Contemplating a 'DA-Value' project

Having made a little progress with the DA-Hol wiki, I have now pretty much decided that the philosophically obvious companion, which I am now inclined to call DA-Value, should also be put in place soon, even if there is not a lot of prospect of it progressing beyond a wiki in the near future (the ideas may take a while to develop).

If you want to know what this might be and why I think it an obvious complement then this is the story. Philosophy was divided by Aristotle into two principal parts:

  • Theoretical Philosophy
    which is concerned with knowledge


  • Practical Philosophy
    which is concerned with values

Well actually, its a bit more complicated than that, but when we come to David Hume and his two “forks”, the second (more often called Hume’s Law or Hume’s Guillotine) gives us a division rather more exactly like that by affirming that one cannot derive an “ought” from an “is”, or an evaluative claim from a factual or descriptive claim. Something similar comes later from G.E.Moore, who condemned the so-called “naturalistic fallacy” of offering a naturalistic definition of “the good”.

Well that’s the division which I think of as natural, and I often consider all the philosophy which I much think about as divided into those two huge categories.

DA-Hol belongs squarely in the first (theoretical philosophy), in a philosophically minimalistic way. DA-Value is a place for all my (perhaps rather theoretical) ideas about practical philosophy, i.e. matter involving values, such as ethical, political and economic philosophy.

Since freedom and democracy are among my hot buttons, and I look for the further development of these ideas as technology enables more effective ways of working together, my particular first-order values are not what matters here. We may expect to see DA-Value coming out rather meta-theoric in its approach to practical philosophy (which is probably pretty normal), but the aim will be to translate the ideas into software, and autonomous agents, which help us all to clarify, expose and effect our value systems, thereby helping to shape the future of our world.

Written on November 20, 2016