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April 23, 2012

Terror Management Theory


From  Michael Shermer's "Skeptic" column in the April Scientific American: "[British philosopher Stephen] Cave argues that legacy is the driving force behind works of art, music, literature, science, culture, architecture, and other artifacts of civilization. How? Because of something called Terror Management Theory. Awareness of one's mortality focuses the mind to create and produce to avoid the terror that comes from confronting the mortality paradox that would otherwise, in the words of the theory's proponents โ€” psychologists Sheldon SolomonJeff Greenberg and Tom Pyszczynski โ€” reduce people to 'twitching blobs of biological protoplasm completely perfused with anxiety and unable to effectively respond to the demands of their immediate surroundings.'"

April 23, 2012 at 04:01 PM | Permalink


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