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Author Topic: Why is ideology like a prism?  (Read 3695 times)

Offline coberst

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« on: 03/04/2009 21:07:20 »
Why is ideology like a prism?

Webster says a prism is “a medium that distorts, slants, or colors whatever is viewed through it”.

It appears to me that Marx was the first great thinker to have coined the word “ideology”.  Ideology is a distinctive form of reasoning about the individual and about the individual in society.  Ideology is a systematically biased mode of thinking.  Ideologies vary extensively in so far as the idioms used, the extent of bias, the degree of sophistication, the manner in which bias permeates various aspects of theory, and so on.

While ideologies vary widely in certain aspects all ideologies share some common characteristics.  An identifiable logical structure is shared by all.  This structure includes: 1) a moral dimension, 2) it is biased toward a specific group and is biased against those out side this group, 3) an ideology cannot not directly defend it self because it rests on assumptions that have never been critically examined or even formulated, and 4) Marx believes these assumptions to be “nothing more than the intellectual ‘transcripts’ of the conditions of existence of the social group whose point of view it reflects”.

Like viewing the world through a prism, the ideologue experiences the world in a distorted manner.  “What a man does not transcend in reality, he cannot effectively transcend in thought either.  The limits of his existence are the limits of his thoughts.  His basic assumptions are therefore ultimately nothing but his conditions of existence ‘reproduced’ in thought.” 

Quotes from Marx’s Theory of Ideology Bhikhu Parekh   




 

Offline lightarrow

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #1 on: 04/04/2009 04:37:42 »
Why is ideology like a prism?

Webster says a prism is “a medium that distorts, slants, or colors whatever is viewed through it”.

It appears to me that Marx was the first great thinker to have coined the word “ideology”.  Ideology is a distinctive form of reasoning about the individual and about the individual in society.  Ideology is a systematically biased mode of thinking.  Ideologies vary extensively in so far as the idioms used, the extent of bias, the degree of sophistication, the manner in which bias permeates various aspects of theory, and so on.

While ideologies vary widely in certain aspects all ideologies share some common characteristics.  An identifiable logical structure is shared by all.  This structure includes: 1) a moral dimension, 2) it is biased toward a specific group and is biased against those out side this group, 3) an ideology cannot not directly defend it self because it rests on assumptions that have never been critically examined or even formulated, and 4) Marx believes these assumptions to be “nothing more than the intellectual ‘transcripts’ of the conditions of existence of the social group whose point of view it reflects”.

Like viewing the world through a prism, the ideologue experiences the world in a distorted manner.  “What a man does not transcend in reality, he cannot effectively transcend in thought either.  The limits of his existence are the limits of his thoughts.  His basic assumptions are therefore ultimately nothing but his conditions of existence ‘reproduced’ in thought.” 

Quotes from Marx’s Theory of Ideology Bhikhu Parekh  

And your ideology is?
 

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #2 on: 04/04/2009 04:52:08 »

And your ideology is?
I'll wager he's a Marxist, any takers..............?
 

Offline coberst

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #3 on: 04/04/2009 15:07:59 »
My ideology is anti-ideology and my means for combat is CT, i.e. Critical Thinking.
 

Offline lightarrow

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #4 on: 04/04/2009 16:29:41 »
My ideology is anti-ideology and my means for combat is CT, i.e. Critical Thinking.
Ok, thank you for a direct answer, it's the first time I'll receive one from you.  :)
That said, I find interesting the ideas you have reported in your post about ideology.
 

Offline graham.d

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #5 on: 04/04/2009 16:48:28 »
Isn't this concept a subset of the idea of Memes suggested by Richard Dawkins?
 

Offline coberst

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #6 on: 05/04/2009 14:31:48 »

I think that President Bush often spoke the mantra of ideology "you are either with us or against us".  This either/or view is the view of ideology.  Because high tech has placed extraordinary power into the hands of ordinary people our species is in great danger.

Actually 'ideology is prison' may be a better metaphor than 'ideology is prism'.
 

Offline dlorde

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #7 on: 06/04/2009 20:55:04 »
3) an ideology cannot not directly defend it self because it rests on assumptions that have never been critically examined or even formulated

I don't think I can agree with this - if it is suggesting that all ideologies rest on assumptions that have never been critically examined or even formulated. Many ideologies originate in the critical examination and formulation of the assumptions of existing systems and their hallmark is their explicitly critical examination and formulation of their own axioms. I suspect the author (Marx?) has a different definition of 'ideology' than that in general use.
 

Offline coberst

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #8 on: 07/04/2009 12:50:26 »
3) an ideology cannot not directly defend it self because it rests on assumptions that have never been critically examined or even formulated

I don't think I can agree with this - if it is suggesting that all ideologies rest on assumptions that have never been critically examined or even formulated. Many ideologies originate in the critical examination and formulation of the assumptions of existing systems and their hallmark is their explicitly critical examination and formulation of their own axioms. I suspect the author (Marx?) has a different definition of 'ideology' than that in general use.

It appears to me that you are correct in that there seems to be many ideas of the meaning of "idiology".  I suspect that sociology is the science that should be responsible for creating a scientific structure for this very important concept and sociology has failed in its responsibility.

This failure is, in my opinion, as egregious as the failure of our big banksters who have created this financial desaster that we are now experiencing.
 

Offline dlorde

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #9 on: 08/04/2009 15:34:33 »
I suspect that sociology is the science that should be responsible for creating a scientific structure for this very important concept and sociology has failed in its responsibility.
Why on Earth should sociology be responsible for creating a 'scientific structure' for the concept of ideology? Is such a thing even possible? Is sociology a science of the kind that can create 'scientific structures' for concepts? Exactly what do you mean by a 'scientific structure' for a concept?

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This failure is, in my opinion, as egregious as the failure of our big banksters who have created this financial desaster that we are now experiencing.
With respect, this is nonsense without a full and lucid explanation, so please explain.
 

Offline coberst

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #10 on: 08/04/2009 22:16:33 »
I suspect that sociology is the science that should be responsible for creating a scientific structure for this very important concept and sociology has failed in its responsibility.
Why on Earth should sociology be responsible for creating a 'scientific structure' for the concept of ideology? Is such a thing even possible? Is sociology a science of the kind that can create 'scientific structures' for concepts? Exactly what do you mean by a 'scientific structure' for a concept?

Quote
This failure is, in my opinion, as egregious as the failure of our big banksters who have created this financial desaster that we are now experiencing.
With respect, this is nonsense without a full and lucid explanation, so please explain.

Darwin informs us that the species that fails to adapt to its changing environment will soon become toast.  If we lack the intellectual sophistication required to make a science of these two concepts, ideology and morality, then we lack the sophistication required to adapt to our changing environment and thus will shortly become toast.

Any domain of knowledge can be studied in a systematic, disciplined, and empirical manner.  Our educational system prepares us only to act as producers and consumers and not as sophisticated citizens capable of meeting our changing needs to adapt.

I suspect that religion may be the roadblock to the science of morality.
 

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Why is ideology like a prism?
« Reply #10 on: 08/04/2009 22:16:33 »

 

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