All of Aaron_Boyden's Comments + Replies

Peter, most of the reasons people give for making exceptions are not themselves meta. For most of the examples you give, the intuitive justification is something along the lines of "the reason killing is wrong is that life is valuable, and in these cases not killing would involve valuing life less than killing would." Nothing meta there.

I don't see the need for this new category of "requiredism;" most philosophical compatibilists have thought that free will required determinism. Van Inwagen calls the argument that free will requires determinism the "mind argument" (since there are apparently several papers in Mind from the mid 20th century all making versions of the argument), but it is quite clearly stated as early as Hume.

I don't know a standard name for it, but the soul-swap issue is quite old. Locke is interpreted as making some similar point in chapter XXVII, section 13 of the Essay Concerning Human Understanding; I know I always hear the point attributed to Locke, so he may be the first.

Cyan, what you describe sounds a bit mystical, but there is an observable tendency for people to seek some magic bullet, some simple underlying factor which explains everything. Single underlying factor theories are usually wrong, of course, and phenomena often involve a lot of complex relationships which need to be taken into account; some who call themselves reductionists are enamored of over-simplified single factor views (the way certain evolutionary psychologists talk about genes comes to mind), and it is likely that anti-reductionism is partly motiv... (read more)

Along the lines of my comment on your previous reductionism post, perhaps there would be fewer howls of protest at the declaration that rainbows are not fundamental were you not contrasting them with other things which you are claiming are fundamental (without evidence, I might add).

One minor quibble; how do we know there is any most basic level?

1Basil Marte4y
There isn't, and the article is committing a type error. The terrain isn't a map, reality isn't a model/theory. Unless you are using a model to approximate the behavior of a system that is of exactly the same kind, i.e. using a computational model to approximate another computational thingy, in which case you could indeed have the model that exactly coincides with what it is to describe. This may even be useful, e.g. in cryptography. But this is an edge case.
2Ronny Fernandez11y
Because things happen, if there was no most basic level, figuring out what happens would be an infinite recursion with no base case. Not even the universe's computation could find the answer.

Levels are an attribute of the map. The territory only has one level. Its only level is the most basic one.

Let's consider a fractal. The Mandelbrot set can be made by taking the union of infinitely many iterations. You could think of each additional iteration as a better map. That being said, either a point is in the Mandelbrot set or it is not. The set itself only has one level.

Because a level being more basic means it's made of (or described by, if you're not a patternist) fewer bits of information, and the only way there can be less than 1 bit is if there's nothing at all.

Agreed. Why would we believe a quark is not "emergent"? Could be turtles all the way down....