All posts tagged: sociology

Week 50 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Secrets

First things first: The winner of this week’s Amazon gift card is announced at the end of today’s post!

It’s Christmastime, which means lots of family gatherings, seeing relatives whom you haven’t contacted all year, and meeting up with friends, and seeing coworkers out of context.  The entire month of December is an emotional powder keg.

It’s the season of high emotions and alcohol.
Secrets are revealed by uninhibited revelers. Events happen that we want to keep secret.

What makes a secret a secret? Why does it feel so good to know a secret? And why is it so hard to keep secrets?

Check out this week’s post for answers and, of course, more questions!

Week 38 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Promises

Promises are a big deal.  Really.  Can you imagine what society would be like without promises? We rely on others to do as they assure us that they will. How would human relationships, partnerships, and friendships function without promises? 

People have different ideas of what a promise is – what it means to promise, how a promise occurs, and what consequences to expect or dole out in response to a broken promise.  The foggy understanding of promises adds tension to relationships.  Improving your understanding of promises has the potential to transform and benefit your interpersonal relationships.  Let’s figure this out! Click to read more.

Week 33 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Loneliness

Loneliness is a popular topic in the news these days.  News articles tell us that loneliness is the new epidemic, that research is being directed into pharmaceuticals and AI to combat loneliness, and that governments are installing public infrastructure directed at facilitating interactions between strangers.  How is it that we can be so lonely despite living in densely populated cities?  What does it mean to be lonely?

Read more to find out!

Week 29 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Tools

Humans are differentiated from other animals by our extensive use of tools.  Yes, other animals use tools, but the use is relatively rare, and the tools are basic.  What counts as a tool for an otter might just be the use of a rock to smash shellfish from their shells.  A rock and a jackhammer are hardly comparable, though.  Comparing basic animal tools to complex human tools is like comparing communicative animal cries to human language. Viewing the comparison that way, it’s clear that human tools are in a special category.

Human tools also have symbolic meaning. What is a dream catcher, a magic wand, or a ghost trap?

Keep reading to find out what makes human tool use special and what your attachment to tools says about you!

Kant on Enlightenment & Ignorance as a Societal Sickness

Thoughts on Immanuel Kant’s discussion of self-imposed nonage in Answering the Question: “What is Enlightenment?” Ignorance is a Societal Sickness Kant writes that “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed nonage.” You’ve likely never heard of the word nonage before.  It refers to a state of immaturity, youth, a time of life in which we rely on guardians to make decisions for us. During this period, we are directed by another person’s reasoning, rather than by our own.  In the natural age of youth, we require the assistance of guardians to think and speak for us, due to our undeveloped faculty of reason.  At such an age, we do not harm our soul, spirit, or personal humanity by deferring decision-making to those who care for us.  There is no feasible alternative, lest we be forced to prematurely raise ourselves and risk detriment. Sometimes, however, a human prolongs his nonage far into adulthood. In Kant’s essay, he distinguishes between nonage and self-imposed nonage. Kant names two essential features of self-imposed nonage, which act as internal barriers …