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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology

To: "'[ontolog-forum] '" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "Rich Cooper" <rich@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Mon, 7 Nov 2011 10:47:20 -0800
Message-id: <A56B9937FBF94078BCECC1F61A3524D8@Gateway>

Dear Azamat,


My comments are interspersed below,




Rich Cooper


Rich AT EnglishLogicKernel DOT com

9 4 9 \ 5 2 5 - 5 7 1 2


-----Original Message-----
From: ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:ontolog-forum-bounces@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of AzamatAbdoullaev
Sent: Monday, November 07, 2011 10:02 AM
To: [ontolog-forum]
Cc: Rich Cooper
Subject: Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology



I believe focusing on "self-interest", as a concern for your own interest,

advantage or well-being, is not ontologically productive, and its more the subject of psychology, ethics, or other special domains.


While I think that ontology is the representation of knowledge, whether psychology, ethics or other special domains, I don’t see a rationale for excluding any part of that knowledge.  The problem so far, IMHO, is that we haven’t found a simple enough statement of self interest, and its effect on our belief systems as well as on our behaviors, to be entirely constructive.  I am still seeking such a simple explanation because I believe this topic is very important both in ontology and in AI more generally. 


Its scope is better to be widened, running from individual interests to national interests. Then the issue becomes ontological or inclusive, involving such things as social ontology, social reality, security, prosperity, values, etc. For instance, the US National Security Strategy, called Obama's Manifesto for a New World Order, is largely about "advancing our interests".  There appear then many critical questions, how to pursue your national interests without harming others national interests, or how to merge individual self-interests and national interest, or how to combine national interests as the shared, common interests of the global community of countries, peoples, and nations.



Even more so, the question of who is the “us” who agrees that we are “advancing our interests”?  When the scope is national, it loses sight of individual interests, which are always different from national interests as perceived by the invoker of said national interests.  I think that all economics is local (to paraphrase Tip O’Neil) and that self interest is ONLY expressed in the individual case, not in the national case. 


Invoking national interest to take from some and give to others is very adverse to the others!  The question most appropriate for Keynes’s theories is exactly how adverse to some, and exactly how enhancing to the some!


By altering the debate to include those who gain and to exclude those who lose in any given transaction, we just obfuscate the analysis, we don’t make it more clear. 





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