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Philosophy of the behavior

From the animal to the man

EdenThe humanity is destined to reach its perfection.

L'homme est un animal raisonnable. Aristote.

Physically and psychically, the man is constituted to act. All the human activities are directed to a first purpose: adapt better and better the specie to its world. The appearance of the human race in the heart of the life phenomenon joins in “the progressive elevation of the spirit towards a superior spirit.

Having broken up of the other primates, the human race developed physical qualities: loss of the pilosity, the standing up position, the dexterity, growth of the intellectual volume, and psychic qualities; development of the language, the reason, the will, the consciousness, the morality, etc.

All our psychic specificities evolved from already present characters of the natural primate.

The intelligence, the affectivity, the memory, the will, the consciousness or the reason are also found in our cousins monkeys.

Even our moral prohibitions decline of already present prohibitions in the nature. In fact, a kind of “instinctive morality” heads the animal life and reduces the violence to “its smallest possible necessity ".

An instinct, for example, forces the dominant to stop any violence when the subordinate shows submission.

The man converted this instinctive morality into laws and in ethics. We do not hit a man on the ground - it is forbidden to misuse our strength, power, or to abuse vulnerable persons, etc. The progress of our psychic faculties acts on several construction sites of the humanity.

Our intellectual and analytical qualities adapt better and better the man to his environment.

Our moral and ethical qualities permit us to control better and better certain drives and incompatible natural tendencies with the human values (predation, aggressiveness, dominion, clan structures, etc.)

Our emotional and psychological qualities permit to get better ceaselessly our relationship to others and to ourselves.

Obviously all these psychic faculties evolve permanently. They interact between them and work silently on a superior purpose: the human final perfection.

In this chapter, we are going to study the faculties permitting the man to control better and better his behavior.


The control of the behaviors

Specie, drives and prohibition

Of all the primates, only the human being is capable of sublimating his instincts in creative actions, or sustaining rigors of the asceticism to reach the mystic rapture. Unlike other monkeys, the man acquired the means to dominate completely his tendencies - as it is the case for example for the ascetic. Our specie owes largely this exploit to the emergence of its new intellectual capacities. Verbalization, reasoning, conceptualization, memorization, consciousness, rising of moral standards and will are some of these new things.

Thanks to these psychic qualities, the humanity developed a system of sophisticated prohibitions - taboos, morality, laws, ethics. These cultural prohibitions reduce gradually the influence of some of our natural tendencies, as that of asserting us to the detriment of our congeners.

The animal assertion at the cost of its congeners becomes the abuse of others in the humanity. Theft, violence, war, slavery, racism etc., are some of these abuses. These primary reactions ensue from primate instincts like the predation, the aggressiveness, the egocentricity, the dominion, clan structures.

By evolving from the animal to the man, what was called “the instincts” became " the tendencies".

Therefore, the “abuses of others", becoming a “tendency”, returned into the sphere of the consciousness. This way, these tendencies became easier to correct, to control, thus to eliminate. The education, the consciousness, the social pressure, the choice of the values of a society, can be influential, what is not the case of the primates’ instinct.

If, as we think, one of the purposes of the humanity is to reach a perfect control of its behavior, we can understand the interest which there was for our specie to evolve from the monkey to the man. At the same time as this work of progressive destruction of the abusive drives, the humanity stimulates the social and positive tendencies. Friendship, love, affection, reconciliation, consolation, mediation, sharing, reciprocity, pity, altruism, also arise from our past of natural primate and the man transcends them.

History of the humanity

At first, our sort - by being equipped with the language, with the memory, with the consciousness, with the will - succeeded in leading the progressive management of its drives. Then, thanks to the religions especially, the man made his mind up to restrain these aggressive and abusive drives and to value, on the contrary, the brotherly and peaceful tendencies.

And finally, this mechanism directs our specie to “the perfect control of its drives".