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The Concepts And Importance Of Reasoning And Intellectual Autonomy

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Intellectual autonomy is the act of thinking for oneself. The conception of enculturation and intellectual autonomy are organized with two basic ideas that represent universal human needs and culturally defined constructs at the same time. Autonomy deals with the responsibility of control for one’s life. A person with this trait is not dependent on others in order to form their beliefs and opinions. Enculturation, on the other hand, refers to people acquiring their traits through observation of others. Although both are distinguishably different, both can be considered intrinsically intertwined. Enculturation and intellectual autonomy are equally important and both are needed to adapt to certain environmental factors. Different conceptions of the self are prevalent in different environments in which one of these virtues are needed to adapt.

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In Solomon’s discussion, he speaks of how the opinion of the majority is important for Socrates because it could be used against him. Socrates wants to have his own opinions and not conform to the people around him, but because of the view of philosophy at the time, that’s not possible without severe consequences. When he says “I am the kind of man who listens to the only argument that on reflection seems best to me”, you can tell socrates is very confident and firm in his beliefs and won’t let others interfere with that, to the extent that he’s willing to die before changing any of his beliefs. After reading Socrates’ discussion, you can gather that he believes that life basically is not worth living unless you have the freedom of expressing your beliefs and spreading them to others. Crito is a town that makes it especially hard to hold onto any degree of individuality after knowing how stern they are in their beliefs and how far they’ll go to ensure everybody else has the same mindset. All the threats of incarceration, executions, and confiscations of property have no effect to Socrates because he would rather be in the minority expressing himself then conforming to something he doesn’t genuinely believe. I have a lot of respect for the way Socrates was unwilling to keep his views a secret, no matter what that meant for him. I think it is extremely important to hold onto this virtue of originality and I always try to follow that mindset when in social situations where I could easily be pushed to follow the ideas of others.

Reasoning and intellectual autonomy are two traits that go hand in hand. In order to think for oneself, as you do with intellectual autonomy, you require a certain amount of reason to be able to do so. You need little to no dependence on others when forming your beliefs, but instead, you need reasoning to form conclusions. You must be able to rationalize your thoughts to decide what is right through reasoning. A good set of codes to follow is Damer’s code of intellectual conduct. These codes are several principles that have an ultimate goal of doing whatever is morally correct. These concepts most closely deal with values of honesty, integrity, and humility to form a more clear conscious. These rules describe the best way to be and behave in a certain sphere of human life. Each principle faces one with a decision to make and if you abide by these rules then you are able to make a clear distinction between what is morally right and wrong. These principles are basically just rules of thumb to follow when faced with a situation to make a decision. You require a certain degree of intellectual autonomy to be able to decipher for yourself what is right for you to do. You are given these principles as “suggestions” but you can only depend on yourself to choose what is right. In my own life, I can think of a few times I have been faced with a decision of whether or not to exercise intellectual autonomy. One specific example is a time when I was with a group of friends relatively late at night and they wanted to break into the high school property and I need to make the choice of whether I wanted to follow the crowd and trespass or if I wanted to do what was morally right. I decided to tell them that I did not think it was a good idea to do it and that I was not going to be apart of it. Another example is when I was growing up, my parents raised me very religiously and even though I started to have my doubts about God, I didn’t want to disagree with my parents and so I just let other people’s opinions become my own and i failed to exercise intellectual autonomy.

Personally, I think I would fall on the higher end of the scale when evaluating the amount of intellectual autonomy I have. I would place myself at about a 7. I say this considering the way I respond in social situations where I am not easily persuaded by somebody and I individually form my beliefs. Holding onto your own beliefs is such acrucial trait to have in order to maintain your individuality. I am constantly making the conscious decision in everyday situations to form my own judgments and not just go along with what everybody else believes.

18 May 2020

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