Problems In Philosophy • 9

Re: FB | Ecology Of Systems ThinkingRichard Saunders

Hume’s is/ought dichotomy:  are these as Gould said “non-overlapping magisteria” or are they concentric domains?  Is a science of aesthetics at the core?  If memory serves it seems like that was what Wittgenstein suggested at the end of Tractatus.  In The Moral Landscape, Harris narrows the aesthetic focus to a distinction between the minimum and maximum suffering of all sentient beings.  Maximum suffering is bad or ugly and minimum suffering is good or beautiful.  The relationship of conduct to result is the subject of consequentialism, isn’t it?  Isn’t that also the subject of science?

I know a lot of people see a cut and dried dichotomy here and conventional wit says you can’t derive Ought from Is.  My tracings of the boundaries though tend to find them recursively entangled.

Recursively entangled is a nice phrase, like the the chicken and the egg.  But I’m still wondering about the catch-22.  On what general axiom is aesthetics/ethics/logic based?  Harris suggests it’s minimizing net suffering.  (That doesn’t imply the elimination of suffering, because some suffering has a net positive result.)

I got no absolutes here.  I have my personal aesthetic, but a personal aesthetic is the moral equivalent of a religion, and folks are pretty free about that.

I’ll have more to say about my personal aesthetic … all in good time.


cc: CyberneticsOntolog ForumPeirce ListStructural ModelingSystems Science

This entry was posted in Aesthetics, Algorithms, Animata, Automata, Beauty, C.S. Peirce, Ethics, Inquiry, Justice, Logic, Model Theory, Normative Science, Peirce, Philosophy, Pragmatism, Problem Solving, Proof Theory, Summum Bonum, Truth, Virtue and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Problems In Philosophy • 9

  1. Poor Richard says:

    Jon, I can’t wait. 😄

  2. Poor Richard says:

    BTW I’m not sure I really see a distinction between descriptive and normative (prescriptive?) science except in the set of aims, goals, etc. that are entertained.  It might be useful to try to characterize some distinctions in the goals of each.

  3. Pingback: Problems In Philosophy • 11 | Inquiry Into Inquiry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.