A few days ago, I wrote about the metaphysical-ethical picture, which claims that human beings are weak. I believe this picture is widely held today.
I believe the picture is untrue. Below, I sketch a more accurate picture of human beings as inquisitive creatures.
Metaphysical-Ethical Picture 2: Human Beings are Inquisitive Creatures
1.) Human beings are irreducibly complex. (That is, there are many things that can be said of them: that they are funny and smart and boisterous and…)
2.) Human beings are training animals.
3.) Human beings are inquisitive animals (i.e., question-bearing animals).
4.) In such a linguistic community, the words they learn would be cognates of ‘fascination’ and ‘perplexity.’
Therefore, the speaker in such a community would seek to understand his placement in the world.
Therefore, the ethical virtues he would inevitably cultivate would be many, various: plainness, modesty, honesty, simplicity, humility, courage, patience, openness…
Therefore, the basic ethical attitude he adopts would be that of disinterested interest: taking a keen interest in understanding the speaker, taking a soft yet concentrated interest in understanding the world.