Thursday, 7 May 2015

State Your Premises Explicitly

I just now commented on another article at "Thinking Taiwan" by Jenny Peng. Rather than reproduce my comment here, as I usually do, I will elaborate a little as to the intended import of my comment.

She wrote an entire article based on a moral premise that simply wasn't there. In writing about "gender inequality", she was simply lamenting the disparities in the aggregate numbers of men and women in film and media without giving any reason for this. Her article was apparently written in the expectation of unquestioned agreement. As if the righteousness of her complaint was obvious, which it is not.

So what was her premise? We have to infer, because she didn't explain.

And I would rather not infer. I would much prefer writers to say exactly what they mean, to state their premises explicitly and boldly so all readers can know exactly what they are talking about and thus know how to better consider the content of what they are saying and to target our criticisms accurately when we have them.

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