Re: Serious thoughts about objectivity

Michael Cahill (MCBlueline@AOL.COM)
Mon, 14 Oct 1996 10:25:59 -0400

In a message dated 96-10-11 14:16:41 EDT, jlm@TWICS.COM (John McCreery)

<< Coming down to earth, I wonder if it mightn't be worthwhile to have a look
at what folks in other fields do? Lawyers have rules of evidence,
historians historiography, medical researchers texts on clinical
inference....There are plenty of alternatives to econometrics and survey
research...Might be worth a look...>>

I seem to remember reading somewhere that the ancient field of "law" was the
original "study of society." Likewise, "history" contained the first
"ethnography" -- I'm thinking here of the writings of Herodotus? And
metaphors like "the body politic" have certainly been around for a while. So
it wouldn't surprise me to find a number of useful tools in these fields.

What interests me about law is that it seems to thrive on making problematic
the categorizing of something as X or Y. It's operations undermine
"taken-for-grantedness." That could be a help to us.

Coming at these issues from another direction: what do we make of the
observation that America has become a more litigious society? That
malpractice suits have skyrocketed? Why have these rates gone up, and what
do these rising rates tell us about U.S. society and culture?

Mike Cahill