Re[2]: Re[2]: Re: left anarchy, right anarchy

Guru George (
Wed, 1 Oct 1997 22:36:49 +0100

On Wed, 1 Oct 1997 14:06:32 -0400 (EDT) wrote:

>>It's a thought experiment, like any kind of experiment: you hold some
>parameters steady while
>twiddling the knob on others. The idea is to draw out one's intuitions
>and presuppositions on the matter, to see if they're coherent with each
>other. It's called philosophy.
>Guru George<
> I wasn't questioning thought experiments per se I was questioning
>your use of a particularly unlikely scenario applied to the question
>of morals. I have to side with Ayn Rand here(she was
>philosopher and stuff) when she refers to the "ethics of emergencies"--
>as if these "your-neighbor's-dog-is-drowning-and-you're-late-for-
>work..." scenarios should provide us with some kind of "code of living"
>(whatever that means).
Well considering she used the thought experiment of an "indestructible
robot" in her ethics, people in glass houses, y'know? 'Likely' has
nothing to do with it. I agree that ethics is for everyday life, but
what these thought experiments bring out is the deepest presuppositions
in that everyday ethics. Testing to destruction, you might say.

Anyway, what do *you* think about the change of metaphor? It sure seems
less intuitively obvious that the woman has initiated coercion, than
when you think of some curmudgeon fencing in a bit of sod, doesn't it?

I suppose what I'm getting at is, why would somebody feel the need to
fence in and say "this is mine, fuck off", unless there was some danger
of people rudely coming and interfering with whatever he was doing with
it, without so much as a by-your-leave. The point of the rule of
property is not that it is a defence by the owner, but a forbearance by
everyone else - it gives bite to the notion of freedom by creating a
'clearing' for everyone within which it is possible to *be* free.

Guru George