thanks, brynjulf,

for your comments on theory.  i like you roping the win-win situation into the discussion.  although mutual understanding is a myth, this does not mean that each could have that feeling and for each it is win-situation if it prevails.

i also agree that ethics is not universal, that one cannot presume that people share the same ethical theory and enact its attendant standards.  the consequence of this acknowledgement is to allow ethical beliefs to work themselves out in conversation, in negotiation - provided that it does not end up terminating that conversation by one anihilating the other (the extreme imperative), one torturing or oppressing the other, or one disrespecting the autonomy of the other (the most easily acceptable imperative).

i am glad you relate your astronomical example to people's conceptions and actions.  my problem with using physical or astronomical examples is that they often invoke the distinction between theory (about the one universe it is to represent) => having a life of its own (independent of the social nature of theory) and human (social) use of theory => subjective validity, bias and falsity.  i know you didn't make this distinction but i would prefer that we use examples of theory of interest to design)ing, which always is concerned with some particular group of people's future lives, not with the most general description of one universe without the people who live it and conceive it in their own ways.


At 11:05 AM 11/20/00 +0100, [log in to unmask] wrote:
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klaus krippendorff
gregory bateson professor for cybernetics, language, and culture
the annenberg school for communication
university of pennsylvania
3620 walnut street; philadelphia, pa 19104-6220
telephone: 215.898.7051 (office);  215.545.9356 (home)
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