human choice

Vico defines philology as “the doctrine of all the institutions that depend on human choice; for example, all histories of the languages, customs, and deeds of peoples in war and peace” (in Labio, p. 47).
The academy is an institution; rhetorical discourse is an institution. War is an institution. Peace is not. How does one exercise choice that invokes an institutionalizing of peace without negating half the human experience (aggression, desire, passion….in short, sensation itself)?


What does an “immanent metaphysics” entail? Labio affirms meditation as a narration of an ideal that one makes for oneself (48). Unless I’m reading her wrong and I pray someone will correct – or at least argue! – with me if I am.)
I’m straddling what Strawson (1979, 9) describes as descriptive and radical metaphysics (as paraphrased by sofiatopia in the link above on “immanent metaphysics). Descriptive metaphysics “is content to describe the actual structure of our thought about the world.” Radical metaphysics “is concerned to produce a better structure.”

2 thoughts on “human choice”

  1. if only! deepest philosophical question of the ages, isn’t it? do we Really choose anything? or did we choose everything already and its simply playing out per plan? I have to say, if i did have any pre-life calculations on what and how I was gonna live this life, I must have had quite a hint of masochism pervading my soul at that time! 🙂
    doing some historical readings now in school, about how people understood themselves as persons, as humans, over time. you know how psychologists sometimes describe behavior as “primitive”? I think that’s what this human choice thing gets at. Are the choices that we make conditioned by social factors of which we aren’t consciously aware? driven by internal emotional states that may or may not bear upon the ‘reality’ perceived by others? If so, are they really choices? and as naivete recedes, how many of our choices are simply oppositional reactions (and thus just as “controlled” or “dictated” by our past)? when do we garner enough knowledge to make choices that take into account both the historical conditioning factors and our experiential memories of what “works” and “doesn’t work”? and even then, once we do make choices on that basis (or are at least self-convinced that we are, grin), what about others’ responses to those choices? which may range from displeasure to downright nastiness? is it only a choice if my entire life is riding upon it? I’m beginning to suspect that may be true, only its kinda tiring to feel existentially at risk, on edge, on a constant basis. but if one doesn’t feel that way, has one abdicated “choice” in order to just go with the flow? or – radical thought for radical me! – is going with the flow an actual choice? 🙂 i’m thinking there’s some kind of balance (yes, yes equilibrium, moderation, all that good stuff) between choice-as-resistance and choice-as-conformity. can’t say I’ve got it down….yet! %-)

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