Friday, August 28, 2009

Human Cognition

The question: Are the cognitive capabilities of all organisms(including humans)limited by their biology? If yes, does it also imply that sciences ( which are made of the results of human cognition) are cognizant of only those aspects of existence which fall with in the spectrum of their cognitive faculties, rathar than of all aspects of existence?

Answer: Man has the faculty of reason, which is not fully developed yet in our nearest cousin, the chimp. Evolutionary and cognitive sciences tell us the chimp is about 400,000 years behind us in that category, (though it does deserve to be removed from the genus Pan and placed in the genus Homo).

Our reason is, or at least can be, continual. In other words, where "Brutes abstract not", [Hume] humans continually abstract. It doesn't mean they always use their faculty of reason, but they are capable of continuously doing so if they have the will and the discipline. A chimp moves unwillingly in and out of states of reason.

Our ability to remain continually rational (thought not always right) means that what Kant called "Noumena" and Plato called "Forms" are no longer barriers. No such things exist any longer--they never did--, because we know we have the means to discover tomorrow what we don't know today, if we stay the course of reason.

This does not mean we are not limited by our biology. We are not omniscient, nor can we ever be. We must, as Aristotle said, "acquire knowledge". But the things that Plato would have said were Forms, and which Kant would have said were Noumena, have since been proved to be phenomena. Reasons task is to discover the nature of the phenomena, and that is an ongoing, never-ending task precisely because of the limitations of our biology, limitations which reason itself overcomes with time.

The Free Assemblage of Metaphysical Naturalists LLC.
The Academy of Metaphysical Naturalism tm
The Academy of Metaphysical Naturalism Blogger ©,
Academy of Metaphysical Naturalism Blogger Extra ©

are the educational arms of the LLC and are:
© 2008-2009 by Curtis Edward Clark and Naturalist Academy Publishing tm

blog comments powered by Disqus