[ExI] phobia again - NYT

spike spike66 at att.net
Tue Feb 2 18:54:34 UTC 2016



From: extropy-chat [mailto:extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
Sent: Sunday, January 31, 2016 10:12 AM
To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
Subject: [ExI] phobia again - NYT


The NYT magazine has a story about xenophobia, strongly following what I posted a few weeks ago.

Before I write a comment to them, let me ask this:

Is 'phobia' in your mind tied to neurosis or mild mental illness?  Or has it entered the mainstream and can be used, like 'fatphobia', without implying a mental disease?

The article agrees with us that -phobia is mostly incorrect when one really means 'hate'.  

bill w



Hi BillW,


I don’t and never have equated the term phobia with mental illness.  The term has been stretched and used for so many things, it has become just a general term.  We have laborophobia for slackers for instance.  That isn’t crazy or weird, just lazy.


Really when you think about it, even the phobias that really are mental illnesses often have a plausible healthy tissue biological explanation.  Arachnophobia is common even if the person knows a particular species of spider is harmless.


I see something I think is possible arachnophobia in non-human beasts.  For some odd reason, cockroaches inspire fear in some dogs, even though there is not one thing that roach can do to cause harm.  It is ugly (to some people and some dogs) but they can’t hurt you.  Perhaps they sorta resemble spiders?  Clearly that is instinct rather than mental illness.



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