Comparative appraisals of efficacy require not only evaluation of one;s own performances but also knowledge of how others do, cognizance of nonability determinants of their performances, and some understanding that it is others, like oneself, who provide the most informative social criterion for comparison
When we understand the connection between how we live and how long we live, it's easier to make different choices. Instead of viewing the time we spend with friends and family as luxuries, we can see that these relationships are among the most powerful determinants of our well-being and survival.
If man--if each one of us--abdicates his responsibilities with regard to values; if each one of us limits himself to leading a trivial existence in a technological civilization, with greater adaptation and increasing success as his sole objectives; if we do not even consider the possibility of making a stand against these determinants, then everything will happen as I have described it, and the determinates will be transformed into inevitabilities.
If man-if each one of us-abdicates his responsibilities with regard to values; if each one of us limits himself to leading a trivial existence in a technological civilization, with greater adaptation and increasing success as his sole objectives; if we do not even consider the possibility of making a stand against these determinants, then everything will happen as I have described it, and the determinates will be transformed into inevitabilities.
The cognitive skills prized by the American educational establishment and measured by achievement tests are only part of what is required for success in life. Character skills are equally important determinants of wages, education, health and many other significant aspects of flourishing lives.
This view of literature as an aesthetic object that could make us 'better people' is linked to a certain idea of the subject, to what theorists have come to call 'the liberal subject', the individual defined not by a social situation and interests but by an individual subjectivity (rationality and morality) conceived as essentially free of social determinants.
The social displacements that occur as consequences of variations in the value of money result solely from the circumstance that this assumption never holds good. In the chapter dealing with the determinants of the objective exchange-value of money it was shown that variations in the value of money always start from a given point and gradually spread out from this point through the whole community.
Ludwig von Mises
Destiny is not always preordained. Life is about making choices. Our lives are the sum of all the choices we make, the bridges we cross, and the ones we burn. Our souls cast long shadows over many people, even after we are gone. Fate, luck, and providence are the consequence of our freedom of choice, not the determinants. When justice is served by following our principles, making good decisions brings us inner peace.
Any attempt to shape the world and modify human personality in order to create a self-chosen pattern of life involves many unknown consequences. Human destiny is bound to remain a gamble, because at some unpredictable time and in some unforeseeable manner nature will strike back. The multiplicity of determinants which affect biological systems limits the power of the experimental method to predict their trends and behavior.
We are now witnessing, after the slow fermentation of fifty years, a concentration of technical power aimed at the essential determinants of heredity, development and disease. This concentration is made possible by the common function of nucleic acids as the molecular midwife of all reproductive particles. Indeed it is the nucleic acids which, in spite of their chemical obscurity, are giving to biology a unity which has so far been lacking, a chemical unity.
C. D. Darlington
Alterations in real prices occur slowly as a rule. But this stability of prices has its cause in the stability of the price-determinants, not in the Law of Price-determination itself. Prices change slowly because the subjective valuations of human beings change slowly. Human needs, and human opinions as to the suitability of goods for satisfying those needs, are no more liable to frequent and sudden changes than are the stocks of goods available for consumption, or the manner of their social distribution;
Ludwig von Mises
What Althusser does... is to rethink the concept of ideology in terms of Lacan's 'imaginary'. For the relation of an individual subject to society as a whole in Althusser's theory is rather like the relation of the small child to his or her mirror-image in Lacan's. In both cases, the human subject is supplied with a satisfyingly unified image of selfhood by identifying with an object which reflects this image back to it in a closed, narcissistic circle. In both cases, too, this image involves a misrecognition, since it idealizes the subject's real situation. The child is not actually as integrated as its image in the mirror suggests; I am not actually the coherent, autonomous, self generating subject I know myself to be in the ideological sphere, but the 'decentred' function of several social determinants. Duly enthralled by the image of myself I receive, I subject myself to it; and it is through this 'subjection' that I become a subject.
Because loners are born everywhere, we end up living everywhere. We do not, have not, tended to single ourselves out as special, elite, requiring rarefied environments. Too often we have done the opposite; lived where we lived because our jobs were there, or families, or because we'd heard the schools were good there, or that we would love a place with changing seasons. Then, no matter what, we put our noses to the grindstone. We take living there as a fait accompli, a fact. Too often we are miserable somewhere without realizing why. We blame ourselves for not buckling down, settling in, fitting in. The problem is the place, but too often we do not see this, we will not allow ourselves to see this. It's the same old thing: This is a friendly town, so what's your problem?... To the non-loner, or the self-reproaching loner, the fact of being a loner is not comparable to those other determinants. It is not a matter of life and death, we tell ourselves. It its not a matter of breathing or of execution by stoning. But home is the crucible of living... So how can living not be a matter of life and death?
The idea behind verses about the sealing of hearts appears to be the psychological law that if a person once does a good or an evil deed, his chances of repeating that kind of action increase and of doing its opposite proportionately decrease. With constant repetition of an evil or of a good action, it becomes almost impossible for a person to do the opposite, or even to think of it, so much so that while men's hearts become "sealed" and their eyes "blinded" if they do evil, their doing good produces such a state of mind that the devil himself can have no sway over it. Nevertheless, actions which create a psychological habit, however strong their influence may be, must not be construed as absolute determinants, for there is no "point of no return" for human behavior: genuine repentance (tauba) can turn an apparently wholly evil man into a paragon of virtue; on the other hand, although this is much more rare, an apparent paragon of virtue (even a prophet!) can turn into a near devil enmeshed in carnal pleasures.