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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wrong Answers

In literary criticism there are wrong answers but not right ones. In other words, it is possible to say that someone is wrong in quite specific and definite ways. Yet is is impossible to know that one is right, correct in some definitive sense.

We could say there is a set of potentially illuminating insights that is not limited beforehand. The fact that we don't know what other insights we are missing is one thing, but does not imply that we are unable to rule out some observations as irrelevant. This is not an inconsistent position. In fact, if we were unable to do so, then there would be no point in trying very hard to understand something in the first place. Our effort would meet the same reward as someone who just made something up arbitrarily without thinking about it.

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