Quotable (#145)

Now, do I think that wellbeing is a higher value than truth? No. I hope I would never cling to something because it made me happy, if I suspected it wasn’t true. Philosophy involves a restless search for the truth, an unceasing examination of one’s assumptions. I enjoy that search, which is why I didn’t stop at Stoicism, but have kept on looking, because I don’t think Stoicism is the whole truth about reality. But what gives me the motive to keep on looking is ultimately a sort of Platonic faith that the truth is good, and that it’s good for me. Why bother searching unless you thought the destination was worth reaching?

If the apparent, empirical, psychological, or anthropological subject were the real agent of the philosophical enterprise, this question would make a lot of sense.

Quotable (#133)


The problem is that we evolved to be targeted, shallow information consumers in unified, deep information environments. As targeted, shallow information consumers we require two things: 1) certain kinds of information hygiene, and 2) certain kinds of background invariance. (1) is already in a state of free-fall, I think, and (2) is on the technological cusp. I don’t see any plausible way of reversing the degradation of either ecological condition, so I see the prospects for traditional philosophical discourses only diminishing.

Quotable (#104)

Bakker’s latest, beginning with one of the greatest uses of a Kant citation I have ever seen, is as relentlessly realistic as always. Here’s the re-statement of the basic BBT orientation it includes:

Blind Brain Theory begins with the assumption that theoretically motivated reflection upon experience co-opts neurobiological resources adapted to far different kinds of problems. As a co-option, we have no reason to assume that ‘experience’ (whatever it amounts to) yields what philosophical reflection requires to determine the nature of experience. Since the systems adapted to discharge far different tasks, reflection has no means of determining scarcity and so generally presumes sufficiency. It cannot source the efficacy of rules so rules become the source. It cannot source temporal awareness so the now becomes the standing now. It cannot source decisions so decisions (the result of astronomically complicated winner-take-all processes) become ‘choices.’ The list goes on.