The World Explored, the World Suffered Education Issue Nr. 8 July 2018 - Page 27

Schopenhauer addresses with his distinction between the world of will and the world as representation, where the former world is connected to a priori knowledge that is non observational.Hylomorphic theory with its levels of actuality seems to be the only theory capable of “saving the phenomenon” of willing without reduction or reification. Freudian theory, we should remember, maintained that one can act involuntarily. Hacker connects teleology to voluntary action and two way powers in the following passage: “Human beings, like other sentient animals with wants, have the power to move, to act, at will. “to act” in this context does not signify causing a movement, but making one. We acknowledge a special role for such so-called basic actions not because they are a causing of a movement that may be the first link in a causal chain, but because they are the first act. The first thing for which a purposive or intentionalist explanation may be apt. To say that a human being moved his limb is to subsume behaviour under the category of action. It earmarks behaviour as being of a kind, that is under voluntary control, as something of a kind which is a sentient agent can choose to do or not to do, and hence indicates the propriety of asking whether there is an intentionalist explanation of the deed. The attribution of the movement to the agent is not causal. But it is an action, and therefore is of a kind that falls within the ambit of the variety of teleological explanation appropriate for human action. The agent may have moved his hand in order to… or because he wanted to…..or because he thought that….or out of fear, and so forth. Aristotle’s movement is to be understood to be liable to the range of explanations of the exercise of two way powers by a rational agent.” This, of course, calls into question the observationalist use of the method of resolution and composition(the behaviourist psychologist). Saying on the basis of observation something about another agents movement that “His arm moved” is a description which leaves it open whether this was something he did(raise his arm to call a taxi) or whether this was rather something that happened to him(raising his arm in a fit of cramp). If the phenomenon was of the latter kind there are absolutely no grounds for calling what happened “action”. Modernization of Aristotelian theory resulted in the scientist reasoning in the spirit of Hobbes and Hume, as part of the process of the dismantling of hylomorphic theory, that teleological explanation is not a form of explanation at all. Two reasons are given for this claim. Firstly the telos cannot be observed and secondly telos disappears in the methodical resolution of activity into linear cause-effect events. Events can then be comfortably described a-teleologically. That scientists should have spent so much effort and time in this composition and subsequent destruction of this “straw man of teleology” or “ghost of