Comments on “The psychological anatomy of a stance”

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Practical application a complete moral stance

Lorenzo Bercelli 2016-04-18

I’ve been reading your writings for a few months now, but I’m still quite confused about how your conception of meaningness affects your moral choices. I suspect it affects the disposition with which you make this choices more than the actual choices, is that correct? I know you don’t like thought experiments, but I really feel like I need a few practical examples in order to better understand what you’re getting at.
Say for example that I’ve got to choose a career. through my job I want to help others, but I also want to help animals. I believe that with my skills I can help animals much more than I can help people, but on the other end I feel much more strongly attracted to helping people (although I think it’s of equal or lesser importance than helping animals), and helping humans is more rewarding. What shoul I choose according to you?

Another example: I want to have a son, and having a child is a beautiful rewarding thing that increases piety sensibility et cetera, and also raising a kid well is clearly very beneficial to him and to the society he will live in. On the other hand raising a child will take a lot of time and money from me that could have been spent saving several lives, and increasing the population will worsen the environmental crisis. What would you do? Or are the problems I’m presenting badly framed (I realize I’m adopting a very consequentialist viewpoint)? If so, what would your thought process be when confronted with these choices?

Thank you for your attention and your great websites!

Practical examples

David Chapman 2016-04-18

Thanks for the appreciation!

I do hope to work through some examples at some point. I’m sorry I haven’t done much of that yet. (More generally, I’m sorry that only about 5% of the book is published six years after the first bits appeared on the web!)

Functional analysis

Mat 2016-10-09

Hi, the circumstances might not be ideal but I am currently having to put together a position paper entitled “Towards a Functional Analysis of Hatha Yoga”. This will be distributed as a free printable pamphlet (CC intl 4.0) and will form part of the literature on standard setting initiatives with yoga in various places around the world. I am hoping you may be a little further down this road than myself and am cheekily asking for a few signposts. Here’s what I’ve done already:

0) Had a meander around your web pages on a few sites (aro vivid) for an email address without success
1) Found your navigation (search) box and thought to myself “hmph - I want it at the top of every page”
2) Searched for “function” and “functional” and although I got some interesting results I couldn’t work out how the search results were ordered, and there isn’t any “advanced” search options that would allow me to extend this functionality - maybe a “preview” or some such… not sure

Anyway, a functional analysis is a powerful analytical tool I think, I suspect over-powered for something like Hatha Yoga but I need to situate functional analysis within a concept like “aims”, and ideally the relationship between “function” and “purpose” within this context. “Meaning” is also loitering somewhere here but I just don’t have a pathway into this right now and I don’t have the time I would like to research this extensively from primary sources. So, “function”, “purpose” and “meaning” - what do you have? Or should I say, where should I look? Full attribution / acknowledgement available and more info. if you’re interested?


Functional analysis of hatha yoga

David Chapman 2016-10-09

I haven’t written anything about that.

I would, however, recommend Coulter’s Anatomy of Hatha Yoga, which is a very serious and solid book that I learned a lot from.

functional analysis

mat 2016-10-09

I assumed (wrongly?) with your background in AI you would have a lot of experience in analysing at the functional level stuff like “realization”? I was hoping you’d be close to the problems concerning translating notions of “aim” / “purpose” within a strictly functional paradigm and would have a good grasp of the pitfalls to analysing something like cognition on a functional basis? I have no interest in anatomy, and am interested in the biomedical human only as far as it relates to ethics and phil. of consciousness - thanks.

A minor typo

wanderer 2022-10-31

“For example, nihilism usually dulls your thinking, makes you feel depressed, and inhibits [productivity activity].”

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