inferences and leaps of faith

Beth W. Baldwin (
Wed, 16 Oct 1996 20:59:40 -0400

On Wed, 16 Oct 1996, Bob King wrote:

> What's are the
> implications for ethos if we let the implications of "a world of
> inferences" play out a bit? Does it make ethos a radical
> self-construction, like a proverbial and constant "leap of faith?"

I suppose that many would argue that ethos is a radical self-construction
and that what's involved in communication is always a leap of faith.
But I wouldn't want to understate the part played in such constructions
by social factors (culture, history, family, school, church, neighborhood,
region, etc.) so that more often than not we can and do make similar
inferences. We don't just "make it up as we go along" all by our
individual selves. A radical self-construction might be psychosis --
all alone in an individual universe making inferences that few others
relate to.

I observe, to my delight, that we share more than we differ.
Thus, we always have hope of finding common ground, making similar
inferences, and feeling less like we're making radical leaps of faith
when we trust the ethos of others or of ourselves.


Beth Baldwin, Ph.D. *
Office of Continuing Education *
University of North Carolina at Greensboro *
Greensboro, NC 27412-5001 *
910-334-5301, ext. 44 * *