Everything that exists, inasmuch as it is what it is, is distinct from whatever it is not. Inasmuch as each being is distinct from other things, it has certain qualities that define it, whose opposite are not consistent with it remaining what it is.
Among beings, some, those that are living, are capable of actively protecting and opposing the previously mentioned qualities. This is the original meaning behind the Greek root of our word ‘autonomy’: a living being is one is capable of securing its nomos — i.e. its essence, the inner law of its being — in, through, and…
Below, I provide a summary of my favorite posts from the month in the order they were published.
On passionate disagreement and self-identity argues that incorrigible disagreement fundamentally doesn’t arise from disagreement over present facts, but rather over disagreements about how present and past facts relate to a presently indeterminate future. Inasmuch as any individual’s sense of self is attached to a particular idea of and attitude towards the future in question, incorrigible disagreement always, albeit indirectly, involves an attack on identity, i.e. one’s understanding of oneself in light of an assumed trajectory.
Yesterday, I showed that axiom commonly called ‘ought implies can’ (OIC), if applied to logical reasoning itself, implies that a good part of what are considered logically valid deductions in logic various logics, including the standard formalization of deontic logic itself, would have to be rejected. Today, I’ll discuss a different principle — that obligation implies contingency — and draw another counterintuitive conclusion from it.
If you’re not sold on the axiom, I offer the following argument. For any obligation, the weight of that obligation is only given in experience via the possibility of its absence: in other words, one…
The standard axiom for deontic logic, (D), reads as follows:
(D) OA → PA
Where ‘OA’ is read as ‘A is obligatory’, and ‘P’ is read as ‘A is permissible’.
An equally well known principle, albeit more controversial, is that obligation implies possibility.
(OIC) OA → ♢A
The principle the axiom captures is often referred to simply as ‘ought implies can’.
Logic itself, on at least one conception, is a normative discipline: it is about inferences we ought to make.
Applying (OIC) to the subject matter of logic conceived as such, the principle states: any axiom of the correct logical…
There are (at least) two ways in which the growth rate of an economy may be increased.
The first is through an increase in the production of goods or services purchased, as occurred, for instance, when goods like automobiles, phones, computers, etc. first came to market.
The second is through an increase in the accounting of goods that previously existed, but weren’t previously accounted for — that is a movement of goods from non-inclusion in a market to inclusion in it. Letting other things be equal (and because of opportunity costs they usually aren’t), a person who purchases herself a…
The other day, I found myself stuck on the highway in traffic, which was caused by a lane that was blocked so workers could wash graffiti off of an approaching tunnel wall and trim trees reaching over the highway’s guard rail. The natural reaction of many, if not most drivers in this situation was to place themselves in the shorter and/or faster lane, switching back and forth as necessary up to the point where the traffic jam dissipated.
A traffic jam is a very simple, real-world example of what game-theorists call a non-cooperative game: it is an activity, essentially a…
In a previous post, I showed how a wide variety of problems, from rural poverty to data mining, are consequent on or otherwise conditioned as responses to the problem of the concentration of capital resources both geographically and by class. Here, I’ll add a few further points that I neglected to mention in the previous post.
As capital concentration increases and capital itself improves, the number of laborers necessary to secure sufficient societal goods decreases. Hence competition among laborers becomes greater. One way this manifests itself is in a tendency for individuals whose production under earlier conditions had been within…
The term ‘capital’ is used in several senses.
In its most basic sense, ‘capital’ refers to physical goods that may be used in the production of other goods or services. In this sense, something as simple as a box of pencils counts as capital.
In another sense, the term may also include non-material goods, such as patents, proprietary code, or the value of a well-known brand.
In a third sense, the term may refer to those types of capital that, in a given era, would provide an advantage over one’s competitors in the provision of certain goods and services —…
Philosopher, logician, programmer.