But this method also reminds me of something else. This is Christopher Hitchens:Many times I have pointed out some fact, only to have someone attack me with some strange and false theory about my motivations.
“I think Hannah Arendt said that one of the great achievements of Stalinism was to replace all discussion involving arguments and evidence with the question of motive. If someone were to say, for example, that there are many people in the Soviet Union who don’t have enough to eat, it might make sense for them to respond, “It’s not our fault, it was the weather, a bad harvest or something.” Instead it’s always, “Why is this person saying this, and why are they saying it in such and such a magazine? It must be that this is part of a plan.” ...
The Bulverist assumes a speaker’s argument is invalid or false and then explains why the speaker came to make that mistake, attacking the speaker or the speaker’s motive. The term “Bulverism” was coined by C. S. Lewis to poke fun at a very serious error in thinking that, he alleges, recurs often in a variety of religious, political, and philosophical debates.
Saturday, December 31, 2016
I learned a new word, bulverism: