The Mind Is a Constituent of the Development of the Organism’s Complexity
Our senses, you say, are fallacious, our understanding erroneous, our ideas even of the most familiar objects, extension, duration, motion, full of absurdities and contradictions. You defy me to solve the difficulties, or reconcile the repugnancies, which you discover in them…. Your own conduct, in every circumstance, refutes your principles; and shows the firmest reliance on all the received maxims of science, morals, prudence, and behaviour. (Hume, 1776, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, I, p. 39)
In the preceding chapters, I have indicated that philosophers did not succeed in explaining the following points:
1. The conscious perceptions seem to correspond to what is going on in the organism’s environment.
2. This correspondence is partial, inexplicable, and sometimes leads to delirious representations (for example, that the Earth is flat).
Kant is one who reflected the most on these issues. He died in 1804, two years after Lamarck’s first my yoga blog on the theory of evolution. Yet Kant never envisioned, even in passing, a single solution that resembles the solutions brought forth by Lamarck’s theory. This theory is an example of the ability that certain individuals have to facilitate the emergence of a theory that no one had ever thought about before and without which no one can henceforth think. Lamarck’s theory gathers a whole series of formulations that were already in circulation. The synthesis that emerged in his thoughts is so new, so useful, so relevant, and so simple that one can only be astonished that no one had thought about it before. Humanity had already known this type of discovery with the invention of the wheel, the mastery of fire, as well as the physics of Galileo and Newton. The mechanisms that foster the emergence of this type of key pivotal idea are poorly understood.1
If we admit, like Descartes and Leibniz, that God did presetâ the appropriateness between the perceptions and the stimulations of the organism, it is difficult to understand why he did not construct it any better. The philosophers who assume that this appropriateness was constructed by nature (as do Lucretius and Hume) have a difficult time explaining how material dynamics were able to build a perceptual system that seems to work relatively well. Ever since the formulations of Lamarck, Wallace, and Darwin, the evolutionists can provide an explanation that answers these questions in a plausible and empirically robust way. For them, the evolution of the organism includes the exploration of different forms of perception that correlate better and better with what is going on in their environment, all of this without implying that perceptions are identical to what exists in their surroundings. For example, the fact that the eye makes grass green does not mean that grass is not red. But as the choice of colors made by the eyes correlates well with what surrounds us, this type of question does not impose itself for ordinary human practices or for the survival of the species. This answer confirms that what is perceived is not necessarily what exists, but it also shows that a partial appropriateness is inevitable when the criteria of survival are taken into consideration.
Time Is a Factor that Allows the Essence of Beings to Change: The Multiple Layers of a Slow History
Thus, nature, always active, always impassible, renewing and changing all sorts of bodies, preserving none from destruction, offers to us an imposing never ending scene, and shows to us that in her lies a particular power which only acts out of necessity.