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The Challenge of Rationality

If the human mind has a natural tendency toward irrationality, in the form of dominating and submissive ego functions, it also has a capacity for rationality, in the form of capacity for self-knowledge. We all have a tendency toward hypocrisy and inconsistency, but we nevertheless can move toward greater and greater integrity and consistency. We can counteract our natural tendency toward intellectual arrogance by developing our capacity for intellectual humility. Put another way, we can learn to continually question what we "know" to ensure that we are not uncritically accepting beliefs that have no foundation in fact.

Moreover, we can counteract our tendency to be trapped in our own point of view by learning how to enter sympathetically into the points of view of others. We can counteract our tendency to jump to conclusions by learning how to test our conclusions for their validity and soundness. We can counteract our tendency to play roles of domination or submission by learning how to recognize when we are doing so. We can begin to see clearly why submission and domination are inherently problematic. We can learn to search out options for avoiding either of these modes of functioning. And we can practice the modes of self-analysis and critique that enable us to learn and grow in directions that render us less and less egocentric. We will focus more extensively on learning to control our egocentrism in Chapter 16, on strategic thinking.

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