Mon 7 Aug, 2006 03:00 am
What a character!
One significant advantage engineering, physics and much of the natural sciences has is that they speak in mathematical terms. The individuals often speak in formulas or mathematical verbiage that is clear and concise and understandable by all the members. The use of every day words like habit can be confusing because of a lack of clarity.
What is character? Character is the network of habits that permeate all the intentional acts of an individual.
I am not using the word habit in the way we often do, as a technical ability existing apart from our wishes. These habits are an intimate and fundamental part of our selves. They are representations of our will. They rule our will, working in a coordinated way they dominate our way of acting. These habits are the results of repeated, intelligently controlled, actions.
Habits also control the formation of ideas as well as physical actions. We cannot perform a correct action or a correct idea without having already formed correct habits. "Reason pure of all influence from prior habit is a fiction."
"The medium of habit filters all material that reaches our perception and thought." "Immediate, seemingly instinctive, feeling of the direction and end of various lines of behavior is in reality the feeling of habits working below direct consciousness." "Habit means special sensitiveness or accessibility to certain classes of stimuli, standing predilections and aversions, rather than bare recurrence of specific acts. It means will."
Because each job requires a different type of character a journalist would make a lousy military officer and vice versa.
Quotes from "Human Nature and Conduct" by John Dewey