Good and Evil in a P2P Context
From Alessio Bini:
"PHILOSOPHICAL CONSIDERATION ON P2P MODELS
Reading many texts on P2P models, I often find expressions towards ethics and towards moralizzation of the economy.
Right! But these expressions lack to meta-ethicals reflections.
One of the most results of ethical research, is that dont' exist only one concept of “good”.
Exist a finite collection of concept of “good” and this collection is not increasible arbitarily.
Some concepts of “good” are conflictual between theme.
Shortly, I make a list of some concepts of “good”:
1. God's will: for Christians, Moslems, Jewishes and others religions;
2. individual pleasure, for hedonsists;
3. variable according to circumstance (Gorgia and others);
4. “good” as exertion, exertion versus pleasure, opulence, body instincts, ecc (Antistene, IV sec. b. C.)
5. as happiness, however “happiness” can have a multiplicity of meaning. This concept was substained by Aristote, that he was aware of the collection of concepts that contain in turn.
6. respecting natural laws, for stoics philosophers;
7. conscience will (Seneca was the discoverer of consciousness);
8. pleasure in a vaste sense: mental pleasure and body pleasure, without excess (Lorenzo Valla);
9. self preservation of individual (Bernardino Telesio);
10. endorsement of an external unreal and neutral observator (Francis Hutchenson);
11. the good of group or tribe (Charles Darwin, The Origin of human kind);
12. the good of the species (Charles Darwing and better Richard Dawkins)
13. maximum happiness for the maximum number of person (utilitarianism)
These are some definitions of “good”. Which of these are compatibles with a moralization of economy? Some of these are conflictuals between theme self. For example, the defnition 1 versus the definition 2.
Furthermore, we must combine a definition of “evil” with each definition of “good”.
But there are two conceptions of “evil” for every difinition of “good”: “evil” as a simply negation of good” and “evil” as a positive entity that opposes wit the corrispondet definition of “good”.
So, I think that before moralize the economy we can ask which definition of “good” choice and whic definition of “evil” combine to it.
But, Philosophy teach us that no one of these definitions is right and no one is wrong.
In a P2P society on large scale we can imagine that humans self organize not in one big global network, but in sub-network that are contected between them, without hierarchy.
Innovation technology permit us to create P2P network not necessarly geografically localized.
But if it's true this assumption, it's possibile to immagine a network of network in which every network adibe by a one specific couple of concept of “good” and “evil”." (email January 2014)
we must combine a definition of “evil” with each definition of “good”. But there are two conceptions of “evil” for every difinition of “good”: “evil” as a simply negation of good” and “evil” as a positive entity that opposes wit the corrispondet definition of “good”.
These reflections have to exmanined in depth.
It's clear tha moralized the economy is a simply a declaration of intents. It's just the title of the research.
But the resarch starts when we ask which concept of “good” we choice and which concept of “evil” we combine to it. Or better, the subject “we” in not correct: the individuals of a group are the subjcet that make the meta-ethical choice.
The philosophical resarch say us that there is not wrong concept of “good” neither right concepts of “good”. So an individual can choise one of these concepts. After the individual choises, it become possibile to built group or P2P societies, each one with a uniform meta-ethical position.
Giving a look of a history of philosophy, we can note that every 3 o 4 centuries one new concept of “good” is discovered by searcher. This historical result bring us to believe that the collection of possibile concepts of “good” is increasible but not infinitely.
The actual common sense of Western Culture takes on dogma the individual right to build arbitrarily own concept of “good” and it takes on dogma that the interly collection of concepts is infinite. Moreover, the common sense takes on dogma that the individual and arbitrary choice can change in every moment, depending on convenience on the situation. It's an extreme relativism.
Relatively to the concept of “evil” the dogma is that it doesn't exist.
Ha we ethical argument to confute the common sense ethical dogma?
No one ethical instrument. To confute an ethical position we have to use meta-ethical instruments.
Every definition of “good” needs ride over the logical examination of his self-consistency. Then, it must to be associate to a compatible metaphysical vision.
For example: an atheistic individual can't choice the definition of “good” as God's will.
In this way, we obtain an accord between the sfere of the Phlylosophy, that in truth are four: logics, ethics, metaphysics and aesthetics. In this work, we don't speak about aesthetics.
Take now the common sense dogma from the point of view of logical and metaphysical instruments.
The logical approach, say us that it is surely inconsitent because if everybody can choice one of all concept of “good” in a group of people there is surely who choise the concept 1 (God's will) and the concept 2 (individual pleasure).
The common sense dogma is inconsistent in a strong sense, because the same individual can choice the concept 1 in a specific instant and then he can choice the concept 2 in other specific instant, depending on the opportunity of the moment.
The dogma is not inconsistent in the traditional, artistotelian definition of consistency: “It's not possible to have an accident at the same time and under the same respect”.
The metaphysical approach say us that the one possibile metaphysical vision that we can link to the common sense dogma is the solispsisitc vision: every one is a monad, i. e. a separated universe.
The solipsism contradicts the prevalent metaphysical assumption, for which “the human being is a social animal”, another time an aristotelian position.
Building P2P social model is direct consequence to assume the aristotelian position instead the solipsitic.
If an extreme relativism is wrong, an moderate relativism is right to assume.
This is the direct consequence of ethical results. If exist a multiplicity of concepts of “good” and no one of this is wrong, then is right for different and free individuals to assume different concepts of “good”.
We can define a soft inconsistence as the inconsistence that borns when two free individuals choice a conflictual concept of “good”.
The question, then, is: how to treat the possibile contradiction that can appear?
The instruments for the solution to this question came from Intuitionistic Logic, applied to Artificial Intelligence. In particular, this discipline has studied the so-called “distributed system”, i. e. artificial communities of rational agents.
The full inconsistence is not admissible, but when it born between two individuals, we can trat it creating a cluster of societies, i. e. network of network, where each network is related with the only compatibles to it.
We use the term “network” as a synonimous of the term “group”.
Here the features of the relation between networks play a fondamental role.
We can speak at once of a class of possible relation to trait soft inconsistence.
This class is definet by the following features:
Definition: class of relation between network
Let Ṝ a binary relation and let Иi, with 1 ≤ i ≤ n, con n ∈ N,
where N is the full set of natural numbers
Иi is a network in which every individual has the same concept of “good”.
reflexive, symmetrical not transitive.
n ∈ N, where N is the full set of natural numbers, because I think to a countable collections of possibile group. In a Marvin Minsky's conception (USA scientist of XX century) it's possibile to think an individual like a “society of mind”. In this case, the collection of possible group became uncountable.
The binary relation Ṝ can be intuitively read as a relation that assure the communications between two groups, each of one has choise one concept of “good”.
From the point of view of intuitive reading of the meaning of Ṝ, we can illustrate its features.
Ṝ is reflexive: each network may communicate with itself.
Ṝ is symmetrical: we make an example, in which the group Иi is in touch with the group Иi+1. If the group Иi communicates with the group Иi+1, then the group communicates Иi+1 with the group Иi. In our notation, we will write:
IF (Иi Ṝ Иi+1), THEN (Иi+1 Ṝ Иi ). Ṝ is not transitive: take three groups Иi, Иi+1 e Иi+2. Suppose that Иi+1 choice the definition 1 of the concepts of “good” and that Иi+2 choice the definition 2, while Иi, choice definition 13, that in not contradictory with definition 1 neither definition 2.
It's intuitive that the individuals of group Иi stay in touch with the individuals of the group Иi+1 ( Иi Ṝ Иi+1) and the same is true for Иi and Иi+2. ( Иi Ṝ Иi+2). But is not true ( Иi+1 Ṝ Иi+2).
In this way, directly or indirectly, all of group stay in touch and it is possibile to contain contradiction.
This search has a one important goal: giving an answer if it's possible having a one large scale P2P society.
The first argument give a negative answer: not a one big P2P society but a cluster of P2P society.
The answer become mostly from ethical and metaphysical argument.