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10/20/2016

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Graham White

There's a rather significant problem with people who are "of a healthy disposition and a mediocre intelligence", which is how we are supposed to recognise them. Intelligence comes in grades, and we can assume that the argument, on behalf of the person of mediocre intelligence, that there may be people more intelligent than them, but the people more intelligent than them are, purely because of that, deluded and thereby unfit to rule. They may themselves think that they are not intelligent enough to be deluded, but that's just a symptom of their delusion.

But suppose someone of even more mediocre intelligence comes along, and says that this ruler, who claims to have mediocre intelligence, is in fact too intelligent: unaware of the fact, though, because of their delusions. So we should replace the first ruler of mediocre intelligence with the second one. There's a regress here.

Of course, the problem with this conception is that it relies on "healthy disposition and mediocre intelligence" as a symptom of ability to rule; but without a good direct characterisation of the virtues which give someone ability to rule, one is liable to be trapped by rather dysfunctional indirect criteria. (Donald Trump is, I suspect, the product of a regress of the same form, but probably not one based on lack of intelligence: probably based on lack of ethics and lack of culture, or something of the sort.)

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Here's a link to my past blogging (and discussions involving me) at: New APPS.

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