COMMON SENSE AND SCIENCE
Instinct and Reason
Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
Reason, logic, is a tool. It is a means to an end. It is never an end unto itself, never the goal. It is the journey, not the destination. When we use reason, we use it in pursuit of some goal. That goal may be truth, it may be self aggrandizement, or it may be rationalizing an intuitively held opinion.
Our goals come from our instincts, our intuitions, our emotions, from the base programming that evolution has given us. First you feel the motivation, then (maybe) you deploy reason in pursuit of the motivated goal. Reason may have informed your instincts. It might have played a role in the formation of the urge, but it didn’t itself…
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Instinctual language learning
More evidence that we are not born blank slates, and that language is probably very ancient, developing over hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years.
Humans are unique in their ability to acquire language. But how? A new study shows that we are in fact born with the basic fundamental knowledge of language, thus shedding light on the age-old linguistic ‘nature vs. nurture’ debate.