Thursday, 1 July 2004

From "The Plural Psyche"

By Andrew Samuels.

It is very difficult to hold a pluralistic attitude. Pluralism may seem utopian in that the simple and reliable mechanism of right or wrong has to be suspended without being completely discarded. Further, it is very hard to feel passionate about being tolerant, to be a radical centrist in depth psychology, to go for what the parliamentarian Walter Bagehot called "animated moderation". Does pluralism condemn us to losing the excitement of breakthrough ideas, which are more likely to be held with a passionate conviction? Boredom  would be as great a problem as tyranny. My view is that such a worry rests on a misunderstanding and an idealization of the cycle of creativity. New ideas emerge from a pluralistic matrix and are reabsorbed into that matrix. Ideas do not come into being outside a context; nor does the new necessarily destroy the old but often co-exists with it. Ideological conviction therefore arises from a context of pluralism.

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