Referents

(This is not yet a fully written blog post; I’m just making notes here for a more well-developed post later.)

Nut graf: Pay attention to the referent, not the word, and you will often find a divining rod that will point directly to areas of shared beliefs within an argument.

Imagine a dispute between shaman who says “Disease is caused by invisible spirits that reside in the sick person and travel through the air to enter your body and make you sick, too.” and the scientist who says “Disease is caused by invisible pathogens that reside in the sick person and travel through the air to enter your body and make you sick, too.” They are actually in agreement about the referent (although they conceptualize it differently), and about one of the most important things to do about it–to stay away from sick people.

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About Karen McKim

Retired from a 30-year career in public sector quality assurance and management auditing, I now spend my time in civic activities promoting our ability to exercise our right to self-government. I have two focuses: verified accurate election results, and skills for talking politics with our fellow citizens. Based in Wisconsin.
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