The myth of the framework can be stated in one sentence, as follows.
A rational and fruitful discussion is impossible unless the participants share a common framework of basic assumptions or, at least, unless they have agreed on such a framework for the purpose of the discussion.
This is the myth I am going to criticize.
As I have formulated it here, the myth sounds like a sober statement, or like a sensible warning to which we ought to pay attention in order to further rational discussion. Some people even think that what I describe as a myth is a logical principle, or based on a logical principle. I think, on the contrary, that it is not only a false statement, but also a vicious statement which, if widely believed, must undermine the unity of mankind, and so must greatly increase the likelihood of violence and of war. This is the main reason why I want to combat it and refute it.
As indicated, I mean by ‘framework’ here a set of basic assumptions, or fundamental principles – that is to say, an intellectual framework. It is important to distinguish such a framework from some attitudes which may indeed be preconditions for a discussion, such as a wish to get to, or nearer to, the truth, and a willingness to share problems or to understand the aims and the problems of somebody else. [34-5]