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February 16, 2015


I really like this -- especially the parts about path-dependency and (also) the pearl metaphor. I assume that at some point she talks about Freud? Because that is what she's talking about, isn't it? Does she mention Fingarette?

From your quotation it sounds like the evolutionary idea is meme plus pheno-type. At some point her way of thinking, or your account of animal mimicry, would have to hit the rdf of costly signaling. That is: if all frogs are blue, blue no longer works to protect them. So being blue has to be something that most frogs can't afford to be: there is a pretty low limit on how many non-poisonous frogs the blues can save. The camel may get through the -- nose? -- of the needle, but without much headroom for a free rider. (That tends to mean that blue us a hard color to produce without poison, so that if you're blue you're likely to be poisonous. Certainly true of... pink flamingoes.)

Same I imagine with her view of the meme's relation to its purpose: the purpose has to be pretty helpful and the meme pretty consonant with it for the purposer's way of purposing to survive down the generations. And then there's the question of the interpretation that others put on her expressions of desire, etc.

Just maundering out-loud here. I always hate feeling Taylor is right about something. But that's just me.

The doctrine of double effect as put to mention here wouldn't be hers, right? But more yours or Taylor's?

Oh hey I was pleased by the pearl metaphor as well; thanks.

No Freud in the paper—she actually specifically disavows unconscious desires as part of her topic, which doesn't really make much sense to me—nor Fingarette, though the self-deception book sounds interesting.

I'm not sure that there needs to be any sort of costliness here; I mean, not all desires can cause pleasant representations of going for a walk, but why would they all? And if the perverse shoe-abrading desire does, and maybe a few other perverse desires do, why must that be costly? Because otherwise I'll go on too many walks? (I guess because: otherwise I'll become inured to the desire. But I dunno, the whole mechanism here seems underspecified. NB I'm the one to talk about evolutionary dynamics here; they're absent from the paper. I just want to understand why desires would (only) cause images/thoughts that align with their content.)

No double-effect in the paper (or Taylor, or that part of Taylor, anyway); just being gestured at here as possibly of interest.

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