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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: Ali Hashemi <ali@xxxxxxxxx>
Date: Tue, 16 Aug 2011 12:28:07 -0400
Message-id: <CADr70E02Xu4cxGdDCK0d-mA8RFL6kZ+aLkJX76HT8shp_u3NCg@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Hi John,

On Tue, Aug 16, 2011 at 11:50 AM, John F. Sowa <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
That's a good summary of the issues, and I would add self-interest to
the list.  People who act ethically also need to survive.  I suggest
the Golden Rule:  "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

I'm not sure that self-interest applies at this same level of analysis.

However, they are investigating the addition of a adding a 6th dimension, re Liberty/Constraint.

I would also replace the word 'purity' with the more general word
'aesthetics'.  The phrase 'avoid disgusting things' is negative,

Yet that is exactly the point. 

Usually this dimension is identified as Purity/Sanctity. Research by Nussbaum [1] and others [2], [3] shows that the feelings of disgust intimately affect moral judgments, with a neurological basis [4], [5]. 

The association of negative / prohibitive elements with disgust is an oft utilized tool by propagandists, politicians, religious demagogues to reinforce prohibitions or otherness. In Judaism and Islam, pork is a forbidden food, and pigs are associated with disgust. 

and it's better to have a positive goal for guidance.  As a short
summary, I suggest the slogan "Truth, beauty, and justice."

These foundations aren't supposed to be prescriptive. Rather, they aim to provide a descriptive analysis of the different cross-cultural dimensions by which normative directives are developed by different human societies / social groupings. Purity doesn't make much sense if you don't have the concept of impurity.


[1] Nussbaum, M. C. (1999). “ Secret sewers of vice ” : Disgust, bodies, and the law. In S. A. Bandes (Ed.), The passions of law (pp. 19 – 62). New York: New York University Press.

[2] Turner, Leigh (2004). "Is repugnance wise? Visceral responses to biotechnology." Nature Biotechnology 22, 269 - 270 (2004)

[3] Schnall, S., Haidt, J., Clore, G., & Jordan, A. (2008). Disgust as embodied moral judgment. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1096-1109.

[4] Moll, Jorge; de Oliveira-Souza, Ricardo; Moll, Fernanda Tovar; Ignácio, Fátima Azevedo ; Bramati, Ivanei E ; Caparelli-Dáquer, Egas M ; Eslinger, Paul J. (2005)."The Moral Affiliations of Disgust: A Functional MRI Study." Cognitive & Behavioral Neurology: March 2005 - Volume 18 - Issue 1 - pp 68-78.

[5] Adrian Raine and Yaling Yang (2006). "Neural foundations to moral reasoning and antisocial behavior." Soc Cogn Affect Neurosci. 2006 December; 1(3): 203–213.


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