Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Pew Research: Partisan Ideology (A Philosophical Shell Game)

Moderate. Liberal. Conservative. Republican. Democrat. Independent.  With choices like these, who's to say what the Pew Research poll means! What does it mean to say you are a liberal or a conservative? What does it mean to say you are a Republican, Democrat or independent? And what does it mean to derive meaning from polls?

THE PARTIES
More Now See GOP as Very Conservative - Views of Parties' Ideologies (Pew Research) Nearly half of independents (47%) say their political views are moderate, about the same as last year. The remainder tilt conservative, with 33% saying they are either conservative (29%) or very conservative (4%); 17% say their views are either liberal (14%) or very liberal (3%).

Recommended chaser:
Whereas modernist conversation required a grounding in epistemological claims about why we think and feel the way we do when we try to influence each other, Newman and Holzman see that view of language as a kind of "aboutness" and as limiting. In contrast, they propose a view of language as something we perform in relationships, and they take readers beyond John Shotter's position that all meaning-making conversation occurs in a context of justification and argumentation. They suggest, instead, that new meaning is best created in a shared performance of meaning, and they discourage recitations or negotiation of meanings that we bring from our prior forms of "knowing". --  A Review of Fred Newman and Lois Holzman's The End of Knowing, By Tom Strong, Division of Applied Psychology at the University of Calgary

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