The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 25 December 2019 - Page 20

of variables. The cause of happiness it is argued is chemical and the consequence of this theorizing is that the physical objects or events in the world causing our emotional and cognitive responses become irrelevant to the characterization of mental states which are about these objects or events. This is, to cut a long story short according to Wittgensteinian analytical philosophy, a confusion of the object of our state with its cause. It is true that, in a sense, the brain structures and chemistry are, to switch to an Aristotelian objection, material causes of our states but these do not enter into the consciousness of these states, a consciousness that is rather directed towards its teleological objects such as the money it has won or the person one loves. So, for Aristotle, the confusion is between the different types of explanation or "causes" that can be used in relation to the phenomenon to be explained. The author returns to a more philosophical account when he cites some research which seems to suggest that happiness is not related to desire or pleasure but rather that there may be cognitive and ethical components to happiness which of course will relate to external objects and events: In the ensuing discussion, however, it is suggested that any meaning that people ascribe to their lives is delusional! Psychoanalysis is the "science"(in the Kantian sense) of the states and processes of our mind and provides us with our best account of delusional states and processes. In this account, it is very clear that the delusional states of mind which schizophrenics, for example, experience, are primitive dysfunctional affairs in which there is an inadequate relation to reality. Suggesting that all ideas of a flourishing life or the meaning of life are delusional is a popular use of the term that undermines its more objective meaning. Of course one of the "mechanisms" of the schizophrenic's delusional state of mind is the "imagination" that other people, for example, are listening to their thoughts. Given that for this author human rights, money, the nation-state etc are figments of the imagination the whole account risks falling into a kind of psychological reductionism that serious psychologists such as Freud manage to avoid. Ascribing the term "delusional" to the meaning ordinary agents attach to their lives and the faculty of imagination as the source of important ideas and realities such as human rights and nation-states aims of course at inverting the image of reality in our visual systems: a state of affairs that no doubt will have the effect of creating a "strange" impression of our world. Worse still, we know from the result of experiments on image-inversion that the subjects concerned learn to live with the strange feeling that the world is upside down and in so doing the inversion inverts itself and everything "feels" normal. Such is the logic of feeling and the logic of imagination.