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Re: [ontolog-forum] Self Interest Ontology: Emotions in animals

To: "[ontolog-forum]" <ontolog-forum@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
From: "John F. Sowa" <sowa@xxxxxxxxxxx>
Date: Wed, 04 Jan 2012 10:29:28 -0500
Message-id: <4F047058.7040703@xxxxxxxxxxx>
On 1/4/2012 12:40 AM, doug foxvog wrote:
> The attackers of Ft. Sumter must have perceived the attack to be
> in their short-term self interest.    (01)

It most definitely was in their self interest.  The monetary value
of all the slaves in the South was greater than the assets of all
the banks and other financial institutions in the entire nation.    (02)

There were indeed many people in the South who held honorable motives.
But the people who held power had centuries of experience in creating
plausible-sounding rationalizations for manipulating public opinion.
That's the theme of the BBC documentaries.    (03)

But Bismark cut through that smoke screen with one pithy statement:
"Every man has two reasons, a good one and the real one."    (04)

Long before Bismark, the old Latin question for directing attention
to the real motive was "Cui bono?" (For whose good?)    (05)

To keep this thread close to ontological issues, I suggest that
we adopt that question as the guiding principle:  Cui bono?    (06)

That principle can be used to detect unconscious motives, even
in plants and animals that don't have conscious rationalizations.
I recommend a recent PBS documentary based on the book "Botany
of Desire.  A plants-eye view of the world":    (07)

    http://www.pbs.org/thebotanyofdesire/    (08)

It starts with the old observation that bees and flowers co-evolved
to serve their own self interests over a period of about 160 million
years.  It then goes on to discuss how plants and people have been
manipulating each other to serve their self interests.  It focuses
on four species:  apples, tulips, cannabis, and potatoes.    (09)

John    (010)

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