Archive for March 3rd, 2014

Sub-Cognitive Fragments (#2)

Sickness advances an invaluable philosophical lesson by making it conspicuously difficult to think. Teetering unsteadily at the edge of consciousness, it becomes almost impossible to avoid the observation: “I’m too freaking stupid to think about this right now.” One is thus coaxed into the single most significant realization open to human intelligence. Being stupid is the primary problem, because it retards problem-solving in general.

Are we stupid? Oh yes, of that we can be fully confident. The Old Law of Gnon ensures to a very high level of probability that any creature considering itself part of an intelligent species will be roughly as cognitively deprived as is consistent with the existence of technological civilization. Downward variation is restrained by a floor, and upward variation caught in a trap, so only a relatively narrow band of intellectual capability is realistically available. Anything further requires a break out.

Criticism, whose value is not in any way to be denigrated, is nevertheless a secondary matter. As in Darwinian evolution, or the economics of creative destruction, selection mechanisms presuppose significantly varied material, without themselves explaining how such material is originally generated. Random walks through spaces of possibility, already unsatisfactory in the context of biological explanation, are patently inadequate to economic innovation, and ┬ástill more so in the philosophical domain. To refer intellectual action to a simple conception of chance is to avoid the problem, which is to say — the task.

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March 3, 2014admin 11 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Philosophy