“My mistake is perhaps instructive, because it exemplifies some cognitive biases that bedevil all of us: wishful thinking, overvaluing the causal impact of character traits (and individual agency, generally) relative to structural tendencies, and an unfortunate tendency to take sides” — Books Do Furnish a Room
Why does the culture so love to overvalue individual agency relative to structural tendencies?
Because it supports the (illusion of, belief in: take your pick)freedom of the will? And people don’t find “mu” an acceptable answer in this culture, for better or worse.
Well, *we* are agents. It’s what our minds were evolved to think in terms of. Not anything as abstract as “structural tendencies”.
Phil – As usual, an evolutionary argument can be made for the exact converse. We evolved in primarily a structured world.
Nick – Tis’ plausible that the self, being what’s close at hand, is always the first stop for explaining things.
But, personally I think the reasons lie elsewhere.