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In a message dated 3/9/01 9:16:35 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
[log in to unmask] writes:


> So what you are apparently talking about, as far as I can tell, is your own 
> preference, to which you are entitled.  But it is not any more likely to 
> get at 
> whatever truths we can find.  The idea that "science" is either detached 
> from emotion or more true than what we know through emotion as well as 
> cognition is not, in my view, even a serious one anymore.
> Nancy
> 

I wasn't talking about the validity of science (on which Eliot certainly was 
trained to have doubts), but of what I think makes for excellence in 
expository writing. Briefly, to make an effort to stick to what are commonly 
called facts, and save the fictions for one's creative writing endeavors.

It's been seriously argued that if there is no difference between fact and 
fiction (your point of view exactly), then there should be no objection to 
fictionalizing history. Maybe that's what Gordon was doing, and if so I can 
understand why her writing style would appeal to you. What has me a little 
baffled is why you'd defend what you call her research. If researchers are 
only looking for facts, and you say that there are no facts, then "research" 
seems to be an exercise in futility, a Don Quixote endeavor. Research is 
generally understood to be a search for data or (ugh!) "facts." If, as you 
say, there are no facts, why would you want to privilege "research" over just 
inventing any fictions one wants, for any purpose one wants?

It seems to me that the word "facts" has terrible connotations when anyone 
other than yourself utters it, damning the person in your eyes as untrendy, 
not up to date, never to be taken seriously. But when you use the word these 
derisive senses don't seem to apply. At least I've not seen you put your 
money where your mouth is by making clear that there's no factual basis for 
what you write, and it's something you wouldn't aspire to as after all you 
don't believe in facts. 

pat

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<HTML><FONT FACE=arial,helvetica><FONT  SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>In a message dated 3/9/01 9:16:35 AM Eastern Standard Time, 
<BR>[log in to unmask] writes:
<BR>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=2 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></B>
<BR><BLOCKQUOTE TYPE=CITE style="BORDER-LEFT: #0000ff 2px solid; MARGIN-LEFT: 5px; MARGIN-RIGHT: 0px; PADDING-LEFT: 5px">So what you are apparently talking about, as far as I can tell, is your own 
<BR>preference, to which you are entitled. &nbsp;But it is not any more likely to 
<BR>get at 
<BR>whatever truths we can find. &nbsp;The idea that "science" is either detached 
<BR>from emotion or more true than what we know through emotion as well as 
<BR>cognition is not, in my view, even a serious one anymore.
<BR>Nancy
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial" LANG="0"></BLOCKQUOTE>
<BR></FONT><FONT  COLOR="#000000" SIZE=3 FAMILY="SANSSERIF" FACE="Arial Narrow" LANG="0"><B>
<BR>I wasn't talking about the validity of science (on which Eliot certainly was 
<BR>trained to have doubts), but of what I think makes for excellence in 
<BR>expository writing. Briefly, to make an effort to stick to what are commonly 
<BR>called facts, and save the fictions for one's creative writing endeavors.
<BR>
<BR>It's been seriously argued that if there is no difference between fact and 
<BR>fiction (your point of view exactly), then there should be no objection to 
<BR>fictionalizing history. Maybe that's what Gordon was doing, and if so I can 
<BR>understand why her writing style would appeal to you. What has me a little 
<BR>baffled is why you'd defend what you call her research. If researchers are 
<BR>only looking for facts, and you say that there are no facts, then "research" 
<BR>seems to be an exercise in futility, a Don Quixote endeavor. Research is 
<BR>generally understood to be a search for data or (ugh!) "facts." If, as you 
<BR>say, there are no facts, why would you want to privilege "research" over just 
<BR>inventing any fictions one wants, for any purpose one wants?
<BR>
<BR>It seems to me that the word "facts" has terrible connotations when anyone 
<BR>other than yourself utters it, damning the person in your eyes as untrendy, 
<BR>not up to date, never to be taken seriously. But when you use the word these 
<BR>derisive senses don't seem to apply. At least I've not seen you put your 
<BR>money where your mouth is by making clear that there's no factual basis for 
<BR>what you write, and it's something you wouldn't aspire to as after all you 
<BR>don't believe in facts. 
<BR>
<BR>pat</B></FONT></HTML>

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