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  1. 4 points
     thenelli01

    "Coming out"

    Thanks for all the thoughtful responses and new insights. I appreciate them all as they gave me a strong conviction that it was necessary and important to do now, not *sometime* in the future. I took them out for dinner last night and told them. My mom started crying lol, which is actually I think part of what I was dreading (this is what I meant by dramatic, but it was kind of funny and endearing at the same time). I fought through all the discomfort and kept a clear head on the objective - I allowed them to say what they wanted without objection and thanked them for always supporting me and loving me. I feel pretty good as now I feel I can finally have a more authentic relationship with myself and the rest of the world. I think not telling my parents is what sort of kept me from really reaching my potential as I was always hesitant to be open about myself as it might get back to them. This was a weird psychological hurdle for me. Anyways, I feel more free and excited about what is to come. Thanks again. 😎
  2. 2 points
    Why do you limit my reactions, developers? Who is to say how many "lols" or "hearts" I may have in one day? And by what right?!
  3. 2 points
    Grames

    Ayn Rand's Popcorn-tradiction.

    Holy hell, I did get something out following this thread.
  4. 2 points
    Ah, you want to communicate through music? Well, at this point I'm willing to try anything.
  5. 2 points
    Now that "Dishonest Jose" is gone, here is a little script with "Honest Joe"... Here, HonestJoe, although he made errors in the past, is intellectually honest and actually willing to think. SL: Suppose I say Rand is correct that in reality "contradictions are impossible" (1) AND Rand is incorrect that in reality "contradictions are impossible" (2). Is there anything wrong with that? HonestJoe: Well first, I understand what you have said, but it is nonsensical. That's what is wrong with it. You are saying one thing and then another thing which is its opposite. You cant say A and not-A. SL: Well I can say it, and I have. So what is wrong with what I did say? HonestJoe: The sentence opposes itself... therefore it doesn't mean anything. SL: The parts (1) and (2) in the sentence each refer to something in reality. If both CAN be true at the same then the sentence is NOT meaningless, it simultaneously identifies those two truths. It opposes itself... but it must in order to reflect reality... HonestJoe: Well, they CANT both be true in reality. They are exact opposites, either Rand was wrong or Rand was right about the issue.... not both. Those two parts of the sentence are not identifying two separate things about the universe they are saying the opposite about a single thing, Rand's correctness. SL: OK. Why can't a single thing be at once two opposites in reality? Why can't "Rand correctness" at once be two opposites at the same time and in the same respect? HonestJoe: But that would be nonsense... that would mean "Rand's correctness" in reality would be A and not-A at the same time and in the same respect. It's either A or not-A, not both. Both would be nonsense... Rand cannot in reality be correct and incorrect at the same time and in the same respect ... that would be a contradiction. SL: So, who says contradictions can't exist in reality? Who?....
  6. 2 points
    * * * * * Split off thread - Ayn Rand's Popcorn-tradiction * * * * *
  7. 2 points
    DavidOdden

    Life as a pattern

    The relationship between brain or DNA and “pattern” is not “is a”. A brain is an organ composed primarily of neurons and secondarily of glial cells, and it has the potential to do certain things, at least when attached to a living being. DNA is a molecule with a particular structure, just as sucrose is a molecule with a particular structure. DNA likewise has the potential to do certain things, and that potential is less tied to the organism being alive. In comparing your definitions to Rand’s, I notice that Rand’s are very focused and minimalist: they concisely say what the essential characteristics of “life” are. Your definitions say much more, which is a disadvantage. The purpose of a definition is to reduce the difference between two sets of referents to be distinguished, and befitting its cognitive function, it should be a minimal statement of what makes life distinct from anything else. A definition is not a catalogue of all or most knowledge about an existent. You expand Rand’s definition of life to include having “the ultimate purpose of flourishment”. Why should this be part of the definition? What, indeed, is flourishment? What necessitates this complication of the definition of life? We can still reach conclusions about rational goals and flurishing even if we don’t complicate the definition of life – see various works of Tara Smith on the topic, who adheres to the classical definition of life.
  8. 1 point
    RomanticRealism

    Showcase your art!

    Thanks Nick, I'm happy you like it.
  9. 1 point
    RomanticRealism

    Showcase your art!

    Here is my latest painting, Woman Wrapped In Silk.
  10. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    My Music

    I'm not sure what level your formal musical training is at, but you have a distinctive sound which IMHO has a dark solitary quality. The kinds of key signatures used reminds me of that old song "Dead or Alive" by Bon Jovi. I am no musical expert but your work has an interesting quality which I imagine would be suitable for a TV series like Westworld, or a western themed video game. Keep at it! Take it seriously. You have only one life.
  11. 1 point
    No, because the money to support these schools was taken from you and others by force. This is not your doing. See Rand's The Question of Scholarships.
  12. 1 point
    Well consciousness is identification. And a metaphysical contradiction could not be referred to in any sane way.
  13. 1 point
    softwareNerd

    From Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

    Welcome to the site
  14. 1 point
    Okay, so you're talking about something like a catfish. A catfish has a noncontradictory characteristic of a cat (whiskers), but it's a fish, not a cat too. I think your goatapple would be like an apple with horny protrusions and maybe some pointy, beard-like fibers.
  15. 1 point
    merjet

    Ayn Rand's Popcorn-tradiction.

    I don't know, but crab apples are legit. 😊
  16. 1 point
    Not in a sufficiently concrete way. You said something like Goats are Apples... that is when I ask you to point at one. You either point at a Goat or an Apple (or maybe a GoatApple) but you can’t find anything that is what it is and what it is not at the time and in the same respect. Things which are counter intuitive for a macroscopic observer, one who gained a sense of things from a particular context, will come up again and again in the sciences of the very big and very small. Whatever you think of wave-particle duality, no existent including the electron is ever at any one time and in the same respect, measured as X and as non X. That measurement is impossible. If you interpret your measurement as X and non X you have made an error. Most likely you have really measured Y and your assumptions about X are simply wrong.
  17. 1 point
    Perhaps "falsifiability" is being used as a stolen concept. It depends on the impossibility of contradictions, yet it's being used to challenge that fact.
  18. 1 point
    Eiuol

    Ayn Rand's Popcorn-tradiction.

    People seem to be very dense in this entire thread. I don't mean that as an insult to anyone, I mean that to say I think a lot of this is a waste of time. Jose has mediocre English, so that's a problem. I actually don't think it's anything else (it can make a difference for complicated grammar using complicated sentences, which especially applies to philosophy). Then it also gets into the point of the original thread. I don't think anyone pointed out the irony yet. That original thread was saying that arguing by formal logic is not going to do very good to support Rand.
  19. 1 point
    You know, the more I reread this comment The more I regret it. It was something I typed and posted in under 60 seconds, because it conveyed a certain feeling (which seems vaguely relevant even though it's yet-unidentified) in a cutesy way. And in retrospect it implies some stuff I would've dropped like a hot potato if I'd stopped to actually think about what I was saying. Yesterday I wrote this whole thing out about the honing of your philosophical detection skills and how laughter really does make you live longer and all the reasons why such "goofing off" is actually a good and healthy thing. All of which I do believe and none of which would need to be said if I hadn't just blurted that out little gem, there. I really wish I could delete that one. I think the way everybody else in this thread handled him was basically right. We were originally open, serious and as helpful as we could be, and we remained so until WELL after his dishonesty became obvious. Nobody was out to save his soul nor damn him (except for the implications of 1 or 2 of MY OWN statements) and we all stopped taking him seriously before he could get anyone too wound up. As long as Jose wants to be this way we should not give him anything more than "goofing off" for the SOLE the purpose of OUR OWN fun (because laughter is good for you). Never take him more seriously than he takes us and if you get bored with it just walk away until/unless you feel like returning. Seriously. You guys have all been on point so far.
  20. 1 point
    A conspiracy without leader, indeed.
  21. 1 point
    No, because Objectivism recognizes context. It only applies when there are no contradictions. When a contradiction happens, Objectivism doesn't apply to that reality. Both statements are temporary. They are true only for as long as they accurately describe reality. Do you see now how Rand was right?
  22. 1 point
    merjet

    Math and reality

    I finished reading Knapp’s book, Mathematics is About the World. I rate it 5 stars, but with some room for improvement. Knapp barely mentions arithmetic and counting. More about arithmetic would strengthen his thesis that mathematics is about the world. The positive integers used for counting (and zero) form the foundation for the real numbers. Understanding addition and subtraction of fractions call upon the important concepts of unit and transformation, which he does use extensively for different topics – measuring and vector spaces. As an aside, as I have already indicated, mathematics is also about the way we think about the world. Mathematicians “extrapolate” concepts beyond perceptual reality. Examples are complex numbers and matrices with more than 3 dimensions.
  23. 1 point
    The location of a recent, if not a currently existing Contradiction Dance, in Washington DC of all places. Could they be looking for an instructor with demonstrable experience?
  24. 1 point
    Rand was right, but she ain't right no more, because: 1. She's dead and 2. Contradictions only became possible after her death. Do I win a prize?
  25. 1 point
    GrandMinnow

    Math and reality

    Mathematicians, and different mathematicians, mean different things depending on context. The context is either stated explicitly or reasonably gleaned per a given book or article. So, just to narrow down, let's look at just two of the different contexts. (They are different but they support each other anyway.) To avoid getting too complicated for the purposes of brief posting, I'll give only a sketch, leaving out a lot of details, and not explain every concept (such as 'free variable') and taking some liberties with the notation and concepts, and for ease of reading, I won't always include quote marks to distinguish mention as opposed to use. (So this is not as accurate as a more authoritative treatment). So two contexts: (1) General, informal (or informal mixed with formal) discussion in mathematics about natural numbers. (2) Formal first order Peano arithmetic [I'll just call it 'PA' here]. (1) In general mathematics, we might taken commutativity of addition to be obvious and thus a given. Or one might say: "Okay, I'm going to state some truths about natural numbers from which I can prove a whole bunch of other truths, even though they're obvious anyway. The truths about addition I want to mention are: 0 added to any number is just that number. In symbols: x+0 = 0. The sum of a number and the successor of another (or same) number is just the successor of the sum of the number and the other number. In symbols: x+Sy = S(x+y), or, put another way (where 'S' is defined as '+1'), x+(y+1) = (x+y)+1. The induction rule. Now, with those three truths, one of the many truths I can prove, without assuming anything about natural numbers or what they are, other than those three truths, is the commutativity of addition. In whatever way you conceive the natural numbers, as long that conception includes those three truths I just mentioned, then the commutativity of addition is proven true." Notice that we can't do this with the real numbers, because the induction rule does not work for the real numbers. So, for real numbers, we would take commutativity as an axiom (or in set theory, we would prove commutativity from the properties of the real numbers as they are set theoretically "constructed"). (2) PA, as a system, has a formal first order language, with the primitive logical symbols (including '=' as a logical symbol) and certain primitive non-logical symbols. The logical symbols are: Infinitely many variables: x, y, etc. -> (interpreted as the material conditional) ~ (interpreted as negation) and, from '->' and '~' we can define: & (interpreted as conjunction) v (interpreted as inclusive disjunction) A (so that, where P(x) is any formula with 'x' occurring free, AxP is always interpreted as "for all x, P(x)") and, from 'A' and '~' we can define: E (so that ExP(x) is always interpreted as "there is an x such that P(x)") The non-logical symbols are : 0 S + * We define S(0) =1 S(1) = 2 etc. When the language is interpreted: '0' is assigned to a particular member of the domain of the interpretation; 'S' is assigned to a 1-place function (operation) on the domain, '+' and '*' are each assigned to 2-place functions on the domain. With the "intended" ("standard") interpretation: the domain is the set of natural numbers, '0' is assigned to the number zero, 'S' is assigned to the successor operation, and '+' and '*' are assigned to the addition and multiplication operations respectively. And, since '=' is a logical primitive, we assign it to the identity (equality) relation on the domain. So for any interpretation (such that each variable, in its role as a free variable, is assigned to some member of the domain): x+y is assigned to the value of the '+' operation applied to the ordered pair: <the assigned value of x, the assigned value of y>. And x+y = y+x holds in the interpretation if and only if the value of x+y is identical with (is equal to) the value of y+x. So, to answer your question, in the syntax of the formal system itself, nothing is assumed as to what 'x' and 'y' stand for. But with a formal interpretation of the system, 'x', as a free variable stands for some member of the domain and 'y', as a free variable, stands for some member of the domain. And with the standard interpretation, the domain is the set of natural numbers. However, often we tacitly understand that when formulas such as x+y = y+x are asserted, we take that assertion to be the universal closure: AxAy x+y = y+x (abbreviated Axy x+y = y+x) And so, with the standard interpretation, that asserts that addition is commutative. And we prove it from the PA axioms (we only need the three I mentioned in a previous post, which correspond to the three truths I mentioned in this post).
  26. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Rucka Rucka Ali

    Looking at Rucka's latest offering, "Flat Earth Song (Not Round)," this is one that contains the type of swearing that, at first blush, appeared gratuitous to me. It is a parody of "Better Now" by Post Malone. I don't follow Post Malone, so I was not familiar with his story or music before hearing the Rucka song. You can watch the music video here: The visual elements focus on Post Malone performing the song and hanging out. They have little or nothing to do with the lyrics, which relate his (or his character's) thoughts on a failed romantic relationship. The general idea, repeated in the chorus, is that both of them claim to be better after the breakup, but only because they aren't around each other anymore. However, Malone seems to be fooling himself, "because no matter how [his] life has changed, [he] keeps on looking back on better days." I suggest reading the full lyrics here. Now watch Rucka's parody. His character is a flat-earther who tells the story of how he rejected the round-earth model and became an ostracized street bum. Rucka appears to be drawing a parallel between Post Malone being dumped by his girlfriend and the flat-earther being dumped by society. The line "you dindu anything, they made up everything" is society sarcastically mocking the flat-earther's failure to take responsibility for his own social situation, which resembles Malone's seeming failure to take responsibility for losing the "love of his life." Malone repeatedly says, for example, that he "never meant to let [her] down." Oh, really? The closest he gets to the truth is when he says "everything came second to the Benzo," which apparently refers to Malone's admitted history with drugs for anxiety. But that subject is a mere one line in the first verse, and it's quickly forgotten and drowned out by the mantra-like chorus. Rucka's parody takes this lack of personal responsibility in one relationship and applies it to one person's relationship with the entire planet, represented by society rejecting the flat-earther. As for the instances where Rucka uses "shit" and "fuck" in the lyrics, it might be that he's imitating Malone, who also has a bit of a potty mouth, or it might be that his flat-earther must be vulgar to match the ideas and character, or maybe Rucka ran out of more meaningful words to use. I'm not sure, but he does appear to be mocking Malone's style in other ways. For example, he utilizes some slang and ungrammatical sentence construction. So I would guess that the cursing, in this case, is motivated by parodical imitation.
  27. 1 point
    It seems we agree... he has not avoided the "trap" of logic to make his case, "prove" his position, somehow... he has abdicated logic, and by doing so he has given up what makes proof possible.
  28. 1 point
    I've stated that the argument is unsound and that trying to prove the premises will get me caught in your trap. Trying to avoid the trap, Jose resorted to the old "there are no absolutes" line. But I'll enter your trap by answering directly. Being wrong means that your statement contradicts reality.
  29. 1 point
    merjet

    Math and reality

    It isn’t necessary -- at least in your view -- but it is possible. Task: Prove (1 + a) = (a + 1) is true for all natural numbers. Method: mathematical induction Base case: a = 1. (1 + a) = (a + 1) is obviously true. Inductive step: Show that if P(k) holds, then also P(k + 1) holds. (1 + k) = (k + 1) (1 + k) + 1 = (k +1) + 1 (1 + (k + 1)) = ((k +1) + 1) QED. From the linked page: "Although its name may suggest otherwise, mathematical induction should not be misconstrued as a form of inductive reasoning as used in philosophy. ... Proofs by mathematical induction are, in fact, examples of deductive reasoning." In other words, mathematical induction relies on a chain of deductions.
  30. 1 point
    Why would Rand be wrong if there are contradictions?
  31. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    Math and reality

    There has been objection in the past to substituting 'A=A' for 'A is A', and validly so. In math, 3 is 3 and 3=3 reduce to the same, because in number, every instance of 3 is exactly the same. The meaning of 'A is A' is 'a thing is itself'. In number, the referent is an abstraction. The number stands in for the relationship of a group to one of its members taken as a unit. Using the membership/relationship/group/unit notion, should make the transitive property of (a+b)=(b+a) seems like an exercise in mental gymnastics.
  32. 1 point
    Fine, but a rant is neither rational nor persuasive nor interesting. If your frame of understanding and reference is Left versus Right, then there isn't much I can say. It really only ever came from the French Revolution to distinguish between those who supported the monarchy and those who did not (more or less). It wasn't that bad of a distinction for a while because so much of European political reality was monarchy. But by these days, it's all kinds of confusing. Not to mention Objectivism never tried to be a left or right philosophy (which is how it can actually have elements of leftist politics). Even if the article is wrong, nothing sought to support authoritarianism, control over lives, skepticism as a theory of knowledge, collectivism, things like that. Being critical of a theory does not tacitly support every single adversary of the theory.
  33. 1 point
    merjet

    Math and reality

    I didn't say or imply you might try to derail it.
  34. 1 point
    GrandMinnow

    Math and reality

    I have to emphasize that I am not a scholar on Hilbert, mathematics, or philosophy, so my explanations are not necessarily always perfectly on target, and at a certain depth, I would have to defer to people who have studied more extensively than I have. And I don't mean necessarily to defend Hilbert's philosophical notions in all its aspects. That said, however, here's a stab at answering your question: I think what Hilbert has in mind is the distinction between a) reasoning with symbols that are taken as representing particular numbers and b) making generalizations about an infinite class of numbers. For example, if 'a' is a token for a particular number, then the truth of 'a+1 = 1+a' cannot be reasonably contested as it can be concretely verified - it is finitistic. For example, for the particular numeral '2', the truth of '2+1 = 1+2' cannot be reasonably contested as it can be concretely verified. On the other hand, where 'A' stands for any undetermined member of entire infinite class of numbers, then 'A+1 = 1+A' (which is ordinarily understood as 'for all numbers A, we have A+1 = 1+A') cannot be verified concretely because it speaks of an entire infinite class that we can't exhaustively check. Therefore, some other regard must be given the formula. And that regard is to take it as not "contentual" but as "ideal" but formally provable from formal axioms (which are themselves "ideal"). And it is needed that there is an algorithm that can check for any purported formal proof that it actually is a formal proof (i.e., that its syntax is correct and that every formula does syntactically "lock" in sequence in applications of the formal rules); this is what Hilbert has in mind as the formal "game". Then Hilbert hoped that there would be found a formal proof, by using only finitistic means, that the "ideal" axioms sufficient for ordinary mathematics are consistent. Godel, though, proved that Hilbert's hope cannot be realized.
  35. 1 point
    merjet

    Math and reality

    I have no plan to do so. The above also indicates how far this thread has strayed. The title is Math and Reality. Mr. Knapp’s book’s title, sans subtitle, is Mathematics Is About the World. I agree it is very much about the world, but think it’s a little more than that. More concretely, Knapp’s thesis is that arithmetic and geometry, especially analytic geometry, pertain to the world. He defines mathematics as the science of measurement. (Analytic geometry and calculus enable indirect measurement.) I think mathematics is a little broader than that, but measurement is a big part. Functions and vector spaces also pertain to the world. His book is not about symbolic logic, mathematical logic, predicate calculus, or finitary vs. infinitary. His book presents an alternative view of mathematics that is very different from formalism, logicism, Platonism, and others. Regarding the philosophy of mathematics schools of thought surveyed here, his is most similar to Aristotelian realism or empiricism. My view is much like Knapp’s.
  36. 1 point
    There are some older topics on the forum:
  37. 1 point
    He's trying to attack the Law of Identity (as in "contradictions have been scientifically proven to exist") so StrictlyLogical said that yes, contradictions exist all over reality, and yes, a contradiction is metaphysically impossible; we're both right (which I found hilarious). After much evasion he finally deigned to retort that "if the Law of Identity is unfalsifiable then it's just pseudoscience, so tell me what it'd take to prove a contradiction to you". So I asked what it'd take to disprove his own existence to him. He still hasn't answered that. Apparently he's waiting to know what SL meant by "sure, contradictions exist, and also couldn't possibly exist". I'm extremely amused with it all, but I'd prefer it if he didn't try circling back to points that have already been exploded. Just thought I'd give you guys a heads-up.
  38. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Charles Tew

    For a couple years now Charles Tew has been building a show on his YouTube channel. He calls himself an Objectivist philosopher. He once solicited viewers from this very forum, and claimed that he wouldn't blame us for thinking he might be a crackpot. All he asked was that we give him a listen and judge for ourselves. So, let's get to it! I'll begin with a recent video from a couple weeks ago, in which Tew offers his negative opinion of Rucka's parody music. Starting at the 10:30 mark, note that he's specifically asked about Rucka's song "Am I Gay?" At first Tew says that he can't give an answer because he hasn't listened to the song. Then in the next breath he admits to listening for a few seconds and turning it off because it was "vile." Immediately, we see an initial glimpse of Tew's evasiveness. He might be excused for not watching the whole video, but why pretend like he can't answer the question, only to answer it in the next sentence? Soon we get to Tew's general view. "I think Rucka's comedy music is nihilistic filth." Now, normally, merely expressing such an opinion wouldn't be a huge issue, except that Tew had been friendly with Rucka, had spent many hours live-streaming together, had praised some of Rucka's songs, had called Rucka a model Objectivist, and had even acted as a consultant for Rucka's music. In this context, Tew anticipates that many people, including Rucka himself, will ask why he didn't state his opinion earlier. To which he offers a few excuses. First, he explains that "it's not possible to point out or say everything you're thinking all the time." He makes it seem like he didn't speak up because he was overwhelmed by the nature of his conversations with Rucka. For example, he's "drunk often in those conversations, so it's hard to notice things." But even when he's sober, "there are just a million considerations." And how about the times when he does notice things? "There are countless times Rucka said something, and I've noticed there was something really wrong about it, but I didn't come up with a good way to respond to it, or to articulate what was wrong, prioritize what I should say until much later. So it's hard to do that in the moment." In all this, notice how Tew acts as if the real issue is his poor conversational skills or his drunken stupor. He entirely evades the fact that it's about his evaluation of Rucka's music, which has been sitting online for years. Tew didn't need to come up with some impromptu logical critique while drunk. He simply had to visit Rucka's channel in his free time, and analyze and judge the videos carefully. He then could be prepared to discuss it with Rucka in the future. It's ironic that Tew at one point accuses Rucka of having "a real antipathy toward forethought," when he couldn't be bothered to prepare an honest opinion of his friend's music, nor stay sober long enough to comprehend and intelligently answer Rucka's list of questions. Tew blames people for "invalidly inferring" that he approved of Rucka's music. He says "this is a very naive view, where you're thinking, well, if you disapprove of something, why didn't you say it?" So, on one hand, it's his audience's problem with logic. Yet, later he admits that even Ayn Rand would have condemned him. "I know Ayn Rand would say that I am the evil one here, because without my sanction, this kind of nihilism would have no chance." Wait, what sanction? His sanction of Rucka's music? I guess that wasn't an "invalid inference" after all. At last we come to Tew's most revealing point. He tries to take some of the blame for the situation. "I do think that I have contributed to some people getting the wrong impression by allowing things to pass by that I wouldn't have allowed if I weren't so pessimistic or Dominique-like so often." His pessimism is so acute that he doesn't believe his sanction matters, because sanction doesn't matter in a world without other rational people like him. "People see that I allow this kind of thing [Rucka's nihilism], and good people will turn away, and I'll never find my kind of people. But, that's a non-issue, because my kind of people don't exist. So it's hard for me to care very much about sanction." Tew associates moral sanction with finding his kind of people. But since his people aren't out there, he sees little reason to bother with moral sanction. And herein lies a deeper evasion. He fails to appreciate the fact that his kind of people do indeed exist. They are those who tolerate evil. They are those who blame others for their own shortcomings. They are those who evade reality.
  39. 1 point
    merjet

    Truth of a Statement

    You might find an article, Imagination and Cognition, that I wrote for Boydstun's journal Objectivity of interest. The topic of memory and its connection to imagination appears several times, including by Aquinas and Hobbes. Oh my, 28 years ago. I won't take all the credit. Stephen was a very helpful editor.
  40. 1 point
    merjet

    Math and reality

    I received Mr. Knapp's book, Mathematics is About the World. It includes 'Hilbert's Game of Symbols' in the subtitle, but doesn't have much more in the body. "At some point during my college freshman year, I realized that neither mathematicians nor philosophers of mathematics shared my perspective, offering only the alternatives of formalism (a game of symbol manipulation), Platonism (a separate world of mathematics), or, as a third, the Fregean view that mathematics is a branch of logic. I could accept none of these choices" (p. 10). Hilbert was a Formalist. "My specific concern will not be with counting objects, but with using numbers to measure magnitudes, such as length, weight, and speed. In this, we should not be surprised to find that our usage of numbers is indeed correct. But we will find that characterizing exactly what we are doing when we apply numbers is not as straightforward as one might have thought. Yet in laying this process bare, one creates the foundation for a similar understanding of mathematical concepts whose relationship to the world we live in may be far from obvious. It is the lack of such understanding that has led to the widespread false alternatives that mathematics is either a formal game played with symbols, a system of deduction from carefully chosen axioms such as the axioms of set theory, or an insight into a Platonic universe of mathematical concepts. On any of these views, the applicability of mathematics to reality must be viewed as a happy accident" (p. 101-2)
  41. 1 point
    GrandMinnow

    Math and reality

    I would like to see a direct quote of Hilbert on that. Hilbert did discuss that, in one way, formal systems can be viewed separately from content or meaning. But that does not imply that in another way they cannot be viewed with regard to content or meaning. Indeed, Hilbert was very much concerned with the "contentual" aspect of mathematics. Granted, descriptions of Hilbert as viewing mathematics as merely "a pure game of symbols", "without meaning", et. al do occur in literature that simplifies discussion of Hilbert. But for years I have asked people making the claim (here moderated to "reliability") to provide a direct quote from Hilbert. And just looking at Hilbert briefly is enough to see that he was very much concerned with the contentual in mathematics. I'm simplifying somewhat, but Hilbert distinguished between (1) statements that can be checked by finitistic means and (2) statements that cannot be checked by finitistic means. Finitistic means are those that can be reduced to finite counting and combination operations - even reducing to finite manipulations of "tokens" (such as stroke marks on paper if we need to concretize). This is unassailable mathematics, even for finitists and constructivists. If one denies finitistic mathematics, then what other mathematics could one possible accept? On the other hand, mathematics also involves discussion of things such as infinite sequences (try to do even first year calculus without the notion of an infinite sequence). So Hilbert wanted to find a finitistic proof that our axiomatizations of non-finitistic mathematics are consistent. So, there would be unassailable finitistic mathematics (which has clear meaning - that of counting and finite combinatorics) and there would be axiomatized non-finitistic mathematics (of which people may disagree as to whether it has meaning and, if it does have meaning, what that meaning is) that would at least have a finitistic proof of its consistency. So, of course Hilbert regarded finitistic mathematics as having meaning and being completely reliable. And, I'm pretty sure you will find that Hilbert also understood the scientific application of non-finitistic mathematics (such as calcululs). But he understood that it cannot be checked like finitistic mathematics; so what he wanted was a finititistic (thus utterly reliable) proof that non-finitistic mathematics is at least consistent. However, Godel (finitistically) proved that Hilbert's hope for a finitistic consistency proof cannot be realized. Regarding looking at formal systems separately from content: Imagine you have a formal system such as a computer programming language. We usually regard it to have meaning, such as the actual commands it executes on physical computers or whatever. But also, we can view the mere syntax of it separately, without regard to meaning. One could ask, "Is this page of code in proper syntax? I don't need to know at this moment whether it works to do what I want it to do; I just need to know, for this moment, whether it passes the check for syntax." So formal symbol rules can viewed in separation from content, or they can also be viewed with regard to content. Hilbert emphasized, in certain context the separation from content, but in so doing, he did not claim that there is not also a relationship with content.
  42. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    Charles Tew

    Before moving on with my analysis, I'll address Eiuol's question: I have a deep interest in the health of the Objectivist movement. I've been part of it for over two decades now. And I think it's important that we come to an objective evaluation of Charles Tew. He has set himself up, gaining a considerable YouTube following, as a philosopher in the name of Objectivism. And, furthermore, he has very publicly and brutally condemned a fellow Objectivist. Someone should take up Tew's challenge and determine whether he's a cultish crackpot, for the long-term benefit of this community that we all value. He needs to be identified for what he really is, and, to be objective and fair, this requires a lot of time and analysis to accomplish. I don't want someone reading this and thinking, "Oh, Swig doesn't know what he's talking about, I'm going to give Charles the benefit of the doubt." No, this needs to be done thoroughly and clearly at least once. I have the ability to do it, I care about the community, and so I'm going to finish the job. I will at minimum complete the Rucka-related videos, and then consider whether to continue.
  43. 1 point
    JASKN

    "Coming out"

    Imagine a world where conceiving a gay child is a parental consideration not much different than having a boy or a girl -- it's just a fact that may or may not occur, and once known, childrearing is just adjusted somewhat. Being gay would have been in the DNA (so to speak) of your upbringing, totally normal and not with extra consideration of any kind as you grew up. A sit-down talk with anyone about being gay now would be as bizarre as "coming out" as a boy (gender politics aside). But, we don't live in that world yet (though it's surprisingly near). You described the current context instead yourself - your parents were/are very uncomfortable with homosexuality, enough so to be vocal about it toward their children for years. Your parents were raised in a society more hostile toward homosexuality even than your upbringing. It's baked into their brains, and now it requires of them conscious, consistent mental processes to undo. Even as a gay person, you may have had to do some of that yourself. And that is not easy, and is a lot to ask of someone, even if it's the "just" thing for them to do. So, I would say cut your mother some slack. Having a conversation with you about being gay is probably part of her trying to become OK with the idea of gayness herself, which is a positive step in the right direction. She cares enough about you to try to undo her lifelong viewpoint toward gays, and all of the associated mental habits that went along with it.
  44. 1 point
    softwareNerd

    "Coming out"

    So, it sounds like your parents think you're gay, or think you may be gay. If you confirm that you are gay, what do you anticipate their reaction will be?
  45. 1 point
    StrictlyLogical

    "Coming out"

    The truth is the truth no matter what it is. It is not casual, dramatic, or clean.. it just is the truth. Share the truth IF you WANT to share your truth, and because you want to share that truth. You are who and what you are and your parents want to know and be a part of that because they love YOU. You don't want to feel like you are "coming clean"?... certainly you have done nothing wrong by being you... but you have not let people in... you may have consciously evaded or misled others by silence... the world is a scary place and being vulnerable with the people you love is not easy... but if you to accept now that what you have done in the past is no longer acceptable, that you can and should be braver, more honest and more authentic.. then in a sense you are coming clean.. not only to your loved ones but with yourself. Sitting your parents down to tell them the truth about you because you love them and they love you and because you want your relationship with them to grow in honesty and depth... well, there is nothing "casual" about it... it is deeply and fundamentally important if your relationship with them is important.. and coincidentally sitting your parents down to have a good heart to heart is completely natural for a loving nurturing relationship. Don't let your "style" get in the way of being the honest earnest you. Dramatic talk? Talk is talk.. if you don't want it dramatic don't be dramatic. Talk with them ... talk with everyone... tell them how much they mean to you, maybe even apologize for giving in to fear for so long... but state that you are strong enough now to start living your authentic life and insofar as they are willing to be a part of your life you want them in it. Those who truly value and love you AS YOU ARE will not bat an eye at anything you say about yourself AS YOU ARE.
  46. 1 point
    I haven't seen anyone bring up the contrast to religion in this thread. Tyson's comment that the universe doesn't care about you could reasonably be taken as a rejection of religion, which says that the universe does care about you - or, at least, is controlled by a magical omnipotent God that does.
  47. 1 point
    I think the following two paragraphs from the link are insightful: Perhaps the best example of Trump’s provoke and win strategy was his approach to immigration. Any proposal for restricting immigration, no matter how modest, will invariably meet charges of nativism and racism. So why fight it? Trump opted to meet the challenge by initially proposing something truly appalling: the deportation of tens of millions of people. When the predictable outrage machine kicked into high gear, he didn’t go into damage control as expected. Rather, he dismissed the accusations and let it ride. After Trump brushed off his hyperventilating critics who were frantically calling him a racist, fascist, and everything in between, their rage gradually abated because it didn’t have the desired effect. Now, all of Trump’s clarifications on the issue are on the table for consideration, seem reasonable by comparison, and any subsequent PC outburst against them will ring hollow. Like so, Trump tamed and harnessed the outrage machine over and over again: the Muslim ban, killing terrorists’ families, insulting John McCain for being a POW, all until it won him the Republican nomination. Reagan was the Teflon President - nothing ever stuck to him. Trump is like my well seasoned cast iron skillet that I never wash - so much stuff has stuck to it in the past, that there's no room left for anything new to stick. We live in interesting times.
  48. 1 point
    Plasmatic

    Nathaniel Branden, RIP

    I don't see Galt's speech as containing nearly all of Oist epistemology. Even ITOE was merely an introduction. Where is hierarchy, reduction, first-level concepts..... I could go on.
  49. 1 point
    Ben: That must not be a recent pic in your profile. Clearly, you've had the word "SUCKER" tattooed across your forehead. You do not know what another person is feeling; you only know what they tell you. (Read that statement 40-100 times until you get it.) When a person demonstrates in action that they have no integrity — when they are willing to lie to and deceive people whom they claim to love — why would you believe them about anything? It can be a challenge to remain in objective control when your feelings are overwhelming you. If you heard the kinds of statements coming from this lady spoken by anyone else, would they make the slightest bit of sense? What would it would mean to remain in a romantic relationship out of a sense of "obligation"? I have a suspicion that this lady is a master of having her cake and eating it, too. Don't tell me about a person's positive qualities when they're a deceptive liar — particularly in the romantic realm. Integrity is fundamental; to the extent she has brains and is likable, that only makes her more dangerous. You're sexually gone over this woman and it's frying your intellect.
  50. 1 point
    DavidOdden

    Private roads

    I would start by focusing on this part of what he said: "This shows". What shows? If the question is "Why should we have private roads", the answer is "Individual rights". If the question is "How can you defend the notion of private roads in light of the well-known disasterous Crapleby Roads Ltd. system of roads in Durham County between 1957 and 1961", then your answer would be very different. (I made the example up, if it's not obvious). The primary argument is the moral argument, and it is up to your opponent to prove that private ownership of roads is impractical in order to tarnish the moral argument. You can't do that until you actually have that supposed proof, and I'm suggesting that you should not act as though it's well-known that there is a problem needing to be addressed by capitalism. Suppose for instance that your opponent had granted the moral principle of individual rights and then claims that individual rights must give way to The Needs of Society; the response is that individual rights are a need of society, and that violating human rights does not in any way better satisfy the Needs of Society. When they respond by saying "But poor people would not be able to afford the roads, and only rich people would be allowed to leave their homes", then you can ask for their evidence to support that outlandish conclusion. Just in general, I think it's best to put the burden of proof on you opponent.
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