Philosophy: What would you say this means?
"Could we now feel a million years concretely as we did a passing minute we should have very little employment of our conceptual faculty." - William James.
- DouglasLv 72 months agoFavorite Answer
He's basically just saying that there is a limit to how much you can process at once with respect to large periods of time. Like, with a passing minute, you can experience everything very distinctly/clearly...but if you were to try to process a lifetime (or longer) of experience all at once, you wouldn't even be able to function.
- peter mLv 62 months ago
I believe that James is talking about progress... likely the progress of
E.g. ".. WE SHOULD HAVE very little employment OF OUR
CONCEPTUAL FACULTY" ^
I think therefore he was in a moment of despair at his particular
environment of (the progress of) knowledge.
After all it was not-so-modern as ours was it (?) what with very few
people going to schools comparatively speaking, no fast & reliable
communication system... but of course there was certainly access
to social media & POSSIBLE access to the library which we really
know Now-As-the-History of limited philosophy as it was of the other
sparse & LIMITED, HOARDED knowledge of past environments (!)
Having said that I'd also guess that in his critical mind at least William
James (a true name unlike the Pipsqueek Anons-of-Yahoo..) could
foresee a more mature & a much more sensitive knowledge gathering in
the long term (hence his guesstimate of "a million years")..Source(s): * A SENSITIVE source is one which TRANSCENDS this modern emergent & emergency ENVIRONMENT of which you are hopefully becoming aware of... (…& before A MILLION DAYS have passed, let us say !...) With megalomaniac's answer I am persuaded to say this..
- j153eLv 72 months ago
William James there seems to be a dualist, splitting empirical awareness and reflective concept-forming. Kierkegaard resolved this dualism with his three concurrent spheres of existential (empirical) leading as refined "million year" experience to Aesthetics, Love, concept-forming refined to philosophy or ability to contemplate alternative concepts, and spiritualization or soul-realization, as Aesthetics and philosophy refine and climb Jacob's ladder of realization.
Plato made a similar division, placing existential awareness below will-to-conceptualize (science, Dianoia), with a kind of educational Jacob's ladder of divine elective sorting leading to refinement of Guardians or Noetic philosophers (e.g., Plato).
Kierkegaard's awareness balanced Love, Power (Will), and Wisdom in an upward, Knight of Faith spiral moving past the kantian divide of phenomena and Being, God, the great I Am. Confucius stated he knew of the Being of Heaven, but that he had to demonstrate it (move up that Kierkegaardian ladder of divine triune ascent).
- username_hiddenLv 72 months ago
It's hard to be sure when it's one badly expressed sentence taken out of context. Possibly it means that the speed we live at is well matched to our attention span and speed of thinking. If we had a much longer attention span, so that we could focus continually on the passage of time for a million years then our thought processes would be so slow and stable that we wouldn't be able to notice and contemplate things which happen over much shorter time frames like an hour, a day, or a week.
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- megalomaniacLv 72 months ago
It's not worded very well in my opinion. I would say that it means if you confuse a million years with a minute then you aren't thinking clearly. Duh.