I borrowed Words and Things" (1959) by Ernest Gellner from the Portland State University library. I found this pleasingly snarky passage on page 232:

So far, in talking of "ideology", I have in effect been defining my use of the term. I now wish to specify some important characteristics which are, I think, often displayed by successful ideologies:

(1) A great plausibility, a powerful click at some one or more points which gives it a compulsiveness of a kind.

(2) A great absurdity, a violent intellectual resistance-generating offensiveness at some one or more other points.

The first of these is a kind of bait. An appealing outlook must somehow account for some striking features of our experience which otherwise remain unaccounted for, or are otherwise less well explained. The second feature, though initially repellent, is what binds the group, what singles out the cluster of ideas from the general realm of true ideas. The swallowing of an absurdity is, in the acceptance of an ideology, what a painful rite de passage is in joining a tribal group -- the act of commitment, the investment of emotional capital which ensures that one does not leave it too easily. The intellectually offensive characteristics may even be objectively valid; it is only essential that, at the beginning, and perhaps in some measure always, they should be difficult to accept.

Now THAT explains a lot. The gostak distims the doshes!

BTW, the targets of Gellner's ire are the linguistic philosophers, such as Wittgenstein.

ErnestGellner (last edited 2016-08-13 21:11:20 by KeithLofstrom)