Taking control

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Jane Ann Liston (Letters, 28 June)considers the age-old problem of academic sociology of how to define class.

However, what is fatal to this kind of “sociological” approach is the philosophy of what is called social determinism. The argument advanced is that 
people’s choices are a function of the “vulgar realities of social class”.

Isn’t this an example of bad faith, namely denying the individual always has a real choice?

Social determinism denies the freedom of individuals to choose given their experience of their own selves.

Can choices of Yes or No be predetermined according to an objective study of class? Surely, the authentic way is to assume each individual is responsible for making the choice. Arguably, to deny this responsibility is to deny freedom and see people as “creatures of circumstance”.

Ellis Thorpe

Old Chapel Walk

Inverurie, Aberdeenshire