Showing posts from May, 2023

What is Subjectivity?

Recently, I have been in debates that involved the concept of subjectivity, and I discovered that many people are confused by it, or don’t have a clear understanding of it. So, I thought I would try to explain it. “Subjectivity” can have different meanings in different contexts. It can mean consciousness or the content of consciousness. It can also mean that a claim or property is relative to a subject, or depends on the perspective of a subject. By “subject”, I mean a mind. Something is subjective if it is mind-dependent or perspective-dependent. Let’s consider a simple example: left and right. Your left is defined relative to you. Your left is not my left. If I am facing you, then my left is your right and vice versa. Left and right are perspective-dependent. They differ depending on one’s perspective. There is no cosmic left and right. Foward and backward are similar. They depend on a perspective and a direction of motion. Up and down are also perspective-dependent, but in a le

What is Value?

Although value permeates our existence, it seems that many people have never taken a single minute to think about what value is: what makes something good or bad, and what it means to say that something is good or bad. In this essay, I will describe four types, or layers, of value: biological, psychological, social and philosophical. Biological Value Biological value is what is good or bad for an organism. Organisms are reproducing machines. The form of an organism was selected to reproduce. So, organisms have a natural purpose: to reproduce. Biological value is defined relative to that purpose. What is instrumental to an organism’s reproduction is good for that organism. Conversely, what is detrimental to an organism’s reproduction is bad for that organism. For example, it is biologically good for an oak tree to have water and sunshine, and it is biologically bad for an oak tree to be cut down. When we make a statement about what is biologically good or bad, it is always relativ