Thoughts on Ideology

  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » MetaPhilosophy
  3. » Thoughts on Ideology

Get Email Updates Email this Topic Print this Page

qualia
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 07:52 pm
I think it best to set up and new thread and post the following so as not to derail the On Being In Heidegger and Aristotle thread. This is in consideration of Longknowledge's polite request that the thread in general return to the insights and discussions of the original OP.

What follows is in response to a brief conversation with MMP2506 on page 5 of the aforementioned thread. I have cut and past what was said to give coherency and introduction to this thread. I have also posted up Dasein's excellent response to what was written which I think can only add further depth to this theme on ideology.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Qualia

Solipsist: There are no thoughts, ideas, experiences or emotions, worldviews, and ideologies other than my own.

Qualia: Then in telling us about that, communicating your ideas, language is essentially your own private construct?

Solipsist: Yes, the language is my own. I am the source of the meaning I produce. I mean whatever I choose to mean.

Qualia: But your ideas, frames, references, understanding, language is not governed by arbitrary rules. The meaning of the words you choose, the ideas of have formulated are under public use and governance, so you cannot expect to be interpreted however you wish and so you cannot mean whatever you wish.

Solipsist: The meanings of my words, my ideas and ideologies are solely dependent on me. I act accordingly.

Qualia
: But the formation, structure, communication of those beliefs call upon extrenal factors like systems, codes, institutions, and the such. Using language to express your ideas presupposes a publicly accessible language. Your ideas, worldview, ideology only make sense because you express yourself in a language that is not your own, not governed by your own meaning. You assume, as soon as you utter a word to another, that there must be speaker-independent practices already in existence to establish what you mean. But you only make sense because you are already implied within the social context. To be a real solipsist you'd have to stop using language, you'd have to literally step out of the world, to a large extent you'd have to stop thinking.

MMP2506: Okay,
but it still seems as if you find it hard to rationally distinguish between different sets of ideology.

Qualia: Yes, that's right. My deep heart convictions lean to the extreme left, something of a European libertarian you might say, in the same fashion Chomsky, Bakunin have used the term. But, other then a continual dialogue of bickering, I cannot logically determine why my ideology is above that of fascism, conservatism, liberalism, or capitalism, or the banality of this consummerist world. I think Hamlet said something like, nothing is good or bad, but only what thinking makes it so. And I think Hume said something similar.

Good and bad are not out there in the world, but qualities of my ideology. In this sick mind of mine, the death of so many in wars and genocide, for example, is, strictly speaking, just a description of 'fact', an event, which could be programmed into a computer in much the same fashion as a leaf tumbling in the gutter.

But, once the reading of this fact is overtaken by my brain, this description will cause somekind of reaction. I might feel pain or anger, I might use the fact description to belittle the event, I might brush it off as irrelevant, or I might use it to up hold the corrrectness of such an act - as say a Nazi might do.

What I will try to do is justify these reactions of my heart by logic, rhetoric, and all the other methods of persuassion I have at my disposal, but apart from my own ideological callings, I can't see how I can rationally distinguish this point of view from any other.

All I end up with is involving myself in the banality of the ideological debate, you said, I said. Does this make any sense?

MMP2506 Writes:

Yes, that all makes quite a bit of sense, and it outlines the modern interpretation of rational perfectly. What you see as rational, and I see, seem to function very differently .

To me, rationality is directly tied to its route which is ratio, in other words its relatedness. Connectivity and coherence is of utmost importance to what is rational. Just because relation is importance, don't assume that rationality is relative, because as a connective principle, is directly supersedes relativism, and reaches true objectivity.

What is most rational, is what connects the most concepts together within a certain frame of ideology. Some people's ideology is more connected and more easily expressible than others. I would call these ideologies more rational. If there are some ideologies more rational than others, I must assume that there exists an ideology, or at least a set of ideologies, that are the most rational compared to the others. What makes me think there is One most rational paradigm, is simply that it is the most rational. Remember Occam's Razor.

It has nothing to do with Good or bad; although, we often claim what is most rational is Good, even though it doesn't seem good to all involved. It usually just seems Good to those who understand the rationale behind it. If there is no rationale behind it, those who claim it to be good must in fact be irrational.

What makes a philosopher's ideology more rational than that of someone who doesn't even know what his is, is precisely its coherence. Philosophy allows you to sort out what you believe, and come to rational conclusions based on what you know, or just think you know. We can sort out our own beliefs, and determine which of those make the most sense. This allows us to compare our beliefs with others, and determine the ability to connect our beliefs with theirs to achieve a higher level of rationality. Even though I may not have reached it, my reasoning suggests that there is a most rational ideology, so I feel most inclined to continue to seek it. The scary part is, once you figure out that it must exist, you can actually feel yourself getting closer to what is ultimately unreachable. And that is a paradox I cannot explain.

Dasein Writes:

Qualia; I quote your post

"Solipsist: There are no thoughts, ideas, experiences or emotions, worldviews, and ideologies other than my own."

"Qualia: Then in telling us about that, communicating your ideas, language is essentially your own private construct?"

"Solipsist: Yes, the language is my own. I am the source of the meaning I produce. I mean whatever I choose to mean."

"Qualia: But your ideas, frames, references, understanding, language is not governed by arbitrary rules. The meaning of the words you choose, the ideas of have formulated are under public use and governance, so you cannot expect to be interpreted however you wish and so you cannot mean whatever you wish."

"Solipsist: The meanings of my words, my ideas and ideologies are solely dependent on me. I act accordingly."

"Qualia: But the formation, structure, communication of those beliefs call upon extrenal factors like systems, codes, institutions, and the such. Using language to express your ideas presupposes a publicly accessible language. Your ideas, worldview, ideology only make sense because you express yourself in a language that is not your own, not governed by your own meaning. You assume, as soon as you utter a word to another, that there must be speaker-independent practices already in existence to establish what you mean. But you only make sense because you are already implied within the social context. To be a real solipsist you'd have to stop using language, you'd have to literally step out of the world, to a large extent you'd have to stop thinking."

Solipsist: No box.
Qualia: Box.
Solipsist says: "I can 'be' who I am without 'be-ing' the box."
Qualia says: "No, you can't. See, I have proof."

Try reading your post this way.

Solipsist: There are no thoughts, ideas, experiences or emotions, worldviews, and ideologies they are only 're-presentations' of minute facets of 'be-ing'.

Qualia: Then in telling us about that, communicating your ideas, language is essentially your own private construct?

Solipsist: Yes, the language is my own. Language is generated by 'be-ing'. 'Be-ing' is not created by language. I am the source of the meaning I produce.

Qualia: But your ideas, frames, references, understanding, language is not governed by arbitrary rules. The meaning of the words you choose, the ideas of have formulated are under public use and governance, so you cannot expect to be interpreted however you wish and so you cannot mean whatever you wish.

Solipsist: The meanings of my words, my ideas and ideologies are solely dependent on me. My 'meanings' come from my 'be-ing'. As an example, when I want to build something I don't go to the tool box and grab a bunch of hammers, nails, and saws and start hammering, nailing, and sawing. Before I get to "I want to build something" I have already determined what need is to be filled and I have an idea of what will fill it, I don't build just to build. Once I have determined what will fill the need, I sit down to design it. When I determine that what I have designed will fill my need I acquire the needed supplies and set out to construct the item. 'Meaning' doesn't get produced by hammers, nails, and saws. 'Meaning' is determined by 'be-ing'.

Qualia: But the formation, structure, communication of those beliefs call upon external factors like systems, codes, institutions, and the such. Using language to express your ideas presupposes a publicly accessible language. Your ideas, worldview, ideology only make sense because you express yourself in a language that is not your own, not governed by your own meaning. You assume, as soon as you utter a word to another, that there must be speaker-independent practices already in existence to establish what you mean. But you only make sense because you are already implied within the social context. To be a real solipsist you'd have to stop using language, you'd have to literally step out of the world, to a large extent you'd have to stop thinking.

Solipsist: Formation, structure, and communication of beliefs don't determine 'be-ing'. You determine who you are going to 'be'. 'You' invent ideas, worldview, and ideology. There is no thing 'out there' called 'ideas', 'worldview', 'ideology', or 'philosophy' that determine who you are. 'You' determine who you are. That's your plot of ground to work. The only choice you have is whether you are going to un-cover 'you' or if you are going to create an illusion we call the 'box' that will provide you with a 'safe' place to live(?).

Quailia: I think I see. To be a real solipsist you'd have to stop letting language use you and you'd have to literally step out of the world, to a large extent you'd have to start thinking.

Solipsist: Exactly

Dasein (be-ing there)


---------- Post added 05-14-2010 at 08:55 PM ----------


[QUOTE=MMP2506]Yes, that all makes quite a bit of sense, and it outlines the modern interpretation of rational perfectly. What you see as rational, and I see, seem to function very differently.[/QUOTE]
This is what I really love about conversing with you, MMP2506 and others like Dasein, jeeprs, prothero and Reconstructo. It is individuals like yourselves which make this place a very special place. That willingness to actively to seek a sympathetic understanding; tolerating ambiguity in order to aim at something deeper rather than just seeking easy contradiction or difficulties. It demonstrates a level of philosophical maturity I can only hope to obtain.

MMP2506: What follows is a rather long meandering which probably bears little on what you're driving at, but please accept this in good faith. I'm trying to understand what was said, conversing with you as well as with myself
[QUOTE=MMP2506]To me, rationality is directly tied to its route which is ratio, in other words its relatedness. Connectivity and coherence is of utmost importance to what is rational. Just because relation is importance, don't assume that rationality is relative, because as a connective principle, is directly supersedes relativism, and reaches true objectivity.[/QUOTE]
I'm probably way out of step on this one, but when mentioning a 'connective principle' and 'coherence' in terms of rationality, can this be understood, for example, that in reasoning if one should be for or against liberalism, for the sake of argument, one would subject themselves to a rigorous heuristic of seeking the reasons why to defend or reject the political idea, and with each sound reason which stricks against liberalism would undercutter its persuasion, and with each sound reason for liberalism would reinforce its potency. At the end of the process, we would have a kind of ratio, a score, something like 5:3, for and against, and at that moment, I can rationally accept the principle that my belief in liberalism is well-founded?

[QUOTE=MMP2506]What is most rational, is what connects the most concepts together within a certain frame of ideology. Some people's ideology is more connected and more easily expressible than others. I would call these ideologies more rational. If there are some ideologies more rational than others, I must assume that there exists an ideology, or at least a set of ideologies, that are the most rational compared to the others. What makes me think there is One most rational paradigm, is simply that it is the most rational. Remember Occam's Razor.[/QUOTE]
If I am following this in any coherent manner - which I assume I am not - would you say that my belief in the correctness of not only liberalism per se, but now an entire field of beliefs subordinated to the principle of liberalism, let's say for the sake of argument, free market capitalism, human rights, representative government, and so on, is more rational the more my sound arguments for each of these individual cases interconnect and reinforce each other? Something like the construction of a solid building in which each brick snuggles in to the next, but this time, each of my beliefs snug in with each other. So, for example, my belief in the liberty and human rights might contain no inherent contradiction, but my belief in the equality and/or liberty of all people who are incidentally subordinated to free market principles may contain the potential of contradiction. Nevertheless, the more I can iron out these conflicts the more rational my belief.

The problem with Occam Razor's in this case would be that it assumes that the competing hypotheses in differing ideologies are equal in other respects, but what would these other respects be? What exactly are equal between, say, fascism and anarchism to then carry out our practice of parsimony? Moreover, as is often the case with ideologies, what would we do if we found that fascism was a far simpler ideology to comprehenmd and had a much higher level of innterconnectedness in its beliefs and concepts, was fundamentally more rational than anarchism? Should we still prefer the simpler one over the more complex?

[QUOTE=MMP2506]What makes a philosopher's ideology more rational than that of someone who doesn't even know what his is, is precisely its coherence. Philosophy allows you to sort out what you believe, and come to rational conclusions based on what you know, or just think you know. We can sort out our own beliefs, and determine which of those make the most sense. This allows us to compare our beliefs with others, and determine the ability to connect our beliefs with theirs to achieve a higher level of rationality. Even though I may not have reached it, my reasoning suggests that there is a most rational ideology, so I feel most inclined to continue to seek it. The scary part is, once you figure out that it must exist, you can actually feel yourself getting closer to what is ultimately unreachable. And that is a paradox I cannot explain.[/QUOTE]
I agree that a greater coherency and unity in our beliefs may defend them from rational criticism. However, the problem I have is when we jump from this to a broader term like a more rational ideology or a more rational belief.

Imagine my belief system is all connected up; I can swat any criticism coming my way. Also I just want to be happy, and I believe that to obtain my happiness I can murder people because I will never be caught by the police, then I guess I'm acting irrationally. Somewhere along the line I have a false belief.

Now, imagine my belief system is all connected up; I can swat any criticism coming my way. Also I just want to be happy and I believe that to obtain my happiness I can murder people, but I also believe I will suffer the consequences of my act if and only if caught. Then I am not acting irrationally.

If my desire is to want a fascist state because I believe this will make me happy, and thus for me is the most rational ideology. I may add that my desire contains coherency in that it connects up rationally to all my other desires and speculations and critical assessements and in no manner is grounded upon any false belief, then accordingly, my ideology is not rationally criticisable, and better still is more rational than say wanting to found a state on universal peace and love but which at the time being has not been coherently formulated. If we realised that the former also had few assumptions, and the such, then by the principle of the proverbial Razor, I've got it nailed.

There's something wrong. The fascist theory may be simpler than other ideologies but this doesn't demonstrate why it should be preferred. Again, beliefs and desires are not necessarily founded upon rationality. Sure we may be able to rationally support our desires and beliefs, but this has always been the wretched trick of moral philosophy. "desire[s] of the heart that [have] been filtered and made abstract" (Nietzsche). Impersonal logical reasoning to demonstrate that the prejudices were after all correct. Is it irrational to hate Jews more than Nazis? No. It's an emotional prejudice, or preference. Can any desire be fundamentally irrational? I can't see how, they might not be prudent, but irrational?

In the ultimate analysis belief in any given ideology requires a necessary leap of faith, regulated by some ultimate belief or assumption that comes before anything else and which is beyond critical assessment.

- - - - - - -
Reply to Dasein this weekend, but it's late now and I must sleep :whistling:
 
prothero
 
Reply Fri 14 May, 2010 11:52 pm
@qualia,
I am not sure of the difference between ideology and philosophy so I mostly address speculative philosophies and comprehensive metaphysical systems. This may not be what you are after but no one else responded so I thought I would.

People drawn to philosophy (perhaps more than others) feel the need to have some unified system of thought through which to interpret their experience and knowledge of the world. All such systematic philosophies (or speculative philosophies) are based on one or more assumptive premises which cannot be directly proven or demonstrated.

In the end serious philosophies (as opposed to mere argumentation or mind or word play) are grounded in, tested against and found applicable and adequate to the world of experience.

In constructing a comprehensive system of speculative philosophy, philosophers often create new terms, new language, to try to demonstrate and communicate their ideas. Since there is some commonality to human concerns and to human experiences, there is often comparison to be made between one comprehensive system of thought and another. In general there are fundamental tensions which arise from thought and experience with which all systematic philosophers attempt to deal. Some of these tensions would include (but not be limited to) becoming vs. being; the eternal vs. the temporal; mind vs matter; the discrete and the continous.

I do not think I can improve upon the observations of Whitehead regarding speculative philosophic and metaphysical systems.

Speculative philosophy is the attempt to develop "a coherent logical necessary system of general ideas in terms of which every element of our experience can be interpreted"

By experience he meant "everything of which we are conscious as enjoyed, perceived, willed or thought shall have the character of a particular instance of the general scheme"

"Play of the free imagination, controlled by the requirement of coherence and logic"

"Speculative boldness must be balanced by complete humility before logic and before fact"

"The welding of imagination and common sense"

The role of rationality is to be coherent and logical.
The role of the empirical is to be applicable and adequate to experience.

"a survey of possibilities and their comparison with actualities"

"The relation between the world as described by physics (science), on the one hand, and the realities of life, on the other and the relation of both to our moral, aesthetic and religious sensibilities"

"The defect of a metaphysical system is the very fact that it is a neat little system of thought, which thereby over-simplifies its expression of the world"(Whitehead 1996, 50)

"In philosophical discussion, the merest hint of dogmatic certainty as to finality of statement is an exhibition of folly" (Whitehead 1978, xiv)
"A clash of doctrines is not a disaster-it is an opportunity" (Whitehead 1925, 266).

"There is a self-satisfied dogmatism with which mankind at each period of its history cherishes the delusion of the finality of existing modes of knowledge." ANW
 
qualia
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 05:09 am
@prothero,
Thanks a lot, prothero. I made this thread just so as not to mess up the Heideggerean one, I didn't imagine it would receive too many responses. The points you have raised pretty much echo my own. For sure, it does seem tricky to disentangle the notion of ideology from say that of a comprehensive metaphysical system etc. I like this one you introduced: In philosophical discussion, the merest hint of dogmatic certainty as to finality of statement is an exhibition of folly :a-ok:
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 12:13 pm
@qualia,
qualia;164538 wrote:
Thanks a lot, prothero. I made this thread just so as not to mess up the Heideggerean one, I didn't imagine it would receive too many responses. The points you have raised pretty much echo my own. For sure, it does seem tricky to disentangle the notion of ideology from say that of a comprehensive metaphysical system etc. I like this one you introduced: In philosophical discussion, the merest hint of dogmatic certainty as to finality of statement is an exhibition of folly :a-ok:
I suppose there is a hierarchy of thought systems in which an ideology is not as comprehensive or extensive as a metaphysical system. Still most people have certain assumptions about the basic nature of reality (a worldview) on which their ideologies are based.

Of course without effort those thought systems do not have to be coherent, consistent, or logical nor do they have to correspond to, be applicable or adequate to experience. Philosophers generally attempt to put in the time and effort to construct thought systems which are both rational (coherent and logical) and empirical (correspond and are applicable and adequate to experience).
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 01:17 pm
@qualia,
qualia;164538 wrote:
In philosophical discussion, the merest hint of dogmatic certainty as to finality of statement is an exhibition of folly :a-ok:


At least as an experiment, should we not also apply this concept to itself?
Smile
 
prothero
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 01:22 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;164671 wrote:
At least as an experiment, should we not also apply this concept to itself?
Smile
The liars paradox. There is at least one assumptive premise in all systems? logical, mathematical or philosophical?
incompleteness theorems, etc? Humility not paralysis?
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sat 15 May, 2010 06:11 pm
@prothero,
prothero;164673 wrote:
The liars paradox. There is at least one assumptive premise in all systems? logical, mathematical or philosophical?
incompleteness theorems, etc? Humility not paralysis?


I agree. Always an axiom, if not a hundred axioms. I was reading Witt's "Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics" & it's pretty great along these lines.

This is where the bright side of Nietzsche comes in too, perhaps. A focus on the value for life of "truths" --(truth as an army of metaphors)(sounds like Hege's "Begriff" or system of concepts).

I like "humility, not paralysis." In a measured quite particular sense, beauty is truth. What about proof makes it proof? Are contradictions ugly in some way? Why do we seem to automatically seek "truth"? Is this truth just the beauty of coherence, including a coherence with those aspects of experience (emotion and value) that are not easily formulated as propositions?
 
qualia
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 05:17 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo wrote:
Nietzsche comes in too, perhaps. A focus on the value for life of "truths" --(truth as an army of metaphors)...Why do we seem to automatically seek "truth"?

In seeking truth, do we not conduct the essential practice of falsity? We falsify and ridicule that-other in order to make way for our truth, and in doing so, do we not raise the forever contigency of both truth and falsity? Just a thought.
 
Reconstructo
 
Reply Sun 16 May, 2010 10:32 pm
@qualia,
qualia;165054 wrote:
In seeking truth, do we not conduct the essential practice of falsity? We falsify and ridicule that-other in order to make way for our truth, and in doing so, do we not raise the forever contigency of both truth and falsity? Just a thought.


I think this touches upon the theme of negation. Are you suggesting that new truths are born on the corpses of old truths? I generally agree with this.
 
 

 
  1. Philosophy Forum
  2. » MetaPhilosophy
  3. » Thoughts on Ideology
Copyright © 2019 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.02 seconds on 05/20/2019 at 11:40:35