Sunday, April 19, 2009

Moral Reasoning

This short piece in the NYT provides an occasion for me to state that, pangrammatically, "moral reasoning" is a contradiction in terms. While I don't agree that we should leave the study of morals to psychology, I do think philosophers should get out of that racket. What they call "moral reasoning" should be left to the "moral passioning", if you will, of poets.

The best argument I have for this appeals to the hard-headed rationalists among philosophers. How do they react when their students tell them "how they feel" about epistemological matters. "I just, you know, feel that people should be able to believe whatever they feel good believing in, okay?" Well, that's the sort of thing I hear when philosophers tell me "what they think" on ethical issues.

Thinking your way to justice is like feeling your way to truth.

Note: I actually don't have a pangrammatically homologous word for "morals". Roughly: Morals are to ethics as __________ are to epistemology. (Note the plural, we are looking for countable epistemological conditions. Beliefs are no good; we already have desires.)

1 comment:

phaneronoemikon said...

M / oral

Sigma or

Sign aural

Sea Narr all

Sea of Fools


puncture / wound

Morality is the branch
of symbolic prosthesis
which allowed for
the first bureacritization
of tekne and the creation
of social hierarchy
based on judging
the various victims
or perpetrators of

entrainment at the conceptus

The Greeks were notoriously
unethical; greedy;slimy
etc and vindictive

morality is an extension
of orality

now at this point we'vre got
far to many emotional topologies woven into our beings to do much about thinking about society in terms of complexity and conservation

every act is just another hundred billion shades of grey

what can't be worked out in language is the fact that

and complexity

are all the same thing

right there
is a major bifurcation
break point in the cultural
reasoning called difference

words themselves are distortions
of geometric bio-indexical memory processes but we have invested
these geo-bio-indexical morphologies with so much gravitas
that the vital substance of the biome is yoked to these vampiric provisionalities which have all kinds of polarizing affects

the total effect however
is stabilizing at one level
and destabilizing at some other larger scale

the term holarchical comes to mind

It's all quite charming
and bizarre
it reflects quite perfectly
our own weird situation
so alienated
from what could be a huge body of alien cultural experience
which we will probably never see
and which may not exist

As Doctor Spock says