Any thoughts on the measurement of courage?
I’ve been thinking about making an academic career out of that.
hard to be rigorous about it but if you break it down very discretely you might e able tog et something out of it
My hope is to make a regular career out of computer-based psychometrics.
These two things would go together nicely.
some people are more capable of dealing with social opporbrium versus pysical danger…etc
Yup. Women have higher pain tolerance, for example.
Lower risk tolerance.
you’d have to be careful with differentiating the physical appearance of courage with the internal state I think you’re trying to measure
blindness to consequences looks like courage, for instance
There are all sorts of things to untangle. That’s part of the reason it’s so enticing to invent the field.
it’s a fun problem to chew on
And it would save the world.
After such knowledge as Courage Quotient, what forgiveness?
You can’t reverse the invention of such a thing, even if it’s eventually suppressed like physiognomy.
How deliciously subversive, and for the promotion of the good and beautiful
First thing would be to distinguish the general quality from the outward actions, as you said.
So, courage versus courageous behavior.
without breaking it down too much and rendering the term meaningless
after all, some traits are likely to be constituent parts, and it makes no sense to try to analyze “cakeness” if you’re also trying to correct for “sugarness”, “eggness”, and “flourness”
Can you imagine any problems with defining courage as “that which tends to produce courageous actions”?
Other than the complexity of defining courageous action versus, for example, heedlessness.
The definition leaves open room for propaganda, motivational speeches, and other forms of controlling actions, so you need to specifiy “an internal quality” or something to that effect
But it depends on how strict you want to be about this, I guess
Moran defined it as “self”-control.
One can speka of “courage borne from love” or “the courage of a true zealot”
In other words, there’s no separating courage from value systems.
That may actually simplify things though. If it’s analogous to cybernetics where we see “thing for sitting on” before we see “chair”, then actions could be defined as “scary thing in front of ideal thing”.
I.e. Courage is to endure X for reason Y.
this should indicate a “courage potential” that can measure the likelihood and possible intensity of an individual’s couragesoua ctions
That’s the internal quality which could be measured via actions, and then hopefully by some proxy.
One notable trouble with measuring it through actions is we’d expect the measurement to change the quality.
Because we expect it to be a finite resource that replenishes slowly.
like willpower, with the implication that it can be built (or broken down) over time
Moran actually equates it with willpower, but I think that’s just approximate.
It depends a lot on what the values actually are.
Speaking of, I need to mention in here somewhere that we could define it objectively in terms of group-oriented values, i.e. altruism.
At least to begin with.
One thing this doesn’t capture is cucking.
But I suppose being cucked isn’t really valuable to the group so much as it happens more often to group-oriented people due to naivete.
So throw high versus low-trust in as a variable to control for.
Add to works cited: Dutton’s references on how stress produces religiosity and fertility (read: high trust and group-orientation), which is just the scientification of the observation that there are no atheists in foxholes.
group-oriented PLUS confusion about who is the group and who isn’t
Variables so far:
-Value system (the “reason” Y to endure X)
-Group orientation (ethnocentrism, religiosity)
-Life experience in low-trust situations
Re: zealots, we’d also need to ask the question whether it’s possible to be both courageous in holiness and antisocial in the sense of hurting the people around you.
Generally we assume not, but it’s merely a heuristic.
Albeit a good one.
zealots do tend to feel the need to prove how devoted they are, and deliberate acts of unprovoked hurt is a pretty good way to show dedication
and obviously, dedication to a cause that allows harm causes that energy to be channeled into violent acts
I suppose that could be either harming group interest directly or harming self-interest indirectly by driving people away.
Or both, like in gang initiations.
Where was it that they would rape an elderly woman as the initiation?
I did read about that, but I can’t recall
I’ll still take “Chicago” for $1000
Well, raping an elderly woman is a good example of harming both the group and the individual unless the individual is really into old women and/or rape.
I’ll also point out that willingness to do harm for a cause is a foundational ethos not just for criminals and terrorists, but also soliders and cops and spies
people generally arrange these professions along a moral spectrum and favor some over others
Actually that’s not a bad definition for the opposite of a normie.
Call it conflict-aversion versus…
Hmm…updated courage definition:
“Will and ability to endure something you don’t like in the pursuit of something good.”
Note: Not in the pursuit of something you do like.
Hmmm…this takes up back to Moran’s idea of courage and willpower
Maybe ability is the external quality and will, properly contextualized, is the internal quality.
but maybe the distinction of “what is good” versus “what you like to do” is enough of a difference here
that’s a good point
More colloquially, “do the right thing”.
Yeah, courage as the manifestation of willpower feels like it gets us somehwere
So willpower as specifically spent on doing the right thing as opposed to math problems or putting up with customers.
This raises another distinction: moral effort spent proactively on determining the right thing versus reactively choosing from options shoved in your face.
Even more fun, there’s a right amount of moral effort to spend proactively versus carrying out the decision.
Now that I’m speaking in terms of “moral effort”, throw all previous studies on that in the bibliography.
This especially applies to bandwidth and the intelligence/conscientiousness to stay out of unnecessarily stressful life situations like poverty.
“Is it moral to spend all of one’s time contemplating right action while never actually doing it?”
It occurs to me this distinction is particularly salient in the Alt-Right where everybody is asking what the right thing to do is, and only the more Nietzschean types like Devon Stack and me are trying to answer that.
This may be less courage/cowardice than two facets of courage.
Of course, it’s one thing to post a skelly man from Berserk saying “struggle!” and another to come up with practicable advice like “join my commune in Idaho”.
Trying to think of terms for proactive versus reactive courage.
Maybe spirit and fortitude.
I like those. Spirit as in “spirit of the thing” suggests a more active mind.
Fields to borrow from:
- Behavioral economics (for defining “dislike”)
- Evolutionary psychology
- Cybernetics (for defining value systems)
- Psychometrics, obviously
Might as well throw game theory in there too
Yeah, perhaps for help defining social intelligence.
This isn’t a bad start for an hour’s work.