Human sense and abilities are two distinct characteristics of human beings. The nature of human senses and skills has far-reaching implications in terms of human existence. It means that human needs are flexible and usually modified as per the means that are available to satisfy them. Human abilities can be expanded through factors such as technology to overcome limitations faced by people in their day to day lives.
One of the most influential pioneers in gaining control over abilities was Avicenna. This philosopher made notable contributions to philosophy, psychology, mathematics, chemistry, and medicine. However, as much as he seems superhuman, anyone can become just like him. This statement can be supported by his example of overcoming human abilities limitations.
According to El-Bizri Nader, the five senses that human beings share with animals are bound to earth and are subject to change depending on situations. Thus, human sense and abilities can be overcome given that the situation faced by an individual is demanding. Additionally, the author suggests that the mental and physical linkage forms the basis of reasoning and deciding what should be done at what time, and the manner in which it should be done. Thus, human sense and abilities fall into this class whereby they can be changed and overcame.
There always existed a debate regarding whether the human nature and abilities can be overcome in any way. It was usually approached from the perspectives of the works of literature and ways of living of various philosophers such as Avicenna. The Islamic philosophy is another perspective under which this wide debate is usually based. Human sense and abilities can be overcome due to the fact that there is always the development of the abilities in which a human being is endowed. It can be referred to as human enhancement whereby there is always an attempt to overcome the limitations of the human body through both artificial as well as natural means.
Some philosophers have always considered the differentiation between enhancement of a human being and their treatment in cases of a problem in their basic nature. However, from a philosophical perspective, human enhancement includes all techniques that have been discovered in the course of human history, in order to increase the chances of leading a better life that does not suffer from the hangovers of the past. Humans have been constantly searching for ways to acquire new or improve the existing abilities. It proves that there is always a chance to overcome human sense and abilities because if there were no chance, then they would not try to do something that would bear no results.
One of the approaches that need to be explored in this regard is the trans-humanistic approach, whereby the use of technology and modern day inventions and innovations comes in. According to this approach, it is evident that human nature and abilities might be overcome through the use of technology. The power of machines such as computers, for example, exceeds human abilities. In this case, the actual human physical condition is in the process of upgrading to become a new type of human. Thus, the trans-humanistic approach suggests that the enhancement of human ability and creativity should not be compulsory but, if it is possible, every human should have access to it.
Human sense and ability can be overcome due to the fact that the soul is subject to conceptualization. According to Avicenna, humans are endowed with the power to think through many universal accounts that have been abstracted from all matter. He suggests that human beings usually assent to knowledge and deduct from knowledge. This opinion is opposed to the idea that the knowledge is supposed to descend on them. Human sense and abilities can also be overcome through free thinking on particular matters that are in existence. Avicenna goes ahead to state that it is useful to think about knowledge as simply knowledge, not complicating anything in the process. It presupposes that there is more creativity attached to an individual who thinks that way, in comparison with the senses and abilities that have been traditionally connected and related to the human existence. It should be also noted that human intellect is divided into two faculties of thought that are related to scientific conceptualization and investigation, popularly known as theoretical intellect. There is also the faculty that is related to an ordinary action that is commonly referred to as practical intellect.
In addition to the above stated, human sense and ability can be overcome through thinking empirically, which would overshadow the beliefs and abilities of the past. This way of perception is usually related to the practical intellect because it uses no pure reason to think. Instead, it presupposes thinking through images and the body because the soul seeks the assistance of the body to obtain basic principles for the basic purpose of assent and concept. In comparison to animals, it is evident that they usually use sense data that is obtained from the external world that is used to obtain the four following aspects.
Firstly, an animal soul obtains simple universals from particular sense data through noting all that is essential and what is not, what is unique and what is common. The other thing is that the animal soul comes up with relationships between the above-mentioned universals. Additionally, the animal soul usually acquires various basic premises through methodic experience. It means that the animal soul connects the subject of a thing with its predicate using sensory perception. The animal soul also acquires knowledge from widespread reports. After the animal soul has reached a certain height, it is thus considered strong and not in need for the senses anymore – the body or any other imagery that assists it in performing its functions. Through this method, the animal soul can approach perfection and sanctity of the rational intellect unlike that of the human being.
Also, According to the statements of Nagel, there are various experiences that are usually beyond human understanding. Consciousness may not be associated with any specific kind of reductionism, which is usually a move in the side of greater objectivity. This approach is inclined towards a more accurate view of all the real nature of things. Though humans have tend to equate themselves with other living organisms, nevertheless, they percept things from the human perspective. For example, when imagining oneself a bat, a person would actually feel what is like to be a bat for a human, but not what is like to be a bat for a bat. For instance, human beings can imagine having poor vision, perceiving the external world basically by echolocation or sonar, flapping arms to fly, eating insects, as well as hanging upside-down. However, without changing the fundamental structure of the human beings, all experiences would be unlike anything nearing the experiences of the bat. Therefore, it is reasonable for Nagel and other like-minded philosophers to state that even if people imagine themselves transforming into bats, it would not be provide them with the actual bat features. Thus, if anybody wants to get closer to the nature of the experiences of other organisms, they are required to stop being themselves as well as being subjective. However, in reality, people cannot stop being humans because if they did, it would not be a human case anymore.
To continue from the preceding points, whenever an organism possesses any conscious experience, there must exist a subjective character of the experience of the organism. By becoming conscious, the organism involves experiencing a wide range of awareness of the perceptions and surroundings of emotions, thought, and sensation. For example, an organism in pain goes through a dimension of subjective character that can never be left out of the complete theory of the mind. Reductive arguments usually seek to give a perfect explanation in objective terms. In other words, all types of reductive analysis of the mental wellbeing are logically compatible with the lack of a subjective nature of experience. However, the major point concerning conscious practices is that they are usually subjective. Thus, any reductive scrutiny of the mind would fail to incarcerate the subjective nature of experience. Besides, given that experience is constantly connected with a meticulous point of view, it is improbable that people will come closer to the authentic nature of understanding by leaving behind the individuality of that single point of view. Consequently, experiences will usually be irreducible. All of the above fit what Nagel explains as why reductionism fails to work: “It is useless to base the defense of materialism on any analysis of mental phenomena that fails to deal explicitly with their subjective character.”
Finally, human sense and abilities are characterized by biological determinism that overlooks the plasticity of human nature. It ensures that the human nature limits are somehow elastic and can never be identified with finality. Thus, constant trying to change and overcome the two will be possible in the long run.
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