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Article written in 1991 for publication in the Journal of Social Psychology but not accepted for publication

COMPANIONSHIP IN FOLLY MAY BE A COMFORT BUT THE FOLLY IS STILL FOLLY: REPLY TO WITT



J.J. Ray

University of N.S.W., Australia

Ray (1990) pointed out that the work by Witt (1989) on attitude to AIDS victims was fatally flawed by its reliance on the now obsolete work of the Marxist theoretician Theodor Adorno (Adorno et al., 1950). Witt (1990) made a reply to Ray (1990) of an essentially bureaucratic rather than a scientific nature. Instead of addressing the scientific issues involved directly, Witt concentrated on showing that other people also continue to do as he does -- i.e. they take the Adorno et al (1950) work seriously. "If I am wrong, so are they" seems to be the essence of Witt's reply. Such an argument is, however, essentially ad hominem and, as such, is of no scholarly repute whatever. No doubt the opponents of Galileo could have argued as Witt does.


REFERENCES


Adorno,T.W., Frenkel-Brunswik, E., Levinson, D.J. & Sanford, R.N. (1950). The authoritarian personality New York: Harper.

Ray, J.J. (1990) AIDS, authoritarianism and scientific ignorance -- A comment on Witt. J. Applied Social Psychology, 20, 1453-1455.

Witt, L.A. (1989) Authoritarianism, knowledge of AIDS and affect towards persons with AIDS: Implications for health education. J. Applied Psychology 19, 599-607.

Witt, L.A. (1990) Factors affecting attitudes toward persons with AIDS J. Social Psychology 130, 127-129.




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