“Self” and Social Action

  • “Self” and Social Action

    Posted by John Ehrenfeld on December 12, 2022 at 5:25 pm

    Great group. Kudos to whoever got it started. I have written extensively over the past 3-4 years that the divided-brain-model is paradigmatic in terms of reforming modern cultures. That applies, not only to politics, but virtually every major societal institution.

    I explore this at length in my book,The Right Way to Flourish: Reconnecting with the Real World, and on my blog. One way I have recently started to both introduce people to McGilchrist’s work and convince them to pay close attention is to connect it to its worldly manifestation, behavior. Whatever goes on in the brain, unless completely unconscious, shows up as some action (including bodily changes), which actions over time and circumstance become characterized as behavioral patterns. The dilemma that Iain poses for modernity can be couched in terms of the unintended consequences of what has become the normal left-hemisphere dominated behaviors in modern societies.

    The ultimate purpose of policy is to shape/change behaviors. But current policy design is largely based on the social sciences that do not have a clue about why people act the way they do. The divided-brain-model provides a new paradigm that overcomes this fatal limitation. One of the limits of most social sciences is that they are built on top of the classic Cartesian model of the mind and, consequently, on a rational, selfish (Left-brained) actor. But we know that is not the case. Human behaviors depend on the particularities of the right-left-right interactions. I have developed a catalog/taxonomy of familiar behaviors, each conforming to a distinctive interaction pattern. Each one can be said (metaphorically) to display a different “self.”

    I have just started to post what will be a series of blog posts about “The Myth of Self” on my website, https://www.johnehrenfeld.com/, and would love to have your comments on the idea of focusing on self and on the specifics of the array, itself. My response to Iain’s basic concern that modernity is driving us toward an abyss is to shift behaviors to reflect the right, not left, hemisphere, in a nutshell, caring for, not using up, our home on the planet.

    John Ehrenfeld replied 1 year, 5 months ago 1 Member · 0 Replies
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