The Propaganda Value of the Omniscient 3rd Person POV

An omniscient, third-person point of view typically (but not always) assumes a Godlike understanding of how things are, and readers go along with this . . . until they don’t–until the POV of the little man behind the curtain becomes all too abundantly clear because it is emphatically not that of the reader. This POV is almost always loaded with question-begging of a particularly insidious kind–the sort that assumes a POV for all, including the reader, as though it were a completely objective “view from nowhere” (as philosopher Thomas Nagel calls this). All people have lots and lots of unexamined assumptions–more than they do examined ones, which is a basic fact about learning–that it is not only mostly inductive but also mostly unconscious acquisition, not consciously acquired and examined. And the insidious part of the 3P OM POV is that, because people acquire beliefs mostly in this way, a skillful author can sneak in a lot of stuff under the radar, without the reader even being aware of it.


About Bob Shepherd

interests: curriculum design, educational technology, learning, linguistics, hermeneutics, rhetoric, philosophy (Continental philosophy, Existentialism, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, ethics), classical and jazz guitar, poetry, the short story, archaeology and cultural anthropology, history of religion, prehistory, veganism, sustainability, Anglo-Saxon literature and language, systems for emergent quality control, heuristics for innovation
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