Sun Aug, 21 2005
Even Finer And More Brutal Distinctions
Geoffrey Allan Plauche elucidates. I am beginning to object.
To begin with, I hold no "assum[ptions]" about how businesses are or will be "run", certainly not in terms of things like their efficacy or any particular values that they might pursue. What I'm distinguishing is the precise political character of voluntary and non-voluntary human action. Of course, I don't have to look too far down the road for prospective disputes over definitions. (e.g.; "contributions" -- let's analyze them for their references to action for values, which, I say, necessarily implies exchange, or; "profits" -- is it necessary for the referent to be capital accumulation, or will simple sustenance of enterprises like "extended family, fraternal societies, clubs, churches" fit that bill? I say it does.) In any case, even if the perceptual tag "business" is inept, I stand on the essence of my original contention that the reason why the referent ("solely...voluntary contributions") of Geoffrey's original statement is "very unlike anything with which we are familiar" is that it simply is not "government". Nothing like what Geoffrey describes ("solely voluntary") can justly be called "government", excepting only the radical individualist instance of any given human's self-control, but that is a concept jammed full of precisely distinct conditioners and it's not what we're talking about. So? So, pick a word to replace my "business" and I can hang, but don't use the word "government". Geoffrey is headed in the same general direction with the final sentence of his paragraph #1, although it must be noted that it hits on utilitarian objections rather than moral ones. (Not, "unilateral application of force is immoral", but, "it's not necessary and it doesn't work".) I think he'll agree that the moral objections are easily carried in his unspoken "other accompanying negatives", but I say that they are of crucial principal importance and should never remain unspoken.
There is a whole bag of terminographologicality shot through philosophy that just about enrages me whenever I see it. "Reductionism" is an example. You won't find it in any of the posts linked around this discussion: it's an example. "Of what?" Well, it's generally about unnecessary and -- to my mind -- pretentious technique. I'm not here to be insulting, and it ought to be clear to everyone that I'm not the one who devotes his time to professional philosophy and academia. Nonetheless, it should be noted that I'm not the one who devotes his time to professional philosophy and academia. A man who I greatly respected visibly flinched, for decades, every time I used the word "epistemology". I've never forgotten the particular instance of another man who once went just about nuts when I used the phrase (in a discussion of motorcycles), "decreasing-radius curve" in describing a road. He was actually screaming, "Why don't you just say that the curve in the road was getting sharper as it went?" I gave him two reasons: 1) that took more words and could rarely be so effective at making the point as the three I'd chosen, and 2) they're fairly plain English, ordinarily useful unless one is dealing with a moron. The word "epistemology" is a bit more of a workout for the average person (you can easily test this for yourself in daily life), but it holds a necessary place in the language.
On "dualism": Geoffrey says (quoting Chris Sciabarra, I'm pretty sure, but I think he missed the opening punctuation) that it is "an orientation toward analysis by separation of a system's components into two spheres." He continues diligently and you should go read it. I do understand that technical philosophy -- not cracker-barrel jaw-boning -- must keep certain standards of concept and referent that are generally alien around the cracker-barrel, but I cannot understand why the plainly simple concept of "difference" would not suffice: it is what it is (which is: understanding that a thing -- material, conceptual, whatever: the referent at issue -- is not what it ain't and cannot be substituted for with what it ain't), and I, for one, don't see a call for Rube Goldberging structures around "methodologies" when the Law of Identity not only works, but should be endorsed as effective at every turn throughout this currently advancing Endarkenment.
Mail, already -- reader Jon rings in on "terminographologicality":
"Another made up word in a 'K.I.S.S.' post? I assume if you are blogging, you want people to read your words, and hopefully understand them. You might just lump me in with the morons, for I am finding your writing to be increasingly inaccessible, which is too bad, because I WANT to understand what you are saying. Ironic, given the point I believe you were trying to make."In fact, Jon, I made up that word precisely in order to make the point. I would have made it even more grotesque, but I got tired of the construction work.
Many people are going to understand the Rube Goldberg reference.