I think that the point is that emergence is in the mind of the observer. If the observer is describing the situation at the particle level, then superconductivity is not there regardless of the size of the collection of particles considered. But, when you describe things at the flowing-electric-fl...(read more)
> Right - but there are surely also ultimate values.
> Those are the ones that are expected to be resistant to change.
Correct. My current claim is that *almost all* of our *moral* values are instrumental, and thus subject to change as society evolves. And I find the source of our moral values i...(read more)
My position here is roughly that all 'moral' values are instrumental in this sense. They are ways of coordinating so that people don't step on each other's toes.
Not sure I completely believe that, but it is the theory I am trying on at the moment. :)
I think you are right to call attention to the issue of *drift*.
Drift is bad in a simple value - at least in agents that consider temporal consistency to be a component of rationality. But drift can be acceptable in those 'values' which are valued precisely *because* they are conventions.
It is ...(read more)
I think the argument is interesting and partly valid. Explaining which part I like will take some explanation.
Many of our problems thinking about morality, I think, arise from a failure to make a distinction between two different things.
* Morality in daily life
* Morality as an ideal
I think you misinterpreted the context. I endorsed kin selection, together with discounting the welfare of non-kin. Someone (not me!) wishing to be a straight utilitarian and wishing to treat kin and non-kin equally needs to endorse *group* selection in order to give their ethical intuitions a bas...(read more)
> I have tried to suggest that bacterial purposes are 'merely' teleonomic -to borrow the useful term suggested by timtyler- but that human purposes must be of a different order. ...
> As soon as we start to talk about symbols and representation, I'm concerned that a whole new set of very thorny is...(read more)
> ...seemed to me to be a kind of claim that a utilitarian could make with equal credibility.
Well, he could credibly make that claim *if* he could credibly assert that the ancestral environment was remarkably favorable for group selection.
> ... you're now saying that you feel noble and proud tha...(read more)
> ... except possibly for the part about no prior metaphysical meaning.
I think I see the source of the difficulty now. My fault. BobTheBob mentioned the *mistake* of replicating with errors. I took this to be just one example of a possible mistake by a virus, and thought of several more - inser...(read more)
> ...teleology in nature is merely illusory, but the kind of teleology needed to make sense of rationality is not - it's real. Can you live with this?
No, I cannot. It *presumes* (or is it *argues*?) that human rationality is not part of nature.
My apologies for using the phrase "illusion of tele...(read more)