Friday, 21 October 2005

Some end-of-week business

I've been up to my eyes this week, so I haven't been able to respond to comments here and to other bloggers as I'd have liked to. Feel free to do so on my behalf.

# Here for instance is one from Richard that I was pleased to see, on the subject of Intrinsic Value.
I'm inclined [says Richard] to think that only sentient beings can have intrinsic value in the strong sense. We are the creators of value, so without us there simply would not be any value in the world. Nothing that happens in a consciousless (I would say 'material', but that's not quite right) universe matters at all, one way or another. Hence my skepticism about intrinsic environmental value.
I'm inclined to agree with him, and for the very reasons he gives. Not so however when he then goes on to say: "Nevertheless, I think that we ought to value many things - and perhaps the environment among them - intrinsically, for their own sake." If I was to criticise this latter statement, I would probably start by saying much of what's said here. Value only makes sense when it has a valuer: if we value something, then we're saying it's a value to us. That might make it many things -- either a subjective value or an objective one for instance -- but it doesn't make it an intrinsic value. Nothing does.

# Moving on: now this just cries out to be corrected: Ruth objects to ending the War on Drugs, not because -- as she's previously complained -- dirty druggies would take over town, but because instead of arresting them and sending them to jail, the State instead would be regulating and taxing them. "That sounds like a real increase in personal freedom doesn't it?" blusters Ruth. "Think of all the money it would save us! As a taxpayer I'd rather keep paying for the War on Drugs - it's the lesser evil by a long shot." Makes no sense. Feel free to tell her why.

# And Berend has asked me a few good questions over the last few days. One I must respond to is his question about Montessori: "You must like the freedom part, but it seems you studiously avoid giving an opinion on the philosophy behind it. But we're not afraid to hear it..." And I'm not afraid to give it. With only the very mildest of disagreements, I am enthusiastically and philosophically in agreement with the Montessori philosophy. It is conceptual, reality-based education that encourages independence, clear-thinking, and an ongoing love of learning -- and it does that by responding precisely to the way humans acquire, store and use knowledge. IMO there is no pedagogical system to touch it. (Hope that didn't frighten you. :-) )

# (And to the chap who's wondering why his comment was just deleted: this site doesn't host endorsements of professional racists. Think on that if you visit here again.)


  1. Don't try and start another fight with me Peter - you know you never win.

    I'm curious as to why only men completed your quiz. Is there something I should know?

  2. " Don't try and start another fight with me Peter - you know you never win. "

    Hahahahaha. ;^)

    "I'm curious as to why only men completed your quiz. Is there something I should know?"

    Yeah, I was a little concerned about that as well. Or maybe it's only men in the top ten? And women just dont' understand me? [sob] ;^))


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