Healthy Longevity in a slightly European context

This is a good, easily digestible overview video into the issues around biological aging. Press Conference at Davos last week with participating scientists and politicians. My competence is in science and in philosophy including political theory, so I like the multiple angles presented.

Here’s the link, sorry could not embed it.

Daily Effort: Open Lifespan, a political aim with impersonal and personal standpoints in sync; applying Thomas Nagel

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”

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”

Difference between philosophical and political thinking expressed via possible world trajectories

In Open Lifespan within the possible world framework I have worked out the possible world structure and angle am using to study the philosophy of longevity.

Today I’m trying to show you, by quickly annotating the earlier figures, the difference between thinking about Open Life from a philosophical and from a direct political point of view. If you are following this blog you might have noticed that I got fairly political recently (even given talks), and actively thinking about how to introduce and represent longevity within politics, also making some commitments along the way. So it is important to demonstrate here the difference between the two kinds of thinking.

Consider then the following 2 maps or universes of morally, politically, technologically relevant possible worlds. Continue reading “Difference between philosophical and political thinking expressed via possible world trajectories”

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”