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RADICAL CIVILITY

Preface

I often talked philosophy with a few friends, and while I have only a little bit of formal training, I do like to critique the philosophers of old. One such friend eventually got annoyed at my critiques and stated “I can’t take you seriously unless you are willing to write something yourself.”  So I did.  This is that.

There is a claim that people are driven by a variety of motivators. A few examples – beyond the basic needs of food, shelter, and warmth – are logic or compassion or religion or fear or liberty. It’s an understandable claim and even more reasonable when it is understood that these could be combined with unbounded potential. While the “free will” found in the chaos is granted unrestrained potential, it also arrives at the fundamental conclusion that no one can ever really understand each other.

This thesis will reject that claim.

While it is spelled out in more explicit detail below (as well as addressing repercussions of the shift in understanding), the initial step is to show that survival itself results in validation being the most meaningful motivator. In that context, it follows that the more influence a person will have, the more they will seek to push their validity onto the rest of the community.

It should be noted that a shift in understanding also necessitates a shift in language. So while some of the words I use have the same cultural meaning, the description I will ascribe to them are quite different.  For example, the promotion of validity is synonymous with “legacy”. Additionally, the more that a person can normalize and institutionalize their own validity, the more it is synonymous with being “civil”. It makes sense then that – as society grows – these validations are conflated with reality through a variety of civil constructs: religion, entertainment, education, politics, etc. 

Of course one person’s validity won’t apply to everyone, and – while these civilities (aka “normalized and institutionalized validities”) will adapt and morph over time – there will always be members of the community that are invalidated by the civility that everyone has adapted to. These members have a right to critique that civility and are appropriately called “radicals”.

This is the idea that the name of this thesis is based on, so – hopefully now that you know what you are getting into – here is Radical Civility.