Great moments in academic laziness

Kieran Setiya, Knowing Right From Wrong, page 19:

Suppose, for instance, you belong to a homogenous community whose ethical beliefs are true and who are non-ethically well-informed. For the first time, you meet a stranger. He agrees with you outside of ethics, but when it comes to practical reason, his beliefs are shocking. Fill in the details as you like. Perhaps he thinks we should act on our final desires, whatever they are, that we should be utterly selfish, that we should maximize aggregate happiness, no matter who is trampled on the way. It turns out that he, too, belongs to a homogenous community, exactly as numerous as your own. What should you now believe?

Kieran Setiya, Knowing Right From Wrong, page 29:

Suppose, one again, that you belong to a homogenous community whose ethical beliefs are true and who are non-ethically well-informed. Let us add that your beliefs are proportioned to your intuitions, finding the perfect balance of simplicity, power, and explanatory depth, weighed against fidelity to how things seem. For the first time, you meet a stranger. He agrees with you outside of ethics, but when it comes to practical reason, his intuitions are shocking. Fill in the details as you like. Perhaps it seems to him that we should act on our final desires, whatever they are, that we should be utterly selfish, that we should maximize aggregate happiness no matter who is trampled on the way. Despite this, his ethical beliefs are as well-proportioned to his intuitions as your beliefs are to yours. It turns out that he, too, belongs to a homogenous community, exactly as numerous as your own. What should you now believe?

Commonalities, exact or near-exact, bolded. Obviously there’s nothing wrong with this. It shouldn’t shock anyone to learn that I don’t entirely rewrite my explanation of the six different unemployment rates that BLS calculates for every installment of Wonkblog’s monthly “job report in graphs” post. But I’m not sure I’ve ever seen it done with the proud brazenness on display here. Well-played, Setiya. Well-played.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s