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To: betty boop
On the deconstructionist view, words don’t mean anything intrinsically...

They have no real objective reference to things in the world, but are merely by-products of social construction ...

There is a level on which I believe this, but the bit about domination is pure Freudian projection. Contract law is is full of potential verbal snares, so the law has a simple concept called the meeting of the minds.

Because words are slippery, two or more people attempting to have a conversation must each agree to accept on faith that the other person is making sense, and that differences in connotation can be explored and ironed out.

So one can choose to approach problems of communication as a zero-sum game in which one person plays "gotcha", or one can grant enough slack in a conversation to allow a meeting of the minds. This is a personal choice, and the choice defines the person.

61 posted on 05/21/2003 9:13:43 AM PDT by js1138
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To: js1138
So one can choose to approach problems of communication as a zero-sum game in which one person plays "gotcha", or one can grant enough slack in a conversation to allow a meeting of the minds. This is a personal choice, and the choice defines the person.

This is true -- I have a friend who tends toward the "gotcha" approach. As a result she's lonely and unhappy.

63 posted on 05/21/2003 9:20:47 AM PDT by r9etb
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To: js1138
There is a level on which I believe this, but the bit about domination is pure Freudian projection. Contract law is is full of potential verbal snares, so the law has a simple concept called the meeting of the minds.

I agree with your insight, js1138. Just need to point out that, for deconstructionists, "the meeting of the minds" is considered impossible on principle. Of course, I think such people are totally insane (literally).

I certainly agree with this, which I think is very well-stated: "...two or more people attempting to have a conversation must each agree to accept on faith that the other person is making sense, and that differences in connotation can be explored and ironed out.

"So one can choose to approach problems of communication as a zero-sum game in which one person plays 'gotcha', or one can grant enough slack in a conversation to allow a meeting of the minds. This is a personal choice, and the choice defines the person."

That latter alternative does seem to involve effort, for which many people these days "don't have the time" or inclination to make. That "personal choice" seems to have moral implications.

64 posted on 05/21/2003 9:35:06 AM PDT by betty boop
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