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If objective morality doesnt exist, what justifies libertarianism?

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wilderness replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:15 PM

Lilburne:

wilderness:
Aristotle's deductions are most definitely used in the natural law tradition.

Aristotelean logic is used in a great many traditions.

yes it is.

Lilburne:

That doesn't make for some kind of special association between "intellect" and each tradition.

never said it did.

Lilburne:

wilderness:
My initial point was that natural has had a particular meaning (amongst many) that means:  "to the way we actually think" to quote you - in other words - 'natural refers to the intellect' to quote me from various posts in this recent trend of a discussion.

There is also a way of conceiving aesthetics that is natural to the way we actually react to art.

I haven't said otherwise.  And since you say "also" then at least you agree with what my initial comment was.

Lilburne:

So then you could just as well say that "natural" refers to aesthetics.

You could.

Lilburne:

 In the same way "natural" could refer to love, fear, humor, digestion...

Yeap.  I'm glad you realize this.

Lilburne:

Philosophy isn't a game of free association.

I don't know what you are saying here.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:19 PM

wilderness:
I'm asking if you think that whatever you experience can be put into words.

Do you mean everything I experience, or just what I experience in relation to thinking without words? I don't think all of what I or anyone experiences can be fully put into words (at least not in practice), but I assume everyone agrees with that. As for my experience of "thinking without words," I can put it (roughly) into words: I think in images, sounds, and other sensations.

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Adam Knott replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:21 PM

AJ:

This is crucial to understand. I suggest that communication of a conscious experience goes through four stages:

1. Experience: A experiences something

2. Transmission: A attempts to communicate that experience (by words, tone of voice, facial expression, gestures, etc. - some of these being involuntary)

3. Receipt of transmission: B senses (hears, sees, feels, etc.) the communication attempt

4. Interpretation: B attempts to interpret the communication

 

I see two positive things:

First, social theories rely on an underlying theory of consciousness, and the theories can only be as strong and as consistent as the underlying theory of consciousness.  We either take the theories of consciousness that are lying around out there in the culture, or that other scholars have provided, or we construct our own.  Either way, our social theories hinge and depend on theories of consciousness.   So it is important not to shy away from the study of consciousness.   The law of marginal utility says something about the way a consciousness experiences the acquisition of a unit of supply.  The idea of subjective value deals with consciousness...

When Mises writes:

"We must bethink ourselves and reflect upon the structure of human action.  Like logic and mathematics, praxeological knowledge is in us; it does not come from without."

He is essentially talking about an analysis of consciousness.  

When he writes:

"The importance of phenomenology for the solution of the epistemological problems of praxeology has not been noticed at all."

He is saying that phenomenology, as an approach to the understanding of consciousness, has important things to add to praxeology, and that people haven't noticed this.  (how many contemporary Austrian social thinkers cite phenomenology ?)

Alfred Schutz, in The Phenomenology of the Social World, tried to bring phenomenology to the aid of praxeology.

Thus, I believe AJ, in pursuing a more rigorous understanding of consciousness, is taking up the true program of praxeology.

Here is something I wrote previously:

Normal 0 false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE MicrosoftInternetExplorer4

"Mises knew that social science is closely related to our understanding of the human mind.  For social science to progress, new approaches to understanding the human mind are needed, and these approaches amount to theories of consciousness.  The social scientist or social thinker is understandably cautious when it comes to the subject of consciousness, because of the apparent complexity of consciousness.  The danger in embarking on a theory of consciousness lies in the possibility of failure. 

Husserl writes:

“On the single-mindedness and purity of the “phenomenological” attitude depends entirely the consistency or absurdity of the investigations that are here to be carried out.”[1]

Mises writes:

“The method of imaginary constructions is indispensable for praxeology; it is the only method of praxeological and economic inquiry.  It is, to be sure, a method difficult to handle because it can easily result in fallacious syllogisms.  It leads along a sharp edge; on both sides yawns the chasm of absurdity and nonsense.  Only merciless self-criticism can prevent a man from falling headlong into these abysmal depths.”[2]

Though failure is possible, to refrain from treating the subject of consciousness is to cede the realm of consciousness to the philosophers of naturalism and egalitarianism.  And thus if we desire that libertarian theories eventually triumph over the theories of coercion, the philosophers of liberty have no choice but to construct theories of consciousness that compliment rather than contradict the cause of human liberty."



[1] Essay: “Philosophy as Rigorous Science.”

[2] Human Action, 237.

 

The second thing I see, is that AJ's short sketch is rendered in terms of methodological individualism.   We know at any point of the analysis, which consciousness's point of view we are speaking of, A or B.   This is important for clarity of thinking.

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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Wade replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:22 PM

AJ:

Wade,

I said "reading other people's minds" but I should have said "direct mind-to-mind communication," by which I simply mean much more detailed communication than is now available. I take for granted that it will probably never be perfect, so I'm not really meaning to get into the subjective/objective debate.

For instance, I have heard there are now technologies that allow people to imagine shape and it will appear (fuzzy and distorted, but often recognizable) on a screen. If this technology advances smoothly, it may soon be possible to make a video display of whatever you're visually imagining in real time. I imagine flying around in a mountainous landscape, and you can see it as I'm imagining it. Maybe I can also imagine music, and it will flow out of speakers wired to my brain almost exactly as I'm imagining it. With some practice, perhaps I could create on-the-fly video presentations of concepts I wish to explain. I could of course combine these modes of communication with words to further clarify the meaning.

Of course then, for example, the feeling you get when you see the video of the landscape and hear the music will be different than the feeling they give me. You wouldn't yet be able to experience my consciousness exactly as I experience it, but we would probably understand each other a lot better.

So what I mean here is not yet "reading another's mind" (although I realize that is more relevant to the preceding discussion), but simply having better tools for communication - better tools than words. We already have this to a degree. A filmmaker can make his vision into a film; a musician can compose and play, or even play his feelings at this very moment if he is good at improvization. But this is usually a prohibitively cumbersome process for, say, debate.

Thank you for your explanation.  This is really an awesome idea.  I really liked the way in which your related it to filmmakers and musicians and artists, etc... that is really a powerful observation.  It would just be a more advanced way for people to convey their feelings, I get it now.  I am an technology enthusiast myself, so thank you for sharing.

I was actually more worried about my own reasoning, I didn't mean to convey that you were trying to say that reading others people minds was the same thing as experiencing their conscious experience.

Only ideas can overcome ideas...

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Angurse replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:23 PM

Wilderness,

This will be my final response to you concerning this matter.

wilderness:
Good.  then you didn't need to respond to me initially.

It was you who initially responded to me, if you didn't intend to discuss the topic at hand perhaps you should have been a little more courteous and stayed out.

 

Note: Follow the chain, you inevitably bring up the semantics of "natural" in reply to my specific (and obvious) use of the term natural law. If you didn't intend to discuss natural law, then it shouldn't have been introduced its just a big non-sequitar. My arguing after assumed you were trying to be on topic which seems pretty reasonable (given that you replied to me).

"I am an aristocrat. I love liberty, I hate equality."
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Adam Knott replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:23 PM

AJ:

My position is that words are not the fundamental unit of thought. Before I explain why I think that, I'd like to know if anyone actually disagrees, or if I'm misunderstanding the "thoughts=words" position.

I don't necessarily disagree with this.  I think it is an important line of inquiry....

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:24 PM

Wade:
The reason I am bringing this up is because even if we were able to "become" someone else temporarily through some kind of breakthrough technology, this would not necessarily invalidate Methodological Individualism, the method or Praxeology.  In other words, the theory does not care which consciousness is being addressed, it is just a formal method from the perspective of 1 consciousness.

Ah, I see. I'm talking off-topic for sure then. If this is too far from the topic here, I certainly welcome further discussion in the Mises Lounge or another thread perhaps.

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wilderness replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:29 PM

AJ:

wilderness:
I'm asking if you think that whatever you experience can be put into words.

Do you mean everything I experience, or just what I experience in relation to thinking without words?

Everything you experience, but not all experience is words.  That's a given.  Words are apart of our experience - so - everything we experience includes words, feelings, skin, etc...

AJ:

I don't think all of what I or anyone experiences can be fully put into words (at least not in practice), but I assume everyone agrees with that.

I don't know about this.  I think I can put everything I experience into words, BUT what is key is, my words are not the full experience.  Sometimes an event is full of inspiration.  I just put that into words.  That doesn't necessarily mean though that the words are transferring, as a medium, the exact inspiration I experienced.  But I was able to put into words that I experienced inspiration.

AJ:

As for my experience of "thinking without words," I can put it (roughly) into words: I think in images, sounds, and other sensations.

my meditation experience for over ten years has been zazen so therefore it's not accurately called meditation.  More accurately called zazen.  I experience words too, but also images, sounds, etc...

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:29 PM

Adam Knott:
And thus if we desire that libertarian theories eventually triumph over the theories of coercion, the philosophers of liberty have no choice but to construct theories of consciousness that compliment rather than contradict the cause of human liberty.

Oh that's great, because I thought I was kind of butting in with a very tangential, loosely related idea (one that I'm always eager to talk about but never get the chance). I am not sure how any of my ideas may apply to the discussion at hand, so I'm going to hold my tongue on the libertarian theory side of things for the moment.

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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:32 PM

Adam Knott:

AJ:

My position is that words are not the fundamental unit of thought. Before I explain why I think that, I'd like to know if anyone actually disagrees, or if I'm misunderstanding the "thoughts=words" position.

I don't necessarily disagree with this.  I think it is an important line of inquiry....

I would certainly like to hear any thought for or against. This has always been my No. 1 area of interest. I never really understood the notion that people think in words, and never hear it discussed anywhere, but I've frequently got the feeling that people generally assume "thoughts=words."

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wilderness replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:37 PM

Angurse:

Wilderness,

This will be my final response to you concerning this matter.

wilderness:
Good.  then you didn't need to respond to me initially.

It was you who initially responded to me, if you didn't intend to discuss the topic at hand perhaps you should have been a little more courteous and stayed out.

No.  It was you that had initially responded to questioning if natural meant intellect.  I have pointed that out to you and have copied and pasted what the initial response was that I am referring to at least a couple times now.  You linked me to a very brief discussion that we had on Obama and feelings.  Nothing about the semantics of natural had come up then.  Obviously we are not talking about Obama and feelings.  We are currently talking about the semantics of natural.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:42 PM

wilderness:
think I can put everything I experience into words, BUT what is key is, my words are not the full experience.  Sometimes an event is full of inspiration.  I just put that into words.  That doesn't necessarily mean though that the words are transferring, as a medium, the exact inspiration I experienced.  But I was able to put into words that I experienced inspiration.

This is my experience as well.

wilderness:
my meditation experience for over ten years has been zazen so therefore it's not accurately called meditation.  More accurately called zazen.  I experience words too, but also images, sounds, etc...

Interesting. That makes sense actually.

Maybe it will be useful if I can think of some kind of logical reasoning that can be performed purely through images. Although it will be difficult, what I want to show is that our (at least my) internal "language" (the elements of meaning when I reason within the confines of my own mind) is quite different from the external language we speak (e.g., English). Of course, I also use English when reasoning within my own mind, and may use it virtually always, out of habit, but I want to show that this is merely an overlay on the thoughts (kind of like yellow sticky notes), not the fundamental unit of thought itself (which may be no one's position, but I'm not sure because I've never heard this discussed before).

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Wade replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:49 PM

AJ:

Adam Knott:

AJ:

My position is that words are not the fundamental unit of thought. Before I explain why I think that, I'd like to know if anyone actually disagrees, or if I'm misunderstanding the "thoughts=words" position.

I don't necessarily disagree with this.  I think it is an important line of inquiry....

I would certainly like to hear any thought for or against. This has always been my No. 1 area of interest. I never really understood the notion that people think in words, and never hear it discussed anywhere, but I've frequently got the feeling that people generally assume "thoughts=words."

I think that there are definitely philosophers that have made this assumption that thoughts and words are equivalent.  Many theories also contain assumptions that thoughts are not actions, but of course Austrian Theory says that thought falls under the category of human action.  The context here between thoughts and words seems to be that thoughts are actions and words are something of the material world.  So in my view, from the perspective of Methodological Individualism, the fundamental aspect of thought is action, not words.  So I think I agree with you.

Only ideas can overcome ideas...

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wilderness replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 12:54 PM

AJ:

wilderness:
think I can put everything I experience into words, BUT what is key is, my words are not the full experience.  Sometimes an event is full of inspiration.  I just put that into words.  That doesn't necessarily mean though that the words are transferring, as a medium, the exact inspiration I experienced.  But I was able to put into words that I experienced inspiration.

This is my experience as well.

And to be clear.  What I mean be "exact inspiration" is the word inspiration is not the feeling inspiration as well as not a dreamy, visual inspiration.  All potential mediums of the same event.  This is why I said eariler in this thread that the intellect realizes, but it's not necessarily the origin of what is or it can be depending on the nature of what it is being defined.

AJ:

wilderness:
my meditation experience for over ten years has been zazen so therefore it's not accurately called meditation.  More accurately called zazen.  I experience words too, but also images, sounds, etc...

Interesting. That makes sense actually.

Maybe it will be useful if I can think of some kind of logical reasoning that can be performed purely through images. Although it will be difficult, what I want to show is that our (at least my) internal "language" (the elements of meaning when I reason within the confines of my own mind) is quite different from the external language we speak (e.g., English). Of course, I also use English when reasoning within my own mind, and may use it virtually always, out of habit, but I want to show that this is merely an overlay on the thoughts (kind of like yellow sticky notes), not the fundamental unit of thought itself (which may be no one's position, but I'm not sure because I've never heard this discussed before).

Your right.  A particular thought may not have originated with thought in and of itself.  Thought can have varying mediums too if thought is strictly defined as what passes through my mind.  This doesn't exclude what my heart communicates to my mind.  My mind though would need to use a different medium other than feelings if the mind in the skull is going to communicate what those feelings are on it's terms - the mind in my skull's terms.  Now a thought can originate outside of the mind.  Feelings or trees.  And then the thought in my mind-skull may try varying mediums to communicate and quite possibly inspire a tingle in the heart of another.  Thoughts can influence the heart and the heart can influence the mind.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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And to be clear.  When I say "a thought can originate outside of the mind(-skull)", what I'm saying is not the thought in and of itself is originating outside, etc...  I am saying what the thought, as a medium, is communicating - the content of the communication - may originate outside the mind-skull.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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AJ:

Adam Knott:
And thus if we desire that libertarian theories eventually triumph over the theories of coercion, the philosophers of liberty have no choice but to construct theories of consciousness that compliment rather than contradict the cause of human liberty.

Oh that's great, because I thought I was kind of butting in with a very tangential, loosely related idea (one that I'm always eager to talk about but never get the chance). I am not sure how any of my ideas may apply to the discussion at hand, so I'm going to hold my tongue on the libertarian theory side of things for the moment.

Tying this back into the OP, Nandor asked:

If objective morality doesn't exist, what justifies libertarianism?

His question is, if objective ethics are considered faulty (nonesensical, contradictory, whatever...), then what is the rational basis for libertarianism or libertarian ethics?

In other words, if no objective ethics, then how libertarianism?

And the answer is: because of the nature of consciousness; what Mises referred to as the logical structure of the human mind.

Objective ethics, in some sense, tries to conceive things in the following way:

(X is the nature of objective reality)..........(and therefore Y is what I should do)

The two correlates are:  

1.  the nature of objective reality (conceived as independent of any individual consciousness)

and

2. the action I should therefore take.

And Nandor's question implies that if this program doesn't work, then libertarianism or libertarian ethics may not work.  Actually, this is the fundamental grounding assumption of objective and normative ethics.

But there are correlates that objective ethicists haven't considered, and these are the fundamental correlates of consciousness.  Essentially, those correlates reduce to happiness and unhappiness, but that is getting into another topic.

You can see the correlates of consciousness in Menger's law of marginal utility:

(if a consciousness comes into possession of an additional unit)........(then this consciousness experiences a decrease in a unit's value)

You can see the correlates of consciousness in early Hayek:

"...the data which formed the starting point for the tautological transformations of the Pure Logic of Choice.  There "data" meant those facts, and only those facts, which were present in the mind of the acting person, and only this subjective interpretation of the term "datum" made those propositions necessary truths."  "Datum" meant given, known, to the person under consideration."

Hayek, in referring to several facts present in the mind of the acting person, is referring to correlates of consciousness.

So in an important way, an analysis of consciousness is pertinent to Nandor's original question.

If the primary correlates of libertarianism and libertarian ethics are not [objective reality] and [the ought implied by objective reality], then what are the primary correlates of libertarianism and libertarian ethics?

The answer is: the primary correlates of libertarianism and libertarian ethics are correlates of consciousness.

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 1:05 PM

Wade:

But lets toy with this idea and say we could experience their consciousness through some kind of bizarre technology where we "become" them, would it be possible to have 2 conscious experiences at the same time?  If we "become" them, can we still "be" ourselves too.  Or would we then still be from the perspective of 1 consciousness?

Switching back on topic for a moment, I think what you say here may depend on whether materialism is true or not, as well as what makes us "us." If we experience everything another person is experiencing, that means we also experience the sensation of having their same memories, for example. In some sense, then, fully experiencing what it is like to be another person may make us actually "be" that other person. In this, we have to watch for semantics, because what does it really mean to "be" someone, or to "be" ourselves. I suggest that the concept of "being" may prove too vague for our purposes - which would be expected, as such words were not coined to handle such situations. Example:

http://instruct.westvalley.edu/lafave/where_am_i.html

In this science fiction shortstory, a man's brain is removed from his body and put in a vat. Transmitters attached to the brain and into the guy's empty skull relay all the neural messages to the man's body by radio. In the following excerpt, despite what the author says, it's clear to me that the question "Where am I?" no longer functions reliably given the character's situation. I want to point out, then, that words can appear to mean something perfectly definite and obvious, but in fact they often don't mean anything at all in the given context.

Daniel C. Dennett:
The day for surgery arrived at last and of course I was anesthetized and remember nothing of the operation itself. When I came out of anesthesia, I opened my eyes, looked around, and asked the inevitable, the traditional, the lamentably hackneyed postoperative question: "Where am l?" The nurse smiled down at me. "You're in Houston," she said, and I reflected that this still had a good chance of being the truth one way or another. She handed me a mirror. Sure enough, there were the tiny antennae poling up through their titanium ports cemented into my skull. "I gather tile operation was a success," I said. "I want to go see my brain." They led me (I was a bit dizzy and unsteady) down a long corridor and into the life-support lab. A cheer went up from the assembled support team, and I responded with what I hoped was a jaunty salute. Still feeling lightheaded, I was helped over to tire life-support vat. I peered through the glass. There, floating in what looked like ginger ale, was undeniably a human brain, though it was almost covered with printed circuit chips, plastic tubules, electrodes, and other paraphernalia. "Is that mine?" I asked. "Hit the output transmitter switch there on the side of the vat and see for yourself," the project director replied. I moved the switch to OFF, and immediately slumped, groggy and nauseated, into the arms of the technicians, one of whom kindly restored the switch to its ON position. While I recovered my equilibrium and composure, I thought to myself: "Well, here I am sitting on a folding chair, staring through a piece of plate glass at my own brain... But wait," I said to myself, "shouldn't I have thought, 'Here I am, suspended in a bubbling fluid, being stared at by my own eyes'?" I tried to think this latter thought. I tried to project it into the tank, offering it hopefully to my brain, but I failed to carry off the exercise with any conviction. I tried again. "Here am I, Daniel Dennett, suspended in a bubbling fluid, being stared at by my own eyes." No, it just didn't work. Most puzzling and confusing. Being a philosopher of firm physicalist conviction, I believed unswervingly that the tokening of my thoughts was occurring somewhere in my brain: yet, when I thought "Here I am," where the thought occurred to me was here, outside the vat, where I, Dennett, was standing staring at my brain.

I tried and tried to think myself into the vat, but to no avail. I tried to build up to the task by doing mental exercises. I thought to myself, "The sun is shining over there," five times in rapid succession, each time mentally ostending a different place: in order, the sunlit corner of the lab, the visible front lawn of the hospital, Houston, Mars, and Jupiter. I found I had little difficulty in getting my "there" 's to hop all over the celestial map with their proper references. I could loft a "there" in an instant through the farthest reaches of space, and then aim the next "there" with pinpoint accuracy at the upper left quadrant of a freckle on my arm. Why was I having such trouble with "here"? "Here in Houston" worked well enough, and so did "here in the lab," and even "here in this part of the lab," but "here in the vat" always seemed merely an unmeant mental mouthing. I tried closing my eyes while thinking it. This seemed to help, but still I couldn't manage to pull it off, except perhaps for a fleeting instant. I couldn't be sure. The discovery that I couldn't be sure was also unsettling. How did I know where I meant by "here" when I thought "here"? Could I think I meant one place when in fact I meant another? I didn't see how that could be admitted without untying the few bonds of intimacy between a person and his own mental life that had survived the onslaught of the brain scientists and philosophers, the physicalists and behaviorists. Perhaps I was incorrigible about where I meant when I said "here." But in my present circumstances it seemed that either I was doomed by sheer force of mental habit to thinking systematically false indexical thoughts, or where a person is (and hence where his thoughts are tokened for purposes of semantic analysis) is not necessarily where his brain, the physical seat of his soul, resides. Nagged by confusion, I attempted to orient myself by falling back on a favorite philosopher's ploy. I began naming things.

"Yorick," I said aloud to my brain, "you are my brain. The rest of my body, seated in this chair, I dub 'Hamlet.' " So here we all are: Yorick's my brain, Hamlet's my body, and I am Dennett. Now, where am l? And when I think "where am l?" where's that thought tokened? Is it tokened in my brain, lounging about in the vat, or right here between my ears where it seems to be tokened? Or nowhere? Its temporal coordinates give me no trouble; must it not have spatial coordinates as well? I began making a list of the alternatives.

1. Where Hamlet goes there goes Dennett. This principle was easily refuted by appeal to the familiar brain-transplant thought experiments so enjoyed by philosophers. If Tom and Dick switch brains, Tom is the fellow with Dick's former body -- just ask him; he'll claim to be Tom and tell you the most intimate details of Tom's autobiography. It was clear enough, then, that my current body and I could part company, but not likely that I could be separated from my brain. The rule of thumb that emerged so plainly from the thought experiments was that in a brain-transplant operation, one wanted to be the donor not the recipient. Better to call such an operation a body transplant, in fact. So perhaps the truth was,

2. Where Yorick goes there goes Dennett. This was not at all appealing, however. How could I be in the vat and not about to go anywhere, when I was so obviously outside the vat looking in and beginning to make guilty plans to return to my room for a substantial lunch? This begged the question I realized, but it still seemed to be getting at something important. Casting about for some support for my intuition, I hit upon a legalistic sort of argument that might have appealed to Locke.

Suppose, I argued to myself, I were now to fly to California, rob a bank, and be apprehended. In which state would I be tried: in California, where the robbery took place, or in Texas, where the brains of the outfit were located? Would I be a California felon with an out-of-state brain, or a Texas felon remotely controlling an accomplice of sorts in California? It seemed possible that I might beat such a rap just on the undecidability of that jurisdictional question, though perhaps it would be deemed an interstate, and hence Federal, offense. In any event, suppose I were convicted. Was it likely that California would be satisfied to throw Hamlet into the brig, knowing that Yorick was living the good life and luxuriously taking the waters in Texas? Would Texas incarcerate Yorick, leaving Hamlet free to take the next boat to Rio? This alternative appealed to me. Barring capital punishment or other cruel and unusual punishment, the state would be obliged to maintain the life-support system for Yorick though they might move him from Houston to Leavenworth, and aside from the unpleasantness of the opprobrium, I, for one, would not mind at all and would consider myself a free man under those circumstances. If the state has an interest in forcibly relocating persons in institutions, it would fail to relocate me in any institution by locating Yorick there. If this were true, it suggested a third alternative:

3. Dennett is wherever he thinks he is. Generalized, the claim was as follows: At any given time a person has a point of view and the location of the point of view (which is determined internally by the content of the point of view) is also the location of the person.

Such a proposition is not without its perplexities, but to me it seemed a step in the right direction. The only trouble was that it seemed to place one in a heads-l-win/tails-you-lose situation of unlikely infallibility as regards location. Hadn't I myself often been wrong about where I was, and at least as often uncertain? Couldn't one get lost? Of course, but getting lost geographically is not the only way one might get lost. If one were lost in the woods one could attempt to reassure oneself with the consolation that at least one knew where one was: one was right here in the familiar surroundings of one's own body. Perhaps in this case one would not have drawn one's attention to much to be thankful for. Still, there were worse plights imaginable, and I wasn't sure I wasn't in such a plight right now.

Point of view clearly had something to do with personal location, but it was itself an unclear notion. It was obvious that the content of one's point of view was not the same as or determined by the content of one's beliefs or thoughts. For example, what should we say about the point of view of the Cinerama viewer who shrieks and twists in his seat as the roller-coaster footage overcomes his psychic distancing? Has he forgotten that he is safely seated in the theater? Here I was inclined to say that the person is experiencing an illusory shift in point of view. In other cases, my inclination to call such shifts illusory was less strong. The workers in laboratories and plants who handle dangerous materials by operating feedback-controlled mechanical arms and hands undergo a shift in point of view that is crisper and more pronounced than anything Cinerama can provoke. They can feel the heft and slipperiness of the containers they manipulate with their metal fingers. They know perfectly well where they are and are not fooled into false beliefs by the experience, yet it is as if they were inside the isolation chamber they are peering into. With mental effort, they can manage to shift their point of view back and forth, rather like making a transparent Necker cube or an Escher drawing change orientation before one's eves. It does seem extravagant to suppose that in performing this bit of mental gymnastics, they are transporting themselves back and forth.

Still their example gave me hope. If I was in fact in the vat in spite of my intuitions, I might be able to train myself to adopt that point of view even as a matter of habit. I should dwell on images of myself comfortably floating in my vat, beaming volitions to that familiar body out there. I reflected that the ease or difficulty of this task was presumably independent of the truth about the location of one's brain Had I been practicing before the operation, I might now be finding it second nature. You might now yourself try such a trompe l'oeil. Imagine you have written an inflammatory letter which has been published in the Times the result of which is that the government has chosen to impound your brain for a probationary period of three years in its Dangerous Brain Clinic in Bethesda, Maryland. Your body of course is allowed freedom to earn a salary and thus to continue its function of laying up income to be taxed. At this moment, however, your body is seated in an auditorium listening to a peculiar account by Daniel Dennett of his own similar experience. Try it. Think yourself to Bethesda, and then hark back longingly to your body, far away, and yet seeming so near. It is only with long-distance restraint (yours? the Government's?) that you can control your impulse to get those hands clapping in polite applause before navigating the old body to the rest room and a well-deserved glass of evening sherry in the lounge. The task of imagination is certainly difficult, but if you achieve your goal the results might be consoling.

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Wade:

...but of course Austrian Theory says that thought falls under the category of human action.

Not all may agree with this, but Mises realized it:

"....thinking itself an action, proceeding step by step from the less satisfactory state of insufficient cognition to the more satisfactory state of better insight."

(Human Action, V. Time as a Praxeological Factor, 3rd rev. ed. p.99)

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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Adam,

I've advocated for some time, influenced by discussions and readings before I ever found this forum, to side-step around objective and subjective.  In context these concepts are ok due to the contexts explanatory power to prop these terms up better (by better I mean provide more meaning).  Cause an emphasis on either one may, at times, exclude the other too much.  What I mean is consciousness can realize something.  Even if consciousness is realizing itself.  So even if what is realized is a consciousness particle, for instance, a tree out there has to be a conscious particle for me to achieve realization (consciousness) of the tree, in other words, even if there is a purely consciousness plane and that's how all communication and realization happens it is still a tree I am being conscious of and that tree didn't originate in my mind-skull (my consciousness).  That's what I think.

edit:  I also think, if I remember correctly, this idea I mulled here is also called dependent origination.

edit edit:  I briefly looked it up.  Yes that is what I am talking about.  I do remember correctly.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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yes.  thought is a specie of human action.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Wade:

...the fundamental aspect of thought is action, not words.  So I think I agree with you.

I agreed with the first part, but not sure about this part.  I'd had to further contemplate with anything you may want to add.  I can draw up words.  Words, the individual letters can be formed as I write upon a piece of paper.  Look at the letter "S".  I can start on the bottom tail end and move along the body of the form to the top.  The finished product is static, but it also those words joining up into sentences.  Those words mirror thoughts.  I think words are a different medium of thought.  Still thoughts but a different medium.

thinking.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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wilderness:

...it is still a tree I am being conscious of and that tree didn't originate in my mind-skull (my consciousness).

Thank you Wilderness.

One can conceive that the tree really does exist.  And one can conceive that the tree doesn't exist except when it is perceived.

But there is a third way that often goes unnoticed:

One can remain neutral with respect to the tree's "real existence," and instead examine the "logic of" when a tree exists for an individual consciousness.

We need not argue for the ontological or "real" existence or non-existence of the tree.  We can examine the logic of a tree's appearance for an individual consciousness.  This is phenomenology, and in my opinion, it is praxeology....

 

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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Wade replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 1:31 PM

Hey Wilderness,

Regarding your post at 12:54 PM

I have had similar musings myself.  It is fun to try to capture all of the complexities of the human experience and the reality around us.  I have always been a very philosophical person, and as I've gotten older I have gotten into the idea of inspiration also.  In my view, we are attempting to capture all of these things with various scientific categories and the most powerful tool which is human intuition.  After all, science is the result of intuition, it has just been formalized into exact science.  Also, love, which is more complex than anything else it seems.

So all of these things affect our human experience and the "real" world around us.  And sometimes we can take all of the theories we have knowledge about along with our intuition and really get a bird's eye view of reality in general.  I love that feeling.

This is itself human experience also.  And also there is the human experience of studying our intuitions and making science which is more focused.  Of course, neither of these things is necessarily more important than the other.

Before I came across economic theory, Mises' work and Austrian theory, I always felt that there was something missing.  That there was more to the human experience than just the material world and the relationships between objects of the material world.  When I found Praxeology (economics, Mises' work, austrian theory, etc.) , it fulfilled that missing gap of scientific explanation.  I started to understand the relationship between myself and the material world, because I had grasped the science behind the intuition that I was more than an object in the material world.  I was an acting being.  It is great to have another tool for getting that bird's eye view of life by capturing another piece of the complexity of life into a scientific theory.

I have come to realize lately that scientific theory does not necessarily discredit a strong intuition.

The approach of the scientific theory may be blind to an obvious equivalency, while the fresh approach founded upon a strong intuition may discover equivalences undiscoverable by previous scientific approaches.

I think this might be something akin to a scientific revolution.

Only ideas can overcome ideas...

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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 1:44 PM

Wade:
So in my view, from the perspective of Methodological Individualism, the fundamental aspect of thought is action, not words.  So I think I agree with you.

I assume words are actions as well? What I mean, again not on topic necessarily, is simply - for instance - if I ask you, "Do floozelats wear funny hats?"

.

.

.

Can you notice any meaningful imagery and/or sound(s) that allows you to understand (or to "picture") the meaning of the question in your mind? Could it be possible to imagine the essence of the meaning of that question purely through pictures and sounds, and do you?

In my case, I see a "floozelat" as a sort of elongated stripey cat done in the style of Dr. Seuss books (probably because the question also mentions cats, and I read The Cat in the Hat when I was a kid). The hat part is fuzzy but has a generally zany outline to it. This is all well and good, but the real question is, how did you imagine the "yes-no-questionness" of the question? I imagine something like this tone (at 0:51), which indicates to me that thing being imagined is a yes-no question. I also know it's a hypothetical question because the image is slightly transparent on my visual field, and perhaps from the way it comes "on screen" (diagonally from the bottom of my visual field, starting small and then expanding to full screen).

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Adam Knott:

wilderness:

...it is still a tree I am being conscious of and that tree didn't originate in my mind-skull (my consciousness).

One can conceive that the tree really does exist.  And one can conceive that the tree doesn't exist except when it is perceived.

ok

Adam Knott:

But there is a third way that often goes unnoticed:

One can remain neutral with respect to the tree's "real existence," and instead examine the "logic of" when a tree exists for an individual consciousness.

Yes.  This is what I was saying previously in this thread about natural and intellect.  I didn't get into the theoretics fully, only briefly to explain the semantics of these terms.  But as I pointed out the metaphysics of what is, now for epistemology, say a tree.  A tree is, but keep in mind I stated that the metaphysics of a tree, the nature of a tree, is deliberated upon by what the intellect realizes.  What the intellect grasps (the metaphysical step) is the tree (the epistemic step).  The epistemic realization involves an intellect grasping what is, in this case, a tree.  The process is not strictly intellect.  Not strictly tree.  It is intellect and tree.  That is philosophy with all of the distinct actions involved in the philosophic event being the metaphysical step, epistemology step, and logical steps, etc...  Each step collaborating as what a human does.  Nature, for a human, involves intellect realizing co-dependently with other things.  What those things are gets into knowledge of whatever those things might be.

Adam Knott:

 We need not argue for the ontological or "real" existence or non-existence of the tree.  We can examine the logic of a tree's appearance for an individual consciousness.  This is phenomenology, and in my opinion, it is praxeology....

When you say the logic of, I don't know if that's completely correct.  Logic are rules that provide boundaries and shape amidst the process of our thinking or realizations.  Maybe the knowledge or epistemics of a tree is what you mean?  Maybe not.

well.  I've got to go and won't be able to reply for a couple days.  it was fun.  I'll find this thread when I return.

"Do not put out the fire of the spirit." 1The 5:19
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Wade replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 1:46 PM

Ok I'm guilty of going way off topic.  Please don't feel the need to respond to my comment before this one.  I am going to try to address some of the questions or comment directed at me.  I didn't mean to cause confusion.

Only ideas can overcome ideas...

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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 2:02 PM

Adam Knott:
the primary correlates of libertarianism and libertarian ethics are correlates of consciousness.

I'm not sure I follow. Perhaps what I need to understand this is the material covered in the The Logic of Happiness?

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wilderness:

But as I pointed out the metaphysics of what is, now for epistemology, say a tree.  A tree is, but keep in mind I stated that the metaphysics of a tree, the nature of a tree, is deliberated upon by what the intellect realizes.  What the intellect grasps (the metaphysical step) is the tree (the epistemic step).  The epistemic realization involves an intellect grasping what is, in this case, a tree.  The process is not strictly intellect.  Not strictly tree.  It is intellect and tree.  That is philosophy with all of the distinct actions involved in the philosophic event being the metaphysical step, epistemology step, and logical steps, etc...  Each step collaborating as what a human does.  Nature, for a human, involves intellect realizing co-dependently with other things.  What those things are gets into knowledge of whatever those things might be.

OK  This begins to be a theory of consciousness in my opinion.

The clarity, cogency, and consistency of the theory of consciousness utilized, is related to the clarity, cogency, and consistency of the social theory advanced.

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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zefreak replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 2:07 PM

This thread has taken a turn for the weird :)

“Elections are Futures Markets in Stolen Property.” - H. L. Mencken


 

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Wade replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 2:09 PM

AJ, regarding your post at 1:05 PM

I strongly agree if you are trying to say that words usually have a preexisting context attached to them, and that we have to be careful to explain what context we are using a word in, when we use it.  Also, sometimes words have a context that is so strongly attached to them that it is almost too difficult to use the word in a different context.  So that in those cases it is better to just use a different word or possibly even a new word.

What I was trying to say is that it seems that Methodological Individualism is dependent on the the idea of 1 consciousness.  So someone might say, what if person A becomes person B?  As long as we are talking about 1 conscious, this phenomenon is irrelevant in regard to Methodological Individualism.  I wouldn't want to get into the details of how person A would "become" person B.

But just for the heck of it, lets say we start with consciousness A and consciousness B.

Maybe person A's consciousness would be merged into B's becoming 1 consciousness, so that A would now have all of the experiences B had in addition to his own.  B's conscious might still stay independent so that now we have 1 consciousness, AB, and another consciousness, B.  Or maybe conscious B isn't separate so that now instead of conscious A and B, there is just consciousness AB.  Or Maybe A could switch back and forth between having 1 conscious, consciousness A, to having another consciousness, consciousness B.  This is all hypothetical, so I have no idea really.  I am just trying to approach it from the idea of Methodological Individualism.

Only ideas can overcome ideas...

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AJ:

Adam Knott:
the primary correlates of libertarianism and libertarian ethics are correlates of consciousness.

I'm not sure I follow. Perhaps what I need to understand this is the material covered in the The Logic of Happiness?

Hi AJ

We can start another thread, or discuss via e-mail.

But I think I can explain while still trying to keep it related to the OP.

"If objective morality doesn't exist, what justifies libertarianism?"

What is "objective" morality?   It can't be "subjective" morality.  Objective morality refers to the idea that the source of our moral sense or intuitions is to be found in "objective" reality; a reality that exists independent of conscioiusness.   A plain or basic definition of objective reality is: that part of nature that is in the realm of observation.  If we think of it this way, then objective ethics (objective morality) has two parts: [objective reality], and [the moral obligation this imparts to the individual actor].   There is "objective reality" (first correlate), and there is me the actor, and what objective reality requires of me (second correlate).

By contrast, the correlates happiness and unhappiness are correlates of an individual consciousness.  They can be conceived without referring to a posited or assumed objective reality.  The correlates of consciousness happiness and happiness are what we might call the basis for a "subjective morality."   I.e., a morality based not on what objective reality requires of an individual, but instead based on what an individual's happiness requires of him.

To answer Nandor's question succinctly, if objective morality doesn't exist, then subjective morality can "justify" libertarianism.  (i.e., the basis of libertarianism is the individual's experience of happiness and unhappiness in regard to various social systems and ethical practices)

The individual's happiness requires specific forms of action and specific forms of social interaction.   Libertarianism can be "justified" (a term that is not expedient here) by a subjective morality based on the correlates of consciousness---happiness and unhappiness---rather than an objective morality based on the correlates of objective reality and the individual's supposed obligations derived therefrom.

 

 

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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AJ replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 3:02 PM

Adam,

May I understand you as saying that libertarianism can be justified for each individual by the fact that, to that individual, practicing libertarianism (or having it practiced with/to him) results in more happiness than not? And it may be possible to show that libertarianism in fact leads to more happiness for everyone, even if they do not realize it?

Interestingly, my own personal "moral compass" is based on the a very broad definition of the word "health." It's perhaps functionally synonymous with "happiness."

Healthy body, healthy personality, healthy relationships, healthy economy, etc.

...all seem to maximize happiness in my experience, although what constitutes "healthy" becomes more and more controversial as we go down the list.

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I stumbled upon a little time to respond before I fully leave.

Adam Knott:

OK  This begins to be a theory of consciousness in my opinion.

yes, that's the episteme (theory).  For instance, A is A.  There's logic in that statement.  Now what is A?  That a question of knowledge (episteme).  Does A really exist?  Again that's a question of what is, in this case, a question of A.  Again that's a question of knowing about an A and what that A is (again episteme).  Whatever A is, whatever is - is, has to do with knowing about such.  The logic of A being A is referring to whatever an individual refers to A being, that A is still A - no matter what A is known or defined as or theorized as.  Known, defined as, theorized as - each synonymous here considering the context. 

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Adam Knott:

Objective morality refers to the idea that the source of our moral sense or intuitions is to be found in "objective" reality; a reality that exists independent of conscioiusness.   A plain or basic definition of objective reality is: that part of nature that is in the realm of observation.  If we think of it this way, then objective ethics (objective morality) has two parts: [objective reality], and [the moral obligation this imparts to the individual actor].   There is "objective reality" (first correlate), and there is me the actor, and what objective reality requires of me (second correlate).

By contrast, the correlates happiness and unhappiness are correlates of an individual consciousness.  They can be conceived without referring to a posited or assumed objective reality.  The correlates of consciousness happiness and happiness are what we might call the basis for a "subjective morality."   I.e., a morality based non on what objective reality requires of an individual, but instead based on what an individual's happiness requires of him.

If "objective" is dependent on this thread then probably a new thread is necessary cause of what I'm trying to point out.  Going by what you say here Adam, the dependent origination of natural is a colloboration of intellect and reality devoid of intellect.  The two colloborating are not to get bogged down in subjective and objective because in colloboration it is neither of these two independently but rather dependently.  To incline towards one or the other is to forget the significance of the one or the other.  To incline towards objective in accord with your definitions is thus devoid of subjective.  But to incline towards subjective in accord with your definitions is thus devoid of objective.  To get stuck on one or the other is therefore to conceptualize only one or the other.  For example, to incline upon objective (or subjective) is have knowledge that is void of subjective (or objective).  As I think you brought up earlier about the third that's what I'm pointing out.  The third is what natural philosophy has to do with this.  The intellect (thus a human acting) in a world (objective reality).  This colloboration of what somebody deems rational is in step with Mises use of the term rational (as well as Aristotle I would say, and others).  The knowledge of what the intellect deems as being can take a materialist slant or a psychological slant.  I would say what the investigator (materialist or psychologist approach, etc..) keeping in mind is not too dismiss one or the other.  To fall into the trap of inclining objectively or subjectively too far to the point of making objective or subjective absent in their cognition.  This is undoubtedly why a materialist may argue that they are fully aware of thoughts, words, mental images, etc... because the human actor taking on the role of a materialist very well indeed might be fully aware of all of these because such a human agent didn't go too far to void the individual.  Same goes with a psychologist not going to far to void an external reality of the individual.  Neither need to void the subjective or objective, but the trappings are present.  The exclusion of the individual or a world outside of the individual may happen if either is taken as the extreme of what is.

Dependent origination is cause and effect where the A might be the cause one circumstance but the effect in another completely different circumstance.  Thus A is the cause of B.  B is therefore the effect.  Yet B is the cause of C.  Thus C is the effect.  Knowing if A is the cause or the effect is to have knowledge (episteme) of what A is (and to recognize that an A is - is metaphysics and whatever A is, meaning if A doesn't exist at all or A does exist - again that's getting into the theory or knowledge of what A is).

good evening 

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AJ:

Adam,

May I understand you as saying that libertarianism can be justified for each individual by the fact that, to that individual, practicing libertarianism (or having it practiced with/to him) results in more happiness than not? And it may be possible to show that libertarianism in fact leads to more happiness for everyone, even if they do not realize it?

Interestingly, my own personal "moral compass" is based on the a very broad definition of the word "health." It's perhaps functionally synonymous with "happiness."

Healthy body, healthy personality, healthy relationships, healthy economy, etc.

...all seem to maximize happiness in my experience, although what constitutes "healthy" becomes more and more controversial as we go down the list.

AJ:

Yes, definitely.  Exactly.

A very broad definition of the word "health," in my opinion, is going to eventually become a formal conception of happiness, and that is what is/was at the basis of Austrian social theory: "utility," "satisfaction," etc....

"Man's aim is to substitute what he considers a better state of affairs for a less satisfactory one.  He strives for the substitution of a more satisfactory state of affairs in place of a less satisfactory state of affairs.  And in the satisfaction of this desire, he becomes happier than he was before."

(Mises, The Free Market and its Enemies, p.14)

I would say that Long and his school are heading in this direction (trying to show how libertarianism impacts happiness).  The problems:

They mistakenly believe that this demonstration can only be accomplished meaningfully by a normative approach.   They believe that Rand and Aristotle hold the key to this approach.  And they begin their overall theory with a critique of Misesian and Humean utilitarianism, rather than with an understanding of it.   This all adds up to an abandonment of theoretical subjectivism, methodological individualism, and praxeology as the search for exact moral or ethical laws.

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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wilderness:

yes, that's the episteme (theory).  For instance, A is A.  There's logic in that statement.  Now what is A?  That a question of knowledge (episteme).  Does A really exist?  Again that's a question of what is, in this case, a question of A.  Again that's a question of knowing about an A and what that A is (again episteme).  Whatever A is, whatever is - is, has to do with knowing about such.  The logic of A being A is referring to whatever an individual refers to A being, that A is still A - no matter what A is known or defined as or theorized as.  Known, defined as, theorized as - each synonymous here considering the context. 

I'm more interested in the question: what thing A, is the basis for our intuitive notions of liberty, B?

I'm less interested in the idea that intuition is intuition, and that liberty is liberty.

Tying this into the OP, I would be more interested in what thing (A) "justifies" libertarianism (B).

I would be less interested in the idea that justification is justification, and libertarianism is libertarianism.   : - )

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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wilderness:

Adam Knott:

Objective morality refers to the idea that the source of our moral sense or intuitions is to be found in "objective" reality; a reality that exists independent of conscioiusness.   A plain or basic definition of objective reality is: that part of nature that is in the realm of observation.  If we think of it this way, then objective ethics (objective morality) has two parts: [objective reality], and [the moral obligation this imparts to the individual actor].   There is "objective reality" (first correlate), and there is me the actor, and what objective reality requires of me (second correlate).

By contrast, the correlates happiness and unhappiness are correlates of an individual consciousness.  They can be conceived without referring to a posited or assumed objective reality.  The correlates of consciousness happiness and happiness are what we might call the basis for a "subjective morality."   I.e., a morality based non on what objective reality requires of an individual, but instead based on what an individual's happiness requires of him.

If "objective" is dependent on this thread then probably a new thread is necessary cause of what I'm trying to point out.  Going by what you say here Adam, the dependent origination of natural is a colloboration of intellect and reality devoid of intellect.  The two colloborating are not to get bogged down in subjective and objective because in colloboration it is neither of these two independently but rather dependently.  To incline towards one or the other is to forget the significance of the one or the other.  To incline towards objective in accord with your definitions is thus devoid of subjective.  But to incline towards subjective in accord with your definitions is thus devoid of objective.  To get stuck on one or the other is therefore to conceptualize only one or the other.  For example, to incline upon objective (or subjective) is have knowledge that is void of subjective (or objective).  As I think you brought up earlier about the third that's what I'm pointing out.  The third is what natural philosophy has to do with this.  The intellect (thus a human acting) in a world (objective reality).  This colloboration of what somebody deems rational is in step with Mises use of the term rational (as well as Aristotle I would say, and others).  The knowledge of what the intellect deems as being can take a materialist slant or a psychological slant.  I would say what the investigator (materialist or psychologist approach, etc..) keeping in mind is not too dismiss one or the other.  To fall into the trap of inclining objectively or subjectively too far to the point of making objective or subjective absent in their cognition.  This is undoubtedly why a materialist may argue that they are fully aware of thoughts, words, mental images, etc... because the human actor taking on the role of a materialist very well indeed might be fully aware of all of these because such a human agent didn't go too far to void the individual.  Same goes with a psychologist not going to far to void an external reality of the individual.  Neither need to void the subjective or objective, but the trappings are present.  The exclusion of the individual or a world outside of the individual may happen if either is taken as the extreme of what is.

Dependent origination is cause and effect where the A might be the cause one circumstance but the effect in another completely different circumstance.  Thus A is the cause of B.  B is therefore the effect.  Yet B is the cause of C.  Thus C is the effect.  Knowing if A is the cause or the effect is to have knowledge (episteme) of what A is (and to recognize that an A is - is metaphysics and whatever A is, meaning if A doesn't exist at all or A does exist - again that's getting into the theory or knowledge of what A is).

good evening 

Perhaps Wilderness

I would argue that here, you are presenting a snippet of a larger world-view or philosophy within which these ideas might be better understood.  As you write: "getting into the theory of knowledge of what A is"

I assume that requires a book or lengthy essay.

Without that, it may be hard to assess the theory you are summarizing here...

 

"It would be preposterous to assert apodictically that science will never succeed in developing a praxeological aprioristic doctrine of political organization..." (Mises, UF, p.98)

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Wade replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 4:38 PM

"If objective morality doesn't exist, what justifies libertarianism?"

I, personally, think that libertarianism is about freedom of choice.  It is an intuition that more freedom of choice allows for both success and failure, and that overall this will lead to more success than will less freedom of choice.

This isn't enough for me though.  There has to be more than an intuition.  This intuition has to be developed into something that says "this" causes "this".  Or "less freedom of choice" causes "less success".  For me, this would justify libertarianism.

If we look within ourselves there is something very basic that does exist for us.  We have a priori knowledge that we have subjective values, and that we use the objective material world to satisfy those values.  And I consider this consciousness.

Can this basic concept of consciousness derive a cause and effect relationship (justification) between less freedom and less success?

Only ideas can overcome ideas...

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Juan replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 5:24 PM
They mistakenly believe that this demonstration can only be accomplished meaningfully by a normative approach. They believe that Rand and Aristotle hold the key to this approach. And they begin their overall theory with a critique of Misesian and Humean utilitarianism, rather than with an understanding of it.
Aristotle was not a libertarian. And Rand was only partially a libertarian. Hume was no libertarian at all. And to what extent Mises was a libertarian is debatable. I mean, a pro-conscription amoralist can be a libertarian...? The thing is, 'misesian' and 'humean' utilitarianism are both bankrupt (and they are not exactly the same thing by the way).
This all adds up to an abandonment of theoretical subjectivism, methodological individualism, and praxeology as the search for exact moral or ethical laws.
Of course libertarians are not 'radical' subjectivists who believe that the legitimacy of say, killing people, is just a 'subjective preference'. The bit about abandoning 'methodological' individualism is just a lie since libertarianism is based on philosophical individualism.

As to abandoning so called 'praxeology', good riddance! 'Praxeology' is mostly a bunch of empty tautologies. Frankly the followers of the Mises cult are no different than commies who babble about 'scientific socialism'. Political economy did pretty well before Mises 'discovered' that "humans act" or Ayn Rand invented the identity principle (TM).

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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Juan replied on Wed, Nov 25 2009 5:28 PM
little burne:
I will no longer let you elbow your way into conversations among people who disagree but who are nonetheless trying to teach and learn from each other, only to obstruct their efforts.
You mean, if I don't take seriously your amoralist buddies you're going to ban me ?
One day ban. Next time it will be three.
Ah, the wise and powerful moderator showing how wise and powerful he is...
If you are unwilling to participate in civil discussion, then don't come back after your ban expires.
Can't make head or tail of that one. Is that an order ? An 'utilitarian' suggestion ? Or what ?

February 17 - 1600 - Giordano Bruno is burnt alive by the catholic church.
Aquinas : "much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death."

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