Upcoming Speech: “Love’s Myths (and Their Dangers)”

by Jason Stotts

I will be giving a talk in Denver Colorado coming up on Saturday July 28th. The details of which are below:

Our culture is rife with myths about love. While many of these myths, such as the idea of “soul mates” seem innocuous enough, they can cause significant harm in the lives of people who believe them. In this talk, we will explore some of these myths and the harm they cause. Afterwards, we will look at what healthy love looks like so that we will be more likely to find it in our own lives.

The talk will be at Rodolfo Gonzalez Library (1498 Irving St, Denver, CO 80204) from 3:30pm-4:30pm. It will be roughly 30-45 minutes in length and will be followed by a Q&A.

After the talk, around 5:15pm, there will be a dinner with lively conversation. The dinner is at Tap and Burger Sloans Lake (565 N. Raleigh St. #100, Denver, CO 80204), which is about a 6 minute drive from the venue.

This talk grows out of my new book Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics. A limited number of copies of the book will also be available at the talk.

You can RSVP for the event on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/events/442609279541867/), but an RSVP is not required to attend. The event is free to attend.

Inferno: Cassandra’s Call

by Jason Stotts

A friend of mine just released a new fantasy book called “Inferno: Cassandra’s Call.” It’s the first in a new series that looks to be quite interesting. The blurb is:

Fall into a world where each new moon renews Earth’s hunger for human sacrifices. The Order of Pure and Cleansing Inferno administers the Ritual, delivering a chosen few to the flames to forestall the End of Days. Most grudgingly accept the necessity of the Ritual, and a few revere the Order for protecting life as they know it. Rare indeed is the individual who questions either, but Cassandra has never behaved according to expectations. She believes that she can put a stop to the bloody Ritual with the help of a renowned mercenary known only as Moose. Will Moose and Cassandra work together to uncover the secrets of the powerful Order, or will they betray each other in the end? Will the addition of Alex, a reckless brawler without a home, strengthen the party or strain it?

The Inferno series balances action worthy of any dungeon-crawling adventure with character-driven stories that wouldn’t be out of place in a Chris Claremont or Joss Whedon script. In the tradition of the very best science fiction and fantasy, it explores themes of personal identity, order and chaos, the structure of society, and the meaning of family. If you have enjoyed the work of writers like Ursula K. Le Guin, Terry Goodkind, or Philip Pullman, this series is for you.

Check it out and, if you like it, leave her a review to help her get started. I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to the next one.

Eros and Ethos on Sale!

by Jason Stotts

For just one week, the ebook version of Eros and EthosA New Theory of Sexual Ethics will be on sale for over 50% off at just $2.99! If you’ve been waiting to pick up your copy, this is the time to do is. The sale runs from Sunday, July 1, 2018, 8:00 AM (PDT) to Saturday, July 7, 2018, 12:00 AM (PDT). It really is an amazing book. Just check out all of the positive reviews it’s been getting so far on Amazon!

Speaking of reviews, if you’ve already read Eros and Ethos and you haven’t reviewed it yet, please take a minute to do so. Even just a couple of sentences makes a big difference when people are deciding whether to buy a book from a new author. You can post reviews on Amazon or Goodreads (or both!), depending on your preference.

If you haven’t read it yet and you’re not sure you’d like it, you can download the introduction for free by clicking here.

Aporia: Dispositions

by Jason Stotts

Aporia (ἀπορɛία): an impasse, puzzlement, doubt, or confusion; a difficulty encountered in establishing the theoretical truth of a proposition, created by the presence of evidence both for and against it.

In this Aporia, I want to inquire into the nature of dispositions. While this outline is undoubtedly not of general interest, it will be of interest to some and from it (hopefully) a clear statement about dispositions will emerge for Eros and Ethos Volume 2.

Are all dispositions psychological in nature?

  • It seems like they might be
  • Even Aristotle’s Act1/Act2 is only dispositional when applied to people
    • A rock doesn’t have Act1 – it is either rolling or it is not.
      • At the same time, a rock could be position such that it could potentially roll, would that be Act1?
      • But rocks cannot act – it must be acted upon.
      • But is this action causation instead of entity causation?
      • No, rocks are the kinds of entities such that they are not self-moved
      • None living things cannot have dispositions
    • It seems that only living things can have dispositions.
    • Can non-human animals have dispositions? Need to have a better idea of what they are before we can answer this

If dispositions are psychological in nature, how exactly do they operate?

  • As automatic preferences?
    • In Vol 1, claimed orientation was a disposition and it has a biological component
    • This could still be an automatic preference shaped partly by forces beyond our control (biology)
  • Does this make dispositions no more than something like a “preferential habit”?
    • If I purposefully develop a habit around eating healthy and this changes my preferences to healthy eating, is this then a new disposition?
    • I’d say yes. But only at the point the person’s actual preferences change
  • If dispositions are about preferences, they seem to be another form of “automatic thought” and a way to offload things out of consciousness to keep the conscious mind more focused and available to respond to bigger issues
  • If this is true, then they are much like the sentiments which attempt to automate evaluation and orient us to the world
  • They are also a little like intuition, but whereas intuition is a true automatic thought (has conceptual content), dispositions activate our desires
    • Is it right to say they activate our desires? If I have a disposition to do A, is that the same as saying that I have an established desire to do A? It doesn’t seem so
    • Perhaps the difference is that if we have consciously established the A-preference and desire, then this is not a disposition, but an internalized preference.
    • If that’s the case, though, how would we ever come to have disposition? If we can’t come to have them consciously.
    • Maybe dispositions aren’t things we choose directly, but as in the case of health, we choose to be healthy and our preferences (hopefully!) change to healthy options, without us having to decide on a case-by-case basis
  • If this is the case, then dispositions cannot be things we consciously have chosen, but they are things that “fall out” of other choices
  • This seems too chaotic and messy. Unless it’s the case that the only way we can form dispositions is through an associated purposeful internalization of a preference scheme (e.g., wanting to be “healthy” also entails lots of associated things)
  • When we say that we are “disposed to help someone” we usually mean that the person in question reminds us of someone that we liked in our past or that we believe that this person is a good person based on our own belief system and, so, we have a desire to help them.
    • It can’t be the case that we internalize this kind of thing antecedently, since we will not have met the particular person in question before.
    • The desire in question is not necessarily strong, but enough that we can say that we “want to” help them or feel “pulled” to help them and these should both be understood as kinds of desire
    • This seems like a good example of an automatic preference
    • Conversely, it can be that the person in question is disposed to harm the other person (or at least disposed to not help) because they remind them of someone they do not like
      • This still is a desire, just that this time it is a desire to “not aid” or even harm the other person
    • When we say that a parent is disposed to help their children, we do not mean that the parent has consciously worked to set up an internalized conscious choice. Rather, we mean that our biological makeup is such that parents will have an automatic preference to help their own children. This seems right.

What have we discovered about dispositions then?

  • They are a form of automatic desire
    • Much like the sentiments (evaluation) or intuition (cognition)
    • These desires are usually held as preferences (a “liking” of one thing over another), which is a form of desire

Happy 13th Birthday Erosophia!

by Jason Stotts

My very first blog post was on May 8th, 2005, 13 years ago today. That was back before blogs were popular. In the intervening 13 years, I saw the rise and fall of blogging as a popular medium and now it seems that most people have moved to podcasts and youtube videos. Yet, Erosophia persists. Not that I’ve been blogging much, although that should increase soon.

Erosophia’s 13th year saw some really big changes. The biggest is obviously that Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics has finally been published and is now available on Amazon. So far, sales have been pretty solid and the reviews are excellent. I’ve also been interviewed one podcast so far and have several other podcast appearances lined up for the coming weeks.

In this coming year, I hope to finish several essays related to Eros and Ethos, finish the principal draft of Volume 2 on practical issues in sexual ethics, and do more interviews to help build the audience for Eros and Ethos.

If you want to keep track of what I’m doing, you can sign up for my newsletter, which I send out a couple of times a year.

If you want to support Erosophia in some way or help with Eros and Ethos, contact me.

 

 

Eros and Ethos – Version Update to v1.1

by Jason Stotts

I am releasing a minor update to Eros and Ethos, details of which can be found in the changelog.

It will start with an update to the ebook effective today. The ebook will also be getting a new cover, due to the old cover violating advertising TOS against “nudity” and us being unable to use it in ads.

The paperback will be updated sometime in the next week, once I get an updated proof and make sure the update won’t break anything in the print edition. That said, if you want a true first edition paperback, you had better order it now as they won’t be available much longer.

To celebrate this update, the ebook will be on sale for $4.99.

Note: If you have already purchased the ebook, you can update to v1.1 for free by following this guide.

Eros and Ethos: 60 Days Out

by Jason Stotts

I am very pleased to announce that in the first 60 days, Eros and Ethos has sold 111 copies! This is an excellent start and I am very thankful to everyone who has bought a copy of the book so far.

(Note that some book sales have been through my website and aren’t reflected above.)

As you can see, the vast majority of the sales have been eBooks and from the US.

During the first 60 days, I’ve also been a guest on the “Objectivist Discussions” on YouTube:

I also have several more podcast interviews lined up, so stay tuned for that.

While there has not been a formal review published anywhere, there is one in the works and I’m hoping that a second might be underway as well. On the informal side, the reviews on Amazon have been really great. So far, there are 11 reviews and its rating is 4.9/5!

To celebrate all this good news, Eros and Ethos is on sale this weekend.

What can you do to help?

  • Leave a positive review on Amazon and/or Goodreads. Even a couple of sentences can make a big difference to someone who isn’t familiar with the book and is on the fence about buying it.
  • Tell your friends. Word of mouth is one of the best ways that a book sells.

I hope that sales will continue to increase and my next update will contain even more good news. I also hope to announce that the audiobook version of Eros and Ethos will be out soon.

Newsletter Upgrade

by Jason Stotts

I am currently in the process of transitioning my email list from a self-hosted solution to MailChimp. I’m hoping that this will make the newsletter a little more functional and nicer looking. As an added bonus, new sign-ups for the newsletter will get a free copy of the Introduction from Eros and Ethos. If you previously signed up for the email newsletter and would like the Introduction, please email me and I’ll send it out to you.