Archive for May 23rd, 2013

May 23, 2013

Morphological Freedom

Morphological freedom refers to a proposed civil right of a person to either maintain or modify his or her own body, on his or her own terms, through informed, consensual recourse to, or refusal of, available therapeutic or enabling medical technology.

The term may have been coined by strategic philosopher Max More in his 1993 article, ‘Technological Self-Transformation: Expanding Personal Extropy,’ where he defined it as ‘the ability to alter bodily form at will through technologies such as surgery, genetic engineering, nanotechnology, uploading.’ The term was later used by science debater Anders Sandberg as ‘an extension of one’s right to one’s body, not just self-ownership but also the right to modify oneself according to one’s desires.’

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May 23, 2013

Species Dysphoria

Species dysphoria [dis-fohr-ee-uh] is the experience of dysphoria (depression, discontent), sometimes including dysmorphia (excessive concern over one’s body image), associated with the feeling that one’s body is of the wrong species. Earls and Lalumière (2009) describe it as ‘the sense of being in the wrong (species) body… a desire to be an animal.’

Outside of psychological literature, the term is common within the otherkin and therian communities (people who see themselves as partially or entirely non-human). The phenomenon is sometimes experienced in the context of sexual arousal to the image of one’s self as an animal. ‘Species dysphoria’ is also used informally in psychological literature to compare the experiences of some individuals to those in the transgender community.

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May 23, 2013

False Dilemma

false dilemma by sam island

A false dilemma (also called the fallacy of the false alternative, false dichotomy, the either-or fallacy, fallacy of the excluded middle, fallacy of false choice, black-and/or-white thinking, or the fallacy of exhaustive hypotheses) is a type of informal fallacy that involves a situation in which limited alternatives are considered, when in fact there is at least one additional option. The options may be a position that is between two extremes (such as when there are shades of grey) or may be completely different alternatives. The opposite of this fallacy is ‘argument to moderation.’

False dilemma can arise intentionally, when fallacy is used in an attempt to force a choice (such as, in some contexts, the assertion that ‘if you are not with us, you are against us’). But the fallacy can also arise simply by accidental omission of additional options rather than by deliberate deception.

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May 23, 2013

Nirvana Fallacy

The nirvana fallacy is the informal fallacy of comparing actual things with unrealistic, idealized alternatives. It can also refer to the tendency to assume that there is a perfect solution to a particular problem. A closely related concept is the perfect solution fallacy.

By creating a false dichotomy that presents one option which is obviously advantageous—while at the same time being completely implausible—a person using the nirvana fallacy can attack any opposing idea because it is imperfect. The choice is not between real world solutions and utopia; it is, rather, a choice between one realistic possibility and another which is merely better.

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