Cohen’s Ocular Tree   2018  JPG  “Suppose that people are born with empty eye sockets (because a radiation-originating disease destroyed the genes for eyes)… but most, a bare majority, have eyes that fall into their sockets while they pass under the ocular trees, while others, a minority, do not. […] The accidentality of the acquisition might suggest that redistribution to the sightless of one eye by lottery would not be so bad. Can believers in self-ownership convince themselves that there is an important difference between the luck of the eye-tree and the luck of the genetic draw?” - G. A. Cohen,  Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality , 1995

Cohen’s Ocular Tree

2018

JPG

“Suppose that people are born with empty eye sockets (because a radiation-originating disease destroyed the genes for eyes)… but most, a bare majority, have eyes that fall into their sockets while they pass under the ocular trees, while others, a minority, do not. […] The accidentality of the acquisition might suggest that redistribution to the sightless of one eye by lottery would not be so bad. Can believers in self-ownership convince themselves that there is an important difference between the luck of the eye-tree and the luck of the genetic draw?” - G. A. Cohen, Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality, 1995

  Thomson’s People Seeds   2018  JPG  “Suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don’t want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective; and a seed drifts in and takes root.” - Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”, 1971

Thomson’s People Seeds

2018

JPG

“Suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don’t want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective; and a seed drifts in and takes root.” - Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”, 1971

  Thomson’s Expanding Child   2018  JPG  “Suppose you find yourself trapped in a tiny house with a growing child. I mean a very tiny house, and a rapidly growing child—you are already up against the wall of the house and in a few minutes you’ll be crushed to death. The child on the other hand won’t be crushed to death; if nothing is done to stop him from growing he’ll be hurt, but in the end he’ll simply burst open the house and walk out a free man.” - Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”, 1971

Thomson’s Expanding Child

2018

JPG

“Suppose you find yourself trapped in a tiny house with a growing child. I mean a very tiny house, and a rapidly growing child—you are already up against the wall of the house and in a few minutes you’ll be crushed to death. The child on the other hand won’t be crushed to death; if nothing is done to stop him from growing he’ll be hurt, but in the end he’ll simply burst open the house and walk out a free man.” - Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”, 1971

  Bennett’s Surgeon   2018  JPG  “[A] surgeon intends the child’s head to be crushed but does not intend it to die, for the crushing does not absolutely, conceptually entail the dying: there are worlds where God steps in and restores the ruined head to its former condition, and others where crushing a head is the first step in a helpful curative procedure.” - Jonathan Bennett,  The Act Itself , 1995

Bennett’s Surgeon

2018

JPG

“[A] surgeon intends the child’s head to be crushed but does not intend it to die, for the crushing does not absolutely, conceptually entail the dying: there are worlds where God steps in and restores the ruined head to its former condition, and others where crushing a head is the first step in a helpful curative procedure.” - Jonathan Bennett, The Act Itself, 1995

  Nye’s Bazooka   2018  JPG  “You, Bugsy and the five are tied to three parallel trolley tracks, and empty trolleys are heading down each track. You have a bazooka with only two rounds, giving you three options: (1) blow up the trolleys heading towards the five and Bugsy, in which case only you will die; (2) blow up the trolleys heading towards the five and you, in which case only Bugsy will die; or (3) blow up the trolleys heading towards Bugsy and you, in which case only the five will die.” - Howard Nye, “On the Equivalence of Trolleys and Transplants: The Lack of Intrinsic Difference between ‘Collateral Damage’ and Intended Harm”, 2014

Nye’s Bazooka

2018

JPG

“You, Bugsy and the five are tied to three parallel trolley tracks, and empty trolleys are heading down each track. You have a bazooka with only two rounds, giving you three options: (1) blow up the trolleys heading towards the five and Bugsy, in which case only you will die; (2) blow up the trolleys heading towards the five and you, in which case only Bugsy will die; or (3) blow up the trolleys heading towards Bugsy and you, in which case only the five will die.” - Howard Nye, “On the Equivalence of Trolleys and Transplants: The Lack of Intrinsic Difference between ‘Collateral Damage’ and Intended Harm”, 2014

  Bennett’s Arsonist   2018  JPG  “The arsonist who does not intend the building to be permanently destroyed, just that it be reduced to ashes long enough for the insurance company to pay up.” - Jonathan Bennett,  The Act Itself , 1995

Bennett’s Arsonist

2018

JPG

“The arsonist who does not intend the building to be permanently destroyed, just that it be reduced to ashes long enough for the insurance company to pay up.” - Jonathan Bennett, The Act Itself, 1995

  Goldman’s Lava   2018  JPG  “Suppose that the mountain erupts, leaving lava around the countryside. The lava remains there until S perceives it and infers that the mountain erupted. Then S does know that the mountain erupted. But now suppose that, after the mountain had erupted, a man somehow removes all the lava. A century later, a different man (not knowing of the real volcano) decides to make it look as if there had been a volcano, and therefore puts lava in appropriate places. Still later, S comes across this lava and concludes that the mountain erupted centuries ago. In this case, S cannot be said to know the proposition.” - Alvin I. Goldman, “A Causal Theory of Knowing”, 1967

Goldman’s Lava

2018

JPG

“Suppose that the mountain erupts, leaving lava around the countryside. The lava remains there until S perceives it and infers that the mountain erupted. Then S does know that the mountain erupted. But now suppose that, after the mountain had erupted, a man somehow removes all the lava. A century later, a different man (not knowing of the real volcano) decides to make it look as if there had been a volcano, and therefore puts lava in appropriate places. Still later, S comes across this lava and concludes that the mountain erupted centuries ago. In this case, S cannot be said to know the proposition.” - Alvin I. Goldman, “A Causal Theory of Knowing”, 1967

  Huemer’s Bar Tab   2018  JPG  “You have gone out for drinks with a few of your colleagues and graduate students. You are all busy talking about philosophy, when someone raises the question of who is going to pay the bill. A number of options are discussed. A colleague suggests dividing the bill evenly among everyone at the table. You suggest that everyone pay for his own drinks. A graduate student then suggests that you pay for everybody’s drinks. Reluctant to spend so much money you decline. But the student persists: ‘Let’s take a vote.’ To your consternation they proceed to take the vote, which reveals that everyone at the table except you wants you to pay for everybody’s drinks.” - Michael Huemer,  The Problem of Political Authority , 2013

Huemer’s Bar Tab

2018

JPG

“You have gone out for drinks with a few of your colleagues and graduate students. You are all busy talking about philosophy, when someone raises the question of who is going to pay the bill. A number of options are discussed. A colleague suggests dividing the bill evenly among everyone at the table. You suggest that everyone pay for his own drinks. A graduate student then suggests that you pay for everybody’s drinks. Reluctant to spend so much money you decline. But the student persists: ‘Let’s take a vote.’ To your consternation they proceed to take the vote, which reveals that everyone at the table except you wants you to pay for everybody’s drinks.” - Michael Huemer, The Problem of Political Authority, 2013

  Rawls' Original Position   2018  JPG  "The idea of the original position is to set up a fair procedure so that any principles agreed to will be just. The aim is to use the notion of pure procedural justice as a basis of theory. Somehow we must nullify the effects of specific contingencies which put men at odds and tempt them to exploit social and natural circumstances to their own advantage. Now in order to do this I assume that the parties are situated behind a veil of ignorance. They do not know how the various alternatives will affect their own particular case and they are obliged to evaluate principles solely on the basis of general considerations." - John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, 1971

Rawls' Original Position

2018

JPG

"The idea of the original position is to set up a fair procedure so that any principles agreed to will be just. The aim is to use the notion of pure procedural justice as a basis of theory. Somehow we must nullify the effects of specific contingencies which put men at odds and tempt them to exploit social and natural circumstances to their own advantage. Now in order to do this I assume that the parties are situated behind a veil of ignorance. They do not know how the various alternatives will affect their own particular case and they are obliged to evaluate principles solely on the basis of general considerations." - John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, 1971

  Locke's Prince and the Cobbler   2018  JPG  "If the soul of a prince, carrying with it the consciousness of the prince’s past life, were to enter and inform the body of a cobbler who has been deserted by his own soul, everyone sees that he would be the same person as the prince, accountable only for the prince’s actions; but who would say it was the same man?" - John Locke,  An Essay Concerning Human Understanding , 1689

Locke's Prince and the Cobbler

2018

JPG

"If the soul of a prince, carrying with it the consciousness of the prince’s past life, were to enter and inform the body of a cobbler who has been deserted by his own soul, everyone sees that he would be the same person as the prince, accountable only for the prince’s actions; but who would say it was the same man?" - John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1689

  Smith's Invisible Hand   2018  JPG  "[The rich] consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity…they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species." - Adam Smith,  The Theory Of Moral Sentiments , 1759

Smith's Invisible Hand

2018

JPG

"[The rich] consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity…they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species." - Adam Smith, The Theory Of Moral Sentiments, 1759

  Zwolinski's Fence   2018  JPG  "If I put a fence around a piece of land that had previously been open to all to use, claim it as my own, and announce to all that I will use violence against any who walk upon it without my consent, it would certainly appear as though I am the one initiating force (or at least the threat of force) against others. I am restricting their liberty to move about as they were once free to do.I am doing so by threatening them with physical violence unless they comply with my demands. And I am doing so not in response to any provocation on their part but simply so that I might be better able to utilize the resource without their interference." - Matt Zwolinski, "Property Rights, Coercion, and the Welfare State", 2015

Zwolinski's Fence

2018

JPG

"If I put a fence around a piece of land that had previously been open to all to use, claim it as my own, and announce to all that I will use violence against any who walk upon it without my consent, it would certainly appear as though I am the one initiating force (or at least the threat of force) against others. I am restricting their liberty to move about as they were once free to do.I am doing so by threatening them with physical violence unless they comply with my demands. And I am doing so not in response to any provocation on their part but simply so that I might be better able to utilize the resource without their interference." - Matt Zwolinski, "Property Rights, Coercion, and the Welfare State", 2015

  Graeber's Well   2018  JPG  "There’s a town where water is monopolised and the mayor is in bed with the company that monopolises the water. If you were to protest in front of the mayor’s house, that’s protest, and if you were to blockade the mayor’s house, it’s civil disobedience, but it’s still not direct action. Direct action is when you just go and dig your own well, because that’s what people would normally do if they didn’t have water." - David Graeber, "Interview with David Graeber", 2011

Graeber's Well

2018

JPG

"There’s a town where water is monopolised and the mayor is in bed with the company that monopolises the water. If you were to protest in front of the mayor’s house, that’s protest, and if you were to blockade the mayor’s house, it’s civil disobedience, but it’s still not direct action. Direct action is when you just go and dig your own well, because that’s what people would normally do if they didn’t have water." - David Graeber, "Interview with David Graeber", 2011

  Roko's Basilisk   2018  JPG  "If a positive singularity does occur, the resultant singleton may have precommitted to punish all potential donors who knew about existential risks but who didn't give 100% of their disposable incomes to x-risk motivation. This would act as an incentive to get people to donate more to reducing existential risk, and thereby increase the chances of a positive singularity. [...] So a post-singularity world may be a world of fun and plenty for the people who are currently ignoring the problem, whilst being a living hell for a significant fraction of current existential risk reducers [...]. You could take this possibility into account and give even more to x-risk in an effort to avoid being punished. But of course, if you're thinking like that, then the CEV-singleton is even more likely to want to punish you." - Roko, "Solutions to the Altruist's burden: the Quantum Billionaire Trick", 2010

Roko's Basilisk

2018

JPG

"If a positive singularity does occur, the resultant singleton may have precommitted to punish all potential donors who knew about existential risks but who didn't give 100% of their disposable incomes to x-risk motivation. This would act as an incentive to get people to donate more to reducing existential risk, and thereby increase the chances of a positive singularity. [...] So a post-singularity world may be a world of fun and plenty for the people who are currently ignoring the problem, whilst being a living hell for a significant fraction of current existential risk reducers [...]. You could take this possibility into account and give even more to x-risk in an effort to avoid being punished. But of course, if you're thinking like that, then the CEV-singleton is even more likely to want to punish you." - Roko, "Solutions to the Altruist's burden: the Quantum Billionaire Trick", 2010

  Fukuyama's End of History   2018  JPG  What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." - Francis Fukuyama,  The End of History and the Last Man , 1992

Fukuyama's End of History

2018

JPG

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." - Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, 1992

  Wilderson's End of the World   2018  JPG  “A lot of repression happens on the level of representation, which then infiltrates the unconscious of both the black and the white person…Since these structures are ontological, they cannot be resolved (there is no way of changing this unless the world as we know it comes an end…)." - Frank B. Wilderson III, seminar titled “Sentient Objects and the Crisis of Critical Theory,” 2006

Wilderson's End of the World

2018

JPG

“A lot of repression happens on the level of representation, which then infiltrates the unconscious of both the black and the white person…Since these structures are ontological, they cannot be resolved (there is no way of changing this unless the world as we know it comes an end…)." - Frank B. Wilderson III, seminar titled “Sentient Objects and the Crisis of Critical Theory,” 2006

  Cohen’s Ocular Tree   2018  JPG  “Suppose that people are born with empty eye sockets (because a radiation-originating disease destroyed the genes for eyes)… but most, a bare majority, have eyes that fall into their sockets while they pass under the ocular trees, while others, a minority, do not. […] The accidentality of the acquisition might suggest that redistribution to the sightless of one eye by lottery would not be so bad. Can believers in self-ownership convince themselves that there is an important difference between the luck of the eye-tree and the luck of the genetic draw?” - G. A. Cohen,  Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality , 1995
  Thomson’s People Seeds   2018  JPG  “Suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don’t want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective; and a seed drifts in and takes root.” - Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”, 1971
  Thomson’s Expanding Child   2018  JPG  “Suppose you find yourself trapped in a tiny house with a growing child. I mean a very tiny house, and a rapidly growing child—you are already up against the wall of the house and in a few minutes you’ll be crushed to death. The child on the other hand won’t be crushed to death; if nothing is done to stop him from growing he’ll be hurt, but in the end he’ll simply burst open the house and walk out a free man.” - Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”, 1971
  Bennett’s Surgeon   2018  JPG  “[A] surgeon intends the child’s head to be crushed but does not intend it to die, for the crushing does not absolutely, conceptually entail the dying: there are worlds where God steps in and restores the ruined head to its former condition, and others where crushing a head is the first step in a helpful curative procedure.” - Jonathan Bennett,  The Act Itself , 1995
  Nye’s Bazooka   2018  JPG  “You, Bugsy and the five are tied to three parallel trolley tracks, and empty trolleys are heading down each track. You have a bazooka with only two rounds, giving you three options: (1) blow up the trolleys heading towards the five and Bugsy, in which case only you will die; (2) blow up the trolleys heading towards the five and you, in which case only Bugsy will die; or (3) blow up the trolleys heading towards Bugsy and you, in which case only the five will die.” - Howard Nye, “On the Equivalence of Trolleys and Transplants: The Lack of Intrinsic Difference between ‘Collateral Damage’ and Intended Harm”, 2014
  Bennett’s Arsonist   2018  JPG  “The arsonist who does not intend the building to be permanently destroyed, just that it be reduced to ashes long enough for the insurance company to pay up.” - Jonathan Bennett,  The Act Itself , 1995
  Goldman’s Lava   2018  JPG  “Suppose that the mountain erupts, leaving lava around the countryside. The lava remains there until S perceives it and infers that the mountain erupted. Then S does know that the mountain erupted. But now suppose that, after the mountain had erupted, a man somehow removes all the lava. A century later, a different man (not knowing of the real volcano) decides to make it look as if there had been a volcano, and therefore puts lava in appropriate places. Still later, S comes across this lava and concludes that the mountain erupted centuries ago. In this case, S cannot be said to know the proposition.” - Alvin I. Goldman, “A Causal Theory of Knowing”, 1967
  Huemer’s Bar Tab   2018  JPG  “You have gone out for drinks with a few of your colleagues and graduate students. You are all busy talking about philosophy, when someone raises the question of who is going to pay the bill. A number of options are discussed. A colleague suggests dividing the bill evenly among everyone at the table. You suggest that everyone pay for his own drinks. A graduate student then suggests that you pay for everybody’s drinks. Reluctant to spend so much money you decline. But the student persists: ‘Let’s take a vote.’ To your consternation they proceed to take the vote, which reveals that everyone at the table except you wants you to pay for everybody’s drinks.” - Michael Huemer,  The Problem of Political Authority , 2013
  Rawls' Original Position   2018  JPG  "The idea of the original position is to set up a fair procedure so that any principles agreed to will be just. The aim is to use the notion of pure procedural justice as a basis of theory. Somehow we must nullify the effects of specific contingencies which put men at odds and tempt them to exploit social and natural circumstances to their own advantage. Now in order to do this I assume that the parties are situated behind a veil of ignorance. They do not know how the various alternatives will affect their own particular case and they are obliged to evaluate principles solely on the basis of general considerations." - John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, 1971
  Locke's Prince and the Cobbler   2018  JPG  "If the soul of a prince, carrying with it the consciousness of the prince’s past life, were to enter and inform the body of a cobbler who has been deserted by his own soul, everyone sees that he would be the same person as the prince, accountable only for the prince’s actions; but who would say it was the same man?" - John Locke,  An Essay Concerning Human Understanding , 1689
  Smith's Invisible Hand   2018  JPG  "[The rich] consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity…they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species." - Adam Smith,  The Theory Of Moral Sentiments , 1759
  Zwolinski's Fence   2018  JPG  "If I put a fence around a piece of land that had previously been open to all to use, claim it as my own, and announce to all that I will use violence against any who walk upon it without my consent, it would certainly appear as though I am the one initiating force (or at least the threat of force) against others. I am restricting their liberty to move about as they were once free to do.I am doing so by threatening them with physical violence unless they comply with my demands. And I am doing so not in response to any provocation on their part but simply so that I might be better able to utilize the resource without their interference." - Matt Zwolinski, "Property Rights, Coercion, and the Welfare State", 2015
  Graeber's Well   2018  JPG  "There’s a town where water is monopolised and the mayor is in bed with the company that monopolises the water. If you were to protest in front of the mayor’s house, that’s protest, and if you were to blockade the mayor’s house, it’s civil disobedience, but it’s still not direct action. Direct action is when you just go and dig your own well, because that’s what people would normally do if they didn’t have water." - David Graeber, "Interview with David Graeber", 2011
  Roko's Basilisk   2018  JPG  "If a positive singularity does occur, the resultant singleton may have precommitted to punish all potential donors who knew about existential risks but who didn't give 100% of their disposable incomes to x-risk motivation. This would act as an incentive to get people to donate more to reducing existential risk, and thereby increase the chances of a positive singularity. [...] So a post-singularity world may be a world of fun and plenty for the people who are currently ignoring the problem, whilst being a living hell for a significant fraction of current existential risk reducers [...]. You could take this possibility into account and give even more to x-risk in an effort to avoid being punished. But of course, if you're thinking like that, then the CEV-singleton is even more likely to want to punish you." - Roko, "Solutions to the Altruist's burden: the Quantum Billionaire Trick", 2010
  Fukuyama's End of History   2018  JPG  What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." - Francis Fukuyama,  The End of History and the Last Man , 1992
  Wilderson's End of the World   2018  JPG  “A lot of repression happens on the level of representation, which then infiltrates the unconscious of both the black and the white person…Since these structures are ontological, they cannot be resolved (there is no way of changing this unless the world as we know it comes an end…)." - Frank B. Wilderson III, seminar titled “Sentient Objects and the Crisis of Critical Theory,” 2006

Cohen’s Ocular Tree

2018

JPG

“Suppose that people are born with empty eye sockets (because a radiation-originating disease destroyed the genes for eyes)… but most, a bare majority, have eyes that fall into their sockets while they pass under the ocular trees, while others, a minority, do not. […] The accidentality of the acquisition might suggest that redistribution to the sightless of one eye by lottery would not be so bad. Can believers in self-ownership convince themselves that there is an important difference between the luck of the eye-tree and the luck of the genetic draw?” - G. A. Cohen, Self-Ownership, Freedom and Equality, 1995

Thomson’s People Seeds

2018

JPG

“Suppose it were like this: people-seeds drift about in the air like pollen, and if you open your windows, one may drift in and take root in your carpets or upholstery. You don’t want children, so you fix up your windows with fine mesh screens, the very best you can buy. As can happen, however, and on very, very rare occasions does happen, one of the screens is defective; and a seed drifts in and takes root.” - Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”, 1971

Thomson’s Expanding Child

2018

JPG

“Suppose you find yourself trapped in a tiny house with a growing child. I mean a very tiny house, and a rapidly growing child—you are already up against the wall of the house and in a few minutes you’ll be crushed to death. The child on the other hand won’t be crushed to death; if nothing is done to stop him from growing he’ll be hurt, but in the end he’ll simply burst open the house and walk out a free man.” - Judith Jarvis Thomson, “A Defense of Abortion”, 1971

Bennett’s Surgeon

2018

JPG

“[A] surgeon intends the child’s head to be crushed but does not intend it to die, for the crushing does not absolutely, conceptually entail the dying: there are worlds where God steps in and restores the ruined head to its former condition, and others where crushing a head is the first step in a helpful curative procedure.” - Jonathan Bennett, The Act Itself, 1995

Nye’s Bazooka

2018

JPG

“You, Bugsy and the five are tied to three parallel trolley tracks, and empty trolleys are heading down each track. You have a bazooka with only two rounds, giving you three options: (1) blow up the trolleys heading towards the five and Bugsy, in which case only you will die; (2) blow up the trolleys heading towards the five and you, in which case only Bugsy will die; or (3) blow up the trolleys heading towards Bugsy and you, in which case only the five will die.” - Howard Nye, “On the Equivalence of Trolleys and Transplants: The Lack of Intrinsic Difference between ‘Collateral Damage’ and Intended Harm”, 2014

Bennett’s Arsonist

2018

JPG

“The arsonist who does not intend the building to be permanently destroyed, just that it be reduced to ashes long enough for the insurance company to pay up.” - Jonathan Bennett, The Act Itself, 1995

Goldman’s Lava

2018

JPG

“Suppose that the mountain erupts, leaving lava around the countryside. The lava remains there until S perceives it and infers that the mountain erupted. Then S does know that the mountain erupted. But now suppose that, after the mountain had erupted, a man somehow removes all the lava. A century later, a different man (not knowing of the real volcano) decides to make it look as if there had been a volcano, and therefore puts lava in appropriate places. Still later, S comes across this lava and concludes that the mountain erupted centuries ago. In this case, S cannot be said to know the proposition.” - Alvin I. Goldman, “A Causal Theory of Knowing”, 1967

Huemer’s Bar Tab

2018

JPG

“You have gone out for drinks with a few of your colleagues and graduate students. You are all busy talking about philosophy, when someone raises the question of who is going to pay the bill. A number of options are discussed. A colleague suggests dividing the bill evenly among everyone at the table. You suggest that everyone pay for his own drinks. A graduate student then suggests that you pay for everybody’s drinks. Reluctant to spend so much money you decline. But the student persists: ‘Let’s take a vote.’ To your consternation they proceed to take the vote, which reveals that everyone at the table except you wants you to pay for everybody’s drinks.” - Michael Huemer, The Problem of Political Authority, 2013

Rawls' Original Position

2018

JPG

"The idea of the original position is to set up a fair procedure so that any principles agreed to will be just. The aim is to use the notion of pure procedural justice as a basis of theory. Somehow we must nullify the effects of specific contingencies which put men at odds and tempt them to exploit social and natural circumstances to their own advantage. Now in order to do this I assume that the parties are situated behind a veil of ignorance. They do not know how the various alternatives will affect their own particular case and they are obliged to evaluate principles solely on the basis of general considerations." - John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, 1971

Locke's Prince and the Cobbler

2018

JPG

"If the soul of a prince, carrying with it the consciousness of the prince’s past life, were to enter and inform the body of a cobbler who has been deserted by his own soul, everyone sees that he would be the same person as the prince, accountable only for the prince’s actions; but who would say it was the same man?" - John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding, 1689

Smith's Invisible Hand

2018

JPG

"[The rich] consume little more than the poor, and in spite of their natural selfishness and rapacity…they divide with the poor the produce of all their improvements. They are led by an invisible hand to make nearly the same distribution of the necessaries of life, which would have been made, had the earth been divided into equal portions among all its inhabitants, and thus without intending it, without knowing it, advance the interest of the society, and afford means to the multiplication of the species." - Adam Smith, The Theory Of Moral Sentiments, 1759

Zwolinski's Fence

2018

JPG

"If I put a fence around a piece of land that had previously been open to all to use, claim it as my own, and announce to all that I will use violence against any who walk upon it without my consent, it would certainly appear as though I am the one initiating force (or at least the threat of force) against others. I am restricting their liberty to move about as they were once free to do.I am doing so by threatening them with physical violence unless they comply with my demands. And I am doing so not in response to any provocation on their part but simply so that I might be better able to utilize the resource without their interference." - Matt Zwolinski, "Property Rights, Coercion, and the Welfare State", 2015

Graeber's Well

2018

JPG

"There’s a town where water is monopolised and the mayor is in bed with the company that monopolises the water. If you were to protest in front of the mayor’s house, that’s protest, and if you were to blockade the mayor’s house, it’s civil disobedience, but it’s still not direct action. Direct action is when you just go and dig your own well, because that’s what people would normally do if they didn’t have water." - David Graeber, "Interview with David Graeber", 2011

Roko's Basilisk

2018

JPG

"If a positive singularity does occur, the resultant singleton may have precommitted to punish all potential donors who knew about existential risks but who didn't give 100% of their disposable incomes to x-risk motivation. This would act as an incentive to get people to donate more to reducing existential risk, and thereby increase the chances of a positive singularity. [...] So a post-singularity world may be a world of fun and plenty for the people who are currently ignoring the problem, whilst being a living hell for a significant fraction of current existential risk reducers [...]. You could take this possibility into account and give even more to x-risk in an effort to avoid being punished. But of course, if you're thinking like that, then the CEV-singleton is even more likely to want to punish you." - Roko, "Solutions to the Altruist's burden: the Quantum Billionaire Trick", 2010

Fukuyama's End of History

2018

JPG

What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of post-war history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." - Francis Fukuyama, The End of History and the Last Man, 1992

Wilderson's End of the World

2018

JPG

“A lot of repression happens on the level of representation, which then infiltrates the unconscious of both the black and the white person…Since these structures are ontological, they cannot be resolved (there is no way of changing this unless the world as we know it comes an end…)." - Frank B. Wilderson III, seminar titled “Sentient Objects and the Crisis of Critical Theory,” 2006

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