Points of View or Thoughts

“People should not have points of view, but thoughts!”


–Nietzsche, Friedrich


Do you have points of view? Are you part of a team, following an ideology, thinking the same way that everyone else on your team thinks? If this is the case, it’s likely that you aren’t thinking at all. You aren’t trying to reason from true premises to a true conclusion, but are adopting conclusions of people you like. Cialdini remarks in Influence that people will follow authority because, for the most part, it’s a more efficient way to live than to think. It usually works pretty well. But it’s not thinking.

You are familiar with the NPC meme, right? The crowd of grey people who say the same things at the same time? Don’t be too hard on them, since this is the way most people act throughout most of life. It’s like tying your shoes. You don’t stop to think about it because that would be inefficient. You just do it the same way every day, rather than reasoning out the best way to fasten the laces on your shoes.

Why would you do the inefficient act of thinking? According to Aristotle, it’s because of wonder. For Socrates, it’s because of eros. Some of us love wisdom, are philosophers, who find joy in understanding the truths of things, the causes, even the first causes. But such people are rare. Most of us just have points of view.

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