The Principle of Charity:
The Principle of Charity is a methodological presumption made in seeking to understand a point of view whereby we seek to understand that view in its strongest, most persuasive form before subjecting the view to evaluation.
While suspending our own beliefs, we seek a sympathetic understanding of the new idea or Charity argument. We assume for the moment the new ideas are true even though our initial reaction is to disagree; we seek to tolerate ambiguity for the larger aim of understanding ideas which might prove useful and helpful.
Emphasis is placed on seeking to understand rather than on seeking contradictions or difficulties.
We seek to understand the ideas in their most persuasive form and actively attempt to resolve contradictions. If more than one view is presented, we choose the one that appears the most cogent.
The principle of charity is a methodological principle—ideas can be critiqued after an adequate understanding is achieved. The original presumption of setting aside our own beliefs and assuming the new ideas are true is only a provisional presumption.
Hence, we should listen and read in the beginning as if we had no personal attitudes. We should seek to be open and receptive. This attitude, if maintained, frees the conditioned mind and enables it to absorb and understand the new.
In essence, we just start with a simple desire to get a point not understood upon first acquaintance. Refinements of the principle of charity in philosophy include the principle of rational accommodation whereby we attempt to maximize truth and the principle of humanity where we attempt to maximize intelligibility.
Quine, Word and Object Cambridge, Mass: Press, Donald Davidson suggests the principle of charity or, in his words, "the principle of rational accommodation" should attempt to "maximize" sense and "optimize" agreement when invoked with respect to coherence and factual correspondence of what is said.
Feynman writes in his Nobel Prize Lecture about struggling with the notion of backward causation in quantum electrodynamics: In Hinduism, God may be worshiped as a child when the devotee worships Krishna.
A Christian, uncharitably, might be inclined to believe Hinduism is a polytheistic religion.
Yet, for the Christian, the notion of the Christ Child could be suggested by the application of the principle of humanity in order to help understand this ideal in Hinduism. The next [human representation of the ideal of divine love] is what is known as Vatsalya, loving God not as our Father but as our Child.
This may look peculiar, but it is a discipline to enable us to detach all ideas of power from the concept of God. The similarity belief and attitudes between Christianity and Hinduism, in this regard, removes unnecessary difficulties in understanding.
Philosophical and rhetorical principles are briefly summarized by Wikipedia. PDF Some problems with the principle of charity are noted in passing in this paper from Analysis by Roy Sorensen on the fallacy of begging the question. Check your understanding with a Quiz on The Principle of Charity.Jul 25, · When confronted with society's problems and the need for collective action, many conservatives and libertarians- some more earnestly than others- will argue.
To some degree, money for charity, can be raised however and whenever the opportunity comes. Schools have different charity events throughout the school years where they either attend special events, gather supplies, or go door to door and collect funds.
In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity or charitable interpretation requires interpreting a speaker's statements in the most rational way possible and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation.
In the process Effective Altruists gloss over important social relations, obscuring the morality (and efficacy) of giving to charity, or commanding others to do so, in the first place. The black-box presentation of charity displays only the relation between the potential philanthropist and . Nov 13, · This article sets out the argument, advocated by Peter Singer in particular, that giving to charity is our duty. In philosophy and rhetoric, the principle of charity or charitable interpretation requires interpreting a speaker's statements in the most rational way possible and, in the case of any argument, considering its best, strongest possible interpretation.
Simply put, the principle of charity is the idea that when criticizing someone’s argument, you should criticize the best possible interpretation of that argument. In the following article you will learn about this principle more in depth, and see some helpful guidelines for implementing it in practice.
Simply put, the principle of charity tells you to treat other people as intelligent people. If you treat people as being intelligent, you will do a better job at evaluating their arguments.
To illustrate the principle of charity, suppose you’re given this argument: Alex: “The human race has. In all other sectors, expertise is regarded as a prerequisite for the privilege of making decisions, but in modern Western governance people who completely lack knowledge and expertise are given the same decision making power as experts, how is this justifiable?