Thursday, February 2, 2012

A brief thought on agency and captivity.

“Because we can choose our focus, we are ‘free in an originary sense,’ Martin Heidegger writes.  It is this freedom, he says, that makes us different from animals.  We choose to focus on various influences, but animals are ‘taken by’ them, ‘captivated’ by them.  Think of a mailman coming to our door:  we can decide to concentrate on him, but our barking dog is captivated by him; we may focus our attention on him or not, but the dog is riveted.  In other words, we are human because we can freely pick what we let influence us most.”
- Dennis J. Packard

I strongly believe this is true.  We are free agents who can determine not only our actions, but our perceptions and our priorities as well.  We needn't be captive to anything unless we freely choose to let it captivate us.
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