Monday, June 15, 2015

a Broken Tower

Once more you mutual friends and lovers
Hidden beneath ruin of a broken tower;
Cast down by neglect or my ignorance,
Whereby I myself perished every day.
Rather would I submit a single death,
Than to your crosses which you carried;
Still to save at least a few amid flames
Brought about by circumstances dire;
Through there is nothing sweeter to find
Among glowing embers still flying here:
Such consolation from your fair faces.
You faces familiar will lie with sleep;
Nothing more by me can be done now.
The tower covers over your trouble.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


    The first tool for this new conceptual schema of ethics is identification. Identification, simply put, is finding out what is under consideration. However, in this context, the tool itself will be used as a marker for significant behavior in the search for that which is morally praiseworthy. So, the tool will be loaded properly once a criterion for what we have chosen to look for has been selected. For now the default setting will be language that has proper usage.

    So f(x) = y, where f(x) is a function of proper use of language. The function can be represented as the way language (x) relates to proper use (y). How this formulation takes place will depend on how both of these variables are identified. Given that the language is identified, then proper use can be determined through the use of the functional formula. What the function actually is cannot be determined here, but we note how language and proper usage relate to each other.

    This is not a truth-functional operation that is carried out, but rather the function is dependent on the aesthetic qualities of language which cannot be mapped onto truth and falsehood because negation cannot significantly alter such aesthetic qualities. Something more flexible needs to be used to capture features such as syntax, diction, and cognitive strength within language. The identification will need to account for these features.

    This impasse can be overcome if we do not insist on an exact account of what we find to be significant for how certain words and phrases within language produce a sense that shows that they have more significance than others. The question now becomes one of identifying these qualities that make language augmented and elevated. The above shows that simple criteria will not do for understanding ethics, so that another approach to the problem is needed.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

How is that Going to Help your Putting Game?

    In continuation from the previous posting, narrowing ethics down to the form of how things are communicated will limit its scope but, perhaps, this narrowing will give us a framework to work with. But, now, the question of relevance comes up, which should be answered. By suggesting that this framework will give us a clear view of the moral landscape that we are beholden to daily, there is then the specific question of how this new focus will treat ethics: what will this narrow compartment say to the whole field of philosophy?

    First, most moral actions are not to be evaluated in practice because they are not directed toward us as moral agents. But, words, in contrast, have a public standing especially if they are printed in a medium such as a newspaper. Consider that public actions are usually accompanied with a explanation, if they are important enough to be executed by important moral agents. But we need not concern ourselves now of the exact statistics of the relations between words and actions. I just want you to note down the distinctions, so that morals could be seen separately from political action.

    From this elementary observation of how words and actions relate, we can then form the idea of how words precede actions. If significant or political actions require an explanation for its use, then we can take the next step to say that how that explanation is expressed will show its moral signification for that action. Another way of putting this distinction is that the moral justification for an action will reveal itself to be praiseworthy through how it is intended to be taken by means of its verbal backdrop given by the moral agent.

    So given that actions are important, then the form of the words used to uphold them will prove their worth through their moral signification. This quality will be revealed by looking at how and why those words used in such a context of moral actions. We will require at least a few tools to build up this moral framework of signifying praise and blame. That will be next.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015


    Usually ethics is cast in terms of actions, where the focus is on correct behavior. Even if that focus is the case, I would like to focus on words rather than actions. Actions speak louder than words, yes. But, perhaps, looking into words will preserve correct action, if the focus was fixed on the form of how correct speech is to be formed for those seeking to live rightly.

    Now Wittgenstein said that his Tractatus was essentially ethical, even though the publication has propositions that are mainly not about ethics, but how words capture states of affairs. Through the picture theory of meaning, he proposed a way of how propositions show the logical way they work within the framework of logical space.

   From correct modes of speech, we can follow correct behavior. This will cover speech acts such as suggesting action as well as informatory discourse that is the bulk of speech. One overall element suggested from the Book of the Courtier is that speech should have sprezzatura, a quality that shows one did not put a lot of effort to make it happen. This rhetoric would stand out by how it is performed.

   So if it could be suggested that how words should be used is not through its content but its form, in this context through the speaker's way of speaking, what is lost?  We have lost focus on how actions are performed to concentrate on words. And we are not looking to what is said but how something is said. From all of this winnowing, can how words are said serve as a guide to an ethical outlook?

    If we borrow another proposition from the Tractatus: Ethics and aesthetics are one and the same (6.421), we can take this criterion and say that it severs as a way to evaluate how pleasing speech is, which is in essence rhetoric. So, perhaps, the justifications for behavior can be evaluated by how pleasing they are. What this does is take the proper subject of ethics, behavior, and evaluate it through the way those actions are defended. I will say more on this latter.