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Ends and Means

It took me quite a while to understand the Kantian concept of treating people as 'ends in themselves' rather than means to an end. --Frankly, my philosophy professors and TAs at the University of Washington did not help with their circular definitions. I'm not sure they got it, either, but perhaps I was just dense.--

Not to offer an explanation of Kant*, but from my own perspective, treating people with dignity or as an end rather than a means entails acknowledging we all have our own situations, motivations, and needs. It means accepting that one approach will not work for everyone, and requires us to modulate our interactions accordingly. It necessitates an attempt to understand people, their thoughts and feelings, without jumping to hard and simple judgments.

I try to follow through on this, as best I might, when I have the wherewithal. It is not easy, but interacting with people who seem to disregard these notions entirely only confirms the moral imperative.

*Still be…
Recent posts

The summer's demi-apocalypse has to wind down at some point.

It's the end of summer, once again. I could not be any more ready for cool weather, rain, and a chance for the forests to recover from the flames.

After travelling near fires in Colorado and Oregon's Columbia river gorge, I am back wondering about north Seattle, under a red sun and painterly clouds, not far enough from the source of the drifting smoke.

It seems like the world is burning, but that can only last so long.

Early morning parenting

Shortly after breakfast this morning, Nathan turned to me and declared, "Dadda, I'm hungry, and I don't want fruit." We have apples, cherries, raspberries, and blueberries at hand.

"If you say you're hungry, but you won't eat fruit you like, you aren't hungry," I informed him. "We've had this conversation before."

"But not today," he replied.

In between taking photos of Wedgwood:

Today, the clouds left the sky feeling open, but blocked enough sun for me to take off my hat and glasses. It was such a wonderful, temperate afternoon, I turned my lunchtime stroll into a jog.

Running toward the breeze, it rushed past my ears, making it sound like this lumbering man was moving at speed. I always liked that auditory illusion; it clears the mind.

Argument from meaning is a poor tactic.

One reason arguing from definitions tends to fail is there are almost always multiple senses, uses, meanings, and connotations to words (even just sticking to proper, formal, and accepted interpretations). If you are in disagreement, chances are part of that stems from seeing the same things differently.

La Luna Bella

The low slung, full moon is pale gold tonight, and quite large. Smaller than they make it look in Hollywood, but no less beautiful for that. A pleasure to walk under.