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On any given question, is there a way of identifying the proper perspective to take in order to arrive at the correct answer? This is a question that is interesting to me primarily in the areas where philosophy overlaps politics and economics. Here are two extremes to illustrate the question. Those who adopt a Marxist perspective seem to draw conclusions about what "society" should do based on what they suppose are direct observations of "society", then extending that to the realm of the individual. Those who adopt an Objectivist perspective seem to draw conclusions based on properties of individuals, and how they aggregate into "society". In this case, one is taking a macro "top-down" view, and the other a micro "bottom-up" view. Aside from ferreting out fallacies and analyzing the form of one's argument, are there any tell-tale signs of a problem that lend themselves to analysis from a particular perspective?

October 10, 2005

Response from Alexander George on October 15, 2005
It seems to me that you're asking whether there's a general rule of inquiry that one could adopt that will lead to the truth. I presume the answer is No. Inquiry requires judgment, taste if you will, and that has resisted all attempts at reduction to a collection of rules that can be mechanically followed.


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