19th century philosophy

Desire to Move

In The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer has introduced the phenomenon in which the “will to live” could be represented through the body and its natural desires. While Schopenhauer explains that the “Teeth, throat, and bowels are objectified hunger” (WWR, vol. 1, bk. 2, §20), there are other ways in which desires could manifest from the body. Each part plays a vital role for a specific activity or function. In Schopenhauer’s perspective, this is a human nature way of gaining access to the world, “will”, by being the “representation”. Through these desires, we have the ability, “will to live”. A personal experience embodying Schopenhauer’s philosophy is the body’s desire for dancing. The brain, ears, and muscles are “objectified” dancing. 

There would be numerous times in which the body would be stimulated to dance, which could be started as easily as hearing some sort of beat or song. It has been stated in a study that when people listen to music, the “brain’s auditory cortex” plays a vital role in “processing auditory stimuli” so that we can intake the “melody’s rhythm”. This also causes the “dorsal auditory pathway” to connect to the cortex previously mentioned to “movement areas”. This is how the body initially desires to dance (Hopffgarten, 2024). 

From personal experience, when hearing my music preference, I automatically start dancing, whether it be in a subtle way, where I use my feet and fingers to tap to the rhythm, and my head bops or when I’m at a place where I dance to my best knowledge. Even without the influence of music, sometimes I could just think of a song in my head and be able to dance to it based on memorization. In this context, through the ears, I get to hear the music, which then goes to my brain which releases dopamine and endorphins which makes me have the desire to dance. Additionally, the brain provides that instinct for me to dance by having my muscles move voluntarily (the muscles, obviously, are needed for dancing).  This demonstrates a perfect example of Schopenhauer’s idea because through our “inmost nature of the body” represents the “will”, which shows how desires and intentions could be manifested. This also correlates with “For these voluntary movements are nothing else than the visible aspect of the individual acts of will” WWR, vol. 1, bk. 2, §20). Based on our desires, we can act upon it with our actions.

Source: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/why-some-songs-makes-everyone-want-to-dance/#:~:text=Meanwhile%20the%20dorsal%20auditory%20pathway,areas%20as%20a%20movement%20impulse.

I’m Wearing An Illusion

Earrings: Lighting 1
Earrings: Lighting 2

Hegel’s Phenomenology, Perception: or the Thing and Deception, illustrates the point in which one’s consciousness perceives reality from a different perspective. Thus, hinders the actuality of reality. This point is shown with optical illusions. Multiple examples could be used with optical illusion. One example could be where an object has an illusion of colors or an image that contains two different perspectives (or two objects). Many different examples can portray variation in human perspective. 

One such illusion that I have experienced personally is jewelry that has properties that exhibit Pleochroism. These stones change color due to how they are viewed in the light and their angular positions. Just recently, I had my iridescent earrings under the light. It would have a pinkish hue, then it would change to a blue hue. This could fit with Hegel’s perspective on perception. The way how another person would view my earrings could be different. They may think it could be x color at first glance. While another person could see another color. According to Hegel, “…the thing thereby is in opposition to others but is supposed to preserve itself for itself in that opposition”(§ 125). Determinateness can be set in opposition in order to maintain its true self. The pair of earrings that I own is a perfect example of this. The true purpose of the earrings, which contain pleochroism, is to project different hues at various lights and angles. It wasn’t meant to have a set color, it was meant to be everchanging. So in terms of perceiving the earrings to have a certain color, would be an inaccurate perception. For the earrings to have their full potential, one will have to accept the fact there is no one color. 

This ties back to the passage, Perception: or the Thing and Deception. Because the earrings have intricate qualities, they can have numerous colors and they vary from many factors. Hegel proved a great point that to accept the true potential of the things that we observe in our everyday lives, we have to learn to accept complexities rather than trying to come up with different perceptions.