Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness.
It seems to me that we have come this way before. Some of the signposts are new, perhaps — “Bacteria,” “Bach,” and so on — but the scenery looks very familiar, if now somewhat overgrown, and it is hard not to feel that the path is the same one that Daniel Dennett has been treading for five decades. I suppose it would be foolish to expect anything else. As often as not, it is the questions we fail to ask — and so the presuppositions we leave intact — that determine the courses our arguments take; and Dennett has been studiously avoiding the same set of questions for most of his career.
“If three members of the communist party peer-reviewed an analysis of capitalism, written by another member of the communist party, would you consider that analysis to be “scientific” or “objective”?
The American Psychological Association recently announced that “traditional masculinity” — or as I prefer to call it, masculinity — is psychologically “harmful.”
They claim that this designation is based on 40 years of peer-reviewed “research,” but in fact it is based on 40 years of people with the same philosophical and political bias repeating and affirming their beliefs back and forth to each other in a closed circle in which dissent is routinely dismissed or punished.
There’s no reason why one would expect a group of communists to produce an unbiased analysis of capitalism, and there’s no reason that one would expect a group dominated by women and avowed feminist activists and intellectuals to produce an unbiased analysis of masculinity. Their agenda is open, and Ryon McDermott, who helped develop these guidelines, proclaimed in the announcement that his goal was to “change the world” by “changing men.”
That’s crucial. The objective of the APA isn’t to help men better navigate the challenges of being what they are, but to change them completely.”
Rule 1: Do not carelessly denigrate social institutions or creative achievement.
Rule 2: Imagine who you could be and then aim single-mindedly at that.
Rule 3: Work as hard as you possibly can, on at least one thing, and see what happens.
Rule 4: Do not hide unwanted things in the fog.
Rule 5: Abandon ideology.
Rule 6: Notice that opportunity lurks, where responsibility has been abdicated.
Rule 7: Do not do things that you hate.
Rule 8: Try to make one room in your house as beautiful as possible.
Rule 9: If old memories still make you cry, write them down carefully and completely.
Rule 10: Plan and work diligently to maintain the romance in your relationship.
Rule 11: Be grateful, in spite of your suffering.
Rule 12: Do not allow yourself to become resentful, deceitful, or arrogant.