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I've come across what appears intersecting and incompatible logic systems within

Read another response about Logic Logic Share I've come across what appears intersecting and incompatible logic systems within academia (and society). System one is what I call analytic logic: the merit of your argument or opinion is completely independent of your immutable characteristics. (Like MJ says, it doesn't matter if you're black or white). If you dismiss the merit of an argument by attacking the person who made it, you've committed a logical fallacy. The peer review process in academia avoids this potential by hiding the author's identity from reviewers. The argument or study is judged on its own merit. I call system two Identitarianism (some call it Neo-Marxism or Intersectionalism). With these rules, your ethnicity(ies), gender, and sexual orientation (etc.) are in play. Some people have more (and others less) merit because of their immutable characteristics. System two seems backwards but the rationale goes as follows: "Oppressed" groups (POC, women, trans people, gay/lesbian, poor people, etc) have access to ... (1) the norms, belief systems, and experiences from the white, male, straight, rich, etc., (because it's the "dominant" culture they're exposed to) AND (2) their own marginalized norms, belief systems, and experiences Contrarily, the non-oppressed groups (white, men, straight people, wealthy, etc.) only have access to (1). I [More]

The Moral Problem and Nozick's Theory of Value

Gyges of Lydia finds the RingThe moral problem was first clearly articulated by Glaucon in Plato’s The Republic. It can be summed up with a simple question: Why be moral? If I always do the right thing, will I be rewarded? Are people really motivated to do good? Glaucon was doubtful. He recounted the myth of the Ring of Gyges to support his point. Imagine you were given a magical ring that rendered you invisible. Under the cloak of invisibility would you not — like the shepherd in the myth — do all manner of evil? Philosophers have struggled with the problem over the years. Some argue that doing the right thing is its own reward. Some argue that we should do the right thing lest we risk the wrath of God. Others pose more abstruse and technical solutions, claiming that doing the right thing is essential if we are to be rationally consistent. In his book Philosophical Explanations, Robert Nozick proposes a unique answer to the question: he argues that if we don’t do the right thing then we live less valuable lives. To support this he develops an odd theory of what it means to live a valuable life. I find this theory intriguing and I haven’t seen many people discuss it.* So, in what follows, I want to summarise and evaluate its key features. I won’t be overly critical — indeed, I find Nozick’s defence of it to be almost too sketchy and programmatic to enable much criticism — but I will try to give a reasonable account of its main aspects. This requires me to condense 50 pages [More]

The Ghost Shirt Rituals: Preparing for the End of the World

 Ishi, (c. 1861 –  1916), the last member of the Native American Yahi people, photographed as he was in 1911 when he came out of the woods. How did the Yahi react when they saw that the Whites were going to exterminate them? Perhaps not differently from the way we are reacting to the prospect of the collapse of our civilization: going crazy. The reaction to the current Covid pandemic is just the first stage of the wave of madness that's engulfing humankind. Imagine you are a Native American living before the arrival of the Whites. Maybe you are a Lakota, hunter of the central plains. Or maybe a Yahi, living in the thick forests of California. Or a member of any of the many Native American nations that existed back then. As a Native American, you have your family, your friends, your day-to-day routine of things and tasks. And you are busy with that, except for one thing: you know that there is a big problem. A VERY big problem. There is an entire nation, out there, bent on exterminating you and your people: the Whites. At first, you try to ignore the problem: those Whites are far away. Or maybe you'll deny that they are coming, or that they are so many as they are said to be. But, at some moment, the truth cannot be anymore ignored or denied. The Whites are there. They are coming for you, for your family, your children, your friends, your people. And you know that there is really no way to stop them. So, what do you do? You go crazy. And so does [More]