Friday, May 17, 2013

The Fallacy Of The Consequent: What The Taxi Drivers Want

Did Aristotle ever drive a taxi?  Highly doubtful given he was born in 384 BC.  He probably never conceived anything concerning the business but he did know a thing or two about specious logic and how it could be used to manipulate or control a situation or a group of people, even a configuration as large as a city state.  As you will soon understand, this relates to some consternation occurring earlier this week. Perhaps a little philosophic assistance will  help unravel the Gordian Knot we have wound so tightly for ourselves. What we are dealing with is an erroneous circularity of reasoning that implies when one is treated as an inferior it is because you are inferior. Just as Justice Taney ruled in the 1857 US Supreme Court decision that Dred Scott was the equivalent of a mule, that by a 7-2 vote, the only true donkey was Taney himself.  Aristotle's name for this kind of logical inaccuracy, was the "fallacy of the consequent." Too often in the taxi industry we see this in play.  Since the taxi driver is _____, then he is deserving of ______. In other words since you are bad you deserve to be treated badly. Or applying that logic back in 1857, since the rich slave owners viewed you as their personal property, with even the US Constitution stating you are only 3/5ths human, then you damn well must be that. This kind of attitude is highly useful when motivated to justify the unjustifiable.  The Eugenicists back in the late 19th Century even used science and Darwinian theory to back their prejudicial race theories which, using their distorted logic led to the extreme antisemitism exemplified by post-WWI Germany. Fallacious reasoning is just that.  It is not something that can be called constructive or instructive.  It certainly should not be used as some version of regulatory enforcement. That is why I call it specious because it is based upon unsound premises. It isn't wise to pretend or wish something is something else when it just isn't.  No Judge Taney, a man or woman is not a horse and never will be.

This preamble brings me to what the taxi drivers (both lease and owner) are in the City of Seattle and King County.  We are independent contractors, or put another way, independent business operators, and we are nothing else.  Now in Las Vegas, Nevada they are employees.  Recently the cabbies there went on strike because they objected to their working conditions.  Here we create our own working conditions.  We do that because we hold that ability just like any other type of business owner.  It is that basic and simple.

What then do the local drivers want?  To be recognized as who they are, as independent owners, and nothing else.  When that standard is understood and implemented, peace will reign and everyone will begin recognizing their inherent duties and responsibilities.  In short, I am saying let professionalism begin by all parties involved. Let's quit making excuses and do it right. I also suggest that we embrace and support each other.  Enough of the infighting.  Regardless of our position, administrative, driver, mechanic, we are all united beneath the collective top-light. Let our light shine!  Let it shine! 

1 comment:

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