Friday, June 5, 2015

The Disputation

This is a work-in-progress. I have decided to publish it while it is incomplete. The goal was to write a book-length manuscript. But for now it is just a few pages dealing roughly with ethics, in a Platonic sort of mode.

[*1] Everything right is right… This is the departure point.

[*2] Typical answers usually follow.

A. For example, there are those who will say that some things are wrong, and that the things that are right are the things that are not wrong, or not at all wrong, or at least not completely wrong…

[*3] Then there are those that will say a particular thing is right.

[*4] It will be something that appears right in itself, or at any rate which leads to some right thing inevitably, or which prevents the things which are most wrong from ever happening.

[*5] Therefore, there is a metaphysical divide, between, on the one hand, the world in which everything wrong has been prevented, and the world in which the best things do occur. But on the other hand, there is a world where the things that are right are not particular things, but rather, merely the absence of the wrong things, and in that world, preventing the wrong things is enough to create a good world. But in the other two worlds, either there is no good object but merely much assurance about the good, or there is much good with little assurance…

[*6] Therefore, temptation is something which originally means something good, and eventually means something bad. Prevention, including moral law, is something which originally means something bad but eventually means something good. The best guess for a good life (at first) is merely to avoid problems, which leads to enough knowledge to predict that the good comes later. In that way, temptation is sacrificed for the sake of knowledge. Likewise, psychic knowledge---knowledge that arrives early---must be very good. For it is like good things which have arrived early, because at first there was not enough knowledge to declare that it was good.

[*7] Knowledge, then is the simple form of the good life.

[*8] Therefore, developing knowledge can lead to a better life, since developing what is good causes it to be more good than before. Then, in one sense, what is morally good is what is good as a development of knowledge. It might be, for example, that it is good to live a good life, meaning a life that has knowledge. Such a life has an implication of a correlation between ethical conduct and knowledge, which might be called meaning.

[*9] But, what does this knowledge-development consist of? It may easily consist ---- at least in some sense --- of the corollary for ethical conduct, that is, meaning. But it is not meaningful automatically in every case.

[*10] What is meaningful automatically is the ethical world: the world that is both a paradise, and in which no harm could occur, not even a perversity, not even an undesirable thought.

[*11] What is less automatic is the meaning in an unethical world. And I find that in this world, there is greater perversity, and since some things are not desirable, the perversity naturally (the majority of the time) concerns perverting the bad things that might occur, so that they do not occur. Therefore, rules such as leisure, thought-for-its-own-sake, and the appreciation of irony and paradox occur. Further, where this world becomes the model for some better world, it is because these models of behavior have been preserved in some form. Whereof, symbolism might arise to guarantee the good things from out of what once was bad, like a lion that is no longer ferocious, perhaps because the good times have come again.

[*12] However, there is no certainty that these ironic virtues are not virtuous. Particularly, they ARE virtuous relative to the world in which they are found.

A. It is false to premise that ignorance is the condition of a world in which cruelty dominates, as cruelty will make the sour conditions of the world all the more clear. Perhaps the best and goodest things are not present, and so the person is ignorant of those things. But those things may have been merely writings, thoughts of a better world, which occurred during a time of ignorance in which even cruelty was not clear enough. Or perhaps the writer was someone who experienced much pleasure and became ignorant of cruelty, or who became deranged from a noble desire to overcome the ‘petty’ problems of the world through politics, or some other high-minded activity. We cannot excuse the past by thinking that it was a time of better things. But we can excuse the present for its having to confront what now seems cruel. But, we should not compromise the virtues that remain in the world…

[*13] The virtue of the world which is not automatically virtuous is the non-automatic virtue, which is philosophy.

[*14] However, exceptional virtues exist in exceptional worlds. But these exceptions imply worlds of their type.

A. Either the worlds are being created anew, or they implicate some pre-existing trend which might be judged as to whether it is good. Specifically, if these virtues are so exceptional, why are they not difficult, or why are they so-actually good, when some other virtues are easier? Why do they offer the most good thing? Or is it only because they are exceptional? If they are ‘only exceptional’ then why is it not merely the exceptional world that is good? But is the exceptional world metaphysically good? Or is the virtue of the exceptional world a material virtue? Or is it some exception with materialism? Apparently, the exceptional world concerns the special properties of materialism (such as music), a value that reduces to objects, a metaphysical virtue, or mere exceptionism. Otherwise, what is offered is a difficult or exceptional virtue. So, in any case, the exceptional world must express rare or exceptional virtues, judging by the idea that objects themselves are rarifications. Otherwise, what is expressed by exceptions is simply common objects.

[*15] There must be some way that philosophy occurs which makes it good. But if it is not an exceptional good, then it must be a common good.

[*16] The ethos of philosophy therefore concerns some common good, or else some exceptional good.

[*17] Where philosophy is granted a metaphysical exception for being non-automatic virtue, then philosophy may already constitute an exceptional ethos, without granting exceptionism to the subjects it concerns.

[*18] Philosophy may also concern a common domain of exceptions where specific conditions of reality are applied. Thus, philosophy may concern the rules of reality, whether they are physical, metaphysical, or purely exceptional.

[*19] Thus, so far as real exceptions tend towards the universal, the common good may be concerned with physical, metaphysical, and exceptional rules of reality, or else the general ethos of philosophy.

[*20] Where physics does not constitute rules, the rules are likely to be exceptions to physics.

[*21] Where philosophy does not constitute rules, the broken rules are likely to be physical exceptions.

[*22] Therefore, philosophy may aspire to be physical or else introduce an exceptional metaphysics.

A. Philosophers such as Iris Murdoch and Immanuel Kant have been fond of the term ‘Metaphysics of Morals’ to explain how metaphysics is a figure of morals, morals being a greater expression of the vagueries of a metaphysical principle. In this sense, ethics is an explanation.

[*23] The opportunity is then for some sub-domain of philosophy to constitute morals, such as logic, politics, or consciousness.

[*24] Therefore, tentatively, immorality concerns three things.

A. Irrationality.
B. Political Crimes.
C. Unconsciousness.

[*25] If that is the case, the middle world concerns the three positives already introduced.

A. Logic.
B. Politics.
C. Consciousness.

[*26] Virtues in the land of fulfillment therefore concern the following.

A. Pleasures proven by logic.
1. Fulfillment.
2. Ideas.
3. Justice.
4. Meaning.
B. Political virtues.
1. Democracy.
2. Meritocracy.
C. Higher consciousness.

[*27]  Additionally, philosophy might be an important virtue.

(c) 2015 Nathan Coppedge

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