Monday, July 25, 2022

Tell me a story


Narratives that engage the emotions, not arguments, are more effective at producing charitable behavior

Interesting study, confirming what all Humeans and Nietzscheans already suspected. As Nietzsche quips (in Twilight of the Idols), "Nothing is easier to erase than a dialectical effect."

History is written by the winners. What does that tell you?

Leiter, Joseph Raz, and David Enoch, Chomsky, and Bernie Sanders, all rationalize the ethnic cleansing of Palestine in defense of a narrative. To that end, facts are forgotten. Leiter says academic freedom is more important than freedom of speech for the rest of us. 

Leiter opposes "diversity blather" because other people's storytelling undermines his own.

Eric Schwitzgebel et al: "Engaging charitable giving: The motivational force of narrative versus philosophical argument"


Are philosophical arguments as effective as narratives in influencing charitable giving and attitudes toward it? In four experiments, we exposed online research participants to either philosophical arguments in favor of charitable giving, a narrative about a child whose life was improved by charitable donations, both the narrative and the argument, or a control text (a passage from a middle school physics text or a description of charitable organizations). Participants then expressed their attitudes toward charitable giving and were either asked how much they would hypothetically donate if given $10 (Experiment 1) or told they had a 10% chance of winning $10 and given the opportunity to donate from their potential winnings (Experiments 2–4). Across the four experiments, participants in all of the narrative conditions and in some of the argument conditions tended to express more positive attitudes toward charitable giving and donated about $1 more on average than did participants in the control conditions. These effects appear to have been mediated by the “narrative transportation” scale, which suggests that appeals to donate can be effective if they engage participants’ emotions, imagery, and interest.

Rationalists discover empiricism and claim it as their own. And they reinvent the wheel.

Schwitzgebel, earlier this year. Still hilarious.

philosophers vs lawyers and historians, every fucking day.

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