[extropy-chat] "Hierarchical power is out"
jef at jefallbright.net
Wed Dec 27 05:44:51 UTC 2006
Lee Corbin wrote:
> Samantha writes
>>> "Coercion is the practice of compelling a person to
>>> involuntarily behave in a certain way (whether through
>>> action or inaction) by use of threats, intimidation
>>> <UL> or </UL> some other form of pressure or force....
> Underlining added by me :-)
> And just why shouldn't "coercion" be available to describe
> any sort of pressure or effect at all? Isn't one's house
> coerced into collapsing because of the hurricane's winds?
> Aren't prisoners in the Sudan coerced into dying by the
> bullets penetrating their skins? And even if the farmer were
> to fail to adopt the new technology because of his own
> feelings of unworthiness, well, weren't those feelings
> *caused* in the first place by the advent of new technology
> over which he played no part and in which his voice was not
> heard? So, you see, he's coerced either way!
> I really don't understand why you resist these more
> perceptive and broader applications of the concept---surely
> we mustn't restrict our concepts and vocabulary to only the
> most banal and blatant examples of a phenomenon! On the
> contrary, as a fundamental principle of abductive
> nonmonotonic reasoning, to resist instead coercion by
> oppressive binary oppositions and dichotomies (cf.
> aktuelisace) can only be liberating!
Bravo, Lee! (The verb, not the noun)
> Why shouldn't terms and concepts acquire increasing and
> progressively greater scope until they all mean everything?
Or rather, we might become aware that the meaning of terms such as
coercion, self, free-will, rationality, morality and justice is
critically dependent on context.
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