Re: Serious thoughts about objectivity

Michael Cahill (MCBlueline@AOL.COM)
Thu, 10 Oct 1996 14:39:39 -0400

methodologically sound anthropological study that misses key categories as
there is in an evocative, "rings-true" account, ethnographic in nature, that
contains made up events and characters?

I would argue that there is more fiction in the latter. And I would base my
answer on the author's intent (and "situation"). In the latter case, the
author intends to fabricate, even if the fabrications contain truths. In the
former, the author intends to be accurate -- about a world he or she didn't
create. If a second study were to find the missing categories, I would say
that the first one provided a weaker interpretation, not that it was more

Interpretation is taking a stand in a world of doubt; fiction is taking a
stand in a world of certainty. (?!)