Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Reason and Perfection

The Question: Why is man rational? What makes us different from other animals?

The Answer:
In Greek philosophy of "natural law" (physics) there was a term no longer used: perfection. This doesn't have the same meaning as the word we use.

In a sense, the Greeks understood evolution, because the First Science was metaphysics, which is about "Being" and "Becoming."…

"The things of this world are or exist only so far as they participate in the being of the eternal ideas, or so far as man in his creative capacity of craftsman, artist, and especially lawmaker copies these ideas. Here teleological thinking enters the scene. In the concept which gropes after and apprehends the essence or the idea of the thing there is contained at the same time also its end, the completion or perfection of the idea of the thing.

"The essences of things, which are exemplifications of the ideas conceived by the divine intellect, constitute at the same time the end or goal of the things themselves. The perfection or fulfillment of the things is their essence: formal cause and end are one (causa finalis is ultimately identical with causa formalis)."…

So, in evolution (becoming) all things tend toward the perfection of the idea naturally inherent in the subject that has "being". What it evolves into (the act of "becoming") can be described as the acorn that can become nothing but an oak. It can't become a donkey or a pine tree.
In the essence of the "being" of the thing called "mind", there is the evolution into what it can only become, like the acorn into an oak.

Other natural forces could have prevented it, as they prevented the dinosaurs from remaining on earth. Something natural could have wiped out all life on earth, or all life containing "mind".
But that didn't happen. So the mind had to evolve from the simplest forms, to its "perfect" form. That would appear to be "rationality." The chimp is said to be closest to man in this respect but is 400,000 years behind us. Perhaps in another 400,000 years we will discover whether "rationality", in the act of "becoming", will find a new perfection.

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