Sunday, July 10, 2005

Respectful Disagreement Meme

Richard tagged me with this meme a while ago, and I'm just now getting to it. The idea is to name three people with whom you disagree a lot, and say something nice (and true, of course, since otherwise there would be no point) about them. They don't have to be bloggers at all, but the general trend seems to be toward preferring bloggers if you can think of any.

(1) Richard himself would be a good start. I'm not sure it's quite true that we disagree on just about everything; but as he's a utilitarian, an atheist, and tends analytic rather than (as all reasonable people) historical, there does seem to be quite a bit of disagreement there. But Richard is quite remarkable; an undergraduate student at the University of Canterbury, he has a lucidity and sophistication that make it very likely that he's up and coming: very likely to acomplish something significant if he keeps going.

(2) Coturnix is another. The thing on which I have most actively disagreed with him in the past is the value of Lakoff. But I like very much the broader project of thinking through politics at a higher level that leads him to take an interest in Lakoff; even if I'm inclined to disagree with details, I'm glad there's someone perceptive enough to see that we do have to look at these matters from a broader perspective. Plus, he's a great meta-blogger; some of the best blogging about blogging that you're likely to find.

(3) Johnny-Dee comes to mind as well. He's on the analytic side of philosophy too (what is it with you people?). This William Lane Craig obsession? Don't understand it. Plantinga? Almost useless. Molinism? Don't even get me started. But I like his wit and grace and all-around coolness, and he has a knack for reducing difficult arguments to essentials. He makes a good philosophy crossword puzzle, too. And, of course, the things on which we clearly agree are far and away more important than any on which we could disagree.

Actually to some extent I could choose lots more from my blogroll, to varying extents. I'm idiosyncratic beyond all reckoning, so I have lots of disagreements with just about everyone. Disagreement shouldn't get in the way of good will.

I've gotten out of the habit of tagging people with memes. I especially like this one, however, and I have an unusual affection for things that might spread moderation and enlightened tolerance in the blogosphere. So I'll suggest rather than tag the above two people, if they want to do it and haven't already done it (Richard, of course, I know has already done it), and any Cliopatriarchs who want to take up the challenge, and Clark at Mormon Metaphysics, if he wants to do it. Again, the rules are three people with whom you disagree. They don't have to be bloggers, although people have tended to stick to bloggers when they can think of them.

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