Re: Sex Change

Sandy Madole (
Sat, 16 Aug 1997 10:08:00 -0400

On Mon, 28 Jul 1997, Robin Hanson wrote:
> O.K. This seems to be a direct application of a general rule that
> something that wants to get chosen gains an advantage by having the
> choosers be less aware of other choices. responded:
>When I scolded that we should never underestimate the normative weight of
>the "real," I had more in mind than this truism -- tho' you're definitely
>in the ballpark. My point -- and I think it is a stronger point -- is
>that there is a constellation of "magic" words whose function seems to be
>little more than to "block the road of inquiry." These are the words
>"Right," "Good," "Beautiful," "True," and most of all, "Natural" -- and of
>course I mean these words in their perverse Philosophical as opposed to
>their everyday usages (hence the initial capitals).

Your stronger claim may well be true, but I am drawn to focus on
explanations that I can ground out in evolutionary terms. If you are
right, that just raises the puzzle of why there should be such "magic"
words for us.

Robin D. Hanson