Luis De Garrido Philosophy
Luis De Garrido is primarily a relentless thinker, ultimately interested in identifying all sorts of strategies which can be designed to achieve improvement and transcendence of humans, in continuous balance with the ecosystem in which it is integrated.
To achieve this goal Luis De Garrido studies continuously the human behavior, both individually and collectively -forming social-networks-, with the initial aim of identifying what differentiates humans from other living beings, or what is the same, human intrinsic characteristics. Their behavioral studies are performed in two different and complementary ways, in collaboration with other experts and research centers. On one hand trying to identify the cause-effect of human behavior as if it were a black box, and on the other hand trying to identify brain and biological mechanisms underlying such behavior.
As a result of his research Luis De Garrido has reached certain conclusions which may be of vital importance for us to improve and transcend as human beings:
- Luis De Garrido says that what we call as “human condition”, ie, the unique features that we humans and differentiates us from other living beings, is based only on two pillars:
- High level of awareness and sense of free-will.
Self-awareness and awareness of what surrounds us, is not intrinsic to the human being, as it has been observed certain level of awareness in chimpanzees, orangutans and gorillas, and to a lesser extent, dolphins, asian elephants and magpies. However, the level of human awareness is enormously greater, and it allows us to create complex social interactions within the whole group.
The high level of awareness of human beings depends not only on our highly developed language, but especially on our brain structure. In general awareness can be understood as a property that emerges from the interaction of a number of specific brain areas of the vast neural network of our brain. Each neuron and every neural network have a particular function, however, the functional connections established among them make that a new common function arises. In fact it is now known for that awareness may arise neurons in the prefrontal cortex and parietal cortex must send information to the cerebral cortex via the thalamus. This recurring processing extends from purely sensory areas to motor areas. On the other hand, self-awareness, the awareness that our bodies belong to us, depends on the premotor cortex and the angular gyrus.
On the other hand, while being aware of what happens, if we do not the feeling that we are the ones who decide it (“free-will”) our body will seem us a foreign object, and our actions will seem us arbitrary. Therefore we can say that the illusion of acting freely is the price that humans must pay for having a high level of awareness. Indeed Luis De Garrido believes that our sense of free will is completely bounded and determined from birth, as it depends on a certain brain structure and especially the connections in our two cerebral hemispheres.
Given the complex and constantly changing environment in which we live, it is not possible that our life is predetermined predictably, but given the way the brain develops is impossible for a full free-will exists. However we all feel and believe we can make choices freely, and this we call it “free-will“. However this is only an illusion.
For example when we decide to move a hand, given the structure of our brain, both moves we make, as the “conscious” thought of moving come from unconscious brain processes. We can not see these unconscious processes, but instead we can interpret the resulting movements. The illusion of free-will is generated in a second instance, when information about the performed action is sent to the cerebral cortex. It is therefore possible that this illusion of free-will is simply required to print our label in the action: “This hand is mine, this is me”. Therefore we can say that awareness is after the start of the action. In other words, awareness is just a story that is told later.
Indeed, even now this delay can be measured, and can be ensured that conscious experience is created half a second later than unconscious brain activity has been made. Furthermore it has been shown that areas of the cerebral cortex are occupied seven and ten seconds preparing motor actions before awareness arises.
However, although awareness goes a little behind the facts, it is still useful whenever faced with an unexpected situation. For example, when we learn to drive we do it very slow and we make many mistakes continuously, as we try to control one by one all the necessary and coordinated actions, and given the involved difficulties, we are always missing something. As we learn we make conscious plans, but later, after much training, we drive automatically. In fact we drive automatically most of the time, and only when an unexpected situation that demands our attention occurs, is when our conscious and slow actions take over, with all the danger that it implies.
- Imagination and creativity.
Human beings are different from other living things for our unique ability to cooperate flexibly with other unknown humans forming large groups. Many other living beings cooperate with each other in groups, but only humans do it flexibly with any number of strangers.
This human intrinsic ability is made possible by our imagination and our creativity.
Only we humans (because our brain can not differentiate a true story from an imagined event) can make up stories about things that exist only in our imagination, and disseminate them to millions of people, and thus forming large size groups, with all the advantages and disadvantages that implies. A human can invent anything, and when he communicates it to others many of them are able to visualize it, they can internalize it, and they can make it as their own. Thus they will have the awareness that this is something of their invention, something that belongs to them, and they will feel, without being aware of it, as part of a group, with all the benefits that entails for their survival. The creation of these social groups certainly was a huge evolutionary advantage, the problem is that most of its members do not even come to question that its cohesion depends on an invention, and that this invention can be absolutely preposterous and absurd. Most of the components of these social and religious groups not ever become aware that this invention, which is transmitted to them at an early age as something real and fundamental, mark their individual and social behavior throughout his life, and they can do nothing about it.
As a result, over time the group will maintain the primal invention, simply to ensure its cohesion, its continuity over time, their survival and power, using any means at its disposal. And as a result most of the group members, present and future, can be kept in a continuous state of confusion and disinformation, and believing that the initial invention is a perfectly legitimate reality. Which, redundantly, perpetuating a particular group over time, whatever ridiculous could be the initial idea for which it was originally formed.
This attitude is inherently human, and is not quite shared by any other living being. For example, and because of their brain structure, no chimpanzee can believe in a heaven full of bananas and virgin females for eternity, nor justify their actions on behalf of the “great almighty ape”.
Considering these aspects it becomes clear that so that human beings can transcend we must undertake actions that allow us on one hand to achieve higher levels of awareness, and secondly to improve our capacity for imagination and creativity. In this way we can achieve new cognitive potential to allow us the perception of new realities, and therefore the creation of optimized social networks, which serve as substrate to generate new complexes intelligent entities.
- Luis De Garrido said that the behavior of all living things, including humans, depends entirely on our brain. Even intrinsic and most advanced human abilities such as awareness, spirituality and imagination, depend on the structure and activity of our brain.
The combination of our genetic inheritance and the programming of our brain during intrauterine development and to a lesser extent, during our early years, we create a certain brain structure in which are already largely determined our talents, our limitations and our character. In this sense, throughout our life we can not, for example, decide to change our gender identity, our sexual orientation, our aggressiveness, our character, our religion and our language. Similarly we can not avoid our predisposition to certain diseases or to have certain social, civil and criminal problems. Once converted into adults many limitations to shape our brain exist and our characteristics are already set for life. (“You can move channeling rivers and mountains. More difficult is to change the character of a man”. Chinese proverb).
Considering these aspects it becomes clear that human beings can improve substantially and beyond we must undertake a certain set of actions aimed at improving the structure and functioning of our brain:
- On the one hand, we must strive to meet more fully and accurately as possible the structure and functioning of our brain, knowing in depth both its limitations and its potential. Complementarily we must strive to define precisely the brain associated actions to each of our actions and to our behavior in general. As a result, on the one hand we can more rightly interpret historical facts, and secondly we will be able to fully understand our behavior, and therefore we can control it more effectively.
- Being aware of the various limitations of the human brain we can undertake effective actions in order to keep under control the brain mechanisms that are an obstacle to its proper functioning, and thus for our proper development and transcendence.
- Finally, knowing the different potential of the human brain, we can increase our cognitive capacity and develop new talents, and therefore we can transcend our current human condition.
- The structure and functioning of the brain is determined almost entirely by genetic form, in its intrauterine development and the first years of life. This means that our character, our talents and our limitations, and therefore our future performance, are practically identified from our early life. Therefore, if we want to transcend as human beings, and if we want to improve our society we must ensure the health and welfare of mothers throughout their pregnancy, the correct intrauterine stimulation of the baby, and the proper education in their early years of life.
No doubt the technological advances in medicine, genetic engineering and symbiosis of our brain with artificial intelligence systems will be important in the future to achieve this goal. However, being aware that our behavior, our limitations and our talents depend on the structure and functioning of our brain is the most important first step, and absolutely necessary for society, family, and ultimately pampering us, we ensure the best care for mothers to ensure proper fetal development in humans, and proper stimulation and education in their first years of life.
To summarize we can say that Luis De Garrido is particularly interested in identifying biological and chemical substrate that lies behind all the emotions, thoughts and actions, and in general of human behavior, with the ultimate aim of achieving our transcendence as human beings, and the creation of new, more advanced social structures.
Therefore, and in order to achieve an analysis seamless and absolutely objective, Luis De Garrido even suggested the very significance of the scientific method, so it is not seen limited by the limitations of human cognitive systems and to establish, as he calls, a meta-scientific procedure.
As a result of this general statement of principles it is evident that Luis De Garrido does not fit into any existing philosophical reasoning, and is actually interested in identifying the “universal reasoning” absolutely objective, which can frame any trend thinking that may exist in any individual or group of individuals.
But in thinking of Luis De Garrido certain intellectuals ingredients reminiscent of Naturalism, Existentialism and especially Transhumanism, can be identified.
– Naturalism while rejecting the supernatural, as Luis De Garrido believes it is simply a matter of time before an explanation of any natural event, or any aspect of human behavior can be reached, to the point that they can predict, or properly manage when they happen.
– Existentialism while states that each person has their own subjective experiences, implying the lack of objectivity. Alternatively Luis De Garrido thinks every subjective experience is shaped in line with the particular characteristics of each human brain, which perceives and interprets the same reality, that could “guessed” as objective. However, this objective, unique and essential reality, although there, could only be identified if the human condition is transcended, both individually and collectively as social networks.
– Transhumanism while to be aware of the objective reality it must necessarily improve the human being. However Luis De Garrido thinks the improvement and transcendence of the human being should not be achieved simply with the help of technology, artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, but mainly through the knowledge of the functioning of our brain. This would make it possible to properly educate humans, both in the womb and early in life, with the ultimate aim to expand our cognitive capacity, expand our capabilities and talents and improve our social behavior.