Acting Against Your Best Judgment – Why the Present Often Overtakes the Future

Man is a being who has a future. This is due to that special gift that amazed Plato and the thinkers of antiquity: a person can perceive not only what is, but also what is not. Each animal interacts with its environment. He changes that and in turn changes his surroundings. But it is only the real present that irrational animals can interact with. However, the gift of thinking opens a person to a world that embraces not only all that he is, but also all that is. no The case is.

Think “not yet”.

The dissolution of the non-existent revolutionizes the attitude that the human animal holds in relation to its world. It can capture what no longer exists in the mind and make the many predictable that no longer exist. It can happen or prevent through rational planning what is not the case but could be the case. What an increase in the world! And what an increase in strength!

It is at the same time the power of denial that opens and shatters the world, and the power of simple “no”, which opens a future that can be forged for man in the first place. and for this she has It’s the future like no other animal. He seizes his chances and makes his decisions by returning to his present from an imagined future. Heidegger calls this the “caring structure” of existence.

According to philosopher David Lauer, simply seeing what is right is rarely enough to motivate you to act.© Special

Nowadays, of course, the realistic state of this structure of care gives first of all more reason … for concern. It’s the same thing everywhere: climate change? We’ve known for decades what to do – and we don’t. Ukraine war? We should have seen the approaching annexation of Crimea. Russian gas? How can we, with our eyes wide open, enter into such a dependency! corona? Autumn is going to be terrible, we all know that, warning now that the warning has worn off, nothing is being done – at least for now.

Why does the mind give up?

The tone of the current political debate is a self-accusation of “could have,” “must have,” “must have” – “we must have a care structure” (roughly) to quote Heidegger. How can we ignore the gift of the future in this desolate way?

It is noted that pointing to the future seems to work better in the field of knowledge than in the field of work. It’s not a lack of insight, it’s a lack of resolve. what is the reason? Kant bluntly said: Mere theoretical insight into what is thus right does not motivate anyone to do what is right. A “mainspring” is needed.

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Some moral philosophers have been, and still are, holding that a form of practical knowledge already contains this driving force. Knowing and doing the right thing will be one thing. But this form of knowledge is difficult to obtain because it requires a whole lifetime of character building. For humans only, the motives that motivate action are bolder and often extrinsic in nature, in the form of promised incentives and rewards.

A rational animal remains an animal

And herein lies the problem: because when it comes to satisfying tangible needs, the sensually tangible being in the present always exerts more attraction than just no better future that can rationally imagine. What you have, you have. And the rational animal is also man forever: animal.

Man has a future. This is his chance. If he does not take it, one may begin to doubt whether he is One has a future.

David Lauer He is a philosopher and teaches at Christian Albrechts University in Kiel. His research focuses on philosophy of mind and epistemology. He lives with his family in Berlin.

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