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Three umpires are sitting around talking:

The first umpire says "There's balls and there's strikes, and I call 'em like they are."
The second umpire says "There's balls and there's strikes, and I call 'em like I see 'em."
The third umpire says "There's balls and there's strikes, and they ain't nothing till I call 'em"

The first umpire exemplifies the Enlightenment view that there are objective truths about the world, and that they are waiting to be discovered. When the pitcher throws the ball, the pitch results in either a ball or a strike, depending upon if it is in the strike zone. If the pitch goes through the strike zone, it is a strike, even if the umpire calls it incorrectly. There is a fact-of-the-matter in every situation.

The second umpire shows us the subjective view of truth. Anything that we say about the world is mediated by our senses, and we do not have access to the truth the way the first umpire does. We have access through a medium, and that process both enables our perception but also shapes and mediates it. Our conception of truth is only as good as our instruments.

The last umpire shows us that balls and strikes are meaningless on their own and are completely dependant on the umpire to exist. This is essentially the Postmodernist view, best exemplified by Stanley Fish's statement: "There is no text; there are only readers." When a pitch is thrown, what happens? A ball flies through the air and is caught. There is nothing inherent in the pitch that makes it a "ball" or a "strike". It only becomes one of the two when the umpire calls it as such--otherwise it is just a ball flying through the air. We see here the point of view that says everything in the world is contingent and relative.

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