Saturday, November 27, 2010


Sometimes it seems like debates are more over theory than practice. Like, for instance, in ethics, it’s not so much that people disagree about the content of what they’re saying as its theoretical underpinnings.

Take Kant (please!) for him, it’s all about intentions—not what you do, but why you’re doing it. Compare that to Mill who cares more about consequences—what you did rather than why you did it. And all of a sudden, people are arguing about what you shoulda done when they unfortunately mean something different by “shoulda.”

And then, what’s weird, is that you can even be inside a moral theory and be using it differently. Like for Kant, what has moral worth are deeds done because your realize you oughtta, not because you wanna.

But lotsa good people believe that you oughtta wanna.

I dunno; I’m just trying to avoid the gotcha.

When Bush said Brownie was doing a heckuva job, he obviously was using a different criterion for heck than your average bear. And when Led Zepplin talked about a whole lotta love, they must have been operating under their own preferred standard of measurement.

Gimme shelter, I guess; and watchoo talkin’ about Willis?

I ain’t gonna lose much sleep over whatever I dinna ken; whaddaya gotta do about it anyways?

For Aristotle, one swallow doesn’t make spring; as far as I can tell, neither do a buncha them.

If I wuz one of them guys who always hadda be right; then how couldja tell?

As far as I’m concerned, it’s no biggee when it comes to whatcher feeling as compared to whatchyoov dun; as long as it all ends up as intended, why not just fuggetaboutit?

I woulda if I coulda, but I’m not sure I shoulda.

You get a coupla philosophers in the same room and maybe we’ll just agree to disagree; or maybe it’s not even a matter of agreement; maybe you just gotta do whatchoo gotta do.


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