This excerpt comes from a lecture by Ted Smith on Richard Weaver at ISI. It warns of the danger of rationalizing important elements of culture. You should listen to the whole lecture.

“Culture is really a form of sentiment. It is organized by sentiment towards the world, towards acceptance of certain ideals. What [Weaver] calls a ‘tyrannizing image of the world.’ . . . And if you subject culture to cold, rational, logical inquiry, it is defenseless and is destroyed. You cannot explain logically, for example, why it is still important, perhaps, for men to hold a door for women. You can have a perfectly logical notion of egalitarianism which says that it is stupid for a man to hold a door for woman. Either nobody should hold a door for anybody, or everybody should hold a door for everybody, regardless of sex. . . . You can’t explain rationally, you can’t defend logically the sentiment involved in the cultural practice of holding a door, or bowing to someone. Weaver’s concern is that dialectic has been used to strip away important aspects of culture, and to leave us with nothing in their stead.”

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