By Peter Schwartz
Conceptual thinking entails the classification of existents according to essential similarities and essential differences. One of the most insidious techniques for undercutting conceptual thinking is that of the "package-deal" - the attempt to integrate opposites by blurring their essential differences. It is a device that allows its originators to put over disastrously erroneous ideas. Ranging from the misuse of the concept "environment" to the false arguments made against America's employment of military force, the package-deal is a pervasive phenomenon in today's culture.
These two lectures analyze this phenomenon. They discuss the various forms in which package-deals come, the cognitive distortions they create - and the means by which one can avoid being taken in by them.
These lectures were recorded at the 2004 Objectivist Summer Conference in Wintergreen, VA.
(MP3 download; 2 hrs., 53 min., with Q & A, 124.33 MB)