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Chapter 16. Strategic Thinking Part Two > Key Idea #4: Our Native Egocentrism I...

Key Idea #4: Our Native Egocentrism Is a Default Mechanism

To understand the human mind, we must recognize its essential duality. On the one hand, the human mind has an instinctive tendency toward irrationality. On the other hand, it has a native capacity for rationality. To effectively take command of our mind, we must develop the ability to (1) monitor the mind's tendency toward egocentric or irrational thinking, and (2) attack it with corrective rational thought.

Our irrational mind is not concerned with the rights or needs of others. It has no ethical dimension to it. Our rational mind, properly developed, is both intellectual and ethical. It has intellectual command of itself and ethical sensitivity as well. Intellectual skill and fair-mindedness are joined into one integrated mode of thinking. When our rational mind is underdeveloped or not engaged, however, our native egocentrism functions as a default mechanism. If we don't control it, it controls us!


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