Less Wrong is a community blog devoted to refining the art of human rationality. Please visit our About page for more information.

DanArmak comments on The Danger of Stories - LessWrong

9 Post author: Matt_Simpson 08 November 2009 02:53AM

You are viewing a comment permalink. View the original post to see all comments and the full post content.

Comments (103)

You are viewing a single comment's thread. Show more comments above.

Comment author: DanArmak 08 November 2009 09:54:45PM 4 points [-]

That's not 'good and evil', just 'desired and undesired' - much milder and broader concepts.

Comment author: Matt_Simpson 08 November 2009 10:23:14PM *  2 points [-]

I call an action "good" when it is what you should do - i.e. it has normative force behind it. This includes all choices. So, yes, it is a broader concept than traditional 'goodness,' but thats fine.

I usually reserve "desired and undesired" to refer to the psychological impulses that we sometimes fight and sometimes go along with. I may desire that second piece of chocolate cake, but if I really think it through, I don't really want to eat it - I shouldn't eat it. The economist's utility function probably refers to desires since the goal is to model actual behavior, but the ethicist's utility function is built with a completely different goal in mind.