David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
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Journal of Scottish Philosophy 9 (2):225-238 (2011)
Jacob Viner introduced the term ‘sub-rational’ to characterize the faculties – human instinct, sentiment and intuition – that fall between animal instinct and full-blown reason. The Scots considered sympathy both an affective and a physiological link between mind and body, and by natural history, they traced the most foundational societal institutions – language and law, money and property – to a sub-rational origin. Their ‘social evolutionism’ anticipated Darwin's ‘dangerous idea’ that humans differ from the lower animals only in degree, not in kind. Darwin had the ability to ‘trade places in the imagination’, as Adam Smith would say, with plants and animals, and ‘think’ as they do. The trend today is to ‘positivize,’ ‘behaviorize’ and otherwise reduce the sub-rational to the purely biological. My suggestion is that we trade places in the imagination with the Scottish moral scientists and Darwin, and try thinking as they did.
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References found in this work BETA
Carl Lotus Becker (1932/1991). The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers. Yale Univeristy Press.
Toni Vogel Carey (1998). The Invisible Hand of Natural Selection, and Vice Versa. Biology and Philosophy 13 (3):427-442.
Citations of this work BETA
Claire Landiss (forthcoming). A Reidian Reading of Shakespeare's Macbeth: Exploring the Moral Faculty Through Philosophy and Drama. Philosophical Explorations 11 (2):145-166.
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