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A friendly introduction to Hoppe's Argumentation Ethics

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Jan 3 2012 1:14 AM

For the often amusingly ignorant:

Note on “objective, intersubjectively ascertainable”

The term “intersubjectively ascertainable” mentioned in Hoppe’s work and also employed by Kinsella, might appear synonymous with “objective,” with which it is often paired. However, these terms carry an important, but subtle distinction. It is helpful here to refer to Wilber’s four-quadrant model (2006, 18–26), which I will now briefly describe, relate to Misesian concepts, and apply to this distinction.

In this model, an interior–exterior axis crosses with an individual–plural axis to create four quadrants of possible perspectives. These are the interior-individual (subjective), interior-plural (cultural), exterior-individual (objective), and exterior-plural (social/natural-science/systems). Various fields of knowledge are most at home in particular quadrants, while each quadrant is associated with distinctive forms of knowledge. In this view, human beings, for example, stand as both wholes and parts (“holons”)—both individuals and components of plurals—with both exterior and interior aspects. These aspects are both discrete and inseparable—all of them must be present for us to be the kind of beings that we are.

The two axes of this four-quadrant model may, in my view, be translated into Misesian terms as follows. The dual perspectives provided by the interior–exterior axis correspond to Mises’s causal/teleological dualism (1998, 17–18). Wilber argues that neither the interior nor the exterior perspective is even conceivable without the existence of its opposite, which takes some of the mystery out of dualism. As I understand Wilber’s claim, any combination of perspectives on this axis that was not an interior-exterior dualism would be impossible in the same sense that a hollow sphere with an outside but no inside would be impossible.

It is similar along Wilber’s individual–plural axis. No plurals can exist without individuals comprising them. This axis is also reflected in Mises’s work, but in his methodological individualism. Mises examines emergent system-level phenomena (pricing, market interest), while recognizing that there can be no system without its components and that those components do not lose their properties as individuals merely by being viewed in terms of their roles in a given systemic phenomenon. While Mises thus covers both of Wilber’s two axes in different places, it is Wilber’s contribution to cross them to form a single, unified model.[1]

We are now better positioned to unpack the phase, “objective, intersubjectively ascertainable.” “Objective” refers to exterior-realm empirically measurable data. “Intersubjectively ascertainable,” however, refers to interior-realm data that can be ascertained by multiple persons, but not measured directly.

The interior realm includes concepts such as action and its many derivative concepts such as aggression. Such phenomena are only ascertainable from an interior perspective, the perspective of an actor (“subjective”), and can be ascertained within the subjectivity of multiple persons (“inter-”). Anyone who actually looks/thinks/ascertains could compare notes and agree that they were perceiving the same interior-realm phenomenon. They might also disagree, as the case may be. One person might claim that, “He meant to do it.” Another that, “It was an accident.” However, it is in principle possible that they could agree on such a thing in a given case (“-able”). To put these pieces back together, “intersubjectively ascertainable” points particularly to an interior-realm phenomenon such as an action that it is possible for multiple persons to grasp or understand in the same way.

But is “objective” then redundant with this? This is a subtle point because we ascertain interior-realm phenomena through exterior-realm observables or patterns. For example, we understand that a man acted (interior) in that he started punching his argumentation partner, but we know this most definitively because we see fists flying (exterior). These are therefore each aspects of the same phenomenon viewed from two different quadrant perspectives. They are both present at the same time and not reducible to one another.

The implication for legal theory is that “objective” (physical, measurable, empirical) indications of subjective phenomena must be present to a sufficient degree in order for them to be “intersubjectively ascertainable.” This is why the phrase, “objective, intersubjectively ascertainable,” is not merely a repetition of synonyms. It specifies both the thing stated and one of its prerequisites.

By contrast, purely subjective interior-individual phenomena can lack intersubjective ascertainability because they lack observable corollaries. I might just “think” something sitting in my chair, but no one could reliably guess what it was that I had thought. This is because there is insufficient objective (exterior) evidence for anyone to ascertain what I was thinking (interior).

A certain practical degree of objective indicators of subjective phenomena must therefore be present to render them intersubjectively ascertainable. This is important in considering property rights in general, and is essential in considering first-appropriation claims in particular. This “objective” component correlates with the concept of “evidence” in the law. “Evidence” comprises objective, exterior indications of criminal or other actions, which are only understandable by other actors in the interior realm.

~ Pg 44, of Action-Based Jurisprudence...

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Nielsio replied on Tue, Jan 3 2012 3:19 PM

Conza,

 

Is it possible for you to not constantly sneer at your opposition? It makes for a very unpleasant atmosphere. If you have valuable things to add, then those arguments should be able to speak for themselves.

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Conza88 replied on Tue, Jan 3 2012 7:47 PM

I'd reject the charachterisation of 'sneer'. I find it amusing, and 'ignorant' need not be an ephitat.   I do think the arguments/content speak for themselves... So I'm looking forward to reading the response. In particular the part about Hoppe, the universalization principle, Wittgenstein and language.

 

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Gumdy replied on Wed, Jan 4 2012 12:09 PM

Stephen:
For an argument to count as an argument, both participants must accept the property norm that they each have exclusive control over their own bodies and standing room.

This seems to be just an assertion. Particularly, it simply states that argumentation ethics is true. Hoppe started out with something that couldn't really be interpretated as an assertion of AE, which is why I had to go through and find the equivocation:

 

A lengthy and fascinating debate developed here. I haven't read the thread thoroughly so I might be repeating things that have already been said. If that is the case, my sincere
apologies for repeating things that have already been said, I haven't read the thread thoroughly.

I would like to address AJ's claim of equivocation and the relevancy of the argument over whether "intersubjectivly ascertainable" truths exist.

Deducing from "argumentation requires control over body" to "argumentation presupposes ownership over body" is only equivocation if one does so implicitly without reason. While doing so is false, crucially, it's not the argument.

The question of body ownership only arises insofar as the human body is the subject of conflict. Since the demonstrated preference of argument is to resolve such conflicts via verbal justification any norm which can logically be proposed should be consistent with doing so, or else proposing it constitutes a performative contradiction. Since such a norm must be

  1. Universal
  2. Compatible with the independent action of engaging in argument

It can be shown by contradiction that only the self-ownership is compatible with argumentation. This is not just an assertion.

As for the existence of objective, intersubjectivly ascertainable, truths- This assertion must be assumed by anyone engaging by propounding propositions in a debate, with an objective opponent over an objective resource.

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AJ replied on Wed, Jan 4 2012 7:27 PM

Stephen:

He has a number of different formulations of the same proof. Some more specifically address the point about equivocating between descriptive and prescriptive statements than others.

The quote you were criticising was from Four Critical Replies. It can be found on pg. 412 of The Economics and Ethics of Private Property. He goes into much more detail in From The Economics of Lassez Faire To The Ethics of Libertarianism in the same book, on pg. 317-318.

Hence, one would have to conclude that the norm implied in argumentation is that everyone has the right to exclusively control his own body as his instrument of action and cognition. It is only as long as there is at least an implicit recognition of each individual's property right in his or her own body that argumentation can take place. Only if this is recognized is it possible for someone to agree to what has been said in an argument and can what has been said be validated, or is it possible to say no and to agree only on the fact that there is disagreement. Indeed anyone who would try to justify any norm would have to presuppose the property right in one's body as a valid norm, simply in order to say this is what I claim to be true and objective. Any person who would try to dispute the property right in one's own body would become caught up in a contradiction.

Thus it can be stated that whenever a person claims that some statement can be justified, he at least implicitly assumes the following norm to be justified: "nobody has the right to uninvitedly aggress against the body of any other person and thus delimit or restrict anyone's control over his own body." This rule is implied in the concept of argumentative justification. Justifying means justifying without haveing to rely on coercion. In fact, if one formulated the opposite of this rule, then it is easy to see that this rule is not and never could be defended in argumentation. To do so would presuppose the validity of precisely its opposite.

So, his argument does not rest on equivocation. He is clearly saying, in this formulation, that it is the norm that must be recognized, and not just the fact of control over one's body. 

Here Hoppe is just making assertions; there's not even anything to refute, no logical progression this time - he just keeps saying the same same thing over and over. I don't know how many more formulations it will be necessary to refute before this idea is finally relegated to the trash heap.

@Conza: Note that Hoppe uses the word "objective." Finally, if you think the equivocation was adequately refuted back in the thread I linked, anyone reading this is welcome to check it out for themselves, and I am happy to rest my case on that as it stands. The other stuff is peripheral; if the central notion in the idea of Hoppe's ArgEthics is incoherent, no other ancillary ideas can rescue it.

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AJ replied on Wed, Jan 4 2012 7:56 PM

Gumdy,

Well all right, let's forget Hoppe because I don't want to wait for him to get this right. Perhaps his argument can be fixed for him. Perhaps it can be modified in some way to make it work while still being useful for persuading people via ethics. I doubt it, but why not give it a shot.

First, what does universal mean? Does it just mean the norm applies to all persons? If so...

Is "No one should be allowed to argue after 10 seconds from now" a universal norm? And wouldn't you say there is no way that this falls into a "performative contradiction" - because, after all, the norm does not advocate arguing now, so it doesn't have any implied effect on my making the argument.

I've said before the ArgEthics is "fractally broke-ass," and this is what I mean. There are so many objections where any one of them taken alone is fatal. Taken together, there is no other term I can think to describe it but fractally broken. So I am extremely non-optimistic about it being salvageable. I only address it again because it has returned to the forums after a long absence.

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Gumdy replied on Thu, Jan 5 2012 5:44 AM

Well all right, let's forget Hoppe because I don't want to wait for him to get this right. Perhaps his argument can be fixed for him. Perhaps it can be modified in some way to make it work

Don't take so hard the fact I have shown you Hoppe does not perform the equivocation you thought, here he is talking about it- http://wwwyoutube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=5TNLrrltrNw#t=757s

So, it's not me "trying to salvage myself Hoppe's argument", it's you, not understanding it. (You can see this is addressed in my original post as evidence)

"First, what does universal mean? Does it just mean the norm applies to all persons?"

Applies the same to all persons. No arbitrary moral distinctions. Bellow are the relevant paragraphs from my article.

Is "No one should be allowed to argue after 10 seconds from now" a universal norm?

Yes, this is a universal normative proposition.

And wouldn't you say there is no way that this falls into a "performative contradiction" - because, after all, the norm does not advocate arguing now, so it doesn't have any implied effect on my making the argument.

So you again show you don't understand the basic argument. If you will think of argumentation in the context of the resolution of conflicts it will help you. What is the normative claim here- "I can hit you because…?"

Contemplating such propositions will make their incoherence clear. What point is there to argue with someone who openly states the result of the argument is of no interest to him? That argumentation has no bearing on how the conflict should be resolved? And so, the presupposition of argumentation- violence-free conflict resolution, cannot logically be denied. From this first presupposition we can derive other, directly derived presuppositions, which also cannot be denied. For example, it is presupposed in argumentation that- “Claims need to be justified”. Trying to deny this- “I don’t need to justify my claims…” contradicts the underling first presupposition, achieving conflict resolution based on non-violent, i.e verbal means. If anyone can just claim whatever nonsense he wants, with no need to provide justification, the dispute cannot be peacefully resolved on the basis of nothing but claims. So we can now say that “Claims need to be justified” is another, derived, presupposition of argumentation.

So, now it is only sensible to ask, which propositions (normative propositions) can be consistently proposed, in order to resolve a conflict? The answer is simple: It depends on the conflict. To explain, let’s first examine a situation where the conflict is over the use of the most important resource human beings have: the humane body. Imagine one person wants to put another person’s body to some use, but that other person has a headache. Now, let’s say they want to avoid violence and so begin to discuss this serious matter.

Will one of them be consistent with the presuppositions of argumentation if he argues “I can use your body as my own, because you are black and I am white”? or maybe “I can use your body because my eyes are green and you have blue eyes”? The answer is he wouldn’t. Since both participants are moral agents capable of reasoning and discourse, and since it is presupposed that “Claims need to be justified” an arbitrary, deniable, moral distinction by the very nature of being an arbitrary distinction, cannot be justified. A person with blue eyes can coherently deny such a claim with no implied contradiction (or just as well assert the opposite proposition- “I can use your body because my eyes are blue and you have green eyes”). Acceptance of a norm containing a subjective, arbitrary distinction is then also arbitrary, and thus proposing such a norm contradicts the presuppositions of argumentation, trapping the arguer in a contradiction.

Slavery norms are therefor illogical, inconsistent propositions. And so since proposing arbitrary assertions is logically to be avoided, only universalizeble ”same for all” norms can in principle be justified. It doesn’t follow that all such norms are justified, among them the universal- “Everyone should hug every kitten they see”, and “Everyone should get drunk every morning”. It only means that a norm which isn’t universal (i.e. particularistic) is by its very nature, a-priori, unjustified and inconsistent.

I suggest you read my short original article, to get what I hope is a good picture of the argument.

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Gumdy replied on Thu, Jan 5 2012 5:59 AM

Hoppe's own words (Rothbardian Ethics):

A moral intuition, as important as it is, is not a proof, however. Yet there also exists proof of our moral intuition being correct.

The proof can be provided in a twofold manner. On the one hand, in spelling out the consequences that follow if one were to deny the validity of the institution of original appropriation and private property: If a person A were not the owner of his own body and the places and goods originally appropriated and/or produced with this body as well as of the goods voluntarily (contractually) acquired from another previous owner, then only two alternatives exist. Either another person B must be recognized as the owner of A's body as well as the places and goods appropriated, produced or acquired by A. Or else all persons, A and B, must be considered equal co-owners of all bodies, places and goods.

In the first case, A would be reduced to the rank of B's slave and object of exploitation. B is the owner of A's body and all places and goods appropriated, produced, and acquired by A, but A in turn is not the owner of B's body and the places and goods appropriated, produced and acquired by B. Hence, under this ruling two categorically distinct classes of persons are constituted — Untermenschen such as A and Übermenschen such as B — to whom different "laws" apply. Accordingly, such ruling must be discarded as a human ethic equally applicable to everyone qua human being (rational animal). From the very outset, any such ruling can be recognized as not universally acceptable and thus cannot claim to represent law. Because for a rule to aspire to the rank of a law — a just rule — it is necessary that such a rule apply equally and universally to everyone.

Alternatively, in the second case of universal and equal co-ownership the requirement of equal law for everyone is fulfilled. However, this alternative suffers from another, even more severe deficiency, because if it were applied all of mankind would instantly perish. (And since every human ethic must permit the survival of mankind, this alternative, then, must be rejected, too.) For every action of a person requires the use of some scarce means (at least the person's body and its standing room). But if all goods were co-owned by everyone, then no one, at no time and no place, would be allowed to do anything unless he had previously secured every other co-owner's consent to do so; and yet, how can anyone grant such consent if he were not the exclusive owner of his own body (including his vocal chords) by means of which his consent must be expressed? Indeed, he would first need others' consent in order to be allowed to express his own, but these others cannot give their consent without having first his, etc.

This insight into the praxeological impossibility of "universal communism," as Rothbard referred to this proposal, brings me immediately to a second, alternative way of demonstrating the idea of original appropriation and private property as the only correct solution to the problem of social order. Whether or not persons have any rights and, if so, which ones, can only be decided in the course of argumentation (propositional exchange). Justification — proof, conjecture, refutation — is argumentative justification. Anyone who were to deny this proposition would become involved in a performative contradiction, because his denial would itself constitute an argument. Even an ethical relativist, then, must accept this first proposition, which has been accordingly referred to as the a priori of argumentation.

From the undeniable acceptance — the axiomatic status — of this a priori of argumentation in turn two equally necessary conclusions follow. The first follows from the a priori of argumentation when there is no rational solution to the problem of conflict arising from the existence of scarcity. Suppose in my earlier scenario of Crusoe and Friday, that Friday was not the name of a man but of a gorilla. Obviously, just as Crusoe can run into conflict regarding his body and its standing room with Friday the man, so he might do so with Friday the gorilla. The gorilla might want to occupy the same space that Crusoe is already occupying. In this case, at least if the gorilla is the sort of entity that we know gorillas to be, there is in fact no rational solution to their conflict. Either the gorilla wins, and devours, crushes, or pushes Crusoe aside — that is the gorilla's solution to the problem — or Crusoe wins, and kills, beats, chases away, or tames the gorilla — that is Crusoe's solution. In this situation, one may indeed speak of moral relativism. With Alasdair MacIntyre, a prominent philosopher of the relativist persuasion, one may concur asking as the title of one of his books, Whose Justice? Which Rationality? — Crusoe's or the gorilla's. Depending on whose side one chooses, the answer will be different. However, it is more appropriate to refer to this situation as one where the question of justice and rationality simply does not arise: that is, as an extra-moral situation. The existence of Friday the gorilla poses for Crusoe merely a technical problem, not a moral one. Crusoe has no other choice but to learn how to successfully manage and control the movements of the gorilla just as he must learn to manage and control the inanimate objects of his environment.

By implication, only if both parties to a conflict are capable of engaging in argumentation with one another, can one speak of a moral problem and is the question of whether or not there exists a solution meaningful. Only if Friday, regardless of his physical appearance (i.e., whether he looks like a man or like a gorilla), is capable of argumentation (even if he has shown himself to be so capable only once), can he be deemed rational and does the question whether or not a correct solution to the problem of social order exists make sense. No one can be expected to give an answer — indeed: any answer — to someone who has never raised a question or, more to the point, who has never stated his own relativistic viewpoint in the form of an argument. In that case, this "other" cannot but be regarded and treated like an animal or plant, i.e., as an extra-moral entity. Only if this other entity can in principle pause in his activity, whatever it might be, step back so to speak, and say "yes" or "no" to something one has said, do we owe this entity an answer and, accordingly, can we possibly claim that our answer is the correct one for both parties involved in a conflict.

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nirgrahamUK:
I think that beauty is not an agent-neutral term, so necessarily there is no sense in arguing whether picasso paintings just are beautiful. I think Picassos paintings are beautiful to me.. we could have a discussion where we try to persuade each other so that our subjective opinions are affected but I dont think there is any agent neutral truth about the beauty of picasso paintings that can be found.

We could have a proper argument about whether that there thing over there really is a picasso painting and not something else..... 'its a fake look at this', 'no you are wrong about that because of x' 'oh ok I see I made a mistake because I missed X, I agree with you now'. <-- this one requires interpersonal-norms

When you use the word "proper" to describe the latter argument, do you mean an argument in the Hoppean sense?  i.e. that the former "improper" argument, is not an argument in the Hoppean sense?  And this would be because the discussion involves a term that is not agent-neutral.  So for it to be a proper argument, the terms in the statement being discussed must be agent-neutral.  Is that right?

nirgrahamUK:
Graham Wright:
"the NAP is the best norm" truth claims or not?

This would depend on what 'best' meant... If you mean something like,a norm is better than another when it can be asserted without falling into performative contradiction whilst the other cannot. then its a truth claim, because it would only remain to be shown that the nap can be asserted without falling into performative contradiction whilst any other cannot

However if by 'best' you mean 'i have the internal psychological state of liking it more than other norms', then its a truth statement still because it may or may not be true that you like it more or less than you like other norms ..

however if by 'best' you mean 'everyone should have the internal psychological state of liking it more than other norms' then that seems out of reach...

so too is you leave 'best' ambigious because then three different folks could consider the proposition in the three different ways laid out above and there will be no settling the truth of the matter since 'best' has been left as an agent-relative statement

When I say "the NAP is the best norm" I was trying to summarise what I think Hoppe claims AE proves.  Stephan Kinsella put it like this: Hoppe's theory "establish[es] that the libertarian view of rights, as opposed to competing views, is the correct one".  The word "correct" is less ambiguous than "best".  It is agent-neutral... it doesn't make much sense to say "correct for me" and "correct for you".  But I'm not sure what it would mean for one view of rights to be correct and another to be incorrect.

Are you simply defining "correct view of rights" as a view of rights that can be asserted without falling into performative contradiction?

I understand there is a "correct view of physics" and a "correct view of economics", and I'm also sure that it is nonsense to think there is a "correct view of beauty" or a "correct view of ice cream flavors".  The reason the first two make sense is that physics/economics are subjects where there is a correct view and incorrect views about.  So the agent-neutral term "correct" fits with those disciplines.  But the latter two make no sense because beauty is agent-relative, and so is taste in ice cream.  It just doesn't make sense to think of one view as "correct" and others as "incorrect" here; they are just different preferences that people have, for whatever reasons.  Why couldn't the same thing be true of rights?

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Conza88:

Graham Wright: "Question for Nir / Conza... if I were to make the statement that "Picasso paintings are beautiful" and you disagree and we have an "argument" about it, would this be an "argument" in the sense Hoppe uses that term? I mean, it's not like this is going to be "settled". One of us is not going to prove the other person incorrect. Even if I persuaded you to change your mind, neither of us would say you were 'incorrect' before."

"Argumentation is a conflict-free way of interacting. Not in the sense that there is always agreement on the things said, but in the sense that as long as argumentation is in progress it is always possible to agree at least on the fact that there is disagreement about the validity of what has been said. And this is to say nothing else than that a mutual recognition of each person's exclusive control over his own body must be presupposed as long as there is argumentation (note again, that it is impossible to deny this and claim this denial to be true without implicitly having to admit its truth)." (TSC, p. 158)

Why is it relevant? Where is the property conflict? It is a proof that it is impossible to propositionally justify non-libertarian principles without falling into contradictions. Were they trying to justify non-libertarian principles?

 

Suppose I make the statement that Picasso paintings are beautiful and you disagree and say "No, they're not" and we go on to discuss what we both like and dislike about them.  Is that an example of you disagreeing about the validity of what has been said?  Presuming you hate Picasso, do you consider my statement to be invalid?  Or is this an example of a mere discussion and difference of opinion,and not an argument in the sense that Hoppe means?

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Jan 5 2012 5:19 PM

AJ: @Conza: Note that Hoppe uses the word "objective." Finally, if you think the equivocation was adequately refuted back in the thread I linked, anyone reading this is welcome to check it out for themselves, and I am happy to rest my case on that as it stands. The other stuff is peripheral; if the central notion in the idea of Hoppe's ArgEthics is incoherent, no other ancillary ideas can rescue it.

I'm sorry, I'm not sure how his use of the word "objective" can be considered an argument, considering what is meant.

"Let me start by asking what is wrong with the position taken by Mises and so many others that the choice between values is ultimately arbitrary? First, it should be noted that such a position assumes that at least the question of whether or not value judgments or normative statements can be justified is itself a cognitive problem. If this were not assumed, Mises could not even say what he evidently says and claims to be the case. His position simply could not exist as an arguable intellectual position.

At first glance this does not seem to take one very far. Indeed, it still seems to be a far cry from this insight to the actual proof that normative statements can be justified and that it is only the libertarian ethic which can be defended. This impression is wrong, however, and there is already much more won here than might be suspected. The argument shows us that any truth claim, the claim connected with any proposition that it is true, objective or valid (all terms used synonymously here), is and must be raised and settled in the course of an argumentation. Since it cannot be disputed that this is so (one cannot communicate and argue that one cannot communicate and argue), and since it must be assumed that everyone knows what it means to claim something to be true (one cannot deny this statement without claiming its negation to be true), this very fact has been aptly called "the a priori of communication and argumentation."

Arguing never consists of just free-floating propositions claiming to be true. Rather, argumentation is always an activity, too. However, given that truth claims are raised and settled in argumentation and that argumentation, aside from whatever it is that is said in its course, is a practical affair, it follows that intersubjectively meaningful norms must exist-precisely those which make some action an argumentation-which have a special cognitive status in that they are the practical preconditions of objectivity and truth." ~ The Economics and Ethics of Private Property p.314-15 ~ Hoppe

Really...  you see no need to address the truth / claims or the validity of the content from my last post?

Your case against is baseless, and nothing but word games. Still waiting on you address the Wittgeinstein point thanks, indulge me. It also addresses the issues you bring up elsewhere.

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Jan 5 2012 5:27 PM

AJ: "First, what does universal mean? Does it just mean the norm applies to all persons? If so...

Is "No one should be allowed to argue after 10 seconds from now" a universal norm? And wouldn't you say there is no way that this falls into a "performative contradiction" - because, after all, the norm does not advocate arguing now, so it doesn't have any implied effect on my making the argument."

"So, we have our first presupposition: that only universalizable ethics can be possible candidates for being justified. By the same token, so-called "particularizable" norms are not justifiable. However,

"the universalization principle only provides a purely formal criterion for morality. To be sure, checked against this criterion all proposals for valid norms which would specify different rules for different classes of people could be shown to have no legitimate claim of being universally acceptable as fair norms, unless the distinction between different classes of people were such that it implied no discrimination, but could instead be accepted as founded in the nature of things again by everyone. But while some norms might not pass the test of universalization, if enough attention were paid to their formulation, the most ridiculous norms, and what is of course even more relevant, even openly incompatible norms could easily and equally well pass it. For example, 'everybody must get drunk on Sundays or be fined' or 'anyone who drinks alcohol will be punished' are both rules that do not allow discrimination among groups of people and thus could both claim to satisfy the condition of universalization." (TSC, p. 131-132; emphasis added)

But even though universalizability is merely a formal requirement, it does eliminate many proposed norms, such as those underlying most versions of socialism which amount to "I can hit you but you cannot hit me" particularizable rules.

"[T]he property theory implicit in socialism does not normally pass even the first decisive test (the necessary if not sufficient condition) required of rules of human conduct which claim to be morally justified or justifiable. This test, as formulated in the so-called golden rule or, similarly, in the Kantian categorical imperative, requires that in order to be just, a rule must be a general one applicable to every single person in the same way. The rule cannot specify different rights or obligations for different categories of people (one for the red-headed, and one for others, or one for women and a different one for men), as such a 'particularistic' rule, naturally, could never, not even in principle, be accepted as a fair rule by everyone. Particularistic rules, however, of the type 'I can hit you, but you are not allowed to hit me,' are at the very base of all practiced forms of socialism." (TSC, p. 5.)

Thus universalizability acts as a first-level "filter" that weeds out all particularistic norms. This reduces the universe of possibly justified normative claims but does not finish the job since many incompatible and unethical norms could be reworded in universalizable ways.

It is for this reason that Hoppe next examines other, more substantive, presuppositions inherent in argument itself. These are then used in a second filtering process to reject additional proposed norms, those that are universalizable but incompatible with the other presuppositions of discourse. And, because some of these presuppositions turn out to be presupposed norms, Hoppe then shows that the libertarian conception of rights can be deduced from these presupposed norms and facts." - Kinsella

AJ: "I've said before the ArgEthics is "fractally broke-ass," and this is what I mean. There are so many objections where any one of them taken alone is fatal. Taken together, there is no other term I can think to describe it but fractally broken. So I am extremely non-optimistic about it being salvageable. I only address it again because it has returned to the forums after a long absence."

How you can "poo poo" a theory in such a state of ignorance is beyond me. Did you actually think your argument above was a "challenge"? How arrogant. 

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Conza88 replied on Thu, Jan 5 2012 8:04 PM

Graham Wight: "Suppose I make the statement that Picasso paintings are beautiful and you disagree and say "No, they're not" and we go on to discuss what we both like and dislike about them.  Is that an example of you disagreeing about the validity of what has been said?  Presuming you hate Picasso, do you consider my statement to be invalid?  Or is this an example of a mere discussion and difference of opinion,and not an argument in the sense that Hoppe means?"

Have you just not repeated your question? I take it you didn't find the previous resonse satisfactory.

"However, there are other positive norms implied in argumentation aside from the universalization principle. In order to recognize them, it is only necessary to call three interrelated facts to attention. First, that argumentation is not only a cognitive but also a practical affair. Second, that argumentation, as a form of action, implies the use of the scarce resource of one's body. And third, that argumentation is a conflict-free way of interacting." (TSC, p. 132; emphasis added)

There's always the possibility of resolution, and certainly each person has to presuppose the self-ownership of the other even with just discourse over opinions. It's in the "background" so to speak. When and IF they bring up propositions that attempt to justify non-libertarian principles, THEN they are engaged in a performative contradiction.

if someone is unable to engage in arugment, and is like an animal... just uses violence.. and cannot be reasoned with, their actions are obviously not justified and they do not need a justification - of what use would it be?

If someone is merely discussing things, talking.. whatever it is, both are pre-supposing self-ownership. And can at least agree that they can "agree to disagree".

They are only engaged in a performative contradiction, if their ACTIONS contradict these pre-suppositions/facts. So if they try to justify non-libertarian norms in argumentation. That means be it past, present, or future actions. Their words (argumentation is also action), showcase its invalidity. Because they have to admit that others control themselves by the mere act of discourse.

I am not sure what you are trying to get at with the use of "validity" in terms of subjective valuations about Picasso?

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Gumdy replied on Thu, Jan 5 2012 11:09 PM

 

Suppose I make the statement that Picasso paintings are beautiful and you disagree and say "No, they're not" and we go on to discuss what we both like and dislike about them.  Is that an example of you disagreeing about the validity of what has been said?  Presuming you hate Picasso, do you consider my statement to be invalid?  Or is this an example of a mere discussion and difference of opinion,and not an argument in the sense that Hoppe means?

Grahm, just to add to Conza's words, no one is claiming to show a certain norm is metaphysically correct, just presupposed in a certain subcategory of action. The is-ought gap is not bridgeable, but every action, since it is directed at a subjective goal, has an underling, presupposed norm (one ought to achieve the goal). From the basic underling grundnorm of argumentation can be derived other, logically derived norms that also must be presupposed, as AE shows- such as the NAP. This is deriving a norm from a norm. And so it's important not to confuse the claim "the NAP is presupposed in argumentation" (which is true) with "the NAP is objectively true and is evidently an objective property of reality" (which is false). You can read previous posts here that addressed this in further details.

 

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AJ replied on Sat, Jan 7 2012 10:46 AM

I see we've reached Stage 2 of Hoppe's Equivocation Ethics. Logical fallacy whack-a-mole! He equivocates here, but he doesn't equivocate over here - instead he begs the question, oh but over there he says it YET A DIFFERENT WAY! C'mon AJ, don't stop playing now!

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Conza88:

Graham Wight: "Suppose I make the statement that Picasso paintings are beautiful and you disagree and say "No, they're not" and we go on to discuss what we both like and dislike about them. Is that an example of you disagreeing about the validity of what has been said? Presuming you hate Picasso, do you consider my statement to be invalid? Or is this an example of a mere discussion and difference of opinion,and not an argument in the sense that Hoppe means?"

Have you just not repeated your question? I take it you didn't find the previous resonse satisfactory.

"However, there are other positive norms implied in argumentation aside from the universalization principle. In order to recognize them, it is only necessary to call three interrelated facts to attention. First, that argumentation is not only a cognitive but also a practical affair. Second, that argumentation, as a form of action, implies the use of the scarce resource of one's body. And third, that argumentation is a conflict-free way of interacting." (TSC, p. 132; emphasis added)

There's always the possibility of resolution, and certainly each person has to presuppose the self-ownership of the other even with just discourse over opinions. It's in the "background" so to speak. When and IF they bring up propositions that attempt to justify non-libertarian principles, THEN they are engaged in a performative contradiction.

if someone is unable to engage in arugment, and is like an animal... just uses violence.. and cannot be reasoned with, their actions are obviously not justified and they do not need a justification - of what use would it be?

If someone is merely discussing things, talking.. whatever it is, both are pre-supposing self-ownership. And can at least agree that they can "agree to disagree".

They are only engaged in a performative contradiction, if their ACTIONS contradict these pre-suppositions/facts. So if they try to justify non-libertarian norms in argumentation. That means be it past, present, or future actions. Their words (argumentation is also action), showcase its invalidity. Because they have to admit that others control themselves by the mere act of discourse.

I am not sure what you are trying to get at with the use of "validity" in terms of subjective valuations about Picasso?

What I am trying to do is make sure I've understood how Hoppe is using the term "argument". It seems like a pretty important definition to pin down if I'm to understand AE. Your previous response (your quote) did not address my question; it just reworded what my question is about. So I reworded my question in the terms of the quote, which included "validity".

Your own words (bolded and underlined by me above) do address what I'm getting at. From what you've said above, it seems like "argument" in argumentation ethics is NOT limited to discourse about the validity of truth claims, but also includes discourse about claims which are subjective, i.e. claims which use agent-relative terms like beautiful, and for which the terms "true" and "false", "correct" and "incorrect" do not apply. Is that the case? If so, what kind of discussions are NOT arguments? What kind of discussion do not pre-suppose self-ownership?

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Gumdy replied on Sat, Jan 7 2012 8:07 PM

above) do address what I'm getting at. From what you've said above, it seems like "argument" in argumentation ethics is NOT limited to discourse about the validity of truth claims, but also includes discourse about claims which are subjective, i.e. claims which use agent-relative terms like beautiful, and for which the terms "true" and "false", "correct" and "incorrect" do not apply. Is that the case? If so, what kind of discussions are NOT arguments?

Graham, I'll try and see if I understand you correctly.

Please note the while regardles what the discussion is about (weather, beauty, ext.) the question of body-ownership only arises insofar as a relevant conflict over the body is discussed. And so any argumentation must presuppose that each participant is a self-owner as far as the ownership of bodies is questioned (otherwise to problem does not arise).

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Conza88 replied on Sat, Jan 7 2012 10:59 PM

Graham Wight:
"What I am trying to do is make sure I've understood how Hoppe is using the term "argument". It seems like a pretty important definition to pin down if I'm to understand AE. Your previous response (your quote) did not address my question; it just reworded what my question is about. So I reworded my question in the terms of the quote, which included "validity".

Your own words (bolded and underlined by me above) do address what I'm getting at. From what you've said above, it seems like "argument" in argumentation ethics is NOT limited to discourse about the validity of truth claims, but also includes discourse about claims which are subjective, i.e. claims which use agent-relative terms like beautiful, and for which the terms "true" and "false", "correct" and "incorrect" do not apply. Is that the case?

They can apply for that specific individual. They are objective from that individuals perspective. They are individualized. "I like Picasso" etc. But that's largely irrelevent. You'd naturally go on to discuss who is right? Why? And:

"Whether or not something is true, false, or undecidable; whether or not it has been justified; what is required in order to justify it; whether I, my opponents, or none of us is right - all of this must be decided in the course of argumentation. This proposition is true a priori, because it cannot be denied without affirming it in the act of denying it. One cannot argue that one cannot argue, and one cannot dispute knowing what it means to raise a validity claim without implicitly claiming at least the negation of this proposition to be true."

"With the a priori of argumentation established as an axiomatic starting point, it follows that anything that must be presupposed in the act of proposition-making cannot be propositionally disputed again. It would be meaningless to ask for a justification of presuppositions which make the production of meaningful propositions possible in the first place. Instead, they must be regarded as ultimately justified by every proposition-maker. And any specific propositional content that disputed their validity could be understood as implying a performative contradiction […], and hence, as ultimately falsified." [...] Hoppe.

I mean it's clear throughout his writings, is it just that you haven't read them? Apologies but I didn't think that this elementary point had been overlooked. Have you read his response to 4 critiques? End of TEEOPP.

Graham Wight:
If so, what kind of discussions are NOT arguments? What kind of discussion do not pre-suppose self-ownership?

None. All discussions necessarily involve and pre-suppose self-ownership.  For to discuss means to have an opinion, even if it is not part of a formal debate. It is to speak one's mind. Which necessarily means you are in control of your body, etc. Argumentation ethics or the a priori of argumentation is a specialized form of showing the nature of self-ownership. It's also called discourse ethics, wherein really any conversation of more than simple grunts and nonsense shows the self-ownership of those involved.

To pre-empt the inevitable:

"So grunts wouldn't constitute discussion? How to define nonsense?"

Not without a language.

"If someone has been born mute?"

Body language, or some form of signing, or writing.

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Gumdy:

 

Suppose I make the statement that Picasso paintings are beautiful and you disagree and say "No, they're not" and we go on to discuss what we both like and dislike about them.  Is that an example of you disagreeing about the validity of what has been said?  Presuming you hate Picasso, do you consider my statement to be invalid?  Or is this an example of a mere discussion and difference of opinion,and not an argument in the sense that Hoppe means?

Grahm, just to add to Conza's words, no one is claiming to show a certain norm is metaphysically correct, just presupposed in a certain subcategory of action. The is-ought gap is not bridgeable, but every action, since it is directed at a subjective goal, has an underling, presupposed norm (one ought to achieve the goal). From the basic underling grundnorm of argumentation can be derived other, logically derived norms that also must be presupposed, as AE shows- such as the NAP. This is deriving a norm from a norm. And so it's important not to confuse the claim "the NAP is presupposed in argumentation" (which is true) with "the NAP is objectively true and is evidently an objective property of reality" (which is false). You can read previous posts here that addressed this in further details.

That makes sense, but then why does Kinsella say (here) that Hoppe's theory "establish[es] that the libertarian view of rights, as opposed to competing views, is the correct one"?

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Conza88:

Graham Wight:
"What I am trying to do is make sure I've understood how Hoppe is using the term "argument". It seems like a pretty important definition to pin down if I'm to understand AE. Your previous response (your quote) did not address my question; it just reworded what my question is about. So I reworded my question in the terms of the quote, which included "validity".

Your own words (bolded and underlined by me above) do address what I'm getting at. From what you've said above, it seems like "argument" in argumentation ethics is NOT limited to discourse about the validity of truth claims, but also includes discourse about claims which are subjective, i.e. claims which use agent-relative terms like beautiful, and for which the terms "true" and "false", "correct" and "incorrect" do not apply. Is that the case?

They can apply for that specific individual. They are objective from that individuals perspective. They are individualized. "I like Picasso" etc. But that's largely irrelevent. You'd naturally go on to discuss who is right? Why? And:

"Whether or not something is true, false, or undecidable; whether or not it has been justified; what is required in order to justify it; whether I, my opponents, or none of us is right - all of this must be decided in the course of argumentation. This proposition is true a priori, because it cannot be denied without affirming it in the act of denying it. One cannot argue that one cannot argue, and one cannot dispute knowing what it means to raise a validity claim without implicitly claiming at least the negation of this proposition to be true."

"With the a priori of argumentation established as an axiomatic starting point, it follows that anything that must be presupposed in the act of proposition-making cannot be propositionally disputed again. It would be meaningless to ask for a justification of presuppositions which make the production of meaningful propositions possible in the first place. Instead, they must be regarded as ultimately justified by every proposition-maker. And any specific propositional content that disputed their validity could be understood as implying a performative contradiction […], and hence, as ultimately falsified." [...] Hoppe.

I mean it's clear throughout his writings, is it just that you haven't read them? Apologies but I didn't think that this elementary point had been overlooked. Have you read his response to 4 critiques? End of TEEOPP.

I've read them, although it was a year or two ago.  It seems I may have misunderstood how Hoppe is using the term argument.  I thought he was only including discussions about truth claims.  He must also be using a wider definition of "validity", and "justify", and "proposition" than I had realised, because I usually reserve these terms for discussions about truth claims. 

Conza88:

Graham Wight:
If so, what kind of discussions are NOT arguments? What kind of discussion do not pre-suppose self-ownership?

None. All discussions necessarily involve and pre-suppose self-ownership.  For to discuss means to have an opinion, even if it is not part of a formal debate. It is to speak one's mind. Which necessarily means you are in control of your body, etc. Argumentation ethics or the a priori of argumentation is a specialized form of showing the nature of self-ownership. It's also called discourse ethics, wherein really any conversation of more than simple grunts and nonsense shows the self-ownership of those involved.

To pre-empt the inevitable:

"So grunts wouldn't constitute discussion? How to define nonsense?"

Not without a language.

"If someone has been born mute?"

Body language, or some form of signing, or writing.

It is possible to talk to someone else without it being a discussion / conversation though, I imagine.  If I am running at you with a knife saying "I'm going to stab you", that's not considered a discussion, is it?  I'm not pre-supposing your self-ownership when I say that.  Quite the opposite; I would be making a performative contradiction if I ran at you with a knife saying "You have a right to not be stabbed"!

So does the term "discussion" exclude cases like that?  Perhaps only peaceful (non-violent) interactions are included among those which necessarily involve and presuppose self-ownership?

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Gumdy replied on Sun, Jan 8 2012 12:18 PM

Graham Wright:

Gumdy:

 

Suppose I make the statement that Picasso paintings are beautiful and you disagree and say "No, they're not" and we go on to discuss what we both like and dislike about them.  Is that an example of you disagreeing about the validity of what has been said?  Presuming you hate Picasso, do you consider my statement to be invalid?  Or is this an example of a mere discussion and difference of opinion,and not an argument in the sense that Hoppe means?

Grahm, just to add to Conza's words, no one is claiming to show a certain norm is metaphysically correct, just presupposed in a certain subcategory of action. The is-ought gap is not bridgeable, but every action, since it is directed at a subjective goal, has an underling, presupposed norm (one ought to achieve the goal). From the basic underling grundnorm of argumentation can be derived other, logically derived norms that also must be presupposed, as AE shows- such as the NAP. This is deriving a norm from a norm. And so it's important not to confuse the claim "the NAP is presupposed in argumentation" (which is true) with "the NAP is objectively true and is evidently an objective property of reality" (which is false). You can read previous posts here that addressed this in further details.

That makes sense, but then why does Kinsella say (here) that Hoppe's theory "establish[es] that the libertarian view of rights, as opposed to competing views, is the correct one"?

 

Yes,

Correction is done in argument, the NAP is then presupposed (and all the violent norms are shown to be incorrect as they contradictory to basic presuppositions of argumentation). There are no "norms" in objective existence (that are metaphysicaly "true") but think about it and It's an incredibly powerful and clever argument. No one can logically dispute the NAP, very hardcore...

 

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Gumdy:

Yes,

Correction is done in argument, the NAP is then presupposed (and all the violent norms are shown to be incorrect as they contradictory to basic presuppositions of argumentation). There are no "norms" in objective existence (that are metaphysicaly "true") but think about it and It's an incredibly powerful and clever argument. No one can logically dispute the NAP, very hardcore...

So you are also using the term "correction" in a broader sense?  So if we discuss beauty and have a disagreement and then try to make our cases to each other, we are engaging in a process of "correction", even though there is no "correct" answer to be found?

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Gumdy replied on Sun, Jan 8 2012 2:02 PM

So you are also using the term "correction" in a broader sense?  So if we discuss beauty and have a disagreement and then try to make our cases to each other, we are engaging in a process of "correction", even though there is no "correct" answer to be found?

 

By correction I meant to show that the norm you opponent propositions are inherently contradictory. Opinions about beauty, however are not contradictory to any norms of discourse... (So this is somewhat orthogonal to the subject at hand)

 

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Gumdy:

So you are also using the term "correction" in a broader sense?  So if we discuss beauty and have a disagreement and then try to make our cases to each other, we are engaging in a process of "correction", even though there is no "correct" answer to be found?

 

By correction I meant to show that the norm you opponent propositions are inherently contradictory. Opinions about beauty, however are not contradictory to any norms of discourse... (So this is somewhat orthogonal to the subject at hand)

That's not what Conza said a few posts back.  He said that all discussions, not just arguments about truth-claims, necessarily involve and presuppose self-ownership.  Perhaps you two differ on this point.

What about if I made the statement "I think socialism is beautiful" and we then proceed to discuss the relative beauty of socialism vs libertarianism.  Would you then say that because this conversation is about opinions about beauty, neither one of us is presupposing any norms, so neither one of us is making a performative contradiction?

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Conza88 replied on Sun, Jan 8 2012 9:24 PM

Graham Wight:
I've read them, although it was a year or two ago.  It seems I may have misunderstood how Hoppe is using the term argument.  I thought he was only including discussions about truth claims.  He must also be using a wider definition of "validity", and "justify", and "proposition" than I had realised, because I usually reserve these terms for discussions about truth claims.

Maybe you should read them again? Truth claims - universalizibility... did you watch the Hoppe video I have linked to several times... and AJ refuses to comment on? Again, how is "I like Picasso" not a truth claim. It is a claim to truth, but for that individual. From the epic quote about "objective" at the top of the page, AJ also chooses to ignore (since it shatters his flawed paradigm).

"In this model, an interior–exterior axis crosses with an individual–plural axis to create four quadrants of possible perspectives. These are the interior-individual (subjective), interior-plural (cultural), exterior-individual (objective), and exterior-plural (social/natural-science/systems). Various fields of knowledge are most at home in particular quadrants, while each quadrant is associated with distinctive forms of knowledge. In this view, human beings, for example, stand as both wholes and parts (“holons”)—both individuals and components of plurals—with both exterior and interior aspects. These aspects are both discrete and inseparable—all of them must be present for us to be the kind of beings that we are."

In the same way we say that the subjective theory of value is objective.. it is for that of value preferences (but individualized for that person). Notice the consistency aye?!

Graham Wight:
It is possible to talk to someone else without it being a discussion / conversation though, I imagine.  If I am running at you with a knife saying "I'm going to stab you", that's not considered a discussion, is it?  I'm not pre-supposing your self-ownership when I say that.  Quite the opposite; I would be making a performative contradiction if I ran at you with a knife saying "You have a right to not be stabbed"!

So does the term "discussion" exclude cases like that?  Perhaps only peaceful (non-violent) interactions are included among those which necessarily involve and presuppose self-ownership?

This is from the rest of the quote above I snipped [..].

""The law of contradiction is one such presupposition. One cannot deny this law without presupposing its validity in the act of denying it. But there is another such presupposition. Propositions are not free-floating entities. They require a proposition maker who in order to produce any validity-claiming proposition whatsoever must have exclusive control (property) over some scarce means defined in objective terms and appropriated (brought under control) at definite points in time through homesteading action. Thus, any proposition that would dispute the validity of the homesteading principle of property acquisition, or that would assert the validity of a different, incompatible principle, would be falsified by the act of proposition-making in the same way as the proposition 'the law of contradiction is false' would be contradicted by the very fact of asserting it. As the praxeological presupposition of proposition-making, the validity of the homesteading principle cannot be argumentatively disputed without running into a performative contradiction. Any other principle of property acquisition can then be understood - reflectively - by every proposition maker as ultimately incapable of propositional justification."

"(Note, in particular, that this includes all proposals which claim it is justified to restrict the range of objects which may be homesteaded. They fail because once the exclusive control over some homesteaded means is admitted as justified, it becomes impossible to justify any restriction in the homesteading process - except for a self-imposed one - without thereby running into a contradiction. For if the proponent of such a restriction were consistent, he could have justified control only over some physical means which he would not be allowed to employ for any additional homesteading. Obviously, he could not interfere with another's extended homesteading, simply because of his own lack of physical means to justifiably do anything about it. But if he did interfere, he would thereby inconsistently extend his ownership claims beyond his own justly homesteaded means. Moreover, in order to justify this extension he would have to invoke a principle of property acquisition incompatible with the homesteading principle whose validity he would already have admitted.)""

Who is this I who is going to do the stabbing, and who is this you who is to be stabbed? Clearly the person so saying that the person will be doing the stabbing admits to directly controlling him or herself. Which then brings up why the stabbee wouldn't directly control him or herself.

Again -

7:04+

Discussion is a two way street. Those who don't engage in this activity, don't deserve an answer. I think this may clear some things up and hits at the core of this 'discussion' ;). Note "ethics" here is the same as 'action-based jurisprudence'.. a point cleared up earlier.

"Ethics - the validity of the principle of self-ownership and original appropriation - is demonstrably not dependent and contingent upon agreement or contract; and the universality claim connected with Rothbard's libertarianism is not affected in the slightest by the circumstance that moral discussants may or may not always come to an agreement or contract. Ethics is the logical-praxeological presupposition - in Kantian terminology: die Bedingung der Moeglichkeit - rather than the result of agreement or contract. The principles of self-ownership and original appropriation make agreement and contract - including that of not agreeing and contracting - possible. Set in motion and stimulated by the universal experience of conflict, moral discussion and argument can discover, reconstruct, explicate, and formulate the principles of self-ownership and original appropriation, but their validity in no way depends on whether or not this is the case, and if so whether or not these formulations then find universal assent." - Hoppe, Intro to TEOL.
 

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Conza88 replied on Sun, Jan 8 2012 9:48 PM

Graham Wright :
"That's not what Conza said a few posts back.  He said that all discussions, not just arguments about truth-claims, necessarily involve and presuppose self-ownership.  Perhaps you two differ on this point.

What about if I made the statement "I think socialism is beautiful" and we then proceed to discuss the relative beauty of socialism vs libertarianism.  Would you then say that because this conversation is about opinions about beauty, neither one of us is presupposing any norms, so neither one of us is making a performative contradiction?"

Excuse me? We made the exact same point. It is in the 'background' so to speak - it remains true and valid. But when speaking about 'beauty', the 'weather' whatever... THERE IS NO CONFLICT BEING PROPOSED. The question of rights etc is pre-supposed but it's not being discussed, it's not being challenged, it has been accepted by the participants actions whether they know it or not. So in actuality, your scenario is IRRELEVENT. It's a non-event. As I said before:

"They are only engaged in a performative contradiction, if their ACTIONS [run at you with a knife etc.] contradict these pre-suppositions/facts. So if they try to justify non-libertarian norms in argumentation. That means be it past, present, or future actions. Their words (argumentation is also action), showcase its invalidity. Because they have to admit that others control themselves by the mere act of discourse."

For your 'I think socialism is beautiful' issue above, the norms are still pre-supposed. You're still completely stuck on thinking that it all must be debate.

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Gumdy replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 11:36 AM

 

Graham Wright:

So you are also using the term "correction" in a broader sense?  So if we discuss beauty and have a disagreement and then try to make our cases to each other, we are engaging in a process of "correction", even though there is no "correct" answer to be found?

 

By correction I meant to show that the norm you opponent propositions are inherently contradictory. Opinions about beauty, however are not contradictory to any norms of discourse... (So this is somewhat orthogonal to the subject at hand)

 

That's not what Conza said a few posts back.  He said that all discussions, not just arguments about truth-claims, necessarily involve and presuppose self-ownership.  Perhaps you two differ on this point.

What about if I made the statement "I think socialism is beautiful" and we then proceed to discuss the relative beauty of socialism vs libertarianism.  Would you then say that because this conversation is about opinions about beauty, neither one of us is presupposing any norms, so neither one of us is making a performative contradiction?

 

I think we might be missing the core point here. Ownership is relevant only in the context of some conflict... This is why we discuss communism vs. property-rights vs. syndicalism, other ethics, ext... I don't see why should we even examine a discussion about whether socialism is "beautiful"?

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Gumdy,

All I am doing at this point is trying to understand the definition of argument.  That is, I am trying to work out what is in the set of actions that pre-suppose inter-personal norms.  Once I understand what it is in this set and what is not, then I will go on to consider whether a discussion about ethics / rights is in this set.  Because logically speaking, it could be the case that some activities pre-suppose interpersonal norms, but that a discussion of ethics is not among these, and I need to rule out this possibility before I can accept AE.  I hope that is clear.  I appreciate the time both of you are putting into this discussion, by the way.

It still feels to me like you are disagreeing with Conza about what activities pre-suppose interpersonal norms.  To recap:

me:
What kind of discussion[s] do not pre-suppose self-ownership?

Conza:
None. All discussions necessarily involve and pre-suppose self-ownership. For to discuss means to have an opinion, even if it is not part of a formal debate. It is to speak one's mind... any conversation of more than simple grunts and nonsense shows the self-ownership of those involved.

Conza:
when speaking about 'beauty', the 'weather' whatever... The question of rights etc is pre-supposed ... it has been accepted by the participants actions whether they know it or not.

This is pretty clear.  Grunts and nonsense don't pre-suppose interpersonal norms, but all discussions do, including discussions about beauty. 

But then...

Gumby:
Opinions about beauty, however are not contradictory to any norms of discourse

This really feels like a different answer to Conza's.  Because opinions about beauty are discussions; they are non-violent, and they are not grunts or nonsense.  So it seems to me like you (Gumby) have fewer elements in the set 'activities which pre-suppose interpersonal norms' than Conza does.  Is that an unreasonable interpretation of this statement?

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Gumdy replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 1:50 PM

 

 

Gumdy,

All I am doing at this point is trying to understand the definition of argument.  That is, I am trying to work out what is in the set of actions that pre-suppose inter-personal norms.  Once I understand what it is in this set and what is not, then I will go on to consider whether a discussion about ethics / rights is in this set.  Because logically speaking, it could be the case that some activities pre-suppose interpersonal norms, but that a discussion of ethics is not among these, and I need to rule out this possibility before I can accept AE.  I hope that is clear.  I appreciate the time both of you are putting into this discussion, by the way.

It still feels to me like you are disagreeing with Conza about what activities pre-suppose interpersonal norms.  To recap:

me:
What kind of discussion[s] do not pre-suppose self-ownership?

Conza:
None. All discussions necessarily involve and pre-suppose self-ownership. For to discuss means to have an opinion, even if it is not part of a formal debate. It is to speak one's mind... any conversation of more than simple grunts and nonsense shows the self-ownership of those involved.

Conza:
when speaking about 'beauty', the 'weather' whatever... The question of rights etc is pre-supposed ... it has been accepted by the participants actions whether they know it or not.

This is pretty clear.  Grunts and nonsense don't pre-suppose interpersonal norms, but all discussions do, including discussions about beauty. 

But then...

Gumby:
Opinions about beauty, however are not contradictory to any norms of discourse

This really feels like a different answer to Conza's.  Because opinions about beauty are discussions; they are non-violent, and they are not grunts or nonsense.  So it seems to me like you (Gumby) have fewer elements in the set 'activities which pre-suppose interpersonal norms' than Conza does.  Is that an unreasonable interpretation of this statement?

 

It's not a different answer at all. Any discourse + Question of body ownership = Self Ownership.

When you say self-ownership is presupposed you thereby implicitly acknowledge that it's in question. So it doesn't matter how you categorize the discussion in general (about beauty, weather, whatever...). Be that as it may, I think you're not focusing on the right place- focus at the context of social order- this is what ethics is about. Start from there (as in my introduction). 

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Gumdy replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 2:08 PM

 

Let's take a step back and ask, is politics a discussion about what is "beautiful"? Why should we care about such  discussions in the first place...? It's just not very relevant...

 

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OK, let's take a step back.  I'm a big Hoppe fan and I think he makes a superb case for libertarianism is the first 10 mins of that talk you posted.  In particular his argument that the purpose of norms is to avoid conflict, and libertarianism is the only norm that does not make conflict inevitable.  So all non-libertarian norms are a perversion of what it means to be a norm.  (He elaborates this here (PDF) or here (audio)).

He does not talk about AE in that lecture and I don't see what AE adds to the case for libertarianism.  What does AE tell us that we didn't already know?  Or what ammunition does it give us in the ideological struggle for liberty?

Gumdy:
is politics a discussion about what is "beautiful"?

Well that is the question.  I know in my conversations with people I use both economic and ethical arguments, and when I use ethical arguments I am trying to appeal to their innate sense of right/wrong, in a similar way to when I'm selling a piece of art and trying to appeal to their innate sense of taste.  It could be said that my message is "liberty works and it's beautiful!"

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Gumdy replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 3:12 PM

 

1. AE shows us that the NAP is the only norm valid in argumentation, and all other ethics cannot be argued for without contradiction.

2. Nobody cares about discussions of beauty. It's not relevant to our discussion. I don't see why you are considering it so much. We are discussing conflict resolution. 

Am I making sense? Maybe someone else will be clearer?

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Gumdy:

 

1. AE shows us that the NAP is the only norm valid in argumentation, and all other ethics cannot be argued for without contradiction.

2. Nobody cares about discussions of beauty. It's not relevant to our discussion. I don't see why you are considering it so much. We are discussing conflict resolution. 

Am I making sense? Maybe someone else will be clearer?

 

You need to define "valid in argumentation" and "argued for without contradiction". 

As I've said before, in a conversation about beauty, "validity" doesn't come into it, and nor does contradiction.  Your opinions about beauty are what they are.  I do not know what it means to say "valid norm" unless you acknowledge that norms have a purpose: to help avoid conflict.  Then you could say that libertarianism is the only "valid norm" and mean it is the only norm that is capable of achieving this purpose.  I don't know what it means to say "valid norm" without reference to an end that the norm is being used to achieve.

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Gumdy replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 4:37 PM

 

 I do not know what it means to say "valid norm" unless you acknowledge that norms have a purpose: to help avoid conflict.  Then you could say that libertarianism is the only "valid norm" and mean it is the only norm that is capable of achieving this purpose.  I don't know what it means to say "valid norm" without reference to an end that the norm is being used to achieve.

Agreed. (and this aim is the demostrated preference of arguing).

 

 

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But then we already know what you say AE shows us.  Hoppe's argument that I linked to shows us this.  The supporter of a non-libertarian norm is not supporting a norm, but a perversion of a norm.  If you want to use the words "invalid" and "contradictory" to apply to this then you have already shown that it is contradictory to argue for a non-libertarian norm. 

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Gumdy replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 5:43 PM

Just calling something a preversion does not proove anything. This preversion being a performative contradiction means it cannot be logically held-which is quite a lot for ethics. It is contradictory in a very real sense. 

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Contradictory in the sense that "I am currently dead" is a contradictory statement? 

What statement in ethics, exactly, is contradictory in this sense? 

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Gumdy replied on Mon, Jan 9 2012 8:22 PM

Contradictory in the sense that "I am currently dead" is a contradictory statement? 

yes.

What statement in ethics, exactly, is contradictory in this sense?

"Your body is owned by society/government/me/any-other-unrelated-person."

"Late comers called tax-man own property you have aquired."

"Rocks have rights" (and so, I can punish you for stepping on a rock)

 

 

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Argumentation is not the only morally correct way to deal with disputes. 

Before calling yourself a libertarian or an anarchist, read this.  
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Gumdy replied on Tue, Jan 10 2012 5:13 AM

Argumentation is not the only morally correct way to deal with disputes. 

 

So stop doing it.

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