Talk:Doublethink

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RamblinRay (talk) 04:29, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

Note to the editor[edit]

EDITOR - PLEASE READ I don't know how to fix the article or I would, but there are some problems with the neutrality of the article. In the contradictory section the Christian's acceptance of "Thou shall not kill" and their support of the death penalty along with the U.S. Consitution and the "No cruel and unusual punishment vs. death penalty" is biased. "Murder" is the unjust taking of an innocent life, thus it is not murder to kill someone who is attacking you in your home or in war and in the same way it is not murder to punish a criminal convicted of murder with death. Also, the article makes note of the fact that death penalty opponents claim that capital punishment is cruel...not at all a fair and balanced perspective. (The article could claim that opponents feel it is cruel, but since they don't support it the example is not doubethink...nor is it doublethink for someone to believe it to not be cruel and support capital punishment)

Therefore, I ask that either the article be corrected and made more neutral or I CHALLENGE the neutrality of the article.

Thanks! John F. (4/10/07 20:03)


Comparison to communist Russia[edit]

I rewrote the line that claimed the book was "modeled after Stalinist Russia". I think most people would agree that nature of the society in the book is far more complex and interesting than would be suggested by a simple allegory. Orwell has a simple allegory for communist Russia after-all... called Animal Farm

Doublethink words[edit]

I made up a few words on 1984 beacause my english teacher told me to. So if you guys need help...there is also one thing called: cheating. + I also made up a couple neologisms (they are not to be PUBLISHED yet, that is), based on George Orwell's Newspeak and Doublethink: These are 10 words that i made up for Newspeak:

  1. Orthopediatrist (a doctor who hypnotizes the children)
  2. Crimejust(crime and justice)
  3. Provapo ( vaporizing the proles)
  4. Telechat (chatting with the telescreen)
  5. Odigov ( odious[hatred] for the government)
  6. Rumblewinpar (Winston rumbles[fights]to beat the Party)
  7. Pivextin (your privacy is extinct)
  8. Hypnochild (a child that is hypnotized by the orthopediatrist)

I just added a bunch of stuff here. It's from an essay I wrote in high school. I hereby do whatever legal stuff is necessary for Wikipedia to use it as public domain material and so on.Dave 02:01, Mar 15, 2005 (UTC)

Sources[edit]

This article does not cite a single source, and it's very badly written. I'll get around to fixing it eventually, but until then it deserves templates that indicate both of those problems. Tenebrous 22:18, 8 February 2006 (UTC)

I would particularly like to find the source about the dialectic being a form of doublethink. It sounds like a one sentence paraphrase of Karl Popper's criticism of the dialectic from the other Wikipedia article. However, The Open Society and Its Enemies was written at least 4 years prior to Nineteen Eighty-Four, it isn't possible that Popper himself used this word. I'm not saying that it's wrong, it's an interesting viewpoint. I just wish that we had an actual source from an actual place. Cyclopean typewriter 11:26, 11 March 2006 (UTC)
I've just added the reference. It's from the book One-Dimensional Man. And, for interest's sake, doublethink is a form of dialectic, not the other way around. Skittleys 03:18, 12 August 2006 (UTC)
I've found the doublethink/dialectic citation, but I Googled the quotes and found no real references. Hopefully someone else knows! Skittleys 03:21, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

Request a bit more expansion, and elaboration please[edit]

Please get some insightful people, researchers, and smart pals to fix up this article, and expand on the ideals of doublethink. A little elaboration would work on the quotation from the book, as well as O'Brien's speech to Winston Smith concerning the uses of doublethink, and the functionality of the Party - Inner, and Outer, as well as Big Brother. Yours, sincerely User: Xinyu

Is the spoiler warning necessary?[edit]

The article contains 1984 quotes, but it hardly spoils the story, and the warning might deter people from reading this article for no real reason. I'ma go ahead and remove it, someone correct me if this is wrong. --Szabo 01:39, 5 May 2006 (UTC)

Anon addition[edit]

An anon added the following text (with my edits to make it properly punctuated and a bit clearer):

A form of doublethink could be said to occur in Frank Herbert's novel Dune and in Ursula LeGuin's Earthsea novel, The Farthest Shore. In Dune, the prophet Paul-Muad'Dib comments that "kindness and cruelty are the same thing," a statement often interpreted to mean that what is kind to one person is cruel to another. Similarly, Ged the Archmage Sparrowhawk says to Prince Lebannen in The Farthest Shore, "Life and Death are the same thing... neither separated nor mixed." Readers of both books have thought of these statements as intending to suggest that death, kindness, cruelty, and life are essentially the movement of energy from an area of higher concentration to one of lower concentration. Some such thinkers have added that what is an area of high concentration for one form of energy is an area of low concentration for another, illustrating the subjective nature of reality.

I'm not sure that this is really doublethink in any sense other than perhaps an extremly superficial sense of combining opposites (the explanation given in the second half of the paragraph, especially, doesn't seem to be describing anything resembling doublethink). I was tempted to just revert the addition, but I thought it'd be worth checking in with other editors before wholesale deleting it. Does anyone have any objections to removing this paragraph? I'll give it a while and just delete it unless someone says they want it kept and can explain how this is relevant to the article.

Hbackman 23:03, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

LIST OF CONTRADICTIONS PROPOSAL[edit]

Hey people - what do you think that we should really show some dialect, that is doublethink, and contradictions in this article, my leading the readers to read, if they want - a list of contradictions. I think it would add some spice to this article? Tell me what you think - because I have the list on my Wikipedia user page...--Lord X 21:57, 11 June 2006 (UTC)User:Xinyu

I looked at the list on your user page and my thoughts are a) it's way too long, and b) I don't understand how a list of contradictions allows the reader any further insight into doublethink -- we should be adding explanation, not a bajillion examples that don't illuminate anything. Anyone can think up a list of opposites like the one on your user page -- why is that useful to the article?
Also, I don't understand what you mean by "dialect." Doublethink isn't a dialect. Doublespeak (forgive me if I'm not using the correct term; it's been a while since I've read Nineteen Eighty-Four) or Newspeak, which is associated with doublethink, could perhaps be called a dialect, but the examples on your user page aren't Newspeak -- they're just pairs of opposites (I'm not even really sure that some of them are "contradictions," really...).
So I think no, it would not be an improvement to the article to add that list to it. Sorry.
Hbackman 04:54, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
On the contrary, though, although the list is both long, tedious, and so called not applicable to this article, it really depends on how you define each term respectively. Personally, only personally, though, dialect is a form of doublethink...meaning that doublethink is the thinking of contradictions...right? Dialect is the ability to think beyond your own point of view, isn't it? And, as of doublespeak, doublethink and doublespeak are essentially the same thing...I mean, one is the contradiction of thought, while another is the messing up of langauage. I mean - just look at all the synonyms we have in the English language, or all the means that one could desribe an idea that is considered, "politically incorrect." In order for the world to mess up with its own thoughts, speech must also be screwed around with. Now, what I just said may sound random, but I really, REALLY thoughgt about it. Doublethink, by the way - is the thinking of opposites - the linking and disconneciton between two opposing ideas (that is why it is called, "doublethink." See, for so long as the ideas are in constant opposition, doublethink would always remain, "doublethink." Even in the novel of 1984, Orwell said that Doublethink is the linking of opposites...(see Newspeak dictionary, the Ebook version of it)....yours, Xinyu Hu
--18:39, 21 June 2006 (UTC)User:Xinyu
ps. May be we should just sit around and wait a bit more for other users to reply, and think of their opinion, have a vote, and then, if the majority likes this idea, they can have it on...
I was taking dialect to mean a regional variety of a language. That was probably the source of my failure to understand you. ;)
I agree with xyzzy re: the original research aspect.
I quite like what you say about the necessity of messing with speech in order to mess with thought. That's one of the points that Orwell makes, isn't it? -- that the point of Newspeak is to constrain thought? (Obviously not all of Newspeak is doublespeak, but I think that much of it is.) If this isn't already in the article I think it should go in there somewhere.
Hbackman 06:26, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
Your list is original research. It is therefore not suitable for inclusion in an article. —xyzzyn 22:14, 21 June 2006 (UTC)
I don't think it is original research...clearly everything on that list does exist in real life...doesn't it? --Lord X 20:38, 22 June 2006 (UTC)User:Xinyu
So which source has published your list? —xyzzyn 21:08, 22 June 2006 (UTC)
Whatever, I'll just be the researcher for now of everything and anything I am interested in, best way I could contribute anything for now. To you the truth, yeah, it was, "Original Research," but it makes no difference to the fact that 99% of the words, names, etc does EXIST in the English language (if they were Alien, they wouldn't even need to be written in the first place.) Therefore, Rejection of Contradiction List: Accepted....--Lord X 01:32, 23 June 2006 (UTC)User:Xinyu
Truth and existence are not standards for inclusion. Verifiability is. —xyzzyn 01:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC)
You win. --Lord X 02:12, 23 June 2006 (UTC)User:Xinyu


Truth and existence are not standards for inclusion. Verifiability is. —xyzzyn 01:42, 23 June 2006 (UTC) Isn't that actually Doublethink? :D

Vegetarian example[edit]

In the real-world examples of doublespeak section, there is the following passage:

Another example is the ethical question of whether to eat meat or be a vegetarian. Some may choose to eat meat and be content with the knowledge that a cow must be killed to supply the meat, but others may not be able to accept responsibility for a cows death, even if they are not directly responsible for the animal's slaughter. Blocking out the fact that their demand for meat will result in the slaughter of additional animals over time is believed by some to be another example of real-world doublethink.

Could someone please explain this one, because I seem to be missing it entirely. Are the "others who may not be able to accept responsibility for a cow's death" vegetarians or are they meat-eaters who simply ignore their guilt? Also, wouldn't this count as POV since (from what I can interpret) it seems to be biased in favor of a vegetarian point of view?

I've removed it. it definately seems biased in favor of vegetarians. If someone disagrees add it back, and do explain how it's not POV.--Acebrock 21:49, 18 September 2006 (UTC)

another example i want to put in (using a controversial "issue")[edit]

There is another real life example of doublethink:

There are several social conservatives are against abortion and say that they are "pro-life" and yet some of those who support abortion supports death penalty. Apparently, the purpose of "pro-life" is protecting means of life, meaning the person belief is that capital punishment and abortion is wrong. So do you consider this to be a doublethink? --Dark paladin x 01:52, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

  There is nothing contradictory nor “doublethinkish” about valuing the lives of the most innocent and defenseless of all human beings more than one values the lives of the very worst, criminals. — Bob Blaylock (talk) 18:28, 18 July 2016 (UTC)

Another example I thought of is the Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution, despite the content "no cruel or unusual punishment," capital punishment is still practiced in several states in America.

In going to add this in--Dark paladin x 02:09, 4 April 2007 (UTC)

This section drew an appropriate correlation between the 'liberal' and 'conservative' examples of doublethink regarding abortion and capital punishment, which are indeed contradictory positions if one believes that abortion is the killing of a human. However, there was also a line about how the left supports freedom of speech but suppresses speech from opposing viewpoints. I just removed this, and I realize that this may appear ironic to some, so I will explain. I have heard this point, about how the left suppresses other viewpoints, expressed by many Americans in the media and on the fringes of academic life. However, I have never seen any demonstration that non-left viewpoints are suppressed by the left in the United States. As such, this is a baseless claim. If there is a factual basis to the claim that the left suppresses opposing viewpoints, this basis should be cited. Otherwise this is a fictional example. 64.222.146.249 21:04, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

The above, I think is a perfect example, of doublethink. While acknowledging the perception that liberals quash speech they don't agree with, he quashes speech he doesn't agree with, using the excuse that quashing this speech is acceptable because the perception hasn't been adequately documented! The only way this perception could now be considered to be undocumented is by ignoring the example he just provided, pretending it's not in direct conflict with reality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 108.54.70.107 (talk) 07:22, 31 March 2012 (UTC)

Isn't double standard almost similar to doublethink?--Dark paladin x 22:46, 16 April 2007 (UTC)

Wasn't there a medieval equivalent to this?[edit]

I vaguely remember reading that there was a medieval philosophy that was incredibly close to doublethink - if it does exist, maybe it could be mentioned as a forerunner to doublethink. Jayran 22:53, 26 June 2007 (UTC)

- let me guess - Hegel and the Hegelian Dialect - thesis+antithesis=synthesis? --74.96.209.9 02:17, 27 June 2007 (UTC)User:Xinyu

Nah, I was able to find it and it was "double truth" from Avveroes but it is not similar enough to warrant inclusion imho.


Original Research/Unverifiable Sources Template[edit]

I've tagged this article less for original research and more for unverifiable sources. Although I also considered tagging it as lacking citations, the fact is that some of the ideas seem to come from the links at the bottom of the page, and so theoretically that particular problem would be easy to fix. However, the links themselves are of questionable quality as per Wikipedia's guidelines regarding the use of sources--one link no longer works, one links to a UCLA professor's self-published webspace, and one links to an article written by the editor of a student newspaper. As such, this article needs to be corrected in line with Wikipedia verifiability standards.

jonny-mt 04:27, 16 August 2007 (UTC)

Updated to move this comment to the bottom of the talk page, where it should have been all along. --jonny-mt 04:27, 4 October 2007 (UTC)

Weak dollar example[edit]

Why are we including this as an example of doublethink? It doesn't seem very accurate. Sarsaparilla (talk) 17:52, 12 February 2008 (UTC)


It's extremely accurate. When you consider that the US imports the vast majority of its goods and food from overseas how is having a weak dollar going to make the recession (a near-term event) any better? They don't talk about the decade(s)-long length of time it would take to revitalize America's production capacity and bring jobs back from overseas.

Until you can rebut this point I suggest we leave the image as it serves as a perfect example of doublethink and moreover is a good newspaper example in keeping with the Orwellian book's imagery. Rekutyn (talk) 22:34, 13 February 2008 (UTC)

People are continuing to delete the image without proper debate in the discussion tab. I challenge those of you who continue to deface this article to respond to the thread above. Otherwise you must admit to your own doublethink. How ironic. Rekutyn (talk) 17:26, 2 March 2008 (UTC)

Rekutyn, it depends--a weaker dollar would, over the long term, promote American exports and domestic consumption, though not rapidly enough to counteract a short-run recession. Thus, it is not so much doublethink (which would imply that people think the weak dollar is unequivocally beneficial and harmful simultaneously) as it is a misapplication/misinterpretation of theory. As such, it is irrelevant to this page and I am deleting it for its irrelevancy. 76.241.109.253 (talk) 06:28, 25 May 2008 (UTC)

Cognitive Dissonance[edit]

This page has improved greatly since last I looked at it. I'll probably have time in the next couple days to begin editing it, but in the meantime if anyone has any sources discussing the doublethink and the related subject of cognitive dissonance, please share them. Tenebrous (talk) 00:25, 23 April 2008 (UTC)


F. Scott Fitzgerald[edit]

The page looks great overall. I do think the section quoting F. Scott Fitzgerald could be removed. I think it is quite a stretch to compare Fitzgerald's famous quote with Newspeak. Fitzgerald was making a point about an intelligent person's ability to hold two opposing views, to see both sides of an issue, without losing their own personal beliefs and values in the process. I think associating that quote with Newspeak is esoteric at best, unfair to Fitzgerald's intellectual point at the worst. That being said, great page overall and I hope the ediotr will take my thoughts into account. RamblinRay (talk) 04:29, 8 June 2008 (UTC)

abortion and doublethink[edit]

The abortion example implies that only conservatives exercise doublethink. Yet there is a liberal counterpart: pro-aborts claim majority support yet have repeatedly predicted that abortion would be banned if Roe vs Wade were overturned and the public regained the right to vote on abortion policy.

There is no logical inconsistency here. The United States does not use a strictly democratic system, nor are all votes proportional. Thus, there are several scenarios in which the majority of Americans could support abortion and yet the opposite happen:
  1. A majority of the land area of the US is covered by 'red' states, but those states do not contain a majority of US inhabitants. Thus, referendums in each red state could ban abortion, each blue state permit abortion, and the end result be precisely what you claim is an impossible contradiction.
  2. The issue could come up before Congress; the Senate, as we all know, is representation by area and not by population. The same logic as above applies - a position that is a minority by population can become a majority in Congress due to uneven geographic distribution.
  3. As has happened multiple times before, a President could be elected through the electoral vote while losing the popular vote. A President has considerable power, and given the past century of American politics, it is perfectly possible that the power of the legislature and courts could continue to vitiate and the executive usurp their roles. Such a president could ban abortion either in practice via the many bureaucratic and economic options available to him, or simply by appointing new justices. A sufficiently powerful president would not even have to wait for justices to retire.

Also, I have not heard a coherent explanation in thirty-five years as to why abortion is not murder. Is it because the victim is considered non-human? Or non-living? Or simply because the Supreme Court said so and the Supreme COurt is always right? All this sounds to me like doublethink -- or maybe no-think.

CharlesTheBold (talk) 07:02, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

If you've truly gone 35 years without hearing any coherent explanation, and cannot even name an actual proposal, I greatly doubt you've actually done much thinking or research on the topic at all. Here, let me help you out a little: Abortion debate#Personhood.
I read the article. It says unborn children are unpersons and have no rights, while business corporations are persons and have rights. I knew that already. Still sounds like doublethink to me.CharlesTheBold (talk) 10:12, 15 August 2011 (UTC)
This is all besides the point, as I see no mention of abortion in the article. --Gwern (contribs) 21:14 9 November 2008 (GMT)
I would also suggest that controversial subjects shouldn't be used as an example on other topics, unless it is particularly relevant and needs to be included to make the article complete in its coverage of the topic. To do otherwise just invites pointless (as far as the article is concerned) controversy and edit warring. --Sfnhltb (talk) 20:28, 27 February 2011 (UTC)

Cognitive therapy?[edit]

In the statement:

Some schools of psychotherapy, such as cognitive therapy, encourage people to alter their own thoughts as a way of treating different psychological maladies (see cognitive distortions).

Isn't this a little misleading about what the cognitive therapy think it tries to do? AFAIK, they believe they are shooting down destructive kind of thinking, like f.ex. "doublethink" instead of implementing it. However it actually works, I think its intention is not to implement a "controlled insanity" like described in the text. ... said: Rursus (bork²) 20:15, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

Contextualism section[edit]

I tagged this section (with the general lacks references tag) because it smelled of OR to me and, as someone who's read the book, did not seem relevant. Doublethink is done within the same contextual frame. Otherwise, the views are not contradictory, and doublethink does not apply. In fact, I am going to remove the section next time I stumble upon this article if I don't see consensus here saying that section should stay. It really is just way out of place for this article. Mbarbier (talk) 04:04, 7 September 2009 (UTC)

contradictions and proving anything[edit]

how about how doublethink used in any context of contradiction such as the P^~P, P, P or Q, ~P /therefore Q, doublethink makes people able to accept contradictions and therefore the government can "prove" anything, that is the power of doublethink —Preceding unsigned comment added by 96.225.170.217 (talk) 17:27, 26 December 2010 (UTC)

must mention 1984[edit]

This article on Doublethink currently makes no mention of 1984. This makes no sense, unless the article is attempting to explain the concept by demonstrating it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by 150.131.97.97 (talk) 20:36, 22 May 2012 (UTC)

There are multiple mentions of Nineteen Eighty-Four, but the name is spelled out in letters as it is in the actual novel title. --OuroborosCobra (talk) 02:00, 23 May 2012 (UTC)