Owen Flanagan’s Test of A Philosophical Psychology

[A] philosophical psychology ought to answer questions such as these:

• What, if anything, are humans like deep down inside beneath the clothes of culture?

• What, if any, features of mind-world interaction, and thus of the human predicament, are universal?

• Is there any end state or goal(s) that all humans seek because they are wired to seek it (or them), or what is different, ought to seek because it is—or, they are—worthy?

• If there is a common natural orientation toward some end state(s), for example, pleasure, friendship, community, truth, beauty, goodness, intellectual contemplation, are these ends mutually consistent? If not, must one choose a single dominant end? Does our nature not only provide the end(s), but also a way of ordering and prioritizing them, as well as a preferred ratio among them that produces some sort of equilibrium?

• How conducive is following our nature to actually producing what we naturally seek, or what is different, sensibly ought to seek? Could it be that not everything we seek—not even pleasant experiences or truth—is good for us?

• What is the relation between our first nature, our given human nature, and our second nature, our cultured nature?

• Does first nature continue in contemporary worlds, in new ecologies, to achieve its original ends? If so, is first nature also well suited to achieving new, culturally discovered, or what is different, created ends

• Is second nature constructed precisely for the achievement of variable, culturally discovered or created ends that first nature is ill-equipped to achieve?

• Do different societies construct/develop second nature in order to enhance first nature and/or to moderate and modify, possibly to eliminate, certain seeds in our first nature that can work against that very (first) nature and/or against our second nature and our cultured ends, which our second nature is intended to help us achieve?

Errors in these questions of the city state or class:

• The Problem Of Universalism: One Ness vs Individual, Family, tribe, race and corporation.(Doolittle) Which is reducible to a hierarchy of desires (needs). And they cannot be equally met.

Eudemonia (Aristotle)