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  1. #1
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    Default Is ideology the bane of intellectual sophistication in the US?

    Is ideology the bane of intellectual sophistication in the US?

    Marx is perhaps the first intellectual of great stature to coin the word “ideology” and to study its epistemological foundations. Marx makes it clear that ideology is an important aspect of all societies and especially for a society so dedicated to the cultivation of production and consumption as is capitalism.

    A brief examination of culture in the United States and one will find that ideology, as framed by Marx, is a fundamental aspect of many of its social institutions; especially evident in religion, politics, and economics.

    Ideology “is a systematically and socially biased body of thought”. It spans a broad spectrum of groups with their varying degree of bias and sophistication.

    Despite the broad spectrum encompassed by this category of thought and practice “all ideologies share an identifiable logical structure objectively dictated by their ideological character”. Each ideology has a moral, i.e. prescriptive, dimension. Each ideology attempts to shape society to fit its particular world view. “Ideology turns what is a fact for one group into an “ought” or “ideal” for others…Marx argues that since an ideology generalizes a narrow point of view beyond the limits of its validity, it is compelled by its very logic to ‘moralize’ and ‘preach’.”

    Ideology often becomes a hypocritical moral doctrine. Because it generalizes and remodels abstract ideas into an object, i.e. it objectifies, it reifies narrow abstract ideas beyond their true limits of validity it is compelled to propagandize and to “sell” its ideas. Ideology is constantly telling others how they should live.

    Ideology has a complex character. It is normative; what are its ideas and experiences it attempts to present them as inherent in human nature and from this it “deduces appropriate moral recommendations”. It is biased toward a specific group; it is against other social groups, it treats these other groups as mere means. It universalizes a narrow and limited view and “sells”, perhaps evangelizes (militant and crusading zeal) might be an appropriate expression, this view to others.

    An ideology can never adequately defend it self rationally because its assumptions have never been critically evaluated nor explicitly formulated. It is often rabidly critical of rival views. “Consequently it never states its first principles, or makes a perfunctory case for them, keeps reiterating and reformulating them, elaborates on them in the name of critically examining them, and so on.”

    I think that ideology is the bane of American culture; it is solidly entrenched because ideology fits well within our religious, democratic, and economic heritage. The only antidote for this virus is a population well educated in the sophisticated thinking discipline and moral character traits of CT (Critical Thinking).

    Do you think that CT might be my ideology? Can a teeny-tiny small group of individuals in a nation of 350 million form an ideology?


    Quotes from Marx’s Theory of Ideology by Bhikhu Parekh

  2. #2
    78% me Eruca's Avatar
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    Let's say the opposite of ideology is for each indivudal to deal with every situation and opinion on a case-by-case basis. If it was part of a culture to do so this anti-ideology would itself become an ideology of CT since anyone who did not use CT would be singled out.

    It seems to me some people will always need ideology, or at least feel drawn towards it. Maybe they need it for guidance or just a sense of identity.
    I hope I'm wrong, but I believe that he is a fraud, and I think despite all of his rhetoric about being a champion of the working class, it will turn out to be hollow -- Bernie Sanders on Trump

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    Minister of Propagandhi ajblaise's Avatar
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    coberst, you've made 6 anti-ideology threads in the last two months. I'm detecting a common theme and a certain set of ideas coming from you... an ideology of sorts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ajblaise View Post
    coberst, you've made 6 anti-ideology threads in the last two months. I'm detecting a common theme and a certain set of ideas coming from you... an ideology of sorts.

    Stick around I have several other hobby horses to ride.

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    Protocol Droid Athenian200's Avatar
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    Yes, it is. It's an ingrained thinking pattern that goes much deeper than any one individual ideology. This thinking pattern makes you receptive to ideological perception in general, even if you reject one. This has even happened to me.

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    no clinkz 'til brooklyn Nocapszy's Avatar
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    similarly, intellectual sophistication is the [a] bane of ideal society.

    stop hating the NFs, and don't pretend that's not what this is about.

    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Ideology is constantly telling others how they should live.
    and that's bad right? we ought to stop that shit!

    also this has nothing to do with intellectual sophistication.

    An ideology can never adequately defend it self rationally because its assumptions have never been critically evaluated nor explicitly formulated.
    er... isn't that the role of the intellectuals anyway -- to critically examine things?

    additionally, it's impossible to evaluate or analyze anything which hasn't been formulated, so that doesn't really make sense. try again?



    i didn't read the rest, but i'm curious; why you even bring up the US?
    seems like if these are universal concepts, it shouldn't really matter which country you're in.

    and when i say i'm curious, what i mean is that i'm asking a rhetorical question, which doesn't have much relevance to the [supposed] topic, but am still responding to it because of the fact that you, the OP brought it into the mix even despite the low prevalence, which is something i hope to point out by virtue of my addressing it to dispel the illusion of cohesive and critical thought you might have created by writing about one of the 'tough questions.'

    ace ventura out!
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    It's always something... PuddleRiver's Avatar
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    It's just so much easier NOT to think at all isn't it? Thinking's hard work, takes time out of the day and so on. It's much easier to simply react like those around you. Fit in better thatta way too. Get on a rant and never let go. I'm surrounded by these people.

    Of course I'm quite capable of doing the same about them. I think I just did.

    Aw hell, it's 3 in the morning, I'm barely conscious.
    Last edited by PuddleRiver; 06-13-2009 at 11:50 PM.
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    Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking


    ABSTRACT: The ideal of critical thinking is a central one in Russell's philosophy, though this is not yet generally recognized in the literature on critical thinking. For Russell, the ideal is embedded in the fabric of philosophy, science, liberalism and rationality, and this paper reconstructs Russell's account, which is scattered throughout numerous papers and books. It appears that he has developed a rich conception, involving a complex set of skills, dispositions and attitudes, which together delineate a virtue which has both intellectual and moral aspects. It is a view which is rooted in Russell's epistemological conviction that knowledge is difficult but not impossible to attain, and in his ethical conviction that freedom and independence in inquiry are vital. Russell's account anticipates many of the insights to be found in the recent critical thinking literature, and his views on critical thinking are of enormous importance in understanding the nature of educational aims. Moreover, it is argued that Russell manages to avoid many of the objections which have been raised against recent accounts. With respect to impartiality, thinking for oneself, the importance of feelings and relational skills, the connection with action, and the problem of generalizability, Russell shows a deep understanding of problems and issues which have been at the forefront of recent debate. 20th WCP: Bertrand Russell on Critical Thinking

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by coberst View Post
    Marx is perhaps the first intellectual of great stature to coin the word “ideology” and to study its epistemological foundations.
    No actually it was Destutt de Tracy who coined the term.

    It would also be worth noting the difference between "ideology" and "philosophy", or also for that matter religion.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peguy View Post
    No actually it was Destutt de Tracy who coined the term.

    It would also be worth noting the difference between "ideology" and "philosophy", or also for that matter religion.
    I would say that philosophy is radically critical self-consciousness. I would say that ideology is the distortion of social theory do to self centered or social centered bias that is done either because the individual knows no better or because it serves his or her self interest.

    I think that CT (Critical Thinking) can usefully be thought of as 'philosophy lite'. And I think that CT is an antidote for ideology.

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