I got this from Shawn on facebook. But I don’t do much facebook anymore (for reasons mostly relating to the proxy server at the office), so I’m copying this and pasting it here. I stole some responses from Shawn who apparently stole some from Aeon…
This would be good for discussion and comments! (hint hint)
|Moral properties||Naturalist Moral Realism|
|Moral knowledge||is empirical|
|Normative ethics||Neo-Aristotelian rational self-interest|
|Animal ethics||Whatever the ethics of animals are, they’re not telling. Seriously. Since Animals are non-cognitive, animal ethics are necessarily a subset of human knowledge. What we call “good” is “good” for a particular subject, whatever decisions we make regarding animal ethics are necessarily subject to observational bias. We can decide that it’s OK to eat animals, or not. We can decide that it’s wrong to abuse animals and we can decide what constitutes abuse, but we make those decisions–whatever they are–according to our own criteria for our own purposes and for our own benefit.|
|Abortion||Ethically: Yes, through the point at which the fetus is viable.
Legally: Yes, through the second trimester or in cases where the mother’s life is in danger.
|Death Penalty||Privatize it. Joking. Mostly. Some people have, in fact, forfeited their right to live, but the State will invariably screw up both the adjudication and the administration.|
|Political theory||Constitutionally limited republican government with separated and enumerated powers and a bicameral legislature composed of distinct houses beholden to separate constituencies. (A house and senate with the additional qualification that only property owners may vote for senate and they may not vote for the house)|
|Distributive justice||“From each as he chooses, to each as he is chosen” (Nozick).|
|Minds||Biological Naturalism. I think Searle is pretty darn close. I don’t think there’s any reason to imagine that the “mind” must necessarily be non-reductive. An emergent process can be wholly reductive and still emergent. Szasz makes good points too.|
|Qualia||produced by interactions of human sensory faculties with objects of world. (Kelley)|
|Free Will||Volitional consciousness: human consciousness has the capacity to focus on this rather than that.|
|Reasons||Humans act on reasons; some of which can be irrational.|
|Structure of knowledge||An integrated whole upon the foundation of the senses.|
|Acquisition of knowledge||Evidence of the senses interpreted through rational faculty|
|Knowledge of external world||See above|
|Phil of science||The scientific method is a reliable way to model the natural world. The progress of science lies in reducing the degree of error in the model’s predictions.|
|Existence of God||A product of human imagination. Except for Thor. Thor was real.|
|Life after death||Only in the memories of those who knew you.|
|Truth||Some kind of correspondence theory. The correspondence need not be either wholly accurate or infallible to hold.|
|Universals||Yes, as epistemological essences (Rand)|
|Abstract Objects||See above.|
|Time||the vector (or rate, depending on usage) of observable causality.|
|Space||orthogonal to time, the limit (or rate) of observable causality.
Yes, I know that any definition of causality depends on concepts of Time and Space and therefore I’m being rather circular. However… I think we have a natural bias to organize our qualia in reference to a limited physiological understanding of causality. I think it’s likely that this base perception of causality lies at the root of our epistemological process and so therefore I’ll treat causality as the epistemic primary and time and space as derivative. But maybe the question is metaphysical rather than epistemological, in which case both time and space are aspects of reality. Time and space exist and they have a particular relationship.
|Persistence||for a while : D|
|Beauty||Normative: that which affirms the glory of human life and achievement.
Descriptive: that which affirms the observer’s psychological sense of human life and achievement.
Beauty may arise from either production (art) or active identification (natural beauty).
|Artworks||Art is the result of deliberate effort to produce beauty.|