Nature of argumentation
or, why comments are a headache
The U.S.S. Mariner’s been a long discussion between Dave, Jason, me, and our readers. It happened first through email and now continues also in the comments sections. It’s the discussion of a sports team, and baseball in general, but really, it’s been a long and (I think) productive argument about difference facets of the team.
This is going to sound overly simple, but argumentation is about making claims.
“Rich Aurilia for Guillen is, on balance, a slight upgrade.”
Then you advance arguments for this claim.
“… it seems likely that he’ll offer a little more offense than Guillen, while still playing decent defense. The reason I’m worried, though…”
I have enjoyed little more than some of the discussions USSM has had on some of these topics. They often range into the unconsidered and provide a naunced background to the debate.
That’s what I’m interested in. I don’t care if you think I’m smart, or stupid, or if you think we’re tools of the establishment or the forces of enlightenment. Further, I don’t care if you think someone else posting on the site is so dim it makes you want to scream.
I write this because response to some of our stuff has sparked a particular kind of discussion that I’m not interested in. When I post to say “More Gillick-administration figures depart, the remaking of the team’s front office to Bavasi’s specs continues.” That’s a claim, and so:
“That’s not true, some turnover is normal in a front office, especially after a season like this” is an interesting counter-argument.
“Comment #2 is dumb because that person previously argued this other thing” is not.
Here would be my gold standard for comments, and I first admit that I have not, in responding to others, failed to meet it:
Would someone only interested in the claim and counter-claims find this enlightening?