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On the ili listserv, I am asked:

Would it be possible to sum up in a simple sentence or two, exactly what it is you would like the Framework to do in order to address the issue of Truth?  Do you simply want it to mention the phrase “to seek truth” somewhere or are you arguing that the frame Authority is Constructed and Contextual needs to be scrapped and rewritten entirely?  I apologize, but I’m getting rather lost in the philosophical discussion… it might help if I had a better understanding of why you’re arguing this or what you would like to propose as a change in order to satisfy your concern.

I didn’t want to answer in a simple sentence or two, so I said the following:

Thanks for asking. But no sound bites. : )

There are definite strengths to the Framework. That said, there is room for improvement. In the RSR paper, in the conclusion, I write:

…if one acknowledges the foregoing argument to be very strong – that is, unlikely to encounter an effective rebuttal – this is an indication that the statement “Authority is Constructed and Contextual” is unhelpful and should be scrapped. After all, the critical question is whether power, in forms both subtle and overt, is ultimately determinative, or whether the issue of truth – and with it our ability to reason together regardless of religion, race, or creed – have a role to play. This is critical for the Framework – any standard promulgated by so prestigious an organization as the ACRL should itself be a product of the best critical thinking. It should not be noted for its concealed propositions, unarticulated assumptions, and disregarded alternatives.

So, at the very least, the phrase “AiCC” should be scrapped, along with some kind of acknowledgement or nod to the idea that issues of truth are inextricably connected with issues of authority (I add: cultural and political power are connected with, but not the same thing as, authority), and hence we should reject the idea that “quests to be true, tell the truth, and seek what is really true, for example, are questionable forays at best, and naïve and unwelcome at worst.” I contend that if you believe that, you ultimately can’t have scholarship, and hence libraries that support scholarship (as opposed to temples).

FIN

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