Re: MD Undeniable Facts

From: Matt the Enraged Endorphin (
Date: Wed Apr 30 2003 - 21:16:39 BST

  • Next message: johnny moral: "Re: MD Undeniable Facts"


    Johnny said:
    It was Platt who told me I was a post-modernist, but maybe it doesn't fit
    me. I don't like the sound of moral rule of thumb, I don't really
    understand - is that just a weaker version of a principle? I think I was
    lumped in to post modernism because I see morality as being the static
    patterns (including the debris) of a culture, and therefore malleable, and
    not, as Platt believes, an absolute. But I do believe that people
    absolutley should do what their culture's morality says they should do, we
    should take morality's expectations and make the effort to realize them as
    though they were absolutes.

    I think your understanding of morality probably fits, more or less,
    something like a post-modernist understanding, insofar as upholders of
    "tradition" like MacIntyre are considered post-modern. That's why I think
    your co-optation of post-modernism is, most of the time,
    unproblematic. The difference between a post-modernist's rule of thumb and
    a modernist's principle is that the post-modern rule of thumb is situated
    in a historical context, while the modern principle is ahistorical. To me,
    static patterns are by definition a historical context, so your upholding
    of static patterns as the holding the balance of morality seems post-modern
    by certain lights.

    I take your difference with Platt on absolutes to somewhat align you with
    Rorty's ethnocentrism. When post-moderns grasp the horn of contingency,
    like you do by acknowledging the status of static patterns, they are often
    claimed to be setting society loose to wallow in
    degeneracy/irrationality/relativism/nihilism (pick one). However, that's
    not necessarily the case (nor could it be the case, by that's a minor
    related point). What the post-modern relies on is the actual practice of
    cultures, the static patterns that have arisen. They say that these are
    what people start on, though they may not end there. That's the purpose of
    Rorty's conception of a final vocabulary. The final vocabulary are those
    sets of words from which you cannot give anything but circular arguments
    for. They are at the bottom of your understanding of the world. Your
    orientation towards you final vocabulary is what determines (in my mind)
    whether you let in the guiding influence of Dynamic Quality. If you are
    ironic, you are always on the lookout for better words and
    vocabularies. If you are a metaphysician, you think you've found (or will
    find) the correct vocabulary.


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