Tuesday, 2 October 2007

"A priori" reasoning disagreement

In the previous post Dush argues that a priori reasoning is impossible, at least in a Darwinian sense. Meaning that what we consider currently a priori knowledge or reasoning, as for instance linguistic capabilities (see Chomsky, Pinker, ..), is the result of experience of our distant ancestors. He sums up his argument like this:
Postulating natural selection has lead to us evolving the faculty of reasoning and the ability to perform mathematical operations in abstract. However far from being outside experience, the very reason we evolved this faculty is because of our genetic constitution. It is precisely the experience of our distant ancestors over billions of years we can reason a priori, if the environment had not lead natural selection to select the faculty of mathematics, we could not reason in such a manor.

This, in my opinion, leads to the question of why "species" would start experiencing in the first place? And I think the answer to this question is actually an example of a priori knowledge or reasoning.

Namely trying to survive and procreate, if these drives wouldn't be "a priori", evolution would be at a literal stand still. Of course this might be also a semantical argument if one doesn't consider concepts as survival and procreation worthy to be called reasoning.

1 comment:

Dush said...

But does it not necessarily correlate that if you think a priori reason can truly exist that mathematics would exist outside human brains?