Friday, December 15, 2017

Final draft guidelines. Observe them!

You are supposed to being a hard copy of your Final Paper. You will hand it along with your final the day of your assigned final exam. Here are some guidelines:

1- Times New Roman p. 12
2- Heading, left hand side:

John Doe, 
Final Paper 
Phi 2010 MFW 10am

3- Title, centered, bold,
4- Double space body,
5- Indent each new paragraph,
6- "Works cited" separate page, bold typeface, MLA protocol, last day of revision, no whole URLS.
https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/08/
Each source must be properly in-text cited, for example, (Smith, 2016).
7- No binders, no blank page cover,
8- All drafts must be stapled,

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

problems with your drafts? here is a list students who can help YOU

This is a list of students whose drafts are good enough that they can give sound advice:

MWF 10 am

Antonio Cardenas,
Paul Miniet,
Diego Rodriguez, 
Humbert Torres,

MWF 11am

Vanessa Arrieta,
Julian Mier,
Selena Bridges,
Karen Palacios,
Chandra Diaz de Arce,

T,R 950am

Renel Desir,
Kevin Restrepo,
Alicia Wilmot,
Yuniska Castaneda,

T,R 11:15am

Wilson Pena,
Pamela Monfort,
Dorian Ruiz,
Brittany Hall,


T 5:40pm

Devorah Korf,
Schneider Pierre,
Sofia Ocoro,


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

All regular classes: I reviewed your drafts already

If you still need to fix draft issues don't resend them to me via email. 

See me in my office. It will likely take 12 minutes. 

Here are my office hours (again)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Topics for Exam #3 (Chapter 4) MINITERM


Topics for review for Exam #3 on Chapter 4 are here.

Here is the link to your textbook. Do the tests for chapter 4.

If you have any questions, post them in this post. I'll try to get to them ASAP.

Getting your first draft ready


the paper above is from a HONORS student (name withheld) in my spring 2016.

analysis (above): the thesis paragraph is the most important paragraph in your paper, this is the argument program you will follow. see how her draft has a short clear thesis divided into two or three points, four or six sentences. 1st point, explanation, second point, explanation (third point, explanation) and so on...

next, comes the counter paragraph. you do the same thing, only with a counterargument. the paragraph starts with "prohibitionists disagree," so the reader clearly understand "who is talking." same strategy. 1st point, explanation. second point, explanation (third point, explanation) and so on... 


third paragraph is the thesis first point (medicinal marijuana to treat diseases such as glaucoma, anxiety, seizures, etc.). the difference is that the thesis is expanding and going in detail, with outside sources (in text citations, referring to the bibliography in the last page of the draft).

the fourth paragraph is the counter paragraph taking its first point. see that it begins with the right attribution "prohibitionists disagree," which informs the reader of "who's talking."

the subsequent paragraphs just follow the same dynamic until all the 6 points have been addressed.
then the thesis comes back with a conclusive paragraph wrapping up the discussion.

Here you have 3 different conclusion samples, taken from recent philosophy papers. 

Friday, November 3, 2017

now that your drafts are peer-reviewed, input your peer's suggestions and send your revised drafts to


atriff@mdc.edu

in the subject of your email please, write down:

Elizabeth Doe, First Draft Revision, MWF 10am class (whichever your class and name happens to be)

YOU HAVE A WEEK AFTER THE PEER-REVIEW TO DO THIS

First draft in-class peer-review: What to look for,

Formal issues

* left hand side:name, First Draft Philosophy Paper, class time,
* title: middle, bold,
* Times New Roman p. 12,
* double spaced,
* indented paragraphs,
* spelled check and grammar checked (very important!)
* 9 paragraphs (at least)
* minimum 1000 words,
* no front-and-back printing of draft,

Paragraph format issues

* first two paragraphs: Thesis and Counter, 3 points per paragraph.
* total of 6 sentences per paragraph. first sentence presents, the following sentence explains
* each paragraphs properly prefaced: either GS "advocates" or GS "critics" or SSM "advocates" or SSM "critics," etc. don't mind the repetition.
* 4th parag. should be Thesis 1st point, 5th parag. Counter 1st point and so on, alternating until the conclusion.
* Bibliography in separate page, at least 4 different sources,
* Only reputable sources to be cited, NO URLs, consult this for MLA conventions of citability  of digital references,


Content issues

* avoid unnecessary wordiness. the more wordy the more indication of poor research, 
* look for argument/citation ratio, 70% for argument,  30% for citation. if there is more, this is a red flag for plagiarism,
* proper introduction of each quote, "who talks" (Dr. John Doe, professor of Biology), "provenance," (at Penn State University),
* if a website, find the writer's name, her position, etc. google her name that if necessary,
* look for fat thesis paragraphs vs. thin counter paragraphs. this is a sign of poor research or bias, which is worse. your paper is as good as your counter's presentation,
* look for RELEVANCE, i.e., what is presented is properly explained and justified. 
* look for COHERENCE, i.e, the presented points in the draft successfully justify your thesis and counter's introductory paragraphs. 

CALL A SPADE A SPADE!
it's time to tell your friend the following 

* this draft needs more research
* this draft has dubious sources
* your draft is too biased towards your thesis
* the points are not presented in a coherent manner
* the points presented are not relevant,
* the sources presented are not relevant,

If you have an intuition, call it, you're probably right!

Thursday, October 26, 2017

next week, get ready for your first draft and our in-class peer-review

Dear classes: Next week we are having our in-class first-draft peer-review. Basically you'll exchange drafts with the person next to you. Pen in hand, you will mindfully & carefully critique your peer's draft. 

Here are the things to keep in mind:  1- Get your first draft ready. Here is an actual paper, first 4 paragraphs + 3 conclusion samples.

2- And here are the actual guidelines.

Basically, you just have to finish what you already started. You did four paragraphs, tackling the first point of the thesis and the first point of the counter. Do the same with the remaining points.  Add the conclusion paragraph to wrap it up,

Good luck.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Triff's Office Hours

M-F 8-9:40 
M 3:30-5:30pm
T 3:30-5:30pm

Final exam schedule (Fall 2017)


Many of you have approached me about final exam dates.

Here is the Fall 2017 Exam schedule.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

List of student assistants (so far)

MWF 10am
Rosangela Rizo
Humbert Torres
Roxy Ochoa

MWF 11am
Selena Bridges
Wilda Jean
Ryan Figueredo

TR 9:50am
Ana Esclusa
Daffodyle Saget

TR 11:15am
Ashley Leonard
Wilson Pena
Gary Zamora

Student Assistant Duties: Organizing reviews before the tests. This takes coordinating the review with me0, as I will post these reviews by sending email blasts to the class and posting review dates on our website. Being available for consultation.

THANKS,

Monday, October 9, 2017

Second assignment, philosophy paper (how to build a discussion)

This assignment takes care of four paragraphs. The first two are the most important in your paper. They are theses paragraphs. These are the program you will follow. They are a thesis and a counter-thesis. Each thesis and counter should contain two points. See that each point is explained. Suppose this is a paper against the prohibition of marijuana.

_______________________________________


P. 1 In this paper I argue against the prohibition of marijuana. First, prohibition must be weighed against the loss of personal freedom. That is to say, our laws should respect individual free will and the right of self-determination. In addition, the The War on Drugs has only served the immediate interests of politicians. By taking a moral stand against recreational drugs, or fighting the evils caused by the illegal drug trade they have only increased their popularity among constituents.

P. 2 Prohibitionists disagree. They believe that marijuana is addictive and may help create new consumers rather than rescuing current ones. Addiction is a real problem which lies in the power of the drug to induce dependency.  In addition, marijuana has been proved to lead to the use of other hard drugs and increase the possibility of committing crimes. Addiction can only be sustained within a social network of sale and distribution linked to organized crime. 

_______

Now, comes the discussion of these points. In Paragraph 3 you go back to your thesis, but now you're going to take the first point, only now you flesh it out. Bring outside experts and relevant data. The counter 
(Paragraph 4) is going to do the same. 
_______ 

P. 3 Abolitionists believe that prohibition must be weighed against our personal freedoms.
They argue that persons should be able to choose what they want with their bodies, including the recreational use of drugs, as long as they do not harm others. Such arguments often cite John Stuart Mill's harm principle, which urged that "the state had no right to intervene to prevent individuals from doing something that harmed them, if no harm was thereby done to the rest of society." (Mill, Liberty, 75).

P. 4 Prohibitionists reject this idea. dependent on or abused illicit drugs. In 2007 one in every nine children under the age of 18 in the United States lived with at least one drug dependent or drug abusing parent. There is no point in having criminal laws unless those caught breaking them will at least face prosecution. Dr. John Samaras, professor of psychology at Penn Sate University argues that parental substance dependence and abuse can have profound effects on children, including child abuse and neglect. (Samaras, Drug Addiction in America, 44).

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

paper proposal sample (due in a week)

This is your first paper assignment. This is a proposal, which has three components: 

1- Heading (in Times New Roman, point 12). On the left hand side, write your name (last name first), Philosophy Paper Proposal and the day and time of your class.
2- In the middle write the title (even in tentative) in bold letters. Avoid just rewriting the topic in your title. You may change your title, this is just forcing you think about a direction.
3- Two paragraphs, the first paragraph has your thesis, followed by a brief explanation supporting it. The second paragraph has the counterthesis with a brief explanation supporting it.  
   

Doe, John
Philosophy Paper Proposal
MWF, 10am Honors

Why animals should be protected against abuse: Factory Farming in America 

          In this paper, I will try to prove that animals being raised in factory farms in America deserve a better treatment. My main argument will show the public and environmental health risks associated with unregulated factory farming, while stressing that animal cruelty is ethically wrong. 


          I will argue against a counter defended by Factory Farm advocates, that our present regulations are necessary to offer a needed product at competitive market prices. 

topics for your philosophy paper

these are the topics for your philosophy paper. each theme has a link to a wikipedia article. once you pick your topic, read the whole wikipedia article. it's actually pretty good.

see that wikipedia presents a form. take a look at the content table to your left with 12 points ranging from "history," "on the go," "cuisine variants," to "advertising," "business," and finally "criticism" (where you find the counters to fast food advocates). etc. at the end of the article you find "references," "further reading" and "external links." the "reference section has 84 footnotes! this is your bread and butter. each wikipedia article is structured following the same form.

here are the topics: 

fast food 

(this important topic is at the intersection of public health, food production and public policy, i.e., the impact of globalization and cheap homogeneous food and the coming back of artisanal food, regional cuisine, farming, promoting taste as well as the organic food movement).

factory farms & animal welfare

(generally little appreciated, this topic takes an ecological and human/animal dimension: the link between animal-processed foods, ecological degradation, all tied to the still obscure field of animal ethics).

same-sex marriage 

(one of the hottest social topics being discussed right now in America, at the intersection of personal vs. religious freedom, secularism, legislation, homosexuality, human rights, cultural consensus, etc).

government surveillance 

(a global problem intersecting, civil rights, policy, new technologies, power excess, international relations, corporate neutrality).

rule of law

(after Trump's inauguration and even with Obama's spate of executive orders, this point becomes relevant).

social media & culture 

(privacy issues, information overload, cyber bullying, fake news, etc).

robot ethics 

(moral issues arising from our present and future interaction with A.I.)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

List of student assistants for Summer B class

Sofia Fascia
Selina Savage
Gersch Schiff
James Reyes

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Final exam, Chapter 5 MINITERM

Section 5.1

Ethics is the study of moral norms & values.

Moral norms emerge from non-moral norms. i.e., "incest is wrong" only when brother & sister have sick babies.

Moral norms are behaviors of fundamental consequence for human welfare. They ensure survival.

mk = mn + "facts"

Ethics can be broadly divided into objectivism and subjectivism. Objectivism is the view that right and wrong are independent from peoples' beliefs. Subjectivism is the view that right and wrong are dependent of peoples' beliefs.

Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture.

Counterarguments to cultural relativism here

What's the structure of moral knowledge? Find it here.

6. Are there universal moral principles? I think we could say yes. 1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) 2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

Section 5.2

Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories. Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

Intrinsic (value for its own sake; personhood is an essential value: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom) and instrumental values (value for the sake of something else).

Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it promotes one's BEST interest. This is equivalent to a calculus of prudence.

Find more arguments for Ethical Egoism here.

Counterarguments: (a) Moral agents are mot mere instruments for one's interest. (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office if you could vote for an utilitarian).

 Act Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered (remember this is only a particular milieu: family, class, Miami, Florida, the USA). Counterarguments: (a) McCloskey’s informant (problems with rights) (b) Brandt’s Heir (problems with duties), (c) Goodwin's Fire Rescue (problems with duties), (e) Ewing's Utilitarian torture (problems with justice). Duties: obligations one has by virtue of one's embeddedness in society. Filial, social, etc. Justice: justice is fairness.

Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered.

RU is a better theory than AU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments.

In McCloskey, the rule is "Do not bear false witness." In Brandt's utilitarian heir, the rule is "Do not kill (your father)," in Ewing's Torture, the rule is "Do not torture." Yet if one knew that this particular individual, John Doe had information that would save the lives of 100 people, Rule Utilitarianism would justify torturing him (given the second clause of the definition: to "maximize happiness everyone considered."

Here you have more arguments for traditional utilitarianism. 

Section 5.3

 Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule). Remember Triff's circuit.

Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what (keeping our promises). Imperfect duty: A duty that doesn't have to be performed always (taking a shower every day). 

Problem with Kant's first formulation: (a) Hare’s Nazi fanatic (I've commented this as the Al Qaeda paradigm). The Al Qaeda jihadist tells you that he's following Kantian ethics. He follows reversibility since he immolates himself with his victims. His actions follow a universalizability principle since (even if he was an infidel) he would wish that all infidels die -including himself.

Can Kant respond to that counter?

Kant's Second Formulation: TREAT PEOPLE AS ENDS, NEVER MERELY AS MEANS TO AN END. 

Kant's second formulation yields the principle of respect.  Are there problems with the second formulation? Yes, these are known as "problems of exceptions to the rule". Some times we have to treat people as means to ends. Example: Broad's Typhoid Man. What to do then?

Sunday, July 2, 2017

draft revisions (glossary of my symbols)

here are the symbols I use in the revision of your drafts:
______________________________
C/P: Fix copy and paste ratio, this is a red rflag for plagiarism. Fix it by paraphrasing in your own words the whole paragraph.

FixSent: Fix the sentence, it reads awkwardly.


FdbetAr: Find a better argument. Generally it means the argument is not relevant. Find a new one.

InsuffRsrch: Insufficient research.

?? : Don't get it, "what do you mean," vague, etc.

Hypb: Hyperbolic. Fix the tone of your sentence. Hyperbolic language is a sign of poor research.  

TooW: Too wordy, cut, trim, less is more.

Need+W: The draft is short on words. 1,000 words minimum,

WT: Who talks? Proper prefacing, i.e., Same-marriage critics, or Same-marriage activists, never mind the cacophony, what we need is clarity.

Mss1Pt, missing first point, Mss2Pt, missing second point, Mss3Pt, missing third point,

Insffexpl: Insufficient explanation,

Insffinfo: Insufficient information,

ITC: Missing in-text-citation,

OS: The paragraph needs outside source,

Prefproprly: Preface the paragraph properly with either _____ advocate or ______ critic,



Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On the distinction between number and quality when talking about ourselves (for Summer A class)


Because of our discussion yesterday and some of the comments put forward just before the class ended. We talked about how a white person is not qualified to talk for a black person (and viceversa), a man for a woman (and viceversa), a heterosexual for a homosexual (and viceversa), a non-transgender for a transgender and viceversa). At first, these qualifications may seem limiting, indeed overbearing. After all (as Roberto pointed out), even amongst blacks, a black person may say (referring to another black person) "this black person is not qualified to talk for me."

discussion continues here.

Student assistants for Summer A class

Athenais Acquaviva
Emily Mader
Julio Cesar Leyva

Thursday, June 15, 2017

watson: the smartest machine ever built!



as part of our conversation about functionalism & AI (see the discussion about hypothesis and the talk about "corpus" around 4:00).

also, read this article, by ray kurzweil.

to proper understand what Watson does you should be proficient in these areas:

natural language processing, which includes

SYNTAX
morphological linguistics,
parsing, 
lexical semantics (a promising subfield of the intersection between syntax and semantics)

SEMANTICS
machine translation,
natural language understanding (this is where the name AI comes from)
sentiment analysis (I love this, where the psychology intersects para-logical processes) 
disambiguation,
discourse analysis,

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Topics for final exam (Chapter 5)

Ethics is the study of moral values.

Moral values are behaviors of fundamental consequence for human welfare.

 Moral Judgements = Moral standards + Factual beliefs.

Subjective relativism: What makes an action right is that one approves of it. C/A, an action can be right and wrong at the same time. The subjectivist doesn't pay attention to the properties of the world. For him, right and wrong are relational properties, like big and small, not like "square" and "round." They believe moral judgments are "secondary properties," brought by the observer. Formalists, on the other hand, believe that moral judgments are PRIMARY properties of the world. Just like the juice in the wine or the broth in the chicken soup. 

Cultural relativism: The doctrine that what makes an action right is that it's approved by that culture. Counterarguments: 1- Logical contradiction (see above), impossibility for moral disagreements and 2- The fact that cultures are not that different at a deeper level. One can point to differences between "deep" values (moral values, i.e., human behavior of fundamental consequence for human welfare) and "superficial" values (domestic habits, etiquette, fashion, etc) other cultural values to the effect that most cultures seem to share the same deep moral values.

 5. Logical Structure of Moral Arguments: Moral standards + factual beliefs = Moral judgments (this is not a formula, just an approximation). What is a factual belief? A belief held by factual evidence (i.e., child abuse is wrong because of the facts we know about psychology, human rights, child development, etc,).

 6. Are there universal moral principles? I think we could say yes. 1- Principle of mercy (Unnecessary suffering is wrong) 2- Principle of justice (Treat equals equally).

 Section 5.2 

 1. Difference between consequentialist theories and formalist theories. Consequentialism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of its consequences. Formalism is the theory that judges the rightness or wrongness of an action in terms of the action's form (i.e., "killing is wrong": the formalist believes that moral actions are objective).

 2. Intrinsic value (value for its own sake; personhood is an essential value: a-reason, b-autonomy, c-sentience, d-freedom) and instrumental values (value for the sake of something else).

 3. Ethical egoism: What makes an action right is that it promotes one's best interest. This is equivalent to a calculus of prudence. C/A (a) Moral agents are mot mere instruments for one's interest. (b) Egoism is not a socially or politically cogent theory (i.e., you would not vote for an egoist in office if you could vote for an utilitarian).

 4. Act Utilitarianism (or Traditional utilitarianism): What makes an action right is that it maximizes happiness everyone considered (remember this is only a particular milieu: family, class, Miami, Florida, the USA). C/A (a) McCloskey’s informant (problems with rights) (b) Brandt’s Heir (problems with duties), (c) Goodwin's Fire Rescue (problems with duties), (e) Ewing's Utilitarian torture (problems with justice).

 5. Rule Utilitarianism: What makes an action right is that it falls under a rule that if generally followed would maximize happiness everyone considered. RU is a better theory than AU. Why? Because if applied, it can solve the problems posed by the previous counterarguments. In McCloskey, the rule is "Do not bear false witness." In Brandt's utilitarian heir, the rule is "Do not kill (your father)," in Ewing's Torture, the rule is "Do not torture." Yet if one knew that this particular individual, John Doe had information that would save the lives of 100 people, Rule Utilitarianism would justify torturing him (given the second clause of the definition: to "maximize happiness everyone considered."

 Section 5.3 

1. Kant’s Categorical Imperative: What makes an action right is that everyone can act on it (which yields universalizability), and you'd have everyone acting on it (which yields reversibility: Golden Rule). Remember Triff's circuit.

2. Duties: obligations one has by virtue of one's embeddedness in society. Perfect duty: A duty that must always be performed no matter what. And imperfect duties.

3. Kant's Second Formulation: TREAT PEOPLE AS ENDS, NEVER AS MEANS TO AN END. Problems with the second formulation? C/A The problem with Kantian theory is the problem of exceptions to the rule. Should I keep a promise even if it puts someone's life in danger? Then, some times we have to treat people as means to ends. Example: Broad's Typhoid Man. What to do then? Pluralistic Formalism: What makes an action right is that it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation.

 4. Ross’ Pluralistic Formalism: AIR if it falls under the highest ranked duty in a given situation. So now we have prima facie duties and actual duties.
Prima Facie Duty: A duty that must be performed unless it conflict with a more important duty. Actual duties: One that must be performed in a particular situation.
You must know hierarchy and each one of these duties as I explained in class:
1- Justice, 2- fidelity, 3- reparation, (are the three most important) followed by: 4- beneficence, 5- non-maleficence, 6- gratitude, 7- self-improvement.

 5. Pluralistic Formalism improves upon Kantian theory's problem with exceptions.

 Section 5.4 

 Aristotle's virtue. Aristotle begins by saying that virtue is an admirable human quality. There are intellectual and moral virtues. Intellectual virtues are dispositions, such as wisdom and understanding, which help discover truth.

 Moral virtues are dispositions such as courage, temperance, friendliness, justice, etc. Intellectual virtues can be thought, moral virtues need to be practiced. They help us avoid moral problems but more importantly, they help our moral balance (since generally a poor action is a manifestation of defect or excess).

 The highest good for humans, the highest aim of all human practical thinking, is eudaimonia. What makes a virtuous character (ethikē aretē) possible, which is in turn necessary if happiness is to be possible. He describes a sequence of necessary steps: righteous actions (under the influence of teachers) allow the development of the right habits, which in turn can allow the development of a good character in which the habits are voluntary, and this in turn gives a chance of achieving eudaimonia.

 Virtue is an admirable human quality, marked by a disposition to behave in certain ways in certain circumstances. Then, there is the mean between excess and defect.

Here are some examples:

defect             mean         excess
cowardice----courage----rashness
apathy----gentleness----short temper
stinginess----generosity----extravagance
grouchiness----friendliness----flattery
boorishness----wittiness----buffoonery
self-deprecation----truthfulness----boastfulness
insensibility----self-control----debauchery

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Triff's office hours (Summer 12 week)

T, R, 8-9:40am

necessary and sufficient conditions


Necessary conditions:

X is a necessary condition for Y means, 

if we don't have X, then we don't have Y, or without X, you won't have Y

To say that X is a necessary condition for Y does not mean that X guarantees Y

Having gasoline in my car (I have a gasoline engine) is a necessary condition for my car to start. Without gasoline (x) my car (y) will not start. Of course, having gasoline in the car does not guarantee that my car will start. There are many other conditions needed for my car to start.

Having oxygen in the earth's atmosphere is a necessary condition for human life. However, having oxygen will not guarantee human life. There are many other conditions needed for human life other than oxygen in the atmosphere.

Being 18 years of age is a necessary condition for being able to buy cigarettes legally in North Carolina. Yet, being 18 years of age does not guarantee that a person will buy cigarettes. There are many other conditions that lead to a person buying cigarettes than being 18 years of age.

Sufficient conditions:

X is a sufficient condition for Y means,

if there is X, then Y happens (X guarantees Y)

Rain pouring from the sky is a sufficient condition for the ground to be wet.
______

Test yourself: 

*Is sunlight a necessary or sufficient condition for the flowers to bloom?

*Is earning a final grade of C a necessary or sufficient condition for passing the course?

*Is being a male a necessary or sufficient condition for being a father?

*Is having AIDS a necessary or sufficient condition for having the HIV virus?

*Is studying for a test a necessary or sufficient condition for passing a test?

*Is completing all the requirements of your degree program a necessary or sufficient condition for earning your degree?

Friday, May 12, 2017

regading homo "erectus"


the table above with the different "homo" developments.



Monday, April 24, 2017

Important guidelines for your final draft submission (HONORS classes) pay attention!!!

Guideline for final paper:

1- You're supposed to hand the final draft on the day of the final. 

2- The draft must be stapled, no binders, no cover page. 
3- At the top left the draft:

PHI 2010 HONORS
John Doe (your name)
MWF 10am class  

4- Your draft should be written in Times New Roman point 12
paginated on the top, right hand side.
5- Title in bold (centered). 
6- Your draft must be double spaced, with a minimum of 1,200 words.
7- MLS style of citations, (all same font, same size, including online sources). 
8- Please, properly spell check your drafts.

All of these details are worth points!! 

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

my notes to utilitarianism

3-  utilitarianism: AIR if it maximizes happiness everyone considered (the greatest majority of people) in construction....

Utilitarians are all consequentialists: AIR because of the consequences of the actions.
(we think consequentialism begins in China with Mozi, who promoted a philosophy of impartial caring. Only the Chinese could do that).

Utilitarianism is a 100% British moral theory. A social theory, see the thrust of the theory goes for the greatest majority of people (a side note: Karl Marx loved England's political climate because of utilitarianism). Utilitarianism's main advocate in the 19th century is J. Stuart Mill. In the 20th century we have Richard M. Hare and a great advocate for animal rights: professor Peter Singer. 

It's clear that utilitarianism wins over egoism as a social theory. Here we have to go to the explicit terms of the theory. One favors the individual, the other favors the group. If you vote for politicians A & B and you know A is an egoist and B an utilitarian, you'd be smart enough to vote for B --unless A a member of your family.

Problems with the calculation of happiness

What is happiness? A kind of Greek eudaimonia.  Mill has a good point that happiness cannot only be defined in quantity but also in quality. Ex: what gives more happiness, to watch a bad series on TV or a good film? To spend two hours watching porno or to have a nice conversation with your girlfriend? (by the way I confess that my younger self was on the lesser side here, so I speak with propriety). How do you calculate happiness?

Then there are five counters from page 351 to 355 pointing to problems utilitarianism faces with rights, duties and justic (please, revise these).

4- rule utilitarian: AIR if it falls under a rule, which if followed would mzaximizes happiness everyone considered (this is same as above, but checked by local rules first).

RU needs now to defeat all the counters against TU. Ca it do that? The RU takes it case by case and imposes a rule. If the rule works, then the rule applies. Rules like "Never cheat," "Never steal," "Never lie," work but only accompanied by the subsequent "if it maximized happiness for the majority." The RU claims that she can face these counters to TU better.

McCloskey's Informant: "Do not bear false witness" declares the action of apprehending an innocent negro wrong. The RU could argue that apprehending an innocent person doesn't solve the problem, only makes it worse. In Brand't Utilitarian Heir the RU applies "Never kill innocent people." Killing your own father is parricide and makes the TU's calculation bogus. In Ross Unhappy Promise, the rule is "Keep your promises," and so on.

On the other hand, the RU cannot undercut its own utilitarian bent. The definition sates: "Keep your promises, unless it maximizes happiness," so when should one break the rule? Well, a rule that would allow you to kill somebody whenever doing so would produce more happiness than unhappiness is not permitted. But a rule that allowed you to kill somebody whenever it would produce a great deal more happiness than unhappiness probably would be morally correct. This is case by case.  

Monday, April 17, 2017

happiness is a warm gun (with math included)

that's a John Lennon's lyric for a Beatles' song, but I discovered something in my discussion with you about happiness that's pretty warm.

I'm suggesting to you that happiness is not outside in the world. Happiness is INSIDE. Indeed,
Aristotle and the ancient Stoics talked about keeping an inner balance.

Let's call this balance "happiness." 

happiness is a distribution factor "soothing" adversity.

The world is in constant opposition with us. The only way to WIN the world is not by fighting back, that's stupid. Fighting the world means spending your energy for nothing (since the world is supervenient on you). The only way to WIN is to play with the world. Adversity is just a frame of mind. We should arm ourselves with a shield against adversity.

Here's the shield in 3 steps:

1- keep the world at bay (it's called ATARAXIA)
2- do as much good as you can (without loosing yourself in the effort, it's called EUNOIA  or benevolence), so the world gives you back what you sow.
3- when necessary be prepared to turn defeat into victory (it's called GRIT).

this is where math comes in,

there's a function suggested by Gauss & Laplace,  concerning probability distributions. I'm simplifying the details. The point is that you could see happiness as factor dealing with a distribution of adversity: 



to be happy you have to know how to deal with adversity.   

yeah, happiness is a warm gun.

Saturday, April 15, 2017

ethics egoism (pros and cons)

ethical egoism: AIR if it maximizes one's (my) BEST interests.

PROS

BEST = conducive to self-preservation in society (i.e., playing by the mns of society).

want to see the force of BEST? not everything I consider my interest is in my BEST interest.

ex. having sex with a person I just met vs. being faithful to my girlfriend. my BEST interest is creating behavioral dispositions of fidelity towards my girlfriend. Why? It's good to keep my relationship healthy, but even more important for the egoist, it develops behaviors of self-governance that I need for life in general.

BEST also means playing by the rules of society. a very important rule is tit-for-tat, which translates as BENEVOLENCE (doing good).* The egoist tries to maximize her relationships in the world by being benevolent (whenever permitted) to increase her chances of success in the world. Why?

The more good she does, the more good is owed to her. You reap what you sow, is her lemma.

So, an egoist ends up being altruistic. But she is not fooling herself that altruism should erase the expecting good in return, why not? because that reinforces the stereotype of the free rider. I don't care how altruistic you appear, you don't want a friend that doesn't reciprocate the good you do for her (if you do, you are a self-destructive masochist).

CONS

Egoism has a slant for instrumentalizing people, i.e., treating people as means to her ends (we'll see the problem this presents when we study Kant's deontology).

Friday, April 14, 2017

my counter to cultural relativism

CR is the view that mn are culturally bounded.

CR is a theory about inconmensurability between groups. in class i propose to refute this in two different ways, via group theory in algebra or via moral naturalism.

1. one way to go is through mathematics: here's my simplified proof for group isomorphism,


2. the second way is to through natural history: hierarchies within the findings of values within a group (we learn this through anthropology, unfortunately they generally agree with CR).

a) if there are values, this presupposes a hierarchy.
b) if there is a hierarchy, some values are harder than others (hard for naturalism are those values that ensure survival). remember those values can be considered moral values, i,e. mns.
c) harder values cannot be endogenous to groups, since groups are associations of homo sapiens. harder values make HS associations possible.

thus,
harder values are common to different groups, i.e., they are intercultural.
mns are culturally interdependent. LQQD.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

notes to 5.2 (egoism and traditional utilitarianism)


mk = mn + facts  (you already know these facts are "soft," we've explained this)

from what we've learned, it all boils down to the difference between mn and mk,

let's see how this works for the following ethical positions. we use AIR for (an action is right):

1- ethical egoism: AIR if it maximizes one's (my) BEST interests. 

there are 3 modalities: a- individual, b- personal and c- universal
in a- it's "my" interests, b- someone's interests, c- the rule applies to everybody (everyone should act in this manner).

defenders: Max Stirner, Nietzsche, Ayn Rand, Sidgwick, etc.

ethical egoists believe in mn, but these values are subject-centered.

with BEST interest, the ethical egoist has a check to unregulated self-destructive interests. she should seek interests that ensure her prospering in the world. guess what? she has learned by moral natural selection that the best way to succeed in the world is to be a bit altruistic (that's benevolence, doing good). she also understands that this world is rule by a tit-for-tat social dynamics. free riders don't succeed in the long run.

the altruistic counter to ethical egoism? an ethical egoist is not altruist for its own sake, but enough that she fosters some altruism. which altruist is such that she doesn't care to reap what she sows? some people have presented the counter that the ethical egoist treats people as a means to an end. and this is true. later when we study kant's deontology this may become an opening.

our textbook presents an interesting counter on page 344. the ethical egoist is walking through the woods and finds his rival bleeding and in need of help and she lets him die (she is maximizing her best interest). it seems a good counter since ethical egoism doesn't have a check against that. one could retort that even an altruist may do that, after all humans may know what's their duty and yet, fail to act on it. it's called AKRASIA (the weakness of the will).

2- psychological hedonism: we are all egoists by default.

ethical hedonist's lemma: it would be impossible to cite an action that isn't done to maximize internal good.

this argument is very popular, but the problem is that it's too general. enough to come up with actions that one has done for the sake of one's duty. yes, ethical egoists have duties (filial duties, some social duties)

3-  utilitarianism: AIR if it maximizes happiness everyone considered (the greatest majority of people) in construction....

Utilitarians are all consequentialists: AIR because of the consequences of the actions.
(we think consequentialism begins in China with Mozi, who promoted a philosophy of impartial caring. Only the Chinese could do that).

Utilitarianism is a 100% British moral theory. A social theory, see the thrust of the theory goes for the greatest majority of people (a side note: Karl Marx loved England's political climate because of utilitarianism). Utilitarianism's main advocate in the 19th century is J. Stuart Mill. In the 20th century we have Richard M. Hare and a great advocate for animal rights: professor Peter Singer. 

It's clear that utilitarianism wins over egoism as a social theory. Here we have to go to the explicit terms of the theory. One favors the individual, the other favors the group. If you vote for politicians A & B and you know A is an egoist and B an utilitarian, you'd be smart enough to vote for B --unless A a member of your family.

Problems with the calculation of happiness

What is happiness? A kind of Greek eudaimonia.  Mill has a good point that happiness cannot only be defined in quantity but also in quality. Ex: what gives more happiness, to watch a bad series on TV or a good film? To spend two hours watching porno or to have a nice conversation with your girlfriend? (by the way I confess that my younger self was on the lesser side here, so I speak with propriety). How do you calculate happiness?

Then there are five counters from page 351 to 355 pointing to problems utilitarianism faces with rights, duties and justic (please, revise these).

4- rule utilitarian: AIR if it falls under a rule, which if followed would mzaximizes happiness everyone considered (this is same as above, but checked by local rules first).

RU needs now to defeat all the counters against TU. Ca it do that? The RU takes it case by case and imposes a rule. If the rule works, then the rule applies. Rules like "Never cheat," "Never steal," "Never lie," work but only accompanied by the subsequent "if it maximized happiness for the majority." The RU claims that she can face these counters to TU better.

McCloskey's informant: "Do not bear false witness" declares the action of apprehending an innocent negro wrong. The RU could argue that apprehending an innocent person doesn't solve the problem, only makes it worse. In Brand't utilitarian heir the RU applies "Never kill innocent people." Killing your own father is parricide and makes the TU's calculation bogus. In Ross unhappy promise, the rule is "Keep your promises," and so on.

On the other hand, the RU cannot undercut its own utilitarian bent. The definition still sates: "Keep your promises, unless it maximizes happiness," so when should one break the rule? Well, a rule that would allow you to kill somebody whenever doing so would produce more happiness than unhappiness is not permitted. But a rule that allowed you to kill somebody whenever it would produce a great deal more happiness than unhappiness probably would be morally correct.    

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Spring Final Exams Schedule (all PHI 2010 classes)

Honors classes

MWF, 10am Honors  W April 26
MWF, 11am Honors   F April  28
MW,   1pm   Honors  W April 26

All other classes

T,R 8:25am     R, April 27
T,R 11:25am   R, April 27
M 5:40-8pm    M, April 24

here is my explanation of why #31 is not semantically obscure

We had animated discussions at the Honors, 11am and the IAC classes about question #31 while revising our test. Here are my ten cents. I want to show you that one needs time and patience to sort these things out. Here is the intro to questions #30 & #31.
Let’s come back to what we’ve learned in Parfit teleportation experiment: Parfit-the-copy comes back to earth to know that Parfit-the-original has died six months after the teleportation. Parfit-the-copy decides to visit Anne, Parfit-the-original’s wife. After the obvious surprise of seeing Parfit-the-copy the wife reluctantly listens to his long exposition about how much he loves her and his children. Then, as she’s ready to shut the door she hears: “Would you live happily knowing that our children are orphans?”
question #31 asks:
Knowing as she knows that this person in front of her is the copy of her deceased husband, is Parfit-the-copy’s claim compelling enough that Anne may “take him back?”
To answer #31 correctly you need this background knowledge:

1- p. id. is not a necessary cond. for survival, 2- Po & Pc are psy. connected (meaning they are the same qualitatively, meaning they feel the same way), 3- Po, age 38, died of a heart condition, while Pc has lived in Mars for 6 months, 3- Po is married with two children. 4- Pc, which survived Po (by definition) comes back to earth to claim his children. In #31 I quote "a long exposition of how much he loves his children". In addition Pc wants "his wife back" (the scare quote indicates that she is not "really" his wife, but from the inside Pc doesn't feel that. He has a real desire!) 

Some of you answered 31, choice b, which is wrong. Of many things that were said during our revision I remember these: "how do I know that wife takes Pc back?", "what if what you call 'compelling' is not enough for his wife to take him back?," what's compelling for you may not be compelling for me," and finally: "is this test fair?"

In response to the first three questions: I'm not saying Anne takes Pc back. All I ask you is to tell me whether the claim is "compelling enough" for her to take him back. Anne may take him back, but it depends of compelling reasons. As per the last point: "is the test fair," I hope that by answering the first points, I answer that one.

You realize that: it's true that it is possible that Po's wife will take Pc,(regardless of whether she finds his explanation compelling). To which you will retort: "well, it's equally possible that she won't take him back."

Precisely! This is why "compelling" becomes paramount.

To answer what's compelling, I propose to examine what's non-compelling: physically and behaviorally speaking. (a) Pc doesn't look like Po, (b) Pc doesn't act like Po, (c) when Anne cross-examines Pc about their previous history together, Pc gets it all wrong.

(a)-(c) are non-compelling reasons! On the other hand, if Pc resembles Po in all respects (except the numeric, (which Anne cannot notice, because Po's "number" disappears with Po's body), would you still say these are not compelling reasons? 

This is what I'm after because it brings us back to the title of this post: Is #31 semantically obscure? (please, click the link and check definitions).

Instead of doing semantics, I'm going to take a look at how the IAC class answered #31. I propose three types: A, B, C respectively. Here are my findings (as per question #31):

(A type) out of 12 As in the class:  9 got it right, 3 got it wrong 
(B type) out of 12 Bs in the class:  8 right, 4 wrong 
(C type) out of 4 Cs in the class: 0 right, 4 wrong

We get a total of 17 rights vs. 11 wrong, that's 60% right.

Of the 11 wrong, 4 belong in the (C type), incidentally the latter also got question #30 wrong! Of the 11 who got 31 wrong, 8 also picked 30 wrong. Why is this relevant?

(1) It shows they didn't get how Pc is psychologically connected with Po. And why is it relevant? Because #30 actually informs #31!

(2) Consensus? out of 28 students, 17 right vs 11 wrong. 
Best consensus? the (A type), which gets 31 right, by a 9 to 2 ratio!

After examining these numbers, would you still maintain that #31 is semantically obscure?
If you believe that, you have to find an argument to disprove my (1) and (2) above, that is:

60% consensus at #31, plus the (A type)'s strong agreement at #31, plus the #30-#31 connection (which only makes the (A type) stronger because their responses at 30 & 31 are more apt). In other words, getting both #30 & #31 right shows that the accuracy at #31 is the result of skills exhibited at #30.

the (A type) was not merely "guessing" #31: they knew it!

I doubt you (whoever you are) will find such argument.
Take care,

Monday, April 10, 2017

HAMLET as "best consensus"

lawrence olivier's hamlet, 1949 (one of the best hamlets in film)

i propose how to evaluate best consensus of a thing (whether literature, music, art, drama, food).

let's take Hamlet (only because it's so obvious)

1- presentations of the piece between 18th-20th century (and how it contributed to the art of drama).
2- Hamlet in the history of movies (how the play has contributed to the history of film).
3- Hamlet's influence in english literature (400 years)
4. hamlet is discussed in detail by Freud, Jung, Lacan, the existentialists, feminists, post-structuralists, etc.
5- Hamlet in asia, africa, in arab countries.

1-5 is only a sketchy approximation of what builds consensus and best consensus.

"Hamlet" as consensus, is a process that happens in time. consensus is NEVER static. it's a dynamic process where each Hamlet read, discussed and presented is different than the previous one. numerically speaking there is only one Hamlet, qualitatively there are many. this is how the work becomes canonical (or part of the canon of a civilization).

remember that BC is not what makes Hamlet good. Hamlet is good because of "facts" in Hamlet. what consensus and BC do is flesh out these "facts." 

Sunday, April 9, 2017

is there moral knowledge?

 picasso's DA, 1907

is there moral knowledge? this is an epistemological question of great importance.

without moral knowledge it becomes difficult to evaluate human actions. for example, in jurisprudence (criminology) we have degrees of culpability: 1- homicide (of which first degree murder and felony murder are the most serious) followed by, 2- second degree murder, followed by 3- voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter which are less serious, and finally with 3- justifiable homicide.

how do we adjudicate these differences? we ascribe responsibility given different criteria for the carrying the action, the intention, etc. problem is how to define these facts. so, back again at the top: are there moral facts? the answer seems affirmative. but these are not "hard" facts like "two points make a line" or "the sum of two internal angles in a triangle = 180º."

let's propose the following formula:

mj = f + mn (f are facts, mn are moral norms)

mn are the generally accepted rules of most societies. we made a case for evolutionary moral norms  since late homo erectus and homo sapiens. we could not have survived in groups without some degree of norms. this shows that mn presupposes human society.

how about mf, moral facts?

by "fact" i don't mean your "2+2=4" or "H2O is water"-facts. we're talking about softer facts. here are some examples: "democracy is better than tyranny" or "Demoiselles d'Avignon by Picasso is a masterpiece of Cubism" or "Charlie Parker is the best alto sax player of the bebop era" or
"Veuve Cliquot is a very good champagne" facts.

"fact" means it's soft. next, what or who makes the "facts"?  

mf = best consensus! + the inter-subjective notes of the matter. here is a diagram.



process of consensus: see that the info is negotiated via cause/effect inter-subjectively from the outside into consensus and from consensus into BC. BC's main property is that it's more reliable, more resistant to to and fro from the outside

take picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon (DA, hereon). we'd examine the painting's formal qualities, the new style it spurred (Cubism), as well as the painting's reception (pro and against among critics, artists, curators, gallerists of early 20th century) and its influence in subsequent 20th century art. this intersubjective notes explain the consensus, which takes time to build. consensus and best consensus cannot be produced overnight.

or take shakespeare's Hamlet. the reception of Hamlet is not a hallucinogenic experience going on for 400 years! (click here for how Hamlet build consensus). if you ask a critic, a stage director, or a writer why Hamlet is a masterpiece, she'd point to specific properties IN Hamlet: formal structure, plot development, dramatic power, universal themes, relevance for the history theater, influence in other cultural forms such as philosophy, film, etc.

the best consensus provides the best explanation for these "notes." this slow layer-upon-layer of reasons through the centuries become a formidable value accumulation. the term "masterpiece" simply describes the process.    

this is when i made a distinction between saying: 1. I hate Hamlet and 2. Hamlet is not a good play. 
there are ostensible differences here to note:

1. is a personal opinion, which one is entitled to; 2. is a statement of "fact" that goes against the best consensus.

 2. is actually insurmountable. to prove 2. one would have to produce an argument to defeat 400 years of consensus. 

here Emily and Anthony and Evan felt that was too much. 

all i'm saying is that from 1. to 2. there is an enormous value/gap, which the counter would have to defeat. is "Hamlet is a masterpiece" defeasible? yes, but very unlikely. why? the approval layers during of all these years are way stronger than one person's counter.

Emily brought the idea of the CANON and a professor's defense of the CANON that she didn't agree with. me neither, and i said that it's incorrect to claim that Hamlet's good because of the CANON. Hamlet's good because of the "facts" pertaining Hamlet, which is why it is in the CANON not the other way around.

consensus is a process that happens in time. 

consensus is NEVER static. it's a dynamic process where each hamlet read, discussed, and presented is different than the previous one. numerically speaking there is only one hamlet, qualitatively there are many. this is how the work becomes canonic (or part of the canon of a civilization).

consensus lends itself to best consensus. BC is just the best of the previous consensus. "best" is important because it's more reliable. less subject to negotiation with plain info.

BC is not what makes Hamlet good. Hamlet is good because of "facts" in Hamlet. what consensus and BC do is flesh out these "facts." 

Monday, April 3, 2017

making death "optional"

News on aging and staying young this week. NASA, leaning in to a new treatment that could keep astronauts from aging out on the long trip to Mars. Space travel accelerates aging. On Earth, we're talking about "super-longevity," even immortality. Silicon Valley billionaires want it all, and are investing big brains and bucks to get it. Listen how the drive to make death "optional."
the podcast here. 

men's infidelity (it's nature and nurture togheter)

 who are you?

men are unfaithful @ twice the rate of women in the USA.
The evolutionary benefit of promiscuity for men is pretty straightforward: The more sexual partners you have, the greater your potential reproductive success. But women’s reproductive capacity is more limited by biology. So what’s in it for women? There may be no clear evolutionary advantage to female infidelity, but sex has never just been about procreation.
women get less of a rational basis.

it all harks back to homo erectus -and early sapiens. go here for homo erectus' sexuality (a suggestion is that they sublimated sex through art, but also engaged in hallucinogenic sexual orgies, called "festivals"). "orgy" or "drug" is not a proper term: wear the proper glasses here. this is not our frantic pleasure-seeking postmodern version without a proper theist-animistic components. in our PC ignorance, we keep ignoring these societal drives.    

on the other hand, women's promiscuity has increased in western societies (caveat: the poorer you are the less promiscuous you're permitted to be).

here are 13 reasons from psychology today. let's read some of them through our knowledge of
chapter 4. 

immaturity: that refers to character, not your present person and predetermined by your Np. a pretty vague concept, it means you don't act your age, and who does? :)
insecurity: same as above. "insecurity" cannot be a "willing" thing. nobody wants to be insecure, more so if you are a man. this is an unconscious mechanism. the more insecure you are, the more you're likely to show yourself as secure, which brings forth the stereotype, "men are spartans."
lack of male social support: indeed, your males friends are as detached as you are. men don't know how to give support to each other regarding romantic issues, they are supposed to be kept within masculinity boundaries, i.e., you don't show your friend you're suffering. again: "men are spartans."
child abuse: that's a complex one which can go in any direction. from infidelity to self-mutilation to abuse to murder.
selfishness: at the beginning of the relationship, during mating time, you do want to be with your significant other. it's later, when the sexual urges wane that you get restless. this is not selfishness, this is the EROS mechanism (studies reveal that polygamous men live longer). 
anger, revenge: yes, there's always anger. and anger only means repression  of a symptom. but we're not that aware of that either. if a man is angry he will deny it (i surmise women can sin of this too).  

__________________

this paper takes a deeper look at evolutionary biology theories. the finding is that males are more dismissive of romantic relationship (thus more unfaithful and promiscuous) than women in most cultures, except in africa (& the reason is not cultural, it's rather the "stressor" of their particular environments).
___________________

now, how do you approach these data as a male?

it's a fact that a man can be unfaithful and still love a woman. my father is a case in point. he loved my mother to her death with devotion and perseverance. being in love is always easy at first. then we fall out of love. we wonder, was it really love? why did we let it go? did we fight enough for it? some say "why fight over the other's freedom to move on?" a fight is worth it if there's hope (more about love later, let's stay on course).

i want to make a comment about male behavior around the "received" social norms of adultery. why does it happen? biology vs. cultural norms! supervening society makes for familial natural selection. in this version of the traditional family, if men aren't faithful at least they keep the contract going for the sake of family and social cohesion.

the man keeps his urges at a minimum, following a prudent check with the proviso that the wife is assured love, financial and familial stability. this "victorian" arrangement worked until modernity. don't think that women are unaware of their husbands' escapades. they are not stupid. the reason 19th literature gave us Balzac, Flaubert, Zola, Tolstoi, Chekhov, etc, was precisely this traditional arrangement. that women learned to live under this traditional norms doesn't mean that there was a "patriarchy" of male conspiracy against women. this is not wearing proper lenses. these men loved their wives and their views loved them back. presentism myopically judges the past. if these masters of literature critiqued their 19th-present it was because they were already moderns! 

after modernity everything changes. i, a twenty first-century person, tell my female students to finish college, become independent, and play it equally at home. but remember, as each epoch fixes the past it becomes outdated with its mounting problems. modernity brought its own problems with it, which we're dealing with now (this is a different topic we cannot pursue here).

let's come back to love. even with this tension in our biology, us men can do something about fidelity (this why i said fidelity is commendable -though gabrielle felt it was not the right word).

we men can fight our biology with better ideals of love.

real love is a difficult negotiation between passion and generosity. passion, to work, has to be selfish, otherwise it dies on arrival. generosity checks against our disparate sexual desires. through generosity we learn that this love deserves better. it means bringing forth trust by channeling our drives in the direction of our love. this doesn't mean one would stop incidentally having desires (you know that not all these desires are even "really" ours). only that we'll in a better position to redirect and color our desires with our best ideals. by the way, don't blame yourself if you fail. what's important is to keep trying. hopefully we'll succeed.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

sartre's lemma

this is sartre's lemma: l'être est ce qu'il n'est pas et n'est pas ce qu'il es,
self is not what it is, it is what it is not.

recall that the self (l'être) IS in time. as such, there are two moments: past to present and present to future. the yellow stress in the lemma indicate past-to-present.

1- past-to-present. what are the characteristics of this "cut"?

this is what one "has been", the accumulation of memories and desires and beliefs in the past. the self's own film to itself. a unique, first-person-report film. a self-film all inside
this film is what we call NARRATIVE. whatever you say about yourself, however you describe yourself is yours. you own it (with all the emotional coloring of your-self). you lie? your narrative lies. you hold back? your narrative is doing it.

NARRATIVE always supervenes on your actual person.  

2- present-to-future. 

this is the projection of the self into the future. it hasn't happened, but it's contained in the PROJECT. all selves are capable of having projects (some more than others). we've done this in class. you "see yourself as..." the future self is different that the present self in the execution of the project. in fact, the self "as-projected" is already different than the present self. it's different in a potential sense, not in an actual sense.

one can see that 1 and 2 obviously negate one another, which is sartre's point in the lemma.
LQQD 

Monday, March 27, 2017

identity, character and moral responsibility

see the diagram below: character is a process which emerges from the different pi becoming Np. character consists of a sum of behavioral traits or "notes," which are evaluated by witnesses in response to a diversity of relevant trait-eliciting conditions.

1. it's clear that character happens in time. thus,

2. one cannot fully grasp a person's character, only character notes.

3. the person grasping these traits is a witness. subject and witness are in a context.

4. since contexts always change, different witnesses obtain different notes. 


even as character has a certain automatic quality, its traits becoming a narrative process:  Np which, supervenes on the series of traits.

on the other hand, character is a function of the environment: ch= f(w) (in this case of witnesses interacting with the self).

a person's character consists of traits (in response to external stimuli). these traits are:
1- public, objective
2- negotiable, based on s-r (stimulus response). one's character is different to different witnesses because of the specific contexts causing the notes.
3- character is slower than identity

read the Robert & Frank story p. 245. we learn that Robert may not be responsible for Frank's crimes (at least they are minimized by Robert's change of character). in fact, character becomes paramount in punishment and rehabilitation. character is fundamental to adjudicate moral responsibility because it's objective.

we have the following conclusions between self-narrative, moral agents, persons, moral responsibility, etc:

identity, narrative and moral agents


see the diagram below. the summation of persons pi emerge into a narrative Np. this narrative is caused by a multiplicity of different persons connected in the series by memories and desires. the narrative hierarchy supervenes as one, but this one changes depending which persons are "given a voice" at a particular time as well as the stimulus that causes the narrative to be given: i.e., it's not the same to talk to your girlfriend that talk about yourself in front of a class.


though one could alter their Np, the different persons have ways of "showing up" simply because it's imposible to keep them disconnected. "you," the conscious self, don't have complete control over these. Np is the "narrative", which can be episodic or diachronic, depending how much "different" these persons are perceived in overlapping series. if the account is smooth (Np =1) a continuous we call it diachronic. if the account is fragmentary and divisive (Ni below) at times, we call it episodic. the self owns this and no one else. if Np ends up differing so much from the actual individual, we call this a dissociation.  

generally Np becomes a necessary condition for a moral person.


the importance of justifications and explanations are obvious at gorsuch at senate hearings?

click here for Gorsuch hearing highlights.