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  #51  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:58 AM
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I liked Robert Pirsig's take on it: quality is neither objective (located in the object of interest intrinsically) nor subjective (located only in the mind and feelings of the observer making the evaluation) but instead is intrinsic to the relationship between the observer and the object of interest.

Among other nice things that I like about that formulation, it allows for us to discuss an observer having an inaccurate understanding of the value of something. If it were subjective, that's rather difficult to explicate. But because the quality is in the relationship, the observer can misconstrue it and come to realize that later.
  #52  
Old 08-01-2019, 11:59 AM
begbert2 is online now
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Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
If (for example) pleasure, or happiness, are not inherently valuable, and yet we choose to ascribe value to them anyway, we do so for... random reasons? Arbitrary ones? Reasons other than "yeesh, don't be absurd, it's bloody obviously inherently valuable, anybody knows that", at any rate, yes?
About as close as value gets to "inherent" is "I enjoy the taste of strawberries" and "I dislike pain". This is not random; it is hard wired; there are physical and chemical reactions that nudge the brain activity in a way that the brain activity mechanically interprets as a positive or negative thing.

Such reactions are definitely not arbitrary - they're how the body/brain unit reacts to things at a physical level. However they are subjective - the physical effects occur only within the body and the mind containing it. Me eating a strawberry does nothing for you.

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There's nothing keeping us from doing so (placing a value on something even though it has no intrinsic value). But if you have done so, you can't readily engage with other people and argue for the goodness of what you value. You're basically on record as stating that you assigned a value to it based on its correspondence to other things to which you assigned value, all the way back to pleasure or happiness which aren't intrinsically valuable. Might as well chuck a dart at a dart board blindfolded and wherever it lands, that's what you'll value.
It is indeed difficult for me to convince other people of the glorious wonder of me, personally, eating a strawberry. Which doesn't make my like of strawberries arbitrary, but it does make them subjective.
  #53  
Old 08-01-2019, 12:22 PM
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About as close as value gets to "inherent" is "I enjoy the taste of strawberries" and "I dislike pain". This is not random; it is hard wired; there are physical and chemical reactions that nudge the brain activity in a way that the brain activity mechanically interprets as a positive or negative thing.

Such reactions are definitely not arbitrary - they're how the body/brain unit reacts to things at a physical level. However they are subjective - the physical effects occur only within the body and the mind containing it. Me eating a strawberry does nothing for you.
Works for me. No longer nihilism. Based on something. And can we build an entire moral-ethical structure from it? I think so, actually. (But see just above for "subjective")
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Old 08-01-2019, 01:01 PM
begbert2 is online now
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Works for me. No longer nihilism. Based on something. And can we build an entire moral-ethical structure from it? I think so, actually. (But see just above for "subjective")
As noted, there's significant disagreement in this thread about what "nihilism" means. I personally doubt you'll find much agreement for the notion that people having bodies and brains disproves nihilism. (Maybe metaphysical nihilism, but not the other variants.)

And since you referred me to it:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AHunter3 View Post
I liked Robert Pirsig's take on it: quality is neither objective (located in the object of interest intrinsically) nor subjective (located only in the mind and feelings of the observer making the evaluation) but instead is intrinsic to the relationship between the observer and the object of interest.

Among other nice things that I like about that formulation, it allows for us to discuss an observer having an inaccurate understanding of the value of something. If it were subjective, that's rather difficult to explicate. But because the quality is in the relationship, the observer can misconstrue it and come to realize that later.
I don't see any meaningful difference between the observer's subjective opinion of the thing, and the observer's relationship between itself and the thing. By which I think the concepts are literally synonymous. And while I won't disagree that valuation is intrinsic to the observer's subjective opinion of a thing, that doesn't make such valuation any less subjective.

And honestly, I'm not sure the concept of an "incorrect subjective valuation" even makes sense. People can disagree about the valuation of something, but if you convince somebody that they have 'misconstrued' the value of something, that's just you just changing their subjective opinion to a different subjective opinion that matches yours. Their previous opinion wasn't 'wrong' in any way except in that it different from the new opinion.

Last edited by begbert2; 08-01-2019 at 01:02 PM. Reason: phrasing
  #55  
Old 08-01-2019, 09:40 PM
Rayks Marcial is offline
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The poor and disenfranchised, mostly. It could have real scary implications. For instance, nihilistic car drivers tend to drive the way they live, meaning they trust to luck and treat traffic rules signals as mere suggestions.
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