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View Diary: Why Don't We Teach Social Skills? (74 comments)

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  •  It isn't about *teaching* them... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    kurt, Shaviv

    It's about enforcing their use.

    The reason their use isn't natural, and needs to be enforced is basically the same reason trees grow so tall (in bald terms, it's a horrendous waste of energy): If one doesn't, the one next to it will, thus putting it at a competitive disadvantage for light.

    It's always good to recall Hobbes in this connexion...

    http://oregonstate.edu/...

    Whatsoever therefore is consequent to a time of war, where every man is enemy to every man, the same consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain: and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and which is worst of all, continual fear, and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

    ...

    And because the condition of man (as hath been declared in the precedent chapter) is a condition of war of every one against every one, in which case every one is governed by his own reason, and there is nothing he can make use of that may not be a help unto him in preserving his life against his enemies; it followeth that in such a condition every man has a right to every thing, even to one another's body. And therefore, as long as this natural right of every man to every thing endureth, there can be no security to any man, how strong or wise soever he be, of living out the time which nature ordinarily alloweth men to live. And consequently it is a precept, or general rule of reason: that every man ought to endeavour peace, as far as he has hope of obtaining it; and when he cannot obtain it, that he may seek and use all helps and advantages of war. The first branch of which rule containeth the first and fundamental law of nature, which is: to seek peace and follow it. The second, the sum of the right of nature, which is: by all means we can to defend ourselves.

    From this fundamental law of nature, by which men are commanded to endeavour peace, is derived this second law: that a man be willing, when others are so too, as far forth as for peace and defence of himself he shall think it necessary, to lay down this right to all things; and be contented with so much liberty against other men as he would allow other men against himself. For as long as every man holdeth this right, of doing anything he liketh; so long are all men in the condition of war. But if other men will not lay down their right, as well as he, then there is no reason for anyone to divest himself of his: for that were to expose himself to prey, which no man is bound to, rather than to dispose himself to peace. This is that law of the gospel: Whatsoever you require that others should do to you, that do ye to them. And that law of all men, quod tibi fieri non vis, alteri ne feceris.

    (blahblahblah, emphases mine)

    I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

    by punditician on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 04:50:09 PM PST

    •  Don't know where you live (metaphorically). (0+ / 0-)

      I'd hate to go there.

      It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

      by karmsy on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 04:53:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  You might be interested in the personal context (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Lefty Mama, kurt, ms badger, SoCalSal

      of Hobbes' most famous writings.  Take a look at "Sex At Dawn" http://www.sexatdawn.com/...  In one of their early chapters they focus on the ways in which many of our intellectual traditions tend to be unrealistically pessimistic and unempirical regarding human history.  Their description of Hobbes' personal history and life-conditions at the time of his writings is illuminating.  The rest of the text is also remarkable in a number of ways.

      With regard to the main topic of the diary, however, I fully agree on the need for formal social skills education and training.  In my clinical practice I spend a great deal of time helping kids and teens to recognize the many essential but somewhat ineffable elements that are necessary for rewarding interactions and for avoiding unnecessary conflicts.

      •  Like Leibniz's "best of all possible worlds" (0+ / 0-)

        approach? lols

        Or Aristotle's Nichomachean Ethics? What the hell does "eudaimonia" mean again? lols

        But I completely appreciate that someone whose paycheck depends on teaching a certain something would advocate for more teaching of that thing.

        I'm gonna go eat a steak. And fuck my wife. And pray to GOD - hatemailapalooza, 052210

        by punditician on Sun Jan 23, 2011 at 06:23:34 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

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