The Natural Alien, By William James

991 Words Sep 25th, 2015 4 Pages
For the majority of Chapter three and four of the book, The Natural Alien, Everdeen has made several points about different aspects about categories. From the forming of categories, he suggests that we tend to objectify things based on solely on sight. This helps understand how we study animals as objects as opposed to studying them as subjects. The purpose of the paper is to try and discuss how these categories form, why they are destroyed, how they are recreated, and why they objectify things. On the first page of Chapter 3 of the Natural Alien, it states that categories are simply a human’s way of coping with the world. For example, consciousness is known as a continuous flow of thoughts that make up a story. This school of thought is categorized as functionalism, which was created by William James. Yet we break this flow of thoughts (continuum), known as consciousness, into four different categories. These categories are unity, transience, selectivity, and intentionality. By separating consciousness into categories, it results in the dissecting of the continuum. The problem that lies in breaking consciousness into segments is the fact that these categories overlap that cause them to fit into more than one category. Yet, they are separate enough to be able to distinguish between them. For example, take the terms of selectivity and transience. They both rely on each other, yet they are different from each other. Selectivity is the ability to pick what stimuli…
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