More on Brooks and Moral Philosophy

Mark Liberman has an excellent post including a cartoon and telling passages from Hume’s Enquiry.

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3 thoughts on “More on Brooks and Moral Philosophy

  1. Forgive me for bringing up Ayn Rand here, but I do wonder if her ideas about the aesthetic sense of life have something to contribute here. While Rand's focus was on art, and her case was, as usual, overstated, the observation that rationally arrived at principles can lead to a sense of life (sense of morals?) that provides what seem like instinctive reactions to external stimuli may well be a way to go between the horns of this dilema.Of course, there are some caveats:1) There is a lot more than reason at play here. If the sense of morals exists, it's a product of reason, social norms, experience, evolved instincts, and more.2) The reflexive reaction does not have to be (and should not be) the end of moral reflection.3) This idea has ties to Ayn Rand and therefore should be viewed with even more suspicion than other ideas.4) This sense is inherently inductive, so all the Humean caveats apply here.5) I'm very much pulling this out of my rear, and haven't given the idea any more thought that you see here, so there are probably major flaws that I'm missing. But the idea may be worth playing with.

  2. I apologize if this is a double post:Forgive me for bringing up Ayn Rand here, but I do wonder if her ideas about the aesthetic sense of life have something to contribute. While Rand's focus was on art, and her case was, as usual, overstated, the observation that rationally arrived at principles can lead to a sense of life (sense of morals?) that provides what seem like instinctive reactions to external stimuli may well be a way to go between the horns of this dilema.Of course, there are some caveats:1) There is a lot more than reason at play here. If the sense of morals exists, it's a product of reason, social norms, experience, evolved instincts, and more.2) The reflexive reaction does not have to be (and should not be) the end of moral reflection.3) This idea has ties to Ayn Rand and therefore should be viewed with even more suspicion than other ideas.4) This sense is inherently inductive, so all the Humean caveats apply.5) I'm very much pulling this out of my rear, and haven't given the idea any more thought that you see here, so there are probably major flaws that I'm missing. But the idea may be worth playing with.

  3. Forgive me for bringing up Ayn Rand here, but I do wonder if her ideas about the aesthetic sense of life have something to contribute here. While Rand's focus was on art, and her case was, as usual, overstated, the observation that rationally arrived at principles can lead to a sense of life (sense of morals?) that provides what seem like instinctive reactions to external stimuli may well be a way to go between the horns of this dilema.Of course, there are some caveats:1) There is a lot more than reason at play here. If the sense of morals exists, it's a product of reason, social norms, experience, evolved instincts, and more.2) The reflexive reaction does not have to be (and should not be) the end of moral reflection.3) This idea has ties to Ayn Rand and therefore should be viewed with even more suspicion than other ideas.4) This sense is inherently inductive, so all the Humean caveats apply here.5) I'm very much pulling this out of my rear, and haven't given the idea any more thought that you see here, so there are probably major flaws that I'm missing. But the idea may be worth playing with.

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