Tuesday 26 September 2023

The fairies up Bilgrami's garden's bottom- Part 1

Leonard Da Vinci was a very famous homosexual. He painted Moaning Lisa. Handsome Harvard Professor of Symbology, played by Tom Hanks, discovered that actually Moaning Lisa is a mathematical Code which PROVES Jesus Christ had lots of kids many of whom were Super-Gay. This great truth had been suppressed by evil albinos working for the Vatican because Pope Sahib wants to exploit homos by getting them to become Cardinals or choirboys or whatever. 

Indian peeps- just like homosexual peeps- have been horribly exploited by the same evil White peeps who suppress the Da Vinci Code and Rembrandt Code and Newton Code and so forth. Handsome Columbia Professor of Philosophy, soon to be played by Shahrukh Khan in a major motion picture release, discovered that there was some guy named John Toland who had been totes suppressed by the Capitalist conspiracy which claims that Newton Sahib was opposed to the existence of fairies. This horrible lie led to DISENCHANTMENT- which is totes uncool due to it leads to EXPLOITATION AND COLONIALISM and failure to respond to the urgent normative demands made on us by trees or bushes to just have a fucking Revolution already and get busy slitting the throats of the boss class.

It is in this wider post-colonial context that we should decipher Akeel Bilgrami's essay on 

naturalism, understood as the metaphysical claim that there is nothing in the world that is not countenanced by the methods of natural science.

We don't know what new methods natural science may develop. Thus this is not an informative claim. Indeed, no claim in the Philosophy of Mind or of Language escapes the 'intensional fallacy'. It is impossible to establish any 'semantic' or logical relationships between things which are fundamentally epistemic and thus can't have a stable 'extension'. 

One may speak in a looser or less technical way  about such claims but this is mere arbitrary stipulation of an imperative or ipse dixit type. There is no 'informativity'.  The fact is, nothing in the world is not countenanced by the sage utterances of flying unicorns who will appear on earth just when least expected. 

Naturalism in this sense has evolved in recent years into a sophisticated doctrine and with sophistication there has been a certain degree of acknowledgement that some concepts describing or expressing certain properties that are, on the face of it, non-natural properties

i.e. super-natural properties like that of the burning bush in the Bible 

may not get a strict rendering into the conceptual vocabularies (physical, causal, functional…) of the various natural sciences.

They can have an arbitrary rendering. What we don't know is whether there can be a scientific vocabulary covering everything which has 'naturality'. But this does not matter in the slightest to any useful project that calls to us or sends us a text or which we get paid a little money to work on.

Even so, naturalism posits various forms of systematic dependency relations in which these properties stand to the properties traversed by the explanatory methods of the natural sciences.

There is no point positing any such thing because the sets or classes in question are not well defined or themselves contain impredicative or intensional elements. It is a different matter that for many specific purposes, we may have a good enough Structural Causal Model to be getting along with. 

No properties are allowed which do not stand in these dependency relations.

which they can be made to do by arbitrary stipulation.  This may be useful but it does not represent 'naturality'. 

The primary focus of the debate has been over value properties—with intentional properties of mind plausibly thought to be, for reasons that I won’t elaborate here, just a special case of value properties.

Intentions are not properties of anything. We may arbitrarily assign intentions to everything- e.g. the new computer hates me because it randomly switches off- but this is merely a manner of speaking.  

In a word, the debate is over whether values are or are not reducible to (do or do not stand in systematic dependency relations with) natural properties as defined above.

Values, like intentions, are things we impute to other things. The question is whether such imputations are arbitrary but useful or arbitrary but silly. This debate has turned out to be useless and silly. 

This debate has a well-studied history within the confines of Philosophy and in that history the chief protagonists have been Hume and Kant and their many successors down to this day.

Hume, like Smith, was concerned with utility. His method gives us the option to ignore the strictures of the church and to concentrate on useful knowledge. Sadly, being a Humean may turn you into a bitter cynic while the pious fellow becomes rich and has a wonderful family life. Kant, too was concerned with utility. If you could find true 'synthetic a priori' judgments you could save Scientists and Judges and Legislator a lot of time and mental effort. Sadly, no such magic is available to us. Still, Kant was quite a rigorous reasoner. 

On the Humean side, there is a conception of value in which they are considered largely to be a refinement of our desires. They are mental states we possess which, though they may be more reared in and geared to social relations and social constraints than other passions (as, for instance, in Hume’s elaboration of the notion of ‘sympathy’ or in Adam Smith’s account of them as ‘moral sentiments’), they are nevertheless tendencies of our mentality.

Since minds need healthy well fed bodies to flourish, most minds-not specifically paid to talk bollocks- ignore 'values' and stick to doing good 'mechanism design' such that productivity can rise and people can be better off. Hume, who was a bit of a toff, might not have put it quite such vulgar terms but that's the gist of the argument here. 

On the other side, finding all this too psychologistic and tied to human inclination, Kant had relegated morals to a ‘noumenal’ status within ‘pure practical reason’ whose relation to the perceptible world was rendered at least prima facie problematic.

God may exist and he may know exactly what 'values' and 'intentions' we should have. Provided God had no devious purpose in creating us, figuring out which judgments all thinking people are bound to assent to sooner of later would be really useful.  Sadly, absent some specific, utilitarian, context which is like a 'game against nature', going down this road soon proves to be a waste of time. 'Naturality' is something which exists only for well ordered sets or classes- like the natural numbers. But reality- like the real numbers- may never have any naturality even at 'the end of mathematical time'. At some point there is always an arbitrary stipulation. This is fine if verification, or utility, is easy to establish. Otherwise, just change the subject or steal a bottle of wine and fuck off. 

I want to steer past this canonical dispute between Humeans and Kantians, and in its stead make my subject, a roughly Aristotelian (as for instance, in John McDowell’s reading of Aristotle’s moral philosophy) conception of value

as arising out of wants or needs? 

because it helps to bring to the front much more specifically than either of those positions, a genealogy of the political and cultural significance of the vexed disagreement between ‘naturalists’ (as I have defined the term) and their opponents. 

Why bother with Aristotle's moral philosophy? The Greeks- who are hella smart- decided Christian morality was better.  Also, the 'vexed disagreement' between useless pedagogues is something which nobody wants or needs to hear about. From the Aristotelian point of view, they are shit- unless you get paid a little money to teach shite. 

Let me motivate this conception of value via a dialectic that begins with a familiar distinction. It is a relatively familiar point, sometimes attributed to Spinoza, that one cannot both intend to do something and predict that one will do it at the same time.

Sure we can. I intend to take a dump and I predict I will take a dump. Hopefully, I will have time to lower my trousers and seat myself on the toilet before this happens.  

When one predicts that one will do something, one steps outside of oneself and looks at oneself as the object of behavioural and causal and motivational tendencies, one looks at oneself as another might look at one, and so this is often called the ‘third person’ point of view’ on oneself.

Nonsense! I predict I will take a dump because I can feel a turd turtling. This is 'first person'. I'm not saying 'Vivek's bio-metric data suggests that a turd is working its way down his colon. There is a consensus amongst his surveillance team that he will go to the toilet and take a dump because that is his established pattern of behaviour'.  

But when one intends to do something, one is asking ‘What should I do?’ or ‘What ought I to do?’, one is being an agent not an observer of oneself, one is a subject rather than an object, and that is why this is sometimes known as a ‘first person’ perspective on oneself. 

But I can easily say 'what will the highly cuddly Vivek-type person do? Will he gives kisses to the baby? Yes he will! Mwah, Mwah! Yes he will! Vivek-type people like giving kisses to the baby- don't they? Yes they do! Mwah, Mwah!'  

Even when intentions to do something are formed without being deliberatively decisional answers to explicit questions of that form, they are distinctively within the first person point of view by contrast with predictions of what one will do.

No. It is quite usual to give a third person commentary on one's own actions when kissing the baby or seeking to endear oneself to the wife or g.f.  

A terminological aside: This vocabulary may be misleading since ‘first person’ and ‘third person’ can give the impression of being merely grammatical categories involving the first and third person pronoun, while the perspectival categories that the distinction between intention and prediction invoke are philosophical categories which do not coincide with the grammatical.

But these 'philosophical categories' concern a mere manner of speaking. True, a guy who routinely refers to himself in the third person may be suffering delusions of grandeur or some other sort of psychosis. But when I do it, I'm trying to be cute.  

Proof of this failure of coincidence can be found in examples such as when someone says, “I predict that I will…,” where the first occurrence of the first person pronoun, ‘I’ is an agentive use and the second occurrence refers to oneself as an object of detached study or observation

but silly people who don't know their own minds can say stuff of this sort. A lot of our linguistic behaviour is imitative or strategic.  

—raising hard questions, incidentally, about breezy assumptions we make about unproblematic anaphora in such cases.

But the 'breezy assumption' most people make when I say I will bring chocolate eclairs to the next meeting is that even if I actually buy the eclairs, I will eat them myself. My saying I will bring eclairs is a hint to the others that one of them had better bring chocolate eclairs which I can stuff into my mouth. It is not a pleasant sight to watch me eat but it is preferable to hearing me talk.  


For this reason it may be sensible to replace the terms ‘the first person’ point of view and ‘the third person’ point of view with ‘the agent’s’ or ‘the engaged point of view’ and ‘the observer’s’ or ‘the detached’ point of view, respectively.

This makes no difference whatsoever. It's like substituting the word 'defecates' for 'takes a fucking dump'.  

With whatever terminology we describe it, the crucial point is that though one can and does have both these points of view on oneself, we cannot have both these points of view on oneself at once.

Yes we can. 

The distinction, as I have presented it so far, is a distinction regarding two perspectives or points of view on oneself. But there ought also to be a similar distinction that holds for perspectives we have on the world. We can have a detached perspective on it, a perspective of study as is paradigmatically found in natural science (though that is just one very highly systematic form that that perspective takes), and we can have a perspective of agency on the world, one of responding to it with practical engagement rather than with detached observation and explanatory purpose.

Scientists mess around with test-tubes and telescopes and other such stuff. They are agents just as much as they are detached observers seeking a mathematical 'Structural Causal Model'. In any case, there is a little thing called 'Heisenberg Uncertainty principle' which Bilgrami must have heard of.  Observations interferes with what it observes- at least at the quantum level. 

Here again there is scope for being misled. The point is not that we are not agents when we are observing and explaining the world in scientific terms, but that we, as agents, are taking a perspective of detached observation or study on it rather than one of practical engagement. A scientist in her scientific observation and study does engage with the world and is an agent when she does so, but she does so with a perspective on the world that is detached.

This is meaningless. I have a detached perspective of my flat which tells me where the toilet is and how to get to it without tripping over the empty whiskey bottles that litter my bedroom floor.  

This point was already visible in the example I gave above when I was speaking of a third person perspective one can take on oneself. When I say, “I predict that I will…,” the first use of the personal pronoun is an agentive one, but the fact is that, qua prediction, the angle I have taken on myself is that of detached observation rather than of agency, by contrast with when I say “I intend to….”

There is no real difference here. I predict I will take a dump. I intend to take a dump. You could say 'your prediction depends on your intention' but that's not really true. I may be an anal retentive. I don't want to take a dump but I predict I will because I had a phal curry for breakfast. Boy, is my ass gonna be sore!

Exactly the same point holds of one’s third person perspective on the world. One does not cease to be an agent when one has a detached perspective on the world, one just treats the world as an object of detached study rather than as something that prompts our practical engagement.

Not in the natural sciences. Their detached study only gets funded if the result can be very useful. CERN wants to build a super-collider for 24 billion dollars. But what they find could be worth trillions.  

So, these contrasting points of view one has can apply to oneself as well as to the world. I want now to consider the latter and ask a crucial question: what must the world be like, what must the world contain, such that it moves us to such practical engagement, over and above detached observation and study?

This is foolish. Human beings evolved by natural selection. We spend some money getting smart peeps to study science because technology has made our lives much much better than that of our ancestors. True, there are some cretins who may have seemed bright as undergraduates. They have to be shunted off into Philosophy because we do have an obligation to create safe spaces for the feeble minded.  

If the world prompts such engagement, it must contain elements over and above those we observe and study from a detached point of view.

Why? Suppose I spend my days hunting for fairies at the bottom of my garden. I recruit some other crazy people who engage in the same pursuit. Does this mean the world must contain fairies whose value is greater than can be envisioned by 'detached' observation and study?  

The obvious answer to the question is that over and above containing the facts that natural science studies it contains a special kind of fact, evaluative facts and properties, or more simply, it contains values; 

It is important that fairy hunting receive proper funding and academic recognition because good fairies can give us very valuable gifts. 

and when we perceive them, they put normative demands to us and activate our practical engagement.

When we perceive a nice fairy, it will scold us for wanking. But, being kind hearted, it will put the girl next door under a magic spell and she will fall in love with us and then we will get engaged and maybe she will let us touch her breast.  

Values, being the sort of thing they are,

they are things we impute to others or to things themselves 

are not primarily the objects of detached observation,

because imputations are arbitrary though they may be convenient or may solve a coordination problem. 

they engage with our first rather than our third person point of view on the world.

Only in the sense that fairies engage with us.  

Thus if we extend in this way onto the world a presupposition of the fundamental distinction between intention and prediction (the presupposition of two contrasting perspectives that one can have on oneself), we get a conception of values that is neither Humean nor Kantian.

Because it is useless, stupid and gets engaged to fairies at the bottom of the garden.  

We get a conception of values by which they are not merely something we generate with our mental tendencies and ‘project’ onto the world (a favoured metaphor among Humeans), but, they are properties that are found in the world, a world of nature, of others who inhabit nature with us, and of a history and tradition that accumulates in the relations among these, and within which value is understood as being ‘in the world’.

Some people believe in fairies. Others prefer djinns.  

So conceived, values

like fairies or genies 

are not dismissible either as mere inclinations as Kant did of Hume’s psychologistic conception of values, nor (since they are perceptible properties in the world, precisely what Kant denied) are they dismissible as populating some gratuitous noumenal ontology of the pure and unencumbered will of ‘Practical Reason’.

Fairies are dismissed by scientists because they don't exist. It is useless to look for them. Philosophers, on the other hand, may have nothing better to do.  


It is not as if sympathy and moral sentiments, much stressed by Humeans, are left out of this picture, but sympathy and moral sentiments, on this picture, are our responses to the normative demands that we apprehend in our perceptions of the evaluative properties of the world.

We don't perceive any 'evaluative properties' in things in the world. True, when I'm very drunk I do think the trees are looking at me and making guesses as to the likely size of my dick. Bushes, on the other hand, tend to evaluate my ability to piss on them. 

I suppose if you think plants 'evaluate' and pass judgment on the size of your genitals, you may also think they make normative demands- like 'stop wanking so much you fucking wanker!'- of you. In that case, you should piss on them. Show them who's boss. Anyway, that is what I told the magistrate. It's easy to mistake a pair of brogues for a potted plant of some type. Still I was sorry for the damage to his carpet. 

Why can’t agency

which is merely something we arbitrarily impute to things or people 

consist in nothing more than the fact that we try and fulfill our desires, intentions, and so on.

It can, by arbitrary stipulation.  

True, there is a first person point of view that is activated and exercised in agency,

No. We may arbitrarily impute such a point of view after arbitrarily imputing agency. Thus, I ask plaintively 'why does the computer hate me?'  The g.f says 'Computer doesn't hate you. It gets angry when you jerk your foot and cause the plug to disconnect from the socket. The Computer needs electricity the same way you need your Whiskey. If it doesn't get electricity it goes blank just as you go blank when somebody asks you what you do for a living.'

but why can’t it simply be exercised merely in our efforts to satisfy our desires and fulfill our intentions?

In Law, an Agency is a person who has been legally empowered to act on behalf of another person or an entity. If the agent loses the power or ability to act as prescribed they may be deemed to no longer be an agent. 

Generally agents are required to do something other than that which satisfies their desires. However, a particular bunch of nutters may use the word 'Agency' to imply that people have some magical power. Thus, 'Agency' may mean stuff which the proles can do which helps bring about the Revolution. You are not truly exercising 'Agency' if you aren't fucking up your life doing stupid shit.

Why do I insist that agency comes into play only when our desires (and moral sentiments) are responding to the callings of something external, the evaluative properties in the world?

World is saying 'based on my evaluation, Revolution must happen immediately. Kindly get busy killing the class enemy. Incidentally, the trees tell me you have a tiny dick. After the Revolution, your dick will will become mighty and feared.'  

When someone asks one, “Do you desire x?,”

'Do you desire my wife?' 'Fuck no! She's like a sister to me. I don't find her sexually arousing at all. That's why I sleep naked with her.'

are we prompted to ponder our own minds or are we prompted to consider whether x is desirable?

We ponder our own minds unless it is obvious we will be thumped if we say the wrong thing.  

There may be special sorts of substitutions for x where we might ponder our own minds but for most substitutions, I think, we would consider x’s desirability.

No. Super-yachts are obviously desirable to some people. But I've never wanted one.  

This suggests that our desires are presented to us as having desirabilities in the world as their objects.

Which is why Bilgrami sucks off hobos though he is a straight man. Obviously, if the world has hobos their jizz must be desirable- right?

The plain fact is, what we desire depends on our internal state and has nothing to do what is desirable out there in the world. (I suppose an arbitrageur- i.e. a guy who buys valuable stuff he doesn't want so as to sell it at a higher price- is a bit different). Maybe, as small kids we wanted all the toys in the toy shop or all the sweets in the sweet shop. But we soon understand that you can't play with all the toys. You can only play with some. You can't eat all the sweets. You have to make a judicious choice because your little tum tum can only accommodate so much. 

if agency is present in the possession and exercise of the first person rather than the third person point of view,

it is so merely by arbitrary stipulation. 

that makes it a question as to how this conception of our desires can square with the fact of our agency. To see our desires as reaching down all the way to desirabilities in the world places  our desires squarely within the domain of our agency since now what we desire is presented to us in the experiencing of the desiring itself, rather than presented to us when we stepped back to observe our desires—thereby abdicating our agency.

But there is no such stepping back in saying 'Daddy wants to give kisses to the baby due to baby likes kisses- doesn't he? Mwah! Mwah!' 

No doubt, there are some Lefties who think you abdicate agency when you give kisses to baby instead of slitting the throats of the boss class. But they are as stupid as shit. Piss on them as you would upon a potted plant. 

This gives a decisive reason for resisting a self-standing view of desires

which is totes bougie and should have its throat slit 

—such a view cannot accommodate the fact of our agency—

that fact being that it is our job to slit the throat of the boss class.  

and in doing so it establishes two things. First it establishes the deep and essential links between value and agency,

which are mere imputations of an arbitrary type 

and second it motivates the conception of value that resists naturalism about value

by embracing nonsense

by resisting

like the French Resistance- right? Bilgrami & Co may appear to be useless tossers but they are actually resisting Hilter! 

(unlike Kantian forms of resistance to it) a purely ‘naturaIistic’ conception of nature

as opposed to a magical conception of it 

and, more generally, the perceptible (phenomenal) world.

We must resist the phenomenal world because it is not revealing good fairies to us who will issue the normative demands that we immediately slit the throats of the boss class.  

Putting it just this way as I have, following this Aristotelian conception, in order to contrast it with the Kantian resistance to naturalism, might invite a confusion that needs to be preempted at the very outset.

Otherwise Hitler wins. The good fairy dies horribly at Auschwitz.  

It would be a confusion to dismiss such an antinaturalist conception of value as taking an ‘unscientific’ view of nature and the world. To say values are properties in the world (including nature) is to make the world (including nature) not comprehensively surveyable by the methods of natural science.

Which is why the scientists are wrong about all those photographs of fairies which were faked by little girls back in Conan Doyle's day.  

That is the anti-naturalism. How could this be an unscientific thing to say?

Because it is useless and stupid.  

Something is unscientific, one must assume, if it falls afoul one or other of the claims of one or other of the natural sciences.

Thus if I say 'the Nicaraguan horcrux of the neighbour's cat looks a bit sad today', the claim is 'scientific' because no Scientist has got around to make any sort of claim about the emotional life of Nicaraguan horcruxes.  

What else could ‘unscientific’ mean? But if this is what it means, then anti-naturalism is not unscientific since no natural science contains the proposition that natural science has full coverage of the world (including nature).

But that is what it aims to have. But this requires lots of money. Thus Science must give rise to technological innovations which are useful and raise productivity so as to 'pay for itself'. Magic too must pay for itself by being entertaining or by providing an absorbing hobby for amateurs.  

Suppose one were to concede that the natural sciences do not have full coverage of the world (including nature).

Natural Scientists acknowledge the separate existence of Social Sciences.  

And suppose one does so specifically by conceding the importance of what I have placed on centre-stage, the notion of agency and the contrast of the point of view of agency with the point of view of detached observation and study. This can be done by allowing that the world contains such things as ‘opportunities’.

Which are studied in Economics. The notion of 'opportunity cost' is its foundation. It explains why 'value' isn't an intrinsic property of a thing. What matters is opportunity cost for some utilitarian purpose.  

Thus, for instance, here in front of me in a glass there is a substance with the chemical composition H2O, but right there, in the very same place,

Not in the same place but adjacent to it 

there is also something properly describable as ‘an opportunity’ to satisfy a desire of mine, the desire that I quench my thirst. The first is something that I study from a detached point of view, but the latter is necessarily something I respond to with practical engagement.

You may prefer to go to the kitchen and grab yourself a beer from the fridge. The 'opportunity cost' of drinking water is missing out on beer.  

The world, now, will not be comprehensively surveyed by the natural sciences since no natural science studies opportunities. This is a concession that a naturalist, as I have defined him, might make. Has he conceded enough to the anti-naturalist as I have defined him? Perhaps the answer has to be ‘yes’, if all we care about is the letter and not the spirit of the anti-naturalist’s objections to the disenchantment that naturalism has wrought.

It is economics- that 'dismal science' which has disenchanted the world. Physics has quarks and 'worm holes' into alternative realities and cool stuff of that sort.  

...the social and behavioural sciences ..can be described as having the ...the goal of studying and explaining individual

no. The social sciences, like the natural sciences, are statistical. You look at very big data sets.  

(possibly even eventually social) behaviour as a kind of desire-satisfaction in human subjects in the light of their (probabilistic) apprehension of the desire-satisfying properties in the world, i.e., opportunities that the world provides to satisfy our wants and preferences.

This may be a fault with academic models. However, people working for corporations or the government or those investing their own money, have 'regret minimizing' strategies (because of Knightian Uncertainty) which are similar to 'machine learning'. Essentially, in aggregate species evolve to explore an unknown and unpredictable fitness landscape.  

On this picture values themselves continue to be seen in entirely Humean terms, as generated by placing some internal constraints upon desires viewed as dispositions and tendencies in the subject.

They are not seen at all. True, some senile nutters who have received affirmative action because of their colour or gender may babble about 'normative economics' as may some 'virtue signallers' but babble is all that it is.  

The subject, however, also has beliefs about what in the world is most likely to fulfill those desires. 

This is epistemic. We live and learn or die horribly.  

These may be described, as in the concession being considered, as opportunities in the world for desire-satisfaction. Though the world is now said to contain something (opportunities) that surpass the subject matter of the natural sciences, they contain nothing that is itself intrinsically normative. So what are allowed as properties in the world (these opportunities that prompts our first person point of view of agency) are mere instruments to satisfying desires, but it is only these desires which (as Humeans insist) exclusively generate values when we put the right internal constraints upon them, and none of these constraints are in any way normative constraints coming from the world. If there is any impression that values are in the world in this view, that is a phenomenological illusion brought about by our own ‘projections’ onto the world.

Bilgrami is paid to do this projection. But his shite is useless.  His students haven't actually slit the throats of the boss class. 

 The social and behavioural sciences can see in this picture of the world, the scope to extend the notion of scientific rationality. True, their angle on the world is less detached than the natural sciences. One, after all, looks at the world with more practical engagement when one sees something not merely as H20 but as an opportunity.

to slit the throats of the boss class? No? Sad.  

Despite this concession to anti-naturalism, the normative element in this picture of the practical domain is constructed entirely out of a normative void.

Because there is no 'normative element'.  

It emerges only from within human causal tendencies and dispositions (desires) plus the likely means provided by the perceptible world (opportunities) to gratify them. There are two aspects to the normative element, on this view. The aspect of value, which is restricted to some sophisticated and constrained understanding of the former

there is no fucking 'value'. There is only demand and supply and a price or queuing or other such mechanism to match the two.  

and the aspect of rationality, which is exhausted by the latter’s perceived contribution to the former’s satisfaction. No more intrinsic normative element is acknowledged and that is the reason to think of this picture as rightly describable by the term ‘scientistic’. Sometimes a further concession toward anti-naturalism is made by philosophers (such as Donald Davidson) whereby the normative element is seen as irreducible to human dispositions and causal tendencies but it is not clear how, on this view, that concession can be ultimately grounded, if those tendencies are not responsive to normative demands made by evaluative properties in the world.

In other words if trees aren't looking at you and evaluating the size of your genitals then what reason would you have to respond to the good fairy's normative demand to just go slit the throats of the boss class already?  

In this further concession, the irreducible normativity is supposed to enchant the human subject

this simply isn't true. We get that individuals can have crazy beliefs. But it doesn't matter if some people do crazy shit while others do crazy shit of the opposite type. They cancel each other out. The Law of Large Numbers or Condorcet Jury theorem prevails. 

The fact is we all do some crazy shit and then we die. If we had kids or contributed to the welfare of other people's kids, well and good. The species thrives. But it won't do so for ever.  

but it remains mysterious how this is supposed to happen when the world the subject inhabits remains disenchanted.

Only in the sense that it is mysterious as to how the garden could fail to have fairies at its bottom. Fuck! The fairies are probably up its bottom! Why didn't I see that before? I suppose its because of the inferior brand of Whiskey I have to drink since my g.f left me.  

The human subject is supposed to be enchanted wholly from within.

Which is why it is wrong to wank. The magic will escape from you. Like Pinnochio, you will stop being a real boy.  

We may try to remove some of the mystery in this idea by saying: unlike non-human animals, human beings can ask of any one or more of their desires and inclinations and tendencies, “Is it good to have it?,”

we can ask this of the dog. Clearly the dog's bollocks are good for it to lick. My advise is not to get in on that action- at least not when using Public Transport. 

a possibility that only comes with language and a level of sophistication of thought that only linguistic creatures can possess. This question, “Is it good to have this desire, this disposition or tendency?,” is a clear and intelligible one and to the extent that it is intelligible, this use of ‘good’ in a question of that form is proof that value is not simply reducible to desire and inclination and causal tendency.

Similarly the fact that I can wax very eloquent about the Nicaraguan horcrux of my neighbour's cat is proof that such a thing exists.  

It must be something over and above these, else that question cannot quite make sense.

How gay is the Nicaraguan horcrux of my neighbour's cat? It makes sense to suggest that it is slightly less gay than the Guatemalan horcrux but this a field in which much much more painstaking research must be carried out.  

There is something that needs to be qualified in my constant use of expressions such as “values in the world make normative demands on us, they move us to or prompt our engagement with the world.” For someone like me, keen on making the evaluative enchantment of the world so much of a piece with our own capacities for agency, indeed grounding the possibility of agency in such enchantment, this vocabulary might seem to betray a curious lapse, an undermining of the voluntaristic and decisional aspects of agency by the coercive force (betrayed in this rhetoric) of such an external calling from the world.

Very true. The problem with the fairies at the bottom of Bilgrami's garden is not that they don't exist but that for a person like Bilgrami it is a curious lapse to not accept that they may be up the garden's bottom. This totes undermines the voluntaristic and decisional aspects of the enchantment which calls to Bilgrami to just get busy and slit the throats of the boss class already. 

An external source of value that moves or prompts or makes demands of our agency is not coercive of the subject because it is only from within the first person, agentive, point of view that these external callings can so much as be recognized by the subject.

Very true. If a guy points a gun at your head and orders you to hand over your wallet, he isn't coercing you at all. This is proved by the fact that you used the first person in answering his demand. You said 'I am reaching for my wallet. Please take it. Look, I'm taking off my watch and handing it to you. Please don't shoot me. I have a wife and family.'  

That was the point of the appeal and the extension of the insightful point by Gareth Evans about belief, to desires. If these callings’ demands are recognized only from within the first person point of view, there is no question of their being coercive forces.

Yet, a court may decide that a guy who brainwashes people into obeying his disgusting orders was in fact acting in a controlling and coercive manner.  

Rather, the subject, in such a recognition of the callings

like the dog which told 'Son of Sam' to kill people.  

, acknowledges something on its own agentive terms, acknowledges by his agency the authority of those values to make those demands and calls.

My own agentive terms are just my terms. 

Agency, then, requires two things at once: a) a source of value from the outside and not merely from within our own causal tendencies and dispositions,

You don't have Agency. 'Son of Sam' did.  

as well as b) the human subject itself acknowledging this authoritative source of value from the first person point of view and, therefore, allowing that authority to make its demands on one.

Cults need members. Schizophrenia needs to find a brain in which to take up residence. 

Both points are implicit in the use I made of Evans’s insight. This essential role for the human subject in the very understanding of values as properties of the world makes values a very distinctive kind of property or fact in the world.

But only in the sense that if we understand that fairies are properties of whichever garden's bottom they are up, then there must be a good fairy who will make the normative demand that we stop wanking and just slit the throat of the boss class already.  

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