Infamy: November 22, September 11

Infamy: November 22, September 11

by T. J. Hill

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To begin with, Infamy is about Kennedy's murder, and about the attacks that occurred on 9/11. It is also a book about grounds for true belief in a political context. One way to approach a subject like that is to consider what shapes political opinions. Another way is to ask how we distinguish truth from untruth in politics. The third question grows from the first two: how do we sort true beliefs from all the other kinds of beliefs we might hold in the political sphere? Laboratory scientists develop fairly sophisticated methods to sort what we know from what we do not, as they investigate all kinds of questions. People who seek knowledge about the political world cannot apply strictly experimental methods to the questions they investigate. Nevertheless, they do examine evidence and test hypotheses, so scientific methods are not entirely irrelevant.

We know that both crimes – Kennedy's murder and the events of 9/11 – have generated monumental disagreements about who committed these crimes, and how the perpetrators executed them. These disagreements point to differing standards of truth and methods of investigation. When you observe conflict this fundamental, where people disagree not only about what happened, but also about how to reach judgments in the matter, you know you have an interesting problem. You have crimes that call for some careful thought.

Nevertheless if you want to solve a crime, you solve it, no matter where the evidence leads. Jim Garrison famously quoted the Latin legal principle, "Let justice be done though the heavens fall." When the heavens fall, discomfort ensues. Garrison's determination describes the calamity that may result when you seek the truth, but from Oedipus's son till this day, that's the nature of all inquiry. You can't know, when you start, what the outcome will be, where you'll wind up, or what consequences you'll suffer. You just have to trust, from beginning to end, that the truth yields a better outcome than untruth.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940150785359
Publisher: Puzzle Mountain Digital
Publication date: 11/07/2015
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 941 KB

About the Author

I was born in Minneapolis in 1954; grew up in Valley City, North Dakota; graduated high school in Des Moines, class of 1972; graduated from Reed College in 1976 with a bachelor’s in history; married Leslie Olin from Boston in 1979; served as gunnery and electronics material officer on the USS KIRK based in Yokosuka, Japan, until 1982; earned a doctorate in political science from the University of Iowa in 1987; and taught politics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, the Hopkins-Nanjing Center in Nanjing, China, and Carthage College in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

Currently I am principal at Puzzle Mountain Digital greater Boston. My wife and I have a son who lives in Washington DC, and a daughter in about to head off to college. We live in a great house in Westwood, Massachusetts, southwest of Boston.

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