SettingTheTerms

Retrospective boulders boom for 1881 december 30 1881

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Unformatted text preview: dictated from the start the direction of those interactions. That force, on which the October 28, 1904 edition of the Longmont Ledger spoke so clearly, was one of ideology, one of values. As philosopher David Hume argued in 1739, an "ought" cannot be derived from an "is".44 That is to say, without some kind of value- based prioritization of potential actions, no factual determination on its own can compel action in any direction. The front page story of the Ledger read in part: Mighty as has been our past, our resources have just been touched upon… dreams have been filled with visions of the incalculable wealth which the trough of living water will bring to life from those voiceless deserts. … The same power which wastes millions out the Mississippi can be utilized to make the deserts blossom… the now blighted soil will bring forth the fruits of the Garden of Eden. … Having the climate, the scenery, the soil, the sunshine, the water, the timber, the minerals of all kinds, the stone, and in fact all of the products of the earth, both form its surface and from its bowels, so readily at hand, here in the western portion of America…45 Here the Ledger intermingles both the "ought" and the "is" components of the conundrum. Western settlers were faced with an objective landscape of untold resources, of physical and biological bounty, complexity and diversity beyond anything they had ever before encountered. But the subjective question of what to do with it cannot be answered merely be describing what it is. The question of "ought", and the answer to it, must depend on some 16 organizing social principles or set of values that are either collectively shared or institutionally imposed. In this regard the Ledger is revealing in its next sentences: …the western portion of America is destined to be wrought not only th...
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