I thought this article in Philosophy Now was interesting because it challenges the notion of individualism as it has been perceived, particularly by neoliberalism, for the past 30 years.

Wanderer
Wanderer Above the Sea of Fog by Caspar David Friedrich 1818

It is particularly interesting in its view that ‘objective truth’ somehow mirrors the zeitgeist of the age because it could be argued that objective truth transcends particular circumstances. But if you see objective truth as a method, rather than an end, then it makes more sense. Thomas Nagel’s View from Nowhere refers to the ‘personal’ and ‘impersonal’ viewpoints in which the latter transcends the purely subjective in that you are seeing the world from no particular position, even if it does not produce absolute and unchanging truths.

I have read about research which purports to show that professors teaching economics within the neoliberal tradition tend to be less generous and their students become less generous as they progress through their course (or is it because they choose to teach and take these courses because they are less generous to start with?).

But the article is also interesting for its reference to the position of some neuroscientists who argue that the Self is a creation of the brain, a narrative if you will, to provide us with stability and security. That ties in with the view held in Homo Deus by Yuval Harari (see this blog for a review) that far from being individuated agents that embody something called the Self, we are dividuals – fragmented entities that build the myth of individualism.

Anyway, I thought this was an interesting basis of a discussion some time.

 

Dickie.

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