Tuesday, 16 February 2010
''We are all, in a sense, acting. In fact, we could say that it is our ability to act, amongst other things, that makes us human. Animals generally cannot, or do not, act. A shark will not decide to 'better itself' by becoming a vegetarian, nor will a gazelle decide to 'be a man' and stand up for itself the next time a lion comes calling. The idea that we can be something other appears to be a distinctly human one, an upshot of our ability to imagine. In imagining we are able to think of alternate ways of being, ways that may often seem to contradict the image that our 'natural impulses' would hold us to. We imagine that we can be 'better', and in being better we must act. But this act needn't seem false. It is put on, and necessarily so: through putting it on we are able to craft ourselves, remould our basic image into the shape we want it to be. It is in this way that we become 'human'.''