While it is true that looking or checking for bias is an important part of historical inquiry (or just about any other kind of inquiry for that matter), it is no less important to question the motives of those who look for biases. As we know from the nature of the “bias checking” that often occurs here at the forum, looking for a bias can quickly become a bias in itself, thereby negating the original intent of looking beyond the particular needs in question. Methodologically speaking, it seems that the best way to check for bias (and the bias of those doing the bias checking themselves) is to “think against” the bias and looking for the bias at the same time, which has been discussed here in the past. By adding this third level of analysis (first checking for bias, second checking the bias of those looking for a particular bias, to the third level of thinking against both at the same time) one is more likely to ameliorate the particularization that results from bias as such. This third level automatically places the inquirer in the realm of universal conceptualization. For many, this universal level is “too abstract” and too far removed from the particular events being considered; however, because of the frailties inherent to particularization which manifest themselves as biases, it is a necessary step on the ladder of epistemic stability, which is the goal (implicit or otherwise) of all human inquiry.
Wyatt pretty consistently said that Tom fired from behind the horse (over its back or under its neck), so we can pretty well conclude that Wyatt said that. You can see similar patterns in other... more
Thanks for the insight. I believe I have been looking at the information with a very suspicious eye and maybe over thinking some aspects. Some of the information seems straight forward and it just... more
Re: I don't have an easy answer for you harveycmd,Fri Apr 13 09:14
Very interesting Chris, as I am trying to become more neutral in my approach without supporting evidence. That being said there are a number of things in this Tombstone story that really don't make... more
The underlying factors are less amenable to positive verification. That is the level at which the inquiry becomes abstract and most people are left behind. For example, look at the vast majority of... more