17 feb. 2011

More Arguments

It's curious that although I think of myself as someone who argues with myself a lot, other people often perceive me as dogmatic. This shows that self-perceptions are not accurate, necessarily. A Scientologist profiled in a recent New Yorker article saw himself as a fairly open-minded person, skeptical about things, but obviously if he was a Scientologist he wasn't. We often hear people claiming to be empathetic, yet refusing to see someone else's viewpoint.

Another possibility is that I am dogmatic about some things and not others. Certain things hold fast for me, as Wittgenstein would say, and other things don't. Self-argumentation cannot be infinite or unconstrained.

Thirdly, it may be that I get over-subtle in my arguments, so that certain readers find it easier to simplify my views. With my two books recently published, I had a few uncomprehending reviews. My critique of certain translations of Lorca was simplified into "he doesn't like those translations," and my critique of the poetry of experience in Spain was taken as a wholesale rejection rather than the result of a nuanced series of arguments with myself.