The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Flex » 03 Mar 2015, 12:54pm

Not being able or willing to stake out a position that "the holocaust was bad" as a historian is exactly the sort of shit people are thinking of when they think of moral relativism.

Also, lol at the idea that they think they're writing "objective" history.
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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 03 Mar 2015, 1:06pm

Flex wrote:Also, lol at the idea that they think they're writing "objective" history.
They don't think they're writing objective history per se—it's the ideal to be strived for. So you search deep to recognize your biases and if you can't eradicate them some how, you at least let the reader know to take them into account. It treats ideology and interest as a sin to confess and ask forgiveness for. Instead of, you know, embracing your values, to pursue theory that helps develop that perspective, and to not be unashamed that you're making an argument. You're governed by ideology regardless, and critical readers will understand that no matter how much you run away from that, so you may as well use it to inform your work. It's a curious mix of individuality—I should be divorced from my environment when I evaluate it—and personal shame for passing judgement on the subject matter. I am an island, a very shy island!
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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Flex » 03 Mar 2015, 1:13pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:They don't think they're writing objective history per se—it's the ideal to be strived for. So you search deep to recognize your biases and if you can't eradicate them some how, you at least let the reader know to take them into account. It treats ideology and interest as a sin to confess and ask forgiveness for. Instead of, you know, embracing your values, to pursue theory that helps develop that perspective, and to not be unashamed that you're making an argument. You're governed by ideology regardless, and critical readers will understand that no matter how much you run away from that, so you may as well use it to inform your work. It's a curious mix of individuality—I should be divorced from my environment when I evaluate it—and personal shame for passing judgement on the subject matter. I am an island, a very shy island!
So, under their reckoning, Howard Zinn (to pick a well known and accessible example) would be a very bad historian, right? That conclusion alone seems like it should be enough to give them pause.
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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 03 Mar 2015, 1:29pm

Flex wrote:
Dr. Medulla wrote:They don't think they're writing objective history per se—it's the ideal to be strived for. So you search deep to recognize your biases and if you can't eradicate them some how, you at least let the reader know to take them into account. It treats ideology and interest as a sin to confess and ask forgiveness for. Instead of, you know, embracing your values, to pursue theory that helps develop that perspective, and to not be unashamed that you're making an argument. You're governed by ideology regardless, and critical readers will understand that no matter how much you run away from that, so you may as well use it to inform your work. It's a curious mix of individuality—I should be divorced from my environment when I evaluate it—and personal shame for passing judgement on the subject matter. I am an island, a very shy island!
So, under their reckoning, Howard Zinn (to pick a well known and accessible example) would be a very bad historian, right? That conclusion alone seems like it should be enough to give them pause.
I'm hesitant to say they would consider him bad—that, too, might be a judgement too far—but they would zoom in on his biases as problematic, and critique his work on the fact that he didn't try to be impartial or that they can disregard things they don't like because he wasn't impartial. It'd be a hurdle. At least, those students who were trying to be critical would approach it in that manner. Most, I imagine, would just read him for facts and stuff that he says. Sigh.
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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Flex » 03 Mar 2015, 1:50pm

I had a coworker once whose idea of conversation was just to repeat and describe shit she'd seen online or on tv shows. No context or attempt to actually have, like, a line of discussion. Just endlessly repeated memes and quotes and shit. She seems like a walking example of your students' historic ideal.
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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 03 Mar 2015, 2:02pm

The weird thing is, while the discussion of that week's book to that point had been stillborn at best, once I raised that question of social responsibility and historical inquiry, they became quite energized. Energized to defend their own principle aversion to engage. I mean, even as I had to hide being appalled by their stance and angry at the teachers who encouraged such intellectual passivity, it was fascinating as fuck to see the contradictions in play. As I said, I really want to teach that methods course now. My understanding is that none of the faculty do it by choice, so it's probably mine just for asking.

edit: To your comment about your co-worker:
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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by 101Walterton » 03 Mar 2015, 2:34pm

Rat Patrol wrote:You are a terrible person for bumping the (round) moral outrage thread, Chuckworm. :hmph:
Don't worry that post is way too long for any (round) thread dweller to read.

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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by eumaas » 04 Mar 2015, 1:56pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:Bah. This thread had some value to it—eumaas was in fine form, as I recall—and, as I said, I'm too lazy/modest (it's a 95/5 split) to start a new one. I'm Frankensteining this fucker, giving it new life and letting it be killed by villagers.
Image
More seriously, my two closest historian friends here in Chapel Hill have the same perspective you do. So I imagine there are at least a few younger historians out there who make arguments? Maybe this is a new thing--it smells like an infection from today's journalism schools--and we haven't seen the crop yet. I can imagine it now...

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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by matedog » 04 Mar 2015, 2:12pm

Wolter wrote:
matedog wrote:
Wolter wrote:
matedog wrote:
Flex wrote:I'll just say this: I think the idea that those of us on this side of the pond don't value friendship as highly as in Limeymania is very, very wrong. And I think I - and others - have spoken to that point several times in this thread.

Otherwise, no one here has yet - or will ever - address the point of why an ex-husband has some sort of staked out interest in who his ex-wife sleeps with.
What about that saying we have: Ho's before bro's
Or, as we put it in polite company: "Friends don't mean shit if you can get your dick wet."
Must be a colloquialism. We use: "If you can bone a hot bitch, friends ain't shit."
The important thing to remember is that our "friends" are just stepping stones to some strange.
I chuckled at this exchange.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 04 Mar 2015, 2:34pm

eumaas wrote:More seriously, my two closest historian friends here in Chapel Hill have the same perspective you do. So I imagine there are at least a few younger historians out there who make arguments? Maybe this is a new thing--it smells like an infection from today's journalism schools--and we haven't seen the crop yet. I can imagine it now...

The English Civil War: A List of Persons, Places, and Events in Chronological Order
*snort* With author's apologetic biases presented in the Acknowledgements.

My supervisor is more active in these debates—I have zilcho interest in cultivating relationships with academia—and she tells me that empiricism has made a mighty comeback in recent years and it's the people who value theory (explicit theory, that is; empiricists like to think they aren't operating under theory) who are being drowned out. Were I to hazard a guess, I'd say it's continued spillover from the end of the Cold War. Even tho the Right likes to go on about universities being filled with sinister Marxists, there aren't a whole lot of serious lefties around anymore (I wouldn't be surprised if I'm the only other history grad student here who has an interest in Marxian analysis, and even mine is primarily Gramscian, and I don't even use it to look resistance). At best, champagne socialists or disillusioned Commies who don't want to talk about it anymore. Empiricism goes hand-in-hand with neoliberal triumphalism—as if it's above it all.
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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Silent Majority » 04 Mar 2015, 2:44pm

eumaas wrote:The English Civil War: A List of Persons, Places, and Events in Chronological Order
:lol:
'But also: hey dude, you can just go looking for more glasses. They're all free now. '

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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Wolter » 04 Mar 2015, 4:08pm

matedog wrote:
Wolter wrote:
matedog wrote:
Wolter wrote:
matedog wrote: What about that saying we have: Ho's before bro's
Or, as we put it in polite company: "Friends don't mean shit if you can get your dick wet."
Must be a colloquialism. We use: "If you can bone a hot bitch, friends ain't shit."
The important thing to remember is that our "friends" are just stepping stones to some strange.
I chuckled at this exchange.
So did I. I didn't remember saying that at all, and I laughed at my own joke like a jackass.
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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Wolter » 04 Mar 2015, 4:09pm

Silent Majority wrote:
eumaas wrote:The English Civil War: A List of Persons, Places, and Events in Chronological Order
:lol:
Seconded.
"There's something more honest, he believed, about traditional methods of mass starvation, labour camps, and machine gunning millions to death. Stalin was a vinyl guy who sneered at Truman converting everything to compact disc." - Thomas Jefferson

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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 23 Mar 2016, 5:43pm

Walrus birth doesn't make good breakfast conversation!

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Re: The John Terry Moral Reasoning Thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 09 Aug 2016, 6:38am

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