June 15th, 2008

eyes black and white

To: dughof, Re: selfish

Dear Douglas,

I just read this interview of yours by Tal Cohen:
http://tal.forum2.org/hofstadter_interview

I quite agree with you when you claim that Kurzweil and other "raptured nerds" actually have "a deeply pessimistic view of the nature of the human mind." But similarly, when you start criticizing selfishness and boasting altruism, I think that you actually have a deeply pessimistic view of the nature of the human self: a narrow view of the self limited to base instincts and asocial indulgence, easily debunked by your own arguments about the survival of the extended self through the lasting consequences, traces and memories of one's art. Actually, the self is the unit of action and enjoyment, of understanding and appreciation, without which no art is possible, and any beauty is vain. It is the very thing that you glorify without shame - and rightfully so - when you publish your art and spread the memory of those you love.

[ François-René ÐVB Rideau | Reflection&Cybernethics | http://fare.tunes.org ]
Non seulement il n'y a pas contradiction entre égoïsme et altruisme, mais il n'y a pas d'altruisme possible sans égoïsme - car quelle amélioration souhaiter pour un autrui sans désir égoïste, pour lequel tout changement est indifférent?
[Not only is there no contradiction between egoism and altruism, but no altruism is possible without egoism - for what betterment to wish to an other person devoid of selfish desire, to whom any change is indifferent?]

I was honored to receive this short answer: Merci de vos observations. -- DH. [Thanks for your remarks.]