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Until I think of more interesting things to put, I’ll expand on my tagline:

A pig talks about the concepts she’s traveled across. Logic, metanormativity, counterfactuals, and the ability to do otherwise.

I study and talk about more than this, but this is probably what this particular blog will largely focus on. A quick definition of all of these things.

Logic – This concerns the principles for how things in some domain are arranged. The relations, how it all hangs together. The logic of reasons, for instance, concerns how reasons hang together, how they’re arranged, and so on. The logic of propositions is what you study in most logic courses. The logic of truthmakers, which is distinct from it, is the rules of how facts relate to propositions and each other.

Metanormativity – Normativity is the domain of reasons. So, if an agent wants a hundred dollars and there’s a hundred dollars in front of them, then that’s the non-normative fact. On top of that non-normative fact is the fact that they have a reason to pick up the hundred dollars. Metanormativity concerns what the normative domain is like. Not so much its content, but its nature. This includes the logic of reasons, the ontology of reasons, the epistemology of reasons, the psychology of reasons, and so on.

Counterfactuals – The topic of counterfactuals concerns what would have been, “had-would” if-then sentences, hypotheticals, that sort of thing. “If Oswald hadn’t killed Kennedy, someone else would have” is the kind of sentence you’d study. Its logic, its referent, and so on.

The ability to do otherwise – This may take some exposition. One term for this is ‘free will,’ but that term is often confused with other terms. So I’m going to separate some data to get a more fine-grained idea of what I mean by ‘the ability to do otherwise.’ Take the following data:

  • d1. When practically deliberating, agents should evaluate many distinct futures causally dependent on those actions.
  • d2. Our decision-making to maximize our own satisfaction is legitimate.
  • d3. Certain things, like going to eat, are clearly within the realm of practical possibility.
  • d4. Obligation, permissibility, supererogation, etc. make sense.
  • d5. When an agent does x, she does not-x in the counterfactuals which would ground her ability to do not-x when she did x.
  • d6. An agent regretting actions insofar as they belong to that agent makes sense.
  • d7. An agent deserving certain attitudes and treatments insofar as they belong to that agent makes sense.
  • d8. Opportunity costs and opportunity benefits, and opportunities in general, exist.
  • d9. Some actions are up to certain agents.
  • d10. Actions can belong to one or more agents.
  • d11. There’s a particular type of dignity and significance to the lives we actualize and deliberate over.
  • d12. etc.

The term ‘free will’ is usually used to mean some subset of data like this, and it’s often ambiguous which subset is meant, which leads to a lot of confusion. Here, ‘the ability to do otherwise’ refers to the entity that explains datum d1, d2, d3, d4, d5, d6, d8, d11, and d12, which I’ve underlined.

I think these topics are useful and very little information from these topics are communicated to the public, while a lot of misinformation is very popular. I’d like to spread what I know as best as I can.