Disagreements are like onions II

(or "Why we shouldn't put all our arguments in one rhetorical basket")

...What was I saying? Oh yes, I think all of this can be generalized a little further. In the other post, I suggested that we should make a priority of separating the object level from the meta level, or different "degrees of meta", when analyzing a given disagreement. One obvious challenge that could be raised against this thesis is whether for any two "layers" of an argument one is really more "meta" than the other in some obvious way. Read more...

Confronting unavoidable gadflies

In my earlier gadfly-related post, I tried to describe an idea that had been buzzing around in my head for some time (pun intended? I'm not sure) which helps to describe how I view certain types of disagreements and bad arguments. I think it turned out to be one of my better-written entries for this blog and by some measures seems to have been the most popular. And yet, when I look back on it, I feel like I was mostly pointing out something already obvious to everyone (despite my repeated hedging of "I don't mean only to point out the obvious here...") and didn't manage to really capture of the essence of the common role of "gadfly speculations" as I see it. Read more...