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Archive for the ‘Philosophy of Mind’ Category

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Eccl 8:15 – Then I commended mirth, because a man hath no better thing under the sun, than to eat, and to drink, and to be merry: for that shall abide with him of his labour the days of his life, which God giveth him under the sun. (KJV)[2]

rlclrose21If we consider the Epicurean philosophy emphasizing its position on death, the existence of God, and the resulting conclusions that follow regarding an afterlife, it seems that a more attractive philosophy than Epicureanism would be difficult to devise, for it holds that a man should arrange his life so that it yields the greatest amount of pleasure with the least amount of pain[3] and worry.  This is accomplished by seeking to be satisfied with the simpler things that come to one in life.  Simple food, clothing, shelter, and the like are good things that are “easy to get.”[4]  Richer fare and fancy goods, while not to be eschewed should they come one’s way, result in exposure to too much stress and strife in their pursuit, and therefore such pursuits should be abandoned.  The gaining of power and high office should likewise be abandoned as being equally stressful. Instead the joys of personal friendship can be relied upon for one’s security.[5]  The writer has lived this kind of life I have lived the last thirty years, and recommends it highly.
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What follows is a work in progress, and I would greatly appreciate any constructive feedback pertaining to my argumentation and the strength of my reply to the RPAP. As stated in the body of the post, additional information on the two primary articles cited can be found in the endnotes at the end of this post.

 

Frankfurtian-style counterfactual intervener scenarios of all different stripes hold a special place in discussions of free will and moral responsibility. In some situations, they are a necessary evil with which one must contend, and in others they are an insurmountable obstacle for some theories. Many journal articles and full-length books on these topics dedicate large sections of text to attempting to reconcile Frankfurtian-style counterfactual intervener scenarios (CIS) against Frankfurt’s modification of the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP). I believe that, using Galen Strawson’s iteration of what he deems the “Basic Argument” for the impossibility of moral responsibility, I can at best obviate Frankfurt’s Revised Principle of Alternate Possibilities (RPAP) and at worst side-step the need for addressing the PAP/RPAP by way of positing a new principle based on Strawson’s Basic Argument, what I shall call the Principle of the Basic Argument (PBA).

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I found segments on youtube of Derek Jarman’s 1989 film “Wittgenstein.” The rest can be found on youtube. Enjoy!

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Some discussion … here.

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Trent Dougherty (Baylor) offers some advice:

I remember encountering as an undergrad the notion (Mackie?) that moral properties were “queer.” Then I remember reading some stuff in Phil Mind about “ectoplasm” and “spook stuff” with attributions of mental substance as “spooky.” I don’t know where this nonsense got started, but I was surprised “real” philosophers would play this kind of card. It is nothing less than a cop out. …

The appeal to “spookiness” and “weirdness” represents a failure of nerve and should be discouraged.

You can read the entire post here.

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Read the study, here: “Pure Reasoning in 12-Month-Old Infants as Probabilistic Inference” (HT: Aaron Kenna)

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in The Chronicle of Higer Education:

I would read contemporary ethicists and just feel very unsatisfied. It was like I couldn’t see how to tether any of it to the hard and fast. I couldn’t see how it had anything to do with evolutionary biology, which it has to do, and I couldn’t see how to attach it to the brain.

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