Authority

Is the rejection of authority necessary?

The rejection of authority about any given issue is a precondition to solving problems related to that issue. So if a problem arises in any area in which we do not reject authority, we can never solve it. We remain chronically baulked.

But if we were to reject all forms of authority, we would have to reject the authority of our personal experience. Once we reject that, we have literally no place from which to speak authoritatively.

And that is a very good and necessary thing. Denying oneself, as well as others, a “place from which to speak authoritatively” is precisely the position taken by Popperians and TCS parents. Note that we do not say this authoritatively. You should accept it because, given the strength of the argument (which you will find elaborated in Popperian philosophical writings),

you will consider it true. To see this you may have to reject someone else's authority, though.

Comments

Athority

Could you say more about this? What is irrational about the authority of our personal experience? The logic of your stement is to assert that I don't know my own experience. Was that your intended meaning?

You don't know your own exper...

You don't know your own experience, you mean. Try coming off the drink.

It is quite possible to be ut...

It is quite possible to be utterly certain of your own interpretation of events, with no self delusion, and yet when years later in a heart to heart with another person involved, you discover that one word you heard differently from what was said (they sound similar) creates an entirely new interpretation on the whole affair and in fact illustrates that what had been perceived to be a deliberate attack was in actuality a flukish accident. An unresolved problem that had eaten at a relationship for years was solved - by being able to relate to someone else's dramatically difference perceptions, getting past the utter certaintany of perception, but there had to be a willingness to allow the possibly that perception was just an aspect of reality, and that difference perceptions could be equally valid, without denying one's own.

This is making more and more sense to me

Yes, I really agree with Popper that ideas should be evaluated on their own merit -- not assigned more or less value depending on who they're coming from.

As a parent, I have a duty to protect my children and to allow them to benefit (in response to their interest) from the theories I've formed throughout my life. But I need to let them pick and choose between my theories: they shouldn't have to adopt or follow any that don't make sense to them.

I'm finding that when parents express concerns about a certain course of action being harmful, children care about what they think. Discussion, combined with lots of listening, is way more persuasive than coercion.

I'm starting to reject the idea of one person having authority over another. I receive my children's guidance in some areas, they receive my guidance in others. To me, a good parental guide is one who acts in response to the needs and preferences of hir children.

Susan