This post is the continuation of The Open Lifespan answer to Jonathan Floyd’s political philosophy organising question: how should we live? Preparations post and takes up the story where the earlier one ended.
On the other hand, the reason I gave it a separate, focused title is that this is also a standalone, and I think quite relevant, piece in terms of the political philosophy Open Lifespan is aspiring for.
Introducing Health as a political incentive NB style, examples
As mentioned earlier, Floyd introduces 2 behaviourist measures to judge, justify success of existing (or past) political systems: plainly put, the more disincentives to political insurgence and crime a system enables the more successful it’s going to be.
‘minimising inequality, by way of a more social or egalitarian set of policies, minimises crime’p169, Is political philosophy impossible? Jonathan Floyd
So less crime according to Floyd is the behavioural expression of the political preferences of people who do not commit crime due to the egalitarian policies implemented by the institutions of the political system they live in. Notice the negative, indirect aspect here, the inference is that if you do not commit crime it means you approve the system more.
My main suggestion is that ‘public and personal’ health considerations are as much a political incentive (or disincentive, see later) already today and due to increasing life expectancy are increasingly become so in the near future. Continue reading “Blind spot of academic political philosophy: not recognising health as a political incentive and healthy longevity as a political goal”
This is my second, and far more relevant mini-study, that takes inspiration from Jonathan Floyd’s book ‘Is political philosophy impossible?’. In the first one, called Open Lifespan and Green political philosophy as single-trend approaches; reading Jonathan Floyd I tried to carve out some space within political philosophy to single trend approaches, like the philosophy of longevity and green political philosophy.
With the current study, I’m going to put Floyd’s study to a much better and more detailed use. My final aim is to demonstrate through a series of arguments that Open Lifespan as a political philosophy picks out and relies on social-liberal-democracy as a compelling (convincing) and politically determinate (meaningful) answer to the foundational question of political philosophy, Floyd poses: how should we live?
Briefly put, the Open Lifespan answer to the question of ‘How should we live?’: indefinitely longer and healthier and an Open Life Society would ‘exponentially’ enhance all the core elements of social-liberal-democracy (SLD): it makes it more democratic, more liberal, and more social (egalitarian). Continue reading “The Open Lifespan answer to Jonathan Floyd’s political philosophy organising question: how should we live? Preparations”
Jonathan Floyd’s book ‘Is political philosophy impossible?’, published in 2017, is trying to break the current, mainstream mentalist deadlock within political philosophy by offering a normative behaviourist approach. No, am not going to tell you now what are these things, as I will deal with Floyd’s study in a series of posts (just like I did with Nussbaum’s First capability). Floyd’s approach is relevant enough for Open Lifespan to criticise it and use its concept, and frame our topic within its thoroughly argumented, well defined and conveniently narrow world.
The book’s starting point is a criticism of ways political philosophy can be defined to make way for Floyds’ own convincing suggestion to define the same topic with 3 well-formed questions. Today I only care about the ways of definitions he offers as mainstream starting points to make a critical remark about another approach missing from this inventory. This is the approach that opens the door for Open Lifespan and Green political philosophy to qualify as political theories. Continue reading “Open Lifespan and Green political philosophy as single-trend approaches; reading Jonathan Floyd”
Here am continuing my investigations to widen the gap between enhancements and healthy longevity efforts, Open Lifespan being the possible upper limit of those efforts.
In The superpower enhancement test: Open Lifespan is not for boasting the case was made that Open Lifespan as a capacity cannot be used for demonstrative and performative purposes, as opposed to poster child superpowers like memory enhancements, and hence it cannot be used to single out individuals in a competitive situation.
Today we will look at another aspect of this comparison/conceptual difference using a very similar pub chat setup as last time. But this time we are invoking the heavyweight concepts of political philosophy: equality/inequality. Continue reading “Superpower enhancements are pro-inequality, Open Lifespan is pro-equal-opportunity”
This is a Daily Effort, which is a quicker, shorter piece, grown out of usually a same-day thought, reading, see earlier efforts.
According to Thomas Nagel the central ethical question of political theory is to work out and then synchronise together the impersonal standpoint human individuals are capable of and the personal standpoints they actually have.
In Chapter 4 of his Equality and Partiality, called The Problem of Utopianism Nagel concludes that
Justification in political theory must address itself to people twice: first as occupants of the impersonal standpoint and second as occupants of particular roles within an impersonally acceptable system. This is not capitulation of human badness or weakness, but a necessary acknowledgement of human complexity. To ignore the second task is to risk utopianism in the bad sense.p30, Equality and Partiality, Thomas Nagel
Let’s apply this method and principle to Open Lifespan. Continue reading “Daily Effort: Open Lifespan, a political aim with impersonal and personal standpoints in sync; applying Thomas Nagel”
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”
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”
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”
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”
When I started to study philosophy at the ELTE University in Budapest my first social/intellectual action was to compile a list of classical, modern and contemporary writings about the philosophy of time and then look for other undergrads being interested to seminarise these works. Think about Aristotle’s Physics IV. 10-14, St. Augustine’s Book XI of the Confessions and … the wonderful essay collection on The Philosophy of Time edited by Poidevin/McBeath. Eventually I think it was too nerdy an offering even amongst philosophy students but I stuck with studying these writings a lot. To me studying the philosophy of time was a huge part of my personal motivation as after studying aging in the years before as a biology student I realised I have a problem understanding what is this ‘time thing’ with respect to biological aging is defined, what are we measuring here …
Philosophy of time and analysis of temporality by conceptual means is a great field and Elisabeth F. Cohen, Associate Professor of Political Science at Syracuse University, managed to open a new chapter within this field by writing The Political Value of Time, that was published this very year by Cambridge University Press and I was lucky enough to see it amongst the new offerins at the CUP Bookshop.
I studied this book repeatedly this year, here’s a photo on my annotated copy.
Cohen’s analytical starting point is the tendency to ignore durational time in politics by the social sciences. Hence, most of the study is focusing on the temporal aspects of establishing sovereignty, mostly assumed hidden behind spatial boundaries and then how temporalities like schedules, waiting periods, deadlines are constitutive in the procedures of modern democracies. The main, deliberate subset of examples (‘temporal formulae’) are the age of maturity delimiting children from full citizenship, the probationary period needed for the naturalisation of non-citizens and prison sentences. Continue reading “How Open Lifespan changes the political value of time; reading Elizabeth F. Cohen”