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  2. StrictlyLogical

    Intimations of My Philosophy Book

    Are free-will and QM very big players of the potential versus actual division in your formulation, since a purely classical and determinist universe would only present a trivial "single path" preordained future actuality (potential) for the current and all past actualities?
  3. . “Being is variously divided.” –Aquinas In her metaphysics, Ayn Rand had four exhaustive ways of dividing Existence. Three of the partitions are altered and then put to work in my own metaphysics that will be lain out in my book in progress. So, putting it schematically, where Rand had Partition I as A/B, I have it as A/L; her Partition II as C/D/E/F, I have as C´/M/N/O/P; her Partition III as G/H, I have as G/Q. What those three exhaustive ways of partition were in Rand’s view I’ll leave to those who want to think-Rand on it for themselves, else find in by book when it is finished and is published. Rand’s fourth partition is between the actual and the potential. I do not alter this one in my own system, although I greatly elaborate on the actual/potential relation and their relations to the possible. And this fourth partition is integrated with my other three. Rand did not write or talk much about the actual/potential distinction. She talked about it in biological application in an essay about abortion. She discussed it head-on for general metaphysics with George Walsh, Leonard Peikoff, and Allan Gotthelf in an oral seminar-exchange around 1970. That discussion is transcribed in the Appendix of ITOE on pages 282–88. The actual/potential partition comes up in the Nathaniel Branden lectures “The Basic Principles of Objectivism” as transcribed on pages 72–79, 97 of THE VISION OF AYN RAND. It is addressed also in Peikoff’s OPAR on pages 163–71. See also endnote 57 of Jason Rheins’ “Objectivist Metaphysics” in the Blackwell COMPANION TO AYN RAND. One book I’ve found helpful in tracing the rise, the variations, and the fall of the actual/potential partition in the history of philosophy, as well as occurrences of the actual/potential distinction in contemporary science is HANDBOOK OF POTENTIALITY (Engeland and Quante, editors, 2018). Others I’m learning a great deal from (in addition to Aristotle and Aquinas) are: POTENTIALITY (Vetter 2015), MERE POSSIBILITIES (Stalnaker 2012), MODALITY & EXPLANATORY REASONING (Kment 2014), EPISTEMIC MODALITY (Egan and Weatherson, editors, 2011), MODAL LOGIC AS METAPHYSICS (Williamson 2013), ARISTOTLE’S MODAL SYLLOGISTIC (Malink 2013). .
  4. Today
  5. Eiuol

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    No, that's not what Rand means. She doesn't mean no innate tendencies. I'm not entirely sure what you mean by innate tendencies, but the only types of innate tendencies she really opposes are claims like "it is human nature to feel a duty to family". While much behavior and patterns of history are described in terms of how control over one's destiny and future as well as control over political and ethical motivations, that isn't to say there are no innate tendencies whatsoever. It's more that whatever innate tendencies we might have, we have a great deal of control and how to guide our own behavior. There may be overlap with early progressivism, but early progressivism had no emphasis on individual rights. Neither did any of the more radical ideologies that developed. Communism to a great deal denies that we have the capacity and ability to choose our own future because it is so materialistic, and Fascism especially emphasizes duty to family and atavistic ideals as human nature rather than relating these values to reason. Although Communists tend to think innate knowledge wasn't a thing, many certainly believed in innate motivations and desires. In a way you could say Communism focuses on nurture, but it denies that you have much of if any control over it due to the innate tendencies that exist. At the very least, Fascism puts virtually all emphasis on nature. The main thing in common between these two is denying the power of reason. Rand never discussed the end of wars. Besides, I think you've missed how individual rights are the main emphasis here. It's not that overemphasis on reason left a black hole of power in Europe. It's that the disregard for individual rights made things worse. It's like you're saying we should avoid the emphasis on reason so that we don't end up like progressives, and instead be more like Fascists. But then also not be Fascists.
  6. StrictlyLogical

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    JH What do you mean by the term "duty"? Is it a feeling you have, or perhaps share with others, maybe some group, the majority, or perhaps a feelings other people had in history, whether famous or not..? Is it something like an idea residing in another plane of existence, which you can access as a revelation, using only your supernatural "senses" perhaps even a specific "sense of duty"? Is that other realm the world of forms or God or something else? Is it something in reality, which a man responds to in order to achieve an outcome? What outcome? Why does any man choose that outcome? What exactly do you mean by Duty?
  7. Doug Morris

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    I don't have time to read the whole biological critique linked to by Jason Hunter, but I read his post and the conclusions of the critique. A few points. There may be hormonal or other promptings toward certain actions, but we have the power to overrule these promptings by reason. The key to successful living in high-density societies is respect for individual rights. To the extent that this is not practiced, it creates conflict and becomes more and more destructive as time passes. To the extent that it is practiced, it creates a workable society which is in everyone's interest. It is an example of the stolen concept fallacy to question one's own existence. It is not a fallacy to question whether the people who brought one into existence should have done so.
  8. Craig24

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    It's still not a duty. If you believe it is and choose accordingly you are just wrong.
  9. Craig24

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    No. It's ONLY a philosophy and NOT a movement. No philosophy is a movement. A movement to promote the philosophy isn't itself the philosophy. This distinction needs to be understood.
  10. Jason Hunter

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    @[email protected] MorrisIn your last replies, both of you have hit on the fundamental disagreement at play here. It is a disagreement about human nature. One of Rand's basic assumptions about human nature is that we are born Tabula rasa. This doesn't just mean we are born without knowledge but also without any innate tendencies. Man may be limited by nature in a physical sense but in terms of his character, attitudes and behaviour etc, man's mind is free reign. If you hold this blank slate view of man, all emphasis is on nurture rather than nature. It means you place far greater significance on the influence of competing ideologies to explain past human behaviour rather than particular ideologies, practices, traditions etc resulting out of man's attempt to deal with human nature as it is. In this sense, Objectivism shares a fundamental root with the left wing. This view of man flourished in the age of the enlightenment and led to great optimism about the potential of mankind. Man could mold society to his will, end poverty and war and accomplish it all through the power of reason. Paine's famous line encapsulates the movement: "we have it in our power to begin the world over again". This view of human nature set the stage for the horrors of the 20th century. It was central to the progressive era, and the rise of Communism and Fascism. While a conservative might argue that the long history of conflict and war indicates an inherent tendency in man, Rand would argue they had their premises wrong. That war is the result of collectivism and individualism is the cure. In other words, war can end through reason. The left tend to agree. This view dominated in the 1930s causing the rise of pacifism and disarmament in the west allowing the rise of Hitler. @intrinsicistalso hits on some important points regarding this. Because Objectivism relies on the is implies ought logic, a different view of human nature would cause drastic changes to the philosophy. The facts about human nature and the nurture/nature argument isn't settled and yet Objectivism is so reliant on it. What if reproduction was included in Rand's definition of life? This critique linked by Boydstun in another thread hits on these issues and is highly relevant to this thread. Objectivist Ethics: A Biological Critique  Regarding duty, it cannot be based purely on value calculation. It has to exist outside of it, at least partly. For example, we all have a pre-existing duty to our family up to a certain extreme value calculation. That would be the conservative view.
  11. StrictlyLogical

    Freedom of speech (books)

    This is a very good read by Tara Smith on Free Speech as such (unrelated to an organization) "The Free Speech Vernacular: Conceptual Confusions in the Way We Speak About Speech" link is here: https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3166234 I think there are very large differences between considerations of how best to make an organization run versus how best to set up a moral society with a proper government. One uniquely involves the use of force (government monopoly) while the other is simply a voluntary relationship... which by definition, if no force is involved speech is always free, although it might not guarantee employment or promotion...
  12. Boydstun

    Freedom of speech (books)

    Welcome to OBJECTIVISM ONLINE, Terry Lewis. In addition to what is in the links you provided, a very informative history of American law in this area is The Emergence of a Free Press by Leonard Levy. That concerns freedom of ordinary citizens to express ideas, particularly ones critical of the government or governmental officials. The restrictions abridging such political freedom, in the British and American history, of concern in this book are government force, such as torture and execution, law of libel, and shutdown of printing outfits. In business firms, the stick is of a different genre, such as being fired. My own impression with business firms is that speech or other expression that distracts or detracts from the ultimate product or service of the firm is suppressed best it can be. That makes sense. In closed doors, of course, policies and projects are debated by the appropriate managers of the firm. There is a nasty little thing in this area that can go on in firms. In large firms, there can be 'soft' training of employees that can include collections of employees guided in discussions that include any sort of criticism or suggestions. These can be scams in which the information the firm is really interested in is further insight into which employees are problematic. (I'm sorry to say, but one of the saddest things I encountered in business were employees that could care less that we were producing or what we were producing or how well. They took no joy in that or in the brotherhood of coworkers dedicated to the productive purposes.) The interests of the firm are pervasive in its operations, but, of course, there is always 'politics' there, with the small p, as individuals and groups jockey for personal advantage and for vision and character of the firm.
  13. Doug Morris

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Azrael Rand, Even if there is a genetic component in a statistical difference between the races in vulnerability to scams, which you have not proven, this would not determine which scam(s) a person would fall victim to. Also, whatever difference there might be between the races in vulnerability to scams (probably due to differing histories if it exists), individual variation is more important.
  14. PrfromTexas

    Freedom of speech (books)

    Hello, I'm looking for the newest (and preferably informative with cases and examples) books related to freedom of speech through the objectivism prism. I would like to think that freedom of speech is still present in profiting organizations and possibly is transformed into something more stable. I should state this strategy has never worked to the fullest. I have an extraordinary activity examples that I review as ordinary organization freedom plans. I likewise have a lot of inspiration to find more proofs for the transformation in question. The transition between the objectivism and freedom as the perceived reality choice is rather ambiguous in some cases. Thank you, Terry Lewis
  15. Image via Wikipedia.Senator Elizabeth Warren's recent DNA test has been the source of a great deal of humor lately with one of my favorites, an allusion to an old Ivory Soap slogan, inspiring the title of this post. But something bothers me a little about the jokes. It's not that making a big deal out of one's ancestry isn't ridiculous in a nation founded on the idea that all individuals are equal. It is. And it's not that Warren's professed reason for taking the test -- to "rebuild trust in government" -- isn't also ridiculous. In a nation whose political system was designed to keep government in check, that's arguably more ridiculous. It's what the humor is allowing her opponents to hide from. Consider the following passage from a news story about why Warren took the test: [Republican challenger Geoff] Diehl shot back that the issue "is not about Sen. Warren's ancestry, it's about integrity in my mind, and I don't care whether you think you benefited or not from that claim, it's the fact that you tried to benefit from that claim that I think bothers a lot of people and it's something you haven't been able to put to rest since the 2012 campaign," when she first mentioned having Native American heritage that led President Donald Trump to start mocking her by calling her "Pocahontas." [bold added]Diehl is on the right track, but he is basically doing the same thing Republicans often do when they do not want to challenge something the Democrats advocate: Charge them with hypocrisy. Yes, Warren's negligible Amerindian ancestry makes her something of a hypocrite when she attempts to gain some kind of benefit from claiming it, even if it is simply political pandering. Not to downplay the importance of hypocrisy when judging a candidate, but there is a bigger issue here: The whole idea that an individual is entitled to something on the basis of ancestry is wrong. This is the idea that is not only going unchallenged here, but is even being tacitly accepted -- as if Warren should get some kind of advantage at the expense of others, but only if she were Amerindian enough. The fact is that the Republicans have been presented with a golden opportunity to challenge racial entitlements, but all they have been able to come up with is a bunch of jokes. And if the laughter sounds a little forced, maybe it's because it comes from a place of cowardice. -- CAV Link to Original
  16. Nicky

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Really? Who's in this "movement" that you know for a fact exists? Please note that the only way to back up the claim that an organization's existence is an "objective fact" is to provide a list of members, and verifiable proof that they are in fact members. Which of course shouldn't be too difficult with modern technology. If you're in possession of information that proves an objective fact, it should take a few seconds to copy/paste that information into the same box you just typed your claim into.
  17. Yesterday
  18. Doug Morris

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Azrael Rand, I looked up the three things you recommended. Jonathan Haidt recognizes that morality underlies politics, which is good, but his view of morality emphasizes how we treat others and does not address Objectivist metaethics. Wikipedia listed scholars whose work is cited or critiqued in the book. They did not include Ayn Rand, Nathaniel Branden, Leonard Peikoff, or anyone else I recognized as Objectivist or Objectivist influenced. Ryan Enos's main point seems to be that people practice collectivism based on geography as well as other considerations, and that this can reinforce other kinds of collectivism. Undoubtedly true, but that does not mean they have to or should. Two quotes from him in an interview, with my comments: "Geography has always factored heavily into politics and human behavior more generally. Part of this comes from the nature of politics, that it is a contest over who gets what. The what is often tied to location and becomes a contest over who controls where." I have encountered the definition of politics as being over "who gets what" in at least two other places. It describes how politics works in a mixed economy, but takes for granted a mistaken view of government. "If we cannot cooperate politically, we cannot do the things necessary to have a functioning modern society, such as building infrastructure and caring for the needy." Again, this takes for granted a mistaken view of government. The Wikipedia article on the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study reveals complications that prevent it from proving that there is a genetic component to statistical differences between the races in IQ. Two quotes from Wikipedia: "As Scarr & Weinberg (1976) note, transracial adoption studies only control for family environment, not social environment. For example, children who are socially identified as black may still be subject to racial discrimination despite being raised by white parents." "It is essential to note, however, that the groups also differed significantly (p < .05) in their placement histories and natural mother's education. Children with two black parents were significantly older at adoption, had been in the adoptive home a shorter time, and had experienced a greater number of preadoption placements." Also, the sample was a convenience sample, not a random sample. We have already argued over whether there is a racial component to intelligence. You have not proven this. One reason so many blacks vote Democrat is that the Democrats have been the main ones to push civil rights legislation.
  19. Eiuol

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    That's exactly why I'm confused why you even *want* to claim very much of Objectivism, let alone use the word to describe yourself. You're not even trying to be an individualist. There would be some variation still because of genetics. This still doesn't mean that race was a causal factor; race is not an effective way to divide up genetics. But either way, roughly speaking, race per say is not what would matter. So if children are raised with similar values, their potential is roughly the same. Not that their IQ would be roughly the same, it would vary depending on personality factors and the interests they pursue. I'm a graduate student in psychology, so that's my credential for understanding the psychology here. I'm not speaking just as a layperson with an interest in psychology.
  20. Azrael Rand

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Was intended as the latter (figure of speech). If I'm reading this correctly, what you're saying is that if whites, Asians, and blacks all had equally good upbringing, environment, nutrition, lack of Marxist brainwashing, etc their IQs would be roughly the same; is that correct? The premise of Objectivism is objective reality as it exists not as we would like it to exist. If you believe that the first is true but are open to facts, I highly recommend reading The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt and The Space between Us by Ryan Enos. If objective reality confirms an innate tribal component to human nature that's an objective fact; the same would of course apply if reality confirms that collectivism is a social construct. It's objective reality that decides what is objectively true, not you, me, or Ayn Rand. If you have a study to share that proves this, I'm more than willing to read it. Believe it or not I started out as a fully individualist Objectivists. If anything I want to believe what you believe. I do very much appreciate you keeping an open mind. I'm not going to claim that it can be proven with a 100.00% accuracy, however when you look at a number of different data sets it creates what I would describe a preponderance of evidence; proof beyond a reasonable doubt. A good starting point would be to look up the Minnesota Transracial Adoption Study. I would respectfully disagree with that assessment. People that are less intelligent are easier to scam; Marxism is a scam on a societal stage. It only took a few decades for Marxists to win over the black community (they vote roughly 90% Democrat). Marxists have tried to win over whites too, and although they have made significant inroads, over the last century they still haven't converted as many whites percentage wise as blacks. As far as the genetics of tribalism I'd refer you back to the two books I references above; your local library should have them in stock. Collectivism is either a social construct, genetic, or a combination of both. It's desirable to believe that embracing collectivism is a choice 100% subject to free will because it allows us to morally condemn these people, but if objective reality doesn't support this to be true then we have to re-asses our previous assumptions and conclusions. Do you contest the existence of consistency bias or just my application in this specific context. As humans we are driven by incentives. The incentive to make life easier on oneself by creating a universal framework would be a good example imo. I did get a kick out of watching the video you posted. Totally reminds me of Mark Collett, a British Alt-Right activist and Youtube personality. You may also be interested in an earlier article I wrote addressing the Alt-Right: https://www.minds.com/AzraelRand/blog/an-open-letter-to-the-alt-right-exploring-an-alternative-sol-887488448523096064 It's not that I don't support individual liberties and the NAP, I do, but I don't see how they can be preserved in a society with average IQ of 75-85. That's where the West is heading. I do plan to write more about influence in the future, so stay tuned. It basically boils down to utilizing an objective understanding of human nature as a baseline to one's persuasion efforts. As for the second piece it would most likely be an ethnically and culturally homogeneous society that would permit minorities based on their value set, ability to contribute positively to society, while not throwing off the ethnic composition of the nation. As far as my favorite Alt-Right figure, that would be PhilosophiCat; highly recommend checking her out on Youtube. Do I believe that there's an organized conspiracy among a majority of Jews to destroy white people and the West? No I do not. Do I believe that there are a number of influential and wealthy Jews, and non-Jews, whose efforts are directly contributing the the decline of the West? Yes I do, they're called leftists. I used to believe that these people were solely driven by hatred and wanted to destroy us but I no longer believe that. What is most likely true is that the majority of them think they're doing the right thing based on their perception of reality. If you believe that tribalism is innately evil and is what will undo all of mankind it makes sense to organize and pool resources in a way to mix all existing races into a single unified and peaceful human race. Are there a few Jews that hold a grudge against whites for historical misgivings? Sure, but I don' think that's a plurality of the Jews involved. Also from a persuasive perspective, the worst thing you can do is to subscribe to a highly controversial and far-fetched conspiracy theory. You're directly undermining your persuasive effort and are severely retarding your ability to reach people's hearts and minds. Its was and is both. There was a movement with Ayn Rand at the head and it was plagued with petty and emotional quarrels. That's an objective fact. Agree that Libertarianism is inferior to Objectivism. In my opinion their defining characteristic is a desire to be left alone by others to embrace their irrational selfishness, borrowing just enough from Objectivism to keep it afloat.
  21. Last week
  22. *woosh* You missed the joke! Also that it's subtly making the point that it sounds absurd to just say "concepts aren't in the brain" as if a simple concept like "guys" wouldn't even be real because it's not "in the brain" and therefore arbitrary.
  23. Eiuol

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    1. You and I disagree a lot about what counts as deontological or teleological. Often, I think what people mean by duty varies. But also that many people mean emphasis on the concept being an imperative such that "no matter what" you owe something to another person. So if you agree with the way I explained what duty can and should be, then the only disagreement here is about word choice. My emphasis is on the older way of thinking about these things, pre-Kant and pre-Scholastic. 2. Yes, it is a calculation, but the calculation is in determining if in fact the sense of duty even applies. It's not that the calculation itself determines what you owe to somebody, but you need to calculate in order to figure out if that person qualifies as deserving some value in return. No value exists with your family until they offer some value, so that's why your obligation to family shouldn't be "pre-existing". 3. Sorry, it's something I thought of. 4. Well, that's referring to social interactions. This would be the sense of duty I oppose.
  24. Eiuol

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    It was hard to tell, so thanks for elaborating. What you explained was my first thought. So, I removed what I wrote in my edit to reflect that.
  25. Nicky

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Objectivism is a philosophy, not a movement. There is no reason for Objectivism to be a movement. It's perfectly fine the way it is, with people knowing exactly what it is, and free to subscribe to the philosophy, in whole or in part, and free to choose whether to work together for some common goal, or not. If it ever becomes a single, "open" movement, that movement will end up with leaders, and the leaders will want to add their own ideas to the tenets of the movement, and, since Ayn Rand was a genius, them and their ideas will end up not living up to her intellect...and then that will be that, because no one will care about another self-contradicting Libertarian political movement that can be thoroughly demolished by anyone with half a brain. That's what an "open Objectivist movement" is, btw. : Libertarianism. They took a few really good ideas (mostly Ayn Rand's, and a few Economists'), formed a movement and opened it up to whatever ideas anyone willing to participate could come up with. Now their movement has religious fanatics, pacifists, anarchists, anarcho-socialists, protectionists, isolationists, nationalists, wackos and weirdos and dingbats and dodos... everything except for intellectually consistent defenders of individual rights.
  26. intrinsicist

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    @Eiuol I'm not endorsing the anti-semitic view, I'm implying that this view is held by @Azrael Rand given his statements in this thread. I'm curious if he will be honest about his feelings towards Jews, I think it will be enlightening. @Azrael Rand where do you stand on the Jewish Question? The connection to the video is this astounding (to me) anti-universalism. I've never seen anything quite like it: He decries "an individualistic desire to create a universal standard for the sake of logical consistency", which is apparently something called a "consistency bias". I've never seen the disintegrating mindset expressed so explicitly. This is exactly what I've pointed out previously on threads about the alt-right: These are people who began with something like Objectivism, disintegrated the idea of a rights-respecting limited government and voluntary citizenship leading to a position of anarcho-capitalism ("Stefan eliminated compulsory taxation and the state with UPB to make Objectivism logically and morally consistent"), and then have further disintegrated human nature and gotten rid of the idea of universal individual rights and the non-aggression principle entirely. I'm also curious if he will be honest about what "outcomes" he is looking for once people have "embraced influence", and the principle of leading by emotion instead of reason, and have overcome "the shortcomings of not correctly account for our tribal nature, biological differences between racial groups", and reached out to the "many young, talented, and passionate figures on the Alt-Right".
  27. intrinsicist

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    @Eiuol I'm not sure where you are getting your ideas. That all sounds very mixed up. 1. "duty could be about pre-existing commitments to human nature, which we all ought to be committed to regardless of our preferences and desires. This commitment doesn't need to be justified more than the fact that you are human." This is what is meant by duty in general, this is the deontological justification for ethics. 2. "we could then talk about duty to family in the sense that moral obligations will follow directly from the good they give you (or fail to give you)." This is not what is meant by "duty", but rather it's opposite, this is a value calculation. 3. "the rule itself defines human nature rather than human nature defining the rule" What is this referencing? I've never heard of such a thing. 4. "Your obligations wouldn't fall from value offered to you, but what exists before any value is offered." ... like human nature, as in point #1?
  28. Eiuol

    The Case for Open Objectivism

    Why did you post that video? I mean, that character is a neo-Nazi, so to me it looks like ironically pointing out that one side wants to push a narrative that something is a threat ("omg they all want to squelch dissent and I can't express my thoughts!"), when in fact that threat doesn't give a damn about being in control or even trying to ("open? Whatever, I don't really care, do what you want, but you're free to disagree about whatever you want and that's fine, we can debate it") EDIT: Retracted what I wrote here.
  29. Eiuol

    The family cannot survive without duty.

    It is worth noting that there isn't just one sense of the word duty. We can talk about it in a teleological sense, or we can talk about it in a deontological sense. As was mentioned earlier about Cicero, duty could be about pre-existing commitments to human nature, which we all ought to be committed to regardless of our preferences and desires. This commitment doesn't need to be justified more than the fact that you are human. And we could then talk about duty to family in the sense that moral obligations will follow directly from the good they give you (or fail to give you). A deontological sense of the word is different, where the rule itself defines human nature rather than human nature defining the rule. Your obligations wouldn't fall from value offered to you, but what exists before any value is offered.
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