• Bob Ross
    1.3k
    Without reference to the truthity of either, moral realism tends to be posited as better than anti-realism if it were true; for, in a moral realist world, there would be facts of the matter about morality that society could strive towards independently of tastes (i.e., non-facts). However, I have begun to be suspicious of the benefits of moral realism—to the point of outright claiming it is useless to the normative discussion even if it is true. Let me briefly explain why.

    There is no such thing as a moral fact, even in the case that they do exist, which is simultaneously a fundamental obligation; that is, the core principle which commits oneself to the moral facts, in the case that they exist, is necessarily a moral non-fact. This is readily seen by asking the simple and obvious question: “why is one obliged to the moral facts?”. If it is a moral fact, then one is left with a vicious circle in their logic (for it posits as true what one was supposed to be proving all along); or, if it is not a moral fact, then it must be a non-fact (as a mere tautology). If it is a non-fact (which anyone who denies circular logic must concede), then it is quite clear that the core obligation, of which no other obligation for that person could even be posited without, is a taste even if there are moral facts. Therefore, morality is always, at its core, a clash of tastes; and, as such, becomes a question of “why should one agree with such a taste?”. This is why it is self-defeating for a moral realist to posit that all tastes are not worthy of being imposed on one another (in virtue of them being merely subjective), as they have thereby cut their own head off: why ought anyone comply with their taste of abiding by the moral facts which is necessary to justify imposing any of those facts on another?

    It must be briefly noted that some would like to split values and morals into separate categories, whereof the former is subjective and the latter is objective; and, thusly, it would be countered that the obligation to the moral facts is no obligation at all but, rather, a value judgment. However, I merely note that this provides no real counter to my point; for if the moral system which one advocates is predicated on a subjective value judgment, then that judgment is more fundamental (normatively) than the moral system and, consequently, it is in even more need of justification than the moral facts within that moral system itself. Thusly, morals becomes, at its core, a clash of values.

    However, if one’s fundamental obligation is necessarily a taste, then why blindly obligate oneself to the moral facts? Why not take up that fundamental obligation and deploy the objective implications thereof? In other words, the fundamental obligation is a hypothetical imperative of which one has already committed themselves to and, thusly, why not simply obligate oneself to whatever is implied from that commitment? In the case of moral realism, if one commits themselves to the moral facts because they like the idea of fairness for all beings, then wouldn’t the most efficient means of achieving such be to obligate oneself to the best means of providing fairness irregardless of what the moral facts say? It seems as though the moral facts are rendered useless, as whatever objectively follows from one’s fundamental obligation is what matters.

    Likewise, some might argue that some tastes are biological and, it is argued, thusly objective insofar as it is not something the subject has any meaningful control over. To this I say two things: (1) this sort of view turns the traditional ‘objective morality’ talk into ‘subjective morality’ talk insofar as it is now purely about one’s tastes (which just happen to be outside of one’s “control”), and (2) this does not exempt us from the problem that our fundamental obligations are tastes (such that we cannot appeal to them being objective to answer the problem of “why we are obligated to such moral facts” without falling into circular logic).

    I thusly submit to the reader that if moral realism is true, then it is useless for deriving morals, since the best (and most rational) course of action is to figure out what one is fundamentally obligated to (which is a taste) and derive what the consequences are of holding that hypothetical imperative.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k

    My concern is that rationality itself is fundamentally ethical. In my view, there's a popular scientistic forgetting that science itself (in the broadest sense) is a 'holy war' against parochial ignorance and bias. It's the 'religion' of the horizon, of the truth to come which never arrives.

    So we enact [ presuppose ] the reality of such norms in order to question them as philosophers.



    Some quotes to give more info on what I'm getting at, which is the framework that too easily becomes transparent for us, disappearing like a screwdriver in our hand as we fix the faucet.

    According to the core principle of his pragmatic theory of meaning, “we understand a speech act when we know the kinds of reasons that a speaker could provide in order to convince a hearer that he is entitled in the given circumstances to claim validity for his utterance—in short, when we know what makes it acceptable” (1998b, 232). With this principle, Habermas ties the meaning of speech acts to the practice of reason giving: speech acts inherently involve claims that are in need of reasons—claims that are open to both criticism and justification. In our everyday speech (and in much of our action), speakers tacitly commit themselves to explaining and justifying themselves, if necessary. To understand what one is doing in making a speech act, therefore, one must have some sense of the appropriate response that would justify one's speech act, were one challenged to do so. A speech act succeeds in reaching understanding when the hearer takes up “an affirmative position” toward the claim made by the speaker (TCA 1: 95–97; 282; 297). In doing so, the hearer presumes that the claims in the speech act could be supported by good reasons (even if she has not asked for them). When the offer made by the speaker fails to receive uptake, speaker and hearer may shift reflexive levels, from ordinary speech to “discourse”—processes of argumentation and dialogue in which the claims implicit in the speech act are tested for their rational justifiability as true, correct or authentic.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/habermas/#TheComAct

    ...a participant in a genuine argument is at the same time a member of a counterfactual, ideal communication community that is in principle equally open to all speakers and that excludes all force except the force of the better argument. Any claim to intersubjectively valid knowledge (scientific or moral-practical) implicitly acknowledges this ideal communication community as a metainstitution of rational argumentation, to be its ultimate source of justification
    https://www.encyclopedia.com/humanities/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/apel-karl-otto-1922
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    My concern is that rationality itself is fundamentally ethical.

    So, then, would it be ethical for me to murder someone if I abided by the most rational course of action to achieve it?

    It seems to me that being rational can be utilized for good or evil; so it can't be fundamentally ethical.

    ...in which the claims implicit in the speech act are tested for their rational justifiability as true, correct or authentic.

    Firstly, again, one can be incredibly rational in their justification of mass genocide; but that doesn't thereby make it morally permissible.

    Secondly, "rationality" itself, I would argue, is normatively loaded; and is itself rooted, just like morals, in a taste (as its fundamentally obligation). For you cannot define what it means to be rational without importing what you fundamentally think one should be epistemically doing, which shifts the conversation back into the same normative issue I expounded in the OP with morality. For example, perhaps you think that what is rational is to be logically consistent, internally/externally coherent, to have intuitions which seem to correspond to reality, etc.: why should one be logically consistent, etc.?
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    It seems to me that being rational can be utilized for good or evil; so it can't be fundamentally ethical.Bob Ross

    I don't mean simple instrumental rationality.

    Secondly, "rationality" itself,I would argue, is normatively loaded; and is itself rooted, just like morals, in a taste (as its fundamentally obligation).Bob Ross

    Respectfully, you are appealing to rational norms as you attack them. The alternative is that your are a cynical manipulator beyond good and evil, just trolling us. I of course think you are sincerely seeking truth here.

    You seem to assume that norms are Real unless they exist like stones. If semantics is even partially explained by inferentialism, you can't even think without real norms. You'd need the reality of those norms in order to intelligibly and paradoxically deny them.

    For example, perhaps you think that what is rational is to be logically consistent, internally/externally coherent, to have intuitions which seem to correspond to reality, etc.: why should one be logically consistent, etc.?Bob Ross

    One should never be logically consistent, and yet one should always be logically consistent. I'd go farther and say that nonviolence is the most intense form of violence, and that only the honest lie. Any genuine philosophy contradicts itself continuously, confusing initiates until the chains of their superstitious attachment to an ancient misconception of rationality drop from them and they see Truth. Any statement that can be understood is apriori false. When I tell people I'm an atheist, they incorrectly assume that I don't walk with God a parsec at a time in the Filth Dimension.

    ****

    More seriously, I allow for the existential possibility of mysticism, ironism, brutish pragmatism, ..., but these positions are only consistent if they drop all pretense to be justified rationally (according to a universal norm that binds all rational participants in the ICC). In my opinion, Holden from Blood Meridean is a beautiful (exuberance is beauty?) monster who 'understands' that the 'True Logic' is War. One does not argue for this warlogic. It's transconceptual. Its premise is a loaded gun, its conclusion a scalping.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    This is readily seen by asking the simple and obvious question: “why is one obliged to the moral facts?”.Bob Ross

    This questioning itself is an expression of the autonomy norm that makes philosophy intelligible. Why should I regard @Bob Ross as more than a monkey using instrumental reason to try to get a banana ? Because philosophy is founded on a deeper, ethical rationality. I'm not as cynical about you as you seem to be.

    --Why the fuck should I live an examined life ?
    --Who says I gotta ask questions about the world ?
    --What if knowledge is not important ?

    Do we not apriori seek knowledge...justified true belief ?

    The philosopher only has leverage in the first place in terms of real norms: ego-transcending norms that apply to all philosophers as such --- not to be found like magic stones in some hidden amoral Reality behind the lifeworld.

    But the critical-rational tradition is not the only existential possibility. People can just have gods whisper in their ear and refuse to debate. They can gather armed beneath mystic symbols that blaze above them on flags. Or an ironist can embrace a gentle radical childishness.

    I write this manifesto to show that people can perform contrary actions together while taking one fresh gulp of air; I am against action; for continuous contradiction, for affirmation too, I am neither for nor against and I do not explain because I hate common sense.
    ...
    We have thrown out the cry-baby in us. Any infiltration of this kind is candied diarrhea.
    ...
    I am speaking of a paper flower for the buttonholes of the gentlemen who frequent the ball of masked life, the kitchen of grace, white cousins lithe or fat.
    https://writing.upenn.edu/library/Tzara_Dada-Manifesto_1918.pd
  • frank
    14.6k
    Without reference to the truthity of either, moral realism tends to be posited as better than anti-realism if it were true; for, in a moral realist world, there would be facts of the matter about morality that society could strive towards independently of tastes (i.e., non-facts). However, I have begun to be suspicious of the benefits of moral realism—to the point of outright claiming it is useless to the normative discussion even if it is true. Let me briefly explain why.Bob Ross

    If I could put your point in my own words:

    A moral realist says that people are dependent on external rules for guidance. There is benefit to seeing things this way because people are vile, and hard rules draw them toward something better. We should encourage people to ignore their instincts and follow the rules.

    The thing is: somebody is picking those rules. That somebody is human. How did they pick the right rules if they were born vile and have no innate sense of rightness?

    Yes, so it appears we do claim for humanity the ability to choose the right path, it's just that some people have this special talent and everybody else just needs to follow them.

    The most fundamental Christian view, like from the gospels, is that Jesus says you do have an innate knowledge of right and wrong. You have the whole of the law in your heart, since the fundamental rule is to love others as you love yourself. As Augustine said, "Love, and do as you will." In heavily mythical language, Christianity says you were not born vile. You were born innocent.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    thusly submit to the reader that if moral realism is true, then it is useless for deriving morals, since the best (and most rational) course of action is to figure out what one is fundamentally obligated to (which is a taste) and derive what the consequences are of holding that hypothetical imperative.Bob Ross

    Thank you, but I'll do what I think appropriate, regardless. Why, indeed, shouldn't I? De gustibus non est disputandum.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    De gustibus non est disputandum

    I partially disagree: most people have false beliefs about their own tastes, so moral discourse is helpful for really honing in on what one truly wants.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Frank,

    A moral realist says that people are dependent on external rules for guidance. There is benefit to seeing things this way because people are vile, and hard rules draw them toward something better. We should encourage people to ignore their instincts and follow the rules.

    The thing is: somebody is picking those rules. That somebody is human. How did they pick the right rules if they were born vile and have no innate sense of rightness?

    Yes, so it appears we do claim for humanity the ability to choose the right path, it's just that some people have this special talent and everybody else just needs to follow them.

    This is a pretty fair summary. I would add that each person is actually determining the norm insofar as they are implicitly agreeing to it, and fundamentally, in the deepest depths of their pyschology, it is a reflection of sociological and physiological factors. We try to project morality onto something other than ourselves, but, by my lights, we end up just ignoring the fact that even when there are moral facts they are useless in any of our actual decision making (other than potentially a superficial ease-of-use tool that is guided by our fundamentally obligations).

    The most fundamental Christian view, like from the gospels, is that Jesus says you do have an innate knowledge of right and wrong. You have the whole of the law in your heart, since the fundamental rule is to love others as you love yourself. As Augustine said, "Love, and do as you will." In heavily mythical language, Christianity says you were not born vile. You were born innocent.

    Interesting. I agree that Christianity does advocate that we have the moral code written on our hearts, but I just don’t buy that: what about psychopaths (at the very least)? Also, I don’t think Christianity argues that we are innocent, as most Christians believe in innate sin.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Plaque flag,

    I don't mean simple instrumental rationality.

    Then what do you mean? Can you please define “rationality” for me (in the sense that you are using it)? For me, I was referring to rationality as (something along the lines of) being closely married to reality.

    Respectfully, you are appealing to rational norms as you attack them.

    That’s fine. I am appealing to epistemic norms, fundamentally, to demonstrate how those epistemic norms are either (1) not fundamental or (2) are tastes. What is wrong with that?

    The alternative is that your are a cynical manipulator beyond good and evil, just trolling us. I of course think you are sincerely seeking truth here.

    I appreciate that you believe that I am sincere, and I can attest that I am; however, I don’t see how this is the only alternative to what you said.

    You seem to assume that norms are Real unless they exist like stones.

    Not at all. I am saying that one’s fundamental obligation is always a taste (and not objective): it is mind dependent (and more specifically will dependent).

    If semantics is even partially explained by inferentialism, you can't even think without real norms.

    Sure, I can’t think properly without norms, but why are they objective? And why would it matter if they were? My point is that it wouldn’t matter, because one’s fundamental norms are always tastes, irregardless of whether there are factual norms or not.

    You'd need the reality of those norms in order to intelligibly and paradoxically deny them.

    Yes. Norms are “real” irregardless of whether they are objective or not; but that’s not what “real” means in the metaethical debate: it means something which exists mind-independently.

    Any statement that can be understood is apriori false.

    With all due respect, I was not able to make sense of this portion of you argument—as if this statement you claimed here is true, then it thereby false (and thusly leads to a paradox). I don’t see any benefit of holding this belief, which no different, in its structure, to saying that “all statements are false”.

    This questioning itself is an expression of the autonomy norm that makes philosophy intelligible

    What autonomy norm? Are you claiming it is objective?

    Why should I regard @Bob Ross as more than a monkey using instrumental reason to try to get a banana

    I like bananas (; . On a serious note, I am not more than a “monkey” in the sense that I am an ape; but how does this tie to the OP?

    Because philosophy is founded on a deeper, ethical rationality

    So you do think rationality somehow produces objective norms, correct?

    Do we not apriori seek knowledge...justified true belief ?

    Not everyone.
  • frank
    14.6k
    I agree that Christianity does advocate that we have the moral code written on our hearts,Bob Ross

    Not a moral code. Jesus claimed the moral code is summed up by the imperative to love.

    Also, I don’t think Christianity argues that we are innocent, as most Christians believe in innate sin.Bob Ross

    Christians think they've been set free from innate sin. I'm sure neither of us wants to dissect Christianity, I was thinking more historically and culturally about whether evil is supposed to be innate in people. Western culture is diverse and complicated. There are a number of perspectives about evil that dance around one another, fusing here, at odds there. Christianity is a touchstone for the belief that you are or can be free of innate evil. The Christian figurehead also famously claimed that you aren't bound to specific rules of behavior. You can figure it out with love.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    Then what do you mean? Can you please define “rationality” for me (in the sense that you are using it)?Bob Ross

    Sure. But I already did. Maybe you missed it ? I gave a nice, long quotation above.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    That’s fine. I am appealing to epistemic norms, fundamentally, to demonstrate how those epistemic norms are either (1) not fundamental or (2) are tastes. What is wrong with that?Bob Ross

    If they aren't fundamental, your own claims about them lack leverage or 'force.' It's like going before the court to argue that argument itself is not to be trusted.

    Not at all. I am saying that one’s fundamental obligation is always a taste (and not objective): it is mind dependent (and more specifically will dependent).Bob Ross

    But the problem is the status of that claim itself. It suits you (it's pleases your taste) to believe that it's all just taste.

    I think you are imagining a kind of logic that is untainted by normativity, so that you can get logical leverage on normativity itself. But instrumental rationality can't give you this leverage. Only 'ethical' rationality (the essence of science) can do this.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    So you do think rationality somehow produces objective norms, correct?Bob Ross

    The philosopher as such can't earnestly question the reality of normativity. The mystic or the sociopath can, but they could only argue for its unreality ironically.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    Yes. Norms are “real” irregardless of whether they are objective or not; but that’s not what “real” means in the metaethical debate: it means something which exists mind-independently.Bob Ross

    Like I said, respectfully, magic stones in a hidden dimension, assumed to be cognitively inaccessible from the very beginning. It's (nonobviously) mystic talk about a round square. What does the world look like from no perspective at all ? Who hath seen it ? But we can rationally create mathematical models that we look at with working eyes.

    I think it's less confusing to talk in terms of the 'transcendence' of this or that individual person --- and not the species as a whole. I don't think humans can talk sensibly about that which by definition they can't talk sensibly about. Hence the famous criticisms of Kant's mystical X.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    Not everyone.Bob Ross

    :up:

    Not everyone, but we --- people in freeish societies -- inherit Socratic software. As discursive subjects we largely are that software.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Plaque Flag,

    Sure. But I already did. Maybe you missed it ? I gave a nice, long quotation above.

    I have not been able to penetrate into what you mean by “rationality”, as it seems to be some sort of logos, so please give me clear and concise definition (so that I can assess).

    If they aren't fundamental, your own claims about them lack leverage or 'force.' It's like going before the court to argue that argument itself is not to be trusted.

    I never said that they aren’t fundamental nor that they cannot be trusted: I said that they are tastes. Some tastes are better for acquiring truth and some are better for survival.

    But the problem is the status of that claim itself. It suits you (it's pleases your taste) to believe that it's all just taste

    In the underlined sentence, please expound what is incoherent or logically inconsistent with it—as I am not seeing it. You are absolutely correct that I am saying that we use norms as the bedrock to what we do, which includes epistemology, and that, yes, my assessment of norms is contingent on what norms I used to assess them: I don’t see any logical contradiction nor internal/external incoherency with that position. If you disagree, then please elaborate on where the contradiction or incoherence is.

    I think you are imagining a kind of logic that is untainted by normativity

    No. I am agreeing that the use of logical principles is contingent on one’s tastes; but I am not saying that those tastes are untrustworthy (in virtue of being tastes) nor that they are not fundamental (to one’s derivations of reasoning).

    so that you can get logical leverage on normativity itself

    You can assess normativity, as a concept, while using normativity as a necessary but incomplete analysis: what is wrong with that? This is no different than analyzing ‘being’ as ‘substance’.

    Just because one must use norms to perform logic does make those norms objective.

    Only 'ethical' rationality (the essence of science) can do this.

    How does science give us a viewpoint of normativity beyond that normativity? I don’t think it does.

    The philosopher as such can't earnestly question the reality of normativity.

    Anyone can question the reality, in the sense of being mind-independent, of normativity; they just can’t question normativity (independent of consideration of its mind dependence/independence). With all due respect, I think you are confusing the analysis of normativity in general with its objectivity (or lack thereof).

    Like I said, respectfully, magic stones in a hidden dimension, assumed to be cognitively inaccessible from the very beginning

    I’ve already clarified this, so I am confused why you are still straw manning moral realism: the idea is that there are true mind-independent moral judgments, which do not necessarily have to be tangible.

    It's (nonobviously) mystic talk about a round square.

    Then demonstrate to me the incoherence (just like the “round square”, which is an incoherence in terms) of talking of mind-independent moral judgments.

    What does the world look like from no perspective at all ?

    Just because no one has directly come to know the world-in-itself does not imply that mind-independent morals, just like objects, are incoherent like a “round square”.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Frank,

    I'm sure neither of us wants to dissect Christianity

    I am more than happy to discuss Christianity if you find it relevant to the OP: can you tie it back to the OP so I understand where we are headed with this?
  • frank
    14.6k
    I am more than happy to discuss Christianity if you find it relevant to the OP: can you tie it back to the OP so I understand where we are headed with this?Bob Ross

    I think your point is that moral realism is associated with a conundrum: it assumes that we don't know right from wrong innately, so we need an external set of rules. But how do we know which rules to embrace if we're morally vacuous to begin with?

    I was looking at the cultural roots of the conundrum, as opposed to trying to resolve it. I don't think it has a resolution. :razz:
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    I have not been able to penetrate into what you mean by “rationality”, as it seems to be some sort of logos, so please give me clear and concise definition (so that I can assess).Bob Ross

    ...a participant in a genuine argument is at the same time a member of a counterfactual, ideal communication community that is in principle equally open to all speakers and that excludes all force except the force of the better argument. Any claim to intersubjectively valid knowledge (scientific or moral-practical) implicitly acknowledges this ideal communication community as a metainstitution of rational argumentation, to be its ultimate source of justification

    It's not so unlike a demystified version of logos in the sense that science and philosophy dialectically and autonomously determine / reveal / establish / revise the conceptual aspect of our shared reality.
  • schopenhauer1
    10.1k

    I'd like to answer this from a different angle. By our very birth, there is something presupposed with existence. There are forces beyond what we would ask for. There is a "thrownness" to the world. We cannot get out of the structures that are in place, and that we, de facto, can never ask for. Our narrative was written for us. For we can never get out of our physical, cultural, and social choices that were already laid out for us. Every birth is a political move. This world is supposed to mean something. Otherwise, why would you bring more people into it? Can you imagine if people brought people into a world and thought it a useless endeavor?
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    I am saying that we use norms as the bedrock to what we do, which includes epistemology, and that, yes, my assessment of norms is contingent on what norms I used to assess them: I don’t see any logical contradiction nor internal/external incoherency with that position.Bob Ross
    I think that there is a way to do radical relativism without contradiction, but it requires irony and disclaimers.

    If it's only a private logic in which you prove the unreality of norms, your 'conclusion' is a personal 'superstition,' an opinion that doesn't aspire to any 'justification' beyond effective sophistry. The rational community is founded on (is structure by) communication norms. Claims are justified within a 'public' logic which members, as members, take for granted willingly [ autonomy ] as an authority.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    I’ve already clarified this, so I am confused why you are still straw manning moral realism: the idea is that there are true mind-independent moral judgments, which do not necessarily have to be tangible.Bob Ross

    To me, respectfully, it looks like your own biased understanding of what is real is the problem. A 'mind-independent judgment' sounds like a judge-independent judgment --- indeed an absurdity. Hence my half-joke about your demand for magic stones in another dimension.

    The same style of argument reveals 'mind-independent reality' to be absurd in the same way, since the world, so far as we know from experience, is only given to subjects [who are themselves within this same world that is given to them, a strange loop.]

    Looks look at a standard definition :

    Taken at face value, the claim that Nigel has a moral obligation to keep his promise, like the claim that Nyx is a black cat, purports to report a fact and is true if things are as the claim purports. Moral realists are those who think that, in these respects, things should be taken at face value—moral claims do purport to report facts and are true if they get the facts right.
    ...
    While moral realists are united in their cognitivism and in their rejection of error theories, they disagree among themselves not only about which moral claims are actually true but about what it is about the world that makes those claims true.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/

    Notice the lack of mention of mind-independence.
  • plaque flag
    2.7k
    Just because one must use norms to perform logic does make those norms objective.Bob Ross

    The point is just that those logical norms themselves must be real in order for you to appeal to them as authoritative, therefore making your own conclusions significant . They [these norms] are something like the essence or sine qua non of science /philosophy.
  • Ciceronianus
    3k
    I partially disagree: most people have false beliefs about their own tastes, so moral discourse is helpful for really honing in on what one truly wants.Bob Ross

    I take it you don't mean what one should want. If that's the case, though, I'm not sure how helpful "moral discourse" would be.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k

    Hello Frank,

    I think your point is that moral realism is associated with a conundrum: it assumes that we don't know right from wrong innately, so we need an external set of rules. But how do we know which rules to embrace if we're morally vacuous to begin with?

    This is also a good point, but not the point I am trying to make. Instead of questioning how reliably a person could obtain knowledge of the moral facts, I am questioning why anyone should care about the moral facts (regardless of how easy or difficult it is to know).

    I was looking at the cultural roots of the conundrum, as opposed to trying to resolve it. I don't think it has a resolution. :razz:

    I see!
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Plaque Flag,

    I have not been able to penetrate into what you mean by “rationality”, as it seems to be some sort of logos, so please give me clear and concise definition (so that I can assess). — Bob Ross

    ...a participant in a genuine argument is at the same time a member of a counterfactual, ideal communication community that is in principle equally open to all speakers and that excludes all force except the force of the better argument. Any claim to intersubjectively valid knowledge (scientific or moral-practical) implicitly acknowledges this ideal communication community as a metainstitution of rational argumentation, to be its ultimate source of justification

    It's not so unlike a demystified version of logos in the sense that science and philosophy dialectically and autonomously determine / reveal / establish / revise the conceptual aspect of our shared reality.

    You didn’t provide a definition of “rationality” here. The paragraph you shared uses the term without defining it. So let me ask again: what do you mean by the term “rationality”? Saying there is an “ideal communication community” that is a “metainstitution of rational argumentation” tells me nothing of what you mean by the term “rational” itself.

    If it's only a private logic in which you prove the unreality of norms, your 'conclusion' is a personal 'superstition,'

    It’s not private logic: logic is logic. I am not saying that we make up the laws of logic, I am saying that what one uses to determine that there are laws of logic is subjective. You seem to be under the impression that using hypothetical norms as one’s fundamental obligations results in everything becoming subjective, which is not true.

    an opinion that doesn't aspire to any 'justification' beyond effective sophistry.

    It’s about conversing to ‘convince’ people of one’s position (and not to scam them or maliciously argue with them), where by ‘convince’ I mean get the person to see that they themselves already agree with it in the depths of their psychology. Most people share the same fundamental obligations or very similar ones without necessarily realizing it.
    The rational community is founded on (is structure by) communication norms

    I don’t agree with that one bit, but, then again, I still don’t know what you mean by ‘rational’. For me, I mean, for simplicity’s sake, “being closely married with reality” (which entails using normative principles that are better suited for that). So, for me, rationality has absolutely not dependence on a community; however, it may be more rational to collaborate—but that “rationality” qualification there is just that one is “being closely married with reality to achieve their goals”. This is why I said a psychopath can be very rational, but nevertheless really unethical.

    Claims are justified within a 'public' logic which members, as members, take for granted willingly [ autonomy ] as an authority.

    This reminds me of Nietzschien ethics.
    A 'mind-independent judgment' sounds like a judge-independent judgment --- indeed an absurdity

    Just like how there can be laws without an author, I find no reason to believe that there cannot be a law (judgment) of morals without a judge (author).
    The same style of argument reveals 'mind-independent reality' to be absurd in the same way, since the world, so far as we know from experience, is only given to subjects [who are themselves within this same world that is given to them, a strange loop.]

    I disagree. Just because everything we gather about the world is via the filter of our minds, does not in any way entail that the world itself is mind-dependent. As a matter of fact, there must be something which is mind-independent, even in the case that the world is fundamentally mind-dependent (in the sense of what eternally exists is a Universal Mind), for the brute fact (or facts) of reality would be necessarily mind-independent.
    Taken at face value, the claim that Nigel has a moral obligation to keep his promise, like the claim that Nyx is a black cat, purports to report a fact and is true if things are as the claim purports. Moral realists are those who think that, in these respects, things should be taken at face value—moral claims do purport to report facts and are true if they get the facts right.
    ...
    While moral realists are united in their cognitivism and in their rejection of error theories, they disagree among themselves not only about which moral claims are actually true but about what it is about the world that makes those claims true.
    https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/moral-realism/

    Notice the lack of mention of mind-independence.
    Facticity is mind-independent existence. Moral realism is the idea that there are objective moral judgments, according to standard definitions, like the one you quoted, whereof ‘objective’ is mind-independent (sometimes called stance-independent) existence. Another simple reference is Wiki:

    Moral realism (also ethical realism) is the position that ethical sentences express propositions that refer to objective features of the world (that is, features independent of subjective opinion)

    Irregardless of definitions, it wouldn’t make sense to say something is objective if it is dependent on one’s mind, for that is exactly what subjectivity means. What is real is that which is mind-independent, which includes mind operations insofar as the operations it is true that those operations occurred independent of any mind current operations; that is, in other words, that something contingent on a will, being itself subjective, is objective insofar as it is a fact that it happened (and no one can change that): it is a part of existence, which is mind-independent itself.

    The point is just that those logical norms themselves must be real in order for you to appeal to them as authoritative, therefore making your own conclusions significant
    I don’t think this is true: this presupposes that what is objective is only worthy of any moral force, which just begs the question (as I am literally arguing against that). I am saying that subjective norms are significant, and that objective norms are the insignificant ones (truly).
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Schopenhauer1,

    For we can never get out of our physical, cultural, and social choices that were already laid out for us. Every birth is a political move. This world is supposed to mean something. Otherwise, why would you bring more people into it? Can you imagine if people brought people into a world and thought it a useless endeavor?

    I guess I am just not following how this ties to the OP, as I would say that the meaning that actually matters is one’s fundamental obligations (which are tastes), and that is why people are begotten by other people. Are you claiming that it requires an objective meaning to actually matter?
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Ciceronianus,

    I take it you don't mean what one should want. If that's the case, though, I'm not sure how helpful "moral discourse" would be.

    In the sense that I cannot say they are objectively wrong for what they want, or even if I can appeal to a moral fact it would be useless, you are correct; but I don’t find anything talking in terms of “you should want...” because it is a colloquial expression of trying to convince somehow either (1) of what one suspects they will agree with given proper contemplation or (2) something that one believes is worthy of imposement on the other. Sometimes people argue that moral anti-realism, and positions similar to what I argued for in the OP, explode into #2; but I find that #1 is still largely intact, as most people agree on fundamental obligations (they just don’t agree on how to achieve it) (and of course there are exceptions).
  • plaque flag
    2.7k

    I think a simpler example is that, in the US, we drive on the right. This norm is physically manifested everywhere.

    The latest stochastic parrots find word-order norms in the internet. Such norms are so prevalent and readable that we can hardly tell these parrots from human beings.
  • Bob Ross
    1.3k


    Hello Plaque Flag,

    In order to further the conversation, I would appreciate it if you could define (generally) what you mean by "rationality"; because your position seems to be that what is rational is ethical. So far you still have not provided a definition but, instead, are providing examples of rational discourse--but that just begs the question!

    To reciprocate what I am asking of you, here is my definition of rationality: "to be, in all matters of assessment, closely married to reality to the best of one's ability, and, consequently, to deploy principles which best achieve such". That which irrational, is that which, in matters of assessment, deviate from what reasonably gathered about reality. Of course, what one thinks is is reasonably gathered about reality is dependent on one's core epistemic principles (so there is a subjective aspect to it in that sense), but the epistemic principles that are best suited for being closely married to reality is certainly objective. Rationality, put another way, is to commit oneself to the hypothetical imperative of being as closely married to reality as possible. Now, what is your definition?
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