In Plato’s Laws, the Athenian Stranger says that the universe’s parts, which include human beings, come to be and “strive” for the sake of the universe as a whole. This implies two kinds of holism: cosmic rational holism, the view that the ultimate justification of a part’s activity is its contribution to the good of the universe as a whole; and cosmic motivational holism, the view that the universe’s parts are motivated to contribute to the good of the universe as a whole.
In this paper I contrast two conceptions of the structure of lives: the “stream of behavior” framework (which I call “flat”) and the “concurrent strand” framework (which I call “deep”). The stream of behavior approach goes back at least to William James.
Evolutionary debunking arguments abound, but it is widely assumed that they do not arise for our perceptual beliefs about midsized objects, insofar as the adaptive value of our object beliefs cannot be explained without reference to the objects themselves. I argue that this is a mistake. Just as with moral beliefs, the adaptive value of our object beliefs can be explained without assuming that the beliefs are accurate.