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Civilizaciones Antiguas Cassier Essay

1416 words - 6 pages

II. UNA CLAVE DE LA NATURALEZA DEL HOMBRE: EL SÍMBOLO

EL BIÓLOGO Johannes von Uexküll ha escrito un libro en el que
emprende una revisión crítica de los principios de la biología. Según él
es una ciencia natural que tiene que ser desarrollada con los métodos
empíricos usuales, los de observación y experimentación; pero el pensa-
miento biológico no pertenece al mismo tipo que el pensamiento físico o
químico. Uexküll es un resuelto campeón del vitalismo y defiende el
principio de la autonomía de la vida. La vida es una realidad última y
que depende de sí misma; no puede ser descrita o explicada en términos
de física o de química. Partiendo de este punto de vista Uexküll
...view middle of the document...

La única clave para la vida animal nos la
proporcionan los hechos de la anatomía comparada; si conocemos la
estructura anatómica de una especie animal estamos en posesión de todos
los datos necesarios para reconstruir su modo especial de experiencias.
Un estudio minucioso de la estructura del cuerpo animal, del número,
cualidad y distribución de los diversos órganos de los sentidos y de las
condiciones del sistema nervioso, nos proporciona una imagen perfecta
del mundo interno y externo del organismo. Uexküll comenzó sus
investigaciones con el estudio de los organismos inferiores y las fue
extendiendo poco a poco a todas las formas de la vida orgánica. En
cierto sentido se niega a hablar de formas inferiores o superiores de vida. La vida es perfecta por doquier, es la misma en los círculos más
estrechos y en los más amplios. Cada organismo, hasta el más ínfimo,
no sólo se halla adaptado en un sentido vago sino enteramente
coordinado con su ambiente. A tenor de su estructura anatómica posee
un determinado sistema "receptor" y un determinado sistema
"efector." El organismo no podría sobrevivir sin la cooperación y
equilibrio de estos dos sistemas. El receptor por el cual una especie
biológica recibe los estímulos externos y el efector por el cual reacciona
ante los mismos se hallan siempre estrechamente entrelazados. Son
eslabones de una misma cadena, que es descrita por Uexküll como
"círculo funcional".
13
No puedo entretenerme en una discusión de los principios biológicos
de Uexküll; me he referido únicamente a sus conceptos y a su
terminología con el propósito de plantear una cuestión general. ¿Es
posible emplear el esquema propuesto por Uexküll para una
descripción y caracterización del mundo humano? Es obvio que este
mundo no constituye una excepción de esas leyes biológicas que
gobiernan la vida de todos los demás organismos. Sin embargo, en el
mundo humano encontramos una característica nueva que parece
constituir la marca distintiva de la vida del hombre. Su círculo
funcional no sólo se ha ampliado cuantitativamente sino que ha
sufrido también un cambio cualitativo. El hombre, como si dijéramos,
ha descubierto un nuevo método para adaptarse a su ambiente. Entre el
sistema receptor y el efector, que se encuentran en todas las especies
animales, hallamos en él como eslabón intermedio algo que podemos
señalar como sistema "simbólico". Esta nueva adquisición transforma la
totalidad de la vida humana. Comparado con los demás animales el
hombre no sólo vive en una realidad más amplia sino, por decirlo así,
en una nueva dimensión de la realidad. Existe una diferencia innegable
entre las reacciones orgánicas y las respuestas humanas. En el caso
primero, una respuesta directa e inmediata sigue al estímulo externo, en
el segundo la respuesta es demorada, es interrumpida y retardada por
un proceso lento y complicado de pensamiento. A primera vista seme-
jante demora...

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