Social shaming also isn’t an argument. It’s a demand for listeners to place someone outside the boundary of people who deserve to be heard; to classify them as so repugnant that arguing with them is only dignifying them.
Nobody expects this to convince anyone. That’s why I don’t like the term “ad hominem”, which implies that shamers are idiots who are too stupid to realize that calling someone names doesn’t refute their point. That’s not the problem. People who use this strategy know exactly what they’re doing and are often quite successful. The goal is not to convince their opponents, or even to hurt their opponent’s feelings, but to demonstrate social norms to bystanders.
the point is that the active ingredient isn’t persuasiveness, it’s the ability to make some people feel like they’re suffering social costs for their opinion.
One can't proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means. – Alan Perlis
One of the most pleasing things about probability and expected utility theory is that there are many coherence arguments that suggest that these are the “correct” ways to reason. If you deviate from what the theory prescribes, then you must be executing a dominated strategy. There must be some other strategy that never does any worse than your strategy, but does strictly better than your strategy with certainty in at least one situation.
Now let us come back to the gender question. If we ask whether the Aristotelian virtue of courage belongs more to men than to women, we will need to ask, first, what it is that makes people willing to take enormous risks for the sake of others. It is difficult to study that topic, but a beginning was made by Samuel P. Oliner and Pearl M. Oliner in their book The Altruistic Personality, a famous study of rescuers of Jews during the Holocaust. With careful social science techniques, they identified a number of variables that might be highly correlated with those courageous acts, and then they questioned rescuers to discover what traits they had. The two traits that they found most highly correlated with this sort of courage were what they call a “caring attitude” and a sense of “responsibility.” The rescuers had all been brought up to think that people ought to care for one another, and that it was unacceptable to shirk responsibility for someone else’s suffering if one could do something about it. That was why (the Oliners conclude) they stood up for strangers as they did, risking their lives in the process. Rescuers were, of course, both male and female. Their common bond was, however, a set of traits that, at least in terms of common gender stereotypes, are more “feminine” than “masculine.” Kristin Monroe, working with the list of “righteous gentiles” from Yad Vashem, came to a similar conclusion in The Heart of Altruism.
There's something very strange about being human. We do not have a single simple goal, but rather a weird amalgam of desires and wants that evolution hacked together for some unrelated purpose.
We would like to live with fire in our hearts, and rise to the virtues of honesty, courage, and integrity. But it is unclear how they can be grounded in the cold-seeming math of decision-making.
Be the sort of agent who, if some AI engineers were white-boarding out the agent's decision making, they would see that the agent makes robustly good choices, such that those engineers would choose to implement that agent as software and run it.
He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, and flatterer, For Art and Science cannot exist but in minutely organized Particulars, And not in generalizing Demonstrations of the Rational Power – from Jerusalem
Don't just go along with whatever kludge of behaviors that evolution and your social environment cobbled together. Instead, make conscious choices about your goals and decision procedures that you reflectively endorse,
Related to this is legibility. Your gears-level-model-of-yourself helps you improve your own decision making. But it also lets you clearly expose your policies to other people. This can help with trust and coordination.
Emmy thinks about how to think about how to win, Alexei only thinks about how to win.
Real life is not like a video game. The differences largely come from the fact that Emmy is within the environment that she is trying to optimize.
enlightenment means that you no longer experience emotional pain as aversive.
Q. Would you care to sum up the purpose of meditation? A: Well, meditation is dealing with purpose itself. It is not that meditation is for something, but it is dealing with the aim. Generally we have a purpose for whatever we do: something is going to happen in the future, therefore what I am doing now is important — everything is related to that. But the whole idea of meditation is to develop an entirely different way of dealing with things, where you have no purpose at all. In fact, meditation is dealing with the question of whether or not there is such a thing as purpose. And when one learns a different way of dealing with the situation, one no longer has to have a purpose. One is not on the way to somewhere. Or rather, one is on the way and one is also at the destination at the same time. That is really what meditation is for. (Meditation in Action, p 83)
Some of the reviews were quite good. One, on Holocaust rescuers, was not so good. Here are two bits that stuck out:
This is poor thinking. An attitude like "some things are simply beyond the grasp of rationality" must be earned, not just asserted, in any given case. Moreover you seem to accept the rationalist notion of rationality at face value. On their view, values are taken as given and beyond rational critique, and rationality only concerns itself with the means to achieve these values. (This is not the only view they have on the matter but I think their thoughts on this front are confused.) As you correctly note elsewhere, the orthogonality thesis is incorrect. Don't, then, allow yourself to become a mysterianism about morality.
This stance is silly. It relies on a notion of freedom as sui generis agent causation, which can of course be easily dismissed. But nobody who believes in free will (other than Chisholm) believes in that. The statement "People respond to their environment according to their natures" amounts to "We are not gods capable of unbounded spontaneity, but are rather thrown into an already-existing world." Again, nobody denies this.
You have set up a contrast between the "sensation" of freedom and the truth of determinacy. This contrast is delusive. You should ask yourself, "How would it feel if it felt like we didn't have free will?".
Additionally, I found some of the formatting choices odd and unpleasant. I would rather not see I hyperlink, than see a crossed-out hyperlink leading to a blank page. You occasionally insert underscores before or after words. I have no idea what this signifies. Your footnotes overlap your map. But overall, well done.