Who we are and how we see ourselves slants what we say

Right now we unfortunately living in a world where nobody is willing to talk about the difficult subject of how identity doesn’t disqualify you from having an opinion but it might sometimes confer these types of prejudices.

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

The issue of who speaks about what informs how we engage with a speaker in public discourse.

Jacques Rousseau is a lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies, University of Cape Town.

Rousseau says while issues of identity and power will not disqualify a speaker from having an opinion, it will at times determine how others receive their logic.

We operate in a context of histories which are contested, we operate in a context of prejudices and biases and so forth.

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

The appeal to neutrality and objectivity also operates from that kind of perspective.

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

People who assert that things should be completely objective are often speaking from a position that is privileged in itself, in a sense that, that ability to extract from lived realities is a luxury that other people don’t have.

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

If you care about communicating rather than just being right you have to take these things in account.

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

He says one should try to view an argument without importing biases.

If you enter something so confrontationally we should not be surprised that the discussion breaks down.

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

I don’t think that it is useful for people to pull out of conversations because then we have these little filter bubbles of just people of type x talking to each other and no input, or stimulus or challenge and that just leads to a kind of group think and a lack of thought.

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

On changing your mind on a subject and possibly being labeled a hypocrite, Rousseau says this should be used as an opportunity to teach others.

If we express our opinions in a way that acknowledges that uncertainty and ambiguity you have a far easier route changing your mind later on because its not like you are changing one dogmatic view for another. There is less for people to criticize you on.

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

Use that as a pedagogical opportunity to say I used to believe this for these reasons and I have subsequently discovered those reasons are flawed, so you can show people what its like to specifically engage...

Jacques Rousseau, lecturer in Critical Thinking and Ethics at the School of Management Studies at UCT

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
How to have your cake and eat it (without the guilt) this festive season

How to have your cake and eat it (without the guilt) this festive season

Stacey Holland and Nicci Robertson share experiences of their weight loss journey and relationship with food.

[LISTEN] Mmusi Maimane on why SOEs should be dismantled

[LISTEN] Mmusi Maimane on why SOEs should be dismantled

The DA leader sat down with Eusebius McKaiser to share his views and thoughts on a number of issues concerning his party and SA.

Maimane tells Eusebius how the DA intends attracting black voters

Maimane tells Eusebius how the DA intends attracting black voters

TUNE IN at 10am to the Eusebius McKaiser show where he talks coalition agreements and economic policies.

Zille's tweet has history buffs refuting dominant colonial narrative

Zille's tweet has history buffs refuting dominant colonial narrative

Historians show how so-called medical advancements brought to Africa during colonialism were not all they were cracked up to be.

Debate: Democratic Alliance and its search for identity

Debate: Democratic Alliance and its search for identity

Criticisms over DA's ideological leanings lead to a re-branding but some people remain skeptical of its positoning in SA politics.

#OpenLine callers debate land question

#OpenLine callers debate land question

It all started with a call from Sanele a listener in Pretoria who said white people must return the land they stole.

Popular articles
So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

So what exactly is radical economic transformation?

Wits associate professor of economics Christopher Malikane speaks to Azania Mosaka about the term that is being bandied about.

Meet self-made millionaire (net worth – R400m!) property mogul Sisa Ngebulana

Meet self-made millionaire (net worth – R400m!) property mogul Sisa Ngebulana

How did Ngebulana build his empire? The Money Show’s Bruce Whitfield interviewed him for his weekly “ShapeShifter” feature.

Shop 'til you drop: The top 'Black Friday' deals this week

Shop 'til you drop: The top 'Black Friday' deals this week

Start your Christmas shopping off with a bang at these major retailers offering some impressive discounted sales for Black Friday.

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

How Naspers paid peanuts for Tencent (China’s most valuable company)

In 2001 Naspers invested $32 million in (then tiny) Tencent. Learn more about the wildly profitable Chinese behemoth...

'The university degree is dead'

'The university degree is dead'

Flux Trends founder Dion Chang gives five reasons why he believes getting a degree is past its sell by date.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will pilot a new funding model in 2017. NSFAS chairperson Sizwe Nxasana explains.