Essay on `` Group Minds `` By Doris Lessing

771 Words Oct 3rd, 2016 4 Pages
“Teach Your Children Well” In “Group Minds”, noted novelist Doris Lessing argues that humanity is bound by conditioning to submit to the norms and expectations of the group that has the majority in almost any given situation; and that armed with this information we do not use it to improve our lives or institutions. As a solution to this dilemma, she proposes the need to educate the public, specifically children, about this propensity and to teach them the methods in which they may combat it. While I agree with her claim and solution in a very general sense, she failed to make her case. I found that be convincing, her article needs the added weight and gravitas of those who do indeed study the human condition and offer us insight in how to avoid the pitfalls of group thinking. Though recognized as a brilliant writer, Lessing’s ethos in regard to this subject is lacking as she is not trained in the social sciences. That being the case, she relies on her strengths as fiction writer and uses pathos as the main vehicle to persuade the reader, resorting to many of the common logical fallacies to make her points. In the first three paragraphs she characterizes Westerners as cluelessly deluded, believing that they are self-determining individuals, when she argues, they are actually products of the “Group Mind”. And yet, she offers no real proof, “begging the question” throughout her essay with broad generalizations of people’s behaviors and research experiments.…

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