@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 Fruitionism (F) has a LOT to say about values such as good and bad. I hinted at some of it with "generate novel..axiological values" and "'telos pluralism'...shall always be 'tragic'", but it's hard to describe every detail of a philosophy in a set of tweets.🙂

So to describe a
@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 bit more, F, like Pragmatism, claims value pluralism, not value monism, so there is no concept of "the good", only a plurality of frameworks of good. F generalizes this to claim "axiological pluralism": there is a plurality of value frameworks (aesthetic,
@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 moral, etc). Furthermore, this pluralism is perpetually "tragic" in the sense of generating conflicts that cause deep suffering.

So F unabashedly embraces relativism (which BTW Rorty did not fully embrace until his mature philosophy). For example, increasing fruitfulness of
@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 SARS-CoV-2 (e.g., more variants) could cause decreasing fruitfulness in humans (only time will tell the full story). Certainly, the increasing fruitfulness of humanity has decimated the fruitfulness of various ecosystems.

Finally, on the issue of "guide to the good", F puts
@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 Pragmatism's claims re guidance on steroids: the only reliable guide to any desires or beliefs is experience. So assess them we must put them to the test. We must experiment by putting them into practice, even when such practices seem abhorrent to some other system of
@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 values. This doesn't mean we have to let everyone try anything whatsoever. Once tested and rejected, we may choose to forbid further experimentation (e.g., slavery, torture, dueling) but even this can be risky. "Experimenting" with practices like atheism, homosexuality, and
@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 interracial marriage was banned for millennia, causing untold suffering. What F completely rejects (like Pragmatism) is any attempt to generate guidance a prior or from first principles or merely from tradition.

Some see this retrospective, experimental, approach to axiological
@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 guidance as a negative, a shortcoming, a lack. That's OK, F is all about axiological guidance pluralism. Let's put different axiological guidance frameworks to the test and check in over the decades to see how things are going!
@FHaruspex @Jeffrey_Howard_ @joseph_morris @teddyburkhardt @SeanCr8on @bodhidave3 Major epiphany: There's a legal tradition of deferring ex ante decision making, & it's a metaphor entwined w/ fruitfulness...

Ripeness! "A claim is not ripe for adjudication if it rests upon contingent future events that may not occur as anticipated".

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More from @ironick

13 Jan
Here is the Brandom/Rorty discussion I said I'd share. It clearly shows that Rorty valorizes novelty (ends) over reducing suffering (means). I tweeted about it a while back, so here is an unroll of the thread: threadreaderapp.com/thread/1444392…
And here is more of the passage:
"In such passages as this, Brandom leaves himself open to the same accusations of pseudo-
aristocratic condescension & ivory-tower aestheticism as are frequently leveled at me.
I think that it is worth subjecting oneself to such accusations to insist on this point."

So do I.
@pdfmakerapp grab this
Read 4 tweets
11 Jan
What a serendipitous event: I just (re)stumbled across Richard Rorty's favorite William James passage (and no, it's not "truth is a compliment..."):
«The difference between the two views of morality that I have been discussing in these remarks is well illustrated by the contrast
between the pope’s dismissive reference to “the ego and its desires,” and my favorite passage in the writings of the American philosopher William James. James wrote as follows: “Every de facto claim creates insofar forth an obligation. Take any demand however slight which any
creature, however weak, may make. Ought it not for its own sole sake to be satisfied? If not, prove why not. The only possible kind of proof you could adduce would be the exhibition of another creature who should make a demand that went the other way.”»

Rorty later refers to
Read 6 tweets
11 Jan
To honor William James on his birthday, here is another one of my favorites. For "true philosophers"😉 is no final valley (equilibrium) in the forest, only perpetual new joys and new sorrows (ridges): "And yet if he be a true philosopher he must see that there is nothing final
in any actually given equilibrium of human ideals, but that, as our present laws and customs have fought and conquered other past ones, so they will in their turn be overthrown by any newly discovered order which will hush up the complaints that they still give rise to, without
producing others louder still."

Unfortunately, this inspiring vision is slightly marred by James' backsliding into the trope of asymptotic meliorism: "The pure philosopher can only follow the windings of the spectacle, confident that the line of least resistance will always be
Read 5 tweets
2 Oct 21
@jensensuther @ikesharpless @Jeffrey_Howard_ Your mention of Brandom reminded me that he said something that I interpret as a profoundly moving paean to freedom as a means to fruitfulness.

"It is our capacity to transform the vocabularies in which we live and move and have our being, and so to create new ways of being ImageImageImage
@jensensuther @ikesharpless @Jeffrey_Howard_ (for creatures like us). Our moral worth is our dignity as potential contributors to the [fruitful] Conversation.
The vocabulary vocabulary brings into view the possibility that our overarching public purpose should be to ensure that a hundred private flowers blossom,
@jensensuther @ikesharpless @Jeffrey_Howard_ and a hundred novel schools of thought contend."

If that's not a claim that the purpose of expressive freedom is ramifying fruitfulness, I don't know what is.

PS The pages are from "Rorty and His Critics".
Read 7 tweets
2 Jul 21
Thanks SO much for recommending this essay. It triggered a powerful epiphany for me: 'tragic meliorism' is another way of saying 'will to power'. This passage makes the connection:
«As I understand the pragmatic perspective on life, it is an attempt to make it possible for men
to live in a world of inescapable tragedy, which flows from the conflict of moral ideals, without lamentation, defiance, or make-believe. According to this perspective, even in the best of human worlds there will be tragedy—tragedy perhaps without bloodshed but certainly not
without tears. It focuses its analysis on problems of normative social inquiry in order to reduce the costs of tragedy. Its view of man is therefore melioristic, not optimistic. Some philosophers belittle man by asking him to look at the immensities without; others belittle him
Read 9 tweets
11 May 21
Thanks for 👇. It got me to read his last lecture. In it, he makes an astonishing claim:
"[T]he parochial, historically-conditioned character of justification is compatible with the eternal and absolute character of truth."
I find it almost impossible to believe Rorty said
this. Here's the context:
«But pragmatists, at least those of my sect, do not think that anything—either the physical world or the consensus of inquirers—makes beliefs true. We have as little use for the notion of "what makes a true sentence true" as we do for that of "what a
true sentence corresponds to." On our view, all consensus does is help us recognize moral truths. We can cheerfully agree that truths—all kinds of truths—are eternal and absolute. It was true before the foundations of the world were laid both that 2 + 2 = 4 and that I should be
Read 8 tweets

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