Polemic and history clarified II
After "discussing" history with Peter Staudenmaier for several weeks on the Anthroposophy Tomorrow e-mail list, I wrote an article on polemic and history summarizing my views on the matter. Peter Staudenmaier excerpted two sentences and responded. I replied:
Thanks for your thoughts, Daniel. I think you still have a shaky grasp of what objectivity means to a historian and what role it plays in historical writing. I also think that a large chunk of your argument depends on the notion that persuasion is a kind of coercion. I think that idea is entirely wrongheaded. The part of your post that struck me most was this:
Peter, my essay on the subject suggested that the determining factor in whether persuasion is coercion is the intention of the writer. This is consistent with a number of schools of thought in the fields of ethics. I am applying it specifically to polemical writing here.
It surprises me not in the least that you would claim my solidly grounded discourses on objectivity are "shaky" to your eyes. It is entirely consistent with your agenda, and I would expect nothing less of you.