Monday, August 19, 2013

Evolution of Will and Reason Applied to Skill Development

Previously I wrote about the way that a primitive stage of will and a primitive stage of reason build off of each other to eventually evolve into Will and Reason. I now think that this particular bit of theorizing can actually have a practical application, seeing as there is no reason to suppose that this is isolated to the development of a human being, but should be able to be adapted to more particular situations. In fact, I think that this model could be used as a guide to acquiring new skills later on in life.

We begin with dissatisfaction(W), which leads to movement, which leads to encounters(R). When encounters are multiplied they become experience(R), and experience filtered through the particulars of our nature becomes preference(W). Preference compels us to act in such a way that we avoid some things and cling to others, necessitating a model of the world to guide us, this model being Reason or Language. Reason and Language give form to our preference allowing us to pursue even that which does not sit in front of us, at last resulting in Will.

This is the picture of I have of the evolution of Will and Reason, now apply this picture to the acquisition of a more particular skill.

We begin by being dissatisfied with our skill set. Maybe we are well accomplished, but we lack, say, a musical skill, or perhaps we are utterly unskilled from years of laziness and we wish to reverse this. So we begin searching for a skill to learn, we watch films, we talk to friends, we surf the internet, and we start having encounters. We see the art of guitar playing from the outside, we hear someone play the piano, we listen to a dear friend explain the exact technique for copulating with an oboe. Preferences begin to emerge - we certainly do not want anything to do with the oboe, but the piano arouses our passions, the prospect of learning it excites us. Perhaps we pursue the piano, and then find that we miss the showmanship associated with actually moving our instrument around with us as one does with a guitar - perhaps we find that we are more interested in an instrument that can be carried around and played at any moment - these things we discover with experience, which in turn refines our preferences and makes them more specific.

Finally, with preference and experience, we can use reason and language to state a goal or objective. We take our preferences and we state that we want to be a part of a band, or we state that we want to play at street fairs or what have you. This is the form that our will takes: Will-to-Bandhood or Will-to-Irritate-Fair-Patrons. Then we can organize our lives and efforts in the context of this will, acting in such a way as to bring about the desired.

At least until we decide that we really should learn a classic game, chess perhaps?

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