Weekly Discussion: What role does psychology play in a person determining his philosophy?

Posted by jmlesniewski 7 years, 10 months ago to Philosophy
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I used the pronoun "his" because English doesn't have any gender neutral pronouns.

Ayn Rand notably said don't psychologize--judge a person on his actions and words and actions not your amateur psychological analysis of them. However, psychology clearly plays a role in our choice of actions and words. For instance, a damaged psychology can make it more difficult for a person to take a healthy action in certain realms of human existence (say romantic relationships).

Likewise then, does psychology play a role in the ideas an individual believes? This question can then be grounded in specific philosophies. Are their certain psychological makeups that accept Objectivism (or relativism) more easily? Can a certain psychological makeup affect a person's reasoning making it so he inadvertently ignores important parts of Objectivism (or relativism)?


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  • Posted by khalling 7 years, 10 months ago
    Someone who is comfortable with logic and reason and self reliance will come to Objectivism easier than one comfortable with a faith based belief systems. Even Rand struggled with motives-particularly with her lovers. We are all bags of works. It is how we decide to weight each component of our make up to a purpose that counts. If you want to weight emotions over reason in making decisions-go for it. I will run your ass over :)
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  • Posted by LetsShrug 7 years, 10 months ago
    I don't really know, but the way I see it is either you have irrational guilt or you don't. May be related to religious upbringing or wanting to be "compassionate" because it makes you feel special or better than others. I've been observing some of my friends and so far this is what it's boiling down to. (Those who aren't Objectivist/Individualists). (Again, this is my non academic response.)
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    • Posted by $ 7 years, 10 months ago
      I don't think this is a rigorous of enough analysis though. A person's psychology is much more complex than simply saying the issue is a religious upbringing or a desire to be compassionate. I also don't think guilt is the core concept. I find it more often to be self concept.
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      • Posted by LetsShrug 7 years, 10 months ago
        As I suspected, when I mentioned my "non academic response" I meant that I knew that I wasn't making the most intelligent argument...and that's why it lacks rigor. :) :) :)
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  • Posted by itisntluck 7 years, 10 months ago
    Since Ms. Rand said, "..... don't psychologize--judge a person on his actions and words and actions not your amateur psychological analysis of them". That's good enough for me. I don't need to rationalize why other people choose to feed those who would destroy them. I already know the answer.
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