The Principle Of Sufficient Reason In Winnie The Pooh
In most things we find in life, we can draw parallels from most of them to philosophical concepts. In this case, we shall be using a short excerpt from Winnie The Pooh to draw parallels from what happens in the story, with regards to Phoo’s reasoning, to the principle of sufficient reason.
In the beginning, Pooh decides to go outside and he hears buzzing. He is observing the environment and is using his senses to interpret what he is experiencing. Pooh then says, 'That buzzing-noise means something. You don't get a buzzing-noise like that, just buzzing and buzzing, without its meaning something…”, which signifies that pooh is using the sensory information that he had gathered previously to understand what he could possibly gather further as a result of noticing what he just heard. This can be seen as a parallel to the beginning segment of the philosophical concept that is the principle of sufficient reason, where, before you connect premises to ultimately come to a reasonable conclusion that the subject that is being studied has a clear reason or cause, one must first observe that of which can be seen with one’s basic sensory abilities.
Pooh then starts to understand that since the buzzing noise cannot be achieved without something making the buzzing noise, there must be a bee producing the sound. Pooh uses his past sensory experience, noticing that there is a buzzing noise, as a premise to conclude that the cause of such a noise must be produced from a bee. Drawing parallels to the Principle Of Sufficient Cause; just as Pooh discovers through reason that a bee is making that noise, so too does the Principle Of Sufficient Cause describe that everything has a sufficient cause or a reason. Pooh is starting to narrow down what the true cause of the buzzing noise is.
With Pooh reasoning through his premises, he finds something else that arises from discovering that bees are apparent in his vicinity. Pooh states, “And the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey.”, to put forth the notion that because he discovered bees in his vicinity, he can discover what those bees are capable of producing honey , and potentially to produce honey for the benefit of Pooh. A comparison can be made between the Principle Of Sufficient Reason and Pooh’s knowledge, through his premises, that since Pooh rationalized how these particular bees can be used to make honey, so too can the philosophical concept tell that reason can allow us to understand that everything has a sufficient reason or cause, just like the cause of the bee in Pooh’s thought process is to make honey. However, Pooh may be flawed in his philosophy. He is gearing his philosophy toward his own personal wants and appetites, and to think that bees exist solely to produce honey, and to later say, “And the only reason for making honey is so I can eat it.”, is totally misinterpreting the true reason and cause for bees.
This has been proof that one may find philosophical concepts in almost anything, even in a Winnie The Pooh excerpt. Through Pooh’s premises and conclusions, one can compare the same concepts that Pooh reasons through, to the Principle Of Sufficient Cause. One may also see that just as it as easy to draw comparisons to Pooh’s reasoning to the philosophical concept, it is just as easy to see Pooh propose a wrong philosophy, or to misuse that philosophy. Pooh had made it seem as if the main reason or cause for bees existing is so that he could benefit from them. Whereas the Principle Of Sufficient Reason seeks to know the absolute reason or absolute cause of a given subject, which in regards to all things, is God.
- A.A. Milne. The Complete Tales Of: Winnie The Pooh, New York: Dutton Children’s Books, 1994, 4.