vineri, 4 mai 2012

Men and Properties


To conceive man as a set of properties means to introduce a principle of division in the unity he represents.

Instead of a unitary image, man is forced to find himself in the multitude of properties. It hardly can be agreed that such division is a natural one. Not only that the body is coordinated as a whole by its physiological systems, but  when we purify our thinking of the body from any spiritualistic consideration, it appears that man embraces his body as a whole even in the cases it suffers damages that divide it. Thus, the organs that malfunction are not thought as alien parts of the body, but as affections of the body in its entirety.

Again as regards the bodily division, we learn it occurs by damaging some parts of the body and not the whole of it when we possess a proper medical language. In the ancient times, when men died naturally, they were presented as dying without a definite cause belonging to a certain part of the body. And they succeed in passing to death thinking of others as other wholes: predecessors and heirs.

Not the nature divides man, but the language. Property is called by Aristotle poion (‘which?’), while the question focuses on the social nature of language: someone has to ask and another to answer. And even a process of self-questioning about your own properties remains a play of otherness.

For succeeding in conceiving the properties as indistinguishable parts of the whole of the man, language cannot be left apart, since it constitutes the only means of thinking. There is rather preferable to filter the language as much as possible for eliminating from it the presence of others in the questions we put about ourselves. For instance, it is hardly to believe that the interest in classifying our moral properties belongs to us. We may ask ourselves about the deeds we did or do, but the question about our moral properties needs an external point of view, another than our own.