There is a human idiosyncrasy that you see everywhere. In all groups, you’ll note this behavior because ultimately, it is a human psychological trait that afflicts all, regardless of intelligence, class or calling.
No segment is to be singled out, but I was reminded of it during the recent wave of commentariat philosophy in the wake of the Elliot Rodger shooting and all the social implications it gave us the opportunity to ponder.
People tend to become addicted to narratives, hence arguments and templates for discussion. It’s herd mentality of the intellectual variety.
An argument, let’s simply call it “A causes B to do C,” becomes the predominant chain of reasoning in any group of perpetual discussion, and it gains the foothold that all dialogue must conform to. People find it quite easy to allow themselves to sink into the accepted and popular paradigm of cause and effect and argue from within the limited scope of this perspective.
I see brilliant people confined by the caves of popular narratives and it’s sad that any reasoning which strays from A to B to C (let’s say someone argues that “C is A and hence, B”) is shunned, ignored and drowned out by the communal cacophony of the predominant narrative.
People working and thinking in groups put the brakes on human cognitive progress because conformity usurps originality and autonomous thought experiment.
Solitary thinking (ie, writing and theorizing, not “discussing”) is the only progression worth a damn to human civilization.