A final note to sum up the preamble to this discussion. This whole idea is predicated on an assumption for which there is abundant counter-factual evidence. The central dogma of the discussion is that people in disputes both agree that ‘fairness’ is a good and desirable thing. Yes, I can hear you snickering, because there are no shortage of folks who are of the “I got mine, so fuck you” persuasion, and this argument will have very little to offer them. I am intentionally delimiting this discussion to people who can at least agree that fairness, in principle, is a mutual goal.
It may also serve me well to note here (I plan to re-assert this in various places later on in the discussion) that this is an extremely speculative exercise, as far as I am concerned. I will not attempt to make truth claims, because there is very little by way of empirical evidence that I can marshall in defence of this idea. It is rather an attempt to make explicit an argument that I have made many times in the past, but in varying and often oblique ways.
Finally, what I am proposing is more of a rhetorical device than it is a psychological or cognitive framework. I may appear to have to twist the facts to fit the framework, but I hope it will not be too egregious.
Tomorrow I will begin to sketch the outline of my thesis.
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