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A Conflict of Visions is a book by Thomas Sowell. It was originally published in ; a revised edition appeared in The root of these conflicts, Sowell claims, are the "visions", or the intuitive feelings that people have about human nature; different visions imply radically different consequences for how they think about everything from war to justice.
The rest of the book describes two basic visions, the "constrained" and "unconstrained" visions, which are thought to capture opposite ends of a continuum of political thought on which one can place many contemporary Westerners, in addition to their intellectual ancestors of the past few centuries. The book could be compared with George Lakoff 's Moral Politicswhich aims to answer a very similar question.
The book has been published both with and without the subtitle "Ideological Origins of Political Struggles". These two visions encompass a range of ideas and theories.
Sowell argues that the unconstrained vision relies heavily on the belief that human nature is essentially good. Those with an unconstrained vision distrust decentralized processes and are impatient with large institutions and systemic processes that constrain human action. They believe there is an ideal solution to every problem, and that compromise is never acceptable. Collateral damage is merely the price of moving forward on the road to perfection. Sowell often refers to them as "the self anointed.
Because of this, they believe that there exist some people who are further along the path of moral development, have overcome self-interest and are immune to the influence of power and therefore can act as surrogate decision-makers for the rest Last Enemy - Random Conflict - Internal Visions society. Sowell argues that the constrained vision relies heavily on belief that human nature is essentially unchanging and that man is naturally inherently self-interested, regardless of the best intentions.
Those with a constrained vision prefer the systematic processes of the rule of law and experience of tradition. Compromise is essential because there are no ideal solutions, only trade-offs. Those with a constrained vision favor solid empirical evidence and time-tested structures and processes over intervention and personal experience. Ultimately, the constrained vision demands checks and balances and refuses to accept that all people could put aside their innate self-interest.
From Wikipedia, Last Enemy - Random Conflict - Internal Visions free Last Enemy - Random Conflict - Internal Visions. A Conflict of Visions Cover of the hardcover edition. Basic Books. Utopian View of Human Nature". Ben Casnocha. Retrieved June 29, The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved March 5, As I continued to read the writings of conservative intellectuals from Edmund Burke in the eighteenth century through Friedrich Hayek and Thomas Sowell in the twentieth, I began to see that they had attained a crucial insight into the sociology of morality that I had never encountered before.
They understood the importance of what I'll call moral capital If you believe that people are inherently good, Last Enemy - Random Conflict - Internal Visions that they flourish when constraints and divisions are removed, then yes, [simply linking people together into healthy, trusting relationships] may be sufficient [to improve the ethical profile Im Alive - Disturbed - Ten Thousand Fists the group to achieve a moral vision for the group].
But conservatives generally take a very different view of human nature. They believe that people need external structures or Stand Up (Clean Ground System) - Bozzis Beach* - Stand Up in order to behave well, cooperate, and thrive.
These external constraints include laws, institutions, customs, traditions, nations, and religions. People who hold this 'constrained view' Sowell calls [the two 'visions' of the nature of human beings] the Constrained Vision and the Unconstrained Vision; I will refer to them as the Tragic Vision My own view is that the new sciences of human nature really do vindicate some version of the Tragic Vision and undermine the Utopian outlook October Archived from the original on United Press International.
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