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Tuesday, September 20, 2005


Roehl Briones

Spinoza's hardline rationalist approach:

"Repentance is not a virtue, or does not arise from reason; but he who repents of an action is doubly wretched or infirm." Ethics, Part IV, Prop. LIV.

(But then he was being normative about it.)

Edward Hugh

"So your mother was right to tell you to study hard and get a good job."

Yes, but just study enough, not too much, since if you study too much you might make yourself unemployable. But then:

"Follow your heart" or "Pursue your dreams"

might go against what a good mum normally counsels (but perhaps pops might be more supportive here).

"I didn't opt for "Maximise utility"?"

A wise decision. At the moment of making your choices you don't have the relevant info to realistically do this. Even if you could evaluate your dreams in any meaningful utilitarian sense.

"Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien:"

I'm glad you chose this. I also try to live by it. I think there are sound evolutionary and existential arguments for doing so.

Of course not regretting and not learning are *not* the same thing :).

Paddy Carter

Route 1 to minimising regret is to develop a callous and unreflective personality, is it not? OK that's wilfully taking you the wrong way. Still, I reckon one's propensity to agonise over the past must have something to do with this. Personally I reckon I would benefit from some recalibration.

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So your mother was right to tell you to study hard and get a good job. Roese concludes:

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