[ExI] Striving for Objectivity Across Different Cultures

Stefano Vaj stefano.vaj at gmail.com
Fri Aug 8 10:30:11 UTC 2008

On Fri, Aug 8, 2008 at 5:36 AM, Lee Corbin <lcorbin at rawbw.com> wrote:

> Yes, in certain kinds of things like this, an *extremely* highly objective
> view or summary is not possible to attain.
> Moreover, I frankly disagree with your claim, at least when I
> emphasize a certain word there:  "it [doesn't make sense] to
> *strive* for some kind of "disembodied", "objective"  perspective.

I am reluctant to embark in a full epistemological discussion here, let
alone in English, but I think that for the purpose of the present discussion
we can consider my position as limited to *value* judgment, such as those
considering the different "contributions" of civilisations to what one
considers, e.g.,  the achievements of our species.

> And you write "it is part of the (European) historiographic
> tradition to take into account to some extent external narratives..." as if
> there were any question that this is an entirely laudable activity. To me,
> of *course* taking into account external narratives is something that always
> ought to be done.

It *is* - for me (and for you, obviously). And I also maintain that this is
not just our personal position, but an idea quite widespread in our culture
- which exactly makes for the "superiority" of its historical works.

But in saying that I have no qualms to admit that this is a purely
"chauvinistic" point of view, since we have to accept that such attitude is
far from generalised across human cultures, civilisations and eras.

On the contrary, arguing for the "objective superiority of objectivity" does
not really seem to add much to one's such stance.

Multiculturalism in fact implies that *we are at least as entitled to adhere
to our own paradigms as Bororos are*, the accepted western historical
methods being certainly in some sense part of those paradigms.

Different roads to the same destination, I guess... :-)

Stefano Vaj
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