Monday, August 26, 2013
the better way
If you search the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy for an article on “Good,” you primarily get an article on “Value Theory” and find out at the end that the best view of ‘good’ (e.g., “X is good”) is that it’s about what’s better as such (“X is better than...” other relevant options in consideration).
So, choosing to focus here on a notion of “the better way” is not about an egoistic desire by me to assert my own preferences about anything in particular. Yet, ‘good’ usually is about particulars: a way among ways, in this case. Several options are probably good, but some are better. One might even be best.
If we want to think about “the” Good (capped), we’re presuming not only that there can be such a “thing,” but that it’s [to be] relative to some given domain or general sense of the world. A good is always of-and-in some sense of “the“ world. (There can be multiple worlds; ‘world’ can be used in that way. But we want a sense of singularity. We want there to be a sense of the world—The World—such that desire for The Good can be about that.)
What’s interesting to me (and many philosophers) is the desire to care about good and/or goodness. That which is “better,” relative to something (a way of acting, a way of things going, we say) is our familiar way (a way about ways, in this case?) of implying that one cares about what’s good. If there’s no ultimate good about something S, there’s surely some way that’s better than others for regarding S.
Such runarounds aren’t futile semantics. It’s a quick way to begin to focus on thinking about what’s good, apart from specifics—but relative to ways, desiring that there be, for a given situation, the better way of thinking, the better way of going on, or of preferring. Anyway, this is a way of beginning to think about “the” better way toward—whatever.
This is about—to my mind—philosophy for good.
[To be revised and continued]
This posting is associated with the “good thinking” area of gedavis.com.