Martin Young


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... is the guest speaker scheduled for the 146th meeting of the Karl Hess Club, to convene on August 21, 2006.


    Martin Young on "The Totalitarian Ego and Self-Deception: Stupidity as System"

Dr. Young will examine how totalitarians interpret the world, and what lead them to make their decisions and positions. He also examines how this results in dysfunctional relationships and systems, ultimately aggregating on a mass scale.

Here is how Dr. Young poses the question:

"Have you ever been amazed at the nonsense that can come out of someone else's mouth? How could apparently sensible people possibly believe some of the insane things they seem, with all sincerity, to passionately believe? Well, I think I know the answer.

"Drawing on research in psychology and neuroscience, I trace out what I think are the attitudes and cognitive practices that enable quite intelligent people to quite sincerely believe quite unintelligent things. Using illustrative fictional characters. I explain how and why the typical self-deciever manages to maneuver himself into believing things that are radically unsupported, and even contradicted by the available evidence.

"The basic mechanism is simple. People have the power to filter and process any and all incoming information. This can be done in such a way as to build a worldview that is factually supported and logically coherent, or it can be done in such a way as to build a worldview that makes you feel really, really good about yourself, irrespective of what the facts may support. The choice is yours."

A good primer to Dr. Young's talk is his monograph, The Soliton Self. His "purpose in introducing the notion of a 'soliton self' was to provide a way of viewing the personality as an integrated collection of not necessarily congruent, not necessarily even mutually compatible patterns of interacting with the world, to which other such patterns can sometimes be added."



KHC member Steve Reed continues his libertarian book sale before and after the meeting, inside the dining room.  For information, leave voice mail with Steve Reed in Downey, 562-927-6622.


    About Martin Young


Martin Young earned a B.A. in Philosophy from CSU Fullerton in 1989, an M.A. in Philosophy in 1994 from UC Irvine, and a Ph.D in Philosophy from UC Irvine in 2000.  His dissertation title was: "Self-Esteem."

Specializing in Ethics, since 1993 he's taught Logic, Critical Thinking, Philosophy, Ethics, and the Philosophy of Religion at El Camino College, Cypress College, and UC Irvine. He was Assistant to the Director of the UCI Council for Collaborative Research in the Humanities, 1996-97 and the Newsletter Editor for the Council for Collaborative Research in the Humanities, 1995-96 and 1996-97.

His works include Ziqquratu Scientia in the 1987 Algonquin West (the CSUF Student Literary Journal), and The Sheep-Wolf Press Conference in Between the Species, A Journal of Ethics, Winter-Spring 1995.

Dr. Young received the UC Regent's Dissertation Fellowship in 1997; the UCI Summer Dissertation Fellowship in 1996; the UCI Committee for Scientific Explanation grant in 1994; the UCI Chancellor's Fellowship for Graduate Study for 1991-92; the CSUF Paul Hayner Memorial Prize, 1989 (joint winner); and the CSUF William H. Alamshah Philosophical Essay Prize for 1988 & 1989.

He is a certified philosophical counselor. He has written a novel, Twifyld's Quest, and a  play, The Devil Got Up As God, and is currently working on another novel.

His website writings can be found at UC Irvine and at the Mad Wizard.
He is secretary of the Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society, and resides in Anaheim.