Date: Wed, 26 Oct 1994 23:41:50 -0400
From: "John A. Weaver University of Pittsburgh"
Subject: Re: Myth of the Bell Curve
I do not think Jackson's piece is necessarily an ad hominem piece. I
think he raises some very important ethical points about academic work. Murray
may say ignore my configurations about certain people in general, judge people
as individuals. But he still made generalizations and I am willing to bet
people will ignore his statement to ignore his generalizations and use his work
to justify their politics, prejudices and ideas. It sounds like Murray wants it
both ways. He wants to revise a racist line of hereditary thinking, but he
doesn't want anyone to think he is a racist.
To me this is a very important ethical question that we all have to
raise when we are doing academic work. How will it be used? Impossible in
knowing completely, but it has to be raised. In Murray's case I would like
someone to tell me if such a line of work and logic should be taken serious in
the first place? Should we say Murray is an academic therefore we should use
"common Sense", or only look at his argument piece by piece. He may be a sound
rhetorician with strong statistical configurations, but does this justify
racial remarks? Does this warrant our time and best possible effort to overlook
his generalizations and ferret out the so-called "solid academic work" or
"sound logical constructions"?
question about looking at the argument and not dismissing Murray's work as