For the most part, it is not my purpose in this space to urge positions, or come down on one side or the other of a controversial question. Of course, I do those things occasionally and sometimes inadvertently, but more often than not I am analyzing arguments rather than making them; or, to be more precise, I am making arguments about arguments, especially ones I find incoherent or insufficiently examined....Heh heh. Fish is eely. See how "inadvertently" he "urged" a "position" on the superdelegates question — the most pressing political issue of the day?
Given a choice between being trivial and being ethical in any direction whatsoever, I’ll take trivial (although I might want to debate the judgment), because ethics is not something I’m doing in these columns. This doesn’t mean that I think ethical questions are unimportant — although I do think there are fewer of them than is usually assumed; there are none, for example, in the current controversy about superdelegates; it is just that if you want those questions raised and examined, you’ll have to go elsewhere. This might seem to be an admission that my perspective is severely limited. Yes, it is, but it is my conviction is that its limitedness is its strength and that were it to be expanded the only gain would be the pious fuzziness you can get from a thousand other commentators.
March 10, 2008
"The difference between making arguments and analyzing them is not always recognized, and ... readers get outraged about things I never said."
The Fish-eye view: Why Stanley Fish bothers to write columns for the New York Times.