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Where do we draw the Line?
I know this was a topic for our class concepts I category, but I wanted to bring it up again. Last week we were given a new theory that suggested that there was more than just one meaning to text. We were then asked the question where do we draw the line with ideas that have value? I am curious what you guys think. Do you think there can be a threshold for ideas, that some ideas can be rejected? Can some interpretations be just flat out wrong? Or do all ideas have value and contribute to the understanding of a topic? If there is a line for value, how do you find?
Show me I do think there is a line where we see ideas as odd and unpractical and we really should just dismiss them all together. I think as class at least we would be able to figure out you know what are some ideas which aren't we can all agree on are not the greatest and are truly a good interpretation for the novel. If you get your real together you can find common ground and I think there's this idea that no matter what you're not going to be able to find that. While I guess everyone is different and an individual generally by societal and cultural you can draw some kind of Overton window for thinking. That doesn't mean it's always correct but you can obviously always find that line . Obviously it's someone who believes that morality is not relative and is real. I think it's easy to say a lot of the things that we say because we live in such comfort and you say that you know there is no minor all is kind of luck with a lot of people don't have in the world. When it comes to stuff like this so you know really there's a line I think we can hammer out one in class we really wanted to but I think it's like something it's more metaphysical Than Physical.
This is a hard topic to debate, but personally I think that all ideas can be useful in some way. Even if the idea may not support another, this contradiction can still be useful and lead us down other paths of thinking. I don't know if a certain idea can ever truly be wrong - I feel like everyones thinking is subjective and so is the structure and ideals of society.
According to the fear of monoculture that comes with this theory, the idea of a line isn't right. If you are to subscribe to this theory then there cannot be a rejection of outlying ideals due to the pre-existing group's views on how outlying/viable the ideals are. This would create a monoculture through creating a hardline group of ideals that are accepted as viable by all those present within it. In my own opinion, there should be a sort line drawn to prevent a waste of time, but this should be determined by how well it connects to the conversation's topic and not by how different it is within the conversation, though not including harmful ideals is also a given. For the most part, if you are discussing ice cream, and someone injects an idea related to birds that is completely irrelevant, that is when you do not include it.
This reminds me of Karl Popper's paradox of tolerance that my dad always brings up to me. In short, it says that a tolerant society must not tolerate intolerance, so if you want to include every individual idea, you have to exclude those ideas which advocate for the exclusion of other ideas. It's a paradox where for this philosophy to survive, it must violate itself. Now this only really applies to concepts like the politics of equality in full, but I think at least part of it rings true for the broader aspects of meaning. The line has to be drawn around ideas that can coexist, and any idea that wants to break that discourse into something more rigidly separated has to be discounted.
@conster I like how you went further and added context on how the "line" will work. The line will serve a purpose of filtering out uncorrelated ideas. It is not just a stagnant line blocking out any futile thought ,but a complex system deciding and evaluating an idea on its fitness as it relates to the topic.
@octavia prior to taking this class, I would have believed that there is some sort of a line that can be crossed in terms of relevancy. But our class discussions, specifically on deconstruction as well as poetry, have convinced me otherwise. If there is a line, how would we even know what it was? I don't think there's any definitive way, so I do agree that every idea is at least somewhat relevant.
@octavia I kind of agree with you. This is a very tough question to answer though. I think that all ideas about a text that seem genuine and can be backed up to a certain extent. But then part of me thinks that with the super weird interpretations that seem completely wrong in the beginning, those can create the best conversations or thoughts about a topic. So I think that 98% of interpretations are going to be correct in some aspect, but i feel like some interpretations will be wrong when looking at a work.
@nikki I think I have to agree with @salmon that not quite every single idea is valuable, but all ideas that are able to work together are! I really like the idea that ideas that can coexist are the ones that matter. However, this has got me thinking, what if ideas appear not to go along with the topic, but it is just "ahead of the game", like the idea is new and reaching deeper than the discussion. I believe though still that this is the point of this coexistence idea. As long as the ideas are able to continue to keep adding on to the topic and continuing to grow with a deeper understanding, all those ideas are valid. Which basically sounds like as I type this, that all ideas are valid!
@nikki - I had a similar change in my thinking from before taking this class to now. I would only consider there to be good interpretations or a single right interpretation that was above all others. While I still think there can be "bad" interpretations, I have discovered that the fun and complexity of literature comes from trying to piece together multiple meanings that may or may not contradict one another. This is such a valuable way to look at literature and will aid me as I look at literature in the future.
@octavia I agree that all interpretations are useful towards finding a good meaning. If something is outrageous and impractical then it helps to rule that out of the 'true' or maybe most important universal meaning. This is less along the lines of a text having multiple meanings but this could be a sort of line to use; where sort of what jackson was saying considering the many interpretations and which generally fall into 'practical interpretations' But then there begs the question on what is 'practical' and what does 'normal' even mean?
I think something that is very important to distinguish here is the difference between meanings and interpretations. I feel like interpretations can be very subjective and twisted uniquely to each individual, where as meanings are more definite? I think meanings are gathered when considering intention/ more concerned with the author while interpretations are almost entirely up to the reader. So, I do not think interpretations can be wrong, but I do think that not all interpretations qualify as a meaning of the text
@gil I really like this as well. I feel like a common theme in this topic is how different meanings can build off of each other or be used to rule some out. Either way, it all leads towards a better understanding of the work, and in a way I feel like that is better than having on of a few solid meanings anyways! Also, as username27 said, it is so valuable to have complexity when it comes to analyzing literature
@nikki I agree that if there were to be a line, it would be incredibly hard to define. After many things we've discussed in this class and the wide range of ideas I wouldn't have ever personally considered, I would not personally be able to draw a line. The only line I could see being drawn could be to prevent unrelated thoughts or ideas or those that come without any deeper thought or meaning.
@aplitstudent123, I agree, I don't think a line could be drawn unless something had zero meaning. But I've realized that most things can have some sort of meaning but you just have to dig a little deeper then what you first thought. Based on all of the new ideas that I've learned in this class I feel like I couldn't draw a line. It would just be too hard and the only chance of me ever drawing a line would be if there was no evidence to back a concept up.
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