principles
most of the people on the list would accept. I certainly wouldn't want
to insist on them -- I see them as descriptive rather than normative
--, but I do think that anyone deviating from that sort of general
position in a major way should explain that they are doing so, if only
so as to avoid confusing everybody. (So when arguing with solipsists
or completely unreformed positivists it usually becomes clear where
they are coming from, but sometimes a lot of stress happens first.)

If Rick was trying to suggest something stronger than this, then maybe
I don't agree with him.

> Maybe, in the interests of the
> young, or the feeble-spirited who actually treat appeals to the 'Brethren
> of the Righteous' as anything but *drivel*, joke posts like this should be
> reserved for April Fools day.

I promise to think up something really special for April Fools day :-).

Danny Yee.

(*) I'm busy pulling apart Bateson's list in _Mind and Nature_; book review
to come.