How to Disagree
Thanks to Jerry Cohen for this.
Imagine a range of positions on some single dimension (e.g. left-right) issue, which we can number from 1 to 20. This is the usual pattern of disagreements:
X says: 13 is/represents the truth.
Y says: 15? You’re crazy. More like 7.
X says: You’ve mischaracterised my view as 17. It’s really 12. As for your view the truth is 5, that’s ridiculous…
Try it in long-running journal debates, e.g. the one between Jerry and Ronald Dworkin on expensive tastes. I think it’s amazingly accurate.