The Uneasy World of “Isms”
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This chapter presents a trifecta of assumptions and philosophies shaping our discourse and sustaining trivialization. It begins with essentialism, a set of deeply ingrained, yet problematic assumptions that continue to alter the way most people perceive and approach the organization, properties, and problems of social and natural systems. It continues with reductionism, an idea that all phenomena, regardless of domain, can be understood through their more basic or fundamental parts. The third enabler is the recent resurfacing of various forms of relativism, the idea that truth and knowledge can be judged only relative to a particular situation. The chapter concludes with a lesson from history, a return to irrationality, discerned by some in the contemporary developments, motivating us to further engagement.
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