Boris Johnson's Philosophy fun-time. Part:1

Re: Boris Johnson's Philosophy fun-time. Part:1

Postby Boris Johnson » Wed Dec 19, 2012 5:33 pm

Ok let me get this latest argument shift, untangled.

My view of morality, doesn't live up to what your view of morality should be, so its prima facie wrong.

You don't see the problem there?
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Re: Boris Johnson's Philosophy fun-time. Part:1

Postby Revenant » Wed Dec 19, 2012 8:21 pm

bro if you don't get more pretentious you'll never be taken seriously around these parts, step up
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Re: Re: Huh?

Postby Zeugma » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:27 am

Boris Johnson wrote:My view of morality, doesn't live up to what your view of morality should be, so its prima facie wrong.
Um, no. It is the Boris who occasionally adheres to a moral standard, like the intervention in Libya or pushing for a similar case in Syria, and then arbitrarily disposes of said standard in other matters without presenting how or why.

On the one hand, you hang on to a humanitarian rationale in the case of war; on the other, you reject the very notion of a human subject to begin with.

Do you now see the problem with your perspective?
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Re: Re: Huh?

Postby Boris Johnson » Thu Dec 20, 2012 4:51 am

Zeugma wrote:
Boris Johnson wrote:My view of morality, doesn't live up to what your view of morality should be, so its prima facie wrong.
Um, no. It is the Boris who occasionally adheres to a moral standard, like the intervention in Libya or pushing for a similar case in Syria, and then arbitrarily disposes of said standard in other matters without presenting how or why.

On the one hand, you hang on to a humanitarian rationale in the case of war; on the other, you reject the very notion of a human subject to begin with.

Do you now see the problem with your perspective?

Well you get points for memory at least.

1) I don't think they contradict. Problem is though, explaining it all takes f**k AGES. Perhaps there is grounds for a normative standard, was I anywhere near to proposing that in this thread yet, as we are still stuck on the nature of the inquiry even being justified.
2) I don't reject the notion of a human subject dingus, I reject the notion that human subject is magic and I try to avoid anthropocentric though. an issue you seem not to give a f**k about.
3) Perhaps the most surreal Tu quoque on Pcf yet, bravo.
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Re: Re: Huh?

Postby Zeugma » Thu Dec 20, 2012 10:12 am

Boris Johnson wrote:
On the one hand, you hang on to a humanitarian rationale in the case of war; on the other, you reject the very notion of a human subject to begin with.
1) I don't think they contradict.
They do. You cannot have a humanitarian rationale to act thus and thus when you, in the same breath, reject the very foundation for such a rationale.

Problem is though, explaining it all takes f**k AGES.
Then shorten it. Cross-reference longer passages if needed.

Perhaps there is grounds for a normative standard, was I anywhere near to proposing that in this thread yet, as we are still stuck on the nature of the inquiry even being justified.
Just state that "such and such is the case" and then proceed from there. Leave it up to me to falsify what you propose.

2) I don't reject the notion of a human subject dingus, I reject the notion that human subject is magic and I try to avoid anthropocentric though. an issue you seem not to give a f**k about.
All you need is a point of reference for both unit and whole, individual and collective. And it's rather hard not to be anthropocentric when dealing with anthropoi (humans).

Also,
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Re: Boris Johnson's Philosophy fun-time. Part:1

Postby pricklysponge » Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:19 pm

Sorry about the delay; I got busy and then forgot about our discussion and then forgot about this website. While I do think that Hegel has some subtle lessons for our study of morality and of science, I think Zeugema is probably just f**k around. In any case, I’m going to skip over your discussion of Hume because it reads like a drunken impression of the man himself ranting on and on about sentiments, which is cool as a form of art but not as a logically structured argument :P

franz wrote: Ok, important point here. Just because, in principle (and its an important principle) everything is reducable to physics (I think it is), does not suddenly mean biology or psychology is worthless noise. Different levels of explanations can be fruitful at diffrent levels of scale and complexity.

So whilst, I think. THere in principle probably exists a physical description for the the moral phenomon of being cheated on. Down to precise structure of the ions as they move across synapses. IT doesn't mean there not an important 'higher level' moral explanation in why at least one person has a right to be pissed of at the entire situation.

What im objecting to is, bracketing off moral phenomeon and their explanation from every other phenomenon in the MEGAverse as 'magic and special' and the province merely of morals in ivory towers or religion, or what evs.

The principle however is important and makes naturalism exhaustive in explanation. See where I'm coming from a bit better there?


Alright, so I think you took my comment to be a nod towards some sort of crude reductionism, which it totally wasn’t. I agree with you that everything is [or at least looks like it probably is, in principle] reducible to physics, but I also agree that this doesn’t mean that the ‘higher’ sciences like psychology, biology, etc are useless noise. Everything may be reducible to the physical stance, but that doesn’t mean that the physical stance is all that matters. Morality may at root be explainable from physics, but much can be gained from studying morality on its own terms, or on the terms of biology, or of psychology. You get my drift. I think we have similar attitudes towards reductionism.

What I WAS trying to say was that from the very rough, very preliminary gestures you had made towards your graduate school project or whatever, you were trying to tease out some sort of moral system from a scientifically grounded inquiry; or to put it another way, it seemed like you were grafting a scientific methodology onto a study of what is right and wrong. What I was saying was that using the sort of third person, objective, descriptive methodology (a scientific methodology) of physics or biology cannot possibly have any normative import whatsoever, because a jump from a scientific study of moral phenomena to a normative set of dictates would jump the chasm between is and ought.

I should have originally used a science other than physics as my example so as not to appear to be making an argument from reductionism.

Franz wrote: Ok then, here's the basic idea.

Morality is a function (like say gravity is a function of mass), of cognitive systems (leaving open for the time being what these are necessarily realized are, we know at least bigass neural networks suffice) by which their emotional and rational structure (which is at the ground level nothing more than neural networks) impose normative constraints on behavior.

thus be attempting to analyse morality as a behavioral function of cognitive systems. We can not only explain normativity, we can also explain deviations. Within a proper naturalist framework.

Thus, not only is morality a natural phenomena, it can in principle be exhaustively explained in terms of physics (if one was pedantic enough to assemble a series of teams for thousands of years to properly flesh out the mathematical description of it, it could be done). However, we don't need to actually do it, merely to claw it back from fluffy postmodern nonsense land. Where its just a matter of reasoning smartly in bubble (which is happily in isolation from science and other rigorous collective epistemic activities of human civilization).


So yea, this all pretty reasonable. You’re interested in developing of a scientific theory of morality which takes into account the latest neuroscience. That sort of comprehensive scientific understanding of moral phenomena could be deeply enriching. I can see how this sort of thing in dialogue with contemporary philosophy of mind from the start; you sound like you’ve been reading quite a lot of Dennett.

All I can really say, is that morality certaintly can seem plenty clunky if you view it as trying to divine a list of commands from the physical facts of the world.

My approuch here is more looking at the apparent facts of moral phenomenon and trying to work back a theory of moral behavior from there. All scientific and shit.
I think thats a big problem. Even the superliberal seculatrons, still want some list of commandments dictated to them by the universe through the power of reason and reason alone.

Snore, been trying that for a while now. Doesn't work. Bored. Hey maybe Hume was onto something and we dismissed him too easily in a fit of postmodern self-congratulatory enlightenness?


I want to point out the real basis for our confusion. When you say something along the lines of “I have a theory of morality” to anyone outside of your narrow field – or even those within the field but who assume that you are using terms in a colloquial, non-technical sense because this is a dumb internet board – we are going to assume that by ‘theory of morality’ you mean ‘body of theory that ends up with some set of universal moral dictates' because that is the received view of morality.

(e.g. “yo brah i study ethics and im a neokantian. Such and such behavior is moral and such and such behavior is immoral for such and such reasons. The laws of morality dictate that people should behave in such and such manner. Blah blah blah blah”)

Simply put, that is what everybody’s conception of morality is. And that is what I took you to mean. Its clear now that that’s not what you meant.

I would agree with you, the postmodernists, and everybody else whose hasn’t been brainwashed by their university ethics department that no set of universal moral dictates exists – and that any given person’s conception of morality is the culmination of a long set of processes and interactions within and between the brain and the ‘external world’ (lets pretend that the distinction between ‘consciousness’ and ‘external world’ is clear cut just for a second for the sake of simplicity).

And I’m with you all the way through your rejection of the postmodern discourse on morality in favor for a scientifically grounded study of the moral phenomena. Science is the shit, yeah.

But just to be clear that you’re staying firmly within the scientific, third person, objective mode of analysis, and not clumsily making all sorts of normative moral claims all over the place: at the end of your inquiry, when you have completed your naturalistic study of moral phenomena, will you be able to go up to a man on the street and say “sir, you’re acting immorally. The right thing to do would be *x*?

Are you, in the last instance, in basic agreement with the postmodernists (and Marxists, I might add) - and in contradistinction with the dominant Western discourse on morality, full of Kantians and Utilitarians and these sorts of things - that when people claim this or that is immoral, they are not referring to any set of moral dictates that actually exist in any normative capacity? That theyre full of shit?
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Re: Boris Johnson's Philosophy fun-time. Part:1

Postby Revenant » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:43 pm

franz left because yet another one of his internet villages was demolished

just fyi so you're not waiting on a response
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Re: Boris Johnson's Philosophy fun-time. Part:1

Postby Gnostic » Mon Feb 18, 2013 11:46 pm

my opinion is he wasnt all that brilliant anyway.

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Re: Boris Johnson's Philosophy fun-time. Part:1

Postby pricklysponge » Tue Feb 19, 2013 12:15 pm

Ah, good to know. thanks rev
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Re: Boris Johnson's Philosophy fun-time. Part:1

Postby Revenant » Tue Feb 19, 2013 1:49 pm

Gnostic wrote:my opinion is he wasnt all that brilliant anyway.


better than you tbqh
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