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View Diary: 'Belief' in Global Warming? (27 comments)

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  •  a fine framing effort (2+ / 0-)
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    Eowyn9, Land of Enchantment

    Welcome to the wonderful world of writing diaries.

    I appreciate your intent (as I perceive it). I've been interested for years in environmental issues and in the ways we use our language for social influence. So, thanks for contributing your thoughts on this.

    I think it's useful to think about the ways we try to distinguish and apply concepts of facts, opinions, and beliefs, as this diary does.

    I've come to value a different approach, a different frame from a different mental model about belief. I find it helps to get past some limitations I've encountered when trying to maintain distinctions between those concepts.

    Rather than try to distinguish the concept of "belief" from those other terms, I use it as a super-category to encompass them all. I've come think of most of the thoughts that go through our heads as beliefs. It's just that some beliefs match up better with the external universe than others. The belief that 2+2=4 seems to be very consistent with the external universe, for example.

    We're accustomed to witnessing arguments about beliefs, it seems. Even "facts", however, seem to be subject to dispute more often than we seem to think they should. I've found that the often-quoted statement about not being entitled to one's own facts does a poor job of describing, explaining, and predicting the behaviors associated with our concept of "fact". Regardless what we're entitled to, it seems to me we all carry in our heads own mental models and beliefs. We just do. (In other words, that's a belief of mine that I think has pretty good, consistent evidence to support.)

    Seeing our attempts at communication, and our attempts at social influence, with "beliefs" as an encompassing concept helps me to make better sense of various arguments. Often it also opens up new options for re-framing or developing alternate approaches to influence others.

    I noticed another new diarist recently who seems interested in language frames and George Lakoff's work in that line. You might want to keep an eye out for that. You might find it relevant and useful.

    Thanks again for contributing your perspective.


    Most models are wrong, but some are useful.

    by etbnc on Mon Jan 14, 2013 at 06:57:55 AM PST

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