Wednesday, August 28, 2013

PIR at home and the end of the road with Big Idea # 200, the is/ought problem

Simple lunch
There's something nice about bookshops, even a simple regional Waterstone's can offer pleasurable time browsing(I know that Amazon are destroying them with their low prices and almost infinite choice).
The other day I was looking at a book that had some National Trust connection with different authors who espoused various pleasures and 'the good life' one of the pleasures was home produced food and at this time we're able to enjoy some of this - at the weekend I roasted some potatoes I had grown and yesterday for lunch I had tomato, cucumber, 2 sorts of basil, olives (shop bought) and Mozzarella cheese for lunch with  a glass of beer - lovely.

PIR Sensor
Driven light

The other endeavour for me was to (almost) finish off installation of a replacement light in the garden, the idea is to both deter intruders and also provide light when visiting the dustbin or garage.
A PIR (Passive infrared) sensor works on infra red emissions ands when triggered this causes light to illuminate - clever stuff.

The sensor and light were about £10 each but time and effort on this 'project' was quite a bit and I was employing some bits and pieces that I already  had/existed- quite pleasing to have it working but not a job for a complete beginner.
There are adjustments to make to make to the sensor  so it works as I wish but the devices basically work just needs tidying and finishing off.

The last Big Idea number 200, the is/ought problem

Somewhat out of sequence and after some searching (no prize up for grabs now) I have found that the missing entry (mistake on my part not Crofton's) is that knotty is/ought problem.

I don't know if the slip is a Freudian one but perhaps this is topic  a better way to wrap up the project I set myself....
Hume was the first modern philosopher to raise the issue in 'A Treatise on Human Nature' way back in 1736, Hume found that there seems to be a significant difference between the descriptive statements  that are about what is and the prescriptive or normative statements which are about what ought to be, and it is not obvious how one can get from making descriptive statements to prescriptive. The is–ought problem is also known as Hume's law and Hume's Guillotine.
Ayn Rand the US writer was al;o fascinated by the dichotomy her consideration came from the following..

"Lead is poisonous" would be an "is" statement, this view would then ask, what does that have to do with morality? Should we eat it? Should we not? A supporter of the is-ought dichotomy would say that no matter how long you stare at the three words "mercury is poisonous," no "ought" will appear—you can't deduce anything that didn't already exist in your premises—so you have no way to conclude whether you ought or ought not to eat it.
Rand dealt with the problem by attacking it at the root. According to Rand, the bridge between the "is" and the "ought," between reality and morality, between fact and value is the concept "life." If you choose to live, that instantly implies a whole slew of values, i.e. "oughts." One of those "oughts" would be that you shouldn't ingest poisons, Lead included, because if you do, your life will soon go out of existence.
Coming back to the topic of this question—Rand's statement that every is implies an ought—she really does mean "every." Even boring, trivial facts such as "the sky is blue" imply "oughts." What does "the sky is blue imply"? One implication would be: if look outside during the day and the sky is dark, that means that you ought to take your umbrella if you go out.

The is/ought principle epitomises much of the human condition and perhaps even something of free will ...
Something to thin about - Thanks Mr Ian Crofton (seen here on the left) for this and the other 199 (Big) ideas.
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