Saturday, January 28, 2012

Hmm ... hmmm ...

... FuturePundit: Intellectual Interests Genetically Predetermined?

A hallmark of the individual is the cultivation of personal interests, but for some people, their intellectual pursuits might actually be genetically predetermined. Survey results published by Princeton University researchers in the journal PLoS ONE suggest that a family history of psychiatric conditions such as autism and depression could influence the subjects a person finds engaging.

But your family history does not determine what you actually encounter in life. You might well go through all of life without suffering any of the cited psychopathologies if you never encountered one or another of them as a subject that engaged you. A good many people these days do not seem to know that a proposition has to be examined from different directions, especially from the one directly opposite, the contradictory, the one that, if true, demonstrates the falseness of the other. 
In this case, I think both propositions state a complementary truth. Together, they merely move the question back a step. For it is hard to think of the response prior to the stimulus. It is the satisfaction derived from the stimulus that would have to be predetermined.

This, by the way, is as far as I have got in reading this piece. I think it is worth reading because it lays out quite clearly a argument. But it is also worth reading slowly, taking time think about what it is being said.

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