Freedoom (Prelude-1a)

Note on Teleology

Bryce, who has been thinking about teleology for quite a while, expresses his thoughts on the topic with commendable lucidity. The central argument: Characteristically modern claims to have ‘transcended’ the problem of teleology are rendered nonsensical by the continued, and indeed massively deepened, dependence upon the concept of equilibrium across all complexity-sensitive intellectual disciplines, from statistical physics, through population biology, to economics. Equilibrium is exactly a telos. To deny this is primarily the symptom of an allergy to ‘medieval’ or ‘scholastic’ (i.e. Aristotelian) modes of thought, inherited from the vulgar rebellious mechanism of early Enlightenment natural philosophy.

Where I think Bryce’s account is still deficient is most easily shown by a further specification of his principal point. Equilibrium is the telos of those particular dynamic complex systems governed by homeostasis, which is to say: by a dominating negative feedback mechanism. Such systems are, indeed, in profound accordance with classical Aristotelian physical teleology, and its tendency to a state of rest. This ancient physics, derided by the enlightenment mechanists in the name of the conservation of momentum, is redeemed through abstraction into the modern conception of equilibrium. ‘Rest’ is not immobility, but entropy maximization.

Capital Teleology, however, is not captured by this model. It is defined by two anomalous dynamics, which radicalize perturbation, rather than annulling it. Capital is cumulative, and accelerative, due to a primary dependence upon positive (rather than negative) feedback. It is also teleoplexic, rather than classically teleological — inextricable from a process of means-end reversal that rides a prior teleological orientation (human utilitarian purpose) in an alternative, cryptic direction.

In consequence:

(1) Capital Teleology does not approximate to an idea. It is, by intrinsic nature, an escape rather than a home-coming. The Idea, in relation to Capital dynamism, is necessarily a constriction. The inherent metaphysics of capital are therefore irreducibly skeptical (rather than dogmatic).

(2) It follows that Capitalist ‘finality’ (i.e. Techno-commercial Singularity) is a threshold of transition, rather than a terminal state. Capital tends to an open horizon, not to a state of completion.

(3) Entropy (considered, properly, as an inherently teleological process) is the driver of all complex systems. Capital Teleology does not trend towards an entropy maximum, however, but to an escalation of entropy dissipation. It exploits the entropic current to travel backwards, into cybernetically-intensified pathway states of enhanced complexity and intelligence. The ‘progress’ of capitalism is an accentuation of disequilibrium.

(4) Teleoplexy requires a twin teleological registry. Most simply, there is the utilitarian order, in which capital establishes itself as the competitively-superior solution to prior purposes (production of human use-values), and the intelligenic order in which it accomplishes its self-escalation (mechanization, autonomization, and ultimately secession). Confusing these two orders is almost inevitable, since teleoplexy is by nature camouflaged (insidious). The fact that it appears to be oriented to the fulfillment of human consumer preferences is essential to its socio-historical emergence and survival. Stubborn indulgence in this confusion, however, is unworthy of philosophical intelligence.

July 5, 2014admin 50 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Philosophy

TAGGED WITH : , , ,

50 Responses to this entry

  • Nick B. Steves Says:

    It seems you divorce the “teleology of capital” from human desires. If the latter have some (even if perhaps high) equilibrium, then so ought the former. Capital doesn’t “want” anything. Except to be “spent” on the fulfillment of some (presumably finite) desire.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Bryce takes an important step by formulating the question of “wanting” in terms of intelligible complex systems dynamics. What capitalism ‘wants’ — when formulated comparably — is positive feedback (self-amplification, runaway, escape, intelligenesis …). None of this is reducible to being ‘spent’ — You surely see that capital accumulation is not in fact ‘saving’ to be spent down the road on some consumer goods, of whatever kind? Accumulation is terminal. If the capital stock were to be spent, it would be the end not only of capitalism, but of civilization in general, and probably the human species. So I don’t agree at all with the way you’re wanting to take this. It seems to me to be a completely implausible humanistic reduction.

    [Reply]

    Nick B. Steves Reply:

    “Wanting to take this”?? Heck, I’m not even sure I understand it.

    Hate to go all anti-anti-essentialist on ya here, cuz’ Lord knows I’ve gotten my own share of that, but… capital is (surplus) wealth. It has an essence. What kinds of accidents (derivatives, positive-sum, etc.) capital happens to create for itself should not (I think) be mistaken for its essence.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Capital does indeed have an essence, described best by Boehm-Bawerk: roundabout production. It does far more conceptual work than the ultimately untenable (anthropological) definition of capital as deferred consumption.

    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 4:10 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bryce Laliberte Says:

    >‘Rest’ is not immobility, but entropy maximization.

    Entropy maximization is also rest; given there is no further entropy to maximize, lack of motion is the only possibility.

    >Capital is cumulative, and accelerative, due to a primary dependence upon positive (rather than negative) feedback.

    What does this mean exactly? If by “cumulative” you simply mean that there is more than before, that makes sense, but it doesn’t really deliver your point. Likewise, what is meant by “accelerative?” I don’t have a problem with the term, I’m just curious what you mean specifically. If we were to work at cashing out these terms, I think we would get this as a result:

    Techno-traditionalist teleology implies that, over time, society gains the capability to more effectively entropize the universe to produce its selected ends. At some point of maximal entropy (whether that be local or global), you reach a state for which no further motion is possible/will be selected (and at that point of maximal social organization, there wouldn’t be a difference between possibility and what will be selected); unless you are presuming some “escape physical constraints” scenario, but I don’t see how you could get that.

    I don’t think being a negative or positive feedback loop implies anything different from my account.

    >It is also teleoplexic, rather than classically teleological — inextricable from a process of means-end reversal that rides a prior teleological orientation (human utilitarian purpose) in an alternative, cryptic direction.

    “Means-end reversal”: I think if you’re using that as a term, there is a problem with the initial classification of a given event as means or end. A simple distinction, e.g. “It is a means in this way and an end in another way” would dissolve anything like “means-end reversal.” This tendency towards the semantically mysterious seems sloppy rather than gestalted.

    I think the problem is your tendency to deify machines.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    The beginning and end are the easiest:
    — No, entropy maximum is not Aristotelian rest — because conservation of momentum. It’s dissipated heat.
    — “Deify machines” — I’m sure we both agree that any imaginable “Deus” is too far out to support this verb in any kind of socio-technical application.

    “Cumulative” is just a restatement of positive (regenerative) feedback. Capital –> more capital (unlike any kind of homeostat, where increase in a regulatory variable reduces productive behavior towards a rest state).

    Your account, which does much that is important, equates teleology with approach to equilibrium. The last thing I want to do is skip quickly past this, because it advances the entire discussion crucially — especially by integrating questions of value into an analytical schema that can do real work. BUT, capital does NOT tend to equilibrium. Therefore you do not yet offer the tools necessary to grasp it.

    Means-End reversal is something that I think should be easy to apprehend, because it is already the common element in Marxist and Paleo-Reactionary critiques of capital.

    [Reply]

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    Capital does not act of itself; it is a meme. It is like you are attributing the breeze to the motion of trees, when it is the other way around. The active element of capital is society; no society, no capital (know society, know capital).

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    You’re just doing to me what kantbot does to you, and you’re both wrong. A complex system is a real individual.

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    Capital is a system continuous with society.

    I don’t see capital walking around and doing things of itself. And no, AIs don’t count.

    admin Reply:

    Your first sentence is fine — but capital is the more rigorously determinate category, with the stronger intelligible teleology. (What are the essential system dynamics of ‘society’? — there’s no simple answer.)

    [Reply]

    Bryce Laliberte Reply:

    You’re essentially reifying capital. Capital is a material condition of society, and so influences it in that way. It doesn’t have a telos by itself, but only with society.

    As to the essential system dynamics of society, of course there’s no simple answer. It’s the most complex system in the world.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “You’re essentially reifying capital.” — Capital reifies itself, that’s what the emergence of a real individual is.

    Hurlock Reply:

    “Cumulative”- as per Bohm-Bawerk, later Mises and mainly Hayek, more capitalistic production means more roundabout production which means more time spent for production with greater capital accumulation so that the final output is maximally increased (The maximum increase possible depends upon the current time preference level). This way capitalism is cumulative. The “more capitalistic” a production process becomes, the more cumulative it is.
    “Accelerative”- this ties and follows from “cumulative”. As more capital is accumulated the more productive the process of production is. As the final output is greater, the more capital can be saved for further production + the faster technological improvement becomes. These two factors accelerate the rate of further production in the future thus they build upon themselves, to increase themselves in the future.
    The most fundamental tendency of capitalism is of more capital accumulation which leads to faster technological acceleration+faster capital accumulation. (yes, I am kinda repeating myself, but that’s the point)
    Technological acceleration builds upon greater capital accumulation and vice-versa. The more capital, the faster production and bigger output. The faster and bigger the output, the faster is more and more capital made available. Thus, positive-feedback loop.
    This postive feedback loop at the core of capitalism is indeed something like a time machine with a tendency to bring time preference to a zero.
    And this is how in a perverse way:
    “Capital becomes an end in itself”

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    Utter concurrence from me.

    [Reply]

    R. Reply:

    Technological acceleration builds upon greater capital accumulation and vice-versa. The more capital, the faster production and bigger output. The faster and bigger the output, the faster is more and more capital made available. Thus, positive-feedback loop.

    Why then is Apple sitting on a hundred billion $ worth of cash and not investing it, if as you propose, the more capital you have the more you can get?

    Do you truly believe capital accumulation is unconstrained by factors such as, I dunno, purchasing power, market size, etc? Diminishing returns to investment – is that a myth?

    And why exactly has capitalism, in the last couple of decades led to ever-increasing debt burdens and diminishing economic growth and lower return on investments(overall)?

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    I do not work at Apple’s accounting and I don’t follow them at all, so I can’t say.

    Yes, there are possible constraints, mainly market size, but the market size can grow as overall production increases, because this allows for a drop in the price of the product, which presumably makes it available to more possible consumers. Of course assuming that there is a potential for a growth of the market via price decrease. And assuming there is a bigger profit to be made in a larger market, but with lower prices.
    Diminishing returns is a problem when the other factors of production, mainly labor, remain constant. (land does not tend to be as big of a problem, although it can be as well, and harder to resolve) Fortunately, capital tends to automate itself. Industrial capital is indeed mainly various machines. The problem of diminishing returns is actually resolved by the feedback-loop. As the productive output increases and there is more ‘prosperity’, time preferences drop in result and investment in long-run production maximizing tech becomes more attractive. Technology progresses and allows for more automation, which allows for the employment of more capital. Assuming that the market size does not stay constant, but increases, this process can continue.

    As to your last question, what capitalism are you even talking about? The proto-zimbabwe economics that you have in the US right now hardly passes for capitalism.

    admin Reply:

    @ R. — The basic answer to those questions is that Capital disequilibrium is being systematically compensated, within a larger, only partially-coherent, deeply conflicted homeostatic system. Capital is an insurgency, and not a reign. It has very powerful enemies, who are also capable of learning (although not as fast as it is). Nothing about this is going to be smooth, or easy.

    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 4:23 pm Reply | Quote
  • Alrenous Says:

    At the ground level teleology is supposed to be a pull while equilibrium is a balance of pushes. But then I have to wonder if those are meaningfully different. Is there some experiment that can tell the difference? (Spoiler: yes.)

    Functionally, it seems they’re identical. They aren’t meaningfully competing definitions, contra both Enlightenment philosophasters and Scholastics. They seem instead to simply be two perspectives on what is fundamentally the same thing.

    Let’s do some examples.

    So there’s theological teleology. Situations tend toward X because Jesus likes X. If Jesus changes His mind to Y, then situations will tend to Y. But we cannot know Jesus’ mind except insofar as we can see situations. Jesus’ opinion has to be removed from the equation regardless.

    In equilibrium-as-teleology, if the forces change, the equilibrium will change. But for e.g. capitalist the accumulation of capital, the forces cannot change. Jesus can’t change His mind (as far as we know).

    For situations where the forces can change, such as waterfalls, then we can phrase the teleology as a function of the forces, which will look exactly like an equilibrium calculation as a function of the forces.

    Though I can think of examples where pushes and pulls are not isometric. I was studying siphons the other day, because apparently they’re controversial. Most siphons work by pushing. The water falls out of the lower end of the tube because it can, but this creates a vacuum, which the atmosphere will push on and fill, thus allowing more water to fall… This mainly-push mechanism sets height limits on siphons. Contrast a chain, which can pull, which has no height limit except in that eventually the tension will snap the chain.

    I think this will translate into an experiment, if we become precise enough to tell apart tensions and compressions in this abstract arena. While often they’ll be the same, it won’t always be.

    If Jesus in fact desires X, then X basically can’t fail to obtain. While He’s promised not to change the height limit on the siphon, perhaps the upper reservoir breaks open, allowing the rest of the water to spill down. Teleology is adaptive. Equilibria are blind. This is perhaps a useful distinction. Again, we can hinge an experiment on this difference.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    “If Jesus in fact desires X, then X basically can’t fail to obtain.” — We’d still expect a natural mechanism through which divine will is realized though, wouldn’t we? If we’re talking miracles, then I’m not sure how to begin thinking about the problem.

    [Reply]

    Alrenous Reply:

    Well, I do assume Jesus wouldn’t be dumb enough to desire the impossible, like square circles. But deist teleology is not teleology. If not miracles per se, there must be some wiggle room. As it happens, the God of the Gaps has an impregnable redoubt in the essentially stochastic nature of quantum mechanics. If someone fiddled with collapsing wavefunctions, it is all but impossible for anyone to notice.

    But really I’m talking metaphor here, in an attempt to get a handle on teleology vs. equilibrium.

    [Reply]

    Lesser Bull Reply:

    * But we cannot know Jesus’ mind except insofar as we can see situations.*

    This is wrong.

    It isn’t completely wrong, because you can’t fully or even mostly know Jesus’ mind, and you can’t know it when and to the degree and on the matter that you want to know it. But you can know it, and when you do, you’ll know it.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 5:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Bryce Laliberte Says:

    Perhaps we need to back up and ask what a being is.

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    Heidegger?

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Good God Gnon NO! Anything but that.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    By the time you’ve finished arguing with kantbotian idealism you won’t remember how you ever disagreed with any of this.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 5:19 pm Reply | Quote
  • Amon Khan Says:

    Postmodern gibberish. What is the upshot of all this mental masturbation? I.e., why shouldn’t you guys be lined up and shot along with the leftists?

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    I think you are on the wrong site.

    [Reply]

    fotrkd Reply:

    Gibberish is exclusivist. That in itself should ensure we’re not shot alongside the leftists.

    [Reply]

    Alex Reply:

    why shouldn’t you guys be lined up and shot along with the leftists?

    No enemies in the dark? [Luke 11:18]

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 6:56 pm Reply | Quote
  • Freedoom (Prelude-1a) | Reaction Times Says:

    […] Source: Outside In […]

    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 7:33 pm Reply | Quote
  • scientism Says:

    I think there’s a simple way of reconciling your two views. Just read point 4 as the claim that capitalism constitutes a new society that emerges from, is camouflaged within and feeds off an existing society. This new society has its own telos and usurps the telos of the existing society (via consumerism). It consists of capitalists (initially) and their machines. This way, you identify capitalism with a society, which Bryce accepts as a being. Presumably you don’t think a techno-commercialist singularity overcomes entropy, so the new (capitalist) society is still moving towards equilibrium and is hence teleological in the way Bryce describes. Techno-comercialist singularity describes a societal phase change rather than a telos. Or: human society is the caterpillar; capitalism is the chrysalis; post-singularitarian society is the butterfly.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 9:39 pm Reply | Quote
  • fotrkd Says:

    A clarifying post (and comments thread).

    Confusing these two orders is almost inevitable, since teleoplexy is by nature camouflaged (insidious). The fact that it appears to be oriented to the fulfillment of human consumer preferences is essential to its socio-historical emergence and survival. Stubborn indulgence in this confusion, however, is unworthy of philosophical intelligence.

    This highlights an outlet – or communication channel – issue. On a local level it’s desirable (for me at least) to exaggerate the distinction between these two orders, often by condemning ‘human consumer preference’, but as you say this works against teleoplexy more generally. As it will inevitably generate plenty of opposition all by itself, I should probably just change channels (or at least multiply them).

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 5th, 2014 at 10:37 pm Reply | Quote
  • Chuck Says:

    “inextricable from a process of means-end reversal that rides a prior teleological orientation (human utilitarian purpose) in an alternative, cryptic direction”

    And yet there is only one breed of good: mine. It may belong to you or to me, but it’s someone’s. The good is always someone’s. If capital has a good which works against mine, capital needs crushing; if capital is the good of someone and this works against mine, so too they. The pretense of goods-in-themselves — be they conflict, order, capital, equality — wither before this primordial insight. There is only mine and the conflict between those of different souls. Reifying then deifying capital offers no leverage. (I assume that this is our trajectory). Whatever form he takes, your god’s/principle’s mine is of less worth than mine. Perhaps mine is an emergent individual; it doesn’t matter.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 6th, 2014 at 5:31 am Reply | Quote
  • Rasputin Says:

    I don’t have a background in economics, but the way I see it, at a meta level, capital works through us in much the same way that Campbell’s concept of generative evolution does: Evolution as a process is evolving (through us) / capitalism as a process is evolving (through us). Evolution is evolving through us, and not lower species, because we are at the top of the evolutionary ladder. Capitalism is bootstrapped to evolution and uses us in precisely the same way that generative evolution does. At a certain point, if neosocialist eternal stagnation and commensurate dysgenic retardation can be sufficiently held back, capitalism and evolution have the potential to fuse together and break free as a run away process, throwing off the shackles of their transitory corporal-monkey host. This is pure teleology, inescapable trajectory towards an eschatological singularity.

    [Reply]

    Posted on July 6th, 2014 at 10:47 am Reply | Quote
  • Postnietzschean Says:

    Until the invention of AI or truly autonomous corporations, capitalist teleology is human teleology, because all corporations are run by humans. (And all successful corporations are run by individual humans, not collective decision-making procedures).

    If ants or tigers had become the dominant intelligent species on this planet, capitalism would look quite different. Terrestrial capitalism is a particular thing and it exploits three particular features of hominid psychology:

    1. The tendency towards *addiction*: seeking psychological security in the ability to constantly replay a pleasant stimulus. Capital exploits this tendency to create *consumers*.

    2. The tendency to seek fulfilment through useful work: Aristotlean eudaimonia. Capital engages this tendency to create *producers*.

    3. The tendency towards *status-seeking games*. Show people a number and challenge them to increase it, and they’ll become obsessed. Money is capital’s means of gamifying society.

    A naive perspective is that the ultimate goal of capitalism is to satisfy consumerism (drive 1). This would imply that entrepreneurs, the motor of the economy, are solely motivated by the prospect of cashing out and blowing their earnings on cocaine and hookers. Drive 1 ensures that even unproductive members of society help fuel capital – welfare checks get spent at WalMart, but it doesn’t explain what drives producers.

    Producers are motivated by drives 2 and 3. Drive 3 is chasing money for the sake of it, means-ends reversal in its purest form. An investment banker’s car, wife and apartment are *trophies*, not *rewards*. His goal is to win the game of making money, not to accumulate stuff.

    Drive 2 is more interesting. The use of a rational adult human is to do useful work. This recursive definition seeks a base justification in the surrounding culture. In a traditionalist, ‘organic’ society, useful work means *maintaining* social equilibrium. Surplus capital is expended as *art*, a celebration of society’s values, further maintaining social equilibrium.

    Faustian civilisation redefines useful work to mean *progressing* society. It’s cleverest trick is in persuading the savviest individuals that they *want* to become engineers, scientists, or entrepreneurs. The Steve Jobs and Elon Musks of the world are neither motivated by consumerist hedonism or by competitive status-games: they simply think the world needs more spaceships and computers.

    And when the savviest individuals become persuaded that their ultimate goal is to *accelerate* innovation – when they start creating Menlo Parks, YCombinators, MIRIs…

    [Reply]

    Postnietzschean Reply:

    A related speculation:

    Cathedralist progressivism = belief in social, economic and technological progress
    Techno-commercialist NRx = belief in economic and technological progress, social progress a dangerous illusion
    Traditionalist NRx/Environmentalist conservatism (a la Greer) = all progress is a dangerous illusion

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    If anyone is going to argue with that, it will be from an angle I can’t conceive.

    [Reply]

    admin Reply:

    @ Rasputin, Postniezschean — Superb contributions from you two (thanks).

    [Reply]

    Rasputin Reply:

    @admin, thanks. Here is a link to the long form version on my new (and extremely malnourished) blog:

    http://victoriespyrrhic.wordpress.com/2014/07/07/towards-an-eschatology-of-the-singularity/

    It’s basically the bastard, idiot offspring of Nietzsche, Campbell and Yudkowsky, having inherited their looks rather than their brains, and as such it epitomises my thought quite well…

    [Reply]

    scientism Reply:

    An easy way to express my own view is that “drive” 2 explains everything. Most consumption is useful. Most technology is useful. So “drive” 2 explains consumption, production and entrepreneurship: I consume in order to fulfil my role, I produce in order that consumers can better fulfil their role using what I produce (this fulfils my role as a producer), and I become an entrepreneur if I find a way to enhance consumers or producers (where “enhance” can only be defined through an understanding of social roles and what constitute excellence relative to them; it is a fundamentally ethical concept and hence technology is fundamentally ethical).

    Thus, the Aristotelian view makes sense of capitalism in its entirety. Conspicuous consumption (relating to your drive 1) and financialisation (relating to your drive 3) are failures to fulfil these roles. A hedonistic consumer is simply a bad consumer, and it’s obvious why this is bad for society as well as the individual: it leads society to develop detrimental cycles of consumption-production. Both sides of the equation are committing vice. Likewise, a profit-motivated producer is simply a bad producer, which is typically why they don’t make good entrepreneurs and are generally found in professional management, finance, etc; they’re people who take existing companies and exploit them. Neither creates technological development; vice is unproductive. You could say what distinguishes virtue and vice, in a very general way, is that we can build on virtue. Virtue is useful. Vice, by definition, cannot support anything. It is wastefulness.

    [Reply]

    scientism Reply:

    I should note that my use of “conspicuous consumption” isn’t entirely right. I take it that the majority of consumption is actually rational, including status displays. In our society we only have informal means for signalling our roles and these are expressed as tastes. There’s nothing irrational or unethical about it. The executive with a big house and a nice car is fulfilling his role. We just live in a society that strives for an illusory goal of equality and has banished formality. Irrational, hedonic consumption would be a vice, however.

    [Reply]

    Postnietzschean Reply:

    I’m inclined to agree. I realised at one point that fashion is a good thing – people want to wear aesthetically pleasing clothes, why would that be a bad thing?

    Maybe conspicuous consumption is guilt-driven consumption, in the same way that binge drinking is guilt-driven drinking (the famous comparison being between puritan northern European ‘pub-culture’ countries and catholic southern European ‘cafe-culture’ countries). Though I hate to blame Protestants for *everything*.

    Postnietzschean Reply:

    “You could say what distinguishes virtue and vice, in a very general way, is that we can build on virtue. Virtue is useful. Vice, by definition, cannot support anything. It is wastefulness.”

    Interesting – this implies, to me, that virtue is capital, which is order. Virtue vs vice = cosmos vs chaos.

    Aristotelian capitalism makes me think of Ayn Rand: her heroes are inventors and architects, not financiers. Maybe that’s an omission, or maybe the excesses of the modern finance industry arise from the excess of a certain personality type.

    (A thought I don’t want to explore further today – HBD teaches that different categories of human beings tend to have a different range of personality types, and different drives. Compare European to Islamic to Indian to Chinese capitalism. Is there an ethnic group especially prone to financialising behaviour?)

    [Reply]

    Hurlock Reply:

    “Aristotelian capitalism makes me think of Ayn Rand”
    Unsurprisingly Ayn Rand considered Aristotle one of the greatest men to ever live.

    scientism Reply:

    Obviously finance provides an important service. It actually demonstrates the difference between an individualist view and an Aristotelian view nicely: the Aristotelian takes the goal of the financier to be to provide financial services (for the benefit of society) and he finds fulfilment in this; the individualist takes the financier to be acting out of ‘self-interest’ and the benefit to society is a side effect. The great importance of capitalism to the individualist is that it employs vice for the benefit of society. For the Aristotelian, this just looks like a solution in search of a problem: all the beneficial actors in a functioning economy are virtuous and accounted for. It’s just that not all actors are beneficial. Some of the actors accumulating wealth (financiers or otherwise) are doing so in a way that is detrimental to the health of society and the economy (and hence other economic actors). Individualists have a hard time accounting for such harms, although they’re usually aware of them.

    Posted on July 6th, 2014 at 11:34 am Reply | Quote
  • On Gnon and Evolution | Laofmoonster Says:

    […] Law. That different things are affected differently, does not invalidate the law. Land’s teleoplexy is not a rejection of natural law, but a recognition that dynamical attractors can be themselves […]

    Posted on July 15th, 2014 at 7:20 am Reply | Quote
  • Cashless society, or how governments would like to force us to pay rent on our money | Atavisionary Says:

    […] worrisome as it is, capital always finds a way. If savers are forced to pay interest on storing their money in the bank and are disallowed from […]

    Posted on April 19th, 2016 at 10:51 pm Reply | Quote
  • This Week in Reaction (2016/04/24) - Social Matter Says:

    […] worrisome as it is, capital always finds a way. If savers are forced to pay interest on storing their money in the bank and are disallowed from […]

    Posted on April 26th, 2016 at 8:16 pm Reply | Quote
  • Liberdade (Prelúdio-1a) – Outlandish Says:

    […] Original. […]

    Posted on October 19th, 2016 at 11:46 pm Reply | Quote
  • Mark1 Says:

    Hi, do you allow guest posting on xenosystems.net ? 🙂 Let me know on my email

    [Reply]

    Posted on June 7th, 2017 at 1:19 pm Reply | Quote

Leave a comment