5 thoughts on “A Critical Caricature? : Dr. Bronner Responds to Dr. Shenvi’s Characterization of Critical Theories

  1. stephen matlock September 30, 2019 / 9:36 am

    I think that clarifying argument is essential here. We can’t have a true argument of point/counterpoint if we don’t agree on what the issues are.

    I’m not a professional or even amateur philosopher. I do what I can to keep up, but one thing that helps me is when the argument is based upon a mutually agreed-upon set of facts or points. And what I understand is that we have to clear away the misstatements and misapprehensions before we can have a real argument.

    It’s important to stick with what was actually said by the originators and explainers of the concepts of critical theory (I don’t see it as a single thing that all parties who support this agree to completely–that’s the nature of concepts.)

    I don’t have animus against Dr. Shenvi. I think it is great to have people approach critical theory using tools of criticism. My plea with Dr. Shenvi (and others) is to not start from the premise of “this is wrong” and instead start from the premise “what is actually being said here?”

    It’s possible that all the concepts behind critical theory are wrong, that every premise and conclusion are wrong, and that the biases of the opponents of critical theory are simply matters of truth and fact.

    But I’m not yet convinced to believe that because as yet I’ve not seen the critics present a set of honest arguments, let alone represent critical theory fairly.

    I’ve spent far too much time with my life listening to men and women who declare with certainty “This is an unbreakable fact.”

    Show me. Don’t tell me to believe and then see. Show me. Help me in my unbelief.

    Liked by 1 person

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