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  1. 4 likes
    The following is a list of poems featured/mentioned in Poems I Like - and Why (lecture by Leonard Peikoff) ___________________________ LP's definition of poetry: "Poetry is the form of literature whose medium is the sound of concepts" Poems need not have events and characters Most suited to the eloquent, powerful statement of a relatively simple thought, sentiment or inspirational idea, an expression of love, a short story, a joke. Best suited to shorter works A cross between literature and music Like music scores, poems MUST be read out loud A poem must not sound like a poem - and yet it rhymes (must sound natural) Poems combine the sensory (auditory) field with the intellectual one; brain + ears, mind + body Two essential elements rhytm rhyme - "a repeated pattern of recognizable sounds at the end of the lines". Rhyming creates auditory expectations. The meaning can be a total twist - you hit the expected sound but it has a completely different meaning than what you anticipated ___________________________ METAPHYSICAL POEMS Richard Cory (Edward Robinson) - a malevolent universe poem with a punch Invictus (William Henley) - Byronic view of existence Say not the Struggle nought Availeth (Arthur Hugh Clough) - it looks bad, but stand back, we're winning The Gods of the Copybook Headings (Kipling) - the issue underneath the benevolent/malevolent universe premise: I wish vs it is. LP's top favorite. POEMS ON EPISTEMOLOGY Flower in the Crannied Wall (Lord Tennyson) - integration; the true is the Whole (Tennyson is LP's favorite poet) The Daffodils; The Tables Turned (William Wordsworth) - an opponent of reason and integration The Thinker (Berton Braley) - the theme of Atlas Shrugged POEMS ON MORALITY Two favorites of Ayn Rand, found in her papers: 1. Mourn Not The Dead (Ralph Chaplin) - on moral judgement 2. Short poem by 'A Nony Mous' (1960 July-August issue of Success Magazine) Why should you begrudge another The fortunes he does reap? Bless him, he's one brother That you don't have to keep! The Westerner (C. B. Clarke) - egoism and individualism. Ayn Rand had the last two lines of this poem in a placard frame. INSPIRATIONAL POEMS Poems that stress some virtue, such as strenght, heroism, persistence, courage. Columbus (Joachim Miller) - the virtue of persistence, Man the Hero If (Kipling) - a description of the Ideal Man (Ayn Rand's top favorite) LOVE POEMS To His Coy Mistress (Andrew Marvell) - what to say to a woman that won't put out... Sonnets from the Portuguese 43: How do I love thee? Let me count the ways (Elizabeth Browning) Love and Sleep (Algernon Charles Swinburne) POLITICAL POEMS Retaliation (Olver Goldsmith) - a thinker wants to go into politics A song: “Men of England” (Percy Bysshe Shelley) What is a communist? (Ebenezer Elliott) FUNNY POEMS Ogden Nash poems; The Pig; The Germ; The Duck; The Panther; The Ostrich; The Pizza; Which the chicken which the egg; Kind of an ode to duty (moral-practical dichotomy); Lines Fraught With Naught But Thought MISC POEMS The Lotos-eaters (Tennyson) - must be read in an increasingly sleepy way The Confessional (Robert Browning) - a tragic, compelling story Ulysses (Tennyson) - Man the Hero (white rhyme) Sometimes (Thomas S. Jones, Jr) - a man who betrayed his potential Dying Speech of an Old Philosopher (Walter Savage Landor) Do not go gentle into that good night (Dylan Thomas) Beethoven And Angelo (John Bannister Tabb) An Essay on Man: Epistle I | Epitaph on Sir Isaac Newton (Alexander Pope) The Arrow and the Song (Henry Wadsworth Longfellow) The Song of Roland (translated by Dorothy L. Sayers) It's all a state of mind (Success Magazine, March 1963 issue) The Highwayman (Alfred Noyes) America for Me (Van Dyke) - an ode to America Drinking (Abraham Cowley) - or, as LP calls it, "The Metaphysics of Vodka" On a Girdle (Edmund Waller) Be Strong (Maltbie Davenport Babcock) Opportunity (John James Ingalls) Gunga Din (Kipling) - recommended by somebody in the audience Tennyson poems: Break, break, break; Crossing the bar; Rizpah (LP refused to read this one because it makes him cry) An ode to my mistress' breasts (mentioned during a Q&A session, LP might have referred to the girdle one by Waller)
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    I wanted to add my thoughts, as a parent who is currently working through The Fountainhead for the first time. I appreciate the quote that was given on Rand' and motherhood being a career that can become outdated. This can be applied to fatherhood as well - which at this point in my life is my central purpose. Thus, I would characterize one's central purpose in life not in terms of an unchanging career, but in terms of a single building that Roark might have built - in the sense of a stage of ones life. A rational, discrete accomplishment and goal that consumes one with passion and leads to flourishing. Everything I do at this point in my life is in the very broad context of my being a father - even my mental "breaks" from fatherhood (such as dates with my wife, studying philosophy, going to the gym - which I require to come back and continue being the best father I can be, rejuvinated with fresh energy and perspective.) My marriage, my philosophical studies, my health/fitness, my personal time, my job - all of this (at this point in my life) supports my central purpose of being a father. More to the point - Within the context of my knowledge, I don't do anything antithetical to being a father in the long-run. My current "building/structure" must integrate and not contradict the others I have built in the past - for example I will rely on my marriage, life experiences and health/fitness to support my next structure, so they all form a support of whatever my current building is. As Rand alludes to, at some point it won't make sense for fatherhood to be my central purpose...my structure will be completed (for the most part...I know I will always be a father) just like my competitive bodybuilding, my college degrees, my career, my romantic life, a stable home, etc have all been important structures in my life for me in the past (in that chronological order, actually). But the important point is the structures one chooses to build in life may change and this presents no contradiction with the objectivist conception of a flourishing life. This is the integration referred to in the title of this thread - and it is deeply personal, and individualistic. The structure of one's value hierarchy should properly be completely unique and personal for that individual. Ultimately, the moral rule is that one pursue a flourishing life of reason, purpose, and self-esteem. The number of ways one may do this is limited only to their imagination. But just as Roark had multiple buildings that he architected during his life, a person's highest values may change as well. And Roarks buildings, although discrete, did not preclude one another. There is no reason that they should. And if I may share something a bit more to the point, if not exceptionally personal: It brought tears to my eyes when it occurred to me that my children are my Stoddard Temple. And I know that I will have to unveil them to the world someday, and it breaks my heart, in a selfish way, that I can't keep them perfect and sweet and pure and innocent forever. And they will be vandalized, and judged improperly by those who don't deserve to even look upon them. I will build it my way, according to the very best within me, no matter what it takes, through sleepless nights and tears, but also through joyous highs and laughter. And I will let no one sway me from my path unless the reasoning of my own mind convinces me of a better one. And when the time comes, as it will, for me to move on and choose a new structure in my life to focus on - I will look back on my temple and know it was built according to my highest values and to the best of my ability. And properly, and egoistically, I will be a better person for having built it.
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    An abstraction that existed metaphysically would not be an abstraction, it would be just another concrete. In fact abstractions are concretes, they are attributes of the brains of those abstractors who have preformed that mental action. But as a product of human action such abstractions are not metaphysically-given, which is why they must be acknowledged as epistemological. A metaphysically given abstraction is a contradiction in terms.
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    . Religious Liberty or Religious License? Legal Schizophrenia and the Case against Exemptions Tara Smith – Journal of Law and Politics (25 April 2017) Abstract
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    What exists, everything that is metaphysically given to us, needs to be accepted first. Existence has primacy; that means logical priority and semantic meaning moves in the direction from existence to consciousness. Existence exists, it needs no explanation to exist, no justification is required. Justification only applies to where choices are made. Existence has no choice, existence exists in the form it takes, its identity. There is no choice involved in existence existing. Justification can only be grounded in appealing to what exists and its identity. To ask for existence itself to have a justification is a logical fallacy because justification is logically dependent on existence and identity. "If I can't understand it then it can't exist" is a form of subjectivism.
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    Sculptures, symphonies, novels and paintings are time consuming to make, just like any other human value. What exactly does an artist choose to sculpt, compose, write or paint? Obviously, there's only one thing you can represent in art: things from reality. But what exactly? Just beautifuly rendered objects, people and events for no reason whatsoever? What separates sculpture, painting and theater from toys, photographs and soap operas? The meaning of fine art is not the objects portrayed in it. It's also not about politics or morals or the weather or the stock market, but something much, much, much more important. In fact it's so important that it needs to be present in your awareness at all times. I'm referring to the reasons and causes of your actions. For example, if you're generaly scared of the world and you don't like to take much space etc. this isn't a causeless fact. It's because you sincerely believe deep down that the universe is a dangerous place to live in, that man is always in grave danger. This is life-and-death information that is essential to remember in the backdrop of all of the irrelevancies of life - as the facts that cause, explain, give meaning to, and tie your disparate, confusing daily experinces into a coherent mechanism (the overall nature of the universe). Is the universe antagonistic or auspicious? Am I good or bad by nature? Am I in control of my inner and outer life? Is this a knowable world, subject to identity and certainty? The answers to this category of questions are called metaphysical value judgements, and for a great deal of people they're arbitrary and implicit, not objective and consciously held. Without seeing perceptual instances of the most important facts of life - of the foundation of everything else - your view of life quickly loses its reality and power of conviction. After all, if you believe that the essential nature of man is a heroic being, but life is filled with cowards and corrupt politicians and irrational people, your worldview can quicky collapse, you can forget what you believe in the first place, and you can become confused. More than that, this crucial, underlying perspective of the whole of reality (not merely contextless bits and pieces) cannot guide people because it can't be held in the mind (crow epistemology). A worldview is made up of endless, scrambled and seemingly disparate metaphysical value judgements - 'it's important to fight for what you want', 'it's important not to stick your neck out' etc. Only condensation into perceptualy available concretes can do the job and show you the conclusion, the payoff, the cashing-in of all of your value judgements, i.e. your worldview at a glance. To see what I'm talking about, compare those two sculptures: one and two. This type of conretization is like language, except instead of condesing concepts into visual-auditory tags (words), you condense a worldview into a concrete in order for it to be operative as a guide. Like metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and government, art is the only other need of man within the province of pure philosophy. Another crucial effect of art is the emotional fuel it provides. The work that goes into achieving your material and spiritual values can sometimes get tough. Seeing the full, immediate reality of your distant goals, experiencing the sense of your completed task, of living in your ideal world (a universe where your values have been successfully achieved) can replentish you spiritualy. The fuel comes not from what you might learn from the artwork, but from experiencing a moment of love for existence. This is why art is ruthlessly selective - not journalistic; integrated - not full of irrelevant elements that compromise the theme; clear - as opposed to the opaque or non-objective. It must have an abstract meaning, pertaining to the nature of the world in relation to man (or the reverse, which is the same thing). An artist selects what he considers to be important in life and integrates it into a mini-universe, a man-made universe. ___________ Sense of Life As soon as you become able to make generalizations about the world, you make them. You have no choice, because they're absolutely crucial for knowing how to act, i.e. for your survival. Based on conscious or randomly formed conclusions about the world and man, your guiding philosophy is formed, and it's usualy implicit until you identify it in conscious, philosophical terms, and correct it if necessary. Emotions are not causeless - they spring from conscious (or automatized, subconscious) evaluations of things. A man with a ghastly worldview might, as a consequence of his basic premises, negatively evaluate a lot of the things that confront him on the street, on the television, at his workplace and so on. A person with a benevolent view might generaly evaluate the exact same things in a completely different manner, a more positive one, and the negatives might not strike him as worth focusing on. The pessimist might get most of his pleasure from safety; the optimist, from seizing life by the horns. Based on everyting the world makes him feel on a daily basis, man forms an all-encompassing emotional generalization about the world. This emotion, called a 'sense of life' by Ayn Rand, is felt as a sort of vibe emanating from the world, one that is involved in everything you do, think and feel. For example, a pessimist walking on the street might pick up tense vibrations from the air; the people walking past him seem to be out to get him, and even the lampposts seem to be looking maliciously at him. He feels as if the world is one giant concentration camp. But the man with a more positive philosophy might get an entirely different vibe from that same exact street and moment. He might feel inspired by the sights of skyscrapers and blooming businesses. Deep down, he feels that life is auspicious to his goals and full of potential joys. Of particular importance is the fact that your sense-of-life can strenghten or blunt your joys and sorrows. A pessimistic man might see ice-cream and sex as pointless distractions in a sea of tears. It's tricky to enjoy anything if you fear for your life, either because the world is hell (malevolent universe premise) or because you think that you're unfit to deal with it (low self-esteem). After all, it probably won't last; so why enjoy it? But an optimistic man might see life's inconveniences as irrelevant in comparision to life's joys; since the world strikes him as an amazing place to be in, he feels a pure, unrestrained pleasure when he enjoys his values, a type of pleasure that the pessimistic man cannot even fathom. In art, your sense-of-life directs not only artistic creation, but also artistic response. Depressed artists don't paint sunny landscapes and happy artists don't particularly enjoy Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. Of course, for most people a sense of life isn't as black-and-white as I described, but you should get the idea. This fundamental emotion conditions a lot of things in a man, including his body language and how passionately driven or apathetic he is. When he falls in love or forms deep friendships, it's on the basis of equivalence in the sense-of-life realm, which is usually first conveyed indirectly through somebody's personality and mannerisms, and later through their actions and professed convictions. Since your evaluations of people can be wrong, true love can only exist if the loved one's conscious convictions match the sense of life he or she appears to have.
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    The missing link is causality. Perception links the causal interactions of the external world into our cognitive realm by causal means. If we came to know something, that knowledge was caused by some chain of causal events and then willful inferences that traversed the distance between existence and our recognition of that existence. To accept something for a reason necessarily entails it is knowable, but if you accept something for no reason then sure all bets are off and that isolated proposition might be unintegratable and incompatible with other knowledge. Uncaused knowledge is unjustified knowledge, and so is merely opinion which threatens nothing. In my signature is a link to Notes on "Unity in Epistemology and Ethics" by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, lecture one touches on this.
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    This is an assertion that contradictions exist in particular specific existents. It is a completely valid response to dismiss this as an wild hypothetical without a shred of evidence to support it. Another response is to identify the stolen concept at work here: "diction" is speech, "contra" is against, but existence does not speak so it cannot speak against itself. Contradiction is inapplicable to existence. Ought implies can. Therefore "Cannot implies ought-not". Epistemology is as normative a field as is ethics.
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    Since I'm French, let me keep you informed of what's happening in my country. Next Saturday, France will have the final result of the presidential election. Since the end of the first round (April 23rd) this result is already known: the next president of France will be Emmanuel Macron. Of course, when I write these lines, he's still competing against Marine Le Pen, but she has absolutely no chance of being elected. Although she's popular in a part of the French, she (and her party) is still extremely unpopular for the vast majority of French. She will not be elected because of what is called in France the "glass ceiling", which means that she can never exceed a certain level in public opinion. What happened in the first round? The current president, Francois Hollande, is extremely unpopular and didn't have the capacity to present himself again. So, in the first round, there were 5 important candidates (the other 6 are insignificant): François Fillon (The party "The Républicains", the main party of the right in France, the party of Nicolas Sarkozy, who was president between 2007 and 2012. Fillon was prime minister throughout this period. Emmanuel Macron (who was Minister of Economy under President François Hollande, but who launched his political movement since one year only.) Marine Le Pen (The party "National Front", the party considered as extreme right, nationalist.) Jean-Luc Mélenchon (His movement is called "Unsubmitted France", radical left, ideas close to Communism and Marxism.) Benoît Hamon (Socialist party, party of President François Hollande, main party left in France for 40 years.) The result of the first round was as follows: Emmanuel Macron 24% Marine Le Pen 21.3% François Fillon 20% Jean-Luc Mélenchon 19.6% Benoît Hamon 6.4% This is the first time in a French presidential election that none of the main left-wing (Socialist Party) and right-wing (The Republicans) parties are absent from the second round. A brief comment on what happened: Benoît Hamon represented the Socialist Party, the party of the current president, François Hollande. Even if he was part of a faction of this party that was critical of the President, he could not change the fact that he represented a party that had become extremely unpopular, since Francois Hollande was extremely unpopular. More than its predecessor Nicolas Sarkozy (who was also very unpopular). So the score of the Socialist Party is historically low. It was never so low since the 60's. Jean-Luc Mélenchon has almost doubled his score since the last election (2012). He withdrew the red flags and flags of the Soviet Union in his meetings to replace them with French flags, and he sings "La marseillaise" instead of "L'internationale". He was the most popular candidate for young people (18-24), because formally, he made a very modern campaign (despite his archaic ideas): he made a Youtube channel, he used the Social networks, meetings in holograms, his militants even made a videogame on him ("Fiscal Kombat"). Between Macron and Le Pen, he did not give his opinion for the second round, because for him Macron represents capitalism, and Le Pen represents fascism ... (In my personnal view, he is the archetypal dictator. He is an admirer of Chavez & Castro...) François Fillon was destined to win this election. But during the campaign, he was accused of fictitious employment (i.e. misappropriation of public money) for a situation dating back several years ago. This accusation has never been proved, but the presumption of innocence was not sufficient for public opinion to not considered him as guilty and corrupted. Especially since before that, Fillon said that if he was suspected of something, he would not be candidate. Some believe that these accusations have been secretly modeled by the current power in order to make the rival party losing (There are disturbing indications.). Anyway, these accusations made him considerably lower in public opinion, and prevented him from entering the second round. Politically, this was the first time that a major French presidential candidate said he wanted to significantly reduce the size of the state, reduce taxes, reduce regulations and take care of the public debt. It was also the first time I heard a french politician defending liberty (by using this word) in this kind of election. His speech with regard to Islamist terrorism (which he calls "Islamist totalitarianism") was without concession. Who are Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen? Politically Emmanuel Macron is center-left. He is supported by people from right, left and center. He governed as minister under the presidency of François Hollande (Socialist Party) but he was always perceived as different, iconoclastic. He is young (39 years old), doesn't have a political background, he had never be elected, he worked as a business banker at Rotschild. He studied philosophy (his thesis was about Hegel). He is in favor of globalization. His popularity in France comes from the fact that it embodies the image of a change, a renewal because: - He has a different style from most policies and he's young, he has an image of modernity. - He doesn't have a political career (except as minister during 2 years), he does not come from the traditional parties, he comes from the private sector. - He was still unknown 2 or 3 years ago. - He has the image of someone very smart, who knows his files, especially in economy. For the extreme left and far right, he represents capitalism, i.e. the evil. Actually it's true that when he was minister, his speech and his actions seemed "pro-capitalist" especially for a left-wing man. He's in favor of free trade, globalization, private sector... But since the campaign began, he wanted to show that he wasn't so capitalist, by multiplying social measures, protections, etc ... which makes him a centrist. Or a "pragmatist". Or a "moderate". Someone who want to "reconciliate", mix the hot and the cold, who is agree with everyone. He wants to be pro-capitalist and pro-protection in the same time. Marine Le Pen (who was the most popular candidate among the workers) is far-right and her economic program is clearly socialist and protectionist. The two main ideas of his party (the National Front) have always been the same since his father created the party in the 70s: "Fight against immigration and insecurity". Its aim is to "re-establish borders", to regain the sovereignty of the country, to fight against "globalized finance", "ultra-capitalism" and, of course, her speech against Islamism is radical. Never has his party and its ideology been so popular in France. But despite this, for many people, Marine Le Pen (and her party) is considered racist and xenophobic. Many also consider it fascist. She will lose the election, there is no suspense about it. If you have questions, it will be a pleasure for me to answer to you about this elections.
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    "It has never been especially popular at OO.com" Hey now, that's not true. D: It was really popular early on in my time here. There were times so many of us were in there at once that we crashed the program. I hope the chat gets restored somehow. I haven't used it much lately mostly because there just wasn't much of anybody else around.
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    This reminds me of the thought process and public lobbying of creationists. "I/you can't believe nature could actually cause Life. Some supernatural consciousness must be the cause and therefore the supernatural consciousness MUST exist" This error identified by Grames is the closest thing to direct and sheer subjectivism there is. It directly denies the very nature of valid knowledge and belief. It's not a form of subconscious compartmentalization or even evasion, its using as a tenet of logic, as part of the attempt at a process of logic, that for anything (a proposition a conclusion etc.) to qualify as possibly true, it must "strike one" as believable, independent of any evidence of the senses, and literally for no reason whatever. This must stem from a process of rationalization (or a psychological predisposition) whereby floating abstractions (invalid and illusory) emerge in the mind, either because they are taught, are the result of more basic floating abstractions or are due to an over imaginative mind which conflates what is with what can be imagined (something like the Walt Disney principle from LPs History of Philosophy) I might go so far as to say this mechanism is a species of a broader fallacy that has lead to ALL of the philosophical errors that ever were. IF man were led only by evidence, man would never come up with a fabricated explanation of anything. In cases where he knew enough of the evidence, he would make the correct integrations/deduction to determine the true principle. If he made a mistake in the process of logic itself, he would soon see the inconsistency between that which is implied by his conclusion and some evidence, and would immediately check and soon correct his logic because he must be led only by evidence. In cases where he did not know enough evidence he would not have arrived at a conclusion, or claimed to have done so, because by definition NOT KNOWING ENOUGH MEANS NO CONCLUSION IS POSSIBLE. Faced with the unknown, the part known, and the known, instead of basing his conclusions on the evidence in accordance with this, philosophers have relied on some "sense" or intuition or feeling of believability, which introduced a sort of over the shoulder influence, like a Rasputin or a Steve Bannon: intrinsicism, supernaturalism (primacy of consciousness aspect), rationalism (ideas over reality), skepticism... all played a role nudging the thinker, injecting as pseudo-evidence, their feeling of believability. This is a case of products of the mind (feeling, whim, imagination) masquerading as evidence... some ghost of a consciousness fraudulently garbed in the robes of an aspect of reality. Monads, dialectic progression, platonic forms, the noumenal, and an unimaginably large number of others insanities are all examples of the result of NOT relying only on the evidence of the senses. I used to think the process of logic was the problem, I see now the problem is the disrespect for true importance of the evidence of the senses, it's the rejection of the fact that any and all knowledge must be based ONLY on the evidence of the senses. Any breach of this rule inevitably leads to insanity, floating abstractions, false philosophies, flawed thinking and deplorable cultures, death and disaster. I'm reminded of the ending line of OPAR: "To save the world is the simplest thing in the world. All one has to do is think." Grames observation is very astute... I have much to think about.
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    epistemologue, your source holds that universals are entities: "The phenomenon of similarity or attribute agreement gives rise to the debate between realists and nominalists. Realists claim that where objects are similar or agree in attribute, there is some one thing that they share or have in common; nominalists deny this. Realists call these shared entities universals; they say that universals are entities that can be simultaneously exemplified by several different objects; and they claim that universals encompass the properties things possess, the relations into which they enter, and the kinds to which they belong." Underlining mine. That's from near the beginning of Chapter 1 in Objectivism and the Corruption of Rationality. Will you grant the point now? If you are a realist, you are defending the existence of a kind of entity.
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    The fact check site Snopes sets the record straight on an Ayn Rand quote by checking with Onkar Ghate associated with the Ayn Rand Institute. Did Ayn Rand Say 'The Question Isn’t Who Is Going to Let Me; It’s Who Is Going to Stop Me'?
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    Some people do better when they present arguments against the very thing they are learning about. Perhaps the objection is trite to the more learned person, or oversimplified, or confused, but this is how learning works. When a kid learns astronomy, there may be weird objections that are bizarre, asking about how aliens built the solar system. Clearly, Szal's objections are more sophisticated than that. But by presenting the objection, often that suggests wanting to learn more. Szal probably has some good questions, and also errors in reading Rand as people do with any philosopher. A good way to find contradictions in oneself is to use one's ideas "above" their knowledge level. To do well in that setting, you need to say what you understand and your issue with it, even before a strong foundation. When you get something totally wrong, errors become clearer. If you learn to cook, say, sometimes deliberately ignoring an ingredient or technique, objecting to fantastic advice from pros, helps you learn why those techniques are used.
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    What do you take to be Rand's definition of Art? What is it's function? What qualifies as art (of any kind) and what does not qualify? If according to Objectivism art is broad, some myths insofar as they fall within it, will qualify as art. Insofar as Objectivism's definition of what art is and does is narrow, much of myth because of what it is and does simply does not correspond, will simply be something that reminds one of art or appears similar but which is not and does not serve as art. And that's ok! Decoration IS decoration it has its own function and value, and you may find much of it beautiful! An analysis of what art is is completely independent from an identification of myths and what they are. You are correct that what you state is unsatisfying. It is IMHO because the attempt at categorization has oppressed or distorted that which is being categorized. That definition largely misses by a vast margin what myth is and does. Categorization, analysis, identification cannot change what it is attempting to categorize it can only decide what does or does not fall within well formulated categories. If you feel through the process of categorization you've somehow distorted or ignored something about that which you are dealing with you've made an error. If something don't fit, don't worry the something is fine it just does not fit. Don't try to make it be what it isn't so it does fit. Make new categories or live with having to identify something as part A or sometimes A but also part B or sometimes B. Myth is what it is and does what it does regardless of our progress (or lack thereof) of our conceptualization or integration of it within the rest of the conceptual framework. Depending of what art is and its function much of Myth might simply not serve as art. You can still find something besutiful and valuable even if it doesn't serve as art. And that's perfectly OK. I think you might be obsessing over whether myth is art. At this stage maybe determining for yourself first what myth is and does would be more useful. Once confident you have identified and understood what you are dealing with on its own terms, then you can see where it fits. sorry for the ramble. I hope it's helpful.
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    Szalapski, I resort to stating the obvious. You have made no specific criticism of Objectivism. It may be that you have no specific criticism of Objectivism. Having listened to the audio recording most recently listed on your podcast, it seems apparent that you have a desire to undermine the validity of Objectivism. While the motive for such an endeavor eludes me, I wish to offer these comments: Objectivism is a fully comprehensive philosophy. Most rational and coherent individuals would find it easy to live with the moral assertions of Objectivism, if not for the fact that there presently exists a ubiquitous acceptance of irrational ideas. The popularity of these irrational ideas undermines the likelihood of Objectivsim becoming a mainstream or well-accepted philosophical norm in the leading industrial nations of the world. Religious clerics, modern philosophy professors, and Hollywood producers are hard at work preserving the mystical/collectivist standard of ethics. Do you really believe that someone seeking a rational explanation for the general insanity of the world would be best served by presenting "Objections to Objectivism" without a firm grasp of the concept of Objectivism? Referring to the podcast, would a person questioning the foundations of ethics benefit from the confusing salad of unsubstantiated assertions I heard in the conversation you had with Zack Schmitt? How does Zack Schmitt, an admitted mystic who claims "we can't know your own selves," (paraphrased) qualify as an expert on Objectivism? On this thread alone, you have received feedback from people with a much broader breadth of knowledge in the formal study of philosophy than anything I would care to engage. If you have arguments with Ayn Rand's metaphysical or epistemological assertions, I recommend you address these concerns directly; perhaps these more scholarly participants could help you with these more abstract fundamental, however I always recommend some self-study followed by your own independent contemplation before engaging in any argument. As for me, a man of less academic reasoning, I am perfectly willing to accept the notion that that which I perceive is quite real, unless there may be some deception involved, or something as yet to be discovered. Deception is a matter of reality, as is the undiscovered. As for the manner of reacting and responding to reality, that is a matter for every individual to determine for his/her self. It is a matter of morality. The question of morality in Objectivist thought is not very difficult to grasp, unless one is confused by religious beliefs, or the skeptical premise that knowledge is an illusion, or a combination of both. Not everyone would benefit from a society governed by Objectivist morality. The indigent, the criminally insane, the inherently corrupt, and certainly those who presently prosper from the sales of mystical products would find themselves isolated from a community of rational thinkers. The majority of rational thinkers would thrive and flourish. If our present-day civilization spirals downward to the depths of a new dark age, it won't be because the world was populated by too many Objectivists. That fate would be the property of the mystics and skeptics. It is my profound conviction, and one supported with evidence, that the entire population of the world and beyond will live more contented, if not more joyous lives, when the reality, so obvious to Objectivists, becomes the standard of philosophic thought.
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    The reification fallacy is a frequently found to be a habit of rationalists. Rationalism is a corruption of rationality because of its Primacy of Consciousness perspective on fundamental premises such universals or Descartes' cogito statement. Jacob Bunting, epistemologue and Scott Ryan are all rationalists by the evidence of their arguments or what arguments they find persuasive. Objectivism emphasizes rationality and rationalism is one of the chief failure modes of its would-be practitioners.
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    How do you know this? I mean, this is a simplification of symbolism, such that you seem to base this on the connotations you've learned. I don't really like sunny landscapes, while I prefer dark landscapes generally. If a person hated life, and painted a sunny landscape, would they actually love life? You would be best off saying that what you choose to paint shows something about a person. What it shows, well, depends on your knowledge of art. I can say I really like this painting: I can attempt to give reasons, but I am not a painter or art historian. I would be making guesses. This isn't to say "there is no reason", only that it's really hard besides some really general ones, like "peculiarity is seen as important". What do the swans suggest, the clouds, the weird trees? I don't know. Delving deeper is beyond my ability. By the way, you'd also need to consider the degree of liking when it comes to one's sense of life. Paraphrased from page 33, "one's sense of life is fully involved only when one feels a profoundly personal emotion page". I understand you are talking in broad strokes, so here is paraphrasing from page 43 to remind you of some ideas: "it must be stressed that the pattern is not so gross and simple as preferring happy music to sad music according to a benevolent or malevolent view of the universe" "it is not merely what particular emotion a composition conveys, but how it conveys the emotion" I want to remind you that Rand didn't say any two people shared the same sense of life, so there will be many variations of even positive senses of life. Sense of life described here is her theory, so it's worth noting this point. There may be a broad category "positive sense of life" with differentia allowing for variations of individuals in their background experiences. Why is this mildly malevolent? Sure, you describe it with these words, but it's hard to say that you aren't missing something or lack the conceptual vocabulary to say the sense of life captured. All you can do is say if you feel good or bad. Rand understood at least in RM how hard it is to judge your own sense of life, and how we can't really judge what sense of life another person has.
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    Based on the presentation A Study of Galt's Speech, by Onkar Ghate, the subject of an ARI e-mail in the ongoing celebration of Atlas Shrugged's sixtieth anniversary. In the introductory talk, near the end, Onkar raises the point that originally Miss Rand had written her first draft to address Objectivism in hierarchal order. This is confirmed in writing elsewhere, as well by an Ayn Rand associate and member of the audience, Harry Binswanger. Onkar offers the suggestion that it was reorganized to follow the theme of the book, the role of man's mind for survival. Per the course outline, (included as a pdf in the purchase), the first 19 paragraphs are considered the introduction. Per the novel, they oscillate between initially perceptually confirmable detail and their more abstract counterparts—from the question on everybody's mind (in the novel) at one time or another: "Who is John Galt?"—to the fact that was becoming increasingly undeniable: Where have the Hank Rearden's and the Ellis Wyatt's seemingly vanished to?
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    Query one and Two: What is the purpose of philosophy to you? How is it a value to you and how do you benefit from it? Answers to the above may be "meta" this discussion, but it is important at the widest levels of Objectivism. Certain types are psychologically attracted to "philosophy" because of a mistaken belief that it is "above" the base considerations of things like science, economics, biology, ... engineering... that it is a "higher" exercise into abstractions... the implicit belief being one akin to the "ideal versus practical" false dichotomy. I have seen this mentality over and over and over... it's the one that revels in flights of fantastical imaginative fancy playing at thought by attempting to apply logic to floating abstractions and complete fictions... the kind of mentality which so engrossed in their insanity of the unfounded "possible" (products of the untethered imagination) are offended when the subject of evidence of the senses or perception of reality are brought up. As if the idea that which they think needed to be bounded by that which IS were some distasteful morsel foisted upon their platter of ineffable morsels, spoiling their a la carte... carte blanche that is. Granted, you and this type of mentality may not be related but there is an element of this momentum at play in many who are drawn to ideas as an escape from rather than an acceptance and discovery of reality. Question one: Your query implies the need to accept either: 1) contradictions IN reality itself or 2) man's faculty of consciousness i.e. the faculty of identification is inherently flawed -> it will identify a contradiction where none exists. If there were any evidence to support either of these now would be the time to raise it. As for your questions re. epistemology they seem elliptical and unspecific. Man forms concepts and uses forms of logic to gain knowledge solely on the basis of evidence of the senses which are the form of the direct causal connections between reality and his mind. Query two: The arbitrary is literally something for which there is no, i.e. absolutely zero evidence. The onus falls on one to prove i.e. show some evidence tending to show, the positive. There is no onus on anyone to prove a negative i.e. prove the non existence of what is arbitrarily asserted. For example, take the arbitrary assertion that the Devil exists. Now imagine the proponent of the Devil asking for you to prove the Devil does not exist. There is no evidence in reality to point to which disproves the existence of the Devil. The non existence of the Devil cannot leave behind any little red flags, any footprints, any little notes saying "The Devil wasn't here" to point to. Only what IS constitutes evidence and only evidence in some form supports an assertion of what is. The onus is on he who asserts the positive. This is not the same issue as some philosophers adopting a standard of omniscience as the standard of knowledge. There is and never was an omniscience. There only are men, with finite time, finite memory, finite capacity. The concept knowledge does not apply to trees, they do not have it. The concept knowledge does not apply to Planets or Galaxies, they do not have it. The concept of knowledge does not apply to Gods, they simply are NOT. The concept knowledge is applicable to Man, and is defined in the context of man because it is the only kind of knowledge there is... that knowledge is finite. As such any self-aware computer, or alien (if ever proven to exist) could have knowledge of the same kind (although of different degree) as man, but because of the nature of existence it would be finite. Omniscience however, lies outside of the concept of knowledge. It is an impossible fiction. To state that because man cannot have a faculty of omniscience, i.e. cannot possess an impossible fiction he cannot have knowledge, is an attempt to steal the concept knowledge from the realm of reality and ascribe it to the unreality and to redefine the finite as required to be infinite.
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    Republicans and Democrats both horrible. Need a new party which recognizes the only proper role of government is the protection of individual rights, with a plan to gradually take us there. Horrible, so Bad, so Bad!
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    Reason requires method and input, or logic and data. I would say that your preference for a certain taste is data, and so choosing a pleasant taste is rational and not irrational or nonrational. My premise here is that tastes have causes in the chemistry of your body and the thing one tastes and so are metaphysical givens, a fact of your world to be accepted. The same can apply to an interesting shape, something different can be pleasing because of the novelty of wrapping your brain around something new, that is just an aspect of human nature (or most humans anyway).
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    Interesting. Nonrational includes the automatic and emotional. Moreover, indulging in emoting when there is no necessity to think further (no better alternative) can also be... moral or would you say (in a parallel manner to not being "within bounds" of morality) simply amoral? Nice. This is interesting, it brings up the issue of an individual's finite resources and finite time. Spending too much time on a decision can be irrational because it wastes valuable resources which may exceed the value of making the decision in the first place. I do want to address squarely the issue of the choice between alternatives which are equally rational, for example, where the choice to do Ax versus Bx is based on rationality (Ax drinking milk daily is good versus Bx drinking Mountain Dew and no milk) but the choice between A1 and A2 is not based on any rational reason (A1 is a healthy vanilla flavored milk and A2 is an equally healthy chocolate flavored milk). If one "feels" like buying vanilla flavor or for a different example drinking from an oddly shaped glass, in the sense that it is solely based on "liking it" the choice to do so is nonrational, but it does not mean the broader action of drinking milk is not rational. Is there a concept or a term for these nonrational preferences (one could even say subjective preferences) i.e. the freedom within the broader limits set by rationality? As a side issue, (not to be a distraction), in many cases there are a very large number of "best" (based on rationality) "choices" ... which are on perfectly equal standing rationally speaking, a particular SUV might be the best choice based on rationality for your family but the color need not require any rational analysis... in fact given the finite resources of effort and time, a quick "I like that color" emotion IS enough... and the attempt to "deduce" or through induction determine a "perfect" would actually be an irrational exercise.
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    As a significant phenomenon, yes, it is mainly entrepreneurs and businessmen. People who wish to do politics or administration do not leave France, it is the country dreamed for it. Actually a supporter of mixed economy, you should say. Who is, however, a little more pro-capitalist than what France has known so far (especially from a center-left guy). He's a bit like Tony Blair... But France has never known her Thatcher.
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    How the fact that french brains, in business (entrepreneurs), have actually left the country could explain Macron's success? It's seems a poor explanation from someone who doesn't know this country...
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    Epistemolouge have you read my response in this thread? What about there being a metaphysical basis for similarity without a need for "strict Identity" makes the view of universality as epistemic problematic? There is a factual basis for similarity and it doesn't include the metaphysical nonsense of bizarre entities occupying many places at once but rather a mind grasping individual identities that have common structure/architecture while remaining physically distinct individuals.
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    . The Status of the Law of Contradiction in Classical Logical Ontologism Leonard Peikoff – Ph.D. Dissertation (NYU 1964) There are no true contradictions, and there cannot be any. That is the law of contradiction, or principle of noncontradition (PNC) as I shall call it. There is nothing and can be nothing that is both A and not-A at the same time and in the same respect. The last three decades, Graham Priest and others have argued specific exceptions to the law. These exceptions seem to be such that from them no possibility of observable, concrete true contradictions can be licensed. The debate over these circumscribed candidates for true contradictions continues. I shall in this study fence them off, without disposition, from our still very wide purview of PNC. There are reasons advanced in favor of these specific alleged exceptions to PNC, I should stress. It is not argued that we should just say true or false as we please of the contradiction reached in these cases. These are not situations for conventions such as the side of the road on which to regularly drive. (See Priest, Beall, and Armour-Garb 2004.) Under the term classical in his title, Peikoff includes not only the ancient, but the medieval and early modern. By logical ontologism, he means the view that laws of logic and other necessary truths are expressive of facts, expressive of relationships existing in Being as such. Peikoff delineates the alternative ways in which that general view of PNC has been elaborated in various classical accounts of how one can come to know PNC as a necessary truth and what the various positions on that issue imply in an affirmation that PNC is a law issuing from reality. The alternative positions within the ontology-based logical tradition stand on alternative views on how we can come to know self-evident truths and on the relation of PNC to the empirical world, which latter implicates alternative views on the status of essences and universals. Opposed to the classical logical ontologists are purportedly conventionalist approaches to logical truth in the first half of the twentieth century. Peikoff argues that infirmities in all the varieties of classical logical ontologism open the option of such conventionalism. Firstly, Peikoff examines the views of Plato (427­–347 B.C.E.) in their import for an explanation of our knowledge of PNC and its self-evident character and for the bases of PNC in reality. Peikoff then examines these imports in the views of Aristotle as well as in the views of the intellectual descendents of Plato and Aristotle to the time of Kant. Peikoff cites a number of passages in which Plato invokes varieties of PNC as a general principle of the character of things that must always be acknowledged in reasoning. “The same thing will not be willing to do or undergo opposites in the same part of itself, in relation to the same thing, at the same time” (Republic 436b). “Do you suppose it possible for any existing thing not to be what it is? / Heavens no, not I” (Euthydemus 293b). To citations given by Peikoff, I add Republic 534d where Plato speaks of some persons “as irrational as incommensurable lines.” The incommensurability of the length of the diagonal of a square to the length of its side had been discovered by the time of Plato, and its proof is by showing that on assumption of commensurability of those lines there follows the contradiction that whatever number of integral units composing the diagonal, the number is both even and odd. Peikoff rightly stresses that for Plato the perfect Forms are radically different from their empirical namesakes. Under the latter acquaintance, our knowing the Forms, so far as we do, is from memory of our full knowing of them in our existence before this life of perception, according to Plato: “Consider, he said, whether this is the case: we say that there is something that is equal. I do not mean a stick equal to a stick or a stone to a stone, or anything of that kind, but something else beyond all these, the Equal itself. Shall we say that exists or not? / . . . Most definitely / . . . / Whence have we acquired the knowledge of it? . . . Do not equal stones and sticks sometimes, while remaining the same, appear to one to be equal and to another to be unequal – Certainly they do. / But what of the equals themselves? Have they ever appeared unequal to you, or Equality to be Inequality? / Never, Socrates / . . . / Whenever someone, on seeing something, realizes that that which he now sees wants to be like some other reality but falls short and cannot be like that other since it is inferior, do we agree that the one who thinks this must have prior knowledge of that to which he says it is like, but differently so? / Definitely. / . . . / We must then possess knowledge of the Equal before that time when we first saw the equal objects and realized that all these objects strive to be like the Equal but are deficient in this” (Phaedra 74). Perceptibly equal things are deficient in that they can appear unequal in some occasions of perception. The Form Equal by contrast is always just that. Perceptibles “no more are than are not what we call them” (Rep. 479b). Plato does not clearly isolate PNC, but he was getting onto an ontological basis for it, so far as he did grasp PNC, by his characterizing what I should call his faux contradictions of empirical objects—faux because he fails to give square reality to situational and temporal determinates of objects and to our contexts of thought and speech about objects—as both being and not being, which is to say, deficient in being. It is fair enough to say, as Peikoff concludes, that for Plato PNC has the same standing in ontology and in our knowledge as such Forms as Being, Same, Other, Equal, and Inequal. Additional support, I notice, for that standing of PNC in Plato would obtain had Plato called out Identity as a Form, where Identity means what was said above at Euthd. 393b: an existing thing must be what it is. As later thinkers would observe, Identity in that sense entails PNC. Peikoff places Plato at the head of a sequence of philosophers who held PNC to be not learned from scratch by our experience in this world. They hold the principle to be in some sense innate and to be based on realities independent of the world we experience by the senses. In the innate-PNC sequence, Peikoff places later Stoicism (see Crivelli 2009, 393–94), Neoplatonism, early Christianity, Cambridge Platonism, and Continental Rationalism. Nearly all of these, I should note, are in a very different intellectual situation than Plato’s in that they have, directly or indirectly, Aristotle’s development of logic. The latter two certainly had as well his Posterior Analytics and Metaphysics. They had thereby Aristotle’s various formulations and accounts of PNC. They stand on the shoulders of both Plato (and Neoplatonism) and Aristotle, with innate-PNC being one of their leanings toward Plato along a line of difference with Aristotle. They had as well, unlike Plato or Aristotle, Euclid’s Elements, further mathematics beyond Euclid, and further developments in logic. By the time of Republic, Plato had evidently abandoned his view that we recognize Forms in our present life because we knew them well in a previous life free of the perceptual and variation spoilers of being (Tait 2005, 179). The recollection from a previous life is no longer mentioned. It remains for Plato that the Forms, such as are engaged in geometry, are accessed only by intellect, and not to be found in sensory experience nor abstracted from sensory experience. Peikoff was aware that some scholars had begun to question whether Plato had held on to his early express view that the realm of Forms was a world in which we had lived in a previous life and from which we now have some recollection of our previous knowing. Peikoff took Plato’s view as uniform on the recollection doctrine we saw in Phaedra. I’m persuaded to the contrary view. Peikoff rightly points out that through much of the history of philosophy the recollection view and the other-world-of-Forms view had been taken for Plato’s view, and Plato’s influence, pro or con, was under that picture. I think, however, that the separateness of a purely intelligible realm of Forms, a realm not also a prior world of life, Forms separate from empirical classes participating in them, is enough for saying Plato heads a line in which knowledge of necessary truths such as in geometry or in the rules of right reasoning (importantly PNC), even if their elicitation is by sensory experience, must be innate. That much, given Peikoff’s analysis of the significant senses of innate, is enough for sharp contrast with Aristotle and his line, and the dominance of the Good over all other Forms suffices, in a foggy way, for their normativity in the empirical world (Rep. 504d–11e, 533b-d; Philebus 20b–22e, 55d–60c, 64c–67a; Denyer 2007, 306–8). I mentioned the great difference, in Plato’s view, between the perfect Forms and their empirical namesakes. The bed one sleeps in is physically dependent on its materials and construction, but the bed constructed depends on the Idea or Form Bed, and the particular constructed bed is ontologically deficient in being when compared to the invariant full-being Bed, the Form on which the particular constructed bed’s being and name depends (Rep. 596–97). It is the rational, best part of the soul that measures and calculates, helping to rectify illusions in perceptual experience and to bring us nearer truth of being (Rep. 602c–603a). In geometry we employ diagrams, but our arguments and concern are for the Forms of these figures, not the particular constructed, material figures (Rep. 510b–511a; on the “mathematical intermediates” controversy, see Denyer 2007, 304–5; Tait 2002, 183–85). Even higher than our rational capability for geometry is our rational capability for proceeding from Forms to Form-Form relations to the first principle of all Being—and the necessary ultimate spring and harmony of all knowing—which for Plato is a Form, the Good. This purportedly highest process of knowing is called dialectic, a notch above thought even in geometry (Rep. 510b–511e; further, Denyer 2007, 306–8). Reviel Netz concludes “Greek mathematical form emerged in the period roughly corresponding to Plato’s lifetime” (1999, 311). He reports Hippocrates of Chios (not to be confused with the father of Greek medicine) as “first to leave writings on Euclidean subject matter,” say, around 440 B.C.E. (275). Hippocrates is credited with introducing the indirect method of proof into mathematics, which relies expressly on PNC. Netz concludes that “much of Greek mathematics was articulated in the Euclidean style” by around 360 B.C.E. (ibid.). Euclid’s Elements itself did not appear until about 300 B.C.E. Aristotle (384–322 B.C.E.) was attentive to this mature Greek mathematics, and he put it to some use in inference to and justification of the first principle that is PNC. Plato in his discussions of magnitudes and quantity (counts) stays rather distant from the systematization and rigor being given to mathematics in his day. Plato does make Form-hay from the circumstance that the idealized determinateness and exactitude supposed in geometry makes way for such knowledge as the relationships established in the Pythagorean Theorem (Meno 85–86), relationships that cannot be established so definitively by simply measuring sides of sensible triangles and squares, but require, rather, the operation of intellect on its own. Peikoff’s Platonic line of logical ontologists hold PNC to be innate knowledge, not learned from scratch from experience of the sensible world. Peikoff conceives this line to also consist in holding that essences provide what regularity there is in sensible nature. In Phaedo Plato has Socrates say: “I am speaking of all things such as Size, Health, Strength and, in a word, the reality of all other things, that which each of them essentially is” (65d). In this dialogue, Plato invokes a notion of the contrary, within which can be read the contradictory, when he has Socrates invoke the principles (i) what one is explaining cannot have explanations giving the thing to be explained contrary qualities and (ii) an explanation must not itself consist in incompatible kinds of things (97a–b, 101a–b). Here Plato argues that the only adequate explanations are explanations by the regulative essences of things (e.g. the fineness of fine things), or we might also say, by the regulative Forms (e.g. the Fine) in which sensible and mathematical things participate, directly or indirectly (95e–102b; see Politus 2010.) I notice the implication in these parts of Phaedo that PNC, as within the prohibition of incompatibilities in explanations or in things explained, is a principle whose ultimate ground must lie in the realm of essence, or Form, not in the realm of the sensible world, lest explanation fall into the swamp of the sensible. Peikoff observes that in Plato’s view the eternal, necessary essences, or Forms, do not require mind for their existence, but for the Neoplatonists and from Augustine to Cudworth and Leibniz, these essences and all necessary truths, such as PNC, do require mind for their existence (cf. Peikoff 2012, 24–25). In the line of logical ontologism extending from Plato, necessary truths exist in the eternal mind of God, they are prescriptive for the created empirical world, and they hold in the nature of that world. Their ultimate source and residence is the divine mind. Peikoff draws out four arguments advanced in the Platonic line for why PNC cannot be learned from sensory experience. One of them is that PNC is a necessary truth. The principle states not only that there are no true contradictions, but that there cannot possibly be any true contradictions. In the Platonic line, let me add, such a necessity could no more be known merely from empirical induction than could be known in that way the necessary truth that any triangle in the Euclidean plane must have angles summing to exactly two right angles. These philosophers and theologians take such necessity to flow from the divine eternal mind, the permanent residence of such eternal, necessary truths. I observe, however, that their view that physical existence per se and in the whole of it is contingent because there are contingent things within this our world is an invalid inference. I say that ‘existence exists’ can be a necessity at least partly the ultimate base and reference of the truth and necessity of any necessary truths. On this corrective, Peikoff had things to say in his essay “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy” in The Objectivist three years after completion of his dissertation (also Peikoff 2012, 12; further, Franklin 2014, 67–81). I should add that for Plato, the necessity of necessary truths does not descend from a divine mind, lord of existence, mathematical and empirical, but from the Good, lord of all Forms and their traces in our reasoning on the mathematical and physical world. The Good is the Form dependent on no others. It is self-sufficient and is self-evident in a general way to human reason. It is the necessity that is source of all orderly necessity (Rep. 505c, 508d–509a, 511b–d; Philebus 20d, 60c, 64b–65a; further, Demos 1939, 35, 106, 307, 335). In my view, from Rand, all good is set in the highly contingent organization that is life. Then, I add, since the good does not have the ontological standing given it in Plato’s view, it cannot of itself (only a necessary-for) be the base of the sort of necessity had in necessary truths, truths such as the principle that, necessarily, there are no true contradictions. To be continued. References Charles, D., editor, 2010. Definition in Greek Philosophy. Oxford. Crivelli, P. 2010. The Stoics on Definition. In Charles 2010. Demos, R. 1939. The Philosophy of Plato. Scribners. Denyer, N. 2007. Sun and Line: The Role of the Good. In The Cambridge Companion to Plato’s Republic. G. R. F. Ferrari, editor. Cambridge. Franklin, J. 2014. An Aristotelian Realist Philosophy of Mathematics. Palgrave Macmillan. Netz, R. 1999. The Shaping of Deduction in Greek Mathematics. Cambridge. Peikoff, L. 1967. The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy. In Ayn Rand: Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Expanded 2nd edition. 1990. Meridian. ——. 2012. The DIM Hypothesis. New American Library. Plato [d. 347 B.C.E.] 1997. Plato – Complete Works. J. M. Cooper, editor. Hackett. Politus, Y. 2010. Explanation and Essence in Plato’s Phaedo. In Charles 2010. Priest, G., Beall, J. C., and B. Armour-Garb, editors, 2004. The Law of Non-Contradiction. Oxford. Tait, W. 1986. Plato’s Second-Best Method. In Tait 2005. ——. 2002. Noēsis: Plato on Exact Science. In Tait 2005. ——. 2005. The Provenance of Reason. Oxford. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ My remarks in this post concerned issues undertaken by Peikoff 1964 (the first two of his five chapters) on Platonist perspectives on the epistemological and the ontological standing of PNC. My next post will concern Peikoff’s third and fourth chapters, on Aristotelian perspectives on those standings. In a third post, I’ll address Peikoff’s fifth chapter, on the demise of classical logical ontologism and some alternatives to it that were adopted.
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    Yes. That is exactly true. There is no shared identity between particulars. What is common is only in our heads, hence the Objectivist position that universals are epistemological. That is quite adequate for what we need universals to do, which is to provide a basis for reasoning about entire categories and for thinking in principles. The danger of arbitrary subjectivity is avoided by insisting on being able to reduce abstractions back down into the components they had referenced (and in multiple steps as is necessary for abstractions of abstractions) all the down to the perceptual basis. This is an adequate measure because what is given to us by the senses is not arbitrary or random or created by consciousness but is automatic and deterministic. The identity of what exists acts upon the identity of our human senses to cause the human perception of any particular. Similarities among intrinsic attributes of the objects we perceive are noted in our heads, what exists are merely the attributes in their various degrees. No causal relation between them linking them together outside of our minds is necessary to explain their apparent similarity because 'similarity' is a human judgement about implicit or explicit measurements being within a narrow range, and 'narrow' is another human judgement about relative size. Judgements are epistemological. Humans are similar enough in their bodies and perceptual capacities that they make similar judgements about perceptual primitives such as 'red' or more complex judgements such as what is 'a throwable stone'. The only mystery was the source of human similarity but that has been resolved in principle and in ever growing detail by the study of genetics. Each individual has his own cause of his body and its capabilities. There is not a mystic single cause of human nature, nor do we half-remember Plato's 'world of forms'.
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    Resurrecting the thread to share an interesting article about tribal peoples whose ability to remember quantities is limited by the absence of numbers in their languages. https://theconversation.com/anumeric-people-what-happens-when-a-language-has-no-words-for-numbers-75828 It seems the number may be four-ish. Perhaps, the seven-ish number requires easy and distinct labels for the items remembered, and our natural ability to perceive numbers is no better than a crow's.
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    Thanks! The sound in this production is a poem plus. I close my eyes to enjoy it best. Ode to a Nightingale
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    As I said, the big problem with Macron is that when he makes speeches, it's so blurry, so general ideas, that you have no precise ideas where he wants to go. He was often mocked because of this, and many commentators said that he didn't have a program, or that we didn't know what he will going to do. I can tell you he was not elected for his ideas. He was elected because he is new, fresh, he doesn't have a political background from the mainstream party, he looks different, modern smart, and competent. For example, you can watch this video, very instructive, which was made by a Marine Le Pen supporter. The guy is asking Macron's supporter what are Macron's ideas : I'll translate you : First person — You support Macron. — Absolutely. — Why? — Because he's hot! No seriously, because he represents the fresh, the renewal, and so on. — The renewal, what do you mean? — I mean he's not an 70 years old guy. He is less than 40. — He was in Hollande government. — Exactly. No problem. Second person — This is a new vision. — What vision? — Gather people who do not agree. That does not mean it's blurry or... — Gather people on what ideas? What are the ideas? — What are the ideas? Julien, help us! — Julien, what are Macron's ideas? — I don't want to answer. — We'll see at the meeting. — OK, so in fact you don't know. — Yes I know, but I don't want to talk now...lol. — Thank you. I will seek for Macron's ideas. — You'll find it quickly I think! — I hope! I doubt... Hey mister! What are Macron's ideas? — I don't know. — You don't know? — No. Third person — What are Macron's ideas? — LOL. Am I obliged to answer? — Not at all. Fourth person (with round glasses) — What are Macron's ideas? — Euuuuuuuuhh... eeeeeeeuuuuh.... [looking around] I don't know... eeeeuuuuuhhh... well... they're good! Fifth person (young guy) — What are the political ideas he advocates for, concretely ? — Very good question. Euuuuuuuuuuhhh........... I don't know. Honestly, very complicated question. Moreover, I didn't understood everything. Euuuh....how can I say? Euuuuh..... Last person — I must admit that I have very recently become acquainted with the various points. I watched some videos and...that's it. Of course you can tell this is a political video where they show only people who did this kind of answer, but I think it's representative of most people who voted for him unfortunately. What I can say about him if you ask me few of Macron's signature positions (but I don't say he usually mentions them in his speeches. His speeches are blurry.) : He is open to globalization and free trade. Pro-EU. He wants to free the work. More freedom for the private sector. But counterbalance with some protections. He wants to gather different opinions. (He presents himself as pragmatic.) He wants to "moralizing" and renewing French political life. New faces, new methods, new practical. The school also has a recurring place in its speeches, he wants to reform it and develop the training. And he wants also to fight against terrorism, but this is not particular to him, almost every politician say the same about. In his first year as president, he's supposed to focus on reforming the labor code, "moralizing" political life and on reforming school I think. And pursue the fight against terrorism. If you want, you can watch the debate he made against Marine Le Pen, there is voiceover in english :
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    ah I see. I'll look for another option.
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    What does intrinsicism mean to you? Rand only applied intrinsicism in ethics in the form the trichotomy of the intrinsic, the subjective, and the objective. Here is that passage: To accept that existence exists, and further that everything that exists must exist in a particular form which is its identity, must entail accepting intrinsic attributes because what else can it mean to have an identity than to have intrinsic attributes? The -ISM of intrinsicism is a theory from ethics as Rand used the term, and it strikes me as bizarre that anyone would think that a perfectly ordinary use of the term 'intrinsic' in metaphysics should be forbidden or else it betrays intrinsicism in metaphysics. What could intrinsicism in metaphysics even mean beyond Rand's "A is A" that would make it so scary?
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    The more I read your posts on this subject, your main issue looks to be that you're criticizing Rand for not clearing up how -entities- have meaning. You could call identity a universal, or the identity of something is a universal, but this doesn't follow how people mean an -entity- when they say universal. I seriously doubt that people here would deny that there are metaphysical givens, and some entities share some intrinsic traits, and that such givens are how we create an epistemic "mental entity" (which is a term Rand used). See your other thread for more thoughts...
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    "Metaphysical" does not mean "material". Gravity exists metaphysically, but it's not "just another concrete". So you've got a fundamental problem here.
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    It implies that when you say that abstractions require universals to be valid, you're saying that there is a kind of metaphysical entity that abstractions have to correspond to. If that's what you're saying, then it's open to the anti-realist to maintain that our concepts correspond to similarities, which are not entities. Likewise, when you say that induction requires universals, what you are saying is that there is a kind of entity that the generalization has to correspond to, as opposed to simply corresponding to the causal connection involved, which is not an entity.
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    Thanks. From the article: "It’s not that you must presume uniformity in order to classify. It’s that you classify to find uniformities." The whole problem with this is that you haven't "found" any more uniformity than you had to begin with! You're still in *exactly* the same position as he agreed with earlier in the article: "The Scholastics lamented (rightly) that unless you had surveyed all magnets or all animals, the inference was not certain" "If you have good guidelines and follow them, you can be certain that someone absolutely cannot contract cholera unless exposed to the bacterium Vibrio cholerae, certain that all men are mortal, certain that the angles of all planar triangles sum to 180°, and certain that 2+3=5. And you don’t need any unjustifiable uniformity principle to do so." No, you cannot be certain of any of those things without some kind of "uniformity principle". The author hasn't justified this at all, and it's contradictory on its face the way it's presented in this article. "But soon the child learns the difference between truth and make-believe—and the difference between staying the same and changing... The child learns that you can’t rely on some global uniformity principle." - without relying on the existence of some uniformity principle, the child hasn't *learned* anything! Those "things that stay the same" are believed to *stay the same* on the basis of there being such a thing *as* uniformity, that is the very meaning of having such a "uniformity principle" in the first place! "The realization that some things stay the same and some don’t is what, he thought, makes induction possible and necessary" - how can any thing stay the same, by the nature of the thing - i.e. in *principle* - if there is no such thing as a principle of uniformity? That's just blatantly contradictory. He wants to find principles of uniformity while denying there are any principles of uniformity. Come on!
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    It's simple for me, I do that sorta thing for a living. I'll make a hierarchy, then see if Jaskn can implement it.
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    Actually this is a very good question and nobody can answer this right now. Just after the presidential election, in June, you have the legislative election, which will determinate the political majority of the country and thus, the government's color. Everytime, in the legislative election next to the presidential, it was always the same party which won. But today that's different, because we don't know if the very young party of Macron has a sufficient structure to win this election. Maybe he will, since a lot of leaders from the mainstream party (from the right and the left) joined the young party of Macron. But Macron said they have to leave the party they come from. So...yes maybe, he will have to govern with a majority from mainstream party... but that's not sure actually. And in fact this is a big problem and a critic that came regulary against Macron. If he doesn't have a parliamentary majority, he can't do anything, he will have very few power. It already happened several times in France, it is called cohabitation. (Check out the Wikipedia article that develop a lot about this kind of situation in France.)
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    IMHO this misses the point of myth. The Example is hypothetical and Rand likely never really studied myth or was ever introduced to Jo's insights. I do not recall of any Myth which was generated and perpetrated merely to represent inexplicable fear. Monsters generally represent a fear which is eventually conquered or with whom there is reconciliation or which is revealed as illusory... i.e. fear often is metaphorically presented as ultimately powerless. Other monsters might be used to dissuade children or the unwary from engaging in dangerous conduct like leaning over a rushing river and sometimes monsters are more effective at dissuading more abstractly harmful behavior, like the wolf in cry wolf lesson about honesty, the story about honesty could have been about a magic unicorn who chooses to refrain from giving out some delightful cookie to the liar... but it would likely be markedly less effective. is she using the term "myth" in a similar vein to how Campbell does? Not at all. She is using myth here to mean something which is mistakenly believed possibly due to cultural influence, particularly, here it is used in the context of "men" of bad philosophies implicitly taking that rationality is a mistaken belief due to cultural influence and explicitly discarding it. IMHO this misses 9th doctor's point. This does nothing to address personal transformation. You go to a lawyer, a financial adviser, or a doctor to ensure you are taken care of, all of theses are external. In fact you don't even state that one should seek a therapist or counselor for "deterioration and death" counseling. The implication is that it simply is not needed. Somehow people just know how to make the personal transformation from vital flourishing adult to deteriorating and ever weaker senior. Rand speaks much of how to become psychologically independent, how to achieve and grow... but the fact is once you pass your zenith, physically and intellectually, (this is context dependent.. some minds are more prone to this) you actually become less than what you were. Morally and experientially you may continue to grow but you deteriorate in productivity, mental acuity, memory, etc. You come to depend on your savings (past selves) and others. How to flourish while accepting that your trajectory is now downward toward the end of life is not as well developed in Rand's work... it simply was not its focus. (nether is family or parenthood as far as I can tell) Stating, just hire some people to take of your affairs is not the answer. Rand did provide some insight in interviews (see below) Myth can never teach what the mythmaker does not already explicitly or implicitly know. In order for it to be conveyed it must have been in he who conveyed it. As such Myth does not cause the genesis of these insights, they can only bring them forth. Since they are also received metaphorically they are often brought forth implicitly in the mind of the recipient. I'm not sure what you are asking for... and the myths convey a myriad of messages. Generally speaking for adults myth's value is not in getting at what is externally observable, this we can gain through explicit learning, philosophy, science, etc. Coming to terms with "what it is like to be human" is not purely external and deals with many aspects of the psyche. "Rationality" is a part of each of us but it does not constitute the whole of each of us. Coming to know and deal with and experience the rest of us is an important part o what myth does. Some of the messages I like speak of "eternity" of the "one" is now, that you are more than what of nature you came from and what of nature you will return to, and answer to the question "what is the meaning of a flea?" being "it's just there" and its implication that the universe does not have a purpose or meaning for you but that only you give rise to purpose and meaning. One of the most striking mythical revelations from Rand I have personally heard was spoken during an interview. This has the quality of myth because it is metaphorical (not literal) and it is about the first person experience - "the world will end": https://youtu.be/dfyEzJqEMy4?t=2m42s
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    As far as I know, reservation laws on the vast majority of reservations are very similar to regular local laws. The problem is that federal law prevents non tribe members from owning land on the reservation. So while you can transfer ownership, you can only transfer it within the confines of small tribes (the biggest are the Navajo, at 300,000, but after that it's 20,000 or less), you can't transfer it to outsiders. Which has all kinds of consequences: 1. property values are low 2. real estate can't be used as collateral in loans or mortgages (since the bank can't own it). 3. reservations can't attract investment the way other jurisdictions can (there are lots of countries that restrict land ownership by foreigners, and they end up having the same problem). So young tribe members wishing to build a life, who have trouble raising the money to buy a home (or start a business) react in two different ways: they either decide to depend on local government for help, or they leave the reservation. It's easy to guess which type of person does which, and what the effect is on the overall prosperity levels on reservations. This problem could be solved without any intrusive measures, land confiscations, or any further interference with the sovereignty of reservation governments. There's no need to cause any protests, or any violent reaction, by mandating anything. All that's needed is to remove the race restriction on the federal level. Leave the decision up to the reservation's government. If they want to open up to the world, and invite non-natives to buy land and join their community, fine. If they don't, that's fine as well. Let them be racist. It's their loss, and, eventually, their population would leave, and that would be that.
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    I hope you understand my defensive post regarding your conversation with your friend. Much of what I heard on your podcast was defense of the altruistic status quo. There was no context provided in the criticisms made by Zack Schmitt; as remember it, there was no defense of Objectivist ethics worth mentioning. To the point that you or your friends are not experts, this is quite apparent, and I did not assume that to be the case. Without an advocate to defend the opposing view, the conversation becomes an indictment of Objectivism rather than an argument or discussion. I take a strong position in defense of reason, individualism, and capitalism. Your guest was an advocate of mystical, altruistic, and collectivist rhetoric, all too common in our society. Ayn Rand points out that throughout the ages, man has followed a moral code rooted in either the spiritual or the social. Identifying oneself as holding Judeo-Christian beliefs is sufficient evidence that one is religious, and, (at least in case of Judeo-Christian beliefs) this suggest that one receives one's code of morality through mystic revelations. Some people will go through life meditating on mantras such as: "Who knows?" or "There's nothing I can do about it." or "Everyone does it." To say that: "We can't know ourselves," may be true for some people, but I know who I am, and anyone making any claim to the contrary certainly does not. If others hold their own opinion of me, I can do nothing about that, other than to alter my behavior accordingly. If I have no respect for an individual's opinion, I make no compliance or behavioral correction; if the person holds some value and/or authority over me, be they a client, a dear friend, my boss, a law officer, then I take into consideration the changes necessary to improve our relations. I might dress myself in more sophisticated clothes for a special occasion. But it is the very height of absurdity to cater to the opinions of every Minnie, Moe, and Jack. But at least Minnie, Moe, and Jack are people, and not ghosts. After one accepts these truths as self-evident, one may find oneself on the proverbial horns of a dilemma. What is morality, and why am I certain as to what morality is? Objectivism answers those question and many more without contradiction. While you certainly will find disagreement among the participants in this forum, you make your own rational judgements, with or without this forum. Rationality does not come about automatically; it takes practice. Inasmuch as you've identified yourself as agnostic, it should be pointed out that holding ambiguities as to the existence of supernatural forces may lead you to errors in judgment, as well as errors in actions. Moral ambiguities are at the very center of chaos. I, too, was for many years ambiguous about the existence of God; my experience has been that I am far better off with objective reality as my moral set-point. You be the judge of that which is best for you.
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    Well said Repairman. I do, however, take issue with your own modesty and implicit self effacement. You already know more than you think you know (or admit to yourself). Whether or not you understand the fundamentals of why you know or how you know it, what you know, your implicit philosophy, is far superior to the intricate ramblings of madmen. Also, although it it not my place to suggest what is a value to you, your positive and insightful contributions to the ideas exchanged on this thread are a value to me and frankly that value is diminished when you waste your time responding to the likes of Ilya. But, as I said it is not my place to suggest what you should do. Good premises.
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    Your criticism of Rand's theory of concepts is that it is "subjectivist," but the concept of subjectivism you're using isn't the same as Rand's - on your view, it's basically just a pejorative way of saying she isn't an intrinsicist. But what we need is some reason to think that intrinsicism is true, which, as the previous respondent points out, you haven't provided.
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    OK, so let me boil this down to an informal line of reasoning that I can ponder and scrutinize: - Things exist. A=A. - Living things exist and act in order to live. - People exist and act on the basis of thoughts. - A person's values is the object of his actions--what a person acts to gain or keep. - Values would be meaningless without life, but life gives values meaning. - Values are moral if they are in line with life. - Since people are only individuals, this judgment applies to individuals. - The individual's own life is his own ultimate value. - Achieving one's values is the way to happiness. - Humans must use volitional and abstract thinking to survive. - Observation is required, gaining knowledge. - We must integrate our observation into concepts, generalizations, and principles that correspond to reality so that we can act. - Only physical force (including fraud) from others can prevent such action and cause us to act otherwise, to act in bondage. A human life is a life guided by the judgment of one's mind. - Government should exist to prevent such force and not to initiate such force itself. Did I miss anything? Where are the logical leaps in the above? I shall ponder it further.
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    Careful! Don't conflate "objective" with "universal". Objectivity IS contextual... to ignore context (i.e. ignore reality) is irrational. Others make that mistake but you are better than that!
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    Pyramid of ability you get a bit wrong - it's just to say that greater intellectual effort has an incalculable value. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/pyramid_of_ability.html The other thing is lifeboat scenarios so to speak. It's not really agreed upon in Objectivist thought. There are a few threads, and I've made arguments as to how that there is context to moral principles, yet moral principles are binding. Others would say the context is being alive at all. Either way, rational self-interest is the point, which is difficult to figure out. It at least involves figuring out one's identity as a whole which includes psychology, not just a desirable material outcome. Lastly, Rand didn't arrive at her ideas deduced from the law of identity. That's just the logical structure. She arrived at her ideas by slowly studying history and philosophy, and more. Robert Nozick wrote one paper on Rand, but took her as -deducing- ethics, which is an error. Good idea on the podcast - thinking out loud is a good way for some to learn.
  48. 1 like
    Alright. I think my questions have been answered. I was under the mistaken impression that Rand considered her metaphysical axioms alone sufficient to establish that the reality we percieve exists independent of the mind.
  49. 1 like
    There can probably be some variation here depending on the person. Some people's minds are much better able to grasp different concepts at the same time. I think the main point she made there was that there is a clear limit and that it is not much. Some people may be able to hold 6 at once, but never a hundred or a thousand. That is what she derives her argument from, I think.
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    I get you somewhat on the is-ought question: if you can determine what your value is (and has to be,) you know can then figure out what ought to be done to attain the value. I question whether life has to be that ultimate end, though. What exactly do you mean child's welfare as the "ultimate value" inevitably leads to the alternative of life or death?