Monday, October 10, 2005

Desirably Right

Plato, or Socrates really, teaches us that knowledge produces right action and that reason is therefore our guide. But reason is only perception. It sees, it does not command. It is not my sight that commands me to avoid a dangerous obstacle. It is the recognition of the danger acted upon by my desire to live. Right action, so to speak, is in the desire, not in the knowledge.


Nimiwey said...

But it's knowledge that governs our actions. If I have the knowledge that fire is hot, I will not touch it. I would otherwise have the desire to touch it, to learn.

Nature's Rebel said...

If you know that fire is hot and therefore do not touch it, why does that supercede your desire to learn? You are leaving something out. It is because you do not want to be burned. That is desire, not knowledge. Knowledge can only assist you in fulfulling your will. By itself it cannot govern you. You put knowledge in the service of your wants, which you rank in advance. Avoiding severe physical pain and potential injury is higher on the list than learning about fire. Therefore, knowing that fire will cause you pain and injury supercedes your desire to experience it more intimately.