UserpicResponse Number 1

In the first paragraph of his response, Fiske-Harrison seems to claim that (a) as a proponent of vegetarianism, I should not be allowed to review a book on bullfighting and (b) as the recipient of an unfavorable review from him, I should not be allowed to review his book. Today, I shall deal with (a).

The general principle underwriting (a) seems to be this. One writes a book that defends a given thesis. Only people who agree, or at the very least do not disagree, with this thesis should be allowed to review this book. The writer in me loves this idea – only people who already agree with me should be allowed to review my books. Unfortunately, it does seem to take away the point of reviewing, and I assume the silliness of this idea is evident to all.

Notice, this is not an attack on Fiske-Harrison but on his argument. I do not abhor Fiske-Harrison. I abhor his views. We live in a rather sad age where people routinely overlook the distinction between a person and the views they hold, so an attack on the view is seen as an attack on the person. I reject this inference. When I criticize, I see only arguments and views, not people.


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