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coberst
2005-Dec-10, 12:25 PM
“Habits & Will”

One significant advantage engineering, physics and much of the natural sciences has is that they speak in mathematical terms. The individuals often speak in formulas or mathematical verbiage that is clear and concise and understandable by all the members. The use of every day words like habit can be confusing because of a lack of clarity. One might also think of attitude as a proper way to describe what I call habit.

What is character? Character is the network of habits that permeate all the intentional acts of an individual.
My understanding of character and the quotations that follow concerning the nature of character are taken from “Habits and Will” by John Dewey http://www.alexandercenter.com/jd/johndeweyhabits.html.

I am not using the word habit in the way we often do, as a technical ability existing apart from our wishes. These habits are an intimate and fundamental part of our selves. They are representations of our will. They rule our will, working in a coordinated way they dominate our way of acting. These habits are the results of repeated, intelligently controlled, actions.

Habits also control the formation of ideas as well as physical actions. We cannot perform a correct action or a correct idea without having already formed correct habits. “Reason pure of all influence from prior habit is a fiction.” “The medium of habit filters all material that reaches our perception and thought.” “Immediate, seemingly instinctive, feeling of the direction and end of various lines of behavior is in reality the feeling of habits working below direct consciousness.” “Habit means special sensitiveness or accessibility to certain classes of stimuli, standing predilections and aversions, rather than bare recurrence of specific acts. It means will.”

We display an attitude toward most any subject. An attitude cannot be described explicitly but is a notion, which is an inference, based upon behavior. We are all inclined to behave consistently to a situation and this behavior is attributed to our attitude. Our attitudes can be observed by others and the quality of such attitudes are judged based on observed behavior.

Britannica specifies that attitude is “a predisposition to classify objects and events and to react to them with some degree of evaluative consistency.”

If I consult my inner self I cannot focus upon an attitude but can infer such an attitude based on behavior. If I wish to become conscious of my intuition I can through observation of behavior describe the attitude, which, in turn, allows me to ascertain the nature of my intuition.

When a mother tells her son “you must change your attitude”. The son cannot change the attitude directly but the son must change his intuition from which the inferred attitude emanates. This does become a bit convoluted but in essence when we wish to change an attitude we are saying that our intuition must be modified.

“Were it not for the continued operation of all habits in every act, no such thing as character would exist. There would be simply a bundle, an untied bundle at that, of isolated acts. Character is the interpenetrating of habits. If each habit in an insulated compartment and operated without affecting or being affected by others, character would not exist. That is conduct would lack unity being only juxtaposition of disconnected reactions to separated situations. But since environments overlap, since situations are continuous and those remote from one another contain like elements, a continuous modification of habits by one another is constantly going on.”

Gullible Jones
2005-Dec-10, 04:49 PM
Coberst, would you please take this stuff somewhere else - a philosophy or psychology forum, for instance? Nobody here is interested!

Enzp
2005-Dec-10, 07:31 PM
ANything worth saying in a couple pages of print can be condensed into a couple of sentences that express the gist. Otherwise it is just verbiage.

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-11, 11:31 PM
He's still trolling I see.

LurchGS
2005-Dec-12, 04:32 AM
it definately belongs elsewhere - along with political 'science', psychology and all the other soft "sciences"

Swift
2005-Dec-12, 06:09 AM
Coberst,
I am not as opposed to your posting here as much as others, though I often disagree with what you have to say and your preaching can be very annoying. But what you posted above makes no sense to me at all - one part of it doesn't even seem to have anything to do with another. What the heck does character have to do with habits?

coberst
2005-Dec-12, 10:48 AM
What is character? Character is the network of habits that permeate all the intentional acts of an individual.
My understanding of character and the quotations that follow concerning the nature of character are taken from “Habits and Will” by John Dewey http://www.alexandercenter.com/jd/johndeweyhabits.html.

Swift
2005-Dec-12, 03:24 PM
I glanced through the link and it didn't clarify anything for me. I could not plow through all of it; it was pretty thick and incomprehensible. I still don't undertand or agree with your definition. This one works for me:
"the inherent complex of attributes that determine a persons moral and ethical actions and reactions"

farmerjumperdon
2005-Dec-12, 03:38 PM
it definately belongs elsewhere - along with political 'science', psychology and all the other soft "sciences"

Yes indeed, it should be moved to where Soccer thread, Race Riots in Sydney, Gen X/Y, Word Association, Music You Like, Pet Peeves, the Acronym Game, Most Emabarassing Moment, and all the other highly scientific threads went. Oh wait, . . .

The guy is windy (worse than me), and the rambling nature make the posts difficult to read, maybe worthless; but - criticizing just because the topic seems less than scientific appears hypocritical in light of all the extremely unscientific threads that many engage in enthusiastically.

I've noticed the rather selective use of the unscientific card in the past. It appear to me the bulk of the Off Topic Babbling section is unscientific.

coberst
2005-Dec-12, 04:24 PM
Swift

If I will to have a better posture I can consciously force my shoulders back and my gut in and if over a period of time I do this everytime I am conscious of it one day I will have the desired posture because a habit has formed that functions with out consciously thinking about it. I went from will to habit to performance. If I wish to have an honest character trait I consciously perform honest acts and going through the same routine I eventually develop an honest character trait. Likewise with all character traits if I will it and develop the habit over time I become better in all the character traits. One cannot go immediatly from one habit formed trait to another habit formed trait without going through this process.

ToSeek
2005-Dec-12, 04:30 PM
People with a complaint about a post or thread should report it to the moderators, rather than grousing about it publicly. I would think that any of you who are not fans of coberst could instantly see that he started this thread and therefore avoid it.

coberst
2005-Dec-12, 06:36 PM
People with a complaint about a post or thread should report it to the moderators, rather than grousing about it publicly. I would think that any of you who are not fans of coberst could instantly see that he started this thread and therefore avoid it.

Well said! Thanks

Wolverine
2005-Dec-12, 07:22 PM
For the record, this forum also includes an Ignore feature. Feel free to use it.

HenrikOlsen
2005-Dec-12, 11:41 PM
For the record, this forum also includes an Ignore feature. Feel free to use it.
Unfortunately that feature only replaces posts made by the ignored person with a oneline "this person is ignored" post, it doesn't remove the thread.
An "ignore thread" feature would be a lot more useful and if we have it I'd like to know where..

Wolverine
2005-Dec-13, 03:42 AM
Unfortunately that feature only replaces posts made by the ignored person with a oneline "this person is ignored" post, it doesn't remove the thread.
An "ignore thread" feature would be a lot more useful and if we have it I'd like to know where..

Understood. That option doesn't exist that I'm aware.