THE JOYFUL REDUCTION OF UNCERTAINTY

Tag Archives: philosophy

What The Hell, Hegel?

I’m reading through Marx: A Very Short Introduction, and one of its best features is its focus on Marx’s influence from Hegel. Hegel is really interesting. I should rephrase that. Hegel is famously boring. His books are boring. His ideas … Continue reading

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The Invisible Nation – Reconciling Utilitarianism And Contractualism

[Attempt to derive morality from first principles, totally ignoring that this should be impossible. Based on economics and game theory, both of which I have only a minimal understanding of. And mixes complicated chains of argument with poetry without warning. … Continue reading

Misperceptions On Moloch

“Human values (‘Elua’) mean hedonism and free love and namby-pamby happiness, and I’m not on board with that.” (example) Are you a human? If so, congratulations. Your values are human values. As I wrote loooong ago in the Consequentialist FAQ: … Continue reading

Ground Morality In Party Politics

My name sounds a lot like Scott Aaronson’s and I get confused for him a lot. I try to encourage this confusion, since it can only increase people’s opinion of me. So let me propose a tool for investigating morality … Continue reading

You Kant Dismiss Universalizability

I. Like most right-thinking people, I’d always found Immanuel Kant kind of silly. He was the standard-bearer for naive deontology, the “rules are rules, so follow them even if they ruin everything” of moral philosophy. But lately, I’ve been starting … Continue reading

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Fermat’s Last Stand: Soundtrack and Adventure Log

Two years ago an impromptu role-playing group put on a very successful Dungeons and Discourse adventure, complete with several musical numbers. Last week, we completed our first sequel to that adventure, Fermat’s Last Stand. Below is the log and twelve … Continue reading

I Myself Am A Scientismist

I. “Science can tell you about rocks and molecules and stars. But what kind of science can tell you about the deepest recesses of the human soul?” I hear this a lot, and I want to answer “Psychology! It’s this … Continue reading

The What-You’d-Implicitly-Heard-Before Telling Thing

G. K. Chesterton, whom I praised yesterday, is also famous for the argument of the “truth-telling thing”: “This, therefore, is, in conclusion, my reason for accepting the religion and not merely the scattered and secular truths out of the religion. … Continue reading

Ambijectivity

The statement “Mozart’s music is better than Beethoven’s” is usually considered a subjective opinion. But this statement has the same form as “Mozart’s music is better than the music of the three-year old girl who lives upstairs from me and … Continue reading

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Utilitarianism for Engineers, Part II

You know how it’s impossible even in principle to compare people’s utilities and so utilitarianism is a pipe dream that can never possibly work? Well, I just learned Tufts has a searchable public database of utilities for various health outcomes. … Continue reading