Edited by Michael Szenberg and Lall Ramrattan
Chapter 21: What Makes My Mind Tick
* Mark Perlman Doubtless there are many purposes for editing a collection of one’s essays, particularly when the span of time of their preparation covers more than 40 years. In the end perhaps the most obvious purpose is to describe what one did with those decades and begin to explain why. I will come to the description a bit later, but here I focus on why. Many academics believe that their thoughts were responses to ideas and even to the influences of ideas as propounded by their teachers and other great persons. Yet, while I am more than willing to admit that my life has been shaped by others, including great teachers handling great ideas, in looking back what has principally shaped my adult life was a series of institutional questions which I perceived sometimes conventionally, but more than occasionally idiosyncratically. I have always been as interested in how to teach – that is, in how to influence others – as I have been in what I was trying to put across. This trait I share with Adam Smith, who was more of a rhetorician than either an economist or a philosopher. To teach, one has to understand the constraints in the other person’s mind. Many of these constraints are institutional, by which I mean (to paraphrase John R. Commons) collective thought shaping individual choices. This introductory essay, accordingly, is my own analysis (buried in the narrative) of what has made my mind work. PHYSICAL SURVIVAL AND EMOTIONAL SHAPING Surely the dominant institution...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.