As I review the work of other philosophical explorers I notice them starting from elevated stances, from stances which build upon unstated assumptions. When a physicist for example asks ‘What is the basic stuff of the universe?’ we start out with a person asking a question for some reason. But shouldn’t we first understand the origin of the question, asking ‘What is a person, what is a reason?’
These overlooked questions get respectable answers when we think within the model of life expounded in this blog. In this model, the Resource-Patterns Model of Life (RPM), we shine light upon freshly unearthed questions because we have started to dig in a new spot.
We start from a few observations which I outline briefly here:
- Living Things (LTs) exist in this Universe.
- Living Things must eat to survive. That is they must continually exploit resources found in the universe outside their bodies. (This follows from the second law of thermodynamics.)
- Resources needed by LTs can be found in the Universe — but only in particular locations, and some resources although close at hand cannot be extracted without special knowledge.
- Living Things have senses, memory, calculating capacities (induction and deduction), and abilities to act. That is LTs have capabilities which may enable them to survive — if they can just manage to make the right choices about how to behave moment-by-moment in varying circumstances.
- Groups of Living Things can cooperate in some circumstances to exploit resources which they could not have exploited if they were acting alone without cooperation.
But I allow that each of us has to start somewhere, and I do not believe that all legitimate work must start where I start. I claim nonetheless that the starting point of the Resource-Patterns Model of Life has been overlooked and that this model can, when exercised, shine new light on our experiences as social animals.