josh blog

Ordinary language is all right.

One could divide humanity into two classes:
those who master a metaphor, and those who hold by a formula.
Those with a bent for both are too few, they do not comprise a class.

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7 Nov '12 06:39:50 PM

'We are working on ourselves. We are incomplete. We are never finished.'

7 Nov '12 02:06:07 PM

'… that stubborn thing inside that insists…'

4 Nov '12 03:04:53 AM

'… reflective criticism should basically go in a direction opposite to that encouraged by ethical theory. Theory looks characteristically for considerations that are very general and have as little distinctive content as possible, because it is trying to systematize and because it wants to represent as many reasons as possible as applications of other reasons. But critical reflection should seek for as much shared understanding as it can find on any issue, and use any ethical material that, in the context of the reflective discussion, makes some sense and commands some loyalty. Of course that will take things for granted, but as serious reflection it must know it will do that. The only serious enterprise is living, and we have to live after the reflection; moreover (though the distinction of theory and practice encourages us to forget it), we have to live during it as well. Theory typically uses the assumption that we probably have too many ethical ideas, some of which may well turn out to be mere prejudices. Our major problem now is actually that we have not too many but too few, and we need to cherish as many as we can.'

3 Nov '12 08:19:42 PM

Some forms of moral criticism risk sounding like, 'why don't you live my life instead of yours?'.

3 Nov '12 06:25:59 AM

'"He would be better off dead" can be said for many dubious reasons: the most dubious is that we would be better off if he were dead.'

2 Nov '12 08:03:37 PM

'Please advise.'

2 Nov '12 06:30:05 AM

Of course, another story has us both being adapted; 'adapting' as all of living nature adapts. This is the story where we sound stupidest, most oblivious, when we pride ourselves on our ability to adapt.

2 Nov '12 06:25:38 AM

The story has it that we adapt, animals are adapted; but we will sometimes cravenly suggest that they adapt, too, like us, when we are reminded of any of the sometimes devastating consequences, to them, of our adapting the world to suit us. As if they had little animal tools, made little animal plans.

2 Nov '12 12:48:26 AM