Re: Ethics (was FAI (aka 'Reality Hacking'))

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Mon Jan 31 2005 - 22:25:48 MST

>>At 03:41 PM 1/31/2005 -0800, Jef wrote:
>>> * The basic good is growth of Self
>>> Where evolutionary theory refers to survival, a deeper
>>> understanding would refer to growth.
>>Are you sure? How about: The basic good is refinement of Self-in-context.
>>Maybe that's what you mean by `growth' (by analogy with teleonomic
>>maturation => elaboration => complexification), but to me growth per se
>>is exemplified in cancer.
>However, I think I did address this concern in my statement about Self and
>Other, saying that "Self means the system with which one identifies; it is
>not limited to one's physical self."

I was incorporating yr frame by modifying to Self-in-context. The salient
difference is my suggesting *refinement* (however question-begging that is)
rather than *growth* simpliciter. I don't think we disagree; it was just a
matter of terminological buffing.

>one would probably not self-identify with a cancer growing within one's body.

One's body in its full social context might well be part of a sort of
cancerous overgrowth on the planet (as is often claimed).
`Complexification' is also a tad dubious, I'll admit, since refinement is
as often the elegant paring away of excrescence as it is the multiplication
of patches, spandrels and decorations.

Damien Broderick

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