We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
It is not yet clear why adults should find perceptual play fun. Aren’t we done learning how to perceive? Everyone achieves a certain basic level of skill in characteristically human activities: walking, talking, looking, listening, and singing. We do this by pleasurable play when young, and we maintain these skills with practice well into adulthood. But with each of these activities, the human body affords us the capacity to improve – to become extraordinarily skilled. Spontaneously developed language and motor skills are adequate for most purposes, but they are far below those of the most accomplished performers. An accomplished poet or playwright has a command of language that comes from repetition, practice, and instruction. She comes to this level of expertise with great difficulty. The same goes for somebody who appreciates poetry with hard-won knowledge of context and allusion.
I'll give the essay an A- for Effort, but trying to discuss such topics as Truth and Beauty in reductionistic terms is certain to be disappointing in the end. I would argue that the human soul has no adaptive value at all. It's a gift and a curse.
What is the best-adapted and largest class of animals on earth in terms of population, biomass, range, and overall success? Class Insecta. Bugs. Or maybe it's bacteria, but I think I recall that it's bugs. Might have that wrong. It's definitely not the higher apes despite our love of music and our pleasant clothing.
It is slightly amusing that evolutionists, who believe in random mutations and adaptation, must find a Purpose to the pain/pleasure continuum. Why cannot it just exist for its own sake? Cannot we discover and enjoy what pleasure we can find in this Vale of Tears without some busybody telling us it is for a good purpose?
The pleasure we take in beauty must have been shaped by evolution
But, of course, evolution - used as the loaded presumption it is - may be in no way party to Purpose, Meaning, or Soul, co-existent abstracts and entities evidently just as real as it is.
Spontaneous materialism is realty's sole model, argue secular dogmatists, never granting that the construct somehow then gave rise to a lexicon of Mind as rich, varied, and populous as all the scientific texts written.
Meanwhile we must never grant that Everything is itself a construct. Heh.
trying to discuss such topics as Truth and Beauty in reductionistic terms is certain to be disappointing in the end.