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Do animals have volition II?

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7 hours ago, merjet said:

whYNOT omitted the rest of that sentence.

Why do you bother? I don't think anyone is at risk of taking his ideas very seriously.

Anyway, I think there is a better interpretation of what Rand is saying than yours. The context of the quote is about the precise way in which (human) volition can change the shape of reality itself. Clearly, we can't change the nature of reality and its elements with volition. We can identify and conceive of the way the elements of reality can be moved around to act differently, but this isn't changing the nature of the elements of reality. In an Aristotelian sense, we imitate reality, that is, if I want to build a house, I can only put things together by their nature as if the house developed from the movement of the Earth's tectonic plates. It is not by sheer will that I transform the elements of reality into the elements of a house; the elements of reality don't go through metamorphosis through your willpower. 

Cognitive process should be interpreted with a similar context in mind. Volition does not control perception. Volition does not control the automatic functions of your body such as heartbeats and breathing. It only has direct control over cognition, the operation of your reasoning processes (or any process beyond the actual operation of perception). Volition can control movement, to the extent that a plan of movement is necessary, and that basic identification needs to be immediate. More than that, identification and abstractions - anything extremely abstract for that matter - themselves have no purpose other than how they serve your life and flourishing. Abstractions and identifications need to ultimately manifest as physical action and movement if they are to have any impact on life and flourishing. It's not lost on Rand that cognition serves a practical purpose, her entire theory of epistemology and the nature of man's mind revolve around how important they are to being alive.

If anything, your R2 definition from Rand is a better definition of her meaning.

Edited by Eiuol
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400 replies in this thead to date. Obviously answering EasyTruth resurrection of an idle topic has taken a back seat to roasting whYNOT.

<sarcasm intended>Sad. Such an objective approach to handling disagreement.</sarcasm>

In the spirit of Charles Ives, and The Unanswered Question . . .

 

On 7/18/2021 at 9:14 AM, dream_weaver said:
On 7/18/2021 at 8:44 AM, merjet said:

I'm not clear on what you would consider an error. Suppose a deer decides to cross a road when a truck is coming towards it at 60 mph. If the deer gets hit and killed by the truck, thus failing to reach its goal, would you consider that an error?

Would you consider it suicide?

As far as I can see, both questions highlight the difference between the somatic application and volition as it applies to the conceptual faculty.

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2 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

<sarcasm intended>Sad. Such an objective approach to handling disagreement.</sarcasm>

Feel free to do something about it. I told you before, whyNot perpetuates the atmosphere by his sheer frequency of posting, repeating what he says, and needling people over and over about things he already addressed before. Lock the thread I guess. Merjet and I could make a new thread about the paper he has been talking about. 

 

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On 7/23/2021 at 12:54 PM, merjet said:

whYNOT omitted the rest of that sentence. The whole sentence is: "His volition is limited to his cognitive processes; he has the power to identify (and to conceive of rearranging) the elements of reality, but not the power to alter them."

I disagree. Human volition is not limited to cognitive processes. It also includes volitional actions in the physical world. Clearly humans do have the power to rearrange or alter the elements of reality. How so? Rand gave no explanation of how that is possible. Humans make things like machines, tools, computers, bridges, vehicles, and buildings. The obvious explanation is that humans have physical bodies, and their hands are hugely important in being able to make machines and so forth.

If that is contradicting Rand, so be it.  

She also wrote in the same essay: "But just as animals are able to move only in accordance with the nature of their bodies..."

That's true for humans as well. 

Let R1 denote "His volition is limited to his cognitive processes". Let R2 denote: "The faculty of volition operates in regard to the two fundamental aspects of man’s life: consciousness and existence, i.e., his psychological action and his existential action, i.e., the formation of his own character and the course of action he pursues in the physical world." This is from The Romantic Manifesto

whYNOT quoted R1 while being oblivious to R1 and R2 being incoherent. I'm not surprised.

"That's true for humans as well".

Great. You got it. While ¬not¬ contradicting Rand as you think. 

"In accordance with the nature of their bodies". Quite, humans have bodies and perform functions and learn skills, and you think Rand overlooked this?

All this because you haven't accepted what goal-directed *action* - and self-directed *action" - IS.

The fundamental abstraction, mans' life,  needs connecting to the concretes, living. No one can expect Rand to cover every concrete instance and spoon feed us with what should be self-evident to everyone; one needs to do some heavy lifting on one's own.

Volition is limited to man's cognition, indeed - AND - the man follows through physically ... with self-directed physical acts, in accordance with the nature of his body. I have returned to the concepts of integrity and mind-body integration several times - which was ignored and passed over.

 I claimed too that, lacking free will,  higher animals also act and cannot do otherwise - outside of a limited, immediate, range - also according to their 'knowledge' and 'values', i.e. instincts, sense-perceptions, learned/adapted behavior etc. Being able to move their bodies, according to situations and circumstances, isn't volition.

Integrity, what Branden nominated as "Loyalty in action to our professed convictions".

Where NOT done so, one has capitulated one's free will.

 

 

Edited by whYNOT
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On 7/24/2021 at 12:29 AM, Eiuol said:

Feel free to do something about it. I told you before, whyNot perpetuates the atmosphere by his sheer frequency of posting, repeating what he says, and needling people over and over about things he already addressed before. Lock the thread I guess. Merjet and I could make a new thread about the paper he has been talking about. 

 

I am not an altruist. I don't roll over to your and merjet's orchestrated slanders. Like these above. Every time I go away for a while, I notice my name comes up in my absence - but I am disallowed from replying to these, usually false, claims against me and what I said?? More importantly, contra Rand and reality?

I "needle" YOU? Ha!

There's a saying, Play the ball not the man. Ideas matter here more than personalities, and free will (v. determinism) is the most far-reaching of most ideas. A moderator ought to be able to discourage personal attacks, not join in.

 

Edited by whYNOT
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On 7/23/2021 at 12:54 PM, merjet said:

Let R1 denote "His volition is limited to his cognitive processes". Let R2 denote: "The faculty of volition operates in regard to the two fundamental aspects of man’s life: consciousness and existence, i.e., his psychological action and his existential action, i.e., the formation of his own character and the course of action he pursues in the physical world." This is from The Romantic Manifesto

whYNOT quoted R1 while being oblivious to R1 and R2 being incoherent. I'm not surprised.

"The course of action he pursues in the physical world" ...

...answers to ¬EVERY¬ single act undertaken by him in future, mental and physical. Have I already stated that? I'm sure I did, several times and in several ways.

I need to repeat myself because I am accused of being incoherent a little too often, to your convenience, in apparent denial of the truth-significance of what Rand indicated and meant.

Are Rand's wordings equally incoherent?

 

Edited by whYNOT
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