Re: Value of Objective vs. Value of Subjective

From: Stathis Papaioannou (
Date: Tue Mar 11 2008 - 04:48:59 MDT

On 11/03/2008, Lee Corbin <> wrote:

> True, but take a more challenging example: I choose to have
> myself tortured to death in place of my child. Now I do this
> knowing full well that I will regret, infinitely regret, this decision.
> (That's part of the definition of true torture.) Thus I am
> sacrificing "the quality of my subjective experience" for an
> unknown, and horribly duration.
> You may argue, "Oh, well, during the tiny moment you made that
> decision, you were optimizing your tiny current subjective experience".
> That's true, though it reduces us to the "everyone does everything for
> a selfish reason", thus totally negating what the word "selfish" means
> and effectively removing from public discourse.

Yes, that's just what I would argue. But I think you can still
understand what I mean if I contrast altruistic selfishness with
selfish selfishness.

> Most people will in fact, I claim, sacrifice their subjective well-being
> for certain higher or nobler goals, even if it involves knowing very
> well that they will enormously regret the decision.

Yes, but leaving aside the question of whether this is really selfish
or not, it still involves subjectivity. No-one is going to sacrifice
anything in pursuit of a goal that leaves them completely unmoved. But
perhaps as you said in a response to Nick this isn't problematic if
subjectivity is equated with experience.

Stathis Papaioannou

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