Notes from the Library

Sun, 30 Aug 2015

Why Prison is Unfit for Civilised Society

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tucson1thumb.jpg

The philosophy grad students meeting room and library

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Thu, 13 Aug 2015

I’m reading On the Genealogy of Norms by Shaun Nichols.

Most genealogical accounts of norms focus on moral norms, and the most familiar attempts to explain the genealogy of morals strive to give an account of the origin of moral norms in our cultural past. The problem with such origin explanations is not that we don’t have any good explanations, but rather that we have too many good explanations, and not enough historical evidence to decide between them. … Here is a quick and incomplete catalog of some candidate explanations of the cultural origins of moral norms prohibiting harming others.

  1. Nietzsche’s “slave morality” …
  2. Reciprocal altruism: …

The list continues.

If there’s no way to ever find out whether it’s true bar time travel, is it worth studying Nietzsche’s genealogy of morals? Most people who has studied it would have an intuitive conviction that it was worth it. Can we say why? Is it enough to say that even if it’s false it has implications which are true of certain norms in certain contexts and we can learn from this?

Tue, 11 Aug 2015

Emacs X Window Manager

Soooo my complex xmonad setup is now obsolete… it’s finally happened. This is worth keeping an eye on.

I’ve been working my way through Walden. I think that two years in the woods did nothing other than make him very arrogant.

I have lived some thirty years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.

But man’s capacities have never been measured; nor are we to judge of what he can do by any precedents, so little has been tried.

Though I like this:

I had three pieces of limestone on my desk, but I was terrified to find that they required to be dusted daily, when the furniture of my mind was all undusted still, and threw them out the window in disgust.

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