An Anthropology

1.) Every cognitive power has an object and a clarity. Eyes see EM waves in some bandwidth, but eagles see with more clarity than humans and humans than fish; noses detect scents but moths detect them with more clarity than bloodhounds and bloodhounds than us.

2.)  Where knowledge is in the service of life the differences in clarity are easily dealt with: When lack of clarity harms life the life form is killed off. If greater clarity gives X an advantage over Y then, ceteris paribus, Y dies off and X flourishes.

3.) But intelligence and its truth is not entirely in the service of life, which is why (pace Islam) confessional martyrdom is sometimes necessary.  Intelligence as such cannot die anyway, which is why it is irrational for it to subordinate its activity to its life.

4.) Like all cognitive powers, intelligence has its object and clarity. Its object is all being, but its clarity runs the gamut from God, through the angels, to the human person. At the bottom (i.e. us) one finds an intelligence that is practically vestigial, like the eyes on a mole.

5.) Since this intelligence exists for itself it was not enough that it contributed to life, and so it also needed to be assisted in its action since in its natural state our intelligence would have to run through practically infinite options before it hit on the appropriate ratio. In order to facilitate its operation, it was given the support of two sorts of pre-rational automatic responses. The first are like “the tangible exists” or “pleasure is good” or “faces and speech are important” or “common goods are better”. Putting them as propositions, of course, makes them far more distinct than they are in experience, where they are usually just a conatus.  Second, a large part of the pre-programming varies from individual to individual, giving rise to personalities (on the simplest level, this divides us into male-female, and then to the finer grains we can detect in personality science). And so what might be called naturally known truth and personality are the set of automatic responses that allow for a greater ease of operation in a minimally clear intellect. “Sensation” or “sense appetite” is a general name for any action of a central nervous system that gives rise to such automatic responses, but the minimal light of human intelligence also plays a role in forming automatic response.

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