‘Legitimate Attachment to Mutually Exclusive Reasons’

I found this Malcolm Gladwell article in the New Yorker on a book about reasons quite interesting. Is your reason a story, a convention, or a code? This part reminded me of some of the talk about Michigamua:

When we say that two parties in a conflict are “talking past each other,” this is what we mean: that both sides have a legitimate attachment to mutually exclusive reasons. […] If you believe that stories are the most appropriate form of reason-giving, then those who use conventions and technical accounts will seem morally indifferent—regardless of whether you agree with them. And, if you believe that a problem is best adjudicated through conventions or technical accounts, it is hard not to look upon storytellers as sensationalistic and intellectually unserious.

Author: Rob Goodspeed


  1. This resembles some issues in the legal community, e.g., groups like Critical Legal Studies and Critical Race Theory scholars somewhat favor allowing people to speak in narrative, more “natural” or “common person” ways in cour settings, rather than in the usual mumbo-jumbo “legalese” complicated way that traditional lawyers etc. tend to.

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