The Fictitious Life of Elizabeth Black | a notebook.

Thursday, June 8, 2017


This phrase from the New York Times Opinion article by Errol Morris about Crimean War Photography stood out to me.

In Part One (I haven't read all 3 parts) Morris examines statements people made about the photographs, and why - how - they came to those conclusions. He remarks on a passage in a book by Ulrich Keller, in which he states that "x is obviously h because...." To my liking, Morris takes issue with the evidentiary basis for these claim being that they are "obvious."

As I’ve said elsewhere: Nothing is so obvious that it’s obvious. When someone says that something is obvious, it seems almost certain that it is anything but obvious – even to them. The use of the word “obvious” indicates the absence of a logical argument – an attempt to convince the reader by asserting the truth of something by saying it a little louder.

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