RE: Is vs. Ought (was: A Physicist Experiments With CulturalStudies)

Leonardo Gonzalez (
Thu, 18 Nov 1999 21:47:30 -0800

> Or in much simpler terms, and leaving out the objective morality: If
> you *want* something, then you want a part of the Universe to change.
> Well, what you want is also a part of the Universe, and you can want to
> change what you want.
> --
> Eliezer S. Yudkowsky

Sounds like what Frankfurt wrote about: first-order desires and second-order desires. First-order desires are those we simply/immediately have. Second-order desires refer to other desires.

This necessitates self-awareness and introspection. It is the ability to have second-order desires that Frankfurt proposes as the definition for a "person" (as opposed to a "human"), labeling those who cannot as "wantons".

It seems to me that this is a similar problem to that addressed by second-order cybernetics. Having no knowledge of the field, however, it's just a speculation... Anyone with more info care to comment?