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In Defense of Nuance

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We appear to find ourselves in a crisis of polarization and failed communication. What can we do about it?

This essay argues that part of the solution may be that we all make a deliberate effort to follow certain virtues that are quite straightforward, if difficult to practice. Simply put, we should strive to be charitable toward our adversaries, and aspire for more nuanced and balanced perspectives. This is not just important for addressing our current social predicament, but also for the endeavor of reason in general. To acquire a view of the world that reflects its true complexity, we must aspire for nuance, which tends to be best done by engaging charitably with many different perspectives.

The essay then turns to some contentious issues, such as sex discrimination, intersectionality, political correctness, relationship styles, and politics to point toward some ways in which greater nuance might help inform and advance our views on these matters.

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