LitLink

This is a course blog for the members of EH236 at the University of South Alabama, Spring 2006.

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Jaucourt's View of Prejudice

In the “Prejudice” article from the Encyclopedia of Diderot and d’Alembert, Jaucourt states that false judgment made by the mind, due to lack of utilizing one’s mental capabilities, disrupts the process of perception and reasoning. The lack of understanding, along with fallacy is, according to Jaucourt, prejudice. An axiom is none other than a belief that is assumed to be true, without the existence of actual evidence or substantiation. It is the axiom that leads one’s mind off course. On the other hand, prejudice is not based entirely on artificial outlook. Jaucourt says that prejudice can also be caused from the preoccupation of the judgment. Jaucourt states that the preoccupation of judgment arises "from the obscurity of ideas or the diversity of impressions derived from the disposition of the senses, or from the influence of the passions, always mobile and changing." In other words, what may be understood as truth for one person may in turn be interpreted as a false pretence by another person.

There are prejudices of faction, which are solely based on false values of interpretation. There are personal prejudices, which vary in mankind. There are conventional prejudices, in which "objects exist in one manner, we perceive them in another, and we describe them neither as they are, nor as we see them." Finally, there are temperamental prejudices, which indeed fluctuate throughout mankind. Truthful information seldom arrives, yet it is not interpreted in such a manner as to take hold of it. Prejudices are like infectious diseases, attacking people, and yields only to "maturity and reason." Jaucourt believes that if mankind would come to nature with pure eyes and innocent sentiments, afterward man would free himself of prejudices.

1 Comments:

Blogger Courtney King said...

Wonderful response. It seems that you did a very thorough reading on the subject and put it into your own words with ease. I would have liked to heard more about your ideas on the different kinds of prejudices, but other than that, it was very precise and analytical.

6:27 PM  

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