Comments

  • The Breadth of the Moral Sphere

    If you've no desire to speak to me, about this or in general, then tell me. It wastes both our time if you're just humouring me for the sake of it.

    You are the one who introduced that term, hence my point.Leontiskos

    I did not.

    And my point was that you should provide an example, even though that example does not need to adhere to the financial parallel you have tried to set up.Leontiskos

    It didn't appear you wanted to continue with the point I was making so I dropped it.

    The OP asks you to spell out the difference between a moral principle and a non-moral principle. The contention is that you will not be able to do this, and because of this your moral theory will fail.Leontiskos

    I agree with you that Western conceptualisations of morality are confused and often incoherent. In my view, it's because the word "morality" has too many meanings and refers to similar but distinct concepts. It's impossible to clearly delineate the boundaries of morality because it's not a singular concept and it's too difficult to distinguish between the concepts contained under the word's umbrella.

    I have my own personal moral framework and I can try to separate the concepts privately but these efforts do not and will not properly explain "morality" as a shared idea. My efforts reflect my worldview and ideas, much like your OP just reflects yours.

    It isn't necessary that we distinguish between moral principles and non-moral principles to be able to use principles to determine right from wrong. If you ask the average person to define their moral framework, they'd first have to stop and think about what it is, and no matter how long you waited they still wouldn't be able to give you a proper answer.

    If they could give you a proper answer, I'd be deeply sceptical of their answer. A significant part of how we determine "right" and "wrong" - or just what makes up part of what we refer to as "morality" are nature and nurture influences that we don't personally understand.

    A person may find incest revolting and immoral, but is it because it's evolutionarily beneficial to find incest disgusting and it's now part of their nature or is it because of their moral principles? In my thread about the coercive nature of morality, I talked about our need to create valid arguments to justify our unreasonable feelings. "Incest, eww" is not a valid argument for why incest is wrong - even if that's one's real reason for despising it. There's an incentive to come up with a logical, well-reasoned argument even though it's bullshit. Which further complicates explaining what morality is. There are too many social and political influences at play. We can't tell what's real or just convenient - too much "fake data", if you like.

    TLDR is that I don't have a moral theory that conveniently explains everything, I've decided that the word is a mess and that no such theory or explanation exists.
  • The Breadth of the Moral Sphere

    To say that a moral decision is based on what is moral or immoral is tautological, and does not tell us anythingLeontiskos

    I have no clue what a "moral decision" is supposed to be, it's a term you brought up but isn't defined in the OP. I explained my assumption so it can be corrected.

    No, that is not even necessary, for I take it that the example is so disanalogous that even a decision which is non-moral simpliciter would suffice.Leontiskos

    Suit yourself.

    I would suggest sticking with Thesis 1 and leaving Thesis 2 to the side for the time being.Leontiskos

    Some questions
    1) Are some "acts" subjective in their nature?

    I'm particularly interested in what constitutes an act and their subjectivity. For example, if I'm rude towards someone, would that count as "acting rudely"?

    2) Is It the acts that are Moral/Immoral?

    In many doctrines of morality, it's not acts that are moral or immoral, it's their consequence. Common principles such as "do no harm" requires us to interpret whether an act caused harm. Meaning, there is no category of moral/immoral acts for acts to belong to. What is your position?

    3) What's the Point of Thesis 1?

    The common view is that some acts are moral, such as giving a starving man food or committing murder, and some acts are non-moral, such as taking one’s dog for a walk.Leontiskos

    At least in the West, this is not the common view, Western morality is centered around moral principles, not acts. Taking one's dog for a walk could be deeply immoral if it meant you were leaving a baby home alone. Feeding one's dog could be immoral if you were making the dog fat and causing it to suffer, etc.

    Morality, in all its forms across history has always meant to be overriding of all other concerns or considerations, this is the norm, and it's not just acts. You can only defend your actions against moral criticism with moral justification. This was a topic I even made a thread on when I claimed "Morality was Coercive".

    We don't consider acts moral/immoral, we consider principles moral/immoral and acts with no relevance to any moral principles are non-moral. Is that not your experience as well? I suppose I'm questioning whether the problem this thread aims to solve are real.
  • The Breadth of the Moral Sphere

    The question at hand is whether your analogy is apt. Perhaps you should attempt to give an example of a non-moral decision.Leontiskos

    By "non-moral decision", I take you to mean the parallel of a "non-financial decision" to buy a phone, so, a "non-moral decision" which leads to a "moral judgement" being made. If we say that a "moral decision" is one based on what is right and wrong, moral or immoral, then a non-moral decision doesn't do that.

    This is very common, and I'd argue normal in the context of morality, we don't start off believing something is "right" or "wrong", we start off with a non-moral motivation. It's interesting to look back in history and see how many of our customs developed. A simple example would be hygienic practices. A society can contain moral judgements about washing hands, bathing and so on which develop to stop the spread of diseases etc. I'm sure you need no help to think of other examples besides hygienic practices, as many of our moral ideas started this way. Is that a satisfactory answer?
  • The Breadth of the Moral Sphere

    The question is then whether one can say that, "My decision was instead motivated by non-moral factors," which according to the OP would entail that it involves no non-hypothetical ought-judgment.Leontiskos

    If we agree that indeed, wanting to buy a phone for non-financial reasons may lead to the financial decision of buying a phone, then we can apply that to "moral judgements" defined in the OP. "Moral judgements" are non-hypothetical ought-judgements, and would parallel with the financial decision of buying a phone. If we non-financial motivations can lead to a financial decision, can't non-moral motivations lead to us making a "moral judgement"?
  • The Breadth of the Moral Sphere

    I don't understand the merit of your argument. There is the potential for someone to interpret any act as right-or-wrong with the right context, but why use that to create a category? Acts and things should not gain as intrinsic characteristics the possible ways that people can interpret them.

    The term "moral act" gives us one bit of information about the act, and that is that the act is "moral", and you should need to justify this. There's no communication benefit and the act, in fact, may have as its only connection to anything moral be the "susceptibility" to being interpreted as such. You could see the absurdity if I proposed that all acts are "sexual acts" because "they may potentially arouse", or that all objects are "small objects" because "we may see them that way when viewing them from afar". It's a misleading way to categorise things.

    If the thesis is rephrased to "all acts have the susceptibility to being interpreted as being right-or-wrong", would that work? If so, then I agree with the thesis. Almost anything can be interpreted as being right-or-wrong.

    There are different motivations for writing this thread, but one of the primary motivations is to address a common claim. The claim is something like, “You should behave in such-and-such a way, but this has nothing to do with morality.” Our culture is filled with non-hypothetical ought-claims that masquerade as non-moral claims, and this seems to be nothing more than a mendacious technique for controlling other peopleLeontiskos

    If I say someone "should" do X but not for a moral reason, then I must believe it's for some other kind of reason. If one could argue X be done for a moral reason, or if X is susceptible to moral reasoning or if moral reasoning could be applicable to X, so what?

    Say I've got the option to buy a new phone to replace my old one, but don't wish to, and claim "It's not due to financial reasons". Though the act of buying a phone is clearly related to my finances and would be a financial decision, I'd have meant that my decision was motivated instead by other factors. Would you consider my claim reasonable?

    You could have knowledge that leads you to doubt my sincerity or believe my financial circumstances could be playing a role in my decision-making even if I claim otherwise. I'm almost always deeply suspicious when it comes to morality, that people do not say what they mean or mean what they say and instead have hidden agendas. Suspicion is one thing, but you seem to be going somewhere with the notion that acts are moral acts, that all "ought's or discussion of acts are the subject matter that lies within "breadth of the moral sphere". Buying a phone falls into the "sphere" of my personal finances, but I can still choose to buy a phone or not for reasons that fall outside of the sphere of their personal finances. And similarly think others should do X or Y for reasons that fall outside the sphere of "morality".

    Even despite the "breadth of the financial sphere", being grounded, set by hard rules and easily understandable as part of our daily lives, it'd still just be a single sphere. As decisions or acts can lie within many such spheres, it is possible, and happens everyday that decisions are made about matters which fall within this sphere and yet are motivated by matters that do not. "I don't buy a car because I can't drive, it has nothing to do with money", for example, seems reasonable to me.

    To allow you the opportunity to clarify yourself, I ask you, what's your purpose in defining the "breadth" of the "moral sphere"?
  • What is 'Right' or 'Wrong' in the Politics of Morality and Ideas of Political Correctness?

    I admit that I use the term PC with some ambiguity but it is such an area ot ambiguity in itself.Jack Cummins

    I'm not sure that it is ambiguous at all, why do you think so?

    Terms like "virtue signalling" better describe what you're talking about. Pomposity, self-importance and a desire for attention drive the holier-than-thou attitude and the lecturing of others. For political convenience, PC is portrayed with these negative stereotypes, however, it's not entirely unjustified, and most would agree that PC & virtue signalling do make for a common pairing.

    That is why I saw it as a political statement or absurd logic. It reminded me of how, when I couldn't finish my dinner at school, I got told off on the basis that people were starving in Africa. If anything, it may come down to illogical moral connections.Jack Cummins

    Right, there is a lack of logic, but also a lack of interest, I seriously doubt the person telling you off cares about the "starving children of Africa" or even knows much about Africa at all. The concern is superficial, and only serves to gain some kind of moral high ground. The real motivation being far closer to home, whether that's to gain status, purpose, or the authority to tell others off or order them around. This is "virtue signalling", though other terms may apply better for the context.

    Going back to music and 'offending', I remember how there were some objections to the the song by Thicke, 'Blurred Lines', on the basis of the video showing Pharrell Williams with a goat. Apparently, Pharrell was surprised by the way some saw the video as sexistJack Cummins

    You've touched on an important issue with PC, which is that there's so much that's subject to interpretation. Can we tell whether offence taken at piece of music is legitimate or unreasonable? I wonder whether the majority were troubled by this kind of video, or was it just a very loud minority with their own agendas? Social media & technology act like an ever more powerful microphone for those who want to be heard, but the silent majority remain quiet as ever.

    I think there are lines we don't want crossed, but we always focus on the controversy, and not the obvious. If we only focus on the controversial cases of PC, it can appear highly unreasonable. Aren't there any types of lines you don't want crossed? Content you consider homophobic, sexist, racist and other unpleasant and other ideas the world is better off without?

    Yes, it's subjective, but philosophers focus too much on right and wrong without understanding that morality generally relies on majority support. The weirdos who go too far are too few to create a meaningful difference. If there's a substantial party that feels something is harmful or offensive, it may be worthwhile to listen.
  • What is 'Right' or 'Wrong' in the Politics of Morality and Ideas of Political Correctness?

    She said that as it is a charity supporting children, they will not stock CDs, in case there has been any exploitation of children in the making of the music'.Jack Cummins

    That isn't PC, and while the method may be misguided, the intention would be to discourage the exploitation of children. The goal is to prevent exploitation, not offence, which is what is meant by "political correctness".

    It made me think of the previous movement of the 'moral right', as represented by Mary Whitehouse, which argued against pornography and art forms which showed forms of violence. It is based on forms of moral absolutism and what is acceptable being enshrined as 'moral law'.Jack Cummins

    You're using the term as if "PC" is a term that literally refers to people going overboard or being ridiculous with moral intentions. It seems like you've just taken the word "political" from PC and ran wild with it, as though laws are relevant to PC because they're political? Moral absolutism and PC are like opposites.

    Also, what is 'right' or 'wrong' about political correctness, and how far should such correctness go in outlawing what may some may regard as being 'offensive'?Jack Cummins

    In my view, there is nothing inherently wrong with political correctness, and as with most things, there are both agreeable and disagreeable examples of it.

    Perhaps the main issue with PC is its complexity. Morality ought to trump all else in priority, and that complicates many smaller moral issues, including PC, but also the example of the CDs you brought up.

    It's an exceedingly minor good to refuse to hold any CDs in your store, and when the good is so small, at some point, it's impractical for it to remain a moral imperative. Instead becoming unreasonable and absurd. What about all of the good things about CDs? That should be taken into account as well.

    Most don't wish to offend, and will comply with an easily fulfillable request, but PC is infamous for the inconvenient, impractical and unreasonable demands made in order to avoid offending. The difficulty of the request ups the requirements for its necessity, and that's something some people don't seem to get. It really bothers that something like convenience could trump a moral issue, but if the moral good is miniscule and the inconvenience is significant, then yeah, it actually does.
  • Is there a need to have a unified language in philosophy?

    I think it impossible to have a "unified" language where terms are fixed in meaning. Even if it were possible, I would be against it. Achieving fixed meaning with strict definitions seems obvious and simple but meaning is also created through context, connotations, intention and a litany of other factors. I don't know how language would function otherwise, and philosophers should be especially defiant. "What does it mean to be free?" or "What is freedom?" would be questions muted by a "unified" language that dictated the singular meaning of freedom.

    It would reduce misunderstandings to give the term "freedom" a singular meaning, but few would or should accept a singular meaning. To discuss the meaning of "freedom" and other concepts is a core, important part of philosophy, and the development over time of its meaning is the reward earned by such debate.

    A precise term should mean little more than that its truth conditions were fulfilled. If a shape is a "triangle" then that shape has the features of a triangle, it has three sides, three angles. Philosophical terms aren't like that, for something to be "beautiful", it must be beautiful, yet the truth conditions are personal and contextual. It's preferable to allow speakers to express their own ideas using the common word, trillions of nuances referred to with just one word, very efficient, there's no agreeable alternative.

    In my view, commonness of misinterpretation in philosophy is due to the lack of context when exploring or referring to concepts. If I'm talking about "fairness" in the context of elections, one would be able to use the context of "elections" to gain a good sense of the type of "fairness" I was talking about. Same deal if I was talking about "beauty" in the context of a discussion about dog breeds. Philosophers do bullshit like "discuss the essence of beauty" and that's what makes interpreting their meaning accurately impossible. Without the context that language so heavily relies on, misinterpretations are unavoidable.
  • The Dynamics of Persuasion

    What terrifies you may not terrify me. The difference is not in the sight, but in he who beholds it. The question is not "why is that sight terrifying", but "why are you terrified it"?NOS4A2

    Sure, but that wasn't my question. The point is that nobody is claiming that the "sight" is the "agent of fear" capable of instilling fear into the viewer of the sight.

    Why not just apply what you've said here to words on a page? "What inspires you may not inspire me. The difference is not in the words, but in he who reads them. The question is not 'why are these words inspiring', but 'why are you inspired by them'?"

    The answer ought to be personal because you are responsible for being terrified of it.NOS4A2

    One thing at a time, I'm dealing with this "magical" element you keep referring to. If you agree that there's nothing magical about sights terrifying or words inspiring, then we can move onto your next point.
  • The Dynamics of Persuasion

    The question is who or what inspires him. Your own suggestion puts words as the agent of inspiration, capable of animating the reader. That's magical thinking. It's sorcery. The point is to try and avoid magical thinking, to describe the interaction literally and accurately.NOS4A2

    To give some other examples "That sight terrifies me" - Are we saying the sight is responsible for terrifying me, and I'm just the thing "being terrified"? "This fantastic weather makes me want to go surfing" - Is the weather manipulating/influencing me to go surfing? Like I have no say in the matter? Genuine questions, your arguments are that foolish.
  • The Dynamics of Persuasion

    You remain so self-assured while every response has been so disparaging of your views... Free thinker? Or just as stubborn as a goat?

    But refusing to use them is difficult, only possible through a sheer act of willNOS4A2

    I'll be impressed if you manage to convince even a single person that they should try to avoid using verbs that don't refer to a literal act. This is basic English you're arguing against.

    The words on a page become a subject, while the reader is relegated to the status of a passive object.NOS4A2

    "The reader is relegated to the status of a passive object", language isn't that impractical. For words to inspire, clearly, the reader needs to be inspired, it's a pre-requisite.

    So no, an orator cannot incite a crowd to violence and create a violent situation with words.NOS4A2

    How impractical and obtuse. To incite a crowd to violence requires the crowd to be incited, indeed, if you refuse to be incited then the orator cannot incite you. To be an accomplice in my crime, you need to agree to assist me.

    If an orator incites you to violence, and you are incited and act violently, then you were incited. Yes, you acted of your own free will, but you were still incited, because that's English. Is your only criticism a concern that people are being treated like passive objects?
  • The Dynamics of Persuasion

    Causality doesn't apply well to human thought. As you've pointed out, humans are different from one another. An event's effect on people's thinking isn't consistent.

    Other events can effect, influence or inspire people, such as music, art, a tragic loss or war, and the impact will also differ by person. A person's upbringing "influences" them by shaping who they become, one's experiences "influence" them by shaping who they are and how they see the world.

    Words don't cause influence, they don't cause inspiration, but people can be inspired or influenced by words. If you consider another's argument, and choose to agree with it, you've still been influenced by them and their argument. Your perspective has changed in a way that mightn't have happened without that person to give that argument.

    Even if you're the one to decide, if all words did were force you to make a decision, that would be a substantial influence on you. If all words did was introduce you to a new idea or presented a new way of thinking about an old idea, that could possibly lead to you changing your mind.

    If one is just pragmatic, and leaves arbitrary bullshit at the door, can an effective orator incite a crowd to violence and create a violent situation which wouldn't have otherwise occurred? Yes. Should we make it illegal to incite violence to prevent such situations? Yes.
    Easy, there's nothing else to say.
  • About definitions and the use of dictionaries in Philosophy
    You are referring to a kind of "constant" use of definitions in a discussion, writing or speech. And your points make sense.Alkis Piskas

    Not necessarily.

    However, I have talked about basic, key terms in a duscussion.Alkis Piskas

    Yeah, I'm not referring to defining terms pointlessly either,

    And that one must know what the person who is using them means with them, when this is obviously not evident.Alkis Piskas

    If miscommunication is "obviously evident" then something action needs to be taken to address this, that's self-evident. I am just saying that my preferred solution is to phrase oneself differently and abandon the term causing confusion. Alternatively, if it's appropriate, and for key terms it often is, then make the term's meaning the core of the debate.

    You can well define "capitalism" as "People selling stuff for money", if this is what capitalism means to you. If you get cricised for it, that would be a mistake.Alkis Piskas

    I can't agree with that. One can't let others define terms however they want. There are many reasons for this, but to focus on the most important one, "truth" only requires a single validation. "It's true that capitalism isn't causing wealth inequality" because capitalism is just "selling stuff for money". You can only dispute that claim by challenging the way capitalism was defined. Then the discussion becomes about "What is capitalism".

    Words and terms are public, they're shared, and while they are also used for personal expression, that doesn't mean there's no right or wrong of what words refer to.

    The individual who thinks capitalism = people selling stuff for money should be forced to make a choice. Reach an agreement that "People selling stuff for money" doesn't necessarily cause wealth inequality, or be forced to defend the notion that capitalism = "People selling stuff for money".

    There are times when I'll allow another to use a term in a way I don't agree with, but that stops once they start concluding from how they've defined their terms.

    It's absolutely imperative that we use terms at least somewhat similarly, for the sake of logic, truth and our conclusions. An argument or line of logic can be true or false depending on how the terms within those arguments are understood. Preserving this is far more important than avoiding miscommunication by allowing people to define terms however they want. I'm confident in my doubt that you practice what you preach here, you're too smart for it.

    When one looks for the essence of something, its description is always simple.Alkis Piskas

    I'll just say that I disagree, for me, the generic doesn't trump the specific. Philosophy searches for "the essence" because it's big-picture, so there's no alternative, this is a nasty flaw of philosophy, not something to be celebrated or promoted.
  • About definitions and the use of dictionaries in Philosophy
    Well, what about givind a definition the meaning of a term --maybe in obe's own words or with some modifications-- without mentioning the dictionary?Alkis Piskas

    The act of defining one's terms will perhaps be criticised, it depends on the term, how it's being defined, the reasoning behind it and the people involved. Let's say I defined capitalism as "People selling stuff for money". Most wouldn't accept or allow that. It'd just seem like I'm redefining out of ignorance.

    If I defined "sensation" to be synonymous with feeling, that might not sit right with many as well, as they'd view my definition as being simply incorrect.

    For my part, I rarely accept others' defining terms however they want, there needs to be a good argument for it. It depends though. If the term is important to the discussion or not.

    Therefore, isn't the fact of bringing up a dictionary of secondary importance?Alkis Piskas

    If alternatively rather than defining capitalism as I did previously, I wrote a paragraph or two describing it, would that still qualify as a definition? A problem with most definitions is that they're overly simplistic and there's no argument for them. A dictionary is just the worst because the definition is a few short words or a sentence with no argument attached.

    Definitions are sometimes used in complex situations to "get back to basics' or simplify/resolve a situation, and that can be an inappropriate response. It's important not to assume that a disagreement is a miscommunication or ignorance about a word. The disagreement could be philosophical and those differing views represent themselves in the differences in how each party understands a word.

    Negative reactions to defining a term are likely to do with the circumstances, attitude and manner in which a word was defined. What giving the definition aimed to do and it was expected to be received. As opposed to people just despising attempts at clarity. Philosophy will generally only be participated in by a proficient speaker of the language the discussion is using. It's not unreasonable to expect or assume that others wouldn't require one to define terms.

    Nonetheless, a gigantic topic with examples and counterexamples in every direction. there's no simple conclusion.

    One last point I'd mention is that the giving of definitions, in my experience, leads to tangents in discussions. If you stop me now and ask "Okay, but how are you defining "definitions"? I"m noticing some differences in how we use the term". Instead of bringing clarity, because this mightn't be an easy issue to resolve, it could take up much more focus than intended. The topic of the discussion may just become "What is a definition" instead of what we had been discussing originally. Hence I hesitate to give or request definitions. In such cases, the better approach might be to cease using that word.

    Most won't let others define words however they want, which is fair, words are public and personal. It may sometimes be wiser to just literally write the definition instead of the word. Alternatively, create a new term and then you're free to define it however you want. If I think definitions are necessarily short, and you think they can be any length, I could try to say "short-definitions" aren't helpful but "long-definitions" are okay. Though some wouldn't even accept that.
  • About definitions and the use of dictionaries in Philosophy

    How did they get to know about the meaning of words and esp. terms and even more esp. of abstract ideas (concepts) in the first place?Alkis Piskas

    A definition is a good first step to understanding a word, but that doesn't make it authoritative or necessary to go back to.

    2) How can they expect to communicate effectively with others if they don't know the standard, common, agreed upon definitions/meanings of termsAlkis Piskas

    Language precedes dictionaries, one learns by hearing how a word is used. Word use defines the standard, common, agreed-upon meaning of terms, not dictionaries, which merely attempt to record those meanings.

    Words, especially in philosophy, are far too important to hand over to anyone. One has to come to understand them on their terms. The majority of philosophical debates are about words, their meaning, and how they should be applied. To pull out a dictionary in such a case be harshly criticised.

    Therefore, we can't just use the term "sensation" or "feeling" without specifying what we exactly we mean by that. Isn't that right?Alkis Piskas

    I'm afraid I have to disagree. In everyday speech, we use context to understand words, rather than relying on definitions. Of course, miscommunication is unavoidable, and because of that, any set of rules will provide us with examples of miscommunication.

    In my opinion, the reason discussions in philosophy in particular are so abundant with miscommunication is due to the broad context. Philosophy involves very high-level topics and is rarely limited to a comprehensible context. Normally, one would talk of "a sensation" or "a feeling" and the topic would be that sensation or feeling, so it's easy to follow along, even if the word isn't precise.

    This OP is a perfect example of having a broad context, the topic is of definitions and the use of dictionaries in philosophy. That's a gigantic topic. One could see the topic and interpret it in a completely different way than you intended. The mismatch in how different parties understand the context leads to difficulties, which is the problem, rather than inappropriate word use. That's my take anyway.
  • How wealthy would the wealthiest person be in your ideal society?

    I would refuse to answer how wealthy the wealthiest person should be without first being aware of how it came to be that this level of relative wealth was ensured.

    Wealth is just the sum value of one's private property, and there's nothing inherently wrong with a person being wealthy. Under capitalism, important mechanisms are responsible for creating individuals with extreme wealth. Replacing these mechanisms to ensure people aren't too wealthy may have unintended consequences.

    I would say that to allow capitalism to flourish, it'd be disastrous to limit wealth to just a few million. It must be several magnitudes higher than that.

    The uber-rich may say that they need incentives to continue, and that's true, but certainly not incentives at the current level. There should be no cap, but it should become progressively harder and harder to build wealth beyond certain levels. These levels need to be far higher than a few million though.

    I don't believe there should be a limit at all. The concern for me is the floor for everyone else.Philosophim

    Philosophim's comment is spot on and can serve as my conclusion.
  • Are some languages better than others?

    I would say mainly due to the British Empire first and foremost.I like sushi

    The US has also played an important role, especially in how English became a de-facto global language. Such as why it's spoken in the EU. It's a minor disagreement at best, so I'll say no more on it.

    Some values are better than others. Not sure how you could argue otherwise?I like sushi

    Your scale of inquiry is far too large. You're looking for anything about English that could've had any impact in any area across possibly hundreds of years. The problem with evaluating languages is that they're part of everything, and never the only factor.

    With both your comparison of Sicilian or mine with Japanese, it's also unclear whether the language differences cause or reflect cultural differences. I'm sure it's a combination of both, but worth keeping in mind.

    The topic is too broad for me, although the question of evaluating the pros/cons of languages is one I've often pondered, the only thing I've managed to achieve is a headache.
  • Are some languages better than others?

    English became a global language because of the combined influence of two superpowers, the British Empire and the US, not because of its advantages, right?

    "Better" is too general to answer, but I will say that English has proven itself to be convenient in comparison to many other languages. The writing system in English (and other Roman languages) is so much better than kanji characters in Japanese/Chinese, which is unnecessarily complicated and unwieldy.

    Perhaps English promotes individualism through the extensive use of individualistic pronouns. Japanese culture is considered collectivist compared to Romanic cultures and Japanese doesn't
    have the same emphasis on individualistic pronouns. Japanese pronouns often use honorifics or pronouns that refer to someone's position in society relative to the speaker.

    Japanese has significant differences depending on politeness or formality, which should be utilised based on your relationship to another, particularly age or status differences.

    While I wouldn't overgeneralise, these differences and others between English and Japanese may explain or mirror differences in culture. But whether one is better than the other depends on one's values.
  • What is love?

    As relates to the English term "love", I so far maintain that it can only bifurcate into "unity of being" of various types and into "strong-liking-of", which again can come in various types. Both seem to me to belong to the umbrella concept - itself an abstraction - of "affinity" but that, whereas "love" can be a verb, "affinity" cannot - to my mind partly explaining why love can in English be used in both senses.javra

    What's determinative of that?

    if I show evidence of different ways that the word is used, what could that accomplish? How would you respond?

    I so far find the same can be said of consciousness, for example.javra

    The term "consciousness" does not have truth conditions that differ by person, and as a concept remains consistent throughout the majority of contexts or circumstances. This is unlike either "love" or "pain", and the two important differences. Same with "elephant", "animal" and I think every other example you've brought up. I'd like to emphasise criticism throughout this thread, of the topic "what is love", has been about these two important differences.

    I myself don't situate thing in terms of ethics playing a role in love, but of love playing an integral role in ethics. I'm coming from the vantage that love, unity of being, is ethical - in so far as being good,javra

    I suppose I can understand why you feel that way. In my view, "unity of being" is entirely your concept, and its only ethical and moral influences are your own. Each of us has our own views, the role of ethics only becomes apparent when you start taking into consideration the variety of views, and looking at their reasoning.

    The more we deviate from the ideal of love should be, the worse, and so more bad, the situation becomes, despite the feelings held.javra

    Keep in mind that when you say "the inclination toward possessiveness in romantic love, or of domination in parental love", these are necessarily ethical views. For instance, in the West, what we consider "possessiveness" is less controlling than what exists as norms in some other cultures. These are more words with interpretations as part of their truth conditions, and these conditions are informed in part by ethics. You cannot separate "love" from "love" like this without involving ethics.

    Linguistically, if "Unity of being" is "just good", then speakers will simply refuse to refer to anything they think can't be "good" using the term. A term can be innately moral, but it can't both be innately moral AND be absent moral agreement as a truth condition. It would mean speakers would have to refer to relationships or feelings that they thought were immoral, as moral, by referring to them as "Unity of being".

    Another example. You said that "Unity of being" can emerge from Stockholm syndrome, and I'm sure you can appreciate, that's a controversial opinion. There will be those who disapprove. You may feel that by definition "Unity of being" is inarguably true, but you've also said "Unity of being" is "just good". Someone unsupportive of such a relationship can't justify their feelings while simultaneously agreeing that their feelings are "just good". Certainly, If I was put in such a position, I'd make "goodness" a truth condition. "If "Unity of being" is good, then logically, feelings borne of Stockholm syndrome cannot be "Unity of love", because feelings borne of manipulation and abuse cannot be good".

    I hope you appreciate where I'm coming from here... Whether ethics plays a role in "Unity of being" conceptually or in application, it will play a significant role, it's unavoidable.

    Just to remind both myself and you, I brought up ethics because I wanted to show that "love" is influenced by it, and this influence demonstrates that "love" is a concept influenced by our opinions and feelings. If not for ethics but some other reason, such as recognising the influence of Romeo and Juliet or Snow White, or Jesus Christ/Christianity etc.

    But I grant that this plays into an ontological interpretation of love which doesn't fit that of it strictly being a biologically evolved set of emotions or feelings. And it might be this which we at base actually disagree on (?).javra

    I'm okay with the co-existence of even mutually exclusive understandings of love because I view them as separate concepts.

    To give just two examples of how "animal" doesn't hold universal attributes as abstraction among all people that utilize the term.javra

    Aren't they just examples of people being wrong?

    But yet when looked at more impartially, what an animal is can be pinpointed with relative stability, this as biology does.javra

    The term lacks truth conditions that differ by person, and the truth conditions being fulfilled represent the meaning of the term. Sciences generally aim to avoid language that differs by person. There are both psychological terms and terms of intangible concepts that try to, with varying success, be ones that can be pinpointed impartially with relative stability. "Love" just isn't that, it's a word that expresses something deeply personal and important. It's not a word that a scientist or philosopher can design however they see fit. We don't want all words to be like "animal", it's necessary to have words like "love', they each have their role.
  • What is love?

    Do you disagree that love is an abstraction abstracted from, ultimately, concrete particulars?javra

    The term is changed by context, it's influenced by culture and ethics, and it's a concept with no clear rules or truth conditions, and truth conditions are separate from the meaning of the term. There are so many different, but valid ways to understand the word. Some of these ways are more directly aimed at referencing "concrete particulars" than others. You've already addressed some distinctly different ideas.

    It’s often been said that “love is nothin’ more than chemicals in the brain”. But then, what of anything cognitive—percepts, convictions, thoughts, disdains, etc.—that relies upon the brain’s operations doesn’t consist of neurotransmitters?javra

    One form of this which is relatively commonly known to moderners being that of “God = Love (this rather than an omnipotent and omniscient male psyche somewhere up in the skies)”.javra

    Later in the same post, you went on to clarify the distinction between "strong-like" and "unity of being". This wasn't your attempt at an exhaustive list, and I'm confident there are many more distinct perspectives on love that you could bring up, but even so, you effortlessly brought up so many.

    Isn't that true? It's confusing to be asked whether love is "an abstraction...", you should know that there's more than just one. Explain your thoughts on this.

    If it is, then as abstraction it will hold its own properties which equally apply to all subspecies of love, each its own abstraction, which in turn will each hold properties applicable to, ultimately, concrete particularsjavra

    Love involves interpretation, and is thus influenced by a variety of biases and contextual factors, though in this case, I don't mean "contextual factors" which influence the type of love we're talking about. You've agreed with me that ethics plays a role. This alone destroys any chance for love having consistent properties. Think about it, how can ethics influence our interpretation of an intensely personal feeling? The same feeling could exist in two scenarios, classified as love in one, and not the other, because of how we interpret what makes a relationship toxic or unhealthy. Are these the properties you're referring to?

    Love, then, would be endowed with a fixed set of universal attributes relative to what it is an abstraction of in like manner to how animal, for example, is so endowed.javra

    It doesn't matter if "love is an abstraction abstracted from concrete particulars". If there's even a single truth condition that's dependant upon interpretation then the properties you refer to include factors that differ by person.

    All the words used as counterexamples consist entirely of truth conditions uninfluenced by interpretation, feelings, circumstances, context or bias. That's what gives a term like "animal" its universal attributes, they're universal because they do not differ by person. Each organism that qualifies to be an animal must have these properties. For love, we can say each subcategory of love has the properties to be considered love, but just from one person's perspective. It's distinctly not universal.
  • What is love?

    Do words have to "be" the things they refer to have content?Count Timothy von Icarus

    All that's required is context, which has been the theme of my criticism. We usually have considerable context which allows us to navigate the nuances I describe with ease.

    Do words necessarily have to refer to unique things or can they refer to general principles/universalsCount Timothy von Icarus

    Words such as "that" can be used to refer to all sorts of things, does that mean "that" is a "general principle"?

    Asking "What is that" with context is a perfectly reasonable question, and asking "What is that" with no context is a perfectly unreasonable question. Can I say that we've established some words such as "that", rely heavily on context and do not represent "general principles"?

    On the other side of that spectrum, of requiring context, are terms like "lactose intolerant" or "spotted hyena". I'm guessing these are not what you'd consider "general principles"?

    Assuming you agree the word "that" absolutely requires context, and the term "lactose intolerant" doesn't, then what is the difference? Is it perhaps that what the word refers to differs by context?

    Moreover, can't they refer to sets, potentially sets of universals that share properties?Count Timothy von Icarus

    They can.

    You bring up examples such as triangles, which as a term, is closer to "lactose intolerant". All shapes that qualify to be triangles do so for the same reasons, it's not changed by context. Triangles "share" properties because for a shape to be a triangle it must possess specific properties. Also, a triangle is just a shape that has these properties and nothing more.

    Would it likewise be absurd to discuss energy because it can be broken down into kinetic energy, nuclear, electric, etc.?Count Timothy von Icarus

    No, though it would be absurd if it could be broken down instead into electric, spiritual and sexual energy. My problem isn't with breaking down concepts into smaller categories but pairing categories that are related by the shared use of a word, and assuming they're connected.

    I don't think "energy" is changed by whether we're talking about kinetic, nuclear or electric, but I do think "pain" is changed by whether we're talking about physical or emotional pain. I'm not denying that there can be similarities, but it's not unusual for different things to have similarities, and similarities themselves aren't necessarily meaningful, especially if they're linguistic. The process for qualifying as physical pain vs emotional pain has differences, the process for qualifying as energy has none, same with qualifying as a "triangle".

    That people can disagree on the meanings of words or sensory data doesn't really say much because some people will disagree about virtually everything.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Interpretation is built into the truth conditions of the terms. While people can disagree on anything, in cases such as the Earth being flat, there are no such truth conditions, people can be wrong. It's a matter of what's determinative of the correct answer, and appreciating that when opinion is part of the truth conditions, the answer is a person's opinion. While we've stepped away from "right" and "wrong", still, some answers are useful, compelling, and inspirational and others are misguided and foolish, that's worth keeping in mind.

    And yet it seems like there must be some causal explanation underlying the application of the same word to diffuse states and some causal explanation for how people generally understand these words so easily.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Sure, they use context.

    I don't agree at all that people would be at a total loss if someone were to say they are experiencing "pain" and they failed to specify which type of pain. They still have an idea of what is being referenced.Count Timothy von Icarus

    Yep, using context, it's really easy to overlook, but you're not bringing context up at all.

    "Invented concepts," cannot be free floating from the world unless language is causally distinct.Count Timothy von Icarus

    They're not necessarily "floating free", as I said, our understanding of "love" could be influenced by a play such as Romeo and Juliet. My point is that a wide variety of factors are involved, as opposed to just our understanding of the "states of being".

    is the argument that words only have meanings to the extent that they are operationalized?Count Timothy von Icarus

    No. Bipolar disorder just sits closer to "lactose intolerant". Word meaning is context-dependent. Though I'm talking about studying, investigating and understanding concepts. Operationalization addresses the problem of the inappropriate determinative factors I describe by taking words and ideas that differ by person and defining them in ways where they do not differ by person. Allowing for consistency and clarity, reliable data collection, and rooting the topic down in place.

    Surely, people can be "more right," about describing things than others,Count Timothy von Icarus

    When dealing with "things" that have interpretation embedded into their truth conditions, or have implications that fall outside of their truth conditions, then being "right" is reliant on interpretation.

    Expertise in love might mean explaining love in a way that helps people to have healthy relationships and live fulfilling lives. Giving people a framework to create meaningful relationships and act honourably, allowing them to win the respect of others and themselves. It might mean being able to articulate an understanding of love that would create a peaceful and flourishing society.

    We want different things out of our words. Our opinions might sometimes be changed by scientific developments but they could also be changed by a variety of other factors as well. This leniency is useful, not a flaw, it allows us to adapt our language to express our thoughts and feelings and remain flexible in our ability to make practical changes.

    I suspect your understanding of love coincides well with your ethical stances, how you want people to be treated, how you think others should act, the kind of society you'd like to live in, and so on. Our views, products of the time and place we were born into, and are shaped by social, cultural and moral factors. Surely, we can't have both this and a scientific or "general principle" approach, they're mutually exclusive. Unless I'm wrong that the concept of "love" is receptive to ethical and cultural changes, how can it be a general principle that one can study and be "right" about?
  • What is love?

    It's an assertion more than an argument. One on par to asserting that "pain" is a concept we invented, but not an aspect of our reality as psyches to be understood or discovered.javra

    I would assert everything for pain as I did for love.

    As though everything psychological concerns concepts we invent rather than aspects of our own ontological being we discern introspectivelyjavra

    Words can be used to refer to these "aspects of our own ontological being", but they aren't them. If this thread was instead "What is pain", it'd be equally misguided.

    I get that. But if "words are not concepts" then words will convey concepts, and concepts are nothing more then abstractions (e.g.,"animal") of concrete givens (e.g., "that grey mouse over there"), with concrete givens including the states of being we experience as psyches.javra

    1. A wide variety of "states of being" can qualify as love or pain, and thus we lack specificity. What I wanted was additional information and context. If the thread was "What is pain", and didn't even specify if we're discussing emotional, physical or psychological pain, wouldn't that be absurd?

    2. Both "love" and "pain" rely on interpretation, and I may interpret "states of being" as love, even if you or others do not interpret those same "states of being" as love.

    3. A state of being that can be referred to as "pain", may qualify as "pain" for a multitude of different reasons. These reasons can drastically change the thing we're discussing. Pain is a great example, see how emotional pain from grief is very different from emotional pain from betrayal and so on.

    I could go on but to summarise, without specificity, we're wandering aimlessly. That's completely unlike "animal", and especially the "grey rat". Grey rats aren't fundamentally changed by context or circumstance, nor who is speaking and how they interpret the term.

    There are more specific, psychological terms that have strict criteria that require clinical diagnosis, such as bipolar disorder. Also with bipolar disorder, there is an underlying, identifiable phenomenon that the term aims to refer to. While studying that experience, flawed language can be identified and corrected to better describe the condition. "Pain" and "love" aren't specific terms, they represent ideas. What is and isn't love or pain has more to do with the ideas of love and pain, than the actual states one may use these terms to refer to.

    "Love" and "pain" are invented concepts, and the "states of being" you refer to aren't determinative of what these concepts mean. It has much to do with our cultural and philosophical perspectives. Our understanding of love could be influenced by a famous movie or book, and it has, with works such as Romeo and Juliet or Snow White. Such influences fall far outside the realm of introspection or science.

    TLDR since you didn't want to discuss language, this topic requires specificity and restrictions, that's all. I wanted this to be read, but I'm okay with it not being responded to, I want for you to only participate in discussions you're interested in.

    On what rational argument or via what data do you find reason to doubt that this rudimentary distinction between unity of being and strong liking is a human universal?javra

    Ironically, the only other reply I received tried to connect the two.

    However, in my experience, there seems to be a strong similarity in the way I love my parents, my son, my wife, my friends, God, and even my country that doesn't apply to most things that I like.Count Timothy von Icarus

    I doubt many others could explain "unity of being" as you understand it. I'm not entirely sure of what would be determinative of whether the distinction would be a "human universal".

    You're here focusing on a sense of "authentic" unrelated to the one I made use of in this context: love as unity of being as being authentic love, with strong-liking being inauthentic love.javra

    It was clumsy of me to use "authentic", but I'm glad you understood my meaning, your response is as I had wanted. I think I have a good understanding of what you mean now.

    It seems you've conveyed what you wanted to, and it doesn't seem like you're looking for anything else from me.

    Western ethics is concerned with imbalances of power in romantic relationships and views them as inherently toxic or unhealthy. Even if both parties consent. The subjectivity stems from what makes a relationship "toxic", but it seems clear that you appreciate that. Your view is pragmatic, but I imagine it also coincides with your philosophies and ideals, what's missing is what we think is determinative of the correct answer. I'm not sure what would make you right or wrong, and I imagine most would agree or disagree based on their preferences and personal experiences. I don't know what to make of that.
  • What is love?
    I can see the arguments for a sort of ontological nominalism, but I don't see a case for generally preferencing specifics over general principlesCount Timothy von Icarus

    I didn't try to make a case for that. I'm saying that the meaning of words is changed by context and that you're assuming these "general principles" go 1:1 with a word. You've taken the word "love" as though it represents a singular thing, and now you're studying this thing. I wonder about that.

    No one doubts that imbalanced, or unharmonious, interpersonal love typically results in psychological pain to one party if not to all.javra

    Does God qualify for "interpersonal" love? What do you mean by imbalanced and unharmonious? On what basis does this love "typically result in psychological pain..."? Though, you can choose to ignore these questions if my later paragraphs are on the right track.

    Yet, in so affirming, the implicit issue becomes that of what a perfectly balanced, or perfectly harmonious, love would be—and it is the latter which idealistic youngsters (to name a few) typically aim for.javra

    There are many cultures around the around that don't practice monogamy, that have arranged marriages, that are patriarchal and practice other forms of imbalanced or unharmonious relationships. Opposition to such structures is generally ethical in nature, as opposed to spurred on by a philosophical view of love. Ethical stances should be the best predictors of how one views this subject of imbalanced love. Do you agree?

    I for one fully agree with (authentic) love being a drive to maintain and increase unity of being, a "transcendent unity" so to speak.javra

    Another linguistic issue. Do you appreciate that you're the one who judges the love that qualifies as authentic? Your reasoning separates authentic love from inauthentic love, because your reasoning determines authentic love from inauthentic love.

    It's understandable one might resist admitting the importance of ethical or value-based elements, but the correlations will always be striking. Those who despise homosexuality won't recognise love between same-sex couples as "authentic". Those who despise pedophilia won't recognise romantic love between adult and child as "authentic". We probably wouldn't describe love borne from Stockholm syndrome as "authentic". Most won't want to label either a very jealous, toxic love or a possessive, controlling love as "authentic".

    What's your opinion on this?

    When one loves another sentient agent, aspects of the other’s being become an integral part of oneself for as long as the love persists, and, in due measure to the love experienced, one will be readily willing to risk personal suffering and corporeal death so as to aim at preserving the love which is, if such risk is required.javra

    These are value-based assessments, and your values, interpretations and goals are determinative of "authentic" love. I'm saying this because of the quote of mine you responded to, and to further my argument that "love" is a concept we invented, not a thing to be understood or discovered.

    However, in terms of my own personal feelings about love, and I'm no exception, I also define what is and isn't love by my values and ethics, I strongly agree with you. Love, for me, in the contexts I imagine you to be using, entails this kind of prioritisation and importance you describe. This is completely different from the "strong-like" one has towards something like ice cream.

    Mainly want to make the point that there is a substantial ontological difference between love as unity of being and love as strong liking of. The two are distinct.javra

    We agree that there are these distinct concepts expressed by the same word. I'd go further and say I have different sets of expectations for "love" depending on many other contextual differences. Such as comparing a love for a spouse vs a love for a friend or a love for one's child. However, I don't think that's mutually exclusive with your comparison, and contrasting these two concepts of unity and strong-like works fine.

    Love (in the strict sense of: an either conscious or unconscious drive to maintain if not also increase unity of being) is perpetually present and inescapable for any lifeform which perpetuates its own life, this minimally in the form of self-love (although one need not also like oneself for this self-love to be).javra

    I reject the entire question of "What is love", and view it as a misunderstanding of language. The discussion requires a context to work with and participants need to be able to understand what factors are determinative. Love could refer to an evolutionary feature developed by mammals that live in packs, that's not mutually exclusive with developing our own social or cultural, ethics or value-based understandings. Of the many valid perspectives on love, there's nothing determinative of the correct answer, and we just end up comparing ideas that shouldn't even be decided between. All because the same word is used to refer to them.

    Words are not concepts, and I think you've shown an example of this by contrasting "unity of love" with "strong-like" despite both ideas belonging to the same word "love". Words validly refer to many concepts that aren't mutually exclusive because they apply in different contexts.
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism

    This seems to me to be the nub of our differences. Opinions are not meaningless.Banno

    I didn't say that they were...

    If they are logically indistinguishable from moral truths (they are not...) then moral truths are not meaningless, either.Banno

    Sure, they're not meaningless as opinions. That's good enough for me. The only value moral truths have is as opinions. I find your prioritisation of applicability over meaning and connotation to be misguided, but I'm satisfied with this ending.

    there are statements that we think of as true or as false, that say how folk ought behave; and we make use of these statements in deductions.Banno

    I disagree that this is what is usually meant by "moral truth", but I agree with these two sentences, so I'll wrap up my involvement with that.
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism

    Certainly not. I don't think I've made any such claim. Cite me. Nor is that an implication of what has been said - if it is, show your argument.Banno

    You definitely didn't make the claim, but if statements that are true by the circumstances of each speaker are facts, then you're going to have logically valid answers that contradict each other. It can be a fact that cockroaches are terrifying and also a fact that they're not terrifying.

    Your argument is that moral truths are intractable, therefore you will save yourself some trouble by simply asserting that they do not exist.Banno

    "Moral facts" or "moral truths", are just terms, just words. I'm not interested in whether they "exist". My view is that "moral truths" are meaningless and logically indistinguishable from opinion. I don't have an unconditional reverence for truth, the reasons are what's important.

    Even if we lived in a society that was 100% devoted to the idea of moral truths, absolutely nothing would change, because moral truths are exactly 1:1 to opinion. "I think X is a moral truth (my opinion)" and you say "I think Y is a moral truth (your opinion)". Alternatively, "We agree X is a moral truth, but I think it applies to circumstance Z and you don't. And so on. That's exactly the same way that a society that adamantly rejected the notion of moral truths would act.
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism

    They are all well-formed sentences of English. What's eccentric here, if anything, is the insistence that there can be no moral truths.Banno

    By your understanding, valid and mutually exclusive facts co-exist since a statement can be true by one's preferences, interpretations and feelings. Even facts that are substantiated with no credible evidence, just one's aversion or preference for an animal are "facts". That understanding totally undermines how the word is used, there's nothing left to differentiate it from mere opinion.

    Your stance would make sense if you were shitting on the term.

    "Should"? The term exists and has a long standing place in English despite your misgivings.Banno

    Did you miss the "if"?

    My claim is that your stance completely undermines the word's purpose. A fact is on the same level as an opinion according to you. Moral statements always have truth conditions that differ by person, they cannot be proven or substantiated, and there's nothing else but opinion. It should be impossible for you to offer any "moral fact" that doesn't correlate 1:1 with your own opinion.
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism
    We all agree to the fact that coffee is delicious, and a great way to start the day. Despite the fact that cockroaches are disgusting and terrifying, some folk keep them as pets. While it is a fact that Germany is a wonderful country to visit, I would prefer to visit Turkey. The fact is I tried shopping at a market near me, but everything was overpriced. So now I travel looking for bargains. ThanksBanno

    All I see proven here is that one can convey their meaning while using words casually, liberally or dubiously.

    While none of those "facts" you listed are actual facts, it's just a casual statement, no need to get bogged down in such details. When you use the word "fact" to make the claim that "moral facts" exist in the context of philosophy, then the nuances of the word are being emphasised, and in a context where nuance matters greatly.

    What you have done with these examples though, is prove that indeed, in your eccentric usage of the word, statements with truth conditions that differ by person can be facts. This means that by your logic, "moral facts" are whatever moral statements a person agrees with, which completely undermines the term. Why should the term "moral facts" exist if all moral opinions are moral facts?
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism

    That's funny. Are you really saying "lmao your dumb" on a philosophy forum?

    To be true is a prerequisite for being a fact.

    Statements that are true but not facts:
    "Coffee is delicious, and a great way to start the day"
    "Cockroaches are disgusting and terrifying"
    "Germany is a wonderful country to visit"
    "I tried shopping at a market near me, but everything was overpriced"

    Examples of true statements that aren't facts are statements that have truth conditions that depend on the personal circumstances of the speaker. Whether something is "disgusting" or "terrifying" differs by person, so a statement with such words won't be referred to as a fact, generally speaking.
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism

    Is that because you do not think that a fact is typically defined as a statement that can be proven to be true or false based on evidence or reality?

    Yours is an eccentric use of the word, and you should know that perfectly well...

    You know the meaning the term "moral fact" conveys but undermined that meaning by how you've understood the term. By your understanding, a moral fact is nothing more than a moral statement one agrees with. That's quite misleading and deceptive.
  • What is love?

    Ha, but how much of philosophy is just that!Count Timothy von Icarus

    It'd instead be far easier to have a deep and meaningful discussion about love within a singular, specific context. The commonalities of love throughout all of its contexts are comparatively shallow and superficial. Love is just a word and how similarly it's being used in different contexts isn't necessarily indicative of anything. What does it say if certain aspects of love between parent and child weren't present in how one loves food? Surely, the answer is close to nothing. Is the love felt towards one's parents only truly what you can also say about how one loves music and food?

    If we treat love as one thing in this way and try to analyse it down to having just a single set of characteristics regardless of context, it's impossible not to have a very superficial analysis.
  • A Case for Moral Anti-realism

    That one ought not kick puppies for fun is a moral statement.
    It is a true statement that one ought not kick puppies for fun.
    Facts are true statements.

    Therefore there are moral facts.
    Banno

    A fact is typically defined as a statement that can be proven to be true or false based on evidence or reality.

    There are no moral facts because moral statements aren't testable claims, there's no possibility of proof.

    Your logic doesn't appear to work as-is. Even if facts are true statements, that wouldn't mean any true statement is a fact. A true statement of "one ought not to kick puppies for fun" would only be a fact if all true statements were facts. Isn't that right? So, is your claim that all true statements are facts?
  • What is love?

    It's rarely a good idea to explore words, for the meaning of words is always changing based on context and perspective. Rather than love being anything, instead, we negotiate what is love based on our intentions and ideas.

    See comparisons such as infatuation vs love, or fascination vs love, or like vs love,

    See pre-requisites of love, or what one does, for example, one may say that one does not abuse those they love, one does not use those they love or that one has a particular view towards those they love.

    Compare how love might be understood differently within a polyamorous setting, or comparing polygamy to monogamy.

    If we compare the love of a partner, and of a God, and of something spiritual, and towards one's country, and one's favourite food, and one's children, and one's friends and so on, where would that leave us? It should only demonstrate that the word "love", just like most, is changed by context, and the commonalities are uninteresting.

    In terms of the word itself, I view love as strong, positive discrimination or preference. It irks me to hear someone telling a complete stranger that they "love" them. Impersonal, non-preferential, no discrimination, that's not love. That positive discrimination can be general, so long as in the context it's preferred over something else that's general. Despite those feelings of mine, the term is often just used as "strong-like" or "intense positive feelings".
  • Free Will

    Pretty sad, I must say, to create a philosophy predicated on the convenience of a phrase.Mww

    It'd be easy to mistake what you're saying as hyperbole, but indeed, there are philosophies and worldviews that rely on this incredibly flawed term. It's a great place to study to better understand some of the risks of language.
  • Free Will

    This is Plato's point in the Republic when he discusses the parts of the soul and how they can be set against one another.Count Timothy von Icarus

    I think this "reason" is "overarching reason" and is being referred to as just that, and not "reason".

    Firstly, all vices either consist of or affect reasoning. The gambling addict will always have a reason. "I'll just go gambling this one time, I've worked hard and I deserve a reward", right? This is an example representative of most, if not all cases.

    Secondly, neither one's will and reasoning are consistent across time. One's will is tied to one's consciousness, for it is about conscious acts, conscious choices and conscious desires. The consciousness is always and only ever experienced in the present. So, will must only ever exist in the present too, but I've never seen a view of free will that actually takes this to heart.

    One's failure to follow up on yesterday's promise to quit gambling doesn't represent a failure of will. After all, it's one's free will that allows them to break that promise. Why is the promise to act in one's best interests privileged over the decision to self-sabotage? All sorts of moralistic favouritism like this are embedded into free will ideas.

    But if we want to be free, we need to be self-determining, which means we seek the transcendent cause from within.Count Timothy von Icarus

    I'm not convinced that will's freedom is threatened by anything internally. The "self-determination" you speak of, if my assumptions are correct, requires the sustaining of an intention across time.

    That is a common problem for me because will should be tied to consciousness, and is thus trapped in the present.

    An intention that spans across time is still just one's will at just one point in time. At 9:00 am Sam commits to meditating for an hour, that's his choice, but at 9:20 am, he's bored and wants to stop. The self-determination you speak of is Sam following through on his intention to meditate for an hour. However, regardless of how boredom, laziness, hunger or whatever else influenced him, it was still his choice to stop, and at 9:20 it was his decision to stop.

    Part of the problem is this notion of some mystical, overarching reason, as if, what Sam really wanted to do was meditate for an hour, and he was robbed of that. I find this silly. Why is the decision to meditate for an hour privileged over the decision to quit after 20 minutes?

    My own conclusions always come back to morality and idealism.

    It's also a linguistic problem. We say that one's will at time A is to do action A at time B (in the future), and that action A represents one's will. Then at time B, one's will, which only exists in time B at time B, becomes this "other". This "other" that interferes with and gets in the way of one's will, the choice made at time A.

    I'd say that will is not united by, nor ruled over reason, it's a concept tied to consciousness, and so it's united by the singular consciousness. What do you think is the relationship between will and consciousness?
  • Free Will

    Does the man possess free will or not? If interlocutors in some discussion don’t agree, then they may not be discussing the same concept. Which might imply they will never agree.Art48

    To me, one cannot make a term of two existing words like "free will" and be privileged to describe the term however they see fit. No matter how one defines the term I will not accept it. To conclude either way, that "Humans possess free will or not", will definitely have repercussions beyond any intended context.

    Both words "Free" and "Will" are very, very tricky.

    The problem with the term "free" is that you can't say one has "free will" if they're merely free from deterministic forces. A slave who is free from hunger isn't free, the same logic applies to will.

    However, the bigger problem lies with the word "will", and it's truly a disaster in this context. I won't go into details unless asked, but in short, everyone has their own opinion on what this word refers to and means. On what constitutes a will and what's external, and on how we determine what was one's will.

    Many of the things one might argue one's will is influenced by, another could argue are part of one's will. The circumstances that influence one's will... Is that a threat to freedom of one's will, or is that just decision-making? So many different understandings of "will", and on what "free" would mean, and what things "will" must be free from.

    Anyway, TLDR is, if someone wants to argue for "free will", they should just express their position without using the term. If they insist on using the term, the discussion will likely go nowhere, and for my part, I will just disagree pretty much no matter what the argument, as long as its conclusion is on the existence of "free will".
  • Science is not "The Pursuit of Truth"

    So, is this a "it's turtles all the way down" situation, where language references only language with no other reference point / correspondence?Echarmion

    I'm having a hard time understanding this question. Could you reword it?

    But what about rules that don't seem mutable by human though or action? What we call the laws of physics can be expressed in infinite ways linguistically, but the rules remain the same.Echarmion

    I'm not sure I understand, the words "rules" and "mutable" are throwing me off. Also, I'm not sure what problem you're asking me to address.

    Gravity will not reverse and pull you into the clouds if you define up as down.Echarmion

    Indeed. And water won't kill me if I call it poison.

    However, I'm still not sure that I understand the issue you want me to address.

    Aren't you making the claim by writing it? This is slightly confusing to me.Echarmion

    It was just an example of hypothetical applicability. "Truth" is something we can use as part of our decision-making and thinking. "If it's true that I need to pay my rent today, then I should pay it", type of thing. I'd need you to go into more detail about what was confusing for me to clarify further.

    But isn't what people are concerned in this scenario the negation of a value judgement? That is they're not concerned with what the word means in the sense of a dictionary definition. Rather the goal is to exclude a certain behaviour from the positive value judgement that's emotionally connected to the language.Echarmion

    The speaker would indeed be unconcerned with the dictionary definition, this is a matter of word applicability, which is related to interpretation. A certain behaviour could be "True courage" or not depending on how we interpret/understand it. Though, this is very tangential to the point I was making.

    But could it not also be a priori?Echarmion

    From my perspective truth requires language, I don't see how there could be any priori without language.

    I think that's the core of our disagreement. From the perspective of some theoretical Maxwell's demon, everyone is wrong and their truths contingent on their beliefs, circumstances etc. But from the perspective of the people doing the talking and thinking, their truth is the truth.Echarmion

    "The core of our disagreement" is how we understand the concept of truth. So, it can be difficult to follow when you contrast our views like this, am I to read the word "truth" using my understanding or yours?

    For my part, some claims are influenced by one's beliefs, and some aren't. so it depends. This "perspective" you outlined seems to neither reflect your views nor mine.
  • Future Generations Will Condemn The Meat Industry As We Condemn Slavery

    Yeah, once lab meat costs one tenth of the meat traditionally produced by animal husbandry, you know what you will be eating in a BigMac at McDonalds.ssu

    :rofl:

    And what I fear are health problems of what use of lab meat will have.ssu

    My understanding was that it would be less risky health-wise to eat meat from a lab, but it seems like you're mostly referring to the problem of obesity, is that right? However, are you suggesting the meat industry has a significant role in the obesity epidemic? Is that not a problem for which you consider sugar and processed foods to be almost wholly responsible?

    I'd guess that greater accessibility to meat would help reduce the obesity epidemic, no?

    I'm not seeing any reason why reindeer herding would stop for some reason. Human species is an omnivore and not a vegan. And just like reindeer herding, animal husbandry something that we can do quite ecologically (as 1000 years of reindeer herding shows).ssu

    An example such as reindeer herding has no business being compared to the horrors of an industrial meat factory. It mightn't, and arguably shouldn't get tied up in a moral turn against the meat industry. I imagine it would remain economically viable in some capacity. I think it's fair to assume it'll last.

    If such practices were deemed immoral, that wouldn't mean these animals could live freely. Certainly, in Australia, should the tides turned against the meat industry, cows and pigs would never be allowed to live here as wild animals. They'd be sold or killed to the last.

    The major difference between slavery and animal husbandry is that while slavery can never provide ideal living conditions for humans, animal husbandry can provide a good quality of life for animals. Just not in industrial factories.


    100%.Vera Mont

    Thanks for saying so. Most others just reiterated my points after telling me I was wrong, bastards.

    It won't be driven primarily by moral consideration, though that is an ever-present factor, but by aesthetic sensibility: killing is messy; preparing meat is icky.Vera Mont

    It's interesting that you try to separate the two. Do you think the ending of slavery was primarily driven by moral considerations or aesthetic sensibilities? If we're comparing just these two factors.

    That is by no means an inconsequential factor in social evolution.Vera Mont

    I agree. Morality isn't irrelevant, it just isn't the pinnacle of our priorities as philosophical discussions would have one believe.
  • Future Generations Will Condemn The Meat Industry As We Condemn Slavery

    The only way I see it that simply fabricated food, grown from cells etc., will become so cheap that animal husbandry simply can't compete with the new genetical produced lab meat. Then it can happen.ssu

    Right, I'm more-or-less making the same case as this, that seeing this sort of possibility on the horizon is the pre-requisite for condemning the meat industry as it exists today. While at that moment in history, the turn against the meat industry (harvesting meat from living animals) may be celebrated as a moral triumph, it will only happen as alternatives step in to make it convenient. If for some reason, alternatives utterly fail to be competitive, then a widespread condemnation of the meat industry would seem unlikely.

    Who better to promote the "animal meat is murder" than the industry manufacturing non-animal non-sentient "lab meat" at a cheap cost in huge industrial size "laboratories"?ssu

    Yeah, I'm sure that will happen too.

    No.

    Morality is not the driver of things, nor does it evolve on it's own/following it's own logic. Rather, morality is a by-product of, or is at least enabled by, other non-moral processes.
    ChatteringMonkey

    Hey! Isn't that the same argument I made in the OP!? Why are you saying "No"? :rage:

    Anyway, I agree with you. :smirk:

    I am claiming that alternatives to the meat industry will be the trigger for the widespread moral turn against the meat industry. I agree that the viability or competitiveness of alternatives is the most important question here.
  • Future Generations Will Condemn The Meat Industry As We Condemn Slavery

    Why will no one care or remember?


    The situation with slavery shows that even though it is officially condemned, new forms of slavery are springing up all the same, perhaps even more pernicious, more insidious than the traditional forms.baker

    This doesn't seem like it contradicts my prediction, since I'm only predicting the "official condemnation". I take your point though, I too am confident that future generations will be just as hypocritical as we are.
  • Science is not "The Pursuit of Truth"

    I don't understand this, specifically I don't understand why actuality and "correct reference" aren't one and the same here.Echarmion

    "Correct reference" refers to the correct use of language, and "actuality" refers to "that which really is". What constitutes as "correct use" of language is a very complicated subject, as I'm sure you appreciate. It involves a wide variety of context-dependant linguistic and cultural factors that are entirely manmade. Social conventions and laws, political or artistic concepts and a litany of other concepts are all part of "correct reference".

    A basic example is ownership/private property. "It's true that I own the computer I'm using" is true by "correct reference". It's true according to the social conventions of the society that I live in, since I bought this computer, and it resides in my dwelling and I use it. If you want to treat concepts as though they're above language and manmade rules, and "truth" as beyond such things, then there's zero basis for believing that the concept of "ownership" is real. Or look at a card game like Yu-gi-oh or Pokémon, "It's true that Pikachu is a Pokémon", you'd probably agree, even though it's complete fiction.

    So truth always signals the applicability of the language used in the claim to the situation?Echarmion

    Yep, that's right.

    Though "truth" can also be used to directly refer to a hypothetical "correct reference", using the logic contained within words. Such as "hypothetical" applicability, something that could be correctly said, even if it wasn't said. For instance, it's true that I wrote this comment, because it'd be correct to say that I wrote this comment, it's true regardless of whether anybody actually makes the claim that I did.

    Another example is how people say things like "True courage is X", possibly to suggest that it's incorrect to reference Y as courage, because only X is correct to refer to as courage. I could say "I want to find out what true compassion is", "true compassion" is equal to "that which can be correctly referred to as compassion". In summary, your description is correct in this context, but we can manipulate that concept in these ways that you're undoubtedly familiar with.

    But basically it seems to me there needs to be some common mental framework language can useEcharmion

    It's based on the "shared human experience", we could agree on that. It's also based on practicality, we want similar functions from our languages.

    I just meant it as what is actually the case as opposed to what's possible.Echarmion

    As in, the word "truth" doesn't refer to actuality, but confirms a possibility as a certainty? I'd agree it can sometimes have that effect.

    I like the somewhat playful phrase that truth is that which asserts itself regardless of your wishes.Echarmion

    Conceptually that's true, but not in practice, as I tried to demonstrate here.

    Is there a truth value to "This box is too heavy to carry"? If "this box" weighs 5kg or 50kg, or if one person is carrying it, or eight, would you agree that such factors are relevant? The box might be "too heavy" to carry without risk of injury, but not "too heavy" to carry if we disregard the risk of injury. My point is that the statement has multiple truth values.Judaka

    Technically, truth does not respond to one's wishes, but it does respond to one's desires, values, logic and intended meaning.

    I tend to stay away from technical discussions about what truth is exactly, since they never seem terribly productiveEcharmion

    Hmm, well, feel free to wrap this discussion up when it no longer interests you.