UNSOLICITED OPINION – THE ANSWER TO THE PETERSON HARRIS DEBATE
The current debate between Jordan Peterson and Sam Harris over the constitution of truth propositions and whether or not they can be used as a means of decidability between frames of reference has raised the most important issue of our time to a discourse between public intellectuals who the citizenry might learn something substantial from. However, both Peterson and Harris lack the vocabulary and arguments with which to resolve their conflict. In this short article, I’ve provided the terminology, argument, and judgement for both of their positions.
1 – For the most ancient of reasons, by accident of geography, and accident of technology, the West alone relies on Sovereignty as its organizing principle (means decidability of last resort – or on archaic parlance: metaphysical value judgment.).
2 – Choosing Sovereignty requires natural law (perfect reciprocity) to resolve disputes (via-negativa).
3 – And conversely choosing Sovereignty requires markets in everything to organize cooperation. (via-positiva) (association, cooperation, reproduction, production, production commons, production of polities, production of group evolutionary strategies)
4 – Markets allow for cooperation on means despite different ends, given different abilities, different resources, and different specializations.
5 – The combination of Sovereignty, Natural Common Law, Markets in Everything, and the universal indoctrination of men into ‘reporting‘ testimony in militia service, allowed the west to adapt and evolve faster than the rest.
We (the West) are not always first, but we are fastest at defeating the red queen. This is the origin of western man. Not Hegelian Literary ‘Spirit’ but a group evolutionary strategy for those who combined horse, bronze, and wheel to create a social, economic, and political order we call aristocracy on the Eurasian Plain, where agrarian production was widely distributed and difficult (prohibitively expensive) to organize into a central administration as did the flood river valleys. And where nothing – not language, not literature and law, not religion, or not class, not power, was conflated.
1 – Philosophies allow for the production of argument and decidability within a domain.
2 – The search for Truth seeks the production of argument and decidability regardless of domain.
3 – Deflationary truth allows us to construct truthful arguments regardless of domain.
4 – Deflationary, operational, and promissory (truthful) arguments can be warrantied for due diligence against ignorance, error, bias, wishful thinking, suggestion and deceit – as well as demand productive, fully informed, warrantied, voluntary exchange free of negative externality. Using this form of truth, it is extremely difficult for false argument to survive due diligence against all dimensions of the human ability to reason.
5 – Science is not a positive, but a negative research program: the means by which we warranty that we have eliminated ignorance, error, bias, suggestion, obscurantism, and deceit from our speech.
6 – Ergo science when applied to both categorically deterministic (physical) and categorically dynamic (heuristic social / cognitive) disciplines functions as the means of decidability regardless of domain. i.e.: the discipline of science when sufficient in scope of due diligence, produces truth candidates regardless of a division of inter-temporal perception, experience, knowledge, labor, and advocacy. i.e.: where in a society of markets (choice) in everything.
1 – In each era of transformation the “truthful” eugenic aristocracy has been opposed by the dysgenic practitioners of deceit:
a) The Bronze Age Origin of heroism/paternalism/Aristocracy – the invention of oral authoritarian religion.
b) The Iron Age Origin of Reason – the invention of written, conflationary, authoritarian – scriptural religion as law, distributed by organize religion.
c) The Steel Age of Empiricism (bacon/locke/smith/hume/jefferson,) – was opposed by the invention of printed, argumentative rebellion: (Rousseau/Moral, Kant/Rational, Mendelssohn/Legal.)
d) The Age of Automation and the reformation of the social sciences ( Poincare, Maxwell, Darwin, Spencer, Menger, Durkheim/Pareto/Weber, Nietzche, and the Romanticists ) Was opposed by the invention of pseudosciences (Boaz, Marx, Freud, Cantor, Frankfurt School, Mises, Keynes, Rand/Rothbard, Strauss and The host of Postmoderns, and Macro Economists.)
2 – In each era, despite the fact that humanity is transformed by the aristocratic (martial), order, the opposition generally seems to ‘win’ through numbers. This causes anything from a stagnation to a dark age.
3 – The challenge of our time is the industrialization of lying made possibly by automation and media in the pseudoscientific era. Combined with the failure of the west to advance ‘science’ (Truthfulness) sufficiently to suppress the (desirable) lies.
4 – The solution to the industrialization of lying is the demand for warranty of due diligence in law, economics, and politics in the information we bring to market – just as we require warranty of due diligence in the products and services we submit to the market (a commons).
5 – The returns on the suppression of the industrialization of lying by operationalism will be greater than the returns on the returns on the suppression of mysticism by empiricism. every lie or falsehood produces a friction against human reason, just as every atomic rule created a greater friction than was produced by the transformation to general rules (science).
6 – Definition of PSEUDOSCIENCE: Followers know that I use a rigorous definition of what constitutes scientific speech and therefore truthful speech. My use of the term ‘pseudoscience’ refers to the addition of or subtraction of information that must be complete but unloaded in order to render decidability across contexts. Scientific speech requires due diligence against subtraction(cherry picking) and addition (loading, framing, overloading). To perform due diligence of truthfulness requires we test each possible dimension of speech.
1 – categorical consistency – Identity – non-conflation
2 – logical consistency – internal consistency, non-contradiction.
3 – empirical consistency – external correspondence – falsification
4 – existential consistency – operational language – consistency.
5 – reciprocity-consistency – moral reciprocity of Property in Toto.
6 – scope consistency – full accounting and specified limits.
These questions are easily testable in a court of law. Any essay, article, paper, contract, or constitution may be written in these terms. The intuitionist/operationalist movements failed (unfortunately) because they were discovered in categorically static math, logic, and physical science, where they are of less utility, but neither discovered nor applied in heuristic and therefore categorically dynamic sciences, where they are necessary: law, economics, politics, and group evolutionary strategy.
What I have tried to briefly suggest here is that grammar and terminology alone are nearly sufficient to reverse the industrialization of lying in law, economics, politics, and group evolutionary strategy. (See research on EPrime for example). And that extension of the involuntary warranty of due diligence that we currently apply to products and services can be extended to all market, commons, and political speech. We are saturated with lies and falsehoods, and they are cheap to produce and expensive to defeat. This is the reason for the success of the era of pseudoscience and pseudo-rationalism, and outright lying.
1 – In the second great transformation (the ancient world) we developed three attempts at decidability with different appeals to coercive decidability: Supernatural (religious) Mythic and Theological, Ideal/Supernormal(Platonic) Literary, and Demonstrated(existential) Historical. The Supernatural attempts to solve the problem of authority by appeal to a superhuman deity. The supernormal by appeal to ideals or utopias. The historical, by appeal to demonstrated existence: survival from competition. It is the sovereign, existential, that survives competition that comprises the uniqueness of western thought: we preserve the right to choose: sovereignty – for there is no authority among sovereigns.
2 – Peterson’s conflation in the literary (Platonic) tradition is anti western and unnecessary. It is the competition between conflationary narrative analogy, and deflationary operational criticism that assists us in identifying truth candidates. All civilizations that practice conflation stagnate. Literature is sufficient for the loading and framing and experiential without resorting to truth claims. Conflation of the good, true, and beautiful is a literary technique, and is helpful if not necessary for the immature or unable mind. But only if the mind is also taught how to truth test conflationary statements such that the true, the good, and the beautiful can be tested, so that the citizenry can distinguish between truth and lie, good and bad, beautiful and ugly. It is through this method of conflation that the culture wars were conducted.
3 – Harris‘ cherry-picks in the pseudoscientific tradition, fails to account for changes in state of the full scope of capital, and the lost opportunities for productive voluntary exchange. (This will take some explaining – outside of the scope of this paper.) Most frequently he gives parasitic action a pass if he agrees with it. Humans accumulate capital, and humans cooperate to accumulate capital more readily. And humans evolve cooperative social orders to accumulate capital even more rapidly – by the production of commons. Harris’ presumed ‘goods’ are cosmopolitan, destroy accumulated intergenerational capital, and produce eugenic outcomes that over time destroy the possibility of not only choice, and prosperity, but of transcendence (evolution). Reality is not kind. There are no free rides. And that is an uncomfortable, scientific, truth. We must continue to defeat the red queen.
Science (truth) rarely tells us what we desire, it merely gives us power to choose that which is desirable in fact over that which is desirable in pretense, or that which is a mere deception.
The Natural Law of Sovereign Men
The Philosophy of Aristocracy
The Propertarian Institute
(BTW: One or two years ago Harris issued a challenge as to whether morality could be scientifically expressed. I lacked the time (or inclination) to do so, but it can be (easily and thoroughly and irrefutably). And it is just as dehumanizing as the work of Darwin and Copernicus.)