User:Christofurio

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Analytic Pragmatism

1. Knowledge is warranted belief
2. You are warranted in believing the evidence of your senses as modified over time by your own memory and your species’ records
3. The world is a place where a plurality of mutually irreducible (and, perhaps, incommensurable) forces contend, and where sometimes these irreducibles find themselves in co-operation.
4. Consciousness and life are inexplicable in terms of mechanism.
5. You are warranted in believing that the world as a whole is both conscious and alive, in just the sense in which you are conscious and alive.
6. There was no time without conscious material life, nor shall there be such a time.
7. Right and wrong don’t follow from commands or deductions. They follow from the great higgle-haggle.
8. This proto-ethical haggling is of necessity self-interested.
9. Self interest isn't itself an ethical judgment.

Not surprisingly, there is some room for further explication of these statements.

1.1 A belief is a disposition to articulate a certain range of sentences in certain contexts
1.1.1 It is the sentence that is said to be “true” in the first instance, the “belief” that induces it is true by association only
1.1.2 Attributing “true” to either a sentence or a belief has no univocal meaning except that of approval
1.2 The common efforts to define knowledge as “warranted true belief” are too wordy. The T can drop out and all of value in the definition remains
1.3 Warrant may be understood pragmatically, as a reference to the workings of the beliefs of particular people in particular contexts.
2.1 Even if life is a dream, it is a dream within which the senses provide evidence which in turn is modified by, etc., so the same inferences follow despite the re-labelling
2.2 The specious present allows for the continuity of our individual memories
2.3 Your own memories intermesh so conveniently with the accounts of others that you are warranted in the belief that those others, too, have minds
2.3.1 So if life is a dream, you aren’t alone in it.
2.3.2 So life is not in any significant sense a dream.
2.4 This intermeshing doesn’t depend upon bodily similarity or other incidents of the “argument from analogy.”
3.1 The “world” in the sense of this statement is the whole of what we can learn through the methods described in statement 2.
3.2 Whether the world is “everything that is the case” is an open question
3.2.1 but not a very interesting one.
3.3 The recognition of disunity is an imperative, precisely because the drive to unification is so tempting as an ideal.
3.4 The world consists of things and events, though both have very permeable boundaries.
4.1 Neither of the three key words in this statement is obscure in its meaning. Each is understood to all fluent in the language.
4.1.1 “Mechanism” means the action of particles in motionm conceived of as pushing and pulling one another
4.1.2 “Life” means the delicate mutual adjustments and self-perpetuation of a planetary ecosystem
4.1.3 “Consciousness” means that which ‘comes on’ when you awake.
4.2 The relationships among the realities that these terms connote is often characterized as “emergence,” i.e. life emerged from matter/mechanism, and consciousness “emerged” from life.
4.3 But to speak of emergence is merely to state a puzzle, not to resolve one.
5.1 Perhaps matter itself requires explanation, or perhaps it may sometime be reducible to self-generating knots in space-time or something of that sort.
5.1.1 The philosopher must leave such matters to the advance of empirical science, knotty as that advance is likely to be.
5.2 Yet if we are open to that possibility, should we not (a reductionist might ask us) be open to the possibility that life shall be the next step up the ladder, knots in the knots in space-time?
5.3 To which we can answer fairly, "no." Because the order of explanation must be reversed, and the parts explained with reference to the whole, the species and organisms by the eco-system.
6.1 This postulate would seem to put us at odds with modern thermodynamics, as stated in the famous 'second law'
6.1.1 The first law says you can't win, the second says you can't break even
6.1.2 Together, they would seem to suggest the world is headed to a "heat death," where all is lost
6.2 But only a few generations of serious inquiry separate us from Galileo, only a single tick of a cosmic clock separates us from Maxwell, and the prospect that the second law will prove provisional, conditional, as science continues to unfold seems greater than the enormities we'd have to believe in order to deny 6.
6.3 The endlessness of life gives rise to the possibility of eternal recurrence, though further into such Nietzschean speculations I will not proceed.
7.1 Commands don't work to establish right or wrong because they can't establish the legitimacy of the commander.
7.1.1 My consent might establish the legitimacy of the commander, but my consent itself is an act within the great higgle-haggle of life, so in referenmcing it we've moved beyond command.
7.1.2 Even if the commander is conceived of as divine, He doesn't establish right, He supports the right.
7.2 Deductions leave us where they find us.
7.2.1 The world is everything that is the case: but we stay here, there is no pace.
7.3 Don't call the great higgle-haggle the "social contract," since that term carries with it a great deal of nonsense. Just call it what I've called it.
8.1 "To haggle" is the active verb corresponding to the noun "higgle'haggle."
8.2 All haggling contributes to some specific higgle-haggle, and simultaneously contributes to the GREAT higgle-haggle, the sum of social interactions not determined by hierarchy and privilege.
8.3 It is proto-ethical because ethics doesn't in any way precede it, but ethics does in important respects follow from it. The great higgle-haggle is the crucial metaphysical threshold of right and wrong.
9.1 Proposition nine follows from proposition eight and its corollaries, PLUS any understanding of the term "ethical judgment" that distinguishes same from a plain statement of fact.
9.1.1 This issue needs further work.
9.2 This proposition excludes both a favorable and an unfavorable judgment on self interest per se, just as one makes neither favorable nor unfavorable statements about gravity.
9.3 Ethical judgment, then, has two sources in necessary tension. The conservative source of judgment is the continuing necessity of holding people to the results of the higgle-haggle in its existing form. The progressive source of judgment is the continuing press to continue haggling, to get a better deal than the one the existing bargains allow, to continue the forward progress of the species.