Erik H. Erikson wrote in Young Man Luther: A Study in Psychoanalysts and History, “Ideology represents the unconscious tendency underlying religious and scientific as well as political thought: the tendency at a given time to make facts amenable to ideas, and ideas to facts, in order to create a world image convincing enough to support the collective individual sense of identity.”
I find this idea so interesting because it really gets at the heart of a lot of philosophical debates about human perception, language, and the mind. I am a subscriber to the belief that nobody with a functional mind is illogical (something that my old philosophy professor John Searle disagrees with), and I think what Erikson says above is directly relevant. Because as humans we rarely encounter truly objective reality, we should be aware of the possibility that separate groups within a society might well encounter their environment through distinctive social constructs. In other words, what makes sense to us does not do so because it is objective fact, but because we have unavoidable preconceived notions, ideas, and thoughts. What is logical to a person living in Berkeley, California might very well be completely illogical to someone living in Oakland, and vice versa. However, I would like to argue that the term “logical” and “illogical” are often misused, because “illogical” to me only implies that you do not have enough background information to understand why something might be logical to a certain individual. Obviously as a society we will never reach complete understanding of every individual, but perhaps we should recognize that someone might only be illogical relative to your own ideas.
Man, everything does always come back to relativity. :)
Okay, now back to actually studying for finals instead of rambling.
Thank you for taking the time to write me a message! i appreciate it a lot. :)
I hope that in your time here you take a class (if you haven’t already!) that really changes the way you think in some way, and makes you ask questions. And I hope there is someone here that can help you answer those questions, or at least point you down a path to find the answers out for yourself!
Best of luck to you as well; i’m rooting for all of us.
Today was my last lecture at UC Berkeley (at least for my undergraduate education), and also the best one I’ve ever had.
The class: Public Policy 103: Wealth and Poverty
The professor: Robert Reich
I want to write down what I learned today because I want to be able to look back on this moment and remember.
Today I believe I truly learned what being a leader is about, and it’s something I never realized before. The entire lecture, I was only thinking about one thing: how to secure better reproductive services and access for women across America and how to give individuals/families the tools and knowledge they need to make the best choices for themselves.
Being a leader isn’t about having a lot of followers or being able to tell people what to do. It’s about inspiring people to believe in themselves, to be passionate about a cause. Leaders can’t/don’t make people do things nor do they tell people what to do; leaders guide individuals by allowing them to realize their full potentials and consequently inspiring them to take action. A good leader believes in everyone and doesn’t focus on his own needs, but rather on how to use his knowledge and experience to truly inspire and interact with others.
Additionally, leaders can’t be martyrs. Don’t go into work everyday thinking about how much harder than everyone else you work; how amazing you are, etc., because you will burn out. A person can only take so much of feeling like he/she is doing more than everyone else, and you will lose focus of your cause.
Finally, know your personality “pitfalls”. Your pitfall is something that you can’t get enough of, something that you have an insatiable appetite for. My pitfall is that I love to be in control, but I am slowly recognizing that always being in control is not only impossible, it is something that has given me more headache than pleasure. Knowing your personality pitfalls will help you come to a better understanding of yourself and allow you to grow.
Thank you, Professor Reich, for sharing your knowledge with me this semester. Every single lecture was worth it and you are an inspiration to all of us.
It’s so hard for me to concentrate on studying when I’m *this* close to being done and free for the next year! I’ve made a study plan but I don’t know how to motivate myself to get everything done, and in the meantime I’m still trying to get everything settled with my old job.
I really need to just buckle down and focus, because happiness is only a week away and I don’t want to fail my classes!