chapter  3
Sources of Incomprehension: The Clash of Contexts
WithChristopher Hamlin, Philip T. Shepard
Pages 16

This chapter considers one layer of disagreement, the clash of contexts of argument, or different views of what sort of question is at issue and where one ought to look to find a resolution of it. It focuses on the needs in order to highlight the distinctive contribution an interpretive approach to controversy can make in facilitating productive discussion. The chapter examines the depth of disagreement in agricultural controversy and it has indicated how interpretation might be used to plumb those depths. It is concerned with disagreement based more in incomprehension than in intransigent assertion. Perhaps no topic of agricultural controversy illustrates the clash of competing contexts and debate on the family farm. The range of perspectives in contemporary agricultural controversy means that the various kinds of problems will be unavoidable. They highlight the need for standards of interpretation that are practical rather than theoretical and relative to context of controversy and to the actual views and understandings of participants.