Plato believed that all knowledge was obtained by justifying a true belief, and called this a “justified true belief.” This meant that, to obtain knowledge, you were put forth a claim (a belief) and “tie it down” (justify) it with reasoning to back up that claim. He believed that all senses were deceptive, and if we try to obtain knowledge through our sensual apparatus, we will fail. This is so, because the physical world is forever in flux and is forever updating. Since we observe things with our senses and try to make sense of the world with them, trying to obtain knowledge through the use of our senses will not work, as the physical world will always be “one step ahead.” Essentially, we cannot reach past our own reach. Plato also believed in an “ideal world of the forms.” He believed that this ideal world was not to be mistaken for a “Platonic heaven,” or religious at all. Plato believed that, for example, a perfect ideal triangle existed in the world of the forms. He would believe that the triangle was indeed perfect, was uncreated, is indeed real and is indeed existing. Plato believed that we could only grasp the concept of the ideal world of the forms through reasoning and rationality, which we have intuitively. Overall, he believed that senses were deceptive, unstable, and therefore the senses gave you only approximations of the world, not full knowledge of it. In contrast, rationality is full knowledge, stable, and is obtained through proofs or truths, such as mathematical techniques. The goal of this whole process is to gain full, absolute knowledge. He believed that we are to take advantage of the fact that we are humans and we are capable of reason and reflection, in contrast to animals, who live solely off their instinctual responses and their impulse. The method of achieving knowledge was, as previously discussed, was to justify your true beliefs through “logical argumentation” (a dialectical reasoning). The outcome, therefore, would be true knowledge.
In reply to Plato, Gettier questioned whether or not knowledge really was a justified true belief. With this, he put forth his own 3 conditions for knowledge:
i) S believes P.
ii) P is true.
iii) S has a justification for P.
He believed that if these three conditions were fulfilled, you would have knowledge, and if even 1 was missing, you would therefore have an opinion, and not knowledge. The background assumptions of these 3 conditions are as follows:
a) Sometimes P is justified and is false.
For example, the “ether theory” fulfilled 2 of 3 conditions (i and iii). People believed that the theory was true, and there were justifications and reasons for the theory to be true. Nevertheless, condition ii) was not fulfilled, as it is not a true theory, and has been proved wrong.
b) Closure (of justification)
If you believe P, and P entails Q, you believe Q.
For example, if I believe that Smith is smiling, and the belief that Smith is smiling entails that Smith is happy, I believe that Smith is happy, which is entailed by the belief that Smith was smiling in the first place. Although both P and Q are true, I have been lead to the belief of Q for the wrong reasons. I did not figure out Q on my own, thus I do not fully know Q, as I only know it because it was entailed from the true belief of P. Also, P does not necessarily cause Q, P only entails Q. Smith’s happiness did not cause him to smile, it just entailed his smiling.
In reply to Gettier, Nozick believes that there is a physically describable chain of causation and the result of this chain is knowledge. He also presents truth trackers:
i) S believes P
ii) P is true
iii) If P were false, S wouldn’t believe P
iv) If P is true, then S believes it
Again, if these 4 conditions are fulfilled, knowledge is had. If not, opinion is. If P is true, and S uses method M to arrive at the belief P, then S would believe, through M, that P. For example, if [Rae is smiling] is true, and [Andrew] uses the method of [observation] to arrive at the belief that [Rae is smiling], then [Andrew] would believe, though [observation], that [Rae is smiling].
Skepticism is the raising of the possibility that things are not as they seem in reality. It is the uncertainty of what may or may not be. It is raising doubt of things you previously thought to be true. In Meditations 1, Descartes practices skepticism. He believed that knowledge was a belief that could survive skeptical pressures or scrutiny brought upon by a “skeptical prosecutor” in quarantine, a “place” where one’s previous true beliefs are sent and wait as neither true nor false, and are waiting to be either retrieved and “stamped” as knowledge, or rejected and thrown out. The method for this was to first doubt as far as possible. You were to shed all of your previous true beliefs until you come across a belief that is indubitable. You were to “grant the skeptical prosecutor a gift in quarantine.” Descartes sectioned his previous true beliefs into six categories to ship them into quarantine instead of doubting each individual belief one by one because this would be too tedious. If one section of beliefs were retrieved, then all of the individual previous true beliefs within that category would be retrieved and stamped as knowledge. Descartes sent beliefs into quarantine that have doubted him even once because of the “once a cheater always a cheater” mentality. Why rely on something for knowledge if it has deceived you once before? First, Descartes sent his previous true beliefs of the material world into quarantine, and we observe the material world with our senses, thus he sends his belief of his own senses into quarantine. For example, a canoe paddle looks bent while submerged, but straight when above water. Since his senses deceived him, he sent them into quarantine. Second, Descartes sent memory into quarantine. For example, I cannot remember last Tuesday’s lunch, thus memory is being sent. Third, he sends the belief of dreams into quarantine. This is because he cannot decipher dreaming experience from waking experience, while dreaming. Things only seem true while dreaming, which leads to his fourth section. Fourth, he sends his beliefs of his body into quarantine. This is because, for example, while dreaming, his body seems distorted but regular while awake. Since the belief of his actual body deceived him once, and did so in the dreaming state, he sent it into quarantine. Fifth, he sent the beliefs of religion/theology into quarantine. This is because, during this process, his mind cooked up the concept of an “evil genius” that made him question the existence of God. Sixth, he doubted mathematics. With the “evil genius” doubting him again, he questioned how we really knew that 2+2=4 and not 5. Seventh, he proceeded to send the previous true belief of himself into quarantine. About to send it, he decided to stop. This is because he has discovered his own essence/existence: he is left with a belief that is indubitable because it is the belief of himself. He said to himself, “I doubt. If I doubt, I think. And If I think, I exist.” (“cogito ego sum” = I think, therefore I am). This claim is true every time it was exercised by Descartes. If he stops thinking, he would cease to exist. Since he is forever thinking, he is forever existing. When asked what he is, he could respond by saying a “rational animal” perhaps. But this would need an explanation; an animal is a body, but wait, the belief of bodies were sent into quarantine. The correct answer to this question is that he is thought. He is a creature that thinks, wills, reflects, doubts, and definitely exists. Now, Descartes wants to restore his previous true beliefs back into his realm of knowledge. To do this, he has to rid the concept of the “evil genius” (doubt). In Meditations 3 and 5, attempts were made to rid it. But the concept of the “evil genius” raises doubt itself. Did the “evil genius” (doubt) ever exist in the first place? Descartes questions this and comes to the conclusion that it never did in the first place. This is because he had no valid reason to doubt his previous true beliefs in the first place, he just doubted them as an experiment and kept the doubt going. To doubt is to have a reason to doubt, a valid one, thus Descartes was lacking a valid justification to doubt his beliefs at all. This concludes his case, as Descartes discovers the 100% existence of his own self, his inner realm, and is left with the belief of a high likelihood of the world outside his mind (the external world).
1. Local Skepticism: doubting a portion of your beliefs and only raising some doubt.
Portion 1: ie) colours
Colour is a combination of the mind (the subjective, the perceiver) and the material thing/object (the objective, the material/external/real world). If we rid our perception/our sensual apparatus, then the colour would not exist.
Portion 2: Moral Knowledge
If moral beliefs are true, they are true because they answer to something objective in the world. For example, if wrongness is real, it is because it is objective, and not a socially constructed belief.
Portion 3: Aesthetic Knowledge
ie) Beauty: is beauty objective or subjective? Beauty is not an object/within things, but instead is the response one has when experiencing delight/sees appeal in something. If you call a painting beautiful for example, you are saying something about yourself/your character, not the actual painting.
Portion 4: Religious Knowledge
Religious beliefs break the laws of nature. For example, water into wine. This does not “answer to reality.”
2. Global Skepticism: questioning where the experience came from in the first place in regards to the external/“real” world.
Theory 1: RWH (Real World Hypothesis)
Things just are the way they seem. What you see is what you get. Your senses are a reliable source for knowledge.
Theory 2: CSH (Computer Simulation Hypothesis)
The real world is code/a matrix (made of 1s and 0s). If we had this, we would need an extra code/something else (an “actual material exclusion”). For example, a bunny and a tree are mutually exclusive things. They occupy different spaces in the world, and cannot exist in the same place at the same time.
Theory 3: BVH (Brain in a Vat Hypothesis)
There is an “evil genius” that is poking at our brains and is making us think that we are in our rooms typing on our computers, for example.
Experience = RWH or CSH/BVH?
We cannot choose between the two. This is because there is no grounds/reason to base a decision on. To us, everything seems the same regardless, and I keep on living. I am unable to distinguish between the theories (this is called “underdetermination”). To “decide,” we have to just pick the theory that is more simple/less complex/less “ad hoc” (a theory that only solves 1 problem). Regardless, everything seems the same, and the RWH is less complex, so we choose this theory. Although this is not certain, it is just a high likelihood that this theory is real because it is less ad hoc. “There is a real world, probably.”
Nozick believes that knowledge is not a justified true belief.
1. He presents his truth trackers 3 and 4 regarding the existence of the outer world:
3) If P were false, S wouldn’t believe it.
4) If P is true, then S believes it.
2. BVH (Brain in a Vat Hypothesis)
P = I am in Kingston.
Q = I am not in the vat.
If P is true, then Q is true. If I am in Kingston, then I am not in the vat.
P is true, according to conditions 3 and 4 (above).
SK = Skeptical Hypothesis
Maybe Q is false.
Maybe [I am not in the vat] is false.
Maybe I am in the vat. (But this is a problem! See Below!)
Problem with SK
Q is not a truth tracker because of condition 3!
3) If Q were false, then S wouldn’t believe it.
3) If [I am not in the vat] were false, then I wouldn’t believe it.
3) If I am in the vat, then I would believe it.
* but for this specific example, Q is not a truth tracker!
* you cannot know if you are in the vat or not because everything appears to be the same (“underdetermination”); you have absolutely no reason to believe you are in the vat, or not
Therefore, we cannot know Q and have to sacrifice knowing it to only know P. We can only know that we are in Kingston; we cannot know whether or not we are in the vat.
PLATO & MOORE:
Moore believed that absolutely everything existed outside the mind and in the external, outer, real world. His (weak) justification was:
“Here is a hand.” - which lead to “I know that here is a hand.” - which lead to “I think I know that here is a hand.” There is no valid justification/reason for this claim, thus we have returned to/we are stuck in “cogito” (the belief of our inner world).
ie) Looking at a bunny: is it an imitation or the real thing?
We are not being deceived by an “evil genius,” we are just unsure/uncertain.
Bunny: Primary and Secondary Qualities
- objective, factual, mind independent (can exist without perceivers perceiving them)
- ie) The bunny is 7 grams, whether or not people agree/perceive it.
- subjective, truth, opinion, mind dependent (only exist with perceiving minds)
- ie) The bunny is cute.
ie) A Painting:
Primary: the paint
Secondary: beauty (a relationship between the thing and the mind; a response to the painting’s delight that it brings you; beauty is not objective)
Therefore, we can only have confidence in Primary (objective/true) Qualities.
Berkeley was an Idealist; he believed that everything existed within the mind, in contrast to Moore (and Quine). He believed that all reality was mental, and all experience undergone went down in the internal, inner mind. If you ask “what is behind the -vail of perception-?” Berkeley will respond by saying that there is no vail, and that everything you need to know/everything you can know is within your mind. You cannot think of things that do not exist. You cannot know the unknowable. If you try to see if your mind and the “real world” align, you will not discover anything, because this is absurd and incoherent. You cannot tear your mind from yourself; this suggests that there is something else out there to know. There is nothing else to know besides what you know within your subjective, perceiving mind. Berkeley believed that there was no distinction between primary and secondary qualities because both sets of qualities were only ideas and existed in the mind; there is no exterior world. Berkeley’s overall premises and conclusion was:
1) All qualities exist within the mind.
2) Ideas exist only in perceiving minds.
Conclusion) All qualities are mind dependent.
* Berkeley challenges us to perceive the unperceived; this is impossible and unknowable, and incoherent.
In contrast to Berkeley, Quine believed that the real, external world was just there; a matter of convenience. He believed that it was there because it gave us the power to predict the future, as well as experience the present. The real world was just out there, in addition to our inner mind and thoughts.
Thesis 1: Creation (Transcendent?) (regarding how life came about)
Time and space were created by something/someone/a living entity existing outside our time and space. This is exemplified by the widespread belief of Christianity; God created our time and space outside them; he does not age in our time nor does he take up our earthly space.
Thesis 2: Constitution
Reality is digital, made of mathematical “bits,” and is non-sensual. We are persuaded to think that science is beyond our sensual experience. For example, we allegedly cannot “see” atoms.
Thesis 3: Components of a person (mind/body, soul)
Mind and body are separate (“person”=mixture)
We cannot see our minds. Our souls constitute us as us, live past our deaths; we are our souls, not our bodies. If we were to suffer psychological damage, our “person” would have faded a little, as our bodies remain and continue. If we were to suffer bodily damage, our bodies would fade a little, but our “person” would remain/continue.
1. Hard Determinism:
We think that we have free will, but it is only an illusion. We have causal laws that are beyond our control. Everything has a cause, and every event in the world was caused by a previous event.
Free Will is more or less total, hard determinism is false, and our choices do play a causal role in the unfolding of the world.
We must contrast Free Will with Constraint (not cause) to understand what freedom is. Constraint is when external forces cause us to act without our control/consent. Therefore, freedom is an action unconstrained.
Constrained behaviour: ie) a kleptomaniac (compulsive stealer): no control over actions, no responsibility of actions
Unconstrained behaviour: ie) a regular thief: control over actions, responsibility of actions; but if you are responsible for your actions, it is because your actions emerged from your character.
But you cannot control your character (your psychology, your traits, etc.) If you making an unconstrained choice (ie. choosing soup over the salad), you are “soup kind of person.” Since you cannot control your character, can you take responsibility for your actions, since your actions emerge from your character? Ayer says no! Therefore, we are back to the hard determinist thesis and we must prove that it is wrong/false in order to obtain free will. CHALMERS questions whether or not there is a track leading to free will, and puts forth 2 tracks of causation:
Transient Causation: “event causation”
There is a physically describable chain of events. ie) A happened, then B happened.
Immanent Causation: “agent causation”
People are “uncaused causes.” Every time we make a choice, we are starting a new chain of causation. We are not caused by external forces to make choices, but instead we ourselves cause things to happen. Things don’t cause us to cause things; we just cause things to happen. ie) A chose to B, so B happened.
We have to know what animals are to understand what humans are. Animals are developing organisms, are mutually exclusive, we share space with them; we evolved from them. Both animals and humans have desires and the ability to fulfill those desires.
First Order Desires (Instrumental Level): [animals]
A want to X (X is an action).
This is the realization of your desires, where they came from, and fulfilling them and obtaining satisfaction. We can do this because we have information/beliefs of the world around us that allow us to take steps in order to achieve desires and obtain satisfaction from these desires. For example, if I want to buy a cookie, I need $1.00. Since I do not have $1.00, I have the ability to think of ways to make the money to achieve the desire to obtain satisfaction. For example, I could steal it, but that would make me feel bad about myself. I could go penny searching, but that would take too long. I could borrow it from a friend. Therefore, using my beliefs about the world, I have taken steps in order to achieve desires to obtain satisfaction in the end. But, something is missing in first order desires: the ability for self-reflection.
Second Order Desires (Reflective Level): [humans]
A wants to X (X is a First Order Desire; a first order desire becomes the subject of inquiry/the thing about what I am thinking)
ie) Do I really want to be a meat eater, or should I become a vegetarian? We, as humans, have the capacity to critically reflect on ourselves, our will, our choices, ourselves overall, whereas animals do not. “Human” is not just the capacity/option to reflect on ourselves, but the genuine care to do so. If there is no care when doing so, there is a defect in the person.
Free will and self-reflection are not given at birth, but can be achieved/obtained and perfected, like a skill. We are responsible for fulfilling our own personhood. ie) A baby does not have the ability for second order desires, yet. It does not have free will, yet. We realize our freedom when we realize our ability to self-reflect, change our minds/wills, and genuinely care about doing so.
He explores the structure of our Second Order Desires.
1. Objective Perspective:
This concerns actions in the world unfolding regardless of perceivers perceiving the events. Things just happen. The tree falls even if no one’s around. This perspective could be taken on by a God-figure or an “immeasurable bystander.”
2. Participant Perspective:
This is a point of view of a human (a human viewing human). Humans have “reactive attitudes:” how we react to what humans do to us and what humans do to other humans. For example, if A hits B with C’s arm, C is angry at B, not A. Is it legitimately appropriate to place the responsibility of C’s anger on A though?
Humans are not “channels of action;” animals are. ie) We cannot be angry at the lion who eats the gazelle.
a) Personal: I am involved (I am a transactor in a transaction)
b) Vicarious: I am not involved
A world with neither a) nor b) is a world without persons. A person without Second Order Desires is not a person at all. We can only understand the world through a participant perspective. This is how we make sense of it. Therefore, free will is applied to the physical world through the participant, first person point of view in accordance to our own wills.
STRAWSON + FRANKFURT:
Strawson: we have the participant perspective already.
Frankfurt: it is within your will to develop the will you want to have.
Hard determinism as either true or false is irrelevant because we are doing the kinds of things we want to be doing. Strawson and Frankfurt care about the responsibility of one’s actions and where to assign it.
Heteronomy [natural laws]: being subject to natural laws such as gravity.
ie) If a lion is in an ideal environment with enough resources and no threat (everything is ideal), the lion is free to do what it pleases. But human freedom is more than doing what you would like to do.
Autonomy [social/self-laws]: self-legislation; laws that you decide to live by that will constrain your behaviour and guide your actions in accordance with your will (justifying your set of laws/codes/morals/standards to live by); it is also about learning from other’s laws and adopting them as your own; ie) being kind to others
There will be rupture between heteronomy and autonomy at times though.
ie) slaves: are heteronomous, but their autonomy is “boxed in”
Therefore, free will is not being able to do what you like, but having the ability to constrain your behaviour to guide your actions because you genuinely care to do so.
“Consciousness makes personal continuity.”
ie) being “the same” X at age 5 and yesterday; what persists through time?
1. Material Objects:
a) Natural (ie. a rock)
Identity = if you change the matter, you change the thing/object (same matter=same object=same identity)
If a rock’s physicality has been altered, it has undergone a change in physical constitution.
b) Artificial [man made] (ie. a car)
Matter + Functional Organization
ie) If a car goes from points A to B, and during the trip, all the parts have been replaced until it is a “new” car in appearance, but the identity remains because the functional organization has persisted (it has always performed the function of a car regardless of if its parts were changed/updated)
ie) a seed into a flower
The identity of the flower exists as its physical parts partake in one common life.
The matter changes, but the identity remains if it is still growing/developing, up until its “flower death”
Continuity of consciousness = identity
The person goes as far back as the memory does; even though there is a memory overlap, the person persists (ie. I can remember yesterday, but not last Wednesday. Yesterday, I could remember last Wednesday as well as 5 months ago. Last Wednesday I could remember 5 months ago as well as 6 months ago. But me today, I cannot remember 6 months ago.)
ie) Prince and the Cobbler: the 2 switch minds, the Prince is now concerned for “Cobbler body/shell” and vise versa; person goes where consciousness goes
Presents 2 thought experiments:
1. Simple case:
We have developed teleportation. I can go to Mars for the weekend. I go into a machine; an exact copy of me is made (body, psych, likes, dislikes, etc.) As I am teleported to Mars, objectively, I cease to exist for 1 hour. In my mind, 1 second later, I am on Mars.
Physical Criterion: the earth version of me dies, but is recreated 1 hour later on Mars. Not me, but a different exact copy of me.
2. Branch Line case:
(cont’d from 1):
When I died on earth, a replica was created on earth and plans to replace me. One version of me on Mars, one version of me on Earth (original me is destroyed). The replica on Mars replaces me and comes home and is the exact same person as me, only a bit different (not the original).
Reductionism: there is no person without a body to encompass the psychology
under Relation R = there must be a physical being to occupy the mind
1. Psychological Spectrum:
- transform Smith into Napoleon
- body continues + psychology transforms
- each step will be painful to the body (Smith is concerned for his self in the future because of the upcoming pain)
- no step where Smith “becomes” Napoleon; it is a gradual change
- there is no Sn (smith) and then Sn+1 (Napoleon) moment
2. Bodily Spectrum:
- surgeon turning Smith’s body into Taylor’s body
- no Sn then Sn+1 moment
3. Combined Spectrum (total mind and body swap):
- Smith turns into Tayor (Smith replaces Taylor and Taylor replaces Smith)
- as Smith changes, his person becomes “less him” (murkier and murkier each stage)
- “empty question:” a question without an answer unless you assign one
- identity doesn’t have “determinant boundaries:” not true, not false, ie) “bald”-what does that mean? there is no answer to how many hairs on your head you have to have in order to be bald
We are forward looking creatures, not just backwards (reflective). We can anticipate what will happen to us and our bodies in the future. We can project ourselves into the future (this is important for bodily continuity because when we project, we think of our 1st person embodied self, not disembodied; [combo of both?])
If psychology changes:
Williams: A=A (same person)
Parfit & Locke: A=B (new person)
Option: put into an “experience machine” where all experiences will be good (nothing bad) but the experiences will all be fake [not real] - you will have friends, but they will not be real friends
1st person (me, today): Sure! (“happy vegetable”)
3rd person (objective): But the experiences won’t be real! [resistance because there is a richer form of life available]
1. Appetitive desires: food, water, sex, etc.
2. Spirited part of soul: pleasure, enjoyment, relationships, etc.
3. Rational part of the soul: reason, self-reflection, questioning, etc.
These 3 parts of the soul are often at war with each other:
ie) rational desire not to be friends with someone because they are politically opposite, but spirited desire says yes because they have a good sense of humour; “competing desires”
“Satisfactory human life” = integration of 3 parts.
What matters is being connected/close to reality; this means exposing ourselves to pain, sorrow, sadness, etc. because it is what conducts human life.
Resisting of the “experience machine” (where all is satisfying) to be exposed to real negative aspects of life is what human life is.
“Poor human life” = living solely in the subjective perspective
“Good human life” = living in the objective world;
Q: but how do we live a significant human life?
Regarding how to live a significant human life.
1. Preference Theory (subjective):
“Introspective Awareness” matters (access to knowledge)
ie) High on the preference: to see my children grow up
But if I am exiled to Siberia, my preference is to live, not see my kids grow up.
If I am deceived about my preferences and never discover, my life counts as going well (obliviousness; subjectivity)
If I am lied to, my life goes just as well.
2. Success Theory (subjective):
“Introspective Awareness” does not matter.
If I am lied to, my life does not go well.
ie) I want/don’t want X, therefore X is good/bad.
ie) I don’t want to be lied to, therefore being lied to is bad.
Your life goes better the more your desires are fulfilled.
ie) More paperclips collected that I have = happiness (makes me happy, does no harm to anyone, I am leading a life of fulfillment [better life]; I want to collect paperclips, therefore collecting paperclips is good.
But there is no objectivity in this (ie. a contribution to mathematical theories that I am making; my life is not as good as it could be).
3. Objective List Theory (objective):
Loving and being loved will objectively make life better than life without love (or awareness of beauty, rational activity, etc.)
Regarding what makes someone’s life go well.
1. Subjective (argument about me): I care about X, therefore X matters.
The wellness of my life comes form pleasures in collecting paperclips. This is my preference.
2. Objective (argument about the object I care about): X is important, therefore I care about X.
ie) Love is important, therefore I care about love/being loved/receiving it.
Nagel says that 1&2 are equally arbitrary/wrong/absurd.
“Whatever you do now will not matter in 1,000,000 years.”
Wrong! If you think this, then your life does not have meaning.
Point of views of significance:
1. Spectator: 3rd person (seriousness is not grounded by anything that is not-absurd)
2. Participant: 1st person
There is no absurdity in a mouse life chasing cheese and dodging cats because it cannot take the spectator POV on itself/its actions. It has no capacity for self-reflection like humans do. This self-reflection and ability to take the 3rd person POV on ourselves alone is what makes human life absurd. No other species, as far as we are aware, is able to question their existence, their thoughts, their will, whether their wills are the wills they want to have, their significance, worth, etc. The significance in human life is found when trying to find a meaning and carrying on past the absurdity (in comes Sartre; existentialism=the ability to be a self-creating being; finding/making your own meaning).
1. Existence Precedes Essence:
There is no existing nature of a person when they are born. Nothing is planted into a person (not even self-interest). First, we come into the world and are conscious. Next, we must create our essences because we have none. Self-orientation without having a point of reference; we are to write our own books; we are responsible for our own choices/everything we do.
2. Choice Brings Responsibility:
We have choices (how to act, be, etc.) The opportunity to choose brings responsibility of that choice. We are going to become people that we choose to be. We are “stuck with the freedom to choose.”
3. Responsibility Raises Awareness:
I am 100% responsible for my person; anguish is born from the realization that there is no “independent reference point” against how we can measure the worth of our choices; responsibility is dreadful. You will always have the choice.
4. Choice is Self Invention:
We invent ourselves in projecting ourselves into the future (making plans, since there is no map). Perpetual uncertainty regarding whether we are doing rightly or wrongly. “Existential despair.” We are making things up as we go. Our lives are absurd, but can be good lives if they are lead accordingly to our will (but still, no reference point for what a “good” life is).
A way out: human solidarity/realization that we are in this together. We are to carry on, don’t lay down and die, and fight the rats.