Sunday, October 04, 2015

Loving Animals

I didn't realize that today is the Feast of Saint Francis. With that in mind, the title of this blog entry is appropriate. But I'm actually referring to humanity as "animals that love." This is supposed to continue the tradition of "[whatever] animals" as titles, after Smith. Just so you know. Happy Feast of Saint Francis, nonetheless.

Smith decides, then, that humans are loving animals, rather than simply thinking or believing:
This Augustinian model of human persons resists the rationalism and quasi-rationalism of the earlier models by shifting the center of gravity of human identity, as it were, down from the heady regions of mind closer to the central regions of our bodies, in particular, our kardia--our gut or heart. (47)
Fundamentally, we are desiring creatures, a particularly compelling model (for me, at least). Further, Smith suggests that a model of intentionality is more appropriate to the human journey: human identity is formed over time (he calls this "unfolding and developing" in a "process of formation"). (47) The intentionality, or aim, of our selves is through the process of desire toward a target. He deftly states, "I can never just 'think'; I will necessarily be thinking of ... something." (48) This intentionality then takes on different modes: thinking; perceiving; remembering; having hope for; being afraid of; and having love for, to name only a few. Perception is not the fundamental mode, but rather, according to Heidegger, care. (49)

I seem not to care so much (about things I don't care about; what I mean is that my fundamental mode is selfishness, a sort of intentionality for myself), but I look forward to more of Smith's musing.

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