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-   -   Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To (http://bloggingheads.tv/forum/showthread.php?t=2314)

Bloggingheads 10-26-2008 05:28 PM

Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 

travis68 10-26-2008 07:48 PM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
Nice diavlog. It's great to have Will to abstract out the various arguments since he brings such clarity.

There are two parts that I don't get:

1) The first part where the moral reason to help someone is independent of a desire to help someone.

2) The last part where the reasons determining the weighting function aren't explained, but Mark says that his explanation rests on a similar explanation given in the first part -- see above. But that's the part I didn't understand.

Mark seems to want to resist Will's pushing of the cultural relativity among moral reasons. If they talk again, I wish Will would push him more on that topic.

It seems that human beings are both wired socially and individualistically. We don't want to be outcasts in society but at the same time we tend to resist social demands that will result in self-immolation.

fedorovingtonboop 10-26-2008 09:45 PM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
don't everyone get mad at me because i'm trying to be (sort of) gentle...
here it is: not-a-lotta substance (or comments.) i'll stop there

Bloggin' Noggin 10-27-2008 12:55 AM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
Thanks to Will and BloggingHeads for hosting a discussion that's liable to have so very small an audience! I enjoyed this. Mark did a nice job of explaining how he keeps his theory of reasons from implying an excessive self-involvement. He does seem to get rather hand-wavy where he tries to explain the connection to moral reasons -- particularly, as Travis points out, when he gets to his recursive theory of the weighting of reasons etc. Still that's to be expected in a conversation like this -- it whets one's appetite for the book. Unfortunately the book is too expensive even in the Kindle edition! Well, who knows? I did download the free sample -- maybe that will tempt me further.

I do wish Will would try to provide a bit more of a foil for his guests, even when he feels he's in broad agreement with the guest. For example, here are two questions that would have helped clarify where Mark stands for me:
1. If all reasons are based in desires, does that mean that I don't have a reason until I have the desire? To use Thomas Nagel's example, suppose I know I'll be hungry tomorrow, though I'm quite full (and even quite lethargic) right now. Does my future desire give me reason to go shopping now? Or must there be some further desire for my own future satisfaction which gives me reason now? And would there be anything irrational about lacking such a desire for my own future satisfaction?
2. Isn't it possible to satisfy one of my desires without bringing satisfaction or fulfullment to me? I might want (or think I want) fame above everything, yet, when I get it, realize that that wasn't really what I wanted at all. It seems that I got what I wanted, but in such a case, is it really true that I had reason to pursue it? (This is related to the Dr. Pepper/gasoline example, yet it doesn't seem so easy to say how I was wrong about the nature of fame -- except to restate that it is something that after all doesn't satisfy me in the way I expected.) Humeans take desires as primitive -- things that can explain reason without needing to be explained in terms of reasons. I think problems like this make that seem much less clear. Don't we desire many things because we think them good?

Or Will might have done more to challenge Mark's assuption that Humeanism is more naturalistic than alternative theories (at least we could have heard a bit about alternative theories...). Insofar as a Humean attempts a normative theory of reasons, he seems to have accepted at least some categorical imperatives ("you ought rationally to do that which promotes your ends (even if you have no motivation to promote your ends"). If categorical imperatives of that sort are acceptable, then why couldn't a categorical imperative to pursue ones own interest be naturalistically acceptable? And if that sort of categorical imperative is acceptable, why not Kant's version?

Still, it was an intriguing discussion.

bjkeefe 10-27-2008 02:21 AM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bloggin' Noggin (Post 95407)
Thanks to Will and BloggingHeads for hosting a discussion that's liable to have so very small an audience! I enjoyed this.

I was going to gripe about yetanotherdiavlogonmorality, but if you're happy, I'm happy.

MikeDrew 10-27-2008 03:14 AM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
Wisconsin! Represent!

MikeDrew 10-27-2008 03:55 AM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
I have never seen how moral facts could be embedded in a materialistic world. I therefore have always looked at morality as an invention of human civilization and consciousness. If Mark has an account of the metaphysics of morality that situates comfortably in a materialsitic, mechanistic world, I would be very interested indeed.

Francoamerican 10-27-2008 03:35 PM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
Shall I go dancing? Shall I be a rockstar? Shall I be a philosopher? Shall I help Katy?

Help Katy! If you really cannot understand why your reason(s) for helping Katy are moral reasons whereas your reason(s) for being a rockstar or a dancer or a philosopher have nothing to do with morality, then, I would suggest, you are not yet a philosopher, or at least not yet moral! When Hume said that Reason was, and ought to be, the slave of the passions, he wasn't saying that all reasons for action are on the same plane; he was simply saying that what motivates us to be good (or virtuous) has nothing to do with knowledge of fact (science) or knowledge of relations (mathematics), but with the sentiments (passions) that certain situations arouse in us. I believe Hume was mistaken, but he was certainly right about one thing: morality is something other than whim.

Me&theboys 10-27-2008 05:36 PM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
are you enjoying your Kindle?

schumacher 10-28-2008 07:32 PM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
I like both of these guys,but i found this very hard to understand.

Bloggin' Noggin 10-28-2008 08:07 PM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Me&theboys (Post 95456)
are you enjoying your Kindle?

Love it, love it, love it! Only problem: your book is not just a book but a whole book store, and it's awfully easy to get distracted from the book you're reading by all the books you might be buying. I assume you're still enjoying yours as well?
I haven't yet given in, but I'm actually somewhat tempted to shell out the 54 dollars for the Kindle edition of Mark's book. The little bit they give you as a sample was pretty good. But just think of how many times I could go dancing (if I wanted to) rather than buy that book!

Me&theboys 10-30-2008 06:26 PM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bloggin' Noggin (Post 95672)
Love it, love it, love it! Only problem: your book is not just a book but a whole book store, and it's awfully easy to get distracted from the book you're reading by all the books you might be buying. I assume you're still enjoying yours as well?
I haven't yet given in, but I'm actually somewhat tempted to shell out the 54 dollars for the Kindle edition of Mark's book. The little bit they give you as a sample was pretty good. But just think of how many times I could go dancing (if I wanted to) rather than buy that book!

Me, too. I find I am loading mine up with lots of samples (a great marketing tactic) and PDFs of papers I want to read, which is far better than dragging around lots of 8.5x11 paper. I also thought about buying mark's book - mostly because Will seemed so enamored with it, so I figured that there must be more substance to the arguments in the book than Mark conveyed in the diavlog. He reverted too often to non-moral decision examples when making claims about moral decisions, which I found frustrating. If you buy it, let me know what you think of it. If not, have fun dancing!

Uhurusasa 10-31-2008 12:12 PM

Re: Free Will: You Should Dance If You Want To
 
the more thoughts i hear on thinking, the more i long to hear the unthought thinking on the subject!! then too, maybe i just haven't been exposed to the greater body of thought? or, perhaps, in this regard, i am on a journey without a destination.


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