Ted Slocum

Absurdity, gambling, mindfulness, programming, golf, well-being, and my opinions.

18 Dec 2021

Deep Pragmatism

What a cool term! Along with all of its positive connotations, pragmatism has a stink to it. It is associated with shallowness and short-term thinking. With deep pragmatism you get to have all the good stuff, none of the bad stuff, and more!

The term was presented by Joshua Greene in Moral Tribes, a book I am rereading, as a rebranding of utilitarianism. And the philosophical idea is that, once you boil everything down, the only thing that matters is the quality of people’s experience. I think that is right on the money and a useful way to think about morality.

It’s better than any religious story we have, any set of universal rights, and any notion of common-sense morality that we think we might have. At bottom what matters is the quality of people’s experience. This framework allows for the inclusion of religion, rights, and common-sense morality, but acknowledges them as constructions on top of the value of people’s experience.

I find it fun at times to think about what I value and to then check to see if it can be boiled-down-to or cash-out-in terms of the quality of people’s experience.

Any who, I don’t know how to end this post :)