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An area where I'm sloppy with terms

I need to be more careful with how I talk about philosophy sometimes. Nobody has really called me on this to the extent that I should be called on it (in terms of low philosophical standards, but then maybe people don't see the standards I'm aiming for, or my blogstuff being mostly unrevised never reaches these standards, but that's another topic entirely).

Internally, when I think of intent, it's a gradated term. There's the intent that's conscious, and then there's accessible intent which is reachable through introspection and possibly inferred from outside. I normally call both "Intent" in English on my blog, in kind of the same way that my concept of "Will of the People" refers to the idea of what the people want on some nonvisible were their needs/interests reconciled and crafted into a philosophy. The latter's admittedly a bit airy, but the former's reasonably concrete. The latter concept of intent is probably a bit far from what "intent" normally means in English though. Maybe I need a better word for it, because it's pretty important in some discussions. Ideally a word that recognises that I see it as being a close cousin to mentally visible intent, and recognises that jurisprudential concepts of intent are nearby. Maybe.

There's frequently a difficulty in philosophy in avoiding creating a plethora of new terms that people need to learn before they know the shape of your argument, and avoiding using words in seriously alien ways to how people already use them. Everyone does both to some extent, of course, and people also generally will both use the world-of-terms given them by their culture and create some new ones (or choose their subset) based on values, whim, and expressiveness.

I am frustrated with myself for always needing to replace my simply-translated "intent" with the spread-out set of concepts that compose "findable intent" whenever it comes up in discussion. There's got to be some better way of doing it that doesn't have me sounding like I'm part of the French existentialist movement (which, like Hegel, is very new-term-heavy).

Almost ready to do a series of posts on what I think it means to do philosophy seriously.


the idea of what the people want on some nonvisible were their needs/interests reconciled and crafted into a philosophy.

This is a bit like what Eliezer Yudkowsky calls "extrapolated volition", which is something like "what you would want if you were smart enough to know what you wanted, and if you wanted the things you wanted to want, and not the things you didn't."

(e.g. if you want a cigarette, but want to quit, then "wanting a cigarette" is not part of your extrapolated volition, since you don't _want_ to want it.)
Interesting to tie that to the 99%ishness of the occupy movement. It's a bold claim. A nearly-opposite claim is made, in the play 1776, by the character of John Dickinson: "Don't forget that most men with nothing would rather protect the possibility of becoming rich than face the reality of being poor." (AFAIK the historical figure did not ever say that)

Edited at 2012-02-04 12:35 am (UTC)