The Master has no possessions. The more he does for others, the happier he is. The more he gives to others, the wealthier he is. The Tao nourishes by not forcing. By not dominating, the Master leads. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.
More specifically, everybody — including me — has some important pieces of the truth, and all of those pieces need to be honored, cherished, and included in a more gracious, spacious, and compassionate embrace. Wells Our ideals, laws and customs should be based on the proposition that each generation, in turn, becomes the custodian rather than the absolute owner of our resources and each generation has the obligation to pass this inheritance on to the future.
In that purer light, people will come to see themselves in each other, which is to say they will make themselves known to one another by their similarities rather than by their differences. Man's knowledge of things will begin to be matched by man's knowledge of self. The significance of a smaller world will be measured not in terms of military advantage, but in terms of advantage for the human community.
It will be the triumph of the heartbeat over the drumbeat. There is only an up or down — up to a man's age-old dream; the ultimate in individual freedom consistent with law and order — or down to the ant heap totalitarianism, and regardless of their sincerity, their humanitarian motives, those who would trade our freedom for security have embarked on this downward course. Heinlein in Stranger in a Strange Land All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them.
For she enfolds and imparts herself even unto the smallest beings. Without her presence nothing would have being, because she is the essence of the existence of the first unto the last being. I am aware that a philosopher's ideas are not subject to the judgement of ordinary persons, because it is his endeavor to seek the truth in all things, to the extent permitted to human reason by God.
Yet I hold that completely erroneous views should be shunned. To me there is nothing in it, beyond the lustre which may be reflected from its connection with a power of promoting human felicity. Thompson We think basically you watch television to turn your brain off, and you work on your computer when you want to turn your brain on.
Little darling, It seems like years since it's been clear. Here comes the sun Here comes the sun, And I say It's alright. Our aim must be to diminish the number of the latter and increase the number of the former. That is why we demand education and knowledge. In the endless war against weakness and despair, these are the bright rally-flags of hope and of emulation. I hold that a writer who does not passionately believe in the perfectibility of man, has no dedication nor any membership in literature.
This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining. Seuss Leave the beaten track behind occasionally and dive into the woods. Every time you do you will be certain to find something you have never seen before. When I orbited the Earth in a spaceship, I saw for the first time how beautiful our planet is. Mankind, let us preserve and increase this beauty, and not destroy it! I want to fish as deep down as possible into my own subconscious in the belief that once that far down, everyone will understand because they are the same that far down.
But the striving frees us from the bonds of the self and makes us comrades of those who are the best and the greatest. But I might instead try to help deal with the world's larger problems. Standing up to an evil system is exhilarating, and now I have a taste for it. To be sane is, to a great extent, to be sociable. They should also govern it. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you.
Rather, the Kingdom is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty. For nothing hidden will not become manifest, and nothing covered will remain without being uncovered.
Artists must never betray their true hearts. Artists must look beneath the surface and show that there is more to this world than what meets the eye. Yet, as Genesis has it, all men and women are entrusted with the task of crafting their own life: in a certain sense, they are to make of it a work of art, a masterpiece. When we come to it We must confess that we are the possible We are the miraculous, the true wonders of this world That is when, and only when We come to it.
I sit in my hotel at night and think of something that's funny and then I go get a pen and write 'em down. Or, if the pen's too far away, I have to convince myself that what I thought of ain't funny. At the center humankind struggles with collective powers for its freedom, the individual struggles with dehumanization for the possession of his soul.
It is important to remember, as has well been said, 'the essential characteristic of true liberty is that under its shelter many different types of life and character and opinion and belief can develop unmolested and unobstructed'. I do not add "within the limits of the law" because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. These are miracles And the good earth is rich and can provide for everyone. The way of life can be free and beautiful, but we have lost the way.
We have developed speed, but we have shut ourselves in. Machinery that gives abundance has left us in want. Our knowledge has made us cynical. Our cleverness, hard and unkind. We think too much and feel too little. More than machinery we need humanity. More than cleverness we need kindness and gentleness. Without these qualities, life will be violent and all will be lost. But the love will have been enough; all those impulses of love return to the love that made them. Even memory is not necessary for love. There is a land of the living and a land of the dead and the bridge is love, the only survival, the only meaning.
It is like a great dynamic sun in the center of a solar system which sends out its rays and inspiration in every direction Music makes us feel that the heavens open and a divine voice calls. Something in our souls responds and understands. The fact that the Lord can work and act even with insufficient means consoles me, and above all I entrust myself to your prayers.
No one can eliminate prejudices — just recognize them. Murrow If people did not sometimes do silly things, nothing intelligent would ever get done. When I have clarified and exhausted a subject, then I turn away from it, in order to go into darkness again. Barrie The world is more malleable than you think and it's waiting for you to hammer it into shape.
So a man who is trying to understand violence does not belong to any country, to any religion, to any political party or partial system; he is concerned with the total understanding of mankind. Krishnamurti Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better. So I believe that dreams — day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing — are likely to lead to the betterment of the world.
The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. Frank Baum You say that you are my judge. I don't know if you are — but take care not to judge wrongly, lest you place yourself in great danger. I felt pretty good while I was blowing that bubble, but as soon as the gum lost its flavor, I was back to pondering my mortality.
Truth is on the side of the oppressed today, it's against the oppressor. You don't need anything else. The highest morality may prove also to be the highest wisdom when the half-told story comes to be finished. But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you.
- Introduction to Sociology/Print version - Wikibooks, open books for an open world.
- Introduction to Sociology/Print version.
- Femlet: It’s just our thinking makes it so!
- Electrochemistry at the Nanoscale (Nanostructure Science and Technology).
- Chapter 3. Culture.
- Last Chance (First Impressions Book 3).
- Free Thought Lives.
Look what a lot of things there are to learn. White The liberty of man consists solely in this: that he obeys natural laws because he has himself recognized them as such, and not because they have been externally imposed upon him by any extrinsic will whatever, divine or human, collective or individual. Mark Felt A time is marked not so much by ideas that are argued about as by ideas that are taken for granted.
The character of an era hangs upon what needs no defense. Power runs with ideas that only the crazy would draw into doubt. The "taken for granted" is the test of sanity In these times, the hardest task for social or political activists is to find a way to get people to wonder again about what we all believe is true. The challenge is to sow doubt. There is a preference for candy bars. Mac OS X has been leading a secret double life — for the past five years. They may not pay what you want, and they may not have as many days' work as you want, they may not have the billing that you want, they may not have a lot of things, but — the content of the role itself — I find there are many roles.
It tells us that for every human being there is a diversity of existences, that the single existence is itself an illusion in part, that these many existences signify something, tend to something, fulfill something; it promises us meaning, harmony and even justice. I want to be useful or bring enjoyment to people, even those I've never met. I want to go on living even after my death! And that's why I'm grateful to God for having given me this gift, which I can use to develop and to express all that's inside me!
It is impossible to think of a genuine revolutionary lacking this quality We must strive every day so that this love of living humanity will be transformed into actual deeds, into acts that serve as examples, as a moving force. He created all tribes of men and certainly had a righteous purpose in creating each. To make light of philosophy is to be a true philosopher. It is up to you to give it a meaning, and value is nothing but the meaning that you choose. Patience, patience, patience, is what the sea teaches. Patience and faith. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach — waiting for a gift from the sea.
Religion is a boundary condition. A statesman enamored of existing evils, as opposed to a Liberal, who wants to replace them with new ones. They are Ignorance, Superstition, and Bigotry — the most sinister and tyrannical rulers on earth. Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch.
The Foreign Office is terribly pleased, it's just like old times. The wisdom which a wise man tries to communicate always sounds foolish Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom. It is there, though; not hostile, not reluctant, not deaf. If you summon it by the right word, by its right name, it will come. For events as well as for men, the stock company is not enough; geniuses are needed among men, and revolutions among events.
Great accidents are the law; the order of things cannot get along without them; and, to see the apparitions of comets, one would be tempted to believe that Heaven itself is in need of star actors. Nor is there any limit on how many you can love. If a person had time enough, he could love all of that majority who are decent and just. Heinlein Anyone entrusted with power will abuse it if not also animated with the love of truth and virtue, no matter whether he be a prince, or one of the people.
Right through the ages there were Jews. Through the ages they suffered, but it also made us strong. To believe all men honest would be folly. To believe none so is something worse. But I know you fear that you may fail in your long-term objective to destroy our free society and I can show you why you will fail. In the brief time that P2P nets have flourished, the ad-hoc masses of the Internet have managed to put just about everything online. We've arranged a civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology.
We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for awhile, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and power is going to blow up in our faces. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! He can be completely realistic in every sense but one, that one sense being that in life as we know it such a man would not be a private detective.
The artist is not a person endowed with free will who seeks his own ends, but one who allows art to realize its purpose through him. You must remember that the parts you are reassembling were disassembled by you. Therefore, if you can't get them together again, there must be a reason. By all means, do not use a hammer. I'd take him out for a meal and apologise for everything I've put him through. Rowling August From without, no wonderful effect is wrought within ourselves, unless some interior, responding wonder meets it.
That the starry vault shall surcharge the heart with all rapturous marvelings, is only because we ourselves are greater miracles, and superber trophies than all the stars in universal space. It's not about who's right or wrong. No denomination's nailed it yet, and they never will because they're all too self-righteous to realize that it doesn't matter what you have faith in, just that you have faith.
Your hearts are in the right place, but your brains need to wake up. I have issues with anyone who treats faith as a burden instead of a blessing. You people don't celebrate your faith; you mourn it. It is only of life on Earth, however, that one can speak with any certainty. It seems to me that all life on Earth, the sum total of life upon the Earth, has purpose. Simak My name is Ozymandias, king of kings: Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair! Nothing beside remains: round the decay Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare, The lone and level sands stretch far away.
Learn as if you were to live forever. Eisenhower Intelligence is like four-wheel drive. It only allows you to get stuck in more remote places. Ingersoll Once we realize that imperfect understanding is the human condition there is no shame in being wrong, only in failing to correct our mistakes. Chesterton To listen to some devout people, one would imagine that God never laughs. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, to make it possible.
Lawrence Be sure that you are right, and then go ahead. If you continue to hate, you are entering into the same philosophy that began the war. You have to look forward at people and new times. I do not mean a country where six men may make five men do exactly as they like. Time is a river which carries me along, but I am the river; it is a tiger that devours me, but I am the tiger; it is a fire that consumes me, but I am the fire.
I tell you the division is a thread, a sheet of glass. A touch here, a push there, and you bring back the reign of Saturn. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.
I have a dream today I find that the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it — but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor. No one can conceive the variety of feelings which bore me onwards, like a hurricane, in the first enthusiasm of success.
Life and death appeared to me ideal bounds, which I should first break through, and pour a torrent of light into our dark world. Place in matter and in flesh the least of the values, for these are things that hold death and must pass away. Discover in all things that which shines and is beyond corruption. Encourage virtue in whatever heart it may have been driven into secrecy and sorrow by the shame and terror of the world. What role does silence have in all this noise?
Its role is no more to exclusively uphold the claims of the individual than it is to exclusively uphold the claims of the government: It must hold the constitutional balance true between these claims. They know it's going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it's always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt. Pirsig I am patient with stupidity but not with those who are proud of it. McKay Love is life. All, everything that I understand, I understand only because I love. More fruitful perspectives often require that we step off the line to a site outside the dichotomy.
But September 11 also posed a momentous and deliberate challenge not just to America but to the world at large. The target of the terrorists was not only New York and Washington but the very values of freedom, tolerance and decency which underpin our way of life. They are nothing of the sort. What the world turns to, when it has been cured of one error, is usually simply another error, and maybe one worse than the first one.
Mencken Miss Manners does not mind explaining the finer points of gracious living, but she feels that anyone without the sense to pick up a potato chip and stuff it in their face should probably not be running around loose on the streets. Try and vary your methods as you will, your tastes, your habits, your attitude of mind, and your soul is revealed by your actions. But the job is to seek mystery, evoke mystery, plant a garden in which strange plants grow and mysteries bloom.
The need for mystery is greater than the need for an answer. When you learn to tap this source, you will have truly defeated age. And no good thing ever dies. My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. You can't start a fire — you can't start a fire without a spark. This gun's for hire — even if we're just dancing in the dark.
Scott Fitzgerald Between grief and nothing I will take grief. Could you see the guy who was driving? Could you climb higher and higher? Could you climb right over the top? If the result is contrary to the hypothesis, then you've made a discovery. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity.
It is the middle ground between light and shadow, between science and superstition, and it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge. This is the dimension of imagination. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone3 fil. I have yet to hear anyone say something that seemed likely to mitigate the idiocy of this age. Then we shall all, philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason — for then we would know the mind of God.
Death closes all; but something ere the end, Some work of noble note, may yet be done, Not unbecoming men that strove with gods. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. True religion must teach that life is filled with joys pleasing to the eye of God, that knowledge without action is empty.
All men must see that the teaching of religion by rules and rote is largely a hoax. The proper teaching is recognized with ease. You can know it without fail because it awakens within you that sensation which tells you this is something you've always known. Our primary allegiance is to the human race and not to one particular color or border. And the story of a love is not important — what is important is that one is capable of love. It is perhaps the only glimpse we are permitted of eternity.
You wait for the dust to settle, and then you choose. You can live in the wreckage and pretend it's still the mansion you remember. Or you can crawl from the rubble and slowly rebuild. Whom do they hate most? Him who breaketh up their tables of values, the breaker, the law-breaker — he, however, is the creator. Companions, the creator seeketh, not corpses — and not herds or believers either. Fellow-creators the creator seeketh — those who grave new values on new tables.
Always hold in your heart the pride of your special heritage. They can be a great people, Kal-El — they wish to be. They only lack the light to show the way. I mean, even all the best rebels to me had some sense of hope in them. And drugs are not central to my life. There are deep wells of strength that are never used. Byrd I know that it will hurt, I know that it will break your heart, the way things are, and the way they've been. Don't spread the discontent, don't spread the lies, don't make the same mistakes with your own life.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who, at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly; so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory or defeat. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty.
I have shown it for years; think you I shall lose it at the moment when my sufferings are to end? Somewhere, over the rainbow, skies are blue, And the dreams that you dare to dream Really do come true. No sir, you can look through everything I ever did write or say, and you never did hear me tell a joke about any mother-in-law — or any creed, color or religion, either.
Kennedy If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe. What have you got? A hundred years or much, much less until the end of your world. It is the spirit of the men who follow and of the man who leads that gains that victory. Patton Every age hath its own problem, and every soul its particular aspiration. The remedy the world needeth in its present-day afflictions can never be the same as that which a subsequent age may require. Be anxiously concerned with the needs of the age ye live in, and centre your deliberations on its exigencies and requirements.
That may be beyond us, but so long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.
It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. Who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God's image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were in the eye. Schulz Put every great teacher together in a room, and they'd agree about everything; put their disciples in there and they'd argue about everything.
It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
Can we reverse the ageing process by putting young blood into older people?
The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. Lewis Hello. You killed my father. Prepare to die. I think that the worst thing you could say is that he is, basically, an under-achiever.
I do believe that if there is something like a political life-to-be — to remain for us, in this world of technology — then it begins with friendship. To beautify it is to take away its character of complexity — it is to destroy it. Will is of little importance, complaining is nothing, fame is nothing. Openness, patience, receptivity, solitude is everything. Always remember that this whole thing was started with a dream and a mouse. It is a burst of Heaven-shaking thunder; It is a linnet's fluting after rain.
This is not merely interference with freedom of the press but the sealing up of a nation's heart, the excision of its memory. The best and the worst In other words, I had a life. It must be a complete dedication to the people and to the nation with full recognition that every human being is entitled to courtesy and consideration, that constructive criticism is not only to be expected but sought, that smears are not only to be expected but fought, that honor is to be earned but not bought.
Religious creationists and scientific materialists are equally dogmatic and insensitive. By their arrogance they bring both science and religion into disrepute. If you're afraid you don't commit yourself to life completely; fear makes you always, always hold something back. Dick I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach. Who are we? What are we?
We find that we inhabit an insignificant planet of a hum-drum star lost in a galaxy tucked away in some forgotten corner of a universe in which there are far more galaxies than people. We make our world significant by the courage of our questions, and by the depth of our answers. Patton My own experience and development deepen every day my conviction that our moral progress may be measured by the degree in which we sympathize with individual suffering and individual joy. I reached for the last one they had, but so did another man.
As I rained blows upon him, I realized there had to be another way. Nicholas soon would be there. Come to think of it, why do we have to wait for Christmas to do that? We can only make them right by discussion. History is one war after another with a bunch of murders and natural disasters in between.
If you can fill the unforgiving minute With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And — which is more — you'll be a Man, my son! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. Only connect, and the beast and the monk, robbed of the isolation that is life to either, will die. Forster How often people speak of art and science as though they were two entirely different things, with no interconnection That is all wrong.
The true artist is quite rational as well as imaginative and knows what he is doing; if he does not, his art suffers. The true scientist is quite imaginative as well as rational, and sometimes leaps to solutions where reason can follow only slowly; if he does not, his science suffers. For what is the time of a man, except it be interwoven with that memory of ancient things of a superior age? The first is freedom of speech and expression — everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way — everywhere in the world.
The third is freedom from want The fourth is freedom from fear That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation. There is only one world, for all of us to live and delight in. Then something happened which unleashed the power of our imagination. We learned to talk. It will begin anew with love; it will start out naked and tiny; it will take root in the wilderness, and to it all that we did and built will mean nothing — our towns and factories, our art, our ideas will all mean nothing, and yet life will not perish!
Only we have perished. Our houses and machines will be in ruins, our systems will collapse, and the names of our great will fall away like dry leaves. Only you, love, will blossom on this rubbish heap and commit the seed of life to the winds. Love that, not man Apart from that, or else you will share man's pitiful confusions, or drown in despair when his days darken.
They are written, as with a sunbeam, in the whole volume of human nature, by the hand of the divinity itself; and can never be erased or obscured by mortal power. My fiery protest is simply the cry of my very soul. That's what we're doing. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice, and justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love I know that love is ultimately the only answer to mankind's problems. And I'm going to talk about it everywhere I go. Human felicity is produc'd not so much by great pieces of good fortune that seldom happen, as by little advantages that occur every day.
I don't understand the concept of two sides. And I think that probably there's good on both sides, bad on both sides, and there's a middle ground. But it never seems to come to the middle ground. And it's very frustrating watching it, and seemingly we're not moving forward.
Therefore if we would acquire useful knowledge, we must first divest ourselves of those impediments and sincerely endeavor to search out the truth: and draw our conclusions from reason and just argument, which will never conform to our inclination, interest or fancy but we must conform to that if we would judge rightly. Howard To minimize suffering and to maximize security were natural and proper ends of society and Caesar.
But then they became the only ends, somehow, and the only basis of law — a perversion. Inevitably, then, in seeking only them, we found only their opposites: maximum suffering and minimum security. Miller, Jr. Over the obscure man is poured the merciful suffusion of darkness. None knows where he goes or comes. He may seek the truth and speak it; he alone is free; he alone is truthful, he alone is at peace. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end.
But an author is one who can judge his own stuff's worth, without pity, and destroy most of it. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. One distinction by which the controversy might be clarified is the mental state involved in the writing process. Many pantsers view the ideal state of writing as akin to a waking dream. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It's self-conscious, and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can't try to do things. You simply must do things. The idea of divine madness possessing poets and prophets and I include novelists under these grand rubrics is an old one.
Kalidasa , the Indian poet, is said to have had the sigil of inspiration painted on his tongue by the goddess, after which the waters of creativity simply poured forth. Madness and divine inspiration here are opposed to calm, clear, intellectual rationality and planning. Planning in a sense takes place in both models. And that distinction may well mean different parts of the brain or mind function to conceptualize the basic structure of the novel.
In everyday social interaction, we understand what another person means by their actions and words by putting ourselves in their place and simulating what we would do in their place. This is not usually a conscious process. He lives for stories that must be told and the people who tell them. I laughed it off, trying not to betray my feeling of being caught out. New Roles for Glial Cells Stained astrocyte cell from a rat brain. With Oblivion , these two deep-set interests—the brain, and dispiriting interpretations of its nature and relationship to our subjective lives; and horror—collide.
This is followed by a discussion of which possible meanings of compulsion can survive an empirical test and what role they might play in understanding addiction, paying particular attention to a distinction between strong and weak senses of compulsion. Funny Things with Memory. There is evidence that when readers read stories, they identify with the characters and do much the same thing. It may be the case that pantsers engage in this kind of imaginative and empathic recreation when they tell stories, which is precisely why they cannot plan.
They have to tell the story in order to know its contours and structure. They have to place themselves in the minds of the characters and then simulate what the characters do. This may be why Hilary Mantel calls writing her fiction an activity akin to acting. These writers work by faith that their emotions channel into words a latent object which will later prove to possess a structure.
This empathic process relates, too, to the possibility of characters which somehow take control and even surprise their creator. That this could even happen is a matter of controversy. Jorge Luis Borges , admittedly not a novelist, is skeptical that such a thing is not merely authorial self-deception. He found preposterous the idea that characters could truly buck their author.
Indeed, a reverie-writer like Stephen King considers it dishonest when a writer pre-determines a plot instead of simply giving the characters the situation and following what they do. Tolkien claimed that he had long ago learned not to determine by fiat what characters would do, and to let them determine their own actions instead, and Bradbury says that the plot is simply the footprints of the characters sprinting toward their desires. And yet here too there are strong crossovers.
He took distinct pleasure in rendering visible the intricate organism into which the situational seed blossomed — an empathic approach, yet filtered through a powerful planning intellect. Planning is often connected to a desire to use fiction to explicate an idea. That makes sense, since such a desire requires intellectual foresight and control. Proust was not, contrary to popular opinion, merely trying to recreate old memories.
He was trying to demonstrate certain philosophical, psychological, and literary ideas, and these manifested in his work. Sociologists who manipulate their data are ostracized and can have their memberships in professional organizations revoked. Conflicts of interest are also frowned upon. A conflict of interest can occur when a sociologist is given funding to conduct research on an issue that relates to the source of the funds. For example, if Microsoft were to fund a sociologist to investigate whether users of Microsoft's product users are happier than users of open source software e.
Unfortunately, this does not always happen, as several high profile cases illustrate e. But the disclosure of conflicts of interest is recommended by most professional organizations and many academic journals. A comprehensive explanation of sociological guidelines is provided on the website of the American Sociological Association.
Having discussed the sociological approach to understanding society, it is worth noting the limitations of sociology. Because of the subject of investigation society , sociology runs into a number of problems that have significant implications for this field of inquiry:. While it is important to recognize the limitations of sociology, sociology's contributions to our understanding of society have been significant and continue to provide useful theories and tools for understanding humans as social beings.
Charmaz, Kathy. Blumer, Herbert. Symbolic Interactionism: Perspective and Method. Sociologists develop theories to explain social phenomena. A theory is a proposed relationship between two or more concepts. In other words, a theory is explanation for why or how a phenomenon occurs. An example of a sociological theory is the work of Robert Putnam on the decline of civic engagement.
While there are a number of factors that contribute to this decline Putnam's theory is quite complex , one of the prominent factors is the increased consumption of television as a form entertainment. Putnam's theory proposes:. This element of Putnam's theory clearly illustrates the basic purpose of sociological theory: it proposes a relationship between two or more concepts. In this case, the concepts are civic engagement and television watching. The relationship is an inverse one - as one goes up, the other goes down.
What's more, it is an explanation of one phenomenon with another: part of the reason why civic engagement has declined over the last several decades is because people are watching more television. Putnam's theory clearly contains the key elements of a sociological theory. Sociological theory is developed at multiple levels, ranging from grand theory to highly contextualized and specific micro-range theories. There are many middle-range and micro-range theories in sociology. Because such theories are dependent on context and specific to certain situations, it is beyond the scope of this text to explore each of those theories.
The purpose of this chapter is to introduce some of the more well-known and most commonly used grand and middle-range theories in sociology. In the theory proposed above, the astute reader will notice that the theory includes two components: The data, in this case the findings that civic engagement has declined and TV watching has increased, and the proposed relationship, that the increase in television viewing has contributed to the decline in civic engagement.
Data alone are not particularly informative. If Putnam had not proposed a relationship between the two elements of social life, we may not have realized that television viewing does, in fact, reduce people's desire to and time for participating in civic life. In order to understand the social world around us, it is necessary to employ theory to draw the connections between seemingly disparate concepts. Another example of sociological theorizing illustrates this point.
In his now classic work, Suicide ,  Emile Durkheim was interested in explaining a social phenomenon, suicide , and employed both data and theory to offer an explanation. By aggregating data for large groups of people in Europe, Durkheim was able to discern patterns in suicide rates and connect those patterns with another concept or variable : religious affiliation. Durkheim found that Protestants were more likely to commit suicide than were Catholics. At this point, Durkheim's analysis was still in the data stage; he had not proposed an explanation for the different suicide rates of the two groups.
It was when Durkheim introduced the ideas of anomie and social solidarity that he began to explain the difference in suicide rates. Durkheim argued that the looser social ties found in Protestant religions lead to weaker social cohesion and reduced social solidarity. The higher suicide rates were the result of weakening social bonds among Protestants. While Durkheim's findings have since been criticized, his study is a classic example of the use of theory to explain the relationship between two concepts.
Durkheim's work also illustrates the importance of theory: without theories to explain the relationship between concepts, we would not be able to hypothesize cause and effect relationships in social life or outline processes whereby social events and patterns occur. As noted above, there are many theories in sociology. However, there are several broad theoretical perspectives that are prominent in the field they are arguably paradigms.
These theories are prominent because they are quite good at explaining social life. They are not without their problems, but these theories remain widely used and cited precisely because they have withstood a great deal of criticism. As the dominant theories in sociology are discussed below, you might be inclined to ask, "Which of these theories is the best?
In fact, it is probably more useful and informative to view these theories as complementary. One theory may explain one element of society better than another. Or, both may be useful for explaining social life. In short, all of the theories are correct in the sense that they offer compelling explanations for social phenomena. Structural-Functionalism is a sociological theory that originally attempted to explain social institutions as collective means to meet individual biological needs originally just functionalism.
Later it came to focus on the ways social institutions meet social needs structural-functionalism. Structural-functionalism draws its inspiration primarily from the ideas of Emile Durkheim. He sought to explain social cohesion and stability through the concept of solidarity.
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In more "primitive" societies it was mechanical solidarity , everyone performing similar tasks, that held society together. Durkheim proposed that such societies tend to be segmentary, being composed of equivalent parts that are held together by shared values, common symbols, or systems of exchanges. In modern, complex societies members perform very different tasks, resulting in a strong interdependence between individuals. Based on the metaphor of an organism in which many parts function together to sustain the whole, Durkheim argued that modern complex societies are held together by organic solidarity think interdependent organs.
The central concern of structural-functionalism is a continuation of the Durkheimian task of explaining the apparent stability and internal cohesion of societies that are necessary to ensure their continued existence over time. Many functionalists argue that social institutions are functionally integrated to form a stable system and that a change in one institution will precipitate a change in other institutions. Societies are seen as coherent, bounded and fundamentally relational constructs that function like organisms, with their various parts social institutions working together to maintain and reproduce them.
The various parts of society are assumed to work in an unconscious, quasi-automatic fashion towards the maintenance of the overall social equilibrium. All social and cultural phenomena are therefore seen as being functional in the sense of working together to achieve this state and are effectively deemed to have a life of their own. These components are then primarily analysed in terms of the function they play. In other words, to understand a component of society, one can ask the question, "What is the function of this institution? Thus, one can ask of education, "What is the function of education for society?
Durkheim's strongly sociological perspective of society was continued by Radcliffe-Brown. Explanations of social phenomena therefore had to be constructed within this social level, with individuals merely being transient occupants of comparatively stable social roles. Thus, in structural-functionalist thought, individuals are not significant in and of themselves but only in terms of their social status : their position in patterns of social relations. The social structure is therefore a network of statuses connected by associated roles. Structural-functionalism has been criticized for being unable to account for social change because it focuses so intently on social order and equilibrium in society.
For instance, in the late 19th Century, higher education transitioned from a training center for clergy and the elite to a center for the conduct of science and the general education of the masses. As structural-functionalism thinks about elements of social life in relation to their present function and not their past functions, structural-functionalism has a difficult time explaining why a function of some element of society might change or how such change occurs.
However, structural-functionalism could, in fact, offer an explanation in this case. Also occurring in the 19th Century though begun in the 18th was the industrial revolution. The industrial revolution, facilitated by capitalism, was increasingly demanding technological advances to increase profit. Technological advances and advanced industry both required more educated workforces. Thus, as one aspect of society changed - the economy and production - it required a comparable change in the educational system, bringing social life back into equilibrium.
Another philosophical problem with the structural-functional approach is the ontological argument that society does not have needs as a human being does; and even if society does have needs they need not be met.
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The idea that society has needs like humans do is not a tenable position because society is only alive in the sense that it is made up of living individuals. What's more, just because a society has some element in it at the present that does not mean that it must necessarily have that element. For instance, in the United Kingdom, religious service attendance has declined precipitously over the last years.
Today, less than 1 in 10 British attend religious service in a given week. Another criticism often leveled at structural-functionalist theory is that it supports the status quo. According to some opponents, structural-functionalism paints conflict and challenge to the status quo as harmful to society, and therefore tends to be the prominent view among conservative thinkers. Robert K. Merton proposed a distinction between manifest and latent functions. Latent functions are the unintended functions of a phenomenon in a social system. An example of manifest and latent functions is education.
The manifest purpose of public education is to increase the knowledge and abilities of the citizenry to prepare them to contribute in the workforce. A latent function of the public education system is the development of a hierarchy of the learned. The most learned are often also the most affluent.
Thus, while education's manifest function is to empower all individuals to contribute to the workforce and society, it also limits some people by creating boundaries of entry into occupations. A prominent sociological theory that is often contrasted with structural-functionalism is conflict theory. Karl Marx is considered the father of conflict theory.
Conflict theory argues that society is not best understood as a complex system striving for equilibrium but rather as a competition. Society is made up of individuals competing for limited resources e. Broader social structures and organizations e. Conflict theory was developed in part to illustrate the limitations of structural-functionalism. The structural-functionalist approach argued that society tends toward equilibrium, focusing on stability at the expense of social change. This is contrasted with the conflict approach, which argues that society is constantly in conflict over resources.
One of the primary contributions conflict theory presents over the structural-functional approach is that it is ideally suited for explaining social change, a significant problem in the structural-functional approach. A heuristic device to help you think about society from a conflict perspective is to ask, "Who benefits from this element of society? Because higher education in the U. Thus, the educational system often screens out poorer individuals not because they are unable to compete academically but because they cannot afford to pay for their education. Because the poor are unable to obtain higher education, this means they are also generally unable to get higher paying jobs which means they remain poor.
This can easily translate into a vicious cycle of poverty. Thus, while the function of education is to educate the workforce, it also has built into it an element of conflict and inequality, favoring one group the wealthy over other groups the poor. Thinking about education this way helps illustrate why both structural-functionalist and conflict theories are helpful in understanding how society works.
Not surprisingly, the primary limitation of the social-conflict perspective is that it overlooks the stability of societies. While societies are in a constant state of change, much of the change is minor. Many of the broader elements of societies remain remarkably stable over time, indicating the structural-functional perspective has a great deal of merit. As noted above, sociological theory is often complementary.
This is particularly true of structural-functionalism and social-conflict theories. Structural-functionalism focuses on equilibrium and solidarity; conflict-theory focuses on change and conflict. Keep in mind that neither is better than the other; when combined, the two approaches offer a broader and more comprehensive view of society. In contrast to the rather broad approach toward society of structural-functionalism and conflict theory, Symbolic Interactionism is a theoretical approach to understanding the relationship between humans and society.
The basic notion of symbolic interactionism is that human action and interaction are understandable only through the exchange of meaningful communication or symbols. In this approach, humans are portrayed as acting as opposed to being acted upon. The main principles of symbolic interactionism are: . This approach stands in contrast to the strict behaviorism of psychological theories prevalent at the time it was first formulated in the s and s. According to Symbolic Interactionism, humans are distinct from infrahumans lower animals because infrahumans simply respond to their environment i.
Additionally, infrahumans are unable to conceive of alternative responses to gestures. Humans, however, can. This perspective is also rooted in phenomenological thought see social constructionism and phenomenology. According to symbolic interactionism, the objective world has no reality for humans, only subjectively-defined objects have meaning. Meanings are not entities that are bestowed on humans and learned by habituation. Instead, meanings can be altered through the creative capabilities of humans, and individuals may influence the many meanings that form their society.
Neurological evidence based on EEGs supports the idea that humans have a "social brain," that is, there are components of the human brain that govern social interaction. A good example of this is when people try on clothes before going out with friends. Some people may not think much about how others will think about their clothing choices, but others can spend quite a bit of time considering what they are going to wear.
And while they are deciding, the dialogue that is taking place inside their mind is usually a dialogue between their "self" that portion of their identity that calls itself "I" and that person's internalized understanding of their friends and society a " generalized other " called the "me". Such an individual has incorporated the "social" into the "self" and will thus experience the world through an ongoing internal communication process that seeks to determine "if I do this, what will be thought of me. It should also be noted that symbolic interactionists advocate a particular methodology.
Because they see meaning as the fundamental component of human and society interaction, studying human and society interaction requires getting at that meaning. Thus, symbolic interaction tends to take two distinct, but related methodological paths. Processual Symbolic Interaction seeks to uncover the elaboration and experience of meanings in natural settings of social interaction through primarily qualitative methods e. Symbolic Interaction arose through the integration of Structural Functionalism and Conflict Theories. Specifically, Symbolic Interaction seeks to uncover the ways "meanings" are deployed within interactions and embedded within larger social structures to facilitate social cohesion Structural Functionalism and social change Conflict Theories.
To use the case above, Symbolic Interaction may be used to explain the distinction between Conflict and Structural Functionalist approaches to education. If people act toward education based on the meaning they have for it, for example, then people that believe or are taught to believe that education serves an important function for all of society e.
On the other hand, if people believe or are taught to believe that education transmits social inequalities from generation to generation e. In either case, societies and the people that form them will move towards cohesion Structural Functionalism or conflict Conflict Theory concerning educational structures based upon the meanings these people have for the current educational structure.
Central to Symbolic Interaction is the notion that selves and societies exist in an ongoing reciprocal relationship wherein each acts back upon the other. Stated another way, Symbolic Interactionism argues that people become selves by learning and internalizing the symbolic materials of the social and historical context and culture they are born into and raised within e. As a result, Symbolic Interactionists argue against the division of society into micro, meso, and macro forms, and instead focus on the ways that interconnected people continuously construct, alter, signify, and affirm themselves and others in ways that create, sustain, and change existing social structures.
They thus argue that society is always an ongoing information exchange between individuals, groups, and social structures that each depend on the other for their meaning and by extension their existence and survival. The most significant limitations of symbolic interactionism relate to its primary contribution: it focuses on the ongoing construction and contestation of meanings in society e.
As a result, Symbolic Interactionism typically focuses on "how" things are done e.
As a result, Symbolic Interaction is more adequately suited to explaining how the world is, but is unable to demonstrate and document predictions about how the world might differ, if circumstances were hypothetically altered. Another more micro-oriented approach to understanding social life that also incorporates the more structural elements of society is Role Theory.
Role theory posits that human behavior is guided by expectations held both by the individual and by other people. The expectations correspond to different roles individuals perform or enact in their daily lives, such as secretary, father, or friend. For instance, most people hold pre-conceived notions of the role expectations of a secretary, which might include: answering phones, making and managing appointments, filing paperwork, and typing memos.
These role expectations would not be expected of a professional soccer player. Individuals generally have and manage many roles. Roles consist of a set of rules or norms that function as plans or blueprints to guide behavior. Roles specify what goals should be pursued, what tasks must be accomplished, and what performances are required in a given scenario or situation. Role theory holds that a substantial proportion of observable, day-to-day social behavior is simply persons carrying out their roles, much as actors carry out their roles on the stage or ballplayers theirs on the field.
Role theory is, in fact, predictive. It implies that if we have information about the role expectations for a specified status e. What's more, role theory also argues that in order to change behavior it is necessary to change roles; roles correspond to behaviors and vice versa. In addition to heavily influencing behavior, roles influence beliefs and attitudes; individuals will change their beliefs and attitudes to correspond with their roles.
Many role theorists see Role Theory as one of the most compelling theories bridging individual behavior and social structure. Roles, which are in part dictated by social structure and in part by social interactions, guide the behavior of the individual. The individual, in turn, influences the norms, expectations, and behaviors associated with roles. The understanding is reciprocal. Role theory has a hard time explaining social deviance when it does not correspond to a pre-specified role. For instance, the behavior of someone who adopts the role of bank robber can be predicted - she will rob banks.
But if a bank teller simply begins handing out cash to random people, role theory would be unable to explain why though role conflict could be one possible answer; the secretary may also be a Marxist-Communist who believes the means of production should belong to the masses and not the bourgeoisie. Another limitation of role theory is that it does not and cannot explain how role expectations came to be what they are.
Role theory has no explanation for why it is expected of male soldiers to cut their hair short, but it could predict with a high degree of accuracy that if someone is a male soldier they will have short hair. Additionally, role theory does not explain when and how role expectations change. As a result, role theorists typically draw upon insights from Symbolic Interaction Theory and Historical Comparative analyses to address these questions. An extension of role theory , impression management is both a theory and process. The theory argues that people are constantly engaged in controlling how others perceive them.
The process refers to the goal-directed conscious or unconscious effort to influence the perceptions of other people by regulating and controlling information in social interaction. If a person tries to influence the perception of her or his own image, this activity is called self-presentation. Erving Goffman , the person most often credited with formally developing impression management theory, cast the idea in a dramaturgical framework.
Aware of how they are being perceived by their audience, actors manage their behavior so as to create specific impressions in the minds of the audience.
Strategic interpersonal behavior to shape or influence impressions formed by an audience is not a new idea. Plato spoke of the "great stage of human life" and Shakespeare noted that "All the world is a stage, and all the men and women merely players". Social constructionism is a school of thought introduced into sociology by Peter L.
Social constructionism focuses on the description of institutions and actions and not on analyzing cause and effect. Socially constructed reality is seen as an on-going dynamic process; reality is re-produced by people acting on their interpretations of what they perceive to be the world external to them. Berger and Luckmann argue that social construction describes both subjective and objective reality - that is that no reality exists outside what is produced and reproduced in social interactions.
Religion is seen as a socially constructed concept, the basis for which is rooted in either our psyche Freud or man's need to see some purpose in life or worship a higher presence. One of the key theorists of social constructionism, Peter Berger, explored this concept extensively in his book, The Sacred Canopy. Social constructionism is often seen as a source of the postmodern movement, and has been influential in the field of cultural studies.
Following the establishment of women's academic conferences and coordinated protests of the American Sociological Association's annual meetings during the 's, women made significant inroads into Sociology. For example, women such as Dorothy E. Smith , Joan Acker , Myra Marx Ferree , Patricia Yancey Martin , and bell hooks were all pioneers in Sociology who developed insights and empirical findings that challenged much of existing sociological practice, knowledge, and methods.
These early scholars also founded women's academic organizations like Sociologists for Women in Society to lobby for the admittance and inclusion of minority people and perspectives within scientific disciplines. The theoretical perspectives these and subsequent scholars developed is broadly referred to as Feminist Theory. The name derives from the ties many of these individuals had and continue to have with women's movement organizations, the promotion of minority perspectives, their experience in relation to the subjective nature of scientific practice, and commitment to principles of social justice.
Feminist Theory uncovered a vast "herstory" of women's and other minority academic thinking, writing, and activism, and integrated insights from these essays and studies into the scientific enterprise. In so doing, these scholars uncovered many ways that Feminist theorists from as far back as the 's had already introduced insights - such as Social Constructionism , Intersectionality , and the subjective nature and critical possibilities of scientific work - that have become crucial to scientific research and theorizing across disciplines.
Further, historical research into the history of Feminist Thought has uncovered a litany of social theorists - including but not limited to early abolitionists and women's rights proponents like Maria W. Cooper , Harriet Tubman , and one of the first African American women to earn a college degree, Mary Church Terrell ; early black feminist writers promoting gender and sexual equality like Zora Neale Hurston , Langston Hughes , and Richard Bruce Nugent ; early 20th Century writers and activists that sought racial civil rights, women's suffrage, and prison reform like Ida B.
Feminist scholars across disciplines have continuously sought to expand scientific "facts" beyond their initial and often continuing white, male, heterosexual biases and assumptions while seeking knowledge as an entryway into a more just social world. Similar to the other theories outlined in this chapter, Feminist Theory is far more expansive than can adequately be explored within one textbook, let alone within a single chapter in a textbook.
Feminist theorists and methods, for example, can be found in wide ranging fields beyond sociology including biology, genetics, chemistry, literature, history, political science, fine arts, religious studies, psychology, anthropology, and public health. Feminist Theory often dramatically influences scientific theory and practice within such fields. Below we offer summaries of the major conceptual approaches within Feminist Theory.
It is important to note, however, that while we outline these perspectives under distinct headings and within specific orders for the purposes of clarity and introduction, contemporary Feminist theorists and researchers across disciplines often draw upon more than one of these perspectives in practice and continually seek ways to refine and integrate each of these approaches.
Before presenting this outline, however, it is important to be aware of three basic premises or foundational ideas within and between contemporary Feminist Theories. With these foundational ideas in mind, we now present the primary Feminist theoretical perspectives. They believe that economic inequalities are the most central form of inequality. Therefore, eliminating capitalism would get rid of gender inequalities. Therefore, to bring about gender equality, we must work to eliminate both capitalism and patriarchy in all social and natural fields of knowledge and experience.
Radical feminists believe that women are oppressed by our patriarchal society. They do not believe that men are oppressed. They seek a fundamental reorganization of society because our existing political, scientific, religious, and social organization is inherently patriarchal.
Separatist feminists, like radical feminists, believe that women are oppressed by our patriarchal society. In order to achieve equality, women need to separate themselves from men. Some believe this is a temporary stage while others see this as a permanent goal. Cultural feminists, like radical feminists, believe that women are oppressed by our patriarchal society.
Black feminists believe that many inequalities are important in society today, not only gender. In addition to gender inequalities, they focus on race, ethnicity, and class — and sometimes also add sexuality, nationality, age, disability, and others. They believe that people experience gender differently depending on their location in socially constructed cultural, political, and biological structures of race, ethnicity and class.
Therefore, there is no universal female experience. This perspective is sometimes referred to as multicultural feminism, multiracial feminism, or womanism. Queer feminists - sometimes referred to as Postmodern Feminists - believe that gender and sex as well as other social locations and systems of social and natural organization and categorization are multiple, constantly changing, and performed by individuals and groups within situated social, historical, scientific, and political contexts.
There are many i. They focus on creating social change through challenging the existence and blurring the boundaries of these categories. This perspective shares many ideas with Queer Theory. Recently, some sociologists have been taking a different approach to sociological theory by employing an integrationist approach - combining micro- and macro-level theories to provide a comprehensive understanding of human social behavior while these studies rarely cite Symbolic Interaction Theory, most of their models are based heavily upon Herbert Blumer 's initial elaboration of Symbolic Interaction in relation to social institutions  .
Numerous models could be presented in this vein. George Ritzer's  Integration Model is a good example. Ritzer proposes four highly interdependent elements in his sociological model: a macro-objective component e. This model is of particular use in understanding society because it uses two axes: one ranging from objective society to subjective culture and cultural interpretation ; the other ranging from the macro-level norms to the micro-level individual level beliefs.
The integration approach is particularly useful for explaining social phenomenon because it shows how the different components of social life work together to influence society and behavior. If used for understanding a specific cultural phenomenon, like the displaying of abstract art in one's home,  the integration model depicts the different influences on the decision. For instance, the model depicts that cultural norms can influence individual behavior. The model also shows that individual level values, beliefs, and behaviors influence macro-level culture.
This is, in fact, part of what David Halle finds: while there are art consumption differences based on class, they are not predicted solely by class. Displayers of abstract art tend not only to belong to the upper-class, but also are employed in art-production occupations. This would indicate that there are multiple levels of influence involved in art tastes — both broad cultural norms and smaller level occupational norms in addition to personal preferences. Durkheim, Emile. Suicide: A Study in Sociology. Edited with an introduction by George Simpson. Translated by John A. New York: The Free Press.
ISBN: Weber, Max. The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism. Translated by Talcott Parsons. Introduction by Anthony Giddens.