You know, Geertz wrote an article some ten years ago critiquing cultural relativism and demonstrating that ethnocentrism is not only our more natural human response, but also in some way essential to avoiding moral intropy (1994 in Borofsky).
One of the points he makes in there might be a useful analogy here regarding the character of the critical exchanges between some members/schools of thought. He gives some examples of conflict between people from different cultures/approaches that could, on their own, seem quite sad for how unresolved they were. But he notes that the real tragedy of these cross-cultural conflicts is that 'the whole thing takes place in the dark.' ... that is to say, the tragedy is that neither side learns or grows or has any new facets of the case illuminate because each is so caught up in frustration over why the other doesn't see their point.
For those of us on this list who are here to learn from those with more experience and research grounding than us, and are working on deepening our understanding/positions on the subjects at hand, it would be really helpful if the critiques and responses were less shrouded - if they were accompanied by a) context for what particular debate the comments stem from; and b) some sense of recognition for the 'partial good' of what the other side is saying/doing amidst the critique.
Thanks for your time,
P. J. Cushing, PhD
McMaster University, Canada
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