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.

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