Sunday, October 16, 2005

Aristotle Reviewed

The inevitable telos of every human being is not his fully perfected form but his death and place of rest in the past.


Gopher said...

That is assuming that death is the end of every human to which we can place a completely new argument.

I believe that the telos is the perfection of our mind. Death is just another stage in as much as birth is, and as you should prepare for a birth, you should equally prepare for a death.

The mind is an untamed beast that submits to instinct too much so to discipline and tame it, in addition to educating and sharpening it, is far more a telos than the end of life.

Nature's Rebel said...

I happen to be partial to teleological philosophy, but my understanding of it is not in the sense that it is usually understood. My post is supposed to have a hint of playful irony, but my target is the philosopher, like Aristotle, who teaches a universal telos, one that directs mankind like a herd of cattle into the pen of perfection. I don't understand the phrase 'perfection of the mind.' What does that mean, and how can it be an object in and of itself?

Gopher said...

It simply cannot be an object. Perfection is not easily measured or judged, but then, it's not us who should judge I suppose.

Perfection of the mind could be the absolute taming of one's mind. Rather than thoughts controlling the mind, the mind controls the thoughts.

Think of eastern meditation techniques of "clearing" the mind, and how difficult that is to do, yet that's a basic task to teach the mind.

This one I am struggling with, but I suppose that's the entire point. Almost like a Sutra.

Nature's Rebel said...

Have you read any evolutionary psychology?

Gopher said...

Some at college many years ago (I did Computer Science at college, but I got bored in lectures).

You're talking about the physical changes of the mind as in the original concept of evolution. Changes in psychology through time is a result of natural evolution of the way the mind is constructed. I like the concept and of course it is strongly believed to be proven in certain ways types of personality traits.

Nature's Rebel said...

The basic premise of evolutionary psychology is that our minds evolved to optimize our ability to get our genetic material copied in subsequent generations. It's natural selection but in this case it's far more interesting because it is applied to the study of our mental and behavioral traits. I've read six books on the subject and have three more on my shelf. If you haven't read The Moral Animal by Robert Wright, or perhaps something by Richard Dawkins, such as The Blind Watchmaker or The Selfish Gene, I recommend them.

Gopher said...

I'll add them to my huge list of "to read". I don't know where I'll find the time to read so much. I complained last year about having read all my books... not I have no time to read the new ones!