Monday, February 22, 2010

"The discourse in moral development interviews is often processed and coded as though what was explicitly said were a complete representation of what was meant or being argued ... If discourse is to be the measure of moral understanding and reasoning, then we must be concerned not only with what said but also with what was presupposed, implied, suggested, or conveyed by what was said; and we need a theory of how meaning is constructed in discourse to help us go from what was said to what was meant."
--Thinking Through Cultures: Expeditions in Cultural Psychology (Richard A. Shweder, 1991)

"Indeed, our political and social beliefs and our moral standards carry with them an emotional tone that is not characteristic of our attitude toward physical objects; consequently, this emotional character infects our manner of conceiving and explaining them ... The very fact of submitting them, as well as the phenomena they represent, to cold, dry analysis, is revolting to certain minds. Whoever undertakes the study of morality objectively, and as an external reality, seems to these sensitive creatures to be devoid of all moral sense, just as the vivisectionist seems to the layman devoid of common sensibility."
--The Rules of the Sociological Method (Emile Durkheim, 1895; translated by Sarah A. Salovay & John H. Mueller)

"I have enough trouble as it is trying to say what I think I know."
--"First Love" (Samuel Beckett, 1970)

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