Should we always do subjectively once we worked out what we ought to do objectively?

This Monday I’ve visited a one-day conference at the University of Cambridge on Non Categorical Thought and I’ve found it fantastic, both the people and the content and the quality of the discussion. You can read abstracts here.

There was one change in the programme, the first talk was given by Arif Ahmed instead of Peter Hawke, and the title was Evidentialism and Objective Value. It was a great talk, accompanied by a professional hand-out to make the argument easier to absorb. I’m not going to spoil Arif’s argument but only discuss one comment of mine I made at the end of the talk related to a premise of the main argument that seems indisputable according to Arif.

This premise is the following:

If you know that you objectively ought to do something then you subjectively ought to do it.

Arif Ahmed, Evidentialism and Objective Value, conference hand-out

Let’s call this principle – I’m pretty sure there’s a name for it in the literature, but I don’t know it – the ‘Informed OS Transition’ principle for reference’s sake, where OS is a shorthand for ‘from Objective Ought-to-Subjective Ought’. Sorry, I know it sounds ugly and terribly technical. It is coming from my stem cell biologist past where we have the concept of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) about cells changing their phenotypes due to different triggers. Continue reading “Should we always do subjectively once we worked out what we ought to do objectively?”

Philosophy with gaps, including holes and spaces; intro

You are at King’s Cross and you are in a rush to reach the 18:45 train taking you to Cambridge from Platform 1. You hear the speaker saying the following after the particular announcement of your train:

Mind the gap between the train and the platform.

Anonymous voice

For the next couple minutes this is going to be a special gap in your life, one that you will instantly ignore after boarding has been completed. But aren’t you interested to know a bit more about this gap? And while you are at it, how about knowing more about all the other gaps that surround and inhabit you?

Consider the particular gap between your train and the nearby platform. You are constantly warned about gaps in real life, here you get a philosophical warning to mind the gaps between objects. Continue reading “Philosophy with gaps, including holes and spaces; intro”