The superpower enhancement test: Open Lifespan is not for boasting

What is your superpower? What is your secret superpower that makes you stand out, that makes you unlike anybody else? 

These kinds of questions – surprisingly to me – are frequent parts of everyday conversations and the internet is full with dubious quizzes that help one find their own superpowers in case they feel underrated.

So imagine a bunch of superheroes and the odd one out talking in a pub about the super strength or power they have and trying to compete with each other to establish which one is the coolest, the best, the most attractive?

A: I can see through walls with a super-developed thermal vision. (Demonstrates it by telling how many people are in the pub’s toilet.)

B: I have an I.Q. off the roof, it cannot be measured with any standardised tests. (Demonstrates it by asking others to give them (singular ‘they’) 3 100 digit numbers to multiply.)

C: I am invisible if I want to. (Demonstrates it by disappearing from plain sight and then re-appearing at another pub table.)

D: I’m 500 years old. I can live indefinitely long healthily…

A, B, C become visibly bored.

D finishes the sentence: … cause I have access to this cool technology called Open Healthspan, you interested?

Which is the odd one out? Which capability would you like to have? Continue reading “The superpower enhancement test: Open Lifespan is not for boasting”

Martha Nussbaum’s problematic first capability: what is ‘the end of a human life of normal length’? Part 2

Earlier, in Martha Nussbaum’s problematic first capability: what is ‘the end of a human life of normal length’? Part 1 I believe I have provided enough reason to doubt the thinking behind the current phrasing of the first capability related to a human life of normal length. I showed that understanding the ‘normal’ in ‘the end of a human life of normal length’ in a descriptive, statistical and quantitative manner either as ‘average life expectancy’ or ‘typical modal age of death’ makes it impossible to enforce such a policy to all humans in a society.

Today we will think through another interpretation of ‘normal’.

Normal as ‘minimally acceptable’ or ‘ok acceptable’

Continue reading “Martha Nussbaum’s problematic first capability: what is ‘the end of a human life of normal length’? Part 2”

Open Lifespan Research Proposal for The Long Now Foundation

I have just applied to become a Research Fellow at The Long Now Foundation with the following proposal below. Regular readers might have read most of the material already but it is good to have a high-level summary every once in a while as I try to turn this independent, very low-budget research project into a credited, more professional endeavour. And there’s always something new as thoughts are self-developing. Here’s the proposal.

At the heart of the philosophical tradition is counterfactual thinking about different what-if scenarios or possible worlds. The task of philosophy is to thought experiment with relevant possible worlds, especially with what can be called limiting possible worlds and establish the network topology, accessibility of the worlds from each other and from the actual world. The proposed project thought experiments with the upper limit possible world of Open Lifespan, where people live indefinitely long healthy lives (think 10,000 year old selves, say) with the help of advanced biomedical technology.

Continue reading “Open Lifespan Research Proposal for The Long Now Foundation”

Martha Nussbaum’s problematic first capability: what is ‘the end of a human life of normal length’? Part 1

The Capability Approach is one of the strongest theoretical contender out there within the broadly defined liberal political and moral philosophy tradition trying to re-state the problems of social justice but also joining it with considerations of individual human well-beings or qualities of life. The main philosopher protagonist of the approach is Martha Nussbaum, and the main economist is Amaryta Sen, who used capabilities to work out an interdisciplinary ‘human developmental approach’ which is in a position to advice institutions on global policy.

I find the central idea behind the capability theory flexible and plausible. It is using a modal concept (capabilities) – borrowing Nussbaum’s wording – to ‘construct a normative conception of social justice’ and it shows that this concept as a primitive can potentially serve to provide an account on human rights as well.  

I recommend two accessible texts from Nussbaum that deals with the capabilities approach: Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice

and Human Capabilities, Female Human Beings, First published in Women, Culture and Development: A Study of Human Capabilities, ed. Martha C. Nussbaum and Jonathan (3/over (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995), 61—104.

Martha Nussbaum formulated a top 10 specific list for the central capabilities. I found most of them well formulated, except the first one which is

Life. Being able to live to the end of a human life of normal length; not dying prematurely, or before one’s life is so reduced as to be not worth living.

Martha Nussbaum in Capabilities as fundamental entitlements: Sen and social justice

From now on I will be solely focusing on the expression ‘Being able to live to the end of a human life of normal length’ Continue reading “Martha Nussbaum’s problematic first capability: what is ‘the end of a human life of normal length’? Part 1”

Daily Effort: The task of philosophy is thought experimenting with relevant possible worlds

Almost all philosophers are giving out hints about their views on what philosophy is or frequently express their metaphilosophy explicitly. Uniquely amongst academic disciplines, philosophy has the tools to conceptualise itself and its methods. I’m not a particularly metaphilosophical philosopher but it seems that for a more complete analysis of Open Lifespan philosophy it’s better to develop the outlines of the metaphilosophy behind to stay on the exoteric side.

Here’s a quick metaphilosophy in a nutshell Continue reading “Daily Effort: The task of philosophy is thought experimenting with relevant possible worlds”

Open Life as the central possible world and default anthropology in political philosophy

The main proposition of this study is to suggest that Open Lifespan/Open Life should be the central possible world and the default underlying anthropology behind moral and political philosophy. I think morality should be redefined by making the case for moral persons with open-ended lifespans. This Open Lifespan sub-study is being published in several subsequent posts, here are the ones already published.

Open Lifespan within the possible world framework 

Open Life as the central possible world and default anthropology in moral philosophy 

Open Life’s temporal value-pluralism enables neutrality towards different concepts of good life 

Let’s see some high-level details concerning political philosophy, some of them already investigated and summarised here, some of them to be investigated further. Continue reading “Open Life as the central possible world and default anthropology in political philosophy”

Open Life’s temporal value-pluralism enables neutrality towards different concepts of good life

This is my first, separate and somewhat rudimentary take on investigating a crucial moral and political problem in the context of Open Lifespan: value-pluralism and the different concepts of a good life. Hence, the concepts used and the argument developed are in their initial form and it may well be that the second, third … formulation will lead to different concepts and modify the argument. Continue reading “Open Life’s temporal value-pluralism enables neutrality towards different concepts of good life”

Open Life as the central possible world and default anthropology in moral philosophy

Introduction

The main proposition of this study is to suggest that Open Lifespan/Open Life should be the default underlying anthropology behind moral and political philosophy. I think morality should be redefined by making the case for moral persons with open-ended lifespans. This study will be published in 5 subsequent posts, the first, mainly methodological post has been already published and showed how Open Life can be handled as a limiting possible world within the framework of morally relevant possible worlds. The second post here details the main proposition in the context of moral philosophy and the third, upcoming post details the proposition concerning political philosophy. The fourth post will mention some problems where assuming Closed Lifespan leads to preventable troubles in moral and political philosophy and the fifth post will raise constructive objections that help to further sharpen this Open Lifespan angle by posing further limits on it.

Next I provide details, descriptions, analytical elaborations, arguments mixing object with meta level in 6 different but connected points. Continue reading “Open Life as the central possible world and default anthropology in moral philosophy”

Open Lifespan within the possible world framework

This is my first separate take to apply the possible world methodology to Open Life.  It is going to be informal and I try to avoid to use logical formulae to express the matter. The background study this section grew out from is arguing for the claim to make Open Life(span) as the default possible world in moral and political philosophy. We need this current preparation to elaborate some detailed points for the background theory later. And I will use possible worlds throughout the Open Lifespan book to elaborate on other problems as well.

Ever since I studied modal logic and got to know possible world semantics, Lewisian modal realism and the counterfactual structure of thought experiments in details as a philosophy undergrad, thinking on philosophical problems with the possible world toolset became a second instinct. Continue reading “Open Lifespan within the possible world framework”

Live Philosophy Extracts: David Enoch’s Against Utopianism

Experimenting with a new format in this book blog: notes on philosophy texts I study. I’m reading almost all philosophy with a focus on Open Lifespan in the back of my mind and most of these materials will find their way into the study and book. Explaining the title: ‘Live’ means that am continuously updating these posts as am working through the material, so the date of the post won’t do justice with how it is actually made, never mind. ‘Live’ also means that most of the materials are coming from living philosophers, thereby enabling a chance encounter with them, facilitating communication and feedback that stays alive. ‘Extract’ means notes, making a solution containing the active, concentrated principles of the matter. The structure of a post: default text is my extracts or phrasings of what I read, sometimes direct quotes denoted with single quotes. ‘COMMENT’ means immediate question or actual comment when I read the text.

To be extracted: David Enoch: Against Utopianism: Noncompliance and Multiple Agents, Philosopher’s Imprint, 2018, VOLUME 18, NO. 16, PP. 1-20  Continue reading “Live Philosophy Extracts: David Enoch’s Against Utopianism”