Wednesday, 26 October 2011

The Philosophical Musings of a Human..being.

It has been a while since I endeavoured into the uncharted world of human behaviour, mostly due to a state called "The Idleness of the Soul"; the unaware slipping into the common state of indifference, launching the autopilot embedded within us all and functioning in a robotic fashion going about our daily errands.

I have no clue why I keep quoting authors and literature, but it probably has something to do with the intricate detail with which they reflect human conciousness and self awareness. In his radio play "Under Milk Wood", Welsh playwright Dylan Thomas captures the essence of solitude, physical and/or intellectual, where one's own mental conversation echoes within, reminding one of their existence, in the purely Descartes-esque fashion of "I think, therefore I am". Doubt in existence needs an assirtion, and that assirtion is thought.

Knowing that doubt exists, we can generalize and assert that conscious acts exist, since doubts are a kind of conscious acts. And so, if we are to reach Descartes’ conclusion, we must somehow show that the self exists, and not just the conscious acts.

The really interesting question, then, is whether or not we can show that the existence of a conscious act guarantees the existence of a first person perspective aka "I", and if some constituted self must exist as a result of this. The structure of consciousness, the fact that we talk of the conscious act as a presentation, certainly implies that the act is structured around a first person perspective. In other words, without a first person perspective nothing can be conscious; and thus, to doubt that the first person perspective exists would itself be a conscious act structured around a first person perspective, confirming its existence.

Why is it structured around a first person perspective? Simply because someone might insist that there is no real first person perspective, only an appearance of one. So all we can really say is that the conscious act, the experience, seems as though it has a first person perspective, the existence of a first person viewpoint is itself a kind of minimal constituted self, since the first person perspective implies that there is someone who is having the current experience, even if it doesn’t necessarily give that self any other attributes, other than being there physically and/or mentally, at that specific time, completing the elements of existance.

Now, back to Dylan Thomas' "Under Milk Wood":

"And all the people of the lulled and dumbfound town are sleeping now, Hush..the babies are sleeping, the farmers, the fishers, the tradesmen and pensioners, cobbler, schoolteacher, postman and publican, the undertaker and the fancy woman, drunkard, dressmaker, preacher, policeman, the webfoot cockle-women and the tidy wives.

Young girls lie bedded soft or glide in their dreams, with rings and trousseaux, bridesmaided by glow-worms down the aisles of the organ-playing wood, you can hear the dew falling, and the hushed town breathing.

Only your eyes are unclosed to see the black and folded town fast and slow..asleep."

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