From: BrettMan35@webtv.net (Brett Robertson) Date sent: Wed, 2 Jun 1999 23:09:13 -0500 (EST) To: firstname.lastname@example.org Subject: Re: virus: Technology (was manifest science) Send reply to: email@example.com
> <Without self-consciousness, there can be no intentionality, for there
> can never be an "I" which intends....>
> While I understand what you are saying, I question that (generic)
> "effects" are any more "intentional" with the additional requirement
> that there is an individual who confirms them.
When I decide to type a specific message and do so, there is much more than mere "confirming" going on. I decide what I want to do and do it. I am not a mere vessel acting as a conduit for the passage into manifestation of a will or intention which is not my own. I cause me to do what I do, on purpose, and I control my doing of it. People are not reduceable to things, Brett.
> <The modification of natural objects to more efficiently perform such
> intended functions is the beginning of technology...>
> I think you have STILL failed to explain why a thing can be said to
> START only at the point of "intention" (and not before), nor how the
> process which precedes "intention" is different (nor in what way it
> might be different).
Every thing is a thing, Brett, before or after we alter it, but I'll suppose that you didn't mean anything QUITE as absurd as to suggest that I might have stated that only through technology is primordial "thinghood" granted to things, and try to answer the logical question which I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt that you intended. A stick is just a stick (a natural object) until you pick it up and swing it at someone; then it becomes an implement (a club); sharpen one end and it becomes another implement (a spear), and the sharp rock with which you sharpened it becomes a primitive tool (a knife). If you knapped a sharp edge on it so that it would be easier to sharpen the stick, then the knife is a tool proper. The difference is that you are using and modifying it according to your intention, and thus redefining it as an object manufactured according to a preconceived design, one which will allow you to more efficiently use it to modify other objects.
> <As far as we have been able to ascertain, there is no nonhuman
> terrestrial life form (with the bare and marginal exception of the great
> apes) which possesses the degree of self-reference necessary to form and
> carry out the intention to design and manufacture such tools.>
> How do you define "tools" so that "such tools" (as you describe) are
> only THEREBY *tools*-- though are not so otherwise (seems you define
> tool use by tool users and tool users by tool use such that tools are
> only those things which humans use as such... quite circular).
No, tools are those things which are used to modify other things in accordance with intention. It just so happens that humans are the only lifeforms of which we are aware which possess the prerequisite self-consciousness to engage in tool-making (as opposed to implement using) behavior.
> Who is this "we" which "ascertains" what is and isn't "intentional"
> (surely, not I); and, by what reasoning do "they" say that such
> intention is related to (what you call) "self reference" (though which
> seems defined such that it is *self-willed*-- that is, which might
> require consciously directed "force"*)?
Well, intention is the director of the will which a subjectivity self- consciously projects into manifestation toward an object by means of bodily efficacy (you imply that this is a BAD BAD thing, and I think such an implication is more than slightly screwy). And such intention requires self-reference for there to be in each case an "I" which intends. Intention without an intender is a contradiction in terms. The we (and yes, certainly you, too) who ascertain that we are intending are the same we who are intending, and who can ascertain that a rock can not - self-consciously aware humans.
> *Being "self aware" doesn't, in my mind, necessitate having an intention
> which requires a "will to power"-- or a PERSONAL "purpose" which is
> defined solely by the fact of its being contrary to prior necessity...
> nor is intent that which might ONLY be true if self-justified by ones
> "awareness" of it.
No, you can just catatonically veg out in a corner, I suppose, but being self aware does endow one with the CAPACITY to intend, if they so desire, and the body provides the means to reify these imagined potential states of affairs (plans, designs) by means of consciously dirested action. One can be unaware of a subliminal intent, perhaps, but one is typically aware of what one decides to do and subsequently voluntarily does. "Contrary to prior necessity"? WHAT prior necessity? The fact that we have to eat and drink and breathe and shit and piss and grow old and die? Those remain in force, and there is nothing we can do about it, except to delay the last one by making sure we do the first five regularly (and the intentional use of our tools is a big help in this endeavor).
> Brett Lane Robertson
> Indiana, USA
> MindRecreation Metaphysical Assn.
> BIO: http://members.theglobe.com/bretthay
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