Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Evolution of Will and Reason

We do not begin with Will or with Reason. When you see a baby crying, can you really say that it is expressing will? Will to what? If you gave a baby a series of buttons that would provide various things that a baby might need (a diaper change, milk, a cuddle, a fork to check out what's going on in that outlet over there), what would a crying baby do? Probably smack them all - does the baby know why it cries? This much is certain: the baby cries.

We will not say that babies are not smart, but are they exercising reason? Experiences they desire, experiences they shy away from. What actions are performed to bring about these experiences. Is this reason? I would not call it that. All of it is experience, encounter, appearance. The baby is bombarded by the world. The baby does not talk, the world is not put into words.

We do not begin with will, we begin with dissatisfaction. We do not begin with reason, we begin with encounters.

How do we distinguish between will and dissatisfaction? Dissatisfaction compels us to move. Will compels us to move somewhere. Will contains an aim, a destination, it is Will-to-Something. Dissatisfaction is just a need to move.

How do we distinguish between reason and encounter? An encounter can not be put into language, it simply is. Reason is judgment and language, a model of the encounter that can be used to relate and predict encounters.

Dissatisfaction and encounters escalate one another. One is dissatisfied so one begins moving nowhere, leading to more and more encounters - Experience. One has more and more encounters and the proliferation of encounters allows Preference to emerge from the interaction of Experience and Nature. Once we have Preference we need to understand the world so as to navigate it and increase that which we prefer and mitigate that which we dislike, we need information for a purpose and that leads to Reason. Once we have Reason we can cast the world into different forms by the use of our words and through the creation of relations, only then do we give form to our Preference and turn it into something that can be pursued: Will.

I do not actually imagine that these things happen all at once, as though Dissatisfaction occurs, Dissatisfaction produces Experience, which produces Preference, which produces Reason, which produces Will. Rather I think there are a multitude of tiny back-and-forth interactions wherein each reinforces and builds one another.

We must wonder, though, is Will and Reason the terminus?

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