Bias

One of the major challenges for reason in the modern age is the ongoing accounting of irrationality. If reason is the highest value, why don’t people always choose it, and when they do, why do they so oft seem to reason incorrectly, especially when their conclusions differ from our own.

One of the major ways we accomplish this is the concept of bias. That if someone fails to see the object clearly, and reason correctly about it, then the deficit lies not with the object, but with the subject that perceives it.

That the subject’s perception were altered by their own context of observation, and they therefore reasoned incorrectly about the object.

The problem is that the notion of bias suggests that if we were to somehow eliminate the observer completely then the truth would be more readily apparent, except there would then be no one to see it.

And so we make efforts to reduce and minimize the presence of the observer, which can’t not fail to make the object itself seem more significant. And this creates a sort of illusion, that facts themselves have meaning without a mind to interpret them.

That facts themselves have implications without any sort of theoretical framework for which to interpret them.

And there is this fear, that if we somehow reveal the framework by which we interpret facts, we lose something, we’ve entered into bias, and now the facts have stopped speaking for themselves.

But the framework by which we interpret facts, is what gives them their meaning to begin with, what makes them salient or obscure, pertinent or unrelated, significant or insignificant.

The framework shows their import to the observer, and if we dismiss it or cast aside, it does not make facts any more meaningful, but rather renders them worthless altogether.


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