Biology and Philosophy

One thing that I think that is highly over looked when thinking about philosophy is the lack of attention to the vessel which we use to think about philosophy; namely our bodies.  When attempting to answer some of life’s most difficult and unanswerable questions, it seems that looking with in ourselves, and I mean our physical content, can give profound insight in to many of the questions that can plague an inquisitive mind.

Biology is an intrinsic part of the way that humans (and other animals) develop their the paradigms through which they develop philosophies and/or their modus operandi for day to day activities.  There exists a fundamental separation of “buffer” between what actually exists and how humans (animals) perceive that existence.  At the current point of evolution of humanity, we have eyes that can make out stars millions of light years away, ears that can hear many decades of frequencies, skin which is sensitive to heat, abrasion, pressure, and pain, and we have noses and mouth that can detect chemicals at the parts per million level. In other words we are very capable of deciphering information from the physical world.

Humans evolved after the physical world did.  Photons and sound wave predate humanity, so it is no surprise that our senses are tuned to/capable of detecting elements our existence existed before humanity did.  Another way of saying this is that information about the world is a one way road from the outside world into your thoughts.  It is not until a finite time interval passes that you are capable of interpreting that information and then projecting your perception back on the object.  This topic will get its own post.

The point is that we are confined to what we have available to us to use as tools to examine the universe.  This realization or understanding provides a concrete starting point for thinking one’s existence.  It is essential to consider the intrinsic connection between yourself and the world you study.  Although perception is not purely a physical process, it lies in the construct of one.  The inexorable tie between your physical self and the world you wish to learn about provides both a barrier for and tools for developing an active philosophy.


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3 Responses to Biology and Philosophy

  1. tonyisnt says:

    I think this has much to do with people still seeing the world in two realms: the physical and the metaphysical. There are things about the mind that we do not currently, and may never, understand, but we have to remember that it’s still a part of us, as people.

    So while there is a physical and a metaphysical, I think the two are intimately related and even connected, and this is an important thing to realize.

  2. deadondres says:

    I am also wondering…maybe God is what lies underneath what we perceive, the true physical world which we the body and mind only builds an incomplete but satisfactory picture of. Or truth, if you prefer the euphemism.

    Not to fret overly on God but I am fascinated with the notion perhaps after years of staunch atheism.

  3. Pingback: Faith « Active Philosophy

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