Thursday, November 4, 2010

Bodies, Animals, and Minds 6 --- Aquinas 4

A third intuition we have has to do with counting. Suppose I pointed to this region of space where I am now standing, and then I asked you, ‘how many things do you see here?’ Surely you would say ‘one’. If you said ‘two’ or ‘three’, I would probably think you weren’t seeing straight. I would think you were drunk and seeing doubles or triples. I would think that something was wrong with your vision.

So we tend to count each living organism as one thing, not more than one thing, and again, Aquinas really captures this intuition. You don’t count three objects standing here in this region of space. You just count one, and that’s me.

Henc, there is something very nice about Aquinas’s view that there is just one thing in this region of space where I am now standing. It certainly lines up with the three aforementioned intuitions we have about material objects and living organisms.

3 comments:

Matthew said...

Hey! Interesting stuff haha. I agree on the third intuition that counting is part of the requisite for a being to exist. However, I think that time also as important as counting as well. Mathematically, let's imagine a curve on a velocity-time graph. Without 'time' on the x-axis, the curve would just like a straight time.

Therefore, I personally believe that in order for being to 'be there'. It must satisfy 3 prerequisite. That is the 'being itself' and counting as you've mentioned, and last but not least, the condition of time.

JT Paasch said...

Sure! If we thought about it more, I bet we could identify other intuitions we have about counting that Aquinas's view does justice to.

Matthew said...

Hahahas I certainly hope so. But I'm not a philosophy student >.< Hope the stuffs that come out from my mouth aren't bunch of gibberish to you. Haha =)

Anyway, although I'm not really that familiar with Aquinas and Socrates work. I believe there's more than what he said, and I quote;

"As Aquinas sees it, there’s just one thing here, and it’s me, a human being."... and " there is just one thing occupying this region of space where I am now standing, and that’s me, a human being" - Taken from your 3rd post.

Although I agree on that statement, that there is only possible for a substance to exist in just ONE space. But I think he missed, or did not take the account of the conditions of possibility; the possibility for a substance to exist.

As I've mentioned above, that time is a condition for that particular substance to exist. Without time, there's none.

I also because 'space' it self is another condition of possibility. Without the existence of space, there will will no 'room' for you, to exist.

Kay I might gone a little towards science fiction fantasy. But let assume that there a voxel (or a small cubical box) where 'spaces' are to be fill in. Aquinas assumed that one voxel could only be filled with one space. But what if the voxel is capable to be filled with more than one space? Hence the M-Theory perhaps? hahas I've gone a little bit too far...