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Susan Sontag on The 3 Steps to Refuting Any Argument

susan sontag diaries

The 3 Steps to Refuting Any Argument, from the newly released As Consciousness Is Harnessed to Flesh: Journals and Notebooks, 1964-1980.

From September 16, 1965, written during a trip to Paris:

The main techniques for refuting an argument:

Find the inconsistency
Find the counter-example
Find a wider context

Instance of (3):

I am against censorship. In all forms. Not just for the right of masterpieces— high art— to be scandalous.

But what about pornography (commercial)?
Find the wider context: notion of voluptuousness à la Bataille?

But what about children? Not even for them? Horror comics, etc.

Why forbid them comics when they can read worse things in the newspapers any day. Napalm bombing in Vietnam, etc.

A just/ discriminating censorship is impossible.