[ExI] Cosmopolitanism, collective epistemology and other issues

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Thu Jul 14 00:09:34 UTC 2016

On 2016-07-11 00:57, William Flynn Wallace wrote:
> Cosmopolitanism  is a form of humanism.  As a humanist I feel a 
> connection with all people, not just my tribe and its beliefs.  Which 
> brings up patriotism.  Long ago I encountered the idea that 
> intellectuals were more faithful to ideas than to places or 
> governments or their tribe.  That means, and studies show, that 
> liberals like me are less patriotic than conservatives.  Haidt seems 
> to regard this as  moral weakness. I do not.

Exactly. I find patriotism downright disturbing - when people wave 
flags, I half expect them to start a lynch mob. I tend to trust people 
who wave around ideas (although I know that sometimes that makes them 
even more dangerous).

Of course, there is also the problem that a lot of cosmopolitans are 
actually just a bit western internationalist, as Ross Doutat pointed 

I am deeply annoyed that I recognize myself so much in his description - 
I want to be a *proper* cosmopolist rather than just in the 
internationalist tribe.

> Do I support my country's government?  Depends on what they are up to.
> (People who are at Kohlberg's stage 5 or 6 can make difficult 
> citizens, who don't shut up and do what they are told).

Exactly. And that is why they are necessary for the functioning of 
societies. Without them even an open society will stagnate.

Dr Anders Sandberg
Future of Humanity Institute
Oxford Martin School
Oxford University

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