Wednesday, October 07, 2015

The Precognitive Engine

How does our desire get pointed in the right direction--the right version--of human flourishing? Smith concludes:
a desire for and orientation to a particular vision of the good life (the kingdom) becomes operative in us (motivating actions, decisions, etc.) by becoming an integral part of the fabric of our dispositions--our precognitive tendencies to act in certain ways and toward certain ends. Philosophers like Aristotle, Aquinas, and MacIntyre describe such dispositions as "habits." (55)
They can be so intrinsic to our existence that we might think that they are natural (not unlike ideologies or Barthes' myths). It is this "precognitive engine," as Smith calls it, that directs us to do either the right thing or the wrong thing (perhaps simplified a little too much here). (56) But this "precognitive engine" is made, not necessarily given to us. But this doesn't yet answer the question: where does the "precognitive engine" get made? How is it modified?

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