One of the recognizable though perhaps less than lofty merits of shallowness is the over-riding permission (dare I say submission) to acquaint oneself with the hedonistic and patently visceral pleasures of life! In my defence – and speaking on behalf of the natural scientists of the planet – we are after all at heart but a stem from the root of the corporeal world! This fleshy, substantial sphere is however not so far removed from the unworldly, spiritual edacity that some would have us believe. Never overlook the strength of the mind/body dichotomy, thank-you René Descartes!
Mind–body interaction has a central place in our pretheoretic conception of agency. Indeed, mental causation often figures explicitly in formulations of the mind–body problem. Some philosophers insist that the very notion of psychological explanation turns on the intelligibility of mental causation. If your mind and its states, such as your beliefs and desires, were causally isolated from your bodily behavior, then what goes on in your mind could not explain what you do. If psychological explanation goes, so do the closely related notions of agency and moral responsibility. Clearly, a good deal rides on a satisfactory solution to the problem of mental causation [and] there is more than one way in which puzzles about the mind’s “causal relevance” to behaviour (and to the physical world more generally) can arise.
The insertion above is but a demonstrable effort on my behalf to distance myself by relentless obfuscation from the blunt reality of my narrow being. Call me silly! In fact call me whatever you will, mine is a sheltered existence hidden from the challenges of argument and reason though admittedly I have less endurance of diminishing labels. Meanwhile I shamefully revel in the unadulterated consumption of life’s fruits. Frankly the mind of human engineering is not to be diluted. The most consequential alteration of my entire life – at least on this base level of materiality – has been the various productions of technology or what has been called the “application of scientific knowledge for practical purposes“. How ever to contradict such an ineffable legacy! The plain fact is that my frequent and incremental alliance with this often concealed machinery of industry has forever improved and refashioned my esse. It has directly and succinctly addressed everything I now consider here on the edge of my sordid gig important to enable gratification and expression. These are strong words, I know, but I devine them to be of detectable consequence. And they are, let me say!
Where the discord if any arises in this swell of gratuitous gush is the acknowledgement (by which I mean an intellectual pursuit) of the higher fidelities of life. I speak of the singularly pleasing commercial practice of standing behind one’s product – perhaps a significant corollary of the material world previously so exuberantly heralded. My punishingly immodest constancy to materiality was this afternoon much relieved following a brief meeting with a gentleman concerning the rectification of a particular thing, a plastic compound of art and technology, improved as it was by the gentleman’s prior attention and specificity. But it was in my obsessive opinion imperfect – a repercussion of which I have previously spoken in more tranquillizing terms. The gentleman willingly accepted my assertion and without qualification agreed to have the offending element replaced!
Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!
Bird thou never wert,
That from Heaven, or near it,
Pourest thy full heart
In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.
Higher still and higher
From the earth thou springest
Like a cloud of fire;
The blue deep thou wingest,
And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.
Percy Bysshe Shelley