Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

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artisticsolution
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by artisticsolution » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:16 pm

Hi H and W, I am a little confused as to what you are saying. So...are you saying that Frankfort is saying egalitarian ideas are not moral but anti egalitarian ideals are?

The reason I ask is because H said that the egalitarian ideal wants all to be blind. But why does it have to be that way? Why couldn't it just as well work that all the world could see?

I also don't understand why when W implied that egalitarianism is altruism thus "bad" vs anti egalitarianism therefore must be good? Sorry if I misunderstood...I need more information than just one sentence to grasp what you are saying W.

I hope you two understand what I am saying. It seems to me when it comes to morality, we must have a starting point of what it means. I was under the impression that what it means to be moral is to better our collective selves for the benefit of our well being and our existence. But it seems as if you are saying it is up to each to decide for themselves what is good for them. Then if that is the case ...murder would be moral for some?

Just trying to clarify. ...

artisticsolution
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by artisticsolution » Tue Jun 17, 2014 11:14 pm

the Hessian wrote:
artisticsolution wrote:The real issue still stands that 'blindness is bad' per se...it matters not who is blind and who is not. It matters only that there are blind and that it is better to have sight than to be blind.
But that is exactly his point.
Then how does his point differ from the egalitarian ideal? How does it differ from Obama's point?

morganna swish
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by morganna swish » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:30 pm

Wyman wrote:
In his desire for equality, there is no affirmation by a person of himself. On the contrary, a concern for being equal to others tends to alienate
people from themselves. It leads them to define their goals in
terms that are set by considerations other than the specific
requirements of their own personal nature and of their own
circumstances. It tends to distract them from recognizing that
their most authentic ambitions are those that derive from the
character of their own lives and not those that are imposed
upon them by the conditions in which others happen to live
If the desire is to have equal opportunity to eg have access to information, what has self-affirmation got to do with it? Why would it lead to alienation?
If the goal is to have equal resources for further knowledge, how is it not based on consideration for own specific needs ?

Why is this requirement for equal access to a resource not an 'authentic ambition' - whatever that means? What on earth is 'the character' of someone's own life?
How come an ambition to read the same article as someone else is 'imposed' by the conditions of another's life?

None of this is making any sense to me.

Wishing for 'equality' is not necesarily about 'being' equal to others; that is probably not even possible.

morganna swish
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by morganna swish » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:42 pm

the Hessian wrote:
His thesis is actually that there is no intrinsic moral value in the egalitarian ideal.
OK, being unequal in my understanding, I don't need to know, but I would like to know what is meant by 'the egalitarian ideal'.

If it is some kind of a wish that all people be equal, then that is a wish only. Where does this wish stem from, and is it realistic ? I would say No.

If it is a wish that people be given equal opportunity, this implies a political or social aim - to even up the playing field. There would be some moral value inherent in this, no?

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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by morganna swish » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:55 pm

tbieter wrote:
tbieter wrote:http://www.akira.ruc.dk/~fkt/filosofi/A ... espect.pdf
I solicit your comments on this article.
WASHINGTON — President Obama sought to revive the issue of growing income equality on Wednesday, saying it restricts economic mobility and threatens to shrink the middle class.

"I believe this is the defining challenge of our time," Obama said in a speech at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, a pro-Obama think tank. "It drives everything I do in this office."
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... s/3867747/

Frankfurt is a philosopher.

Obama is a politician
.
What is your point?

artisticsolution
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by artisticsolution » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:39 pm

Thanks M! Your questions are sooo much better than mine. I wish I could be a precise and focus with my thoughts. I was thinking the same things but because I couldn't grasp my head around the whole point of it all...I didn't even know where to begin to start. That is why I play 20 questions...to see if there was more substance.

I am very sensitive to arguments taken from the Bush playbook. I never understood them and never will...I guess. But I keep trying to pump more substance that I can get a better understanding. But So far...no one has explained it in a way that makes sense to me...that is...morally speaking. I am still stuck in the thinking that you can't make good happen from bad actions....that is in the long run. But I do notice throughout history how many try their hardest. 'Good' so far has always won out in the end*...the fighting continues. This quote sums it up well:

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

History of mankind going to war expecting good outcomes and so far the only thing that follows is more war.

The thought "I must protect Mankind by killing Mankind" never made much sense to me. And I am so overwhelmed in my country...by those on the right...who are now saying that Obama should go back to Iraq in order to make the US more safe just is like rubbing a raw nerve.

Have they not seen that at least trying to do the right thing has had marginally better results in general than to pick a fight with the 'country de jour". Imagine if we did not pick a fight for generations...like Sweden? Is there a chance we would all have a better life? Is there a chance that non violence would rub off on the middle east in the long run?

If going to war over and over again and getting the same results morally speaking...which is more war...then why not do something different. We might get different results. Just saying.

Anyway, when I read frankfurt...it just reminded me of the conservative way of thinking and it chaffed my already raw nerves on the subject. I admit...I didn't give it a fair shake...perhaps if I understood it better I would see my error. So thanks for asking questions the way only you can ask :)

Here's to hope and change.

*I must clarify that the good that has come about was not due to the fighting but a direct response to the stopping of such wars...imo." I believe it is the idea of war and the underlying corresponding philosophy regarding the reasons mankind desire for more war that debases us collectively. It stems from a confusing set of ideals...such as the ideas that franfurt and conservatives so often espouse...which if actively used against them...they would not like....but the ones they always turn to for "preemptive" strikes (so to speak) which may or may not have anything to do with war. It's just the main premise which is ambiguous and thus can turn on them in a hurry.

An example of this is how Fox news has been trying from day one to undermine the Obama's presidency by creating the "tea party" (a direct response to the Bush fiasco as after him...they could not hold their heads up and say they were republicans...but a rose by any other name...) Anyway....they stirred their party into an antigoverment/obama frenzy and now what has come of it? So much distrust of the government that armmed militia has arisen and is actively fighting a war against our laws by shooting or threatening to shoot law enforcement officers when they try to uphold the law (I am speaking of the Bundy BLM thing recently in particular but also all over the nation people are buying more guns with which to fight the government...directly thanks to fox news who made them believe that Obama was coming for their guns. Even though Obama has never said anything of the sort...in fact he's said the opposite. )

Anyway, if you notice...it's still in the line of thinking that kindness = weakness and war = saving mankind. It just doesn't make since...

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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by morganna swish » Wed Jun 18, 2014 7:36 pm

AS: Thanks M! Your questions are sooo much better than mine. I wish I could be a precise and focus with my thoughts. I was thinking the same things but because I couldn't grasp my head around the whole point of it all...I didn't even know where to begin to start. That is why I play 20 questions...to see if there was more substance.

M: Don't know that my questions are any better, just different. I started with the quote (W) and tried to get to grips with what the heck each sentence/word meant. Also, the 'thesis' (H), thanks both.

AS: I am very sensitive to arguments taken from the Bush playbook.

M: I had no idea of such a connection. Actually, what is the 'Bush playbook' :oops:

AS: "I must protect Mankind by killing Mankind" never made much sense to me.

M: Where is Harry saying this? You're losing me...

AS: I admit...I didn't give it [the article ] a fair shake...perhaps if I understood it better I would see my error. So thanks for asking questions the way only you can ask :)

M: I did wonder at the speed of reaction/response ! Everybody has their own questions, perspectives and ways of asking. Hope that someone will be patient with ours - and perhaps change our understanding - for the better :wink:
There might be a 'yes, yes, yes' moment...of the yummy kind.


AS: I believe it is the idea of war and the underlying corresponding philosophy regarding the reasons mankind desire for more war that debases us collectively.
It stems from a confusing set of ideals...such as the ideas that franfurt and conservatives so often espouse...which if actively used against them...they would not like....but the ones they always turn to for "preemptive" strikes (so to speak) which may or may not have anything to do with war.

M: Oh, heck - here is the connection between Harry and conservatives again. I'm only dealing with that one quote. Seems like I've a lot to learn...

Like: What is '... the main premise which is ambiguous and thus can turn on them in a hurry.' ?

AS:Anyway, if you notice...it's still in the line of thinking that kindness = weakness and war = saving mankind. It just doesn't make since...

M: No, not seeing it, I'm afraid...
Think I'll wait for further clarification.

artisticsolution
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by artisticsolution » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:05 am

AS: I am very sensitive to arguments taken from the Bush playbook.

M: I had no idea of such a connection. Actually, what is the 'Bush playbook' :oops:

AS The Bush Cheney playbook is just a term used as a general overall guide to their conservative ideals...which we all know how well they played out for the world....a decade later the world is still reeling over the effects.

AS: "I must protect Mankind by killing Mankind" never made much sense to me.

M: Where is Harry saying this? You're losing me...

AS: That is why I admit I probably didn't give him a fair shake. Because his words remind me of the way most of the conservatives I know (who once were republican but went to the tea party after the bush /cheney playbook disaster...and now believe the mess was all caused because bush was too liberal....so of course the answer is to go even more to the right :roll: Sorry...I go off on a tangent cause I just cant wrap my head around it....just seems like the craziest thinking to me. I don't get how seemingly normal nice people can think like this...it really weirds me out....lol.

Then I hear things like this from frankfurt:

"In addition to equality of resources and equality of welfare,
several other modes of equality may be distinguished: equality
of opportunity, equal respect, equal rights, equal consideration,
equal concern, and so on. My view is that none of these
modes of equality is intrinsically valuable. Hence, 1 maintain
that none of the egalitarian ideals corresponding to them has
any underived moral worth. Once various conceptual misunderstandings
and confusions are dispelled, it appears finally
that equality as such is of no moral importance."

And it's the same exact crazy I hear from my family and friends. Of course follow by racist, sexist, war mongering etc. remarks. I am saying I may have been wrong about frankfurt but it is because I have an exposed nerve now from constantly having to condense a million page argument into one little poignant sentence/catch phrase because that is the only way they are able to grasp a complex thought. I know that sounds conceited but it's not...it's just that I am tired. It's really really hard. Let me give you an example of what I go through every single day...

Tea party-er: Damn Mexicans coming over here having them anchor babies so they can stay in america and get our healthcare and social security for free! They should send the lot of them back to Mexico.

What AS wants to say:

1. According to our laws, people born in the US are legal US citizens.

2.I don't think immigrants can get social security or free health care but they should be able to as no one should have to suffer. But by our laws they are entitled to emergency care. At least there is a little compassion.

3.It would be more expensive to round them all up send them all back than it would be to grant them amnesty. Plus not to mention they would get back somehow or someway...because they have a will...and where there is a will there is a way.

4.You'd probably do the same in the same situation.

5. ...and so onto my bigger soapbox....lol. (Sorry but the offense I take at such statements sends my head reeling at all that is wrong with the above anchor baby remark!)

What AS really says (because they only have the attention span of a gnat...and thats coming from me...who has no attention span!): Don't blame the child for the sins of the parent (Although I don't think coming to america is a sin.It's just that a one liner is the only thing to stop them and get them to think a tad bit about what they are saying. It simply breaking a law that is the stupidest anti freedom law I have ever heard of...that we can espoused the sentiment on the statue of liberty about 'give me your tired and poor...'and then have a law like that...is stupid. Sorry.)

AS: I admit...I didn't give it [the article ] a fair shake...perhaps if I understood it better I would see my error. So thanks for asking questions the way only you can ask :)

M: I did wonder at the speed of reaction/response ! Everybody has their own questions, perspectives and ways of asking. Hope that someone will be patient with ours - and perhaps change our understanding - for the better :wink:
There might be a 'yes, yes, yes' moment...of the yummy kind.

AS: That's all I'm asking. I shouldn't have gotten all up in frankfurt's face until I understand him better.

morganna swish
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by morganna swish » Thu Jun 19, 2014 5:52 am

Thanks, AS, for your explanation and providing the quote.
Your passion is clear; I'm nowhere near that point.
In fact, staying in a pub in this fine weather...well, it's not my cuppa tea.

Later....

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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:51 pm

tbieter wrote:http://www.akira.ruc.dk/~fkt/filosofi/A ... espect.pdf
I solicit your comments on this article.
As far as I'm concerned Mr. Harry Frankfurt is simply rationalizing as his station affords. His understanding of what having less entails is juvenile at best.

Edit: Typo
Last edited by SpheresOfBalance on Fri Jun 20, 2014 1:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:54 pm

tbieter wrote:
tbieter wrote:http://www.akira.ruc.dk/~fkt/filosofi/A ... espect.pdf
I solicit your comments on this article.
WASHINGTON — President Obama sought to revive the issue of growing income equality on Wednesday, saying it restricts economic mobility and threatens to shrink the middle class.

"I believe this is the defining challenge of our time," Obama said in a speech at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, a pro-Obama think tank. "It drives everything I do in this office."
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... s/3867747/

Frankfurt is a philosopher.

Obama is a politician.
Yes, but in this particular case it would seem that the politician trumps a philosopher, in terms of intelligence.

the Hessian
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by the Hessian » Thu Jun 19, 2014 10:59 pm

SpheresOfBalance wrote:
tbieter wrote:
tbieter wrote:http://www.akira.ruc.dk/~fkt/filosofi/A ... espect.pdf
I solicit your comments on this article.
WASHINGTON — President Obama sought to revive the issue of growing income equality on Wednesday, saying it restricts economic mobility and threatens to shrink the middle class.

"I believe this is the defining challenge of our time," Obama said in a speech at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, a pro-Obama think tank. "It drives everything I do in this office."
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... s/3867747/

Frankfurt is a philosopher.

Obama is a politician.
Yes, but in this particular case it would seem that the politician trumps a philosopher, in terms of intelligence.
Is Obama talking the issue of growing income equality on pragmatic or moral grounds? Apples and Oranges?

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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by SpheresOfBalance » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:06 pm

tbieter wrote:http://www.akira.ruc.dk/~fkt/filosofi/A ... espect.pdf
I solicit your comments on this article.
the Hessian wrote:
SpheresOfBalance wrote:
tbieter wrote:
WASHINGTON — President Obama sought to revive the issue of growing income equality on Wednesday, saying it restricts economic mobility and threatens to shrink the middle class.

"I believe this is the defining challenge of our time," Obama said in a speech at an event hosted by the Center for American Progress, a pro-Obama think tank. "It drives everything I do in this office."
http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/poli ... s/3867747/

Frankfurt is a philosopher.

Obama is a politician.
Yes, but in this particular case it would seem that the politician trumps a philosopher, in terms of intelligence.
Is Obama talking the issue of growing income equality on pragmatic or moral grounds? Apples and Oranges?
Moral?
What would you call someone that excludes a concept merely because it's not mentioned. Some things go without saying. Some concepts though they can be talked about separately, are all inclusive, when one talks of either.

And sometimes ones agenda is thinly veiled.

the Hessian
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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by the Hessian » Thu Jun 19, 2014 11:16 pm

I don't get the thinly veiled comment.

It was an honest question. The concepts of "shrinking middle class" and "ecomonomic mobility" sound more pragmatic than moral. I'm not shitting on it. I am pointing out that there are also very valid reasons to control wage inequality that have nothing to do with morality. It is not necessarily implied that working to control wage inequality is motivated by a morality grounded in equality.

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Re: Equality and Respect by Harry Frankfurt

Post by Wyman » Fri Jun 20, 2014 12:33 am

As far as I'm concerned Mr. Harry Frankfort is simply rationalizing as his station affords. His understanding of what having less entails is juvenile at best.
The same could be said for the less 'advantaged.' They're simply rationalizing as their station affords and their understanding of what having more entails is ... .

So, do you have to be rich to argue for equality and poor to argue for non-egalitarian values?

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