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There’s an archetype I’ve been thinking about for quite some time now based on my own observations about how certain people behave that includes their beliefs, psychology etc. in regards to their attitude towards life and the bigger picture. My reflection was borne from an inspiration by this quote from the Greek philosopher Socrates.

Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.”

—Socrates

 

Socrates description suit the philistine, a term used to describe someone who is uncultured, lacking in appreciation for art, literature, or intellectual pursuits. People who are only interested in discussing events and people, but nothing beyond that. There’s a lot that can be said for this sort of archetype especially in modern times.

It’s a type of mindset we commonly find in modern times. And just to be clear here, a mindset is a set of beliefs, attitudes, and cognitive frameworks that shape how an individual perceives and approaches various aspects of life.

They are unenlightened because they don’t have a worked out worldview, or the education informed by reading political or philosophical literature that enlightens them. For these archetypes political life is non-existent, they have ceded it away to the political elites or the ‘experts’. Perhaps some people have the genetic predisposition to be not interested in such matters, regardless if you’re among the ‘strong minds’ discussing ideas then expect not to be on the same wavelength with such people.

There’s a great idiom that encapsulates this:

You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink!

They are non-philosophical folk that believes the meaning of life is living to lift that next foot up climbing the corporate ladder or making money. They have failed to question the liberal capitalist programming they’ve been socialised by since childhood, never pausing to ask themselves “why are my thought processes aligned to behaving this way?”

Life is the power of the market, competition, and individual initiative to which the sole indicator of personal achievement is financial success. In their adult lives they have these ideas firmly planted in their head and proceed to walk around through life carrying these beliefs in their heads as gospel! They extol materialistic values—not to be confused with philosophical materialism—not out of a conscious ideological conviction, but by the drive to be the biggest consumers of product and show off their conspicuous consumption.

They have an aversion towards cerebral subjects—we perhaps know the type from work—a colleague that watches sitcoms and trash TV and has no time for discussing ideas, preferring to For such people there’s nothing more to life other than that what they’ve been programmed for living within liberal capitalism. They aren’t aware that what they believe as the meaning of life is conditioned.

I have more respect for religious or spiritual people than a philistine, because at least they have stepped out of the mental framework of homo economicus and hold the capacity to discuss abstract ideas about life, albeit through dualistic or idealistic perspectives.

 

 

About Post Author

Epicurus Of Albion

Skeptic, naturalist and existential-nihilist philospher, Epicurus is interested in the Greco-Roman philosophies of antiquity as well as admiring from the stoa its cultural and aesthetical milleu. Epicurus takes to connoisseuring from the philosophical punch the many schools of philosophy and testing their wisdom.
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