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Old 09-24-2010, 05:49 PM   #45
Keith Larman
Location: California
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,523
United_States
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Re: Breaking the will of the ego.

Carl, no time right now. The problem really stems from the whole notion of "destroying" the ego or "breaking" the will. These are all loaded terms. I kinda get what he's trying to say, but quite frankly human behavior is not all that easy to change. And just because we talk about things like "the ego" or the "will" it doesn't follow that they are in fact singular "things". A quick example that comes to mind is the notion of IQ. Testing guys (my area) use tools like factor analysis to rotate out factors that identify "trends" within really complex datasets. We try to find these underlying factors. But we take a huge leap when we move from identifying a factor and giving it a quantitative or descriptive "value" to the thinking that it is therefore a "thing". Reification of a factor results in moving from talking about an abstraction which is really a marvelously complex, varied, multi-aspect "set" of events/proclivities/whatever to thinking there's something more or less concrete there. What is the will? What is the ego? Beyond just defining the terms are we making the mistake of reifying the simplification of complex behaviors into some singular thing? When we do this we move from explanation into making new assumptions, forming new theories, then we can start talking about "breaking" the will, destroying ego, and all those things.

It just doesn't work that way.

But... Like I said, gotta go for now. Gotta go teach a class, actually...

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