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Thread: Voluntas Est Superior Intellectu! Is the Will Superior to the Intellect?

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    Voluntas Est Superior Intellectu! Is the Will Superior to the Intellect?

    Is the will superior to the intellect? If voluntarism is the philosophical tenet which places the primacy of the will over the intellect, should voluntarism underpin modern philosophy, especially political ideology?

    Voluntas est superior intellectu: Will is higher than thought.

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    Intellect is just a tool. Will determines to what end this tool is being used.

    Will in itself is an obscure concept, though. What seems to us like "our will" is just the tip of the iceberg. It roots deep within unconscious desires, drives and emotional associations.

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    An excellent question.
    The Upanishads and Baghavad-Gita, as well as some Gospel tenants, place selfless service at the center of one's life, service without expectation of rewards, eliminating attachment, thus eliminating greed, lust and avarice (i.e. Modern Western culture)

    God > King-Queen/Emperor > Nobleman > Knight > Freeman > and Serf

    Top-down hierarchy works works because each tier is a reflection of the inherent qualities of the one above it. And such a system is only logical if the Absolute is the supreme ideal that serves as the fundament upon which all lower orders are built. The will of the People is led by the Intelligentsia which is led by Divine Law.
    In a Democratic government this order is reversed, where man is God and foolishly believes anyone can do as they please and that their opinion is just as good as anyone else. Where the will of the plebeians overrules intelligence and correct judgement, thus is easily manipulated by cleverer members of society, ergo will can be molded as such.

    Thus I don't believe "voluntererism" should underpin a society, but Service, I serve, to that which is greater than yourself. Will is superior to intellect simply in that it encourages action instead of contemplation, however this isn't always a good thing

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    Yoo dont need intellect to do well, yoo need will-power.

    Lets take me for example - i wouldnt be described as really brainy or owt but i somehow got to college to do ict because i had the will-power to actually study for me gcses.

    Of course i found ict at college was too hard for me to understand and it put me off but thats not the point.

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    But then there are those schools of philosophical thought that say that human will is rational will and that intellect and will cannot or should not be separated into different entities. The decision to apply the will in order to use the intellect for a purpose or purposes is necessarily an intellectual decision. These philosophical schools basically say that the intellect drives the will and the will drives the intellect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BritishLad View Post
    Yoo dont need intellect to do well, yoo need will-power.

    Lets take me for example - i wouldnt be described as really brainy or owt but i somehow got to college to do ict because i had the will-power to actually study for me gcses.

    Of course i found ict at college was too hard for me to understand and it put me off but thats not the point.
    Good one, BL. I like hearing stories of strong-willed people achieving their objectives in life. They are inspiring and set a very good example. And I would suggest you might have more "brainyness" or natural talent than you suspect or it lies in another area of endeavour than the one you previously chose. I'm sure you'll work it out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Waldläufer View Post
    Intellect is just a tool. Will determines to what end this tool is being used.

    Will in itself is an obscure concept, though. What seems to us like "our will" is just the tip of the iceberg. It roots deep within unconscious desires, drives and emotional associations.
    I can see the perspective behind this view, but one could also turn this around. One could say that a person's self-esteem and a person's will are just tools and a person's intellect is what determines how any tool whatsoever is used by the person. People use their "will" as their source of personal and ethical judgement, wouldn't a person's intellect determine how effectively they use their will to either negate or promote their own drives and desires...via prioritizing.
    "What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." Friedrich Nietzche

    "Virtue - all virtue - is knowledge."
    Socrates

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    The schools of thought in favour of the unity of the intellect-will see the human will as fundamentally rational: the intellect directs the will and the will drives the intellect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ingvaeonic
    The schools of thought in favour of the unity of the intellect-will see the human will as fundamentally rational: the intellect directs the will and the will drives the intellect.
    The far more important question is, what is "will"?

    Obviously, it required intellectual analysis (although I assume that it was way more wish-ful thinking than objective analysis) to come to the conclusion whether something is rational or not.

    And here lies the fundamental problem with this theory: is the intellect able (and basically willing) to seperate "will" from "wish" (desires and wants)? Or isnt the intellect rather used to argue in favour of desires and wants in order to make them seem "rational"?


    The next question is, is rationality a guaranty for "right"? Or isnt really the opposite the case, ie rationality is used to override the objective right ("law" in its widest sense), to "rationalise" wishes and desires?


    Crowley said: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law. Love is the law, love under will".

    This sentence is often abused to argue for egoistic behavior, ie, do what you want. This however is fundamentally wrong interpreted, because in fact, Crowley argued that the will must ultimately base in universal law and in the need of what is good (for one's self) and needed - which must by no means be that what one wants or wishes or desires.


    In so far, British Lad's story is the only one that had this question in the background, even if not knowingly. He didnt ask is this what I want, but he asked whether it would be good for him and then used his personal will-power to stand through the trouble.


    Imho, volition ("willed" or conscious action) should be seperated from will as such ("need"), since the former needs an agent, the intellect, to bring the latter into reality, or give it form. This neutral 'need', that what would be good for one or a group, exists; it is universal "law" by which life functions.

    In Heathenism, this universal law is Ørlog, impersonal, neutral forces and laws that govern the weaving of Wyrd, the web of life and action. All this is impersonal, it just is.

    All life is subject to these laws who define needs and requirements. It is only our intellect that judges whether a result of action or the action itself is good or bad, positive or negative. To Wyrd and Ørlog, these emotional classification is irrelevant.


    The postulate that the "will" is superior to intellect implies though that behind this philosophy stands the theistic postulate of a "free will" (and in contrast to Crowley's view on will this indeed is rather 'do what you want'), that is not a product of an universal law, but of an individual. And individuals regularly dont act based on what is good for themselves or others and needed, but on egoistic wishes and desires, regardless of others and often even to their detriment (often to own detriment as well).


    To make the (free) "will" superior to intellect imho is just the rationalising of egoistic behavior.
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