Healing the sickly vs. trying to understand another’s character

Recall that this is the invalid and deleterious argument that I have sought to examine:

5.) Because the human mind, like the human body, tends to be sickly and ill, it seeks healing or cures.

In the past couple of posts, I have been trying to say some things that I believe to be accurate about minding. Chiefly, I am concerned with the question of how we are in the world because I want to understand myself and others better and because I am convinced that we have an erroneous view of ‘the’ mind. The idea that the mind is like the body has held us so transfixed that we have come to believe that minds, like bodies, can be sick or healthy. How strange! And this, in turn, leads us to help, diagnose, treat, manage, and cure. My view is that this picture is incorrect. In much bolder terms, Nietzsche would say that this picture supposes a world of weak persons and proposes a regimen that will only make us weaker.

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On the importance of being surprised (Part 1)

In the following series of posts, I’d like to say some things about the kind of genre philosophical inquiry is and about the kind of character the practice of inquiry can cultivate. First, I’ll say some things about the nature of surprises in general and about the kinds of surprises–perplexities and illuminations–that emerge during philosophical inquiring. Then, I’d like to offer the thought that inquiring prepares a conversation partner to be on the look-out for ordinary surprises and, when these occur, to suspend judgment and to be courageous and light. I’ll conclude with some thoughts about how inquiring can train us to see surprises as occasions for moving from perplexity to illumination. This inquiring cast of mind, I’d venture, can be discerned as much in inquisitive children as in joke-tellers, in mathematicians as in Nietzsche’s playful gods.

1. On the Importance of Being Surprised

We’re surprised, naturally, when we don’t see it coming. Some event occurs unexpectedly or contrary to our expectations and, during the occurrence, the event shows itself, going unnamed. The pronoun without an antecedent is apropos in this instance, and the name has to ‘grow some legs’ so that it can ‘hurry’ to ‘catch up.’

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