Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Refuting Arguments

Found on Brain Pickings, I thought this passage from Susan Sontag's September 16, 1965 entry in As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980 (public library) to be quite insightful:
The main techniques for refuting an argument:
Find the inconsistency
Find the counter-example
Find a wider context
Instance of (3):

I am against censorship. In all forms. Not just for the right of masterpieces— high art— to be scandalous.

But what about pornography (commercial)?
Find the wider context:
notion of voluptuousness à la Bataille?
But what about children? Not even for them? Horror comics, etc.
Why forbid them comics when they can read worse things in the newspapers any day. Napalm bombing in Vietnam, etc.

A just/ discriminating censorship is impossible.

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