Does existence really precede essence?

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Reply Wed 2 Jun, 2010 04:38 pm
Fido;172049 wrote:
well, rats evolve into rats, and sharks evelve into sharks; which is to say that they have their own slot which they fill to perfection, and when they do evelove it is into a better form of rat or shark... The same is true of Amoeba, that no matter how many critters evolve from amoebas there will always be amoebas, and there is no reason to believe de-evolution is not occuring at the same time as evolution... Kids in a class room resemble Amoeba in a puddle of pond water, and I cannot believe it is coincidence...

I see the words "nature" and "essence" as both carrying with them the same fundamental meaning. When people talk of nature in general, usually they are referring to the essential aspects of life. This is why I would't say that the evolution of nature, or this essence we speak of, is necessarily blind, especially to the species which nature consists of. To say that nature makes the choice for the species, to me at least, suggests that nature and the species are two separate existences. I would say it is more logical to say that they necessarily choose together, and if there are choices made that usually entails some sort of purpose, or else a theory of evolution which involves some sort of "natural selection" could not be possible.

De-evolution is a tricky concept for the very reason that evolution occurs purposefully. I don't really see a difference between de-evolution and evolution because all change that occurs is governed by the reasons for it. Even if a species may seem less advanced from what it evolved from, which I'm not sure is ever the case, it only seems that way from our perspective. Nature evolves how it evolves, and its purpose for evolution is to maximize survival within a given set of circumstances.
Number 6
Reply Sun 25 Feb, 2018 06:01 pm
If we hold that genes and/or unconscious impulses do/can influence individual personality or "human nature," and thereby personal choice, then no. It follows then that so-called "freedom of choice," "unlimited freedom" and the much vaunted "free will," are myths. Even if we simply posit the mere possibility (say, a one in a trillion chance) of said influences existing, the answer is still no. Thus, existence cannot precede essence. While I certainly believe that Sartre does in fact have much to recommend his thought, for me this conclusion must necessarily undermine the entire Sartrean edifice. Unlike Sartre (a "hard determinist," to be sure) I am, generally speaking, a "soft determinist." One can, of course, easily argue that "determinism" either is or is not. I strongly recommend Nietzsche on the question of "free will" and its religious and legal implications.
Number 6
Reply Mon 26 Feb, 2018 01:32 am
Correction: "hard determinist" should read "non-determinist." Sorry.

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