Monthly Archives: February 2018

From Epistemology to Psychology to Sociology

(Note: This was originally a series of messages to a friend, and can be read as a statement on my intellectual interests along with a proposal for how to define a certain breakdown of fields. It’s been edited for inclusion on this blog.)

Perhaps a decent way to describe the scope of my intellectual interests is to say that I’m concerned with the continuity of epistemology -> psychology -> sociology, with bodies of work like Humean philosophy, Misesian & Hayekian economics, and so on informing my theoretical construction; and with my orientation being fundamentally speaking one of a person who’s coming from outside the social sphere. My approach to language, for instance, has always been one of an epistemologist (analytical philosopher), psychologist, or sociologist, rather than one of a linguist (although there’s no reason that linguistics couldn’t be saved and converted into a subset of the continuity from epistemology to psychology, psychology to sociology, as Misesian/Hayekian economics is).

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The Segregated Sphere of Casual Sex

Having been interested in PUA for a long time, I’ve been struck on many occasions about just how offended even men get when the topic comes up. It’s easy to understand why feminists would be suspicious of or actively hostile against PUA, as the PUA movement seeks to destroy their power. It’s also easy to understand why women would be worried about it, since some men in the PUA community write in a way that sounds quite misogynistic. But why would men get extremely offended just discussing the prospect of engaging in PUA-like practices, when out of earshot from the thought police? What’s so disturbing about the idea of leaving the house with the purpose of approaching a lot of girls in normal settings, asking them for their contact information if they seem interested, and then setting up meets with the objective being directly related to sex? Or, more specifically, what’s so disturbing about a conversation about such practices? Why is PUA the sort of topic where even reasonably masculine-seeming men often respond with anger, dismissiveness, and so forth?

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The Sister Movements of PUA and MGTOW

The PUA community (Pickup Arts), and the MGTOW movement (Men Going Their Own Way), are sometimes considered to be ideologically opposed to each other, with the former group of people advocating for a certain kind of participation in the sexual marketplace and the other group arguing that women are a toxic waste of time. However, the two groups are better seen as two sides of the same coin. The same underlying sociological force created both the PUA community and the MGTOW movement; without this shift in the incentive structure of society the pre-requisite conditions for both groups would be simultaneously absent.

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Is PUA a Recipe for Unhappiness?

It’s common for people to decry the teachings of PUA by pointing to men that they know in person, or know of on the Internet, who have dutifully applied PUA techniques but have failed to achieve “happiness”. These men have learned how to attract a flood of girls, but have supposedly failed to convert their nominal success into actual satisfaction. With every sexual conquest they’re simply left feeling more empty and wanting more, like a man trying to survive on a diet of only rabbits.

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Manually Implement What Children Naturally Do

If you take a young Chinese child and put them in a German school, they won’t be able to help but acquire native proficiency in German; without any explicit instruction about German in particular, or even about how to learn languages in general, they would pick up native mastery of the language over the course of a few years, without any conscious awareness of the transformative process happening in their mind. On the other hand, those of us who have exited the childhood phase of life tend to believe that explicit instruction is required, and that in the absence thereof we would fail to acquire very much at all, let alone native mastery.

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