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Rationalizations, Culture, Nomads, Peace PDF Εκτύπωση E-mail
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Συνεννόηση για Ισορροπία - Απόψεις
Συντάχθηκε απο τον/την Χρήστος Μπούμπουλης (Christos Boumpoulis)   
Τετάρτη, 19 Νοέμβριος 2014 23:33


In psychology and logic, rationalization or rationalisation (also known as making excuses) is a defense mechanism in which controversial behaviors or feelings are justified and explained in a seemingly rational or logical manner to avoid the true explanation, and are made consciously tolerable – or even admirable and superior – by plausible means. It is also an informal fallacy of reasoning.

Rationalization encourages irrational or unacceptable behavior, motives, or feelings and often involves ad hoc hypothesizing. This process ranges from fully conscious (e.g. to present an external defense against ridicule from others) to mostly unconscious (e.g. to create a block against internal feelings of guilt). People rationalize for various reasons — sometimes when we think we know ourselves better than we do. Rationalization may differentiate the original deterministic explanation of the behavior or feeling in question.


Quintilian and classical rhetoric used the term color for the presenting of an action in the most favourable possible perspective. Lawrence Sterne in the eighteenth century took up the point, arguing that, were a man to consider his actions, "he will soon find, that such of them, as strong inclination and custom have prompted him to commit, are generally dressed out and painted with all the false beauties [color] which, a soft and flattering hand can give them".



Rationalization can be used to avoid admitting disappointment: "I didn't get the job that I applied for, but I really didn't want it in the first place."

Egregious rationalizations intended to deflect blame can also take the form of ad hominem attacks or DARVO. Some rationalizations take the form of a comparison. Commonly this is done to lessen the perception of an action's negative effects, to justify an action, or to excuse culpability:

"At least [what occurred] is not as bad as [a worse outcome]."

In response to an accusation: "At least I didn't [worse action than accused action]."

As a form of false choice: "Doing [undesirable action] is a lot better than [a worse action]."

Based on anecdotal and survey evidence, John Banja states that the medical field features a disproportionate amount of rationalization invoked in the "covering up" of mistakes. Common excuses made are:

"Why disclose the error? The patient was going to die anyway."

"Telling the family about the error will only make them feel worse."

"It was the patient's fault. If he wasn't so (obese, sick etc), this error wouldn't have caused so much harm."

"Well, we did our best. These things happen."

"If we're not totally and absolutely certain the error caused the harm, we don't have to tell."

"They're dead anyway, no point in blaming."


Collective rationalizations are regularly constructed for acts of aggression, based on exaltation of the in-group and demonisation of the opposite side: as Fritz Perls put it, "Our own soldiers take care of the poor families; the enemy rapes them".

Celebrity culture can be seen as rationalizing the gap between rich and poor, powerful and powerless, by offering participation to both dominant and subaltern views of reality.


Ernest Jones introduced the term "rationalization" to psychoanalysis in 1908, defining it as "the inventing of a reason for an attitude or action the motive of which is not recognized"' — an explanation which (though false) could seem plausible. The term (Rationalisierung in German) was taken up almost immediately by Sigmund Freud to account for the explanations offered by patients for their own neurotic symptoms.

As psychoanalysts continued to explore the glossed of unconscious motives, Otto Fenichel distinguished different sorts of rationalization — both the justifying of irrational instinctive actions on the grounds that they were reasonable or normatively validated, and the rationalizing of defensive structures, whose purpose is unknown on the grounds that they have some quite different but somehow logical meaning.

Later psychoanalysts are divided between a positive view of rationalization as a stepping-stone on the way to maturity, and a more destructive view of it as splitting feeling from thought, and so undermining the powers of reason.

Cognitive dissonance

Leon Festinger highlighted in 1957 the discomfort caused people by awareness of inconsistent thought. Rationalization can reduce such discomfort by explaining away the discrepancy in question, as when people who take up smoking after previously quitting decide that the evidence for it being harmful is less than they previously thought.



Culture (/ˈkʌltʃər/, from Latin: cultura, lit. "cultivation") is a concept based on a term first used in classical antiquity by the Roman orator Cicero: "cultura animi" (cultivation of the soul). This non-agricultural use of the term "culture" re-appeared in modern Europe in the 17th century referring to the betterment or refinement of individuals, especially through education. During the 18th and 19th century it came to refer more frequently to the common reference points of whole peoples, and discussion of the term was often connected to national aspirations or ideals. Some scientists such as Edward Tylor used the term "culture" to refer to a universal human capacity.

In the 20th century, "culture" emerged as a central concept in anthropology, encompassing the range of human phenomena that cannot be directly attributed to genetic inheritance. Specifically, the term "culture" in American anthropology had two meanings:

  • the evolved human capacity to classify and represent experiences with symbols, and to act imaginatively and creatively; and

  • the discrete ways that people, who live differently, classified and represented their experiences, and acted creatively.

Hoebel describes culture as an integrated system of learned behavior patterns which are characteristic of the members of a society and which are not a result of biological inheritance.

Distinctions are currently made between the physical artifacts created by a society, its so-called material culture, and everything else, the intangibles such as language, customs, etc. that are the main referent of the term "culture".

Culture is central to the way we view, experience, and engage with all aspects of our lives and the world around us. Thus, even our definitions of culture are shaped by the historical, political, social, and cultural contexts in which we live.




A nomad (Greek: νομάς, nomas, plural νομάδες, nomades; meaning one roaming about for pasture, pastoral tribe) is a member of a community of people who live in different locations, moving from one place to another. Among the various ways Nomads relate to their environment, one can distinguish the hunter-gatherer, the pastoral nomad owning livestock, or the "modern" peripatetic nomad. As of 1995, there were an estimated 30–40 million nomads in the world.

Nomadic hunting and gathering, following seasonally available wild plants and game, is by far the oldest human subsistence method. Pastoralists raise herds, driving them, and/or moving with them, in patterns that normally avoid depleting pastures beyond their ability to recover.

Nomadism is also a lifestyle adapted to infertile regions such as steppe, tundra, or ice and sand, where mobility is the most efficient strategy for exploiting scarce resources.

Sometimes also described as "nomadic" are the various itinerant populations who move about in densely populated areas living not on natural resources, but by offering services (craft or trade) to the resident population. These groups are known as "peripatetic nomads".


Some times people behave egocentric and greedy. One of the horrible consequence of this behaviour may have been, the oppression of other cultures' dictates of way of living.

The civilization all over the world has evolved in such a way that cities have blocked the passages over which ancient nomads were using for manifesting their civilization. The rationalizations for misinterpreting those violations, I believe, they have no value.

According to my opinion, it is atrocious to deprive one or many other cultures from those resources which are vital for their survivor.

It may be impossible for global peace to become sustainably restored as fas as entire cultures are being oppressed.

Global peace may become sustainably restored when and only when we sincerely and actively respect all cultures of our human kind and let, all of them, to be, in peace.

According to my opinion, each and every one of us, may find honor and vindication for the life he has been lent, only, within his own pathway which lays within his own culture.

The condition, within which, everyone, with no exception, finds his own way, towards honor and vindication, paved, is being called, global peace.


The Life of the Nomad
The Amir ‘Abd al-Qadir (1807-1883)

(Algeria; mid 19th century)

O THOU who preferrest the dull life of the town
to wide, free solitude,
dost thou despise nomadic tents
because they are light, not heavy
like houses of stone and lime?
If only thou knewest the desert's secret!
But ignorance is the cause of all evil.
If thou couldst but awake in the dawning Sahara
and set forth on this carpet of pearls,
where flowers of all colors shower delight
and perfume on our way.
We breath an air that lengthens life,
because it ne'er blew on the garbage of towns!
If at dawn, after the night's dew,
thou wouldst from a high point look into the distance,
thou wouldst see on the measureless horizon
fallow beasts grazing on scented meadows.
At a moment like this all care would leave thee
and rest would enter thy restless heart.
On the day of decampment the camels' howdahs
are like anemones weighed down by rain.
They cover virgins, who peep out through peepholes.
Ah peephole which the eye of the houri fills!
Behind them sing the drivers in high pitch,
their song more gripping than flutes and cymbals.
But we, on noble horses
whose decorations cover breast and croup,
stir ourselves into a gallop.
We hunt gazelles and beasts of prey.
None can outrun our rapid coursing!
At night we return to the tribe
which has already encamped on an unspotted site,
The earth is like musk; even purer it is;
and generous too, moistened at dawn and dusk by rain.
There we put up our tents in rows.
The earth is dotted with them as the sky with stars.
Those who have passed on truly said
—and truth undergoeth not change—:
beauty is found in two things,
in a verse and in a tent of skin.
When our camels graze at night,
their lowing resounds like the thunder of early morning.
They are the ships of the desert; whoso travels
on them is saved; but how dangerous are the ships of the sea!
They are our Mehari, swift as antelopes,
through them and our horses we achieve fame,
Our horses are always saddled for battle;
whoever seeks our aid, for him we are ready.
For fame we have sold our citizenship forever,
for fame is not won in the town!
We are kings! None can compare himself with us!
Does he then truly live, who lives in shame?

Nomads of the Rainforest - PBS NOVA (1984)

Note: the photos were found here, here and here.

Τελευταία Ενημέρωση στις Κυριακή, 22 Φεβρουάριος 2015 02:43