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Jason Stotts

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Jason Stotts last won the day on January 9 2015

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  1. by Jason Stotts In case you haven’t heard of it yet, Harvard Psychologist Steven Pinker has a new book out defending the enlightenment and the progress that humanity has made since then called “Enlightenment Now”. The blurb for it is: Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? In this elegant assessment of the human condition in the third millennium, cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, which play to our psychological biases. Instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise, not just in the West, but worldwide. This progress is not the result of some cosmic force. It is a gift of the Enlightenment: the conviction that reason and science can enhance human flourishing. Far from being a naïve hope, the Enlightenment, we now know, has worked. But more than ever, it needs a vigorous defense. The Enlightenment project swims against currents of human nature–tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, magical thinking–which demagogues are all too willing to exploit. Many commentators, committed to political, religious, or romantic ideologies, fight a rearguard action against it. The result is a corrosive fatalism and a willingness to wreck the precious institutions of liberal democracy and global cooperation. With intellectual depth and literary flair, Enlightenment Now makes the case for reason, science, and humanism: the ideals we need to confront our problems and continue our progress. The book does a great job showing how much progress we have made and that the world is getting better everyday. This is an important message at a time when all we hear is how things are coming apart at the seams. While I do have some reservations about the book (which Robert Tracinski does a better job of discussing that I likely would have), I do think it’s a worthwhile read and worth picking up. Link to Original
  2. by Jason Stotts It’s now been just over 6 months since Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics came out! I am happy to report that so far the book is selling well and the reviews have been good. To date, we are just shy of our 200th copy! Currently, most people are buying ebooks (75%), with the rest of the sales being paperbacks. Moreover, the reviews have been really wonderful with a score of 4.5 out of 5 and 13 reviews (the overall score was brought down by 1 negative and unsubstantial review). Here are just a couple of the really nice things people are saying: “Get ready for the first part of a very thoughtful and enlightening ride. I can’t wait for the next installment to arrive!” “I was raised in a sex shaming household, and it is very difficult to live with conflicting thoughts about my own sexuality, desires, and societal pressures. This book is imperative for anyone struggling to reconcile their sexuality with morality.” “This is an important book for anyone seeking a rational approach to sex” “This was a fantastic book, an excellent purchase, and well worth my time.” “This is a vastly important (and possibly life-changing) book for anyone floundering and/or seeking growth and happiness within a romantic/erotic relationship.” “I’ve never read anything related to the topic of sex that addresses the subject so thoroughly, so positively, or so helpfully.” “Bottom line, an excellent addition to my library. Suitable for academics and laymen alike.” Go take a look at the full comments yourself, they’re amazingly kind and speak highly of the book. The audiobook has been delayed due to production issues, but I hope to find a new narrator soon (if you’re interested, let me know). No current ETA on the audiobook, but I’ll be sure to announce it when there’s something more definite. Overall, I’ve very happy with the launch and I hope that the sales keep climbing as new people read the book and recommend it to their friends. If you’ve already read the book, please take a second to leave a review, it makes a big difference and I love seeing them. Link to Original
  3. 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. Link to Original
  4. Jason Stotts

    Re-blogged post:Aporia: Dispositions

    My blog auto-posts to the forum and as I do not often come on here, it's a better idea to comment on the blog itself if you want me to see it. Action causation= Humean billiard balls Agent causation = entities acting in accordance with their identity The primary difference is where you put the locus of action and change, but it has profound differences for how you think about causation. The sentence about dispositions. Are dispositions more about the DESIRE that drives them or more about the ACTION that results from them.
  5. 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 Link to Original
  6. 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. Link to Original
  7. 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. Link to Original
  8. by Jason Stotts I will be appearing LIVE on the Objectivist Discussions show tomorrow at 2pm EST (11am PST) to talk about my new book “Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics.” The interview will also be recorded and available on YouTube afterwards. If you have any questions about the book you’d like us to cover, feel free to email me with them and we’ll try to get to them. Link to Original
  9. by Jason Stotts Are you part of a reading group, student group, or even a group of friends who want to read Eros and Ethos? If so, I am now offering discounted paperbacks to groups who want to read it. Who qualifies? Established reading groups Book clubs Student groups Academic departments Other groups (decided on a per-group basis) What do you get? Your group/organization can purchase copies of Eros and Ethos for $9 per copy, including free shipping That’s nearly 1/2 off the regular price of $14.95 when you factor in free shipping Note: this cannot be combined with special copies, including signed copies How to get started? Email me at [email protected] Please include some information about your group in your email What’s the catch? You must order at least 5 books Currently limited to the continental US Other locations can take advantage of the discounted books, but will pay more for shipping Note: This is a limited time offer and it may be discontinued without notice. Link to Original
  10. by Jason Stotts It’s been exactly one (short) month since Eros and Ethos was released and it seems like a good time to talk about how things are going. In short, they’re going well. As you can see in the graph (click to make it bigger), the ebook (orange) launched first and sold well. The paperback (grey) launched after and has been holding steady. Amazon reports paperback sales on the day they ship, so there’s a lag for the books to print and ship reflected in the data. Interestingly, the majority of sales (63%) are ebook and 37% are paperback. In total, there have been 62 total sales in only 28 days, which is a solid start. Reviews are all very good so far. The book is currently at 4.8/5 stars with 7 reviews. Reviews at this stage are critical for helping to pick up new readers that may not be familiar with my work, so if you’ve already read it, please leave me a review. Even just a couple of sentences is enough and it makes a big difference. All signed and numbered copies have been shipped. If you have not received yours, please contact me. Numbered copies are half sold and I’m currently sold out of signed copies (with more coming soon!). All in all, I’m pretty happy with the launch and I look forward to increasing sales as word of the book spreads. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, now’s the time! Link to Original
  11. by Jason Stotts Many people have been asking me about the paperback and I am delighted to announce that the paperback version of Eros & Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics is now available on Amazon! This book is the product of a decade of work on my part and it’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Seriously, it’s really good. Of course, you shouldn’t take my word for it, check it out for yourself. Anyone who has ordered a special edition directly from me will be getting theirs soon. I have ordered quite a few copies and they have to ship to me first, then I’ll need to sign them and get them shipped out. I’ll update those people who have ordered special editions directly via email when their package ships. Two things to note: Amazon tells me that the book may take up to 48hrs to appear in the different marketplaces (e.g. Amazon.de). Amazon also informs me that it may take up to 72hrs for the paperback version and the ebook version to appear on the same sales page. This is important if you with to buy both as once they’re on the same sales page, you’ll have the option to buy the paperback and only pay $2.99 for the ebook. Link: http://amzn.to/2Gx1dbJ Link to Original
  12. by Jason Stotts I am so incredibly happy to report that, thanks to you, Eros and Ethos is already a bestseller in two categories on Amazon in the first 24 hours after release! Thank you all so much for your support. If you haven’t gotten your copy yet, now is the time. Join me, and all the other people who have already purchased the book, and see what all the excitement is about. Link to Original
  13. by Jason Stotts I am thrilled to announce that “Eros and Ethos: A New Theory of Sexual Ethics” is officially published and available for sale in ebook format now (here). The paperback edition will be available in a week or so and I’ll post an update when it’s live. Once you read it, and you’re thoroughly impressed (as you will be), please leave me a review on Amazon. Feel free to also reach out to me with any questions or comments. If you find any errors, please let me know right away. My contact information is on the contact page as well as in the front of the book. Also, if you want a signed copy of the paperback or one of limited numbered and signed copies, check out the Special Editions page. Link to Original
  14. by Jason Stotts I’ve decided to end the current Goodreads giveaway early…so that I can give away MORE BOOKS! If you haven’t entered the current giveaway, tomorrow is the last day to do so. Watch out for a new giveaway starting soon! (Link) Goodreads Book Giveaway Eros and Ethos by Jason Stotts Giveaway ends December 05, 2017. See the giveaway details at Goodreads. Enter Giveaway Link to Original
  15. by Jason Stotts I am thrilled to announce that as of today, the pre-order is now live on Amazon! Pre-order for the ebook is here: http://amzn.to/2AAwtV0. The pre-order for the print book will be available soon. If you’re interested in ordering special editions, like signed copies or a limited edition numbered run, see this page: http://jasonstotts.com/eros-ethos/signed-copies-special-edition/ There will be several contests in the lead up to the book launch. The first is that there are 3 signed copies being given away on Goodreads. Enter to win here: link. There will other contests announced soon, so watch for them. You can find more information about the book at http://jasonstotts.com/eros-ethos/ or ErosandEthos.com. Link to Original
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