What is Knowledge, Science and Reasoning?

I have noted that there are many people who are operating as knowledge workers but who have very little understanding of knowledge itself. Many people have been driven by necessity to analyse, disseminate and debate knowledge but unless they know what knowledge is, what facts are, what evidence is and so on they often end up caught in frustrating and confusing discussions that do little to improve our collective knowledge.

To help those who are willing to help themselves, here are some links related to the subject. There are approximately 50 pages of links with quotes from the linked pages and a few comments of my own interspersed throughout. This just provides an overview of some of the major terms and issues involved and the links may serve as a jumping off point for further research. If a term is interesting to you then please do further searches on the term to find out more about it.

The main categories of links are:
Epistemology (Theory of Knowledge)
    Argument (What is an argument and its main features)
    Science in Society (What is science and how does it relate to its social context)
        Technology in Society (Science and technology are closely related)
        Sociological Factors in Science (Science is a social activity conducted by humans)
        Bias (We all have many biases – we need to understand them to not be their victim)
        Ego (The ego is the 'doer' and the 'seeker' in the process of inquiry)
            Ego Defense Mechanism (The ego protects itself from knowledge that threatens the ego)
        Empiricism and Naïve Realism (Empirical science has anti-sceptical naïve realist roots)


Epistemology - EvoWiki
Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. For most of philosophical history, "knowledge" was taken to mean belief that was justified as true to an absolute certainty. Any less justified beliefs were called mere "probable opinion." This viewpoint still prevailed at least as late as Bertrand Russel's early 20th century book The Problems of Philosophy. In the decades that followed, however, philosophers came to think of knowledge as meaning "justified true belief," and the notion that the belief had to be justified to a certainty was forgotten. In the 1960s, Edmund Gettier criticised this definition of knowledge by pointing out situations in which a believer has a true belief justified to a reasonable degree, but not to a certainty, and yet in the situations in question, everyone would agree that the believer does not have knowledge. The problems show that there are situations in which a belief may be justified and true, and yet most would not consider it to be knowledge. Although being a justified, true belief is necessary for a definition of knowledge, it is not sufficient. At the least, the set of our justified true beliefs contains things that we would not say that we know. Some epistemologists have attempted to find strengthened criteria for knowledge that will not be subject to the sorts of counterexamples Gettier and his many successors have produced. No one has yet succeeded in doing that. Kirkham (see the References section below) has argued that this is because the only definition that could ever be immune to all such counterexamples is the original one that prevailed from ancient times through Russell: to qualify as an item of knowledge, a belief must not only be true and justified, the evidence for the belief must necessitate its truth. But this conclusion is resisted since it would probably entail a sweeping skepticism. Much of epistemology has been concerned with seeking ways to justify knowledge statements. It is common for epistemological theories to avoid skepticism by adopting a foundationalist approach. To do this, they argue that certain types of statements have a special epistemological status — that of not needing to be justified. Empiricists claim knowledge is a product of human experience. Statements of observations take pride of place in empiricist theory. Naive empiricism holds simply that our ideas and theories need to be tested against reality, and accepted or rejected on the basis of how well they correspond to the facts. The central problem for epistemology then becomes explaining this correspondence. Empiricism is associated with science. While there can be little doubt about the effectiveness of science, there is much philosophical debate about how and why science works. The Scientific Method was once favoured as the reason for scientific success, but recently difficulties in the philosophy of science have led to a rise in Coherentism.
Empiricism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In philosophy, empiricism means, roughly, "try it and see". It is a theory of knowledge that is practical rather than abstract, and asserts that knowledge arises from experience rather than revelation. Empiricism is one view held about how we know things, and so is part of the branch of philosophy called epistemology, which means "theory of knowledge". Empiricism emphasizes the role of experience and evidence, especially sensory perception, in the formation of ideas, while discounting the notion of innate ideas. [But its assumptions about the validity of sense experience are unquestioned innate ideas that cannot be verified empirically.] In the philosophy of science, empiricism emphasizes those aspects of scientific knowledge that are closely related to evidence, especially as discovered in experiments. It is a fundamental part of the scientific method that all hypotheses and theories must be tested against observations of the natural world, rather than resting solely on a priori reasoning, intuition, or revelation. Hence, science is considered to be methodologically empirical in nature.
Rationalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In epistemology and in its broadest sense, rationalism is "any view appealing to reason as a source of knowledge or justification". In more technical terms it is a method or a theory "in which the criterion of the truth is not sensory but intellectual and deductive". Different degrees of emphasis on this method or theory lead to a range of rationalist standpoints, from the moderate position "that reason has precedence over other ways of acquiring knowledge" to the radical position that reason is "the unique path to knowledge"
Foundationalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Foundationalism is any theory in epistemology (typically, theories of justification, but also of knowledge) that holds that beliefs are justified (known, etc.) based on what are called basic beliefs (also commonly called foundational beliefs). Basic beliefs are beliefs that give justificatory support to other beliefs, and more derivative beliefs are based on those more basic beliefs. The basic beliefs are said to be self-justifying or self-evident, that is, they enjoy a non-inferential warrant (or justification), i.e., they are not justified by other beliefs... A belief is epistemically justified if and only if (1) it is justified by a basic belief or beliefs, or (2) it is justified by a chain of beliefs that is supported by a basic belief or beliefs, and on which all the others are ultimately based.
Anti-foundationalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Anti-foundationalism is a term applied to any philosophy which rejects a foundationalist approach, i.e. an anti-foundationalist is one who does not believe that there is some fundamental belief or principle which is the basic ground or foundation of inquiry and knowledge.
Coherentism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
As a theory of truth coherentism restricts true sentences to those that cohere with some specified set of sentences. Someone's belief is true if and only if it is coherent with all or most of his or her other beliefs. Usually, coherence is taken to imply something stronger than mere consistency. Statements that are comprehensive and meet the requirements of Occam's razor are usually to be preferred.
Foundherentism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In epistemology, foundherentism is a theory of justification that combines elements from the two rival theories addressing infinite regress, foundationalism prone to arbitrariness and coherentism prone to circularity
Occam's razor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The principle states that the explanation of any phenomenon should make as few assumptions as possible, eliminating those that make no difference in the observable predictions of the explanatory hypothesis or theory.
Materialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The philosophy of materialism holds that the only thing that can be truly proven to exist is matter, and is considered a form of physicalism. Fundamentally, all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions; therefore, matter is the only substance. As a theory, materialism belongs to the class of monist ontology. "materialists tend to indiscriminately apply a 'pebbles in a box' schema to explanations of reality even though such a schema is known to be incorrect in general for physical phenomena. Thus, materialism cannot explain matter, let alone anomalous phenomena or subjective experience, but remains entrenched in academia largely for political reasons."
Physicalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Physicalism is a philosophical position holding that everything which exists is no more extensive than its physical properties; that is, that there are no kinds of things other than physical things. The term was coined by Otto Neurath in a series of early 20th century essays on the subject, in which he wrote: "According to physicalism, the language of physics is the universal language of science and, consequently, any knowledge can be brought back to the statements on the physical objects." The ontology of physicalism ultimately includes whatever is described by physics — not just matter but energy, space, time, physical forces, structure, physical processes, information, state, etc. [In order to hold to the belief in a "physical universe" it has been declared that anything understood within the current scientific paradigm is 'physical' and anything not understood is 'unreal'.] Because it claims that only physical things exist, physicalism is generally a form of monism. In contrast, subjective idealism, as exemplified by the metaphysics proposed by George Berkeley, holds that there is no physical reality at all and that everything that exists is mental or spiritual (ie it is also monistic, but in disagreement over the fundamental nature of that monistic reality).
Nominalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Nominalism holds that verbal abstractions employed by humans are only manners of speaking, having no existence beyond human thought and discourse. Nominalism is "the doctrine holding that abstract concepts, general terms, or universals have no independent existence but exist only as names." Nominalism has also been defined as a philosophical position that various objects labeled by the same term have nothing in common but their name. Nominalism is the view that only actual physical particulars are real, and that universals exist only post res, that is, subsequent to particular things.
Paradigm shift - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A scientific revolution occurs, according to Kuhn, when scientists encounter anomalies which cannot be explained by the universally accepted paradigm within which scientific progress has thereto been made. The paradigm, in Kuhn's view, is not simply the current theory, but the entire worldview in which it exists, and all of the implications which come with it. There are anomalies for all paradigms, Kuhn maintained, that are brushed away as acceptable levels of error, or simply ignored and not dealt with (a principal argument Kuhn uses to reject Karl Popper's model of falsifiability as the key force involved in scientific change). Rather, according to Kuhn, anomalies have various levels of significance to the practitioners of science at the time. To put it in the context of early 20th century physics, some scientists found the problems with calculating Mercury's perihelion more troubling than the Michelson-Morley experiment results, and some the other way around. Kuhn's model of scientific change differs here, and in many places, from that of the logical positivists in that it puts an enhanced emphasis on the individual humans involved as scientists, rather than abstracting science into a purely logical or philosophical venture.
Philosophical realism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Contemporary philosophical realism, also referred to as metaphysical realism, is the belief in a reality that is completely ontologically independent of our conceptual schemes, linguistic practices, beliefs, etc. Philosophers who profess realism also typically believe that truth consists in a belief's correspondence to reality. We may speak of realism with respect to other minds, the past, the future, universals, mathematical entities (such as natural numbers), moral categories, the material world, or even thought. Realists tend to believe that whatever we believe now is only an approximation of reality and that every new observation brings us closer to understanding reality.
Realism (Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy)
The nature and plausibility of realism is one of the most hotly debated issues in contemporary metaphysics, perhaps even the most hotly debated issue in contemporary philosophy... it is misleading to think that there is a straightforward and clear-cut choice between being a realist and a non-realist... It is rather the case that one can be more-or-less realist about a particular subject matter. Also, there are many different forms that realism and non-realism can take.
Constructivist epistemology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Constructivist epistemology is a epistemological perspective in philosophy about the nature of scientific knowledge held by many philosophers of science. Constructivists maintain that scientific knowledge is constructed by scientists and not discovered from the world through strict scientific methods. In opposition of positivism that states that scientific knowledge comes from positive affirmation of theories through strict scientific methods: quantitative research. Constructivism believes that there is no single valid methodology and there are other methodologies for social science: qualitative research.
Knowledge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Knowledge is defined (Oxford English Dictionary) variously as (i) expertise, and skills acquired by a person through experience or education; the theoretical or practical understanding of a subject, (ii) what is known in a particular field or in total; facts and information or (iii) awareness or familiarity gained by experience of a fact or situation. Philosophical debates in general start with Plato's formulation of knowledge as "justified true belief". There is however no single agreed definition of knowledge presently, nor any prospect of one, and there remain numerous competing theories. Knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, learning, communication, association and reasoning. The term knowledge is also used to mean the confident understanding of a subject with the ability to use it for a specific purpose if appropriate.
Constructivism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
disambiguation page listing various forms of constructivism.
Relativism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Relativism is the idea that some element or aspect of experience or culture is relative to, i.e., dependent on, some other element or aspect. Some relativists claim that humans can understand and evaluate beliefs and behaviors only in terms of their historical or cultural context. The term often refers to truth relativism, which is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture.
Positivism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Positivism is a philosophy that states that the only authentic knowledge is knowledge that is based on actual sense experience. Such knowledge can only come from affirmation of theories through strict scientific method. Metaphysical speculation is avoided.
Phenomenology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Phenomenology has at least three main meanings in philosophical history: * For G.W.F. Hegel, phenomenology is an approach to philosophy that begins with an exploration of phenomena (what presents itself to us in conscious experience) as a means to finally grasp the absolute, logical, ontological and metaphysical Spirit that is behind phenomena. This has been called a "dialectical phenomenology". * For Edmund Husserl, phenomenology is "the reflective study of the essence of consciousness as experienced from the first-person point of view." Phenomenology takes the intuitive experience of phenomena (what presents itself to us in phenomenological reflexion) as its starting point and tries to extract from it the essential features of experiences and the essence of what we experience. When generalized to the essential features of any possible experience, this has been called "transcendental phenomenology". * Martin Heidegger believed that Husserl's approach overlooked basic structural features of both the subject and object of experience (what he called their "being"), and expanded phenomenological enquiry to encompass our understanding and experience of Being itself, thus making phenomenology the method (in the first phase of his career at least) of the study of being: ontology.
Ontology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In philosophy, ontology (from the Greek ὄν, genitive ὄντος: of being (part. of εἶναι: to be) and -λογία: science, study, theory) is the most fundamental branch of metaphysics. It studies being or existence and their basic categories and relationships, to determine what entities and what types of entities exist. Ontology thus has strong implications for conceptions of reality.
Philosophy of mind - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Dualism and monism are the two major schools of thought that attempt to resolve the mind-body problem. Dualism can be traced back to Plato, Aristotle and the Sankhya and Yoga schools of Hindu philosophy, but it was most precisely formulated by René Descartes in the 17th century. Substance dualists argue that the mind is an independently existing substance, whereas Property dualists maintain that the mind is a group of independent properties that emerge from and cannot be reduced to the brain, but that it is not a distinct substance. Monism is the position that mind and body are not ontologically distinct kinds of entities. This view was first advocated in Western Philosophy by Parmenides in the 5th century BC and was later espoused by the 17th century rationalist Baruch Spinoza. Physicalists argue that only the entities postulated by physical theory exist, and that the mind will eventually be explained in terms of these entities as physical theory continues to evolve. Idealists maintain that the mind is all that exists and that the external world is either mental itself, or an illusion created by the mind. Neutral monists adhere to the position that there is some other, neutral substance, and that both matter and mind are properties of this unknown substance. The most common monisms in the 20th and 21st centuries have all been variations of physicalism; these positions include behaviorism, the type identity theory, anomalous monism and functionalism.
Cascading failure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A cascading failure is failure in a system of interconnected parts, where the service provided depends on the operation of a preceding part, and the failure of a preceding part can trigger the failure of successive parts. [This also applies to systems of logical reasoning, especially if the fundamental axioms contain erroneous assumptions but also if propositions are not properly verified and contradictory findings are not properly dealt with.]
History of ideas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The history of ideas is a field of research in history that deals with the expression, preservation, and change of human ideas over time. The history of ideas is a sister-discipline to, or a particular approach within, intellectual history. Work in the history of ideas may involve interdisciplinary research in the history of philosophy, the history of science, or the history of literature.
Intellectual history - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Intellectual history refers to the history of the people who create, discuss, write about and in other ways propagate ideas. Although the field emerged from European discourses of Kulturgeschichte and Geistesgeschichte, the historical study of ideas has engaged not only western intellectual traditions, including, but not limited to, those in the far east, near east, mid-east and Africa. Intellectual history is closely related to the history of philosophy and the history of ideas. Its central perspective suggests that ideas do not change in isolation from the people who create and use them and that one must study the culture, lives and environments of people to understand their notions and ideas. This is also fraught with the sentiment of hostility towards, or mistrust of, intellectuals and intellectual pursuits known as anti-intellectualism. This may be expressed in various ways, such as attacks on the merits of science, education, or literature.
Naïve realism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Naïve realism is a common sense theory of perception. Most people, until they start reflecting philosophically, are naïve realists. This theory is also known as "direct realism" or "common sense realism". Naïve realism claims that the world is pretty much as common sense would have it. All objects are composed of matter, they occupy space, and have properties such as size, shape, texture, smell, taste and colour. These properties are usually perceived correctly. So, when we look at and touch things we see and feel those things directly, and so perceive them as they really are. Objects continue to obey the laws of physics and retain all their properties whether or not there is anyone present to observe them doing so. [W]e have to give up the idea of [naive] realism to a far greater extent than most physicists believe today." (Anton Zeilinger)... By realism, he means the idea that objects have specific features and properties — that a ball is red, that a book contains the works of Shakespeare, or that an electron has a particular spin... for objects governed by the laws of quantum mechanics, like photons and electrons, it may make no sense to think of them as having well defined characteristics. Instead, what we see may depend on how we look." Quantum mechanics is increasingly applied to larger and larger objects. Even a one-ton bar proposd to detect gravity waves must be analysed quantum mechanically. In cosmology, a wavefunction for the whole universe is written to study the Big Bang. It gets harder today to nonchalantly accept the realm in which the quantum rules apply as somehow not being physically real... "Quantum mechanics forces us to abandon naive realism". And leave it at that.
Consensus reality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Consensus reality (rarely or mistakenly called "consensual reality") is an approach to answering the question 'What is real?', a profound philosophical question, with answers dating back to prehistory; it is almost invariably used to refer to human consensus reality, though there have been mentions of feline and canine consensus reality. It gives a practical answer - reality is either what exists, or what we can agree by consensus seems to exist; the process has been (perhaps loosely and a bit imprecisely) characterised as "[w]hen enough people think something is true, it... takes on a life of its own." The term is usually used disparagingly as by implication it may mean little more than "what a group or culture chooses to believe," and may bear little or no relationship to any "true reality", and, indeed, challenges the notion of "true reality". For example, Steven Yates has characterised the idea that the United States Federal Reserve Notes (not "backed" by anything) are "really worth a dollar" as "part of what we might call our consensus-reality... not... real reality." The difficulty with the question stems from the concern that human beings do not in fact fully understand or agree upon the nature of knowledge or knowing, and therefore (it is often argued) it is not possible to be certain beyond doubt what is real. Accordingly, this line of logic concludes, we cannot in fact be sure beyond doubt about the nature of reality. We can, however, seek to obtain some form of consensus, with others, of what is real. We can use this to practically guide us, either on the assumption it seems to approximate some kind of valid reality, or simply because it is more "practical" than perceived alternatives. Consensus reality therefore refers to the agreed-upon concepts of reality which people in the world, or a culture or group, believe are real (or treat as real), usually based upon their common experiences as they believe them to be; anyone who does not agree with these is sometimes stated to be "in effect... living in a different world." Throughout history this has also raised a social question: What shall we make of those who do not agree with consensus realities of others, or of the society they live in? Children have sometimes been described or viewed as "inexperience[d] with consensus reality," although with the expectation that they will come into line with it as they mature. However, the answer is more problematic as regards such people as have been characterised as eccentrics, mentally ill, divinely inspired or enlightened, or evil or demonic in nature. Alternatively, differing viewpoints may simply be put to some kind of "objective" (though the nature of "objectivity" goes to the heart of the relevant questions) test. Reality enforcement is a term used[citation needed] for the coercive enforcement of the culturally accepted reality, upon non-conforming individuals. It has varied from indifference, to incarceration, to death. Materialists [positivists, naive realists and empiricists], however, may not accept the idea of there being different possible realities for different people, rather than different beliefs about one reality. So for them only the first usage of the term reality would make sense. To them, someone believing otherwise, where the facts have been properly established, might be considered delusional. Objectivists, though not necessarily materialists, also reject the notion of subjective reality; they hold that while each individual may indeed have their own perception of reality, that perception has no effect on what reality actually is; in fact, if the perception of reality differs significantly from the actual reality, serious negative consequences are bound to follow. [All major mystic traditions are objectivist.] The theory of reality enforcement holds that belief in consensus reality — on which the apparent persistence of consensus reality's existence may depend — is "enforced" through various means applied against those who challenge it, including involuntary commitment. Reality enforcement has also been used to apply to the promotion of consensus reality, such as in education.
Simulated reality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Simulated reality is the proposition that reality could be simulated—often computer simulated—to a degree indistinguishable from "true" reality. It could contain conscious minds which may or may not know that they are living inside a simulation. In its strongest form, the "simulation hypothesis" claims it is probable that we are actually living in such a simulation. This is different from the current, technologically achievable concept of virtual reality. Virtual reality is easily distinguished from the experience of "true" reality; participants are never in doubt about the nature of what they experience. Simulated reality, by contrast, would be hard or impossible to distinguish from "true" reality. The idea of a simulated reality raises several questions: * Is it possible, even in principle, to tell whether we are in a simulated reality? * Is there any difference between a simulated reality and a "real" one? * How should we behave if we knew that we were living in a simulated reality?
Pragmatism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The epistemology of the early pragmatists was heavily influenced by Darwinian thinking. Pragmatists were not the first to see the relevance of evolution for theories of knowledge: the same rationale had for example convinced Schopenhauer that we should adopt biological idealism because what's useful to an organism to believe might differ wildly from what is actually true. Pragmatism differs from this idealist account because it challenges the assumption that knowledge and action are two separate spheres, and that there exists an absolute or transcendental truth above and beyond the sort of inquiry that organisms use to cope with life. Pragmatism, in short, provides what might be termed an ecological account of knowledge: inquiry is construed as a means by which organisms can get a grip on their environment. 'Real' and 'true' are labels that have a function in inquiry and cannot be understood outside of that context. It is not realist in a traditional robust sense of realism (what Hilary Putnam would later call metaphysical realism), but it is realist in that it acknowledges an external world which must be dealt with.
A priori and a posteriori (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The terms "a priori" and "a posteriori" are used in philosophy to distinguish between deductive and inductive reasoning, respectively. Attempts to define clearly or explain a priori and a posteriori knowledge are part of a central thread in epistemology, the study of knowledge. Since the definitions and usage of the terms have been corrupted over time and therefore vary between fields, it is difficult to provide universal definitions of them. One rough and oversimplified explanation is that a priori knowledge is independent of experience, while a posteriori knowledge is dependent on experience. In other words, statements that are a priori true are tautologies. Economists sometimes use "a priori" to describe a step in an argument the truth of which can be taken as self-evident. "A posteriori", on the other hand, implies that an argument must be based upon empirical evidence. [The core assumption of empiricism is that 'a priori' knowledge is impossible, but this is accepted 'a priori'.]
Social epistemology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social epistemology is a broad set of approaches to the study of knowledge, all of which construe human knowledge as a collective achievement. Social epistemologists may be found working in many of the disciplines of the humanities and social sciences, most commonly in philosophy and sociology. In addition to marking a distinct movement in traditional, analytic epistemology, social epistemology is associated with the interdisciplinary field of Science and Technology Studies (STS).
Historical revisionism (negationism) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Historical revisionism is the attempt to change commonly held ideas about the past... "Historical revisionism" (also but less often in English "negationism"), as used in this article, describes the process that attempts to rewrite history by minimizing, denying or simply ignoring essential facts. [Western naive realism, arrogance and cultural imperialism has resulted in the deliberate and unwitting revision of history to portray many cultures as inferior and not worthy of serious attention and portraying western civilisation as the only important one. This is common in western academia of all types, which results in their historical sources being purely or primarily western.] Perpetrators of such attempts to distort the historical record often use the term because it allows them to cloak their illegitimate activities with a phrase which has a legitimate meaning. Illegitimate historical revisionists rely on a number of Illegitimate techniques to advance their views such as presenting as genuine documents which they know to be forged, inventing ingenious but implausible reasons for distrusting genuine documents, attribute their own conclusions to books and other sources that say the opposite, manipulating statistical series to support their views, and deliberately mistranslate foreign languages sources to support their views. [Also deliberately or unwitting misinterpreting foreign information in naive ways and then ascribing the naivety to the foreign source.]
Non-denial denial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Non-denial denial is a term for a particular kind of equivocation; specifically, an apparent denial that appears to be direct, clearcut and unambiguous when heard, but on further examination is not a denial at all. A non-denial denial is not a lie per se, because what is said is literally true, but is instead a form of deception known as an evasion.
Phenomenon - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A phenomenon (from Greek φαινόμενoν, pl. φαινόμενα - phenomena) is any occurrence that is observable.
Falsifiability - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Falsifiability (or refutability or testability) is the logical possibility that an assertion can be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment. That something is "falsifiable" does not mean it is false; rather, it means that it is capable of being criticized by observational reports. Falsifiability is an important concept in science and the philosophy of science. Some philosophers and scientists, most notably Karl Popper, have asserted that a hypothesis, proposition or theory is scientific only if it is falsifiable. Not all statements that are falsifiable in principle are falsifiable in practice. For example, "it will be raining here in one million years" is theoretically falsifiable, but not practically. On the other hand, a statement like "there exist parallel universes which cannot interact with our universe" is not falsifiable even in principle; there is no way to test whether such a universe does or does not exist. [However the assertion that it must "be shown false by an observation or a physical experiment" is intrinsically naive realist and has led to absurdities such as when behaviouralism emphatically declared that consciousness does not exist and that people only appear to be conscious but there is actually nothing happening inside because those things were not accessable to empirical observation.]
Truth - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The meaning of the word truth extends from honesty, good faith, and sincerity in general, to agreement with fact or reality in particular.[1] The term has no single definition about which the majority of professional philosophers and scholars agree. Various theories of truth continue to be debated. There are differing claims on such questions as what constitutes truth; how to define and identify truth; the roles that revealed and acquired knowledge play; and whether truth is subjective, relative, objective, or absolute. This article introduces the various perspectives and claims, both today and throughout history.
Metacognition - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Metacognition is the knowledge (i.e. awareness) of one's cognitive processes and the efficient use of this self-awareness to self-regulate these cognitive processes. It is traditionally defined as the knowledge and experiences we have about our own cognitive processes. [This is the principle scientific method in Eastern cultures and helped them see through naive realism. However it was the complete lack of metacognition in the West that allowed empiricism to take hold, even though it is based on naive realist foundations. Metacognition is still neglected by the vast majority of empirical scientists and leads to entrenched false beliefs, arrogance and subtle delusions, resulting in Scientism.]
Objectivity (philosophy) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Objectivity is both an important and notoriously difficult concept to pin down in philosophy. While there is no universally accepted articulation of objectivity, a proposition is generally considered to be objectively true when its truth conditions are "mind-independent"—that is, not the result of any judgments made by a conscious entity. [The issue of naive realism confounds this issue enormously. The objective reality cannot be perceptible to the mind because the mind cannot directly grasp objective things, but only mental things.]
Moderate realism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Moderate realism as a position in the debate on the metaphysics of universals holds that there is no realm in which universals exist, but rather universals are located in space and time wherever they are manifest. A universal, like greenness, is supposed to be a single thing. It is opposed to both full-blooded realism, such as the theory of Platonic forms, and nominalism. Nominalists consider it unusual that there could be a single object that exists in multiple places simultaneously.
Truth-value link - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The principle of truth-value links is a concept in metaphysics discussed in debates between philosophical realism and anti-realism. Philosophers who appeal to truth-value links in order to explain how individuals can come to understand parts of the world that are apparently cognitively inaccessible (the past, the feelings of others, etc.) are called truth-value link realists.
Critical realism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the philosophy of perception, critical realism is the theory that some of our sense-data (for example, those of primary qualities) can and do accurately represent external objects, properties, and events, while other of our sense-data (for example, those of secondary qualities and perceptual illusions) do not accurately represent any external objects, properties, and events. In short, critical realism refers to any position that maintains that there exists an objectively knowable, mind-independent reality, whilst acknowledging the roles of perception and cognition. [The idea that "sense-data... can and do accurately represent external objects" is still a form of naive realism even though critical realism attempts to account for 'anomalous' perceptions such as halucination.]
World view - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A world view (or worldview) is a term calqued from the German word Weltanschauung. Welt is the German word for "world", and Anschauung is the German word for "view" or "outlook." It is a concept fundamental to German philosophy and epistemology and refers to a wide world perception. Additionally, it refers to the framework of ideas and beliefs through which an individual interprets the world and interacts with it.
Naive Realism Redux - Telic Thoughts
Naïve realism can be propped up with both confirmation bias and disconfirmation bias. When a group shares in the same brand of naïve realism, it can serve as the fulcrum for their tribalism. And when one group thinks it “sees the world as it is,” and sees the other group as those who “do not see the world for what it is,” this breeds a certain degree of arrogance and defensiveness, causing the one group to see the other as being composed of people who are stupid, dishonest, and brain-washed. Such stereotypes feed back into naïve realism in the form of confirmation bias (where the one group is constantly looking for anecdotes to support the stereotypical perception) and tribalism (where the one group experiences tribal cohesion as the result of such activity)... Overcoming naïve realism is difficult because group dialogue, usually thought to be a good way of helping people to see things from the other point of view, can actually only further polarize opinions on a topic. Ordinary dialogue does not necessarily lead to recognition of the ambivalent nature of “right and wrong” on an issue.


Argument - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In logic, an argument is a set of one or more declarative sentences (or "propositions") known as the premises along with another declarative sentence (or "proposition") known as the conclusion. A deductive argument asserts that the truth of the conclusion is a logical consequence of the premises; an inductive argument asserts that the truth of the conclusion is supported by the premises. Each premise and the conclusion are only either true or false, not ambiguous. The sentences comprising an argument are referred to as being either true or false, not as being valid or invalid; arguments are referred to as being valid or invalid, not as being true or false. [However this is only applicable within a given paradigm, which should be stated along with the argument. It is only within the naive realist paradigm that is assumed that there is only one possible paradigm in which logical argument can occur.]
Logic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Logic is the study of the principles of valid inference and demonstration. The word derives from Greek λογική (logike), fem. of λογικός (logikos), "possessed of reason, intellectual, dialectical, argumentative", from λόγος logos, "word, thought, idea, argument, account, reason, or principle". As a formal science, logic investigates and classifies the structure of statements and arguments, both through the study of formal systems of inference and through the study of arguments in natural language. The field of logic ranges from core topics such as the study of validity, fallacies and paradoxes, to specialized analysis of reasoning using probability and to arguments involving causality.
Argumentation theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Argumentation theory, or argumentation, embraces the arts and sciences of civil debate, dialogue, conversation, and persuasion; studying rules of inference, logic, and procedural rules in both artificial and real world settings. Argumentation is concerned primarily with reaching conclusions through logical reasoning, that is, claims based on premises. Although including debate and negotiation which are concerned with reaching mutually acceptable conclusions, argumentation theory also encompasses eristic dialog, the branch of social debate in which victory over an opponent is the primary goal. This art and science is often the means by which people protect their beliefs or self-interests in rational dialogue, in common parlance, and during the process of arguing. Argumentation is used in law, for example in trials, in preparing an argument to be presented to a court, and in testing the validity of certain kinds of evidence. Also, argumentation scholars study the post hoc rationalizations by which organizational actors try to justify decisions they have made irrationally.
Critical thinking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes possible processes of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a solid judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense. In contemporary usage "critical" has a certain negative connotation that does not apply in the present case. Though the term "analytical thinking" may seem to convey the idea more accurately, critical thinking clearly involves synthesis, evaluation, and reconstruction of thinking, in addition to analysis. Critical thinkers gather information from all senses, verbal and/or written expressions, reflection, observation, experience and reasoning. Critical thinking has its basis in intellectual criteria that go beyond subject-matter divisions and which include: clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance and fairness.
Reasoning - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Reasoning is the cognitive process of looking for reasons for beliefs, conclusions, actions or feelings.[1] Humans have the ability to engage in reasoning about their own reasoning using introspection. Different forms of such reflection on reasoning occur in different fields. In philosophy, the study of reasoning typically focuses on what makes reasoning efficient or inefficient, appropriate or inappropriate, good or bad. Philosophers do this by either examining the form or structure of the reasoning within arguments, or by considering the broader methods used to reach particular goals of reasoning. Psychologists and cognitive scientists, in contrast, tend to study how people reason, which brain processes are engaged, and how the reasoning is influenced by the structure of the brain. Specific forms of reasoning are also studied by mathematicians and lawyers.
Argument map - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An Argument map is a visual representation of the structure of an argument in informal logic. It includes the components of an argument such as a main contention, premises, co-premises, objections, rebuttals and lemmas. Argument Maps are often used in the teaching of reasoning and critical thinking, and can support the analysis of pros and cons when deliberating over wicked problems. The latest advacement in argument mapping enables research and analysis of naturalistic human decision making in real life contexts of risk and uncertainty. These techniques are presented by Facione and Facione in Thinking and Reasoning in Human Decision Making: The Method of Argument and Heuristic Analysis (The California Academic Press, 2007). This book describes the theory, technique, and application of this new analytical methodology. Among other things it shows how to construct decision maps from oral and textual expressions of individual or group decisions. A&H Method decision maps illustrate the combinination of reasons-claim argument strands as well as the influences of cognitive heuristics and psychological dominance structuring which emerge from those data.
Concept map - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Concept mapping is a technique for visualizing the relationships among different concepts. A concept map is a diagram showing the relationships among concepts. Concepts are connected with labelled arrows, in a downward-branching hierarchical structure. The relationship between concepts is articulated in linking phrases, e.g., "gives rise to", "results in", "is required by," or "contributes to".
Mind map - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A mind map is a diagram used to represent words, ideas, tasks, or other items linked to and arranged radially around a central key word or idea. It is used to generate, visualize, structure, and classify ideas, and as an aid in study, organization, problem solving, decision making, and writing. It is an image-centered diagram that represents semantic or other connections between portions of information. By presenting these connections in a radial, non-linear graphical manner, it encourages a brainstorming approach to any given organizational task, eliminating the hurdle of initially establishing an intrinsically appropriate or relevant conceptual framework to work within. A mind map is similar to a semantic network or cognitive map but there are no formal restrictions on the kinds of links used.
Semantic network - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A semantic network is often used as a form of knowledge representation. It is a directed or undirected graph consisting of vertices, which represent concepts, and edges, which represent semantic relations between the concepts.
Cognitive map - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cognitive maps, mental maps, mind maps, cognitive models, or mental models are a type of mental processing (cognition) composed of a series of psychological transformations by which an individual can acquire, code, store, recall, and decode information about the relative locations and attributes of phenomena in their everyday or metaphorical spatial environment.
Informal logic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Informal logic (or, occasionally, non-formal logic) is the study of arguments as presented in ordinary language, as contrasted with the presentations of arguments in an artificial, formal, or technical language (see formal logic). Informal logic emerged in North America in the early 1970s as an alternative approach to the teaching of introductory logic courses to undergraduate students. It quickly became affiliated with the Thinking Skills Movement and especially with critical thinking (see below). Later still it became affiliated with the interdisciplinary inquiry known as Argumentation theory. The precise nature and definition of informal logic are matters of some dispute. Ralph H. Johnson and J. Anthony Blair define informal logic as "a branch of logic whose task is to develop non-formal standards, criteria, procedures for the analysis, interpretation, evaluation, criticism and construction of argumentation in everyday discourse."
Axiom - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In traditional logic, an axiom or postulate is a proposition that is not proved or demonstrated but considered to be self-evident. Therefore, its truth is taken for granted, and serves as a starting point for deducing and inferring other (theory dependent) truths.
Premise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In discourse and logic, a premise is a claim that is a reason (or element of a set of reasons) for, or objection against, some other claim. In other words, it is a statement presumed true within the context of an argument toward a conclusion. Premises are sometimes stated explicitly by way of disambiguation or for emphasis, but more often they are left tacitly understood as being obvious or self-evident ("it goes without saying"), or not conducive to succinct discourse.
Co-premise - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A co-premise is a premise in reasoning and informal logic which is not the main supporting reason for a contention or a lemma, but is logically necessary to ensure the validity of an argument. One premise by itself, or a group of co-premises can form a reason.
Objection (argument) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In informal logic an objection, also known as a refutation, is a reason arguing against a premise, lemma or main contention. An objection to an objection is known as a rebuttal.
Lemma (logic) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In informal logic and argument mapping, a lemma is simultaneously a contention for premises below it and a premise for a contention above it.
Conclusion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A conclusion is a proposition, which is arrived at after the consideration of evidence, arguments or premises.
Counterargument - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In reasoning and argument mapping, a counterargument, also known as a rebuttal, is an objection to an objection. A counterargument can be used to rebut an objection to a premise, a main contention or a lemma. A counterargument might seek to cast doubt on the truth of one or more of the first argument's premises, or to show that the first argument's contention does not follow from its premises in a valid manner, or the counterargument might pay little attention to the premises and Common structure of the first argument and simply attempt to demonstrate the truth of a conclusion incompatible with that of the first argument.
Validity - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term validity (also called logical truth, analytic truth, or necessary truth) as it occurs in logic refers generally to a property of particular statements and deductive arguments. Although validity and logical truth are synonymous concepts, the terms are used variously in different contexts. Whether or not logical truth is analytic truth is a matter of clarification.
Wicked problem - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The concept of "wicked problems" was originally proposed by Horst Rittel (a pioneering theorist of design and planning, and late professor at the University of California, Berkeley) and M. Webber in a seminal treatise for social planning. Rittel expounded on the nature of ill-defined design and planning problems which he termed "wicked" (that is, messy, circular, aggressive) to contrast against the relatively "tame" problems of mathematics, chess, or puzzle solving.
Critic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The word critic comes from the Greek κριτικός, kritikós - one who discerns, which itself arises from the Ancient Greek word κριτής, krités, meaning a person who offers reasoned judgment or analysis, value judgment, interpretation, or observation. The term can be used to describe an adherent of a position disagreeing with or opposing the object of criticism. Modern critics include professionals or amateurs who regularly judge or interpret performances or other works (such as those of artists, scientists, musicians, or actors), and typically publish their observations, often in periodicals. Critics are numerous in certain fields, including art, music, film, theatre or drama, restaurant, and scientific publication critics.
Discourse ethics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Discourse ethics, sometimes called "argumentation ethics", refers to a type of argument that attempts to establish normative or ethical truths by examining the presuppositions of discourse.
Rationality - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rationality as a term is related to the idea of reason, a word which following Webster's may be derived as much from older terms referring to thinking itself as from giving an account or an explanation. This lends the term a dual aspect. One aspect associates it with comprehension, intelligence, or inference, particularly when an inference is drawn in ordered ways (thus a syllogism is a rational argument in this sense). The other part associates rationality with explanation, understanding or justification, particularly if it provides a ground or a motive. 'Irrational', therefore, is defined as that which is not endowed with reason or understanding. A logical argument is often described as "rational" if it is logically valid. However, rationality is a much broader term than logic, as it includes "uncertain but sensible" arguments based on probability, expectation, personal experience and the like, whereas logic deals principally with provable facts and demonstrably valid relations between them. For example, ad hominem arguments are logically unsound, but in many cases they may be rational. A simple philosophical definition of rationality refers to one's use of a "practical syllogism".
Syllogism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A syllogism (Greek: συλλογισμός — "conclusion," "inference"), (usually the categorical syllogism) is a kind of logical argument in which one proposition (the conclusion) is inferred from two others (the premises) of a certain form. In Aristotle's Prior Analytics, he defines syllogism as "a discourse in which, certain things having been supposed, something different from the things supposed results of necessity because these things are so."
Sophism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the modern definition, a sophism is a confusing or illogical argument used for deceiving someone.
Straight and Crooked Thinking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Straight and Crooked Thinking, first published in 1930 and revised in 1953, is a book by Robert H. Thouless which describes flaws in reasoning and argument. [I highly recomend this book!]
Common misconceptions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A list of uncontroversial clarifications to common misconceptions.
List of fallacies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A list of logical fallacies.
List of misquotations - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A famous misquotation is a well-known phrase attributed to someone who either did not actually say it in that form of words, or did not say it at all.
List of topics related to public relations and propaganda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Evasion (ethics) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Evasion is, in ethics, an act that deceives by stating a true statement that is irrelevant or leads to a false conclusion. For instance, a man knows that another man is in a room in the building because he heard him, but in answer to a question, says, "I have not seen him," thereby falsely implying that he does not know.
Evidence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Evidence in its broadest sense includes anything that is used to determine or demonstrate the truth of an assertion. Philosophically, evidence can include propositions which are presumed to be true used in support of other propositions that are presumed to be falsifiable. The term has specialized meanings when used with respect to specific fields, such as policy, scientific research, criminal investigations, and legal discourse. The most immediate form of evidence available to an individual is the observations of that person's own senses. For example an observer wishing for evidence that the sky is blue need only look at the sky. However this same example illustrates some of the difficulties of evidence as well: * someone who was blue-yellow color blind, but did not know it, would have a very different perception of what color the sky was than someone who was not. Even simple sensory perceptions (qualia) ultimately are subjective; guaranteeing that the same information can be considered somehow true in an objective sense is the main challenge of establishing standards of evidence. * there is also the question of what is meant by 'blue', and how we measure it. (If determined by a particular wave-length of colour - then how do we actually measure this?) * there is also the question of how evidence 'translates' e.g. is 'blau' in German universally translated as 'blue' in English: Germans may have different words for different parts of the spectrum; thus 'evidence' is a social construction.
Conjecture - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In scientific philosophy, Karl Popper pioneered the use of the term "conjecture" to indicate a proposition which is presumed to be real, true, or genuine, mostly based on inconclusive grounds, in contrast with a hypothesis (hence theory, axiom, principle), which is a testable statement based on accepted grounds. [In this sense empiricism is a conjecture.]

Science in Society

Sokal affair - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Sokal affair (also Sokal's hoax) was a hoax by physicist Alan Sokal perpetrated on the editorial staff and readership of the postmodern cultural studies journal Social Text (published by Duke University). In 1996, Sokal, a professor of physics at New York University, submitted a paper of nonsense camouflaged in jargon for publication in Social Text, as an experiment to see if a journal in that field would, in Sokal's words: "publish an article liberally salted with nonsense if (a) it sounded good and (b) it flattered the editors' ideological preconceptions."
Science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Science (from the Latin scientia, meaning "knowledge") is the effort to understand, or to understand better, how the physical world works, with observable evidence as the basis of that understanding.
Science and technology studies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Science and technology studies (STS) is the study of how social, political, and cultural values affect scientific research and technological innovation, and how these in turn affect society, politics, and culture.
Science studies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Science studies is an interdisciplinary research area that seeks to situate scientific expertise in a broad social, historical, and philosophical context. It is concerned with the history of scientific disciplines, the interrelationships between science and society, and the alleged covert purposes that underlie scientific claims. While it is critical of science, it holds out the possibility of broader public participation in science policy issues.
Merton Thesis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Merton Thesis is an argument about the nature of early experimental science proposed by Robert K. Merton. Similar to Max Weber's famous claim on the link between Protestant ethic and the capitalist economy, Merton argued for a similar positive correlation between the rise of Protestant pietism and early experimental science. The Merton Thesis has resulted in continuous debates. The Merton Thesis has two distinct parts: Firstly, it says that the changes in the nature of science are due to an accumulation of observations and better experimental technique; secondly, it proposes that the popularity of science in England in 17th century, and the religious demography of the Royal Society (English scientists of that time were predominantly Protestants or Puritans) can be explained by a correlation between Protestantism and the values of the new science. He specifically singles out English Puritanism and German Pietism as causally significant in the development of the scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries. Merton attributes this connection between religious affiliation and sustained interest in science to a strong compatibility between the values of ascetic Protestantism and those associated with modern science. Protestant values were seen to have had the effect of stimulating scientific research by inviting the empirical and rational quest for identifying the God-given order in the world and for practical applications; just as they legitimized scientific research through religious justifications.
Strong programme - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The strong programme is a variety of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK). The strong programme's influence on Science and Technology Studies is credited as being unparalleled. The largely Edinburgh-based school of thought has illustrated how the existence of a scientific community, bound together by allegiance to a shared paradigm, is a pre-requisite for normal scientific activity. The strong programme is a reaction against previous sociologies of science, which restricted the application of sociology to "failed" or "false" theories, such as phrenology. Failed theories would be explained by citing the researchers' biases, such as covert political or economic interests. Sociology would be only marginally relevant to successful theories, which succeeded because they had revealed a true fact of nature. The strong programme proposed that both 'true' and 'false' scientific theories should be treated the same way -- that is, symmetrically. Both are caused by social factors or conditions, such as cultural context and self interest. All human knowledge, as something that exists in the human cognition, must contain some social components in its formation process. The presence of social factors alone is not enough to falsify a scientific theory.
Science wars - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Science wars were a series of intellectual battles in the 1990s between "postmodernists" and "realists" (though neither party would likely use the terms to describe themselves) about the nature of scientific theories. In brief, the postmodernists questioned the objectivity of science and encompass a huge variety of critiques on scientific knowledge and method within cultural studies, cultural anthropology, feminist studies, comparative literature, media studies, and science and technology studies. The realists countered that there is such a thing as objective scientific knowledge and accused the postmodernists of having practically no understanding of the subject they were critiquing.
EASST - European Association for the Study of Science and Technology
EASST is an interdisciplinary scholarly society, which reflects the closeness of history, philosophy, psychology and sociology of science in recent years. It also welcomes a policy perspective on science and technology. Cross- disciplinary interaction and cross-fertilisation between humanistic and policy-oriented studies are important aims.
Society for Social Studies of Science
The main purpose of 4S is to bring together those interested in understanding science, technology, and medicine, including the way they develop and interact with their social contexts.
Science Studies Network
The point of departure is, for many, an appreciation that science is a jointly intellectual, material, and social enterprise; it brings diverse resources to bear on the project of constructing stable, reliable systems of knowledge about the natural and social world. It is the goal of Science Studies to understand how such knowledge is produced and authorized, what distinguishes it as scientific knowledge, how it evolves and is inflected by the contexts of its production, and what its normative implications are: what ethical obligations and other forms of accountability constitute "research integrity" in particular contexts of practice.
Agnotology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Agnotology, formerly agnatology, is a neologism (term recently 'coined') for the study of culturally-induced ignorance or doubt, particularly the publication of inaccurate or misleading scientific data. The term was coined by Robert N. Proctor, a Stanford University professor specializing in the history of science and technology. Its name derives from the Greek word agnosis, which means "not knowing". More generally, the term also highlights the increasingly common condition where more knowledge of a subject leaves one more uncertain than before. A prime example of the deliberate production of ignorance cited by Proctor is the tobacco industry's conspiracy to manufacture doubt about the cancer risks of tobacco use. Under the banner of science, the industry produced research about everything except tobacco hazards to exploit public uncertainty. Some of the root causes for culturally-induced ignorance are media neglect, corporate or governmental secrecy and suppression, document destruction, and myriad forms of inherent or avoidable culturopolitical selectivity, inattention, and forgetfulness. [Also naive realism, arrogance, cultural bias, elitism and empiricist indoctrination.] Agnotology also focuses on how and why diverse forms of knowledge do not "come to be," or are ignored or delayed. For example, knowledge about plate tectonics was delayed for at least a decade because key evidence was classified military information related to underseas warfare. [Also the majority of the human condition has been ignored for centuries due to empiricist, materialist and naive realist prejudice.]
Systems theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Systems theory is an interdisciplinary field of science and the study of the nature of complex systems in nature, society, and science. More specificially, it is a framework by which one can analyze and/or describe any group of objects that work in concert to produce some result. This could be a single organism, any organization or society, or any electro-mechanical or informational artifact.
Sociology of science and technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The sociology of science and technology is a broad field combining elements of the rich interdisciplinary field of science studies, as well as distinct sociological theories on the history of science.
Philosophy of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Philosophy of science is the study of assumptions, foundations, and implications of science. The field is defined by an interest in one of a set of "traditional" problems or an interest in central or foundational concerns in science. In addition to these central problems for science as a whole, many philosophers of science consider these problems as they apply to particular sciences.
Sociology of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sociology of science is the subfield of sociology that deals with the practice of science. Generally speaking, the sociology of science involves the study of science as a social activity, especially dealing "with the social conditions and effects of science, and with the social structures and processes of scientific activity."
Sociology of knowledge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Sociology of Knowledge is the study of the relationship between human thought and the social context within which it arises, and of the effects prevailing ideas have on societies. The term first came into widespread use in the 1920s. With the dominance of functionalism through the middle years of the 20th century, the sociology of knowledge tended to remain on the periphery of mainstream sociological thought. It was largely reinvented and applied much more closely to everyday life in the 1960s... in The Social Construction of Reality (1966) and is still central for methods dealing with qualitative understanding of human society. Although very influential within modern sociology, the sociology of knowledge can claim its most significant impact on science more generally through its contribution to debate and understanding of the nature of science itself, most notably through the work of Thomas Kuhn in The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.
Sociology of scientific knowledge - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK), closely related to the sociology of science, considers social influences on science. Sociologists, philosophers of science, historians of science, anthropologists and computer scientists, have engaged in controversy concerning the role that social factors play in scientific development relative to rational, empirical, and other factors.
Theories and sociology of the history of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The sociology and philosophy of science, as well as the entire field of science studies, have in the 20th century been preoccupied with the question of large-scale patterns and trends in the development of science, and asking questions about how science "works" both in a philosophical and practical sense. Science as a social enterprise has been developing exponentially for the past few centuries. In antiquity, the few people who were able to engage in natural inquiry were either wealthy themselves, had rich benefactors, or had the support of a religious community. In contrast, today there are more scientists alive now than have lived in all previous times. Scientific research has tremendous government support and also ongoing support from the private sector. Available methods of communication have improved tremendously over time. Instead of waiting months or years for a hand-copied letter to arrive, today scientific communication can be practically instantaneous. Earlier, most natural philosophers worked in relative isolation, due to the difficulty and slowness of communication. Still, there was a considerable amount of cross-fertilization between distant groups and individuals. Nowadays, almost all modern scientists participate in a scientific community, hypothetically global in nature (though often based around a relatively few number of nations and institutions of stature), but also strongly segregated into different fields of study. The scientific community is important because it represents a source of established knowledge which, if used properly, ought to be more reliable than personally acquired knowledge of any given individual. The community also provides a feedback mechanism, often in the form of practices such as peer review and reproducibility. Most items of scientific content (experimental results, theoretical proposals, or literature reviews) are reported in scientific journals and are hypothetically subjected to the scrutiny of their peers, though a number of scholarly critics from both inside and outside the scientific community have, in recent decades, began to question the effect of commercial and government investment in science on the peer review and publishing process, as well as the internal disciplinary limitations to the scientific publication process.
Historiography of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The historiography of science usually refers to the study of History of Science in its disciplinary aspects and practices (methods, theories, schools) and to the study of its own historical development ("history of History of Science", i.e., the history of the academic discipline called History of Science). Since the mid-19th century, ideas about the history of science and technology have been tied to important philosophical and practical questions, such as whether scientific conclusions should be regarded as progressing towards truth, and whether freedom is important for scientific research. Put broadly, the field as a whole examines the entire spectrum of human experience relating to science and technology, and how our understanding of that experience has changed over time. Historiography of science is a much more recent discipline than history of science, although they have exerted great mutual influence on each other, through the study of theories, changes in theories, disciplinary and institutional history, the cultural, economic, and political impacts of science and technology, and the impact of society on scientific practice itself.
Scientific method - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scientific method refers to the body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge. It is based on gathering observable, empirical and measurable evidence subject to specific principles of reasoning. A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses. Although procedures vary from one field of inquiry to another, identifiable features distinguish scientific inquiry from other methodologies of knowledge. Scientific researchers propose hypotheses as explanations of phenomena, and design experimental studies to test these hypotheses. These steps must be repeatable in order to predict dependably any future results. Theories that encompass wider domains of inquiry may bind many hypotheses together in a coherent structure. This in turn may help form new hypotheses or place groups of hypotheses into context. Among other facets shared by the various fields of inquiry is the conviction that the process must be objective to reduce a biased interpretation of the results. Another basic expectation is to document, archive and share all data and methodology so they are available for careful scrutiny by other scientists, thereby allowing other researchers the opportunity to verify results by attempting to reproduce them. This practice, called full disclosure, also allows statistical measures of the reliability of these data to be established.
Models of scientific inquiry - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scientific inquiry has two functions, first, to provide a descriptive account of how scientific inquiry is carried out in practice, second, to provide an explanatory account of why scientific inquiry succeeds as well as it appears to do in arriving at genuine knowledge of its objects.
Scientism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term scientism can be used as a neutral term to describe the view that natural science has authority over all other interpretations of life, such as philosophical, religious, mythical, spiritual, or humanistic explanations, and over other fields of inquiry, such as the social sciences. It also can imply a criticism of a perceived misapplication or misuse of the authority of science in either of two directions: 1. The term is often used as a pejorative to indicate the improper usage of science or scientific claims. In this sense, the charge of scientism often is used as a counter-argument to appeals to scientific authority in contexts where science might not apply, such as when the topic is perceived to be beyond the scope of scientific inquiry. 2. The term is also used to pejoratively refer to "the belief that the methods of natural science, or the categories and things recognized in natural science, form the only proper elements in any philosophical or other inquiry," with a concomitant "elimination of the psychological dimensions of experience". It thus expresses a position critical of (at least the more extreme expressions of) positivism.
Scientific imperialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scientific imperialism refers to any situation in which science seems to act imperiously, such as "the tendency to push a good scientific idea far beyond the domain in which it was originally introduced, and often far beyond the domain in which it can provide much illumination." It can thus mean an attitude towards knowledge in which the beliefs and methods of science are assumed to be superior to and to take precedence over those of all other disciplines. "Devotees of these approaches are inclined to claim that they are in possession not just of one useful perspective on human behavior, but of the key that will open doors to the understanding of ever wider areas of human behavior." It is also apparent in "those who believe that the study of politics can and should be modelled on the natural sciences, a position defended most forcibly in the United States, and those who have dissented, viewing this ambition as methodologically unjustified and ethically undesirable." Scientific imperialism, "the idea that all decisions, in principle, can be made scientifically - has become, in effect, the religion of the intellectuals," for it seems to reflect "a natural tendency, when one has a successful scientific model, to attempt to apply it to as many problems as possible. But it is also in the nature of models that these extended applications are dangerous." Science appears most imperialistic when it seeks domination over other disciplines and the subordination of 'non-believers,' or those it perceives as being insufficiently educated in scientific matters. It can thus involve some zealotry, and perhaps a fundamentalist belief that science alone stands supreme over all other modes of inquiry. In this it may resemble cultural imperialism, as a rather rigid and intolerant form of intellectual monotheism. If it acts monopolistically then science does indeed seem rigid, ruthless and intolerant.
Denialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Denialism is a term used [within Scientism] to describe the position of governments, business groups, interest groups, or individuals who reject propositions on which a scientific or scholarly consensus exists. Such groups and individuals are said to be engaging in denialism when they seek to influence policy processes and outcomes by illegitimate means.
Rhetoric of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rhetoric of science is a body of scholarly literature exploring the notion that the practice of scientific inquiry is a rhetorical activity. It emerged from a number of disciplines during the late twentieth century, including the disciplines of sociology, history, and philosophy of science, but it is practiced most fully by rhetoricians in departments of English, speech, and communication. Rhetoric is best known as a discipline that studies the means and ends of persuasion. Science, meanwhile, is typically seen as the discovery and recording of knowledge about the natural world. A key contention of rhetoric of science is that the practice of science is, to varying degrees, persuasive.
Collective intelligence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Collective intelligence is a form of intelligence that emerges from the collaboration and competition of many individuals. Collective intelligence appears in a wide variety of forms of consensus decision making in bacteria, animals, humans, and computers. The study of collective intelligence may properly be considered a subfield of sociology, of business, of computer science, and of mass behavior—a field that studies collective behavior from the level of quarks to the level of bacterial, plant, animal, and human societies. Some figures prefer to focus on collective intelligence primarily in humans and actively work to upgrade "the group IQ". Collective intelligence can be encouraged "to overcome 'groupthink' and individual cognitive bias in order to allow a collective to cooperate on one process—while achieving enhanced intellectual performance." Collective intelligence phenomenon have been defined as "the capacity of human communities to evolve towards higher order complexity and harmony, through such innovation mechanisms as differentiation and integration, competition and collaboration." "collective intelligence also involves achieving a single focus of attention and standard of metrics which provide an appropriate threshold of action". The approach of some academics is rooted in the "Scientific Community Metaphor".
Scientific community metaphor - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In computer science, the Scientific Community Metaphor is one way of understanding scientific communities. In this approach, a high level programming language called Ether was developed that made use of pattern-directed invocation to invoke high-level procedural plans on the basis of messages (e.g. assertions and goals). The Scientific Community Metaphor builds on the philosophy, history and sociology of science with its analysis that scientific research depends critically on monotonicity, concurrency, commutativity, and pluralism to propose, modify, support, and oppose scientific methods, practices, and theories. Of course the above characteristics are limited in real scientific communities. Publications are sometimes lost or difficult to retrieve. Concurrency is limited by resources including personnel and funding. Sometimes it is easier to rederive a result than to look it up. Scientists only have so much time and energy to read and try to understand the literature. Scientific fads sometimes sweep up almost everyone in a field. The order in which information is received can influence how it is processed. Sponsors can try to control scientific activities.
Politicization of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The politicization of science is the manipulation of science for political gain. It occurs when government, business, or interest groups use legal or economic pressure to influence the findings of scientific research or the way the it is disseminated, reported or interpreted. Historically, these groups have conducted various campaigns to promote their interests in defiance of scientific consensus, and in an effort to manipulate public policy.
Heresy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Heresy is a dislocation of some complete and self-supporting system of belief, especially a religion [which includes Scientism], by the introduction of a novel denial of some essential part therein.
Galileo Gambit - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The technique consists of pointing out that important scientific theories were often dismissed out of hand when they were first proposed. A commonly used example is the Heliocentric Theory. The writer or speaker then compares their own theory with that of Galileo and implies that they are similarly advancing a valid theory which is being rejected without being fully considered. They also seek to imply that those rejecting their theory are close-minded and lacking vision. [This term is usually used to denigrate attempts by non-establishment scientific researchers to have their work fairly treated. Naive realists cannot conceive that they are naive realists, hence they cannot discern that they are in fact being closed-minded. They cannot but see themselves as standing up for "obvious self-evident truths" such as empiricism and materialism and they cannot help but see the other as delusional and evasive.]
Pseudoscience - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Pseudoscience is defined as a body of knowledge, methodology, belief, or practice that is claimed to be scientific or made to appear scientific, but does not adhere to the scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, or otherwise lacks scientific status. [The naive realist assumptions at the core of empiricism not only "lacks supporting evidence" but have been proven false so empirical science is open to being called a pseudoscience. It is protected from this charge by the other requirements of a pseudoscience but it is empirical science that defines the "scientific method" and that ascribes "scientific status" to itself. As for plausability, it seems plausible but only from a naive realist perspective.]
Scientistic materialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Scientistic materialism is a philosophical stance which posits a limited definition of consciousness to that which is observable and subject to the scientific method. The term is used as a pejorative by proponents of creationism or intelligent design. [ID is a naive realist misinterpretation of politicized Christian propaganda but so too is Scientism, only in more subtle ways. Both are part of a confused naive realist discourse.]
Timeline of the history of scientific method - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
This Timeline of the history of scientific method shows an overview of the cultural inventions that have contributed to the development of the scientific method. For a detailed account, see History of the scientific method.
History of scientific method - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The history of scientific method is inseparable from the history of science itself. The development and elaboration of rules for scientific reasoning and investigation has not been straightforward; scientific method has been the subject of intense and recurring debate throughout the history of science, and many eminent natural philosophers and scientists have argued for the primacy of one or another approach to establishing scientific knowledge. Some of the most important debates in the history of scientific method center on: rationalism, especially as advocated by René Descartes; inductivism, which rose to particular prominence with Isaac Newton and his followers; and hypothetico-deductivism, which came to the fore in the early 19th century. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a debate over realism vs. antirealism was central to discussions scientific method as powerful scientific theories extended beyond the realm of the observable, while in the mid-20th century some prominent philosophers argued against any universal rules of science at all.
History of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Science is a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world, produced by a global community of researchers making use of scientific methods, which emphasize the observation, experimentation and explanation of real world phenomena. Given the dual status of science as objective knowledge and as a human construct, good historiography of science draws on the historical methods of both intellectual history and social history.
History of science and technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The history of science and technology (HST) is a field of history which examines how humanity's understanding of the natural world (science) and ability to manipulate it (technology) have changed over the millennia. This field of history also studies the cultural, economic, and political impacts of scientific innovation. Histories of science were originally written by practicing and retired scientists, starting primarily with William Whewell, as a way to communicate the virtues of science to the public. In the early 1930s, after a famous paper given by the Soviet historian Boris Hessen, effort was focused into looking at the ways in which scientific practices were allied with the needs and motivations of their context. After World War II, extensive resources were put into teaching and researching the discipline, with the hopes that it would help the public better understand both science and technology as they came to play an exceedingly prominent role in the world. In the 1960s, especially in the wake of the work done by Thomas Kuhn, the discipline began to serve a very different function, and began to be used as a way to critically examine the scientific enterprise. At the present time it is often closely aligned with the field of Science studies. Modern mathematical science and physical engineering as it is understood today took form during the scientific revolution, though much of the mathematics and science was built on the work of the Greeks, Egyptians, Mesopotamians, Chinese, Indians and Muslims.
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Structure of Scientific Revolutions (1962), by Thomas Kuhn, is an analysis of the history of science. Its publication was a landmark event in the sociology of knowledge, and popularized the terms paradigm and paradigm shift.
History and philosophy of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
history and philosophy of science (HPS) is an academic discipline that encompasses the philosophy of science and the history of science. While it may seem an umbrella term, as described above people in the field of HPS consider this fusion of history of science with philosophy of science to be perfectly natural. The origin of this hybrid approach is reflected in the career of Thomas Kuhn... This attitude is also reflected in his historicist approach, as outlined in Kuhn's seminal Structure of Scientific Revolutions, wherein philosophical questions about scientific theories and, especially, theory change are understood in historical terms, employing concepts such as paradigm shift. "History of science without philosophy of science is blind ... philosophy of science without history of science is empty"
History and philosophy of science - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Interpretation of quantum mechanics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An interpretation of quantum mechanics is a statement which attempts to explain how quantum mechanics informs our understanding of nature. Although quantum mechanics has been tested extensively in very fine experiments, some believe the fundamentals of the theory are yet to be fully understood. There exist a number of contending schools of thought, differing over whether quantum mechanics can be understood to be deterministic, which elements of quantum mechanics can be considered "real", and other matters. Although today this question is of special interest to philosophers of physics, many physicists continue to show a strong interest in the subject.

Technology in Society

Technology Dynamics - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Technology Dynamics is broad and relatively new scientific field that has been developed in the framework of the postwar Science and Technology Studies field. It studies the process of technological change. Under the field of Technology Dynamics the process of technological change is explained by taking into account influences from “internal factors” as well as from “external factors”. Internal factors relate technological change to unsolved technical problems and the established modes of solving technological problems and external factors relate it to various (changing) characteristics of the social environment, in which a particular technology is embedded.
Technology and society - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Technology and society or technology and culture refers to the cyclical co-dependence, co-influence, co-production of technology and society upon the other (technology upon culture, and vice-versa). This synergistic relationship occurred from the dawn of humankind, with the invention of the simple tools; and continues into modern technologies such as the printing press and computers.
Social construction of technology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social construction of technology (also referred to as SCOT) is a theory within the field of Science and Technology Studies (or Technology and society). Advocates of SCOT -- that is, social constructivists -- argue that technology does not determine human action, but that rather, human action shapes technology. They also argue that the ways in which a technology is used cannot be understood without understanding how that technology is embedded in its social context. SCOT is a response to technological determinism and is sometimes known as technological constructivism.

Sociological Factors in Science

Actor-network theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Actor-network theory, often abbreviated as ANT, is a distinctive approach to social theory and research which originated in the field of science studies. Although it is best known for its controversial insistence on the agency of nonhumans, ANT is also associated with forceful critiques of conventional and critical sociology. Developed by two leading French Science and Technology Studies (STS) scholars, Michel Callon and Bruno Latour, the British sociologist John Law, and others, it can more technically be described as a 'material-semiotic' method. This means that it maps relations that are simultaneously material (between things) and 'semiotic' (between concepts). It assumes that many relations are both material and 'semiotic' (e.g. the interactions in a bank involve both people and their ideas, and technologies. Together these form a single network). ANT tries to explain how material-semiotic networks come together to act as a whole (e.g. a bank is both a network and an actor that hangs together, and for certain purposes acts as a single entity). As a part of this it may look at explicit strategies for relating different elements together into a network so that they form an apparently coherent whole. Many ANT scholars assume that such actor-networks are potentially precarious. Relations need to be repeatedly 'performed' or the network will dissolve. (E.g. the bank clerks need to come to work each day, and the computers need to keep on running.) They also assume that networks of relations are not intrinsically coherent, and may indeed contain conflicts (e.g. there may be poor labour relations, or computer software may be incompatible).
Social constructionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social constructionism or social constructivism is a sociological and psychological theory of knowledge that considers how social phenomena develop in particular social contexts. Within constructionist thought, a social construction (social construct) is a concept or practice which may appear to be natural and obvious to those who accept it, but in reality is an invention or artifact of a particular culture or society. Social constructs are generally understood to be the by-products (often unintended or unconscious) of countless human choices rather than laws resulting from divine will or nature. This is not usually taken to imply a radical anti-determinism, however. Social constructionism is usually opposed to essentialism, which defines specific phenomena instead in terms of transhistorical essences independent of conscious beings that determine the categorical structure of reality. A major focus of social constructionism is to uncover the ways in which individuals and groups participate in the creation of their perceived social reality. It involves looking at the ways social phenomena are created, institutionalized, and made into tradition by humans. Socially constructed reality is seen as an ongoing, dynamic process; reality is reproduced by people acting on their interpretations and their knowledge of it.
Social control - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social control refers to social mechanisms that regulate individual and group behavior, leading to conformity and compliances to the rules of a given society or social group. Many mechanisms of social control are cross-cultural, if only in the control mechanisms used to prevent the establishment of chaos or anomie. Some theorists, such as Emile Durkheim, refer to this form of control as regulation. Sociologists identify two basic forms of social control: 1. Internalization of norms and values, and 2. The use of sanctions, which can be either positive (rewards) or negative (punishment).
Symbolic interactionism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Symbolic interactionism is a major sociological perspective that is influential in many areas of the discipline. It is particularly important in microsociology and social psychology. Symbolic interactionism is derived from American pragmatism and particularly from the work of George Herbert Mead, who argued that people's selves are social products, but that these selves are also purposive and creative... People act toward things based on the meaning those things have for them; and these meanings are derived from social interaction and modified through interpretation.
Definition of the situation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The definition of the situation is a fundamental concept in symbolic interactionism. It is a kind of collective agreement between people on the characteristics of a situation, and from there, how to appropriately react and fit into it. Establishing a definition of the situation requires that the participants agree on both the frame of the interaction (its social context and expectations), and on their identities (the person they will treat each other as being for a given situation).
Impression management - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In sociology and social psychology, impression management is the process through which people try to control the impressions other people form of them. It is a goal-directed conscious or unconscious attempt to influence the perceptions of other people about a person, object or event by regulating and controlling information in social interaction. It is usually synonymous with self-presentation, if a person tries to influence the perception of their image. Impression management (IM) theory states that any individual or organization must establish and maintain impressions that are congruent with the perceptions they want to convey to their publics (Goffman, 1959). From both a communications and public relations viewpoint, the theory of impression management encompasses the vital ways in which one establishes and communicates this congruence between personal or organizational goals and their intended actions which create public perception. The goal is for one to present themselves the way in which they would like to be thought of by the individual or group they are interacting with. This form of management generally applies to the first impression. The idea that perception is reality is the basis for this sociological and social psychology theory, which is framed around the presumption that the other’s perceptions of you or your organization become the reality from which they form ideas and the basis for intended behaviors. The actor, shaped by the environment and target audience, sees interaction as a performance. The objective of the performance is to provide the audience with an impression consistent with the desired goals of the actor. The audience can be real or imaginary. IM style norms, part of the mental programming received through socialization, are so fundamental that we usually do not notice our expectations of them. While an actor (speaker) tries to project a desired image, an audience (listener) might attribute a resonant or discordant image.
Self monitoring - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Self-monitoring theory is a contribution to the psychology of personality. The theory refers to the process through which people regulate their own behavior in order to "look good" so that they will be perceived by others in a favorable manner. It disintinguishes between high self-monitors, who monitor their behaviour to fit different situations, and low self-monitors, who are more cross-situationally consistent.
Self-verification theory - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Self-verification is a social psychological theory that asserts people want to be known and understood by others according to their firmly held beliefs and feelings about themselves, that is self-views (i.e. self-concepts and self-esteem). A competing theory to self-verification is self-enhancement or the drive for positive evaluations. Because chronic self-concepts and self-esteem play an important role in understanding the world, providing a sense of coherence, and guiding action, people become motivated to maintain them through self-verification strivings. Such strivings provide stability to people’s lives, making their experiences more coherent, orderly, and comprehensible than they would be otherwise. Self-verification processes are also adaptive for groups, groups of diverse backgrounds and the larger society, in that they make people predictable to one another thus serve to facilitate social interaction.
Looking glass self - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In the looking-glass self a person views himself or herself through others' perceptions in society and in turn gains identity. Identity, or self, is the result of the concept in which we learn to see ourselves as others do. The looking-glass self begins at an early age and continues throughout the entirety of a person’s life as one will never stop modifying their self unless all social interactions are ceased.
Total institution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A total institution, also referred to as a voracious institution, as defined by Erving Goffman, is an institution where all parts of life of individuals under the institution are subordinated to and dependent upon the authorities of the organization. Total institutions are social microcosms dictated by hegemony and clear hierarchy. Some boarding schools, concentration camps, colleges, cults, prisons, summer camps, outdoor education programs, mental institutions, sailing ships, boot camps, monasteries, convents, dictatorships and orphanages fit this description. Another view of total institutions defines them as places where rites of passage and indoctrination occur within their confines in such a way that the total institution acts as a secret society within the society, one which shapes newcomers willingly or unwillingly into a new and more or less permanent social role. Fraternities and sororities are exemplary of this definition of total institutions. [Scientism seeks to create a total institution by defining what is 'real' in its own limited context and then imposing this on all aspects of human knowledge.]
Indoctrination - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Indoctrination is the process of inculcating ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology. It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned... Instruction in the basic principles of science, in particular, can not properly be called indoctrination, in the sense that the fundamental principals of science call for critical self-evaluation and skeptical scrutiny of one's own ideas. [However positivism and the unquestionable naive realist foundations of empiricism result in far reaching materialist indoctrination.] Noam Chomsky remarks, "For those who stubbornly seek freedom, there can be no more urgent task than to come to understand the mechanisms and practices of indoctrination. These are easy to perceive in the totalitarian societies, much less so in the system of 'brainwashing under freedom' to which we are subjected and which all too often we serve as willing or unwitting instruments." Robert Jay Lifton argues that the objective of phrases or slogans like "blood for oil," or "cut and run," is not to continue reflective conversations but to replace them with emotionally appealing phrases. This technique is called the thought-terminating cliché.
Thought-terminating cliché - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A thought-terminating cliché is a commonly used phrase, sometimes passing as folk wisdom, used to quell cognitive dissonance. The term was popularized by Robert Jay Lifton in his book Thought Reform and the Psychology of Totalism. Lifton said, “The language of the totalist environment is characterized by the thought-terminating cliché. The most far-reaching and complex of human problems are compressed into brief, highly reductive, definitive-sounding phrases, easily memorized and easily expressed. These become the start and finish of any ideological analysis.”
Loaded language - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Loaded language is verbiage that attempts to influence the listener or reader by appealing to emotion rather than logic. Types of loaded language include loaded words and loaded questions.
Obscurantism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Obscurantism (from the Latin obscurans, "darkening") is the practice of deliberately preventing the facts or full details of something from becoming known. There are two common senses of this: (1) opposition to the spread of knowledge—a policy of withholding knowledge from the general public; and (2) a style (as in literature or art) characterized by deliberate vagueness or abstruseness. The first and older sense of the term 'obscurantism' refers to practices that favor limits on the extension and dissemination of knowledge... The notion that rulers or leaders [or Scientistic elites] know what is best for the people can be found in all forms of totalitarianism; “obscurantism and tyranny go together." "Obscurantism" is also a polemical term accusing authors of writing in a deliberately vague and abstruse style in order to hide their vacuousness: the writer's ignorance is obscured. Philosophers who are not empiricists or positivists are often accused of such obscurantism. [This is because naive realists are unaware that they are naive realists and they cannot comprehend non-naive realist concepts, hence the concepts are disparaged as being 'obscure'.]
Persuasion - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Persuasion is a form of social influence. It is the process of guiding people toward the adoption of an idea, attitude, or action by rational and symbolic (though not always logical) means. It is strategy of problem-solving relying on "appeals" rather than strength. Manipulation is taking persuasion to an extreme, where the one person or group benefits at the cost of the other. Aristotle said that "Rhetoric is the art of discovering, in a particular case, the available means of persuasion."
Manipulation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In general, manipulation is a human activity dealing with physical states of objects, or mental states of persons. The goal of manipulation is either not clear, or incomprehensible or morally/legally unacceptable.
Rhetoric - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Rhetoric is the art of harnessing reason, emotions and authority, through language, with a view to persuade an audience and, by persuading, to convince this audience to act, to pass judgement or to identify with given values.
Social engineering (political science) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social engineering is a concept in political science that refers to efforts to influence popular attitudes and social behavior on a large scale, whether by governments or private groups. In the political arena the counterpart of social engineering is political engineering. For various reasons, the term has been imbued with negative connotations. However, virtually all law and governance has the effect of changing behavior and can be considered "social engineering" to some extent. Prohibitions on murder, rape, suicide and littering are all policies aimed at discouraging perceived undesirable behaviors. In British and Canadian jurisprudence, changing public attitudes about a behaviour is accepted as one of the key functions of laws prohibiting it. The most effective way for "social engineering" is through mass media and especially television. Governments also influence behavior more subtly through incentives and disincentives built into economic policy and tax policy, for instance, and have done so for centuries. [Scientism seeks to impose it naive realist ideals in a normative sense to re-engineer the human condition across the whole of humanity and the entire scope of human activity.]
Self-deception - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Self-deception is a process of denying or rationalizing away the relevance, significance, or importance of opposing evidence and logical argument. It has been argued that humans are, without exception, highly susceptible to self-deception, as everyone has emotional attachments to beliefs, which in some cases may be irrational. Some evolutionary biologists, such as Robert Trivers, have even suggested that, because deception is such an important part of human behaviour (and animal behaviour generally), an instinct for self-deception can give a person a selective advantage: if someone can believe their own "lie" (i.e., their presentation that is biased toward their own self-interest), the theory goes, they will consequently be better able to persuade others of its "truth." This notion is based on the following logic. In humans, awareness of the fact that one is acting deceptively often leads to tell-tale signs of deception. Therefore, if self-deception enables someone to believe their distortions, they will not present such signs of deception and will therefore appear to be telling the truth.
True-believer syndrome - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
True-believer syndrome is a term coined by M. Lamar Keene in his 1976 book The Psychic Mafia. Keene used the term to refer to people who continued to believe in a paranormal event or phenomenon even after it had been proven to have been staged. It has since been applied, more loosely, to refer to any belief without empirical or logical foundations. [Such as materialism. Even one's own belief that one is conscious is "without empirical or logical foundations". The belief that empiricism is 'perfect' is also "without empirical or logical foundations" - indeed naive realism is clearly proven to be false and yet it survives in the foundation of empiricism.]
Wishful thinking - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Wishful thinking is the formation of beliefs and making decisions according to what might be pleasing to imagine instead of by appealing to evidence or rationality. [The belief in the perfection of empiricism is a form of wishful thinking and so too is the entrenched belief in materialism.]
Self propaganda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Self propaganda is a form of propaganda and indoctrination performed by an individual or a group on oneself. Essentially, it is the act of telling yourself (or a group telling themselves) something that they consider to be true, or to convince themselves, with the unfortunate repercussion of their having no doubts. Because of what they do to themselves, they will go over every aspect of their side of the "argument" to prove to themselves that they are right, and will refuse to look at any alternatives. Self propaganda is a form of self-deception and indoctrination. It functions at individual and social levels: political, economic, and religious [also Scientism]. It hides behind partial truths and ignores questions of critical thought." [such as the role of naive realism and positivism in empiricism]
Polarization (psychology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In communications and psychology, polarization is the process whereby a social or political group is divided into two opposing sub-groups with fewer and fewer members of the group remaining neutral or holding an intermediate position. When polarization occurs, there is a tendency for the opposing sides of an argument to make increasingly disagreeable statements, via the "pendulum effect". Thus, it is commonly observed in polarized groups, that judgments made after group discussion will be more extreme on a given subject than the average of individual judgments made prior to discussion.
Group polarization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Group polarization is the tendency of people to make decisions that are more extreme when they are in a group as opposed to a decision alone or independently.
Groupthink - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Groupthink is a type of thought exhibited by group members who try to minimize conflict and reach consensus without critically testing, analyzing, and evaluating ideas. During groupthink, members of the group avoid promoting viewpoints outside the comfort zone of consensus thinking. A variety of motives for this may exist such as a desire to avoid being seen as foolish, or a desire to avoid embarrassing or angering other members of the group. Groupthink may cause groups to make hasty, irrational decisions, where individual doubts are set aside, for fear of upsetting the group’s balance. The term is frequently used pejoratively, with hindsight.
Attitude polarization - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Attitude polarization, also known as belief polarization, occurs when people who have a belief or attitude interpret evidence for or against that belief/attitude selectively, in a way that shows a bias in favour of their current view. If they are given evidence that agrees with their belief, they accept that it supports their position. If they are given evidence that contradicts their belief, they either ignore the evidence, criticise it, or reinterpret it so that it also supports their original view. According to Cordelia Fine, a Research Associate, at the Centre for Applied Philosophy and Public Ethics, belief polarisation can explain why we don't seek out views that challenge us. [The response of empiricists to the PEAR/REG experiments are clear evidence of attitude polarization.]
Bandwagon effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The bandwagon effect, also known as social proof or "cromo effect" and closely related to opportunism, is the observation that people often do and believe things because many other people do and believe the same things. The effect is often pejoratively called herding instinct, particularly when applied to adolescents. People tend to follow the crowd without examining the merits of a particular thing... The bandwagon effect is well-documented in behavioral psychology and has many applications. The general rule is that conduct or beliefs spread among people, as fads clearly do, with "the probability of any individual adopting it increasing with the proportion who have already done so." As more people come to believe in something, others also hop on the bandwagon regardless of the underlying evidence.
Communal reinforcement - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Communal reinforcement is a social phenomenon in which a concept or idea is repeatedly asserted in a community, regardless of whether sufficient empirical evidence has been presented to support it. Over time, the concept or idea is reinforced to become a strong belief in many people's minds, and may be regarded by the members of the community as fact. Often, the concept or idea may be further reinforced by publications in the mass media, books, or other means of communication. The phrase "millions of people can't all be wrong" is indicative of the common tendency to accept a communally reinforced idea without question, which often aids in the widespread acceptance of urban legends, myths, and rumors. [An example of this occurs above where they reiterate the assertion that the only valid evidence is "empirical evidence" but this is just a long standing naive realist assumption that is asserted over and over again.]
Conformity (psychology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Conformity is a process by which people's beliefs or behaviors are influenced by others within a group. People can be influenced via subtle shocks, even unconscious processes, or by direct and overt peer pressure. Conformity can have either good or bad effects on people, from driving safely on the correct side of the road, to harmful drug or alcohol abuse. Conformity is a group dynamic. Numerous factors, such as unanimity, cohesion, status, prior commitment and public opinion all help to determine the level of conformity an individual will reflect towards his or her group. Conformity influences the formation and maintenance of social norms.
Doublethink - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Doublethink is the act of simultaneously accepting two mutually contradictory beliefs.
Crowd psychology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Crowd psychology, or social facilitation theory, is a branch of social psychology. Ordinary people can typically gain direct power by acting collectively. Historically, because large groups of people have been able to bring about dramatic and sudden social change in a manner that bypasses established due process, they have also provoked controversy. Social scientists have developed several different theories for explaining crowd psychology, and the ways in which the psychology of the crowd differs significantly from the psychology of those individuals within it. Carl Jung coined the notion of the Collective unconscious.
Social proof - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Social proof, also known as informational social influence, is a psychological phenomenon that occurs in ambiguous social situations when people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior. Making the assumption that surrounding people possess more knowledge about the situation, they will deem the behavior of others as appropriate or better informed.
Herd behavior - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Herd behaviour describes how individuals in a group can act together without planned direction. The term pertains to the behaviour of animals in herds, flocks, and schools, and to human conduct during activities such as stock market bubbles and crashes, street demonstrations, sporting events, episodes of mob violence and even everyday decision making, judgement and opinion forming. [Also scientific paradigm shifts.]
Symmetry breaking in herding behaviour - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Asymmetric aggregation of animals under panic conditions has been observed in many species, including humans, mice, and ants. Theoretical models have demonstrated symmetry breaking similar to observations in empirical studies. For example when paniced individuals confined to a room with two equal and equidistant exits, a majority will favor one exit while the minority will favor the other.
Teamwork - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Teamwork is the concept of people working together cooperatively, such as a football team. Projects often require that people work together to accomplish a common goal; therefore, teamwork is an important factor in most organizations. Effective collaborative skills are necessary to work well in a team environment. Many businesses attempt to enhance their employees' collaborative efforts through workshops and cross-training to help people effectively work together and accomplish shared goals. “The old structures are being reformed. As organizations seek to become more flexible in the face of rapid environmental change and more responsive to the needs of customers, they are experimenting with new, team-based structures”. A 2003 national representative survey, HOW-FAIR, revealed that Americans think that 'being a team player' was the most important factor in getting ahead in the workplace. This was ranked higher than several factors, including 'merit and performance', 'leadership skills', 'intelligence', 'making money for the organization' and 'long hours'. The move to teamwork in industry and services has led to a greater amount of peer pressure, performance management, and stress. Management control is seen by critics to be reinvigorated by transferring the disciplinary dimension of management to employees and team members themselves. There are studies showing how team members pressure each other into working harder. The literature goes into questions of bullying and of surveillance. This had led to a debate on the regulation of teamworking and the need to establish rules and procedures regarding its development and boundaries.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team is a bestselling business book by consultant and speaker Patrick Lencioni. It describes the many pitfalls that teams face as they seek to "row together." This book explores the fundamental causes of organizational politics and team failure. The five dysfunctions are: (1)Absence of Trust: stems from team member's unwillingness to be vulnerable within the group. Team members who are not genuinely open with one another about their mistakes and weaknesses make it impossible to build a foundation for trust. (2)Fear of Conflict: This failure to build trust is damaging because it sets a tone for the second dysfunction: fear of conflict. Teams that lack trust are incapable of engaging in unfiltered passionate debate of ideas. Instead, they resort to veiled discussions and guarded comments. (3)Lack of Commitment: A lack of healthy conflict is a problem because it ensures the third dysfunction of a team: lack of commitment. without having aired their opinions in the course of passionate and open debate, team members rarely, if ever, buy in and commit to decisions, though they may feign agreement during meetings. (4)Avoidance of Accountability: Because of this lack of real commitment and buy-in, team members develop an avoidance of accountability, the fourth dysfunction. Without committing to a clear plan of action, even the most focused and driven people often hesitate to call their peers on actions and behaviors that seem counterproductive to the good of the team. (5)Inattention to Results: Failure to hold one another accountable creates an environment where the fifth dysfunction can thrive. Inattention to results occurs when team members put their individual needs (such as ego, career development, or recognition) or even the needs of their divisions above the collective goals of the team.
Forming-storming-norming-performing - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing model of group development was first proposed by Bruce Tuckman in 1965, who maintained that these phases are all necessary and inevitable in order for the team to grow, to face up to challenges, to tackle problems, to find solutions, to plan work, and to deliver results. This model has become the basis for subsequent models of group development and team dynamics and a management theory frequently used to describe the behavior of existing teams. Norming: [Indoctrination] Team members adjust their behavior to each other as they develop work habits that make teamwork seem more natural and fluid. Team members often work through this stage by agreeing on rules, values, professional behavior, shared methods, working tools and even taboos. During this phase, team members begin to trust each other. Motivation increases as the team gets more acquainted with the project. Teams in this phase may lose their creativity if the norming behaviors become too strong and begin to stifle healthy dissent and the team begins to exhibit groupthink. [There are inherent conflicts between the dynamics of team building in modern science and the need for sceptical exploration of ideas, especially when entire fields of human experience are classed as taboo.]
Meme - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A meme consists of any unit of cultural information, such as a practice or idea, that gets transmitted verbally or by repeated action from one mind to another. Examples include thoughts, ideas, theories, practices, habits, songs, dances and moods and terms such as race, culture, and ethnicity. Memes propagate themselves and can move through a "culture" in a manner similar to the behavior of a virus. As a unit of cultural evolution, a meme in some ways resembles a gene... The scientific method offers a body of social and experimental techniques which, given certain preconditions — a free press for the circulation of information, a large number of people prepared to see the universe as a mechanism subject to general regularities which humans can observe, describe and model through repeatable experiments and/or observations — acts highly virulently, spreading quickly through an educated population as journals circulate and blogs proliferate. By demonstrating its success at making predictions, science as a practice can make itself more attractive to potential converts. Whether or not experimenters can necessarily verify them, ideas and attitudes — those which scientists tend to hold or those which feel aesthetically pleasing in combination with scientific discoveries — can propagate themselves in societies where science has a high status by the process of meme piggybacking. Memeticists often define an individual's mind as a "playground for memes" or as an "ecology of memes", where the different memes that have colonized that mind at different times interact with each other. For example, when a mind successfully infected by the memeplex for religion X becomes exposed to the memeplex for religion Y, memeplex X may repulse memeplex Y: X can block Y from infecting the mind (for instance through use of such memetic components as the meme that "all other religions apart from X are evil"). Memetic engineering consists of the process of developing memes, through meme-splicing and memetic synthesis, with the intent of altering the behavior of others. It involves creating and developing theories or ideologies based on an analytical study of societies, their ways of thinking and the evolution of the minds that comprise them. Evolution requires not only inheritance and natural selection but also variation, and memes also exhibit this property. Ideas may undergo changes in transmission which accumulate over time. Generations of hosts pass on these changes in the phenotype (the information in brains or in retention systems). In other words, unlike genetic evolution, memetic evolution can show both Darwinian and Lamarckian traits. For example, folk tales and myths often become embellished in the retelling to make them more memorable or more appropriate and therefore more impressed listeners have a greater likelihood of retelling them, complete with accumulating embellishments that may serve to modify human behavior. Memes have as an important characteristic their propagation through imitation, a concept introduced by the French sociologist Gabriel Tarde. Imitation involves copying the observed behaviour of another individual. Typically imitators copy behaviour from observing other humans, but they may also copy from an inanimate source, such as from a book or from a musical score. Imitation may depend on brains sufficiently powerful to assess the key aspects of the imitated behavior (what to copy and why) as well as its potential benefits. Karl Popper advocated memetic caution in the strongest possible terms: "The survival value of intelligence is that it allows us to extinct a bad idea, before the idea extincts us."
Tipping point (sociology) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Grodzins studied integrating American neighborhoods in the early 1960s. He discovered that most of the white families remained in the neighborhood as long as the comparative number of black families remained very small. But, at a certain point, when "one too many" black families arrived, the remaining white families would move out en masse in a process known as white flight. He called that moment the "tipping point". The idea was expanded and built upon by Nobel Prize-winner Thomas Schelling in 1972. A similar idea underlies Mark Granovetter's threshold model of collective behavior. The phrase has extended beyond its original meaning and been applied to any process in which, beyond a certain point, the rate at which the process proceeds increases dramatically. It has been applied in many fields, from economics to human ecology[1] to epidemiology. It can also be compared to phase transition in physics or the propagation of populations in an unbalanced ecosystem. Mathematically, the angle of repose may be seen as an inflection point. In control theory, the concept of positive feedback describes the same phenomenon, with the problem of balancing an inverted pendulum being the classic embodiment. The concept has also been applied to the popular acceptance of new technologies, for example being used to explain the success of VHS over Betamax. [Also related to the acceptance or rejection of new paradigms.]
Network effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Network effect is a term used narrowly to describe business phenomena, or more broadly to describe non-business phenomena. In the narrow usage, a network effect is a characteristic that causes a good or service to have a value to a potential customer which depends on the number of other customers who own the good or are users of the service. In other words, the number of prior adopters is a term in the value available to the next adopter. One consequence of a network effect is that the purchase of a good by one individual indirectly benefits others who own the good — for example by purchasing a telephone a person makes other telephones more useful. This type of side-effect in a transaction is known as an externality in economics, and externalities arising from network effects are known as network externalities. The resulting bandwagon effect is an example of a positive feedback loop. Not surprisingly network economics became a hot topic after the diffusion of the Internet across academia. Most people know only of Metcalfe's law as part of network effects. Network effects are notorious for causing vendor lock-in with the most-cited examples being Microsoft products and the qwerty keyboard. Network effects are a source of, but distinct from, lock-in. Lock-in can result from network effects, and network effects generate increasing returns that are associated with lock-in. However, the presence of a network effect does not guarantee that lock-in will result. For example, if the network is open there is no issue of lock-in. A negative network effect is provider complacency. The absence of viable competitors in a successful network can cause a provider to restrict resources, consider fee increases, or otherwise create an environment contrary to the users' benefit. These situations are typically accompanied by vocal complaints from the users. (In a competitive environment the users would simply change vendors rather than complain.)
Framing (social sciences) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A frame in social theory consists of a schema of interpretation, that is a collection of stereotypes, that individuals rely on to understand and respond to events. To clarify: When one seeks to explain an event, the understanding often depends on the frame referred to. If a friend rapidly closes and opens an eye, we will respond very differently depending on whether we attribute this to a purely "physical" frame (he blinked) or to a social frame (he winked). Though the former might result from a speck of dust (resulting in an involuntary and not particularly meaningful reaction), the latter would imply a voluntary and meaningful action (to convey humor to an accomplice, for example). Observers will read events seen as purely physical or within a frame of "nature" differently than those seen as occurring with social frames. But we do not look at an event and then "apply" a frame to it. Rather, individuals constantly project into the world around them the interpretive frames that allow them to make sense of it; we only shift frames (or realize that we have habitually applied a frame) when incongruity calls for a frame-shift. In other words, we only become aware of the frames that we always already use when something forces us to replace one frame with another.
Culture jamming - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A precise definition of culture jamming is elusive. Its been called a resistance movement to cultural hegemony, whereas some say the defining theme of culture jamming is an individualistic turning away from all forms of herd mentality – including that of movements – and by that definition, culture jamming should never be represented as a movement. Culture jamming is not defined by any specific political position or message, nor even by any specific cultural position or message. The common thread is mainly an urge to poke fun at the homogenous nature of popular culture, often by means of guerrilla communication (communication unsanctioned or opposed by government or other powers-that-be).
Sociocultural evolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Sociocultural evolution(ism) is an umbrella term for theories of cultural evolution and social evolution, describing how cultures and societies have developed over time. Although such theories typically provide models for understanding the relationship between technologies, social structure, the values of a society, and how and why they change with time, they vary as to the extent to which they describe specific mechanisms of variation and social change. Most 19th century and some 20th century approaches aimed to provide models for the evolution of humankind as a whole, arguing that different societies are at different stages of social development. At present this thread is continued to some extent within the World System approach. Many of the more recent 20th-century approaches focus on changes specific to individual societies and reject the idea of directional change, or social progress. Most archaeologists and cultural anthropologists work within the framework of modern theories of sociocultural evolution. Modern approaches to sociocultural evolution include neoevolutionism, sociobiology, theory of modernization and theory of postindustrial society.
Tinkerbell effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Tinkerbell effect describes those things that exist only because people believe in them. The effect is named for Tinker Bell, the fairy in the play Peter Pan who is revived from near death by the belief of the audience. Cases of this effect include monetary system * the value of money that is not backed by a rare metal -- the so called gold standard ... * the value of a nation's money, technically called Fiat currency separate from its foundation in the monetary system civil society * the "Rule of law" * the power of the vote [In Science there have been many tinkerbells, most notably 'matter'.]
Map–territory relation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The map is not the territory is a remark by Alfred Korzybski, encapsulating his view that an abstraction derived from something, or a reaction to it, is not the thing itself, e.g., the pain from a stone falling on your foot is not the stone; one's opinion of a politician, favorable or unfavorable, is not that person; a metaphorical representation of a concept is not the concept itself; and so on. A specific abstraction or reaction does not capture all facets of its source—e.g., the pain in your foot does not convey the internal structure of the stone, you don't know everything that is going on in the life of a politician, etc.—and thus may limit an individual's understanding and cognitive abilities unless the two are distinguished. Korzybski held that many people do confuse maps with territories, in this sense.
Conformism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Conformism is a term used to describe the suspension of an individual's self-determined actions or opinions in favor of obedience to the mandates or conventions of one's peer-group, or deference to the imposed norms of a supervening authority. One manifestation of conformism emerges in the practice of "going along and getting along" with people who appear to be more powerful. Conformism holds that individuals and small groups do best by blending in with their surroundings and by doing nothing eccentric or out-of-the-ordinary in any way. By definition, conformism presents the antithesis both of creativity and of innovative leadership, and hence opposes change and/or progress itself. Authoritarian institutions (such as military organizations and organized religions) tend to glorify and reinforce conformism within their ranks, as do many large corporations. [Also the scientific community.]
Collective behavior - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term "collective behavior" was first used by Robert E. Park, and employed definitively by Herbert Blumer, to refer to social processes and events which do not reflect existing social structure (laws, conventions, and institutions), but which emerge in a "spontaneous" way. Collective behavior might also be defined as action which is neither conforming (in which actors follow prevailing norms) nor deviant (in which actors violate those norms). Collective behavior, a third form of action, takes place when norms are absent or unclear, or when they contradict each other. Scholars have devoted far less attention to collective behavior than they have to either conformity or deviance.
Collective effervescence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Collective effervescence (CE) is a perceived energy formed by a gathering of people as might be experienced at a sporting event, a carnival, a rave, or a riot. This energy can cause people to act differently than in their everyday life.
Group attribution error - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The group attribution error is a group-serving, attributional bias identical to the fundamental attribution error except that it occurs between different groups rather than different individuals. Group members are more likely to attribute the decisions of their own group to its decision rules, while they tend to attribute the decisions of another group to its members' attitude.
Stereotype - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A stereotype is a simplified and/or standardized conception or image with specific meaning, often held in common by people about another group. A stereotype can be a conventional and oversimplified conception, opinion, or image, based on the assumption that there are attributes that members of the other group hold in common. Stereotypes are sometimes formed by a previous illusory correlation, a false association between two variables that are loosely if at all correlated. Stereotypes may be positive or negative in tone. They are typically generalizations based on minimal or limited knowledge about a group to which the person doing the stereotyping does not belong. Persons may be grouped based on racial group, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, age or any number of other categories.
Illusory correlation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Illusory correlation is the phenomenon of seeing the relationship one expects in a set of data even when no such relationship exists. When people form false associations between membership in a statistical minority group and rare (typically negative) behaviors, this would be a common example of illusory correlation. Illusory correlation is when people tend to overestimate a link between two variables. However, the correlation is slight or not at all. This happens because the variables capture the attention simply because they are novel or deviant. This is one way stereotypes form and endure. It has been found that stereotypes can lead people to expect certain groups and traits to fit together, and they overestimate the frequency of when these correlations actually occur. People overestimate the core association between variables such as stereotyped groups and stereotypic behavior.
Spiral of silence - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The spiral of silence is a political science and mass communication theory propounded by the German political scientist Elisabeth Noelle-Neumann. The theory asserts that a person is less likely to voice an opinion on a topic if one feels that one is in the minority for fear of reprisal or isolation from the majority. The spiral of silence begins with fear of reprisal or isolation, and escalates from there. Individuals use what is described as "an innate ability" or quasi-statistical sense to gauge public opinion (Miller 2005: 278). Mass media plays a large part in determining what the dominant opinion is, since our direct observation is limited to a small percentage of the population. Mass media has such an enormous impact on how public opinion is portrayed, and can dramatically impact an individual's perception about where public opinion lies, whether or not that portrayal is factual (Scheufele and Moy 1999). Noelle-Neumann describes the spiral of silence as dynamic process, in which predictions about public opinion become fact as mass media's coverage of the majority opinion becomes the status quo, and the minority becomes less likely to speak out (Miller 2005:278). The theory, however, only applies to moral issues, not issues that can be proven right or wrong using facts. [This last sentence is the product of naive realist indoctrination - partly due to the spiral of silence began by the anti-mystic crusades of the corrupt Christian church and perpetuated by empiricism.] Recent investigation into the Internet has raised the question of if the "spiral of silence" exists on the communicative nature of the Internet.
Peer pressure - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Peer pressure is a term describing the pressure exerted by a peer group in encouraging a person to change their attitude, behavior [beliefs] and/or morals, to conform to, for example, the group's actions, fashion sense, taste in music and television, [empiricism, positivism, materialism] or outlook on life. Social groups affected include membership groups, when the individual is "formally" a member (for example, a political party or trade union), and social cliques [such as scientific communities]. A person affected by peer pressure may, or may not want to belong to these groups. They may also recognize dissociative groups with which they would not wish to associate, and thus they behave adversely concerning that group's behaviors.[e.g. it is taboo for empiricists to seriously engage with non-naive realists.]
Organizational dissent - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Organizational dissent is the “expression of disagreement or contradictory opinions about organizational practices and policies” (Kassing, 1998). Since dissent involves disagreement it can lead to conflict, which if not resolved, can lead to violence and struggle. As a result, many organizations send the message – verbally or nonverbally – that dissent is discouraged. However, recent studies have shown that dissent serves as an important monitoring force within organizations. Dissent can be a warning sign for employee dissatisfaction or organizational decline. Redding (1985) found that receptiveness to dissent allows for corrective feedback to monitor unethical and immoral behavior, impractical and ineffectual organizational practices and polices, poor and unfavorable decision making, and insensitivity to employees’ workplace needs and desires. Furthermore, Eilerman (Jan. 2006) argues that the hidden costs of silencing dissent include: wasted and lost time, reduced decision quality, emotional and relationship costs, and decreased job motivation.
Fear, uncertainty and doubt - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) is a tactic of rhetoric used in sales, marketing, public relations, [politicized religion, Scientism] and illiberal democracies. FUD is generally a strategic attempt to influence public perception by disseminating negative (and vague) information. An individual firm, for example, might use FUD to invite unfavorable opinions and speculation about a competitor's product; to increase the general estimation of switching costs among current customers; or to maintain leverage over a current business partner who could potentially become a rival. The term originated to describe disinformation tactics in the computer hardware industry and has since been used more broadly. FUD is a manifestation of the appeal to fear.
Appeal to fear - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An appeal to fear (also called argumentum ad metum or argumentum in terrorem) is a logical fallacy in which a person attempts to create support for his or her idea by increasing fear and prejudice toward a competitor. The appeal to fear is extremely common in marketing [politicized religion, Scientism] and politics.
Artificial controversy - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
An artificial controversy, or variously a contrived controversy, engineered controversy, fabricated controversy, manufactured controversy, or manufactroversy is a controversy that does not stem from genuine difference of opinion. The controversy is typically developed by an interest group, such as a political party [politicized religion, Scientism] or a marketing company, to attract media attention, or to facilitate framing of a particular issue. Creating controversy is also a controversial legal tactic used to gain advantage in a negotiation or trial. The controversy may stem from a minor incident blown out of proportion, from a false claim of controversy where no serious dispute existed, or no reasonable doubt remains, or unintentionally from misinterpreting data. [An example of this is the antagonism between Scientism and numerous mystic traditions. Once materialism was shown to be false scientists shifted to a 'physicalist' position. But given the vague definition of phyisicalism, most of the mystic traditions could be considered physicalist if they were properly understood by scientists. However there is deep historical prejudice against mysticism within Scientism, which was inherited from politicized Christianity. So the mystic traditions continue to be denigrated and ignored by science.]
Disinformation - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Disinformation is the deliberate dissemination of false information. It may include the distribution of forged documents, manuscripts, and photographs, or propagation of malicious rumors and fabricated intelligence. In the context of espionage or military intelligence, it is the deliberate spreading of false information to mislead an enemy as to one's position or course of action. In the context of politics, it is the deliberate attempt to deflect voter support of an opponent, disseminating false statements of innuendo based on the candidates vulnerabilities as revealed by opposition research. In both cases, it also includes the distortion of true information in such a way as to render it useless. Disinformation should not be confused with misinformation, which is merely false information spread by mistake. Disinformation techniques may also be found in commerce and government, used by one group to try to undermine the position of a competitor. It in fact is the act of deception and blatant false statements to convince someone of an untruth.
Crank (person) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
"Crank" is a pejorative term for a person who 1. holds some belief which the vast majority of his contemporaries would consider false, 2. is eccentric, especially one who is unduly zealous, 3. is bad-tempered.[1] The term implies that 1. a "cranky" belief is so wildly at variance with some commonly accepted truth as to be ludicrous, 2. and arguing with the crank is useless, because he will invariably dismiss all evidence or arguments which contradict his cranky belief. [Naive realists believe that all non-naive realists are cranks but the charge of 'crank' is more accurately directed at the naive realists themselves.]
Black propaganda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Black propaganda is false material where the source is disguised. It is propaganda that purports to be from a source on one side of a conflict, but is actually from the opposing side. It is typically used to vilify, embarrass or misrepresent the enemy. Black propaganda may also be... generated by altering genuine enemy propaganda in such a way as to distort its message. This is a particularly powerful tool if the target audience has a poor understanding of the language of the enemy, and is often used to insult the intended recipients, leading to a rallying effect. [Naive realists have used this tactic with great effect to denigrate non-naive realist perspectives. In this case the distortion is partly due to genuine incomprehension but mostly due to an entrenched cynicism toward non-naive realists.]
Propaganda - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Propaganda is a concerted set of messages aimed at influencing the opinions or behaviors of large numbers of people. As opposed to impartially providing information, propaganda in its most basic sense presents information in order to influence its audience. Propaganda often presents facts selectively (thus lying by omission) to encourage a particular synthesis, or gives loaded messages in order to produce an emotional rather than rational response to the information presented. The desired result is a change of the cognitive narrative of the subject in the target audience to further a political agenda.
Cultural imperialism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cultural imperialism is the practice of promoting, distinguishing, separating, or artificially injecting the culture or language of one nation into another. It is usually the case that the former is a large, economically or militarily powerful nation and the latter is a smaller, less important one. Cultural imperialism can take the form of an active, formal policy or a general attitude. The term is usually used in a pejorative sense, usually in conjunction with a call to reject foreign influence.
Fundamentalism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Religious fundamentalism refers a "deep and totalistic commitment" to a belief in the infallibility and inerrancy of a holy book, absolute religious authority, and strict adherence to a set of basic principles (fundamentals), away from doctrinal compromises with modern social and political life. The term fundamentalist has since been generalized to mean strong adherence to any set of beliefs in the face of criticism or unpopularity, but has by and large retained religious connotations. Fundamentalism is often used as a pejorative term, particularly when combined with other epithets (as in the phrase "Muslim fundamentalists" and "right-wing fundamentalists"). Richard Dawkins used the term to characterize religious advocates as clinging to a stubborn, entrenched position that defies reasoned argument or contradictory evidence. [This charge can equally be laid against empiricist Scientism, which is itself a materialist religion whose core tennets have been disproven by empirical science itself, hence it is internally inconsistent, but remains as a fundamentalist belief that is ruthlessly imposed.]
Pseudoskepticism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The term pseudoskepticism (or pseudo-skepticism) denotes thinking that appears to be skeptical but is not. Pseudoskeptics are those who take "the negative rather than an agnostic position but still call themselves 'skeptics'"
Cynicism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The word cynicism generally describes the opinions of those who see self-interest as the primary motive of human behaviour, and who disincline to rely upon sincerity, human virtue, or altruism as motivations.


Cognitive bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A cognitive bias is any of a wide range of observer effects identified in cognitive science and social psychology including very basic statistical, social attribution, and memory errors that are common to all human beings. Biases drastically skew the reliability of anecdotal and legal evidence.
List of cognitive biases - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A cognitive bias is a pattern of deviation in judgement that occurs in particular situations (see also cognitive distortion and the lists of thinking-related topics). Implicit in the concept of a "pattern of deviation" is a standard of comparison; this may be the judgment of people outside those particular situations, or may be a set of independently verifiable facts. The existence of some of these cognitive biases has been verified empirically in the field of psychology, others are widespread beliefs, and may themselves be a consequence of cognitive bias.
List of memory biases - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In psychology and cognitive science, a memory bias is a cognitive bias that either enhances or impairs the recall of a memory (either the chances that the memory will be recalled at all, or the amount of time it takes for it to be recalled, or both), or that alters the content of a reported memory. There are many types of memory bias.
Notational bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Notational bias is a form of cultural bias that is incurred when the available notation to describe something introduces a bias in our ability to approach it.
Infrastructure bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In science, infrastructure bias refers to the influence of existing social or scientific infrastructure on scientific observations.
Cultural bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cultural bias is when someone is biased due to his or her culture. The alleged problem of cultural bias is sometimes said to be central to social and human sciences, such as economics, psychology, anthropology and sociology. To counter perceived cultural bias, some practitioners of the fields have attempted to develop methods and theories to compensate for cultural bias. Some people claim cultural bias is a significant force in the natural sciences.
Confirmation bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In psychology and cognitive science, confirmation bias is a tendency to search for or interpret new information in a way that confirms one's preconceptions and avoids information and interpretations which contradict prior beliefs. It is a type of cognitive bias and represents an error of inductive inference, or as a form of selection bias toward confirmation of the hypothesis under study or disconfirmation of an alternative hypothesis.
Selection bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Selection bias is a distortion of evidence or data that arises from the way that the data are collected. It is sometimes referred to as the selection effect. The term selection bias most often refers to the distortion of a statistical analysis, due to the method of collecting samples. If the selection bias is not taken into account then any conclusions drawn may be wrong.
Dunning-Kruger effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Dunning-Kruger effect is the phenomenon wherein people who have little knowledge (or skill) tend to think that they know more (or have more skill) than they do, while others who have much more knowledge tend to think that they know less. The phenomenon was demonstrated in a series of experiments performed by Justin Kruger and David Dunning, both of Cornell University... They noted a number of previous studies which tend to suggest that in skills as diverse as reading comprehension, operating a motor vehicle, and playing chess or tennis, "ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" (as Charles Darwin put it). They hypothesized that with a typical skill which humans may possess in greater or lesser degree, 1. Incompetent individuals tend to overestimate their own level of skill. 2. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize genuine skill in others. 3. Incompetent individuals fail to recognize the extremity of their inadequacy. 4. If they can be trained to substantially improve their own skill level, these individuals can recognize and acknowledge their own previous lack of skill.
Ingroup bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Ingroup bias is the preferential treatment people give to whom they perceive to be members of their own groups. Experiments in psychology have shown that group members will award one another higher payoffs even when the "group" they share seems random and arbitrary, such as having the same birthday, having the same final digit in their U.S. Social Security Number, or even being assigned to the same flip of a coin.
Self-serving bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
A self-serving bias occurs when people attribute their successes to internal or personal factors but attribute their failures to situational factors beyond their control. The self-serving bias can be seen in the common human tendency to take credit for success but to deny responsibility for failure. It may also manifest itself as a tendency for people to evaluate ambiguous information in a way that is beneficial to their interests. Self-serving bias may be associated with the better-than-average effect (or Lake Wobegon effect), in which the individual is biased to believe that he or she typically performs better than the average person in areas important to their self esteem. For example, a majority of drivers think they drive better than the average driver.
Group-serving bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Group-serving bias is identical to self-serving bias except that it takes place between groups rather than individuals, under which group members make dispositional attributions for their group's successes and situational attributions for group failures, and vice versa for outsider groups.
Outgroup homogeneity bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
According to the outgroup homogeneity bias, individuals see members of their own group as being relatively more varied than members of other groups. This bias was found to be unrelated to the number of group and non-group members individuals knew. You might think that people thought members of their own groups were more varied and different simply because they knew them better, but this is actually not the case. The outgroup homogeneity bias was found between groups such as "men" and "women" who obviously interact frequently. The implications of this effect to stereotyping is obvious, and it may be related to confirmation bias
Trait ascription bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Trait ascription bias is the tendency for people to view themselves as relatively variable in terms of personality, behavior and mood while viewing others as much more predictable in their personal traits across different situations. This may be because our own internal states are much more observable and available to us than those of others. This attributional bias has an obvious role in the formation and maintenance of stereotypes and prejudice, combined with the negativity effect. A similar bias on the group level is called the outgroup homogeneity bias.
Attributional bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In psychology, an attributional bias is a cognitive bias that affects the way we determine who or what was responsible for an event or action (attribution). Attributional biases typically take the form of actor/observer differences: people involved in an action (actors) view things differently from people not involved (observers). These discrepancies are often caused by asymmetries in availability (frequently called "salience" in this context). For example, the behavior of an actor is easier to remember (and therefore more available for later consideration) than the setting in which he found himself; and a person's own inner turmoil is more available to himself than it is to someone else. As a result, our judgments of attribution are often distorted along those lines. In some experiments, for example, subjects were shown only one side of a conversation or were able to see the face of only one of the conversational participants. Whomever the subjects had a better view of were judged by them as being more important and more influential, and as having had a greater role in the conversation. There is some evidence that more intelligent and socially apt people are more likely to make errors in attribution.
Fundamental attribution error - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In attribution theory, the fundamental attribution error (also known as correspondence bias or overattribution effect) is the tendency for people to over-emphasize dispositional, or personality-based, explanations for behaviors observed in others while under-emphasizing situational explanations. In other words, people have an unjustified tendency to assume that a person's actions depend on what "kind" of person that person is rather than on the social and environmental forces influencing the person. Overattribution is less likely, perhaps even inverted, when people explain their own behavior; this discrepancy is called the actor-observer bias.
Egocentric bias - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Egocentric bias occurs when people claim more responsibility for themselves for the results of a joint action than an outside observer would. Besides simply claiming credit for positive outcomes, which might simply be self-serving bias, people exhibiting egocentric bias also cite themselves as overly responsible for negative outcomes of group behavior as well (however this last attribute would seem to be lacking in megalomania). This may be because our own actions are more "available" to us than the actions of others. See availability heuristic.
False consensus effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The false consensus effect is the tendency for people to project their way of thinking onto other people. In other words, they assume that everyone else thinks the same way they do. This supposed correlation is unsubstantiated by statistical data, leading to the perception of a consensus that does not exist. People readily guess their own opinions, beliefs and predilections to be more prevalent in the general public than they really are. This bias is commonly present in a group setting where one thinks the collective opinion of their own group matches that of the larger population. Since the members of a group reach a consensus and rarely encounter those who dispute it, they tend to believe that everybody thinks the same way. As an extension, when confronted with evidence that a consensus does not exist, people often assume that the others who do not agree with them are defective in some way.
Negativity effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In psychology, the negativity effect is the tendency of people, when evaluating the causes of the behaviors of a person they dislike, to attribute positive behaviors to the situations surrounding the behaviors and negative behaviors to the person's inherent disposition... The negativity effect plays a role in producing the ultimate attribution error, a major contributor to prejudice.
Positivity effect - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In psychology and cognitive science, the positivity effect is the tendency of people, when evaluating the causes of the behaviors of a person they like, to attribute positive behaviors to the person's inherent disposition and negative behaviors to situations surrounding the behaviors.


Ego (spirituality) - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
In spirituality, and especially nondual, mystical and eastern meditative traditions, the human being is often conceived as being in the illusion of individual existence, and separated from other aspects of creation. This "sense of doership" or sense of individual existence is that part which believes it is the human being, and believes it must fight for itself in the world, is ultimately unaware and unconscious of its own true nature. The ego is often associated with mind and the sense of time, which compulsively thinks in order to be assured of its future existence, rather than simply knowing its own self and the present. The spiritual goal of many traditions involves the dissolving of the ego, allowing self-knowledge of one's own true nature to become experienced and enacted in the world. This is variously known as Enlightenment, Nirvana, Presence, and the "Here and Now". Eckhart Tolle comments that, to the extent that the ego is present in an individual, that individual is somewhat insane psychologically, in reference to the ego's nature as compulsively hyper-active and compulsively (and pathologically) self-centered. However, since this is the norm, it goes unrecognised as the source of much that could be classified as insane behavior in everyday life. In South Asian traditions, the state of being trapped in the illusory belief that one is the ego is known as maya or samsara.
Buddhist definition of Ego and Desire
The feeling of a separate "I", which we call ego-consciousness, is directly related to the strength of ignorance, greed, and hatred. The deepest meaning of ignorance is the believing in, identifying with and clinging to the ego, which as we have seen, is nothing but an illusive mental phenomenon. But because of this strong clinging to ego-consciousness, attachment/desire, anger/hatred arise and repeatedly gain strength.
Ego Death
Ego death, as I think it should be defined, is a set of insights about, and a powerful experience of, the impotence and logical invalidity of the accustomed apparent control-agent who seems to reside in the mind. Ego death is associated closely with the loss of control, or the loss of the sense of being a legitimate controller. After the ego-death experience and philosophical insight, the ego remains, but now with a caveat -- it is seen to be largely a practical illusion. The mind revises its assumptions about time, self-control, and personal identity, shifting many ideas together. Because so many ideas are all revised together, it is slightly subtle or tricky communicating the new conceptual system, but it is not too hard for rational thought. Systematizing the insights of full ego death just requires mature, fully developed rational analysis.
Nature of Ego
The ego is the core framework around which the egoic mental worldmodel is constructed. The ego exists as a structure and a structuring principle or organizing scheme. The mind can hold an egoic or a transcendent worldmodel. Egoic structures are present in both, but *organized differently*.
Virtual Ego
The ego should be considered in terms of the nature of control itself and the nature of agency: ego as controller-entity or self-control cybernetic steersman, the ghostly homunculus who is the helmsman of the ship of you. Our conception of ego is distorted. But it is crude to say simply "ego is an illusion" or "ego does not exist." When a concept is distorted, this means that part of the mental associations are true, and some of the mental associations are false. But it's overkill to say that the entire thing, or concept, is false, or does not exist. That would be like saying that Einstein disproved Newton -- when he actually only modified Newton. Newton is not false, so much as distorted or incomplete. I would not say "Newtonian physics is an illusion" or "the Newtonian universe does not exist." To say it that way is not very precise, useful, or accurate. These extremely simplistic statements do not help us to understand the strengths as well as the limitations of Newton -- or the nature of the ego. The ego involves and relies on confused thinking. Where there is unenlightened ego, there is the entire egoic mode of thinking, which is not advanced vision-logic, but clumsy and non-lucid thinking. Bungled thinking is characterized by uncritical associations and categories. The ego is bungled thinking. Advanced, subtle, and powerful thinking is able to master the labyrinth of systematic confusions that are involved in the naive ego. The transcendent mental model of self and world is constructed by noticing and correcting the types of cognitive errors that are thoroughly involved in the egoic mental model.
The ego: the one and only obstacle to Spiritual Enlightenment - Andrewcohen.org
There is a profound contrast between the enlightened perspective, which is the absolute, universal, and impersonal view of the Authentic Self, and the unenlightened perspective, which is the relative, separate, and personal view of the narcissistic ego. It is literally the difference between heaven and hell.
An Outline of Occult Science by Rudolf Steiner, A Spiritual Science Review by Bobby Matherne
Steiner carefully explains how the human being with its newly developed ego is the most intricate, delicate instrument for observing the realm of the spirit, in fact it is the only such instrument available. Scientists who claim their instruments have never recorded the presence of a spirit world, are using the wrong instruments. They are much like the establishment scientist of Giordano Bruno and Galileo's day. "Look through my telescope, Criminino," Bruno implored, "and you will see mountains on the moon that you cannot see in any other way." "Never!" Criminino replied. "There are no mountains on the moon. Your instrument is a trick!"
The word ego is applied to the personal sense of self which gives a person his or her sense of mental and physical continuity and consistency. The ego is not the same as the mind or consciousness - it is, instead, the perceptual center of mind and consciousness. For the question, who or what is it that has mind and consciousness here, the ego is the answer.
What is ego?
A simple psychological definition of the ego is something like the "self-organizing principle," that all-important command center in the psyche that coordinates the different aspects of the self. And that command center must be in good working order for a human being to be able to function in the world with any reasonable degree of competency. The ego as self-organizing principle is neither positive nor negative; its function is mechanistic, and in that, it has no self nature. But there is another definition of ego—the one that inspired the investigation upon which this issue of WIE is based—and the ego in that definition has self nature. The human face of that ego is pride; is arrogant self-importance; is narcissistic self-infatuation; is the need to see oneself as being separate at all times, in all places, through all circumstances—and that ego is the unrelenting enemy of all that is truly wholesome in the human experience. When this ego is unmasked, seen directly for what it is, finally unobscured by the other expressions of the personality, one finds oneself literally face-to-face with a demon—a demon that thrives on power, domination, control and separation, that cares only about itself and is willing to destroy anything and everything that is good and true in order to survive intact and always in control. This demon lacks any capacity for empathy, compassion, generosity or love; delights in its perfect invulnerability; and, worst of all, will never ever acknowledge that which is sacred.
Ego legal definition of Ego. Ego synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary.
EGO. I, myself. This term is used in forming genealogical tables, to represent the person who is the object of inquiry.
Ego - definition of ego - define ego
Understand ego to dissolve ego by love and spiritual means... The Ego is that part of your present personality and your wholesome being including your astral body, Causal body and soul that is different from God and prevents you from becoming instantly one with God.
Definition of ego - WordReference.com Dictionary
ego Definition from dictionary
Ego - definition from Biology-Online.org
The conscious and permanent subject of all psychical experiences, whether held to be directly known or the product of reflective thought; opposed to non-ego.
Primer of Jungian Psychology
Jung said that an egois a filter from the senses to the conscious mind. All ego rejections go tothe personal subconscious. The ego is highly selective. Every day we aresubjected to a vast number of experiences, most of which do not becomeconscious because the ego eliminates them before they reach consciousness.This differs from Freud's definition of ego.
Ego - Freud
According to Freud, the ego is the largely unconscious part of personality that mediates the demands of the id, the superego, and reality...
Superego - Freud
According to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, the superego is the component of personality composed of our internalized ideals...
Id - Freud
According to Freud’s psychoanalytic theory of personality, the id is the personality component made up of unconscious psychic energy...

Ego Defense Mechanism

Defenses (psychpage.com)
A list of defenses and some information about them. The list is not exhaustive, but covers the big ones.
Denial - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Denial is a defense mechanism' postulated by Sigmund Freud, in which a person is faced with a fact that is too uncomfortable to accept and rejects it instead, insisting that it is not true despite what may be overwhelming evidence.
defense mechanisms - About.com : Psychology
Links to some information about defense mechanisms.
The Ego Defense Mechanism - Dating advice but excellent general analysis
Mastering your ego defense mechanism and learning how to deal with it when others evoke it in themselves is essential in maintaining a strong sense of your reality.
Ego Defense Mechanisms in Psychology 101 at AllPsych Online
We stated earlier that the ego's job was to satisfy the id's impulses, not offend the moralistic character of the superego, while still taking into consideration the reality of the situation. We also stated that this was not an easy job. Think of the id as the 'devil on your shoulder' and the superego as the 'angel of your shoulder.' We don't want either one to get too strong so we talk to both of them, hear their perspective and then make a decision. This decision is the ego talking, the one looking for that healthy balance.
Defense Mechanisms | Cross Creek Internet Counseling
A number of phenomena are used to aid in the maintenance of repression. These are termed Ego Defense Mechanisms (the terms "Mental Mechanisms" and "Defense Mechanisms" are essentially synonymous with this). The primary functions of these mechanisms are: 1. to minimize anxiety 2. to protect the ego 3. to maintain repression # Repression is useful to the individual since: 1. it prevents discomfort 2. it leads to some economy of time and effort
Defense Mechanisms
Psychoanalysis and psychodynamic theory have described the process by which we protect ourselves from awareness of our undesired and feared impulses. Defense mechanisms are our way of distancing ourselves from a full awareness of unpleasant thoughts, feelings and desires. In psychoanalytic theory, defense mechanisms represent an unconscious mediation by the ego of id impulses which are in conflict with the wishes and needs of the ego and/or superego. By altering and distorting one's awareness of the original impulse, one makes it more tolerable. However, while defense mechanisms are used in an attempt to protect oneself from unpleasant emotions, they often result in equally harmful problems.
Anxiety and Ego-Defense Mechanisms
In Freud's view, the human is driven towards tension reduction, in order to reduce feelings of anxiety... Humans seek to reduce anxiety through defense mechanisms. Defense Mechanisms can be psychologically healthy or maladaptive, but tension reduction is the overall goal in both cases.
The denial syndrome and its consequences: Serbian political culture since 2000
[must pay to view article] Since the outbreak of the War of Yugoslav Succession in 1991 and the subsequent atrocities, a significant portion of Serbian society, including the upper echelons of the government, has displayed symptoms of the denial syndrome, in which guilt is transposed onto the Croats, Bosniaks, and Kosovar Albanians. This syndrome is also associated with a veneration for the victimized hero, with sinister attribution error, and with tendencies toward dysphoric rumination. In the Serbian case, it has also been associated with efforts to whitewash the role played by Serbs such as Milan Nedić and Draža Mihailović during World War Two and has reinforced feelings of self-righteousness in Belgrade's insisting on its sovereignty over the disputed province of Kosovo.
Like intelligence, personality is an abstract concept that cannot be seen, touched, or directly measured. to psychologists, personality is one's relatively consistent and distinctive pattern of thinking. We have examined four major perspectives on personality, each valuable for the light it sheds on our complex workings.
Addressing cognitive defenses in critical incident stress - SpringerLink - Journal Article
[must pay to view article] While it is presumed that public safety workers have always used cognitive defenses to cope with traumatic experiences, this process has lacked systematic study. The author asserts that the use of ego defenses is common, necessary for daily functioning and not necessarily pathonomic or in need of therapeutic confrontation. This article makes an attempt to organize some of the literature in the area, raise questions that need to be studied, and argue strongly for future research.
Character Analysis of Bill Clinton
Contents: Ego Defenses ... Conscience and Guilt ... Southern Ethos ... Death Instinct ... Mother's Day for Bill ... Psychotherapy
Study table: Name the Ego Defense Mechanisms
A flashcard study tool to help memorize a table of information about Name the Ego Defense Mechanisms
Defenses: Their Nature and Function. American Journal of Psychiatry. CXIII, 1956: John R. Reid and Jacob E. Finesinger. Pp. 1015-1020.
The authors offer examples of behavioral, physiological, and psychological protective reflexes whose adaptive function is to avoid pain and injury, thus defending the organism against danger and ensuring survival; the examples range from the molecular to sign-mediated levels of behavior. The word 'defense' is potentially ambiguous.
Cognitive dissonance - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Cognitive dissonance is a psychological state that describes the uncomfortable feeling when a person begins to understand that something the person believes to be true is, in fact, not true. Similar to ambivalence, the term cognitive dissonance describes conflicting thoughts or beliefs (cognitions) that occur at the same time, or when engaged in behaviors that conflict with one's beliefs. In academic literature, the term refers to attempts to reduce the discomfort of conflicting thoughts by performing actions that are opposite to one's beliefs. In simple terms, it can be the filtering of information that conflicts with what one already believes, in an effort to ignore that information and reinforce one's beliefs. In detailed terms, it is the perception of incompatibility between two cognitions, where "cognition" is defined as any element of knowledge, including attitude, emotion, belief, or behavior.

Empiricism and Naive Realism

Realism and Educational Research ... - Google Book Search
Empiricists embrace a form of naive realism which conflates thought and reality in a particular way...
Realism and Educational Research ... - Google Book Search
Naive realism is underpinned by a social theory known as positivism and a philosophical theory known as empiricism.
The Quantitative Imperative: Positivism, Naive Realism and the Place of Qualitative Methods in Psychology -- Michell 13 (1): 5 -- Theory & Psychology
Pay per view article: The quantitative imperative is the view that in science, when you cannot measure, you do not really know what you are talking about, but when you can, you do, and, therefore, qualitative methods have no place in psychology. On the basis of this imperative, qualitative research methods are still excluded from mainstream psychology. Where does this view come from? Many qualitative researchers think it is an expression of positivism. Is this attribution correct? Then again, qualitative researchers often confuse positivism with naive realism. What is the relationship between the quantitative imperative and naive realism? In this paper it is shown that in finding opposition, qualitative researchers did not, as they sometimes allege, come up against the hard, positivistic edge of science. They encountered something at once much more deep-seated than positivism but also something much less hardheaded than they suppose positivism to have been. Indeed, perhaps surprisingly, positivism is no barrier to qualitative methods. As for naive realism, it provides a firm foundation for qualitative methods in psychology. It is argued that in psychology, the quantitative imperative is an egregious, potentially self-perpetuating form of methodological error.
Empiricism as a solution to the problem of knowledge makes two basic assumptions concerning knowledge...