DSM: Discussion

Kristin Harkness (kristin@harkness.net)
Thu, 8 Feb 2001 10:39:23 -0500

I firmly agree with Bruce on this. We are not a Sudbury model
correspondence school, we are a discussion group! The idea is to ask
questions and get passionate (and, in all likelihood, differing) responses.
At least, that is what I am looking for. As long as we discuss what people
have posted, and not our opinion of the people themselves, I think we are on

>From the Concise Oxford Dictionary:

Discussion: "examine by argument, debate"
Argument: "reason advanced (for, against, proposition or course of action);
debate, esp. heated one"
Debate: "dispute about, discuss, (a question)"

I guess I do not understand what this list would do, if we did not 'attack
and defend' ideas.

Kristin Harkness

>I appreciate Bill's contribution to this dialogue, but I question his use
>of certain terms and examples.
>First, Bill cites the story of The Boy Who Fished as an example of the
>regard that we should give each other on this listserve. Yet this was a
>student allowed to pursue his own interests, whereas we are presently
>engaged in an ongoing discussion. No one on this present discussion is, to
>my knowledge, being discouraged from pursuing any of their interests; we
>are engaged in a voluntary, collective activity here, not an individual
>pursuit. I do not believe the parallel holds.
>Secondly, Bill maintains that we should give each other not our arguments,
>but our "deep respect and profound regard." I consider this a false
>dichotomy. It harkens back to a difficulty I've occasionally seen on this
>list in distinguishing between personal attacks and heated debate.
>Certainly we may argue with each other in a spirit of respect. Perhaps
>argument per se is not at the core of the model, but the intense,
>thoughtful and respectful exchange of ideas surely is.
>Finally, as for the latter half of "attack and defend," what did Bill's
>post do if not defend a point of view?

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