I think you need to have two ruling maxims
1. there are no facts only opinions
2. every opinion has equal value unless they run counter to known facts.
(see maxim 1)
A circular argument I know but if you give equal weight to theories based on
complete nonsense therein lies madness.
you need the humility to treat opinions on their merits but then you should
not waste your time on theories that have no merit.
From: Peter Pickering
Date: 03/15/06 11:42:05
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: [BRITARCH] Relativism (was longevity)
on 15/3/06 10:50 am, Christopher Cumberpatch at
[log in to unmask] wrote:
> Paul Thompson writes: As Archaeologists we are all trying to learn and
> uncover what we can from the past but we each are doing this in many
> different ways, each as valid as the other.
> Are there no grounds for distinguishing between ways of knowing the
> past? I'd count myself as a relativist of sorts, but there are quite a
> number of methodologies that I would discount as effective in interpreting
> archaeological evidence on the basis of the presuppositions from which
> start. Can we really state that every method for which claims are made is
> equally valid? (Sorry, this is departing from the longevity topic)
> Chris Cumberpatch
I do so agree with Chris. If all ways of interpreting the past are equally
valid, they are all equally invalid, and it is not possible to interpret the
past. So its remains might as well be destroyed without record.
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