Subjective

The quality of an argument coloured by personal engagement. A subjective argument may bring prejudice to a case or distort it beyond the limits of logic-literacy. Acknowledging this personal prejudice can bring clarity, as greater knowledge of what those interests are can help the listener to understand what is going on. Example:

Everyone is prejudiced; I am prejudiced myself; I am prejudiced by, for instance, my commitment as a practising Roman Catholic and my sense that we humans have the responsibility for stewardship of the Earth. It is in my view a legitimate and necessary part of evaluating an argument to be aware of what prejudices and interests the people involved bring to it.

John Gummer MP, Centre for Policy Studies debate on climate change, 23 February 2006.

 

Related entries:

Ad Hominem, Emotional Argument, Expertise, Interest, Special Pleading, Survivor Bias.

David Fleming
Dr David Fleming (2 January 1940 – 29 November 2010) was a cultural historian and economist, based in London, England. He was among the first to reveal the possibility of peak oil's approach and invented the influential TEQs scheme, designed to address this and climate change. He was also a pioneer of post-growth economics, and a significant figure in the development of the UK Green Party, the Transition Towns movement and the New Economics Foundation, as well as a Chairman of the Soil Association. His wide-ranging independent analysis culminated in two critically acclaimed books, 'Lean Logic' and 'Surviving the Future', published posthumously in 2016. These in turn inspired the 2020 launches of both BAFTA-winning director Peter Armstrong's feature film about Fleming's perspective and legacy - 'The Sequel: What Will Follow Our Troubled Civilisation?' - and Sterling College's unique 'Surviving the Future: Conversations for Our Time' online courses. For more information on all of the above, including Lean Logic, click the little globe below!

Comment on this entry: