What is the difference between inferring something and just making it up? Do I really have to believe something to infer about it?
You infer one proposition or statement from another proposition or statement when you say that the second proposition or statement follows from the first. That means, you are asserting that if the first is true, then, so is the second true (or, what is the other side of the same coin, if the second is false, then the first is false) Your inference may be correct, or incorrect. But there is no question of making something up. For instance: Suppose I I draw the inference that if 5 is an odd number, then 5 is not divisible by 2. That is a correct inference, since no odd number is divisible by 2.
The question of inference is this: if you know that a certain statement is true, what else do you know? For instance, if you know that I have a penny in my pocket, do you, or do you not, know I have a coin in my pocket? The answer is, yes. But if you know I have a coin in my pocket, do you know I have a penny in my pocket? The answer is, no. Therefore, you can correctly infer that if I have a penny in my pocket, I have a coin in my pocket. But you cannot correctly infer that if I have a coin in my pocket, that I have a penny in my pocket.
You should see that you do not actually have to believe I have a penny in my pocket, to know that if I do, I have a coin in my pocket. You can know that without believing I have a penny in my pocket.
The way I understand 'infer' is that it means to validly draw a conclusion from a number of statements. That's very different from just making something up. You certainly have to believe those statements before you can infer anything from them. 'Infer' is sometimes (incorrectly) used to mean 'hint' or 'imply'.
To infer is to draw a logical conclusion from a number of statements. Logical conclusions are, in a sense, contained in the statements from which they are drawn. Conclusions can only be guaranteed to be true if the statements from which they are drawn are also true, and the inference follows the rules of logic. Hence, you need to believe the statements from which you are inferring the conclusion if you are to believe the conclusion.
In my enquiry into the concept of existence, meaning and God, I've come across many different prevalent theories. But so far all of them (so it seems to me) seem to sprout from humans' deep-rooted, inherent desire to be masters of the world and themselves.
I say this because present systems of reasoning or to be a bit technical "logic" are too contextual and limited while we seem to talk about entities and their operative modes which are universal. For what is reason but a mere software (however advanced) that is run inside our brains? Reason and logic may not dictate reality (if reality is conceived as an outside independent objectivity) any more than they dictate themselves. Reason has such a strong hold on us by virtue of its very nature and the only device at hand to disprove reason is reason itself, which leads us into bizarre contradictions.
If this is so don't you think we need first to question the universality of reason?
In answer to your question, no I don't think that we should question the universality of logic. Mainly, im going to disagree with your claim that 'logic does not dictate reality'. Reality must work within the laws of logic. For example, reality could not contain any contradictions. It can't be the case that it's both raining in Leeds and it's not raining in Leeds (¬(p&¬p)). Reality simple cannot bend this law. Nor can it bend other rules. For example, "its either raining in Leeds or its not raining in Leeds" (p v¬p); "if water=H2O then if x isn't water then x isn't H2O" (if x=y then if ¬(a=x) then ¬(a=y); "if it's raining in Leeds then it's raining in Leeds" (if p then p). Reality simply cannot break these rules. Secondly, if logic is just a software in the brain then logic must govern our thinking. Our thinking is part of reality, so logic must govern part of reality. Logical laws are of the upmost generality and if we lost them then we would lose our grip on reality.
Quite a few years ago, there was a bug in an early version of the Pentium processor which caused PC's to produce the wrong answers to certain mathematical calculations. Is it not conceivable that there could be a similar malfunction in the human brain, caused perhaps by a genetic mutation that took place millions of years ago?
If a malfuctioning logic machine in our brains governs our thinking about reality, then there will be times as with the malfunctioning Pentium processor when we reason illogically.
Suppose that were true. As a matter of fact, human beings are rather less reliable than computers when it comes to reasoning. All of us have reasoned illogically at times. However, we are also able to discover when we have done so. Illogical reasoning leads to inconsistency.
What if it didn't: suppose that because of this genetic feature of our brains we are unable to recognize when our thinking is at odds with reality. So our defective 'logic' appears to us perfectly consistent, because, in effect, we are measuring our logic against itself as the standard?
But wait a minute,we can't speak of 'consistency' because this already assumes the truth of the law of non-contradiction! Maybe the law of non-contradiction is false, but we are incapable of seeing this because our brains are locked into thinking 'consistently'....
This is probably not a philosophical question, but I was wondering why was I so uncomfortable when I was in presence of a friend who was showing so much affection to his wife while we were having a dinner in the restaurant. The affection included touching her hair, patting her on her back, hugging her constantly for the duration of the dinner which was three hours. He was also at the influence of alcohol and he even asked her to touch him etc. I think they should go for this dinner together, not invite their friends. I have always thought that showing so much affection should be limited to the family circle. I would appreciate what you think of my friend's behaviour.
Most people would be uncomfortable in this situation since sexual affection is normally a private affair and I agree that they should go to dinner alone. One might say that this friend was very inconsiderate, especially if you are young. But if he is very much in love and was under the influence of alcohol, you can't really expect him to act with consideration. Love and alcohol can affect behaviour.
I see no reason why such behaviour would necessarily be acceptable within the family circle. In fact, I'd have thought children wouldn't like seeing their parents mauling each other and constant hugging within a family circle also seems rather unappealing.
Well it actually can be a philosophical question. As far as your emotional responses as such go, they're the product of your education through your culture, family, etc. So that's the simple and easy answer to your question. You feel that way because you've been trained to. But... we can ask what "privacy" means and how that concept is relevant to different situations. This is a really nasty question. And the further question is, should you feel embarrassed at public displays of affection, and if so, which ones? And why? Surely all public affection should not be bad or embarrassing. (Though there are cultures that would violently disagree with that statement. Are they correct? Why or why not? Let's see.)
One thing that "affection" might be taken to be, and/or show, is sexuality. Lots of cultures frown on public sex, and if affection is regarded in this way, then public affection will be disapproved. Now, let's call this alternative 1, and assume for the sake of argument that this viewpoint is correct (although I don't actually agree). We can still ask whether it should be disapproved. What is it about sex that should be private? Well, what differentiates sex from other activities? First, its used for reproduction. But this won't do... you can go to a lab and play with sperms and eggs, and do that in public. Second, we see public sexuality all the time in the movies. What is the difference between that and seeing "real" people being affectionate? So there is something having to do with sexuality being between two real people. What about strangers? I'd say you'd probably be embarrassed by seeing two strangers making out passionately in a restaurant or a public park, correct? But would you be as uncomfortable if a) you didn't know them, and b) they were both enjoying themselves? That is, what about this difference: the two real people are both obviously enjoying themselves vs. one of them is not? Probably both scenarios would be embarrassing, but the latter (one is not) much more. Now here we can find a clear ethical component: one person is being forced, to some extent. So you (and everyone else) should disapprove of the scenario in which one person is forcing their affections on another. And I imagine that was part of your problem in the restaurant.
Now let's look at the situation where both are clearly enjoying themselves, in public. Why should we disapprove of that? Well, let's look at some possibilities. What is there about "privacy" which is valuable or good? If you assume that others are going to take advantage of you in some way, or are merely going to disapprove of some action (for whatever reasons, good or bad), then performing that action in private is reasonable, in the sense that since you're living in a social context, you have to behave in ways to get along with others, otherwise you'll be shunned, treated badly, and so forth. But we do live in a culture where both of those are true. First, there are people who will try to take advantage of you (say, through some sort of social blackmail, for one), and second, there are people who will disapprove of your actions (perhaps not for any good reason, merely because they've been told they are "bad"). And that disapproval can take many forms, virtually all with negative consequences for you. Now, I'm not thinking of things like privacy for the purpose of keeping valuables safe, and that sort of thing... just in respect of sexuality. Let's take an extreme example: if you think of the behavior of the very rich and powerful throughout history in front of their slaves, the conception of privacy becomes a bit iffy... since a slave was not recognized as an equal, and perhaps not even as really a person, and the masters had absolute power over them. Consequently, sex in front of slaves was a matter of indifference in that kind of culture, unless the slave was seen as some kind of potential threat. So sexual privacy has to do with the ability of others to harm, which a slave (in some contexts) did not have.
Given that admittedly quick analysis, we can ask whether you should have felt embarrassed, if those two were mutually enjoying each other. Well, in an ideal culture, where everyone lives in harmony, we would have no reason to feel vulnerable exposing ourselves, and thus, probably, no reason for privacy... unless we just wanted to be free of distractions. But clearly we don't live in that culture... and indeed I doubt anyone ever has or, given human territoriality and aggressiveness, ever will. Given fairly normal cultures, i.e., most throughout history, you should have felt, if not embarrassed, at least that those people were behaving inappropriately, if only in that they were making themselves too vulnerable to a number of possible threats.
But as I said above, I think that most of your negative feelings were due to your cultural and familial contexts, and also that you may have seen that the man's wife was not enjoying herself, i.e., was being forced to behave in a particular manner. Now given that the above is correct, we might conclude that the more prohibitions a culture has against public displays of intimacy, the more internally aggressive that culture is, i.e., the more potential for threats there are in the interpersonal interactions within that culture.
Steven Ravett Brown
I would have not only felt uncomfortable. I would have been angry, and probably have walked out. To start with, both of your friends were being rude since they were paying little attention to you or to your feelings. But, that is only to start with: They were also doing things which should be done in privacy not in public, so I do not agree even that they should have acted in that way if they had been alone in public. If they had acted in that way in a restaurant owned by me, I should have told them to stop, and if they had not stopped, I would have asked them to leave.
Try as I might I find myself unable to apply the 'valid' and 'invalid' deductive forms to syllogisms that go beyond if p, then q, p. therefore q to syllogisms that introduce another factor. For example All mammals have legs/ My cat is a mammal/ Therefore my cat has four legs. This example includes another factor, i.e., how do I interpret the second statement? It goes something like if p, then q, BUT q is r. Then what happens next?
It is not clear just what your difficulty is, for I do not understand why you think you must "interpret" the second premise. Perhaps you mean that you think you have to decide whether the second premise is true. But you do not. For instance, suppose the second premise was "My snake is a mammal" That statement is, of course, false. No snake is a mammal. But, nevertheless, the conclusion, "My snake has four legs" would follow necessarily from those premises, although, of course, that conclusion would be false, since no snakes have four legs. The central issue in logic is whether the premises support the conclusion. But not whether the premises or conclusion are true or false. That is a separate issue.
"Valid" and "invalid" forms? What you have above is totally straightforward. Here are the forms:
Roughly speaking, according to C.S. Peirce, there are three basic types of logic, derived from the three-part syllogism. This syllogism consists of:
R, a rule: (the beans in this bag are white), C, a case of the rule: (these beans are from the bag), E, a result: (these beans are white).
By altering the order of the elements in this expression, Peirce realized that one could symbolize entirely different types of thinking. Thus, deduction consists of statements in the above order: (1) R, C, E; induction in the order (2) C, E, R; and hypothesis construction (also termed "abduction") the order (3) R, E, C.
Ok? Now, given deduction (RCE), you can say: R: all mammals have legs; C: my cat is a mammal; E: therefore my cat has legs. If you want to introduce the number of legs, you have to say something like: R: "all mammals have four legs". Or you could introduce another syllogism similar to this one: All mammals have legs; (my cat is a mammal) AND (normal cats have four legs) AND (my cat is a normal cat); therefore my cat has four legs. You just concatenate (haha) conditions.
If you want invalid forms, you use the inverse or the converse, which do not logically follow: my cat has legs; my cat is a mammal; therefore all mammals have legs. No. Or, all mammals have legs; my cat is not a mammal; therefore my cat does not have legs. No again.
Steven Ravett Brown
If you had perfect/ full knowledge of everything, would you still have feelings? (Excluding feelings by the use of senses or physical pleasure/ pain) Does "feeling" come from whatever does not seem logical to us and because we do not know the causes for everything? Also, for example, if we could solve how "beauty" exists and explain it perfectly, would we still feel it?
In brief, yes, I think we would still "feel" beauty even if we had a full, complete and true explanation of how beauty exists etc. What I would say is the 'feeling' probably isn't the right word though I think I know what your getting at. Consider that even if we had a true theory about colour, we would still get colour sensations. Something I have been thinking about recently is this: Suppose that Mackie is right, and all moral statements are systematically false, and there are no moral properties in the world. So, if this error-theoretic conception of morality is right then Mackie has shown that all our moral discourse is systematically mistaken and that morals do not objectively exist. Would this stop us "feeling" morality in the way you ask? It would seem not. Even if the world was convinced about the truth of Mackie's theory it still looks plausible that we would have a certain moral 'tug' in one way, we would feel bad when a child was murdered, our decisions would still pray on our conscience. Consider the analogous case of aesthetic value: Suppose there are no aesthetic properties in an objective sense. We would still get certain impressions from paintings. Picasso's work would still seem 'beautiful' and give us certain feelings. Im not trying to give any argument for realism in morality or aesthetics, (im dubious on both counts) all im trying to suggest is that even if we proved that morals or aesthetics did not exist we would still 'feel' them in the way you suggest, even if, on reflection, we knew we were wrong.
It seems to me that you are equating knowledge with a store of value-free facts. I would argue that the idea that the world is made of facts (one the one hand), and values (or emotions, or feelings) are easily and cleanly distinguished from facts, and are somehow not a part of the world, is a false account of the world.
If feelings are just as much a part of the world as facts and are not even able to be cleanly distinguished from facts then knowing feelings would be essential to having perfect/ full knowledge of everything.
It seems to me that another way of asking your question is: if we had a complete scientific explanation of the way the physical world works (the causes), would we therefore know all there is to know? I would answer 'no'. Your last question indicates why. Feeling a sense of beauty may be dependent on having certain processes take place in your brain, but knowing about those processes is not feeling it, any more than knowing the wavelength of red light and how it affects the retina is the same as seeing red.
Can I also comment on your phrase 'seem logical to us', which you seem to use as another way of talking about a scientific causal explanation. Logic is not science, and being logical is not being scientific. Logic is a tool that science uses, as do many other areas of knowledge. Logic merely allows us to move from true statements to true conclusions it does not tell us which statements are true to start with. Thus, we can be logical about feelings just as much as about facts. Take this example: Fred says to Mary: "People who feel light-headed about someone and worship the ground they walk on are in love with that person. I feel light-headed about you and worship the ground you walk on. Therefore I am in love with you." Fred is being perfectly logical, as well as being wonderfully emotive.
Does our level of happiness at present time come from comparison with our previous levels of happiness in this way, our happiness level throughout our lives would always be at average level and our comparison with how happy we perceive others to be compared to us, OR is our level of happiness inborn within us? Perhaps both? I've often heard the saying that you can't know happiness until you know sadness. Is this saying true? If even the smallest amount of our level of happiness is inborn, doesn't the saying have to be false?
Jim also asked:
Can pleasure (like sex) be used to achieve "happiness" indefinitely or do we build up tolerance towards it and does it become less enjoyable over time?
Happiness is a state or emotion and we can be in this state whether or not we know about it, so comparison has nothing to do with it. My dog isn't ascribed emotional knowledge, but when I see him "zig-zag" running in a large field, I know that he is happy. It's not simple running but a strange way of running which is having fun. Sometimes his whole body wriggles with happiness. Average levels and comparisons are peculiarly quantitative notions and while there may be levels of happiness, it isn't the sort that can be measured. Maybe it is that we don't have the capacity, but even if we did, a scientist might be able to measure how happy we are at any one time and compare it with other times but we wouldn't be able to know from introspection and memory. How could we know we are happier now than three years ago? Can we really get in that state we were in three years ago to compare?
I think that there are certain personalities more bound for happiness than others. Some people unintentionally impair their capacity for happiness because they cannot cope with the bad things in life. Others can cope, and assimilate traumas recognising that that is just bad luck but so be it, and this clears the way to the possibility of future happiness.
There doesn't seem to be any reason why there should be any truth in the saying that you can't know happiness until you know sadness. We learn to use the term "happiness" socially and could do this in a society with no sadness. But then this isn't because happiness might be inborn and so the saying false. It could still be true that we need particular things in our lives to make us happy and then we recognise or know that we are happy on criteria for the application of the term as determined by society.
As to your second question, a psychologist has said that we don't "achieve" happiness at all. Rather it is a by-product of what we do. Happiness may well be a by-product of pleasure and sex, or if you reject what the psychologist says, it might be achieved thereby. But it certainly isn't the sort of thing we can build up tolerance against, like a germ. Happiness isn't a physical anti-body. It is always good, to us. Though, of course, the means some people come by happiness can sometimes be doubted as good.
What is Lipman's philosophy?
What is Lipman's model for a Philosophy for Children syllabus?
This is a passion of mine. Contact me if what I say below is not enough.
Matthew Lipman is an American philosopher who, in the late 1960s, decided that children were not being taught how to think well, and that doing some philosophy in the classroom was the way to set this right. Together with Ann Margaret Sharp, an educator, he developed the community of inquiry method for dong informal philosophy in schools, and wrote the book "Harry Stottlemeier's Discovery" for use by such communities. Here is a description of Philosophy for Children I have published elsewhere:
Philosophy for Children (P4C) is a program that involves school children in whole class discussion on philosophical issues. It aims to improve children's thinking through introducing them to, and enabling them to investigate, many of the 'big questions'. Using the program, teachers encourage children to think more deeply about the ideas behind their schoolwork in a classroom community of inquiry. Children will then focus reflectively on their own thinking and the skills they use, thus improving them, in the meantime exploring and enhancing their own ideas and those of others in response to philosophical and other puzzles. The joint exploration of ideas leads to more cohesive shared knowledge within the group.
Philosophy for Children is based on the idea that children construct knowledge and reasoning capabilities in a community. The teacher's role is not that of supplying knowledge for children to swallow, but of providing the model of an experienced thinker to the apprentice thinkers of the class and of ensuring the level of thinking is kept high. Children set the agenda for the discussions by asking questions that appeal to them, ensuring that what is discussed is appropriate to their needs and abilities and that student questions are valued. The thinking is done within a rich context, with repeated applications of thinking techniques to diverse contexts as is judged appropriate by the participants. This improves the chances that children will be able to transfer these skills to other situations. The model of discussion allows students to drive the conversation, creating the time for proper exploration of ideas.
The original Philosophy for Children syllabus was written by Matthew Lipman and his associates at Montclair State University in New Jersey, USA. Typically, a unit of the program consists of a lengthy purpose written 'novel' or 'text', presenting a group of children (often, but not always, the characters overlap from text to text) engaged in creating their own Community of Inquiry in and out of school. The texts have philosophical hooks embedded within them; there is a central philosophical theme (or 'spine') to their inquiry, though many other puzzles are also included. This text is backed up by a Manual which highlights the philosophical issues and offers discussion plans, exercises and background notes for the teacher to use as appropriate.
Other trigger material may be used, however, such as picture books, novels, movies, newspaper articles, provided they contain a philosophical 'hook'. Using such material is becoming more common, and there is an increasing array of such material being produced. The great majority of this, in both amount and quality, is Australian produced material.
In the classroom, the teacher sets up a Community of Inquiry. The children sit in a circle so that they can see each other. A section of the text is read around the group, each student reading a paragraph unless they opt to miss out by saying "Pass". Then children's questions about the passage are gathered and written up publicly and the discussion begins. The teacher's role in building the discussion is crucial.
Prior teacher preparation
The Federation of Australasian Philosophy for Children Associations strongly recommends that all teachers who want to use Philosophy for Children in their classroom attend an accredited training course. Training courses are available through your State Philosophy for Children Association. Running a community of inquiry has many continuities with good teaching practice, but there are also some powerful distinctive features that it is difficult to learn without practice and modelling.
The teacher, as discussion leader, must have previously considered the possible lines of development of the discussion arising from the various hooks in the trigger experience, even though they cannot be sure that any particular line will be picked up by the children. This assists them in identifying the potential of remarks that students make, and can suggest the right intercessions to make to help develop them. Of course, as the agenda is set by the students and the actual direction of the discussion arises from its own dynamic, there is still considerable need to 'think on your feet'.
Running the Community of Inquiry
Once the trigger material had been presented, the Community of Inquiry commences. The major features of this method are:
1. Ask the children what they found interesting or puzzling about the story or other experience. Encourage them to make their comments in the form of a question. Gather the children's questions on the board, writing the name of the child who asked each one after the question.
2. Discuss the questions in an order decided by one of a variety of methods we might vote for the most interesting question, try to group similar questions to see the area of major interest, weed out the questions that have easy answers or which are impossible to answer on the evidence we have and so on.
3. Rules for the discussion can be decided by the community, either in advance or after some experience of the community. In one class, for example, five rules were decided on by the community before the first discussion. They were: be quiet when not speaking to the community, only one speaker at a time, listen to the speaker, don't play about, speak up loudly when you are the speaker.
4. The teacher's role is that of a facilitator. Basically, it is to provoke and model the moves made by experienced thinkers in their own best thinking, avoiding the teacher's common roles as source of knowledge and instant evaluator of student responses (the community takes on these roles). Some of the major techniques here: the use of increased wait times, avoidance of judgmental comments, the exhibition of teacher puzzlement, and the judicious use of questioning that signals the cognitive moves that might usefully be made next and concentrates children's attention on metacognition (thinking about their own thinking).
5. The impact of the physical setting of a circle on the establishment of a community is reinforced by the encouragement of participants to talk to the whole circle, or directly to the person they are answering, rather than always through the teacher. Whilst it can be necessary, especially with a newly established group, to insist on hands being raised before speaking, it is certainly an aim of the teacher to develop turn taking skills, so that the discussion follows a more normal conversation dynamic. Deciding how far to allow a noisy interchange to continue before insisting on one speaker at a time is one of the teacher's major judgments.
6. The teacher is a member of the community and hence has a duty to participate in the discussion. However, traditional roles of teachers mean that any input they make will carry greater weight than the contributions of students. Hence it is important for the teacher to hold back in matters of fact and opinion if there is a good chance that the students may come up with an acceptable answer with suitable encouragement or given time. Lipman often says the teacher should be 'pedagogically strong but philosophically self-effacing'. Of course, there are times when teacher input is just what the discussion needs; deciding when and how to do this form part of the professional judgment of the teacher, guided by knowledge of the group and the prior consideration of the issues involved. It need not, however, always be in the form of a dogmatic statement.
7. The teacher needs to encourage a recognition in the community that many questions are complex and not amenable to simple, quick answers, so time has to be provided for talking around problems. Clarification of what the problem is must be recognised as valuable, even if no answer is found; premature closure of questions is to be avoided. 8. Children must be encouraged to take responsibility for their comments and be prepared to defend, modify or change them as appropriate. The teacher needs to ensure that attacks on positions are not made or seen as attacks on the holders of the positions.
Cognitivists believe that intuition enables them to make objective moral statements. Can these statements be seen as factual, and if so, are they open to the naturalistic fallacy?
This is an old question from the bottom of this list, which I just came across... I'm interested in it for two reasons. First, I do not believe that cognitivists believe in intuition... although I may be wrong here. However, the cognitivist schools I'm aware of are naturalistic in their position on morality, i.e., they argue that moral properties can be derived from implications of the interactions between people and their environments. I also hold this view.
The "naturalistic fallacy" is a bit more interesting to me... according to what I've seen, Moore stated that any definition of a moral property, i.e., "goodness" involves one either in a regression or in a simple problem. That is, if "goodness" is defined in terms of another property, then that latter property either must be defined in terms of others, etc., etc., leading to an endless regression; or whatever property that sequence ends in can itself be evaluated as to whether it is good. But that means, according to Moore, that it cannot itself be goodness.
I have three problems with this. First, even if the definitional process went as he describes, so that to ask whether, say, pleasure is good, and have that question be meaningful implies that there is some perceived difference between the meaning of "pleasure" and that of "good" does not imply, I would claim, that "good" cannot be defined in terms (for example) of pleasure. Surely the whole point of a definition is that that defining terms are somewhat different than what they define. Which leads to my second point, that a definition is usually a combination of simple terms and relationships. Thus if "good" were defined with a set of simpler terms, etc., then we could not expect that it was equivalent to any subset of those terms, but only to the whole, interrelated in a particular way. Thus, instead of saying, "good is pleasure", we would have to say, "good is such-and-such a type (let's say, aesthetic) of pleasure felt under such-and-such circumstances, by such-and-such persons, in such-and-such a manner"... or something like that. Then the naturalistic fallacy could not apply to any subset of that definition, and to ask, "is 'such-and-such type of pleasure felt under such-and-such circumstances, by such-and-such persons, in such-and-such a manner' good, would indeed, I claim, make no sense... in the sense of "sense" that Moore employs, meaning something like, "clearly not a tautology". That is, it would be a tautology.
But worse, I believe, for Moore, is the appeal to intuition underlying his whole argument. What is it to say that Moore's question "makes sense"? To whom? Why? Because, if I'm seriously maintaining even something so simple as "pleasure is 'the good'", then to me, asking, "but is pleasure good?" does not make sense (in Moore's sense of "sense"). Yes, of course, pleasure is good, that's how I've defined it, and supposedly, that's how I feel, intuitively... whatever it is that Moore feels about that question. Do we take surveys to determine whether Moore's question "makes sense"?
The problem with "ordinary language" approaches to philosophy is that they run into this intuitive aspect... which is also a problem with much research in linguistics. What is "ordinary usage", how is that determined, who is the ultimate authority... and similar questions are all too easily glossed over here. Philosophers who like this approach need to be clear, in my opinion, that they cannot appeal to their personal intuition about what "good usage" is, nor even to that of their colleagues and graduate students. Either there is some independent justification, or they're doing sociological research, which is just fine, as long as they realize that they're doing empirical studies and apply appropriate experimental procedures to that research.
So my objection to Moore's criterion of "but is pleasure good?" making sense is quite a general objection to all such appeals to "sense". One does not know, without empirical research, whether "sense", in that context, itself makes sense except to the particular person employing that term.
Steven Ravett Brown
What is the difference between the One of Plotinus and the One of Parmenides?
In defining the One of Parmenides' metaphysics, it becomes necessary to search his line of argument on being. In short, Parmenides suggests that from being, only being can come. He states that nothing can become something else. That what is, always has been, and remains as what it is. If you follow his argument then, there can be only one eternal underived, unchangeable being. Being must therefore be continuous and indivisible; being and thought are one, identical. What is thought is being. It could be possible that being and thought are one, that reality is endowed with mind. If this is so then, the idea of being as One unchangeable reality endowed with mind is similar to Plotinus' One.
In Plotinus you find the Three Hypostases. The Hen is the One. The Hen is ineffable ultimate reality. Hen is the first cause of all causes. The One is the first Divine Hypostasis. It has the capacity to create and go on creating. Plotinus' One overflows or emanates that which results in the remaining two Hypostases.
The Plotinus One (Hen) then is an Absolute causeless cause, unity of unities. The One of all things and yet the One prior to all just as Parmenides being from which being can only come. It is all that is, just as Plotinus' One is all that is. So in reality, rather than being different, they are the same.