There are some fierce debates in our lives: either you make a choice for this (eg, Android, electric cars), or for that (eg, Apple iOS, fossil fuel cars) given our priorities. People suggest that there is no third road (eg, full hybrid cars). This is an example of dualism. Why is a third road less popular?
“The original “Third Road” was associated with the so-called populists (népiesek or in Russian narodniks) of the 1930s who looked around and said: “We don’t like capitalism but we don’t like the Soviet style of socialism either. Let’s find a third alternative, a third road.”A 2008 article in Hungarian Spectrum entitled GÁBOR HORN’S “THIRD ROAD” (ie, link-6)
In my view, dualism is ingrained into our brain, if only because we have a left and right arm-eye-leg-nosehole. Alternatively, we have day-night, north-south, east-west. Our thinking is either governed by a macro perspective (eg, climate) or a micro focus (ie, individual). Rarely both.
The blueprint of life is either the cause or the effect of convergent evolution, depending on your religious beliefs. The most notable and “weird” exception is the octopus with 8 arms/legs, 3 hearts, and 9 brains. Also see my 2022 blog: Are viruses responsible for convergent evolution?
The third road might be less popular as – in the eyes of others – we “fail” to make a choice, even though we might just procrastinate. In simple – and perhaps oversimplified – terms: the majority believes in dualism and the minority must thus also make a choice, or be viewed as “weird”.
Notwithstanding the above, people often choose for the golden mean in life, and avoid extremes. It could thus be argued that most people follow the third road in order to belong the statistical average (a.k.a. mean). In my view, this average represents the use of “normal” in our vocabulary.
To paraphrase the above: despite the left and right exits, we will continue our chosen path.
“Aristotle urged people to seek “the golden mean” between extremes, “moderation in all things” (which we interpret as including moderation in the pursuit of moderation). But why should this golden mean in general be desirable? Clyde Coombs and George Avrunin (1977) have enunciated a very simple principle that implies moderation: “Good things satiate and bad things escalate.”A quote from Rational Choice in an Uncertain World: The Psychology of Judgement and Decision Making (2009)
Note: all markings (bold, italic, underlining) by LO unless in quotes or stated otherwise.