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  1. 3 points
    Boydstun

    The Law of Identity

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -- Process Philosophy --Johanna Seibt (2017) The Activity of Being --Aryeh Kosman (2013) / From the publisher: “For Aristotle, to ask “what something is” is to inquire into a specific mode of its being, something ordinarily regarded as its “substance.” But to understand substance, we need the concept of energeia―a Greek term usually translated as “actuality.” In a move of far-reaching consequence, Kosman explains that the correct translation of energeia is not “actuality” but “activity.” We have subtly misunderstood the Metaphysics on this crucial point, says Kosman. Aristotle conceives of substance as a kind of dynamic activity, not some inert quality. Substance is something actively being what it is.” / This book from Kosman is not an argument over what is true in the matter, only over what Aristotle thought true in the matter. As for true in the matter, I think Aristotle (under this interpretation of him) was wrong, although one doesn’t have to go back to Plato or Parmenides and pals to get things right. And I take Rand as by her philosophy to agree with me in all that. I’d like to add to the other thought in this thread that on the mere face of ‘A is A’ one can say ‘change is change’ even while ignoring ties of change to stasis or to other categories of existence, such as entity (in the Randian sense of that term). But one is then saying much less than one who is saying ‘change is change’ while keeping those ties in mind. At Metaphysics 1030a25–27, Aristotle allows ‘nonbeing is nonbeing’. But he takes such a statement to say far less than were one to say ‘substance is substance’. Those of us who, like Rand, take ‘A is A’ to be making an assertion about existence of A, take A to have ties to other things (counting its own parts as one type of other thing), to have a nature, to have identity (in Rand’s broader sense of the term). For us, saying ‘nonexistence is nonexistence’ is only a sameness of words, a metaphysical zero.
  2. 3 points
    StrictlyLogical

    Thankgiving

    We all know how awkward Thanksgiving can be at that moment when some family member asks all to state what they are "thankful" for. Particularly if you want to be completely honest and you are somewhat suspect of what others might consider "thankfulness" to be. While regretfully awaiting your turn... and after having counted the number of people in the "round the table" queue, you begin to ponder: Thankful to whom and for what? For that matter what does it mean to be "full" of thanks? What are these "thanks" you are full of? Are these left over pleasantries that you've gathered up like obligations and IOUs: there's that nice summer day I should have thanked the universe for, oh and that old guy kept the door open for me I should have said something to him, and the grocer lowered her price on bread which I really like I should have given her an innocent pat on the back, oh and my employees, clients/customers, and employer all rationally pursued their self-interest generating economic value all around, which is ALL good... I should have really said something to all of them (over and above eagerly and professionally participating in the value generating interactions themselves??...). A pile of pleasantries indeed... Then again, without a doubt I am proud, proud of myself and my accomplishments, and the bounty of my metaphorical harvests (which do not necessarily coincide with autumn), and proud of my family and friends, for what they have accomplished, who they are, and for the fact that they are my family and friends and that we have made strides and grown together. Without a doubt I am appreciative, appreciative of reality and of many others and their actions, appreciative in the sense that I fully recognize and treat rationally and with justice all that I deal with. And upon a reflection I realize that I already do generally try to exercise justice on a day to day basis, which requires that in every interaction just values in both matter and in spirit are exchanged, but that I could do better... So what is thanksgiving really? Is it a pile of pleasant IOUs to be balanced through a cosmic confessional around a dead turkey or is it a celebration and a reflection on life and its bounty? I think it is more the latter than the former, but perhaps as a small tribute to both, Thankgiving can be seen as a recognition and a celebration of life and a reflection of all its bounty and also an opportunity to resolve to go forward consciously keeping all of it in perspective so that, day to day, in all our interactions, value is created with everyone we deal with, in both matter and spirit, while we all pursue the happiness and life that is ours for the making. Happy LifeCelebMaking! EDIT: So what do you say when finally your turn arrives? Without being too picky about what thankfulness IS (to whom?) and the little cognitive white lie of actually using the term in order to ignore the concept's "inadequacies", the story could proceed as follows: Finally, after your uncle quips something about being thankful for Scotch, with his disarmingly odd smile, and looks your way, you stand up, and raising your glass, you clear your throat, and smile thoughtfully, "To be honest, I'm 'thankful' for this moment in time, a moment to celebrate life and all its bounty, to say how proud I am of us and all of you and everything we and each of us has accomplished and become, and I'm 'thankful' for the opportunity to reflect and resolve to go forward pursuing the happiness and the life that is all, each of ours for the making, and it is you, all of you, I 'thank' for being here, all together, for making this moment and opportunity possible. Thank you!"
  3. 3 points
    For one, that's the liberal left. The Communist left does not like identity politics and engages in class warfare. For the sake of identifying threats properly, you need to know who you're arguing against - we don't want to fight Communism by fighting liberals. The racial stuff is mostly liberal, filled with contradictions. The more important thing to do, at least when making arguments, is to state the position rationally. It would be better to dismantle an ideology alongside an alternative, rather than only point out stupid ideas. If people don't engage you, that's their problem. By doing that, you attract persuadable individuals. Yes, they exist. There's no need to say you'd need a therapist to do that. Appeals to rationality are appeals to people who might care, even the minority of good people who in fact will make a difference. Appeals with memes attracts the lowest common denominator, the people who don't care to think deeply. Sure, they are amusing sometimes, maybe even correct. The issue is that they are still shallow. This is what propaganda relies on, hoping you don't care where it came from, getting you to think the issue is as simple as the image. This is fine to a small degree as motivation where an issue really is that simple. Except, Nazis get that the issue is complex. So they simplify. Make it sound benign. Let people who don't know better keep saying IOTBW, they won't know the point is to slowly make white identity seem important and dominate the race war. No, most people who say IOTBW aren't neo-Nazis. That's the point. It hides the fact that neo-Nazis are running that dialogue. It makes the phrase defendable. An important thesis of Objectivism is that philosophy drives the course of history. It matters where ideas come from. It matters that IOTBW is from neo-Nazis. For this reason, we need a better strategy than to regurgitate a neo-Nazi phrase. The worst reply would be to say you don't care where IOTBW came from. You'd be saying origins of ideas don't matter.
  4. 2 points
    I never understood how sex can be a topic for philosophy to make such statements on in the first place. This is a highly concrete and specialized issue that depends on an individual's concrete values, psychology and physical constitution. Who is to make statements about what your own concrete and objective values are? What values to look for in another person? How abstract they are to be? And in order to fulfill which actual needs of interaction with them and to what extend? And knowing that Objectivism enters into this topic, I typically detect certain ideas surrounding and relating to it, that I find rather strange: A ) Limitation of the need of "physical attraction" to a purely physical pleasure. No such thing in my opinion. Every physical feature you identify is an aspect of a conscious living being that perceives itself and this world through exactly those physical features of its body, and hence in that very form. And you know this, and only knowing this gives meaning to that attraction. Simple introspection tells you that. You like a particular form in which he or she exists as a perceptually conscious being (with certain implications even for some of its conceptual values). What you like is a form that physically best facilitates your contact to the reality of another human beings' existence. Of his or her existence as a conscious living entity. You cannot like "just his or her body", without demanding and knowing that it is the body of a conscious living being that you are liking. And you cannot like "just the aspect of his or her being alive and conscious" without it being so in a particular form that appeals to you. You are seeking some specific conceptual knowledge here, and you want it to manifest itself in a specific perceptual form. That's to a degree of 100% a mental, as well as of 100% a physical need, you cannot separate the two. Individuals may vary, but how one would exclude that this alone might form to certain individuals an indispensable prerequisite, possibly even a highly important value in and of itself, is incomprehensible to me. Just think of how you prefer watering certain plants only, and like to have certain animals as pets only. Now, how much more exciting is the case of a particular form of a human being?! It already starts with only wanting a particular sex to begin with. Not to talk about all the other physical features, of which there are numerous. B ) Sex as valid only in romantic love celebrating achievement. Well, what about things like "puppy love" among human beings? Love driven by infatuation? I can conceive of it as being an immense pleasure and source of mental energy. Certainly enough so, to be valuable. Something to want to keep living on for in order to enjoy. I find the idea of suppressing it repulsive, if not disgusting. Unless you can conceive of something more fulfilling. And assuming of course, the person in question is not harmful. I think I heard or red Ayn Rand say in some documentary that her sisters were into puppy love, while she was the only hero worshiper. And that she never really understood how that could be enough for them. Whether she outright condemned it, I don't know. But I'd rather doubt that she approved of it, given her demands for "appropriate sex". C ) The frequent emphasis that your enjoyment needs to be about your achievement. I find this mind boggling. There can be a million things I could value without having achieved them. Many of them come naturally (like beautiful landscapes I see in nature). Others were built by other people (like the sight of impressive Skylines). I certainly would like to keep them in reality, whether achieved by me or not. In some cases, I might even not want to know in detail how they came about (You certainly wanna eat the steak, but that doesn't mean you wanna meat the cow ). Identifying the fact that me or other people had to - or didn't have to - achieve those things to put them into this world is not what makes my enjoyment of them possible or impossible. My enjoyment stems from my need to survive, which requires having certain experiences that make it worthwhile. Knowing that "I build this" can be a pleasurable add-on, though. Achievement is also not the psychological root of the motivation. In order for me to say "oh, there's something I want to achieve", I must first say "oh, there's something I want to enjoy". All this tells me that values (realized or not) are considered values independent of their achievement, but rather due to the valuing, the prospect of their enjoyment. But achievement is very often necessary to realize them - whether on my own or on other people's part. Since other people cannot be my slaves and shouldn't, I recognize the need to engage in a certain amount of my own achievement. While recognizing also, that I benefit from the achievements of all the other people as well. Together, we're all better off, plus the free riding. The rest is done by mother nature. And due to all those achievements, the amount of daily achievement necessary to maintain a desired degree of enjoyment becomes less and less. Nevertheless, you must always maintain some level of achievement, to keep your brain active so you can figure out how to best enjoy. Or to prepare yourself in case some new idea happens to come about some time on what next to realize. Psychologically, this means that achievement is a means to the end of enjoyment. But it needn't be focused on explicitly. It's simply an implicit part whenever it is required. I would rather separate the means from the end this way, while still recognizing they're both necessary.
  5. 2 points
    JASKN

    Top 10 Life Tips for the Young You

    Just move on when it’s boring or when you’re stuck. Change what you can, accept what you can’t. Failures are inherent, but success is very likely over the long haul and makes trying worth it. It’s truly in your power to change things. Try, try again. Don’t take on debt without an honest plan to pay it back. Avoid. Uncontrolled debt is a life sandbag. People don't change unless they want to, and even then it's a process requiring diligence. Love evolves, not necessarily into something worse. The fairytale is only part of the truth. Dwelling on negatives punishes you first and worst. Are things really what they seem? You’d better find out. It’s all about you, really. But, it’s not just you. Worry is a negative default of an idle mind. Take a walk, it's not that serious, someday you'll be dead. An advice list will change depending on your target person or audience. These are the top tips 33-year-old me thinks would have most helped 18-year-old me (and up to 33, I guess). Youthful naivety prevents full understanding, and with blissful ignorance, so I tried to phrase it in a way that might have gotten my younger self thinking and thinking back again after some experience, or in a way to which I would have been receptive, especially since I was prone to rationalism. I suppose this list would work without the influence of Rand, but I found Rand right around that age... so, she's baked in by now. I wonder how a list like this might be different 10 years from now, as it won't be geared toward a flailing know-nothing who hasn't established mental habits of systematized truth gathering. Some other tips weren't as important to my younger self without first learning something about the other tips on the list, and they arose naturally afterward based on life experience. Life doesn't seem like a catch-up game anymore. What are your 10?
  6. 2 points
    The high school me was a confused Christian, so other than telling myself to read Ayn Rand, my advice would be: 1. Take life seriously. 2. Pay attention to your thoughts. 3. Question what you're doing. 4. Study everything. 5. Talk to everyone. 6. Listen to people. 7. Write something every day. 8. Learn to dance. 9. Learn to draw. 10. Don't smoke weed. That pretty much covers it. I kept it simple and direct so my stupid young brain wouldn't misinterpret anything.
  7. 2 points
    MisterSwig

    The Law of Identity

    I suppose that's possible, but I think it is the most generous, positive assumption of the motive involved. Would you call it the intrinsic view of transitioning? I don't mean they are literally destroying their life. But they often do destroy their sex organs and other physical characteristics. My deeper point is that this is what transitioning means for them: destroying the man, and becoming a woman, or vice versa. Bruce is dead, long live Caitlyn! It's like some kind of crucifixion and resurrection. It's less about "identification" or "confirmation", and more about self-annihilation and rebirth. They hate the person they are and want to be someone else--only the someone else is the opposite sex. And so they rationalize the transition and claim that a man can become a woman, rather than admit that they are mentally ill. Mentally ill people rarely diagnose themselves. It's up to the mentally healthy to recognize the problem and help these people. Instead, we are allowing them to dictate laws.
  8. 2 points
    MisterSwig

    The Law of Identity

    I'd say that's exactly what they are. Though we'll probably squabble over the adjective imaginary. Here is the popular definition at Google: And here is the more serious definition at Oxford: Notice the genera: an idea, notion, invention, artifice, concept, perception. And the differentia: created by or based on a society, collective, social group; but does not exist naturally and might not represent reality. Sounds very much like a product of imagination to me. You'll have to give me an example. If I understand you correctly, you're saying that trans people don't identify with a biological or physiological trait, but instead with a social or cultural value. For example, let's say a biological male identifies with the cultural values of beauty and seduction traditionally associated with females. If he already identifies with those values, then why does he need to chop off his penis, get breast implants, and take hormones to change his appearance? The point is that he doesn't identify with those values. Identification is the recognition of reality. If he identified with beauty and seduction, he wouldn't need to transition into something beautiful and seductive. He'd already be it. Trans people want to transition precisely because they are not what they imagine themselves to be. It's not about identifying who they are. It's about destroying who they are and becoming something else.
  9. 2 points
    gio

    Is objectivism consequentialist?

    I come back to the fundamental question of the topic which is: "Is objectivism consequentialist?" This time I've read most of the topic (not all because a lot of messages seem to deviate from the original subject) and I felt trouble in the force. Sorry if I made mistakes in English, it's not my primary language. As 2046 rightly said, the point of Grames (page 5), which says consequentialism is an "empty doctrine" is invalid in itself, because consequentialism is not a moral doctrine as such, but simply a category of moral doctrine. The generally opposite category, deontology, is also "empty" and silent about on what the good is. Grames (and others) makes another mistake in believing that "every theory of good and of the virtues is trivially consequentialist" and that one can "bolt the standard objectivist of value - your own life - onto consequentialism" because Objectivist ethics is actually incompatible with the consequentism, I will explain why. It's pretty simple. I will use quotations from Rand and Peikoff that have already been given several times in this topic, but which, I think, have not always been clearly understood. The reasoning of StrictlyLogical (who, if I understand well, thinks that Objectivist ethics is compatible with consequentialism) are sometimes brilliant, but he has just missed a crucial point. Objectivist ethics can not be classified as consequentialist for exactly the same reasons that Ayn Rand rejected utilitarianism and hedonism. What is consequentialism? Taking the consequence as the sole standard of good. YES, the Objectivist ethic deals with causality, so it fully takes into account the consequences (which is why some people seems troubled), BUT it does not consider the consequences as the standard of the good. The pursuit of values does not imply consequentialism. To know whether Objectivist ethics is consequentialist or not, the crucial question is not: Should the consequences be taken into account in a moral theory? (The answer is YES, of course, otherwise we fall back anyway into the intrincist theory of value). The crucial question is: WHERE does morality lies? In the action? In the consequences of the action? Both ? In the relationship between the two? Or elsewhere? Here is why, in short, Objectivist ethics is not consequentialist: Consequentialism confuses the consequences of morality with morality itself. In other words, it confuses the standard with the purpose of morality. Consequentialism says: morality does not lies in action, but exclusively in the consequences of action. Objectivist ethics does not say that. Think about the relation between morality and consequences like the relation between knowledge and emotions, because it's exactly the same kind of relation. Values are knowledge, and emotions are consequences. Ayn Rand used to say: "Emotions are not tools of cognition." because emotions are consequences of ideas or knowledge and not idea or knowledge by itself. We can also say somehow : "Consequences are not tools of morality". Back to the fundamental question: Why does man need a moral code? (Any moral code.) In order to guide his action. And action is always a mean. In other words, morality always deals with means. Of course it is necessary to have a goal, values (to give meaning to the action-means), but the goal alone is not enough (contrary to the consequentialist view), there must be a standard for discriminating actions that are consistent with this goal and actions that are not. In other words, a standard is needed to identify the virtues. Why do we need a standard? Why do our actions need to be guided by a moral criterion? Because man does not have automatic knowledge. He does not function by instinct, and he is not omniscient, a human being can not fully foresee the future when he acts, he do not know in advance all the consequences. (Which would be a pre-condition of consequentialism ...) So he needs a guide, that is to say a moral code. As it has been said by many of you, we can not evaluate actions post-facto ... We must therefore identify a standard that accords with the purpose, where we can rationally show the necessary dependency relation between the standard and the purpose as a cause-and-effect relationship (life is the cause, the effect is happiness, as Ayn Rand says in the following quote). According to Objectivist ethics, life is not the consequence or the purpose of morality, it is the standard. The purpose is happiness. Life is the ultimate value because it is the condition of happiness. Without life, there is no happiness. But life is not an action. Life is the standard that makes it possible to judge the morality of an action, in other words, whether it is virtuous or not. Moral action is virtue, and it is practiced by choice. A consequentialist morality such as utilitarianism for instance, says: What is the purpose of morality? Happiness. (We agree.) But then immediately it says: So, everything that makes you happy is good. Happiness is the good. But it is not happiness that is moral as such. Happiness is a consequence of a proper morality. In other words, happiness is not the good, happiness is a consequence of the good. There is confusion in utilitarianism between standard and purpose. To say: "the consequences are the moral standard" is a contradiction, it's like saying: "morality is useless" or "morality does not serve to guide action" or "man does not need a guide to action." To say, as consequentialism claims, that morality does not lie in action is to say that virtue does not exist. There is no moral code, no moral principles. For example, imagine that I am faced with an alternative. To determine how I should act, I will think, "I must choose my action according to such consequence." (happiness for instance) This is the consequentialist morality in its totality. This is not wrong in itself, but there is no morality yet: it is obviously insufficient to guide the action. Then I have to think and tell myself: "What actions would cause this consequence?" How to know? (In other words, what virtues should I practice?) In short: I need a moral code. In itself, having a purpose (happiness for example) is necessary, but not enough to determine a rational action plan. How do you determine what makes you happy? The moral code (life for example) is used to identify how to achieve this purpose. The purpose of your life.
  10. 2 points
    To briefly get back to the original question, it is clear that Peikoff rejects the standard philosophical concept "tautology". The problem with the transcription which KyaryPamyu cited is that it doesn't represent what Peikoff wrote, it's what he said. In his writings, you can see that he abjures the term because he always puts scare quotes around it (plus, of course, what he says about so-called tautologies). It's possible but unlikely that he did air quotes when he said "tautology", and the quotes were not transcribed. "Tautology" is an invalid concept (though you may plead for validity, by removing the thing that makes it invalid). To be valid, there has to be a definition: it has to identify a specific range of things. We don't know what "tautology" refers to, and until we do, it's pointless to get into an extended discussion of it. Since the term is widely used in philosophy, I am inclined to attribute some meaning to it, thus I would more or less accept William O's initial quote from the Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy: it is The pure form of these statements does not render them always true. A formula which is "always true" is something like "P ∨ ¬ P", but these are meaningless formulas. The proffered tautologies are not of this form. In the Cambridge examples, there might be a valid method of translating the statements into a symbolic form such that these are "tautologies". For example, you have to add a special stipulation of referential identity in these cases (see the last example: we must additionally assert that the first Socrates is the same individual as the second Socrates – we're not mixing Socrates the philosopher and Socrates my dog). Examples like "A brother is a male" is "tautological" not by dint of the form, but because of what we know of the referents of words "male" and "brother", and we know that experientially. It is particularly obvious that one cannot arrive at a formalization of "tautology" by simply inserting the definition of a word, when you are dealing with names, which have no definition. As for concepts and proper nouns, to quote ITOE, "A concept is a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated by a process of abstraction and united by a specific definition". A noun is the label by which we access a concept. A proper noun is a noun identifying units that name that name – they have no CCD. "Cow" identifies a range of existents with certain characteristics; "William" simply is a conventional label that some people have.
  11. 2 points
    From Journals of Ayn Rand: Shall we believe that tiny groups of collectivists are nothing special, or do something about the future?
  12. 2 points
    I really don't know what you mean by "obligated to accept that meaning into our own brains," unless you're trying to describe the process of "understanding"? If so, then yes: to understand what another person means, you are obligated to accept that meaning (i.e. what they intend), with reference to relevant context, into your own brain. That's how you are able to understand another human being. Look, I'm sure you get this with respect to other things... it's like... take "Black Lives Matter." Is it a true statement that "black lives matter"? I'd guess (or hope) that we can all agree that it is. Yet in 2017, in our society, when someone says "black lives matter," they mean more than the simple identification of a true statement. And participating by, say, having a sign on your lawn which reads "black lives matter" is a political act which goes beyond the mere utterance of a true statement. It's not that you have to "use some guy's hateful screams" or have the idea that "black lives matter" redefined for yourself, or whatnot, it's just that you have to... you know, be aware of what's going on around you, and be aware of what you're communicating to others. If you're naive and ignorant, and wear a "Black Lives Matter" shirt because you say to yourself, "well, it's true enough that black lives matter... no harm in saying something true," then that's fine as far as it goes. You'll suffer the consequences you were ignorant of, as you lend support to that movement (even unawares) and as other people (in reason) group you together with that movement. But it is another thing altogether to be aware of what "black lives matter" means in context, and yet argue that the context doesn't matter. That you should be able to wear the shirt, or post the sign, and not care about the real world consequences of your action. That's arguing for the intentional dropping of context, and it is a very bad idea.
  13. 2 points
    Fraud A unilateral breach of contract involves an indirect use of physical force: it consists, in essence, of one man receiving the material values, goods or services of another, then refusing to pay for them and thus keeping them by force (by mere physical possession), not by right—i.e., keeping them without the consent of their owner. Fraud involves a similarly indirect use of force: it consists of obtaining material values without their owner’s consent, under false pretenses or false promises. This is a perfectly legitimate identification of an indirect use of physical force. A civil mechanism, authorized to use retaliatory force once breach of contract or fraud is established in order to neutralize the indirect force initiated by the perpetrator via refusing to give up physical possession of the material value.
  14. 2 points
    MisterSwig

    The Audit

    I'm curious, does frustration enter into your thought process at all? Perhaps you get frustrated about a certain line of thought, such as why Peikoff would discuss this or that topic, and so you give up pursuing that angle and instead turn to the next line of thought that pops into your head. I'll give you an example that I experience frequently. Sometimes I get frustrated with a forum thread (or it could be an in-person conversation). I don't think I'm making any headway with other participants, and so the frustration kicks in. I have the urge to end the dialogue, abandon the topic and move on. But I've given myself a standing order to re-think what I'm doing when I feel frustration. I'll ask myself something like, why am I frustrated? Are there still unanswered questions? Can I rationally reduce my position to objective reality? Etc. Usually I find that I'm frustrated not because I'm having trouble convincing others, but because I was having trouble convincing myself. Essentially I had forgotten to focus on my own mind, and was focused on other people's minds.
  15. 2 points
    Reidy

    The Law of Identity

    Whatever the merits of the wider point here, the participants show a shaky understanding of Heraclitus. He lived and wrote before philosophy had the sophistication to express a notion such as the law of identity. What people nowadays think are his positions are actually the work of soi-disants Heracliteans of later generations. Aristotle distinguishes between the historical Heraclitus and "Heracliteanism" a couple of places in the Metaphysics: - For it's impossible for one and the same both to be and not to be, as some think Heraclitus said (IV 3, 1005b23); - Further, seeing that nature is in motion, they all thought that of what changes nothing can be said truly and that what is always changing in every respect does not admit of the truth. From this supposition grew the most extreme of the foregoing views, namely the view of those who claim to Heraclitize, such as Cratylus, who in the end thought nothing could be said, but only moved his finger and criticized Heraclitus for saying that there's no stepping into the same river twice; he [Cratylus] didn't think we could even do it once. (IV 5, 1010a6) (emphasis added) though not always: 1012a24, 34, 1062a32, 1063b24. When I studied H. I hit on a reading that I was later flattered to hear from Julius Moravcsik, a famous academic. He observed diversity and change in the world and yet wanted to find some way to see it at once and to pronounce stable truths about it. That is to say, ,he was struggling to identify conceptual thought, but nobody could grasp this until Plato came along. The nearest Heraclitus could get was simultaneous perceptual awareness of everything, in the mind of god. Thus he was like the man in Anthem, struggling to identify the first-person singular, but he never quite got there.
  16. 2 points
    MisterSwig

    A Complex Standard of Value

    There has been some great discussion about values lately, and so I'd like to present a brief case for my notion of a complex standard of value. Any feedback or criticism would be appreciated. This is only the beginning of a work in progress. I start with the idea that humans have three basic aspects: the physical, the mental, and the biological. Also, for each aspect we can hold a separate standard of value. For the physical it's pleasure over pain; for the mental, it's knowledge over ignorance; and for the biological, it's health over sickness. Next, many people seem to believe that man is primarily one of these aspects, while the others are secondary. They argue for what I call a simple standard of value. If man is primarily physical, then his standard of value is pleasure. If he's primarily mental, then his standard is knowledge. And if man is primarily biological, then the standard is health. I call such positions the Simple Man Fallacy. It means taking the standard of value for one aspect of man and applying it to the whole person. I suppose it's an example of the fallacy of composition. I believe it is critical that we form a complex standard of value which integrates the three standards of man's existence: pleasure, knowledge, and health. Rand of course argued for the standard of value being man's life. But there is much confusion over what that means precisely. She said it means: "that which is required for man's survival qua man." And what does that mean? She explained: This is a complex answer that is difficult to digest. For example, how do we figure out which terms, methods, conditions and goals are required for our survival as a rational being? Well, to answer that question, I suggest we consider in equal measure the three basic aspects of our existence: the physical, the mental, and the biological. We should formulate a complex standard of value which integrates our critical needs for pleasure, knowledge, and health.
  17. 2 points
    Nicky

    What are you listening at the moment?

    I've been into Johnny Cash' American Recordings, the last few weeks. Especially "Help Me", off his final album. It's a very religious collection of songs, this one especially...but just so ridiculously, brilliantly touching, from a man mourning his soulmate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jv4i4t2hj2I It's one of his many Kris Kristofferson covers. I think Kris wrote most of his truly great songs. But John made them eternal...especially this song would've been totally forgotten.
  18. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    In the November 1966 issue of The Objectivist, Ayn Rand wrote: It might be said that fifty years ago nominalists self-identified as "non-binary definitionists." True and false pertained to propositions, but not definitions. A proposition suggests mere possibility, but a definition suggests actual certainty. And certainty implies knowledge of reality. If the goal is to enslave people's minds, then you certainly don't want to encourage them to pursue knowledge of reality. Fast forward fifty years to today, and the nominalists' appetite for slavery has turned to the social-political realm. Now they self-identify as "non-binary genderists." Male and female pertain to propositions, but not definitions; the mind, which possibly reflects reality, but not the body, which certainly reflects reality. If the goal is to enslave people's bodies, then you certainly don't want to encourage them to pursue knowledge of reality. Slavery is about controlling people's minds and bodies. Nominalism is a philosophy of slavery. A nominalist wants to be a master, a ruler of humans. And so he places himself above normal humans, both mentally and physically. Mentally he is a "non-binary" word-maker, whose speech must not be questioned. And physically he is a "non-binary" entity, whose very identity must not be questioned. When he says he is this or that, then he is this or that. And if he orders you to call him she or they, then your duty is to call him she or they. For he is the master, and you are the slave. He is a member of the "non-binary" royal family. And you are part of the lowly, unenlightened "binary" or "cisgender" class. If Rand were alive, she might say that nominalism has managed to reach an even deeper depth than anyone ever imagined possible. Verbal and sexual aberrants are being crowned as intellectual and moral superiors. And we, the normal ones, are the tolerated clown jesters of the circus kingdom. Drag queens and miladyboys. Bow down to your new rulers!
  19. 1 point
    splitprimary

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    -at all these steps, there is possibility of error in the identification. you're trying to translate a really basic, gut-level awareness and bring it up to the level of a conceptual statement. it's very hard to pinpoint what's wrong and people misattribute all the time. this is just introspection! in any instance of this, even a much more trivial one, it can take a wrong turn and yield an answer that’s off, which you might not realize for a long time. i might feel vaguely bad.. manage to trace it back to this morning.. realize it’s centered somehow around my sister.. eventually land on it being a certain comment i made in the conversation at breakfast.. and determine that i feel awful because i was overly critical of her. it could seem like the right answer because i’m getting close, so i might settle there. but with even further investigation and discrimination, it could turn out to have been a different emotional shade completely: i thought it was guilt for what i said, but actually it was regret that i hadn’t spoken up back when the honesty could have made more of a positive difference to her. or alternately, it could be that i snapped at her defensively, i got hurt by something she said just prior to this and the part of the conversation i'm fixated on is a decoy- the negative feeling actually coming from whatever insecurity she managed to brush against. i really like your description, that you start to try to put it into words, getting more precise: from “bad feeling” to “something wrong” to “this is somehow related to sex”.. eventually way down the line maybe you come to something like “i don’t identify with my biological sex, but with the opposite gender” that feels true. but that has been derived, there is so much that has gone into reaching that conclusion. it's not beyond challenge, and that’s what someone is doing when they express skepticism about the claim. they’re not automatically right making a call from the outside via observation or from their armchair of course, but this person doing the introspection is not necessarily right either just because they're up closer to it. friends and therapists help people disentangle and get to the root of what they’re actually feeling all the time; there is no rule that says the subject is always understanding themselves correctly.
  20. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    BitCoin

    I wasn't thinking in such terms. I'm thinking of it in terms of being rational about everything . . . 'cept this one thing. "If I can keep this one arbitrary setter of value, I'll be a rational valuer in all other things." It cedes permission to the mind that being a rational valuer in all things is not required. Exception one is eventually followed by exception two . . .
  21. 1 point
    human_murda

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    I was referring to syntax.
  22. 1 point
    human_murda

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    I completely agree with this. They usually provide two (mutually contradictory) justifications for why nobody can contradict them: 1) From evolutionary psychology: the idea that this "feeling" (actually: identification) of who they are is obtained through genes or some means other than perception. Such inheritance can be random, is not derived from reality and may eventually be discovered to be in conflict with physical reality. They may claim that they are physically a man but their brain comes with the identification that they are a woman. Since the identification is obtained through means other than perception and "cannot be helped", they claim that these identifications (of themselves as male or female) are as valid as a person whose genetic consciousness is "cis" (people who get a transmitted consciousness which identifies their biological sex correctly but don't have a choice in their identification either, since that part of the consciousness [which identifies their own biological sex] is transmitted genetically and is not derived from perception). 2) The idea that gender has nothing to do with biological sex and is a social convention. Under this paradigm, gender is a man-made concept. Hence, it is arbitrary. Hence, they're all equally valid. The concepts are considered to be derived from reality but in a loose sense: through social agreement. What is considered is "normal" or correct is also part of this agreement and has no basis in reality and must be fought. The latter argument can also be applied to all concepts: all concepts are man-made (true) and hence, arbitrary (false) but are given meaning and made "real" by society (false). Both justifications cut off consciousness (identification) from reality (one says identifications are hereditary; other says they are arbitrary.) and they contradict each other. There are still more (less important) arguments. Definitions: sex and gender are two different concepts but your sex determines your gender. Some heuristic definitions can be given: sex: biological sex of all animals gender: biological sex of humans male sex: male & animal female sex: female & animal male gender = male & human female gender = female & human man = male & human & 18+ boy = male & human & 18- woman = female & human & 18+ girl = female & human & 18- For example, a cow is female but not a woman. A bull is male but not a man. This is the only distinction between sex and gender. Humans can be referred to by their sex as well as gender. Your biological sex and the fact that you are human (and hence your gender) are determined by your physiology and is not an arbitrary choice open to debate. Note: saying something like "that female offered me candy" is a bit dehumanizing so the latter is more preferred [gender contains the implication that you are human]. But both are correct. This doesn't mean that gender has any additional special non-physiological attributes. Gender is preferred over sex (when referring to people) for the same reason that "those gay men are playing in the field" is preferred over "those gays are playing in the field". The only thing gender adds to sex (and "gay men" adds to "gays") is personhood (the fact that you are human). The addition (of personhood) makes sure that you are not reduced to your biological sex or sexual orientation while somebody else is referring to your biological sex or sexual orientation. It is a respectful way of addressing people (but it is not a title or indication of social status as some "constructionists" would want you to believe). There is no mystical undefinable element. Gender is a respectful way of referring to a person's biological sex by including the fact that they are human. The same thing happens with "gay men" or "gay person" as opposed to just "gays". Both sex and gender refer to biological sex but for different classes of species. Sometimes the word "man" refers to all humans emphasizing the personhood and getting rid of the biological sex. This is more evidence that what the words man/woman add to the table is the concept of being human, not some BS social convention. Also, English isn't my first language, but this is how I understand these words (male, female, man, boy, woman, girl). It seems extremely simple to me. But pretty much all native speakers seem to have some problems with this. I don't understand what their objections are to this (I have heard some say that since gender roles are made-up and different throughout the world [eg: marumakkathayam in Kerala], the concept of gender is false. That's faulty logic. Gender and gender roles are two separate concepts. The validity of gender roles has no implications for the validity of the concept of gender). To summarize: gender is a different concept from sex (which is broader) but if you are human, your sex determines your gender.
  23. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    Is there something about the Rand quote or the first couple paragraphs with which you disagree? I'm mostly relying on Rand and Wikipedia for my understanding of the subject, but if you want to point me elsewhere, that would be great. I think nominalism is essentially the rejection of universals, and the idea that words have no basis in objective reality, they are merely names for categories of particular concretes. This is expressed in "non-binary" gender theory by applying the rejection of universals to concepts of "male" and "female." There is no "male" or "female" concrete thing in reality, therefore they don't really exist and are socially constructed concepts. Hence: "non-binary" which is just a six-dollar word for "not male or female."
  24. 1 point
    Nicky

    The Royal Family of Nominalism

    Anything "might be said". I think you just proved it.
  25. 1 point
    JASKN

    Top 10 Life Tips for the Young You

    In my teens, I put on a know-it-all front, but in fact I didn't verify much of anything at all for myself. This carried on until I found this forum, with its many exemplar users who didn't take any answer without some solid reasoning behind it, and a painful process of de-rationalization began after my sad mental habits just couldn't stand up any longer. The habits were deep, though, and for a while it seemed like I didn't really know anything about anything, because I realized I had really verified almost nothing. I'd thought it was good general advice, not just for younger me, but maybe I wasn't so typical and this is very obvious to most people from the beginning. Growing up, I did not focus primarily on my own desires, instead focusing first (or only) on what I "should" do. Then, for a long time I treated people poorly, generally. Maybe the first was due to religion and the second was a personal backlash, but I'm not a psychologist. The way I summed up this advice applies more in my 20s, since I wouldn't have heard or understood any version of it when the issues were at their worst. I see versions of these two problems in a lot of people now - confusion about why life isn't working out, when surface investigation reveals motives that don't start from within; confusion as to why things aren't working out, and then big surprise they have no consideration at all about the other person's perspective or objectives.
  26. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    The Law of Identity

    In a reply to epistemologue, I agreed with his approach of looking at form and function to differentiate the sexes, but I thought he started from non-essential traits. So I begin with the view that a male's sexual function as the inseminator of females logically follows from his sexual organs, a penis and testicles. But that is only a man's sexual form, which I believe identifies him as a male. He has many other aspects to his form, which identify him as other things too: a living entity, a conscious organism, a rational animal. He can be mentally parsed and classified in many different ways because he is a complex, natural system, a product of ages of evolution. Thus, there has been, and always will be, this fundamental problem of classification. The problem of classification becomes unsolvable when you attempt to classify male by a man's man-made traits rather than his metaphysical ones. Man invents much of himself, and he does it in various, creative, unpredictable ways. But he doesn't invent his sex. That is a metaphysical condition. Trying to classify a male by his chosen values, purposes, rituals, roles is simply asking for frustration. It's like trying to classify a philosopher by his hair color, penis size, and leg length. Unless this contradictory approach is reversed, it will necessarily lead to countless micro-classifications, one for every unique male individual. Since this approach no doubt grows tiresome, the irrational classifier must call it quits at some point, and will simply lump all the micro-classifications of male into a catch-all category called "the male gender." If, however, he micro-classifies beyond the point of no return, he ends up with yet another catch-all category--"non-binary"--for the people who reject both of the binary "gender" categories. I suppose if someone came along claiming to be all three at the same time, he'd then have to conceive of a "tri-gender" category for that one oddball. The absurdity of classifying sex by man-made traits has thus led to the wacky realm of "gender theory." It is a fragile realm, whose existence depends upon rational people playing along with the fantasy and treating weirdos like royalty.
  27. 1 point
    To Patrik 7-2321 Rather than attempt to add to a "collective thought" to be gleaned from a combination of the above and my thoughts, I have opted to respond directly to the OP and Patrik with my thoughts. All things are what they are regardless of what people call them, i.e. regardless of what words and concepts they allege refer to those things. There will always exist people who think things are not what they are, and there will always be people who call things what they are not... and finally in the smallest category will be some people who will do the work and be careful enough to see things for what they are and also to call them what they are accordingly. AI is "artificial intelligence". Insofar as one remembers what "artifice" and "artificial" mean, the term is correct in the context of current and near future technology. Anthropomorphizing of machines of any kind (toys, mannequins, medical models, computers etc.) in everyday language is perfectly normal, after all. A toy man is a "toy man" in common parlance... however, far from being a kind of "man" .. i.e. a toy"ish" man, or a man with the property or attribute of "toy"ness ... in actuality "toy man" is a "toy in the shape of a man" and not any kind of man whatever. A toy man has hands which do not grasp and eyes which do not see... as such they are not actually hands or eyes at all (although they represent them or look like them). A computer is configured to act on signals and media in a manner which produces different signals or media, it transforms input to output, in such a manner (we have configured it so) so as to imbue the output with something meaningful to us, information. WE transform information by thinking, and store and recall it with memory, it is perfectly natural to use words like "memory" and "thinking" to characterize what computers do which remind us of what we do. Nothing about how these machines do what they do to what they do it to is sufficiently similar to (in the ways that matter ... which we have yet to discover) what the mind does that there would be ANY justification for calling them the same thing. A human mind, however, is natural and as a natural system it has identity, and it is configured and functions accordingly. A similar natural system, which in the ways which matter, is configured and functions in a manner similar enough to a human mind would be "conscious". But until there is a science of consciousness which fully understands exactly what kinds of natural systems, their configurations and functions are conscious rather than simply being and functioning without consciousness, and WHY, we could never hope to design a conscious system, let alone objectively and scientifically evaluate whether the thing created is conscious. Of course to properly understand complex systems on the verge of consciousness we would need some way to experiment, and well fully developed human brains are not accessible... experimentation may be too dangerous. Animals however are, and combined with computer monitoring and simulations and integrated cybernetic systems, we could do the tinkering necessary for experimental investigation which is required for scientific inquiry. It may be that like a complex process of a weather pattern we discover that in the conscious mind some nonlocal system wide process which is self-patterning or self-reinforcing is the signature of consciousness... but this is mere speculation. Bottom line is that computers (as we know them) will be necessary in the investigation of mind, but the minds and principles of mind we finally identify will not be the same as the machines of today. Manufactured Intelligence (MI) (as distinguished from AI) is not something which we are close to creating, however, as the science of mind progresses, I have no doubt that it will be solved. If not 1 hundred years from now, most likely within 1000 years from now.
  28. 1 point
    Craig24

    The Law of Identity

    Ok but there are allegedly conscious states about the following: God, near death experience, astral projection, reincarnation. That's just off the top of my head. Isn't it special pleading to make sex transitioning an exception? You're an Objectivist for crying out loud. Act like one.
  29. 1 point
    dream_weaver

    Ayn Rand's official public notice

    This is a transcription of Miss Rand from her initial Columbia University radio broadcast from 11:00 to 16:35 minutes into the program. I am addressing myself to those who are genuinely interested in ideas, and who therefore, have an authentic desire to understand Objectivism. Those who are making an effort to fail to understand me are not a concern of mine. Please take the following as an official public notice: The only authentic sources of information about Objectivism are: my own works, the Objectivist Newsletter, a monthly journal dealing with the application of Objectivism to current cultural and political problems. The above public notice is necessitated by the fact that most of such comments on Objectivism that I have seen in print consist of outright misrepresentations and smears. Some of the misrepresentations may be unintentional, some people find it difficult to grasp new ideas, let alone to summarize them correctly. But most of the misrepresentations are deliberate, since an attempt to ascribe to a writer the exact opposite of her ideas can hardly be attributed to an innocent error. There are many such attempts. Those who created them, deserve them. If you do wish to understand Objectivism, the one helpful suggestion I can give you is this. Remember that the basic premises from which I speak are not the ones most people take uncritically for granted. It is precisely the basic premises of today’s culture that I challenge. Therefore, do not leap to conclusions and equate my viewpoint with somebody else’s, by assuming automatically that you have heard it before. You haven’t. For instance, do not equate my views with Nietzsche, or Herbert Spencer or Senator Goldwater. My views are not theirs and vice versa. So whether you choose to agree with me or disagree, do not set up a straw-woman. It is a futile procedure, which does not fool anyone except that man who attempts it. If you wish to disagree with me, you have to start by identifying my basic premises, and then refuting them—if you can. You have to take me up on the issues. None of my antagonists have done it so far, and, I venture to say, none ever will. I say it because the whole case of the mystic-altruist-collectivist axis rests on the evasion of basic issues, on never identifying their own base. Objectivism holds that: A.) Men must be guided exclusively by reason. B.) That man has a right to exist for his own sake. And C.) That no-one has the right to initiate the use of physical force against others. In order to refute this you would have to admit and maintain that: A.) Man ought to be irrational. B.) That man is a sacrificial animal. And C.) That you seek to impose your own ideas or wishes on others by means of physical force. This is what you would have to admit, and then attempt to prove that you have a right to. You see all three of these premises dominating our culture and being practiced all over the world today, but you do not hear anyone admitting it openly. Instead, you hear such things as: A.) Rationality consists of recognizing that reason is impotent, or, an intellectual is one who denies the existence of the intellect. B.) To enslave men is to act for their own good, or, to slaughter men by the millions is the proof of one’s love for humanity. And C.) Freedom consists of obedience to the edicts of the government, or, to compel men to obey by means of physical force and violence constitutes a defense of liberty and entitles one to be called a liberal. Ladies and gentlemen, I could almost rest the entire case for Objectivism on this kind of pronouncements by my antagonists. The fact that they find it necessary to evade in such manner is one of the clearest [and?] least attractive evidences of the fact that the truth is on the side of Objectivism.
  30. 1 point
    There still remains a legitimate distinction from the lexicon fraud entree. A breach of contract may not have been intended from the get-go. Material values received may not be easily returnable, such as a coat of paint on a house, or the installation of a retaining wall or regrading of a slope to redirect water from an entryway. A payment plan intended to be completed initially could be waylaid by job loss. Reluctance to part with other assets in order to make good the contract, or worse, not having assets aside from the improved properties (as in the particulars offered) still leaves the receiver of the material value in a position where its return is not desirable. If the contracted parties cannot reach a settlement based on the mutual exchange of the available facts, it is at this point that a system of adjudication steps in to identify the merits of the case. Fraud is the above scenario with intent to breach the agreement from the get-go.
  31. 1 point
    No, actually it doesn't matter where they come from. That is the genetic fallacy. GENETIC FALLACY Genetic fallacy From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia The genetic fallacy (also known as the fallacy of origins or fallacy of virtue[1]) is a fallacy of irrelevance involving a conclusion that is based solely on someone's or something's history, origin, or source rather than its current meaning or context. This overlooks any difference to be found in the present situation, typically transferring the positive or negative esteem from the earlier context. In other words, a fact is ignored in favor of attacking its source. The fallacy therefore fails to assess the claim on its merit. The first criterion of a good argument is that the premises must have bearing on the truth or falsity of the claim in question.[2] Genetic accounts of an issue may be true, and they may help illuminate the reasons why the issue has assumed its present form, but they are not conclusive in determining its merits.[3] According to the Oxford Companion to Philosophy (1995), the term originated in Morris Raphael Cohen and Ernest Nagel's book Logic and Scientific Method[4] (1934).
  32. 1 point
    Interesting. It's as if one points out an example of anti-white bias, ergo joining with neo-Nazi campaign becomes okay. Earlier they said if the campaign was "Air is good" and it turned out to be a Clinton group behind the scenes, they would react with horror and work to expose the propaganda. I think there's explanations for this. Wittgenstein said that when otherwise sane and rational people say crazy, obviously false things, it's because they are in the grip of a picture. Thomas Kuhn wrote about an experiment that was performed by some psychologists investigating cognitive biases, where the subjects were given brief, controlled exposure to certain playing cards. Most of the cards were normal, but some had been altered, such as a red six of spades and a black four of hearts. The cards were turned over and the subjects identified them as normal, red or back of whatever. Without awareness of the anomaly, it was fitted into a conceptual category prepared by prior experience. They were not prepared to recognize the aberration because it diverged from a lifetime of prepared conception. Only after repeated exposure did some subjects notice that there was something wrong with it. A few subjects never did. In other words, a mind accustomed to working with certain frameworks will have trouble recognizing deviations from that framework. If one expects "the left" to be the major threatening force to their political identity, anti white, anti market, and "the (alt)right" answer as pro white, pro freedom, pro borders that is what one will see. Even if contrary evidence is introduced, it will be dismissed as nonessential. That's why they don't care when I introduce a hypothetical benign Clinton slogan. Clinton is "left," enemy, "white" is what we are, defend, good. It doesn't register as hypocrisy because they are in the grip of a picture. The left is the threat. The neo-Nazis are rightwing and they're not a threat, they're just misguided goofballs of the right. And we are "on the right" because we oppose the left. The fact that neo-Nazis started this campaign can be dismissed then. It literally becomes cognitively invisible. I think the picture is one where they see a left faction and a right faction, and they see themselves as part of this right faction. They have not dismissed individualism, in their minds, they just can't see the contradictions with it. Those become invisible, we must fight "the left." Doesn't matter if the slogan is neo-Nazi, we expect the left to be wrong and anti white and the right to oppose them. They see what they expect, just like the card experiment. After all, millions of Americans are in the grip of the same picture, for example when they vote and support Republicans because they are "pro free market" or when they vote Democrat because they are "pro little guy." It doesn't matter when Reps and Dems both support corporate statism, that becomes an invisible background. Reps use free market rhetoric and Dems use humanitarian rhetoric, and so that's what people expect to see. Im just trying to think of how we can both see the same thing and come up with two different viewpoints. There is also the concept of "entryism," where a smaller political movement attempts to capture a larger one and seize its resources or divert its message. Left wing radicals have been using entryism successfully, and now white nationalist groups are targeting libertarians. They will inevitably succeed on the margins, as many libertarians and Objectivists too lack rational defense of their views, and see themselves as a part of the same "right" or "anti left" faction, rather than as primarily individualists. As long as you're opposing those pesky "SJWs," they literally blank out the white nationalist connection, it just doesn't even register.
  33. 1 point
    softwareNerd

    Aristotle and the science

    I'd suggest that we should blame Plato, not Aristotle. Consider this: Aristotle was forgotten for ages, and the middle-ages were their slow-moving self not because of him but in spite of him. On could argue that the discover of Aristotle was a catalysts to bring the middle ages into the Renaissance. In which case, science was retarded by his absence and helped by the rediscovery of Aristotle. Meanwhile, Plato's influence on Christianity was strong, and his rationalism jived well with spiritualism. There's a good case to make for Plato being a foundational influence on epistemology of the the middle-ages. So, with the discovery of Aristotle, but by people mired in Platonic epistemology, it is no wonder they treated Aristotle as if his text were scripture. Even if Aristotle was wrong, and even if he had not yet made the leap to the ideas made explicit by Bacon, we still see nuggets of the scientific method within his approach. IF people who re-discovered Aristotle had not approached him with their rationalist/spiritualist epistemology, they would have questioned his approach. Indeed, this is what Galileo did. If the church was not so mired in Platonism, perhaps a Galileo like figure would have arisen earlier, without needing to be scared of recriminations: someone far earlier, who did not need the protection of the Medici that helped Galileo be brave. So, no: Aristotle did not retard science. That was the doing of Plato and Aristotle. Blame St. Paul.
  34. 1 point
    In the battle for the mind, how does "groupthink" factor in? Each individual mind needs to do the work independently to arrive at a valid conclusion. The exchange of ideas can help to reduce the amount of time to discover valid conclusions, or conversely it can hinder reaching a valid conclusion. In order to streamline the process, those committed to such a task need establish the veracity of their idea(s) prior bringing them to the table. When a valid conclusion is served properly, it can then be consumed on the basis of its own merits.
  35. 1 point
    Boydstun

    Aristotle and the science

    Giovanni, Of the friction points you list, I think the worst is under your fifth. The Aristotelian ideas that heavier things fall faster than lighter things and that it is fundamental to bodies of the sublunary region that they come to rest required seriously new thinking caps to overcome. Another barrier to overcome was the overextended role of final (and formal) causality Aristotle had conceived. Another was Aristotle’s (inconstant) nay-saying on the role of mathematics in natural science. Another was his method of science, although in that there was some continuity with early moderns, at least in the organization of disciplines deserving the name science, at least in the more snobbish restrictions of that term. On that last, there is a nice paper available here: The Classical Model of Science: A Millennia-Old Model of Scientific Rationality --De Jong and Betti 2010
  36. 1 point
    It doesn't matter how it sounds, what matters is whether I provided reasoning. When you're trying to make sense of anything, whether it's a news story or whatever, do you rest on mental shortcuts? Or, do you take those shortcuts for what they are, and actively update your thoughts when new information is found? Especially when you suspect you don't have the full story, you're not writing things off as concluded, right? A person who does otherwise is a non-thinking idiot to the extent they are instead fine with those fuzzy "conclusions." Even if they're "nice," "hardworking," or "non-racist" - they may be civilized, but it's not really their doing, is it? They're not active participants in their own lives, the groupthink will determine things for them instead. Thinking individuals shouldn't waste their time on groupthinkers.
  37. 1 point
    softwareNerd

    Aristotle and the science

    "All" ... haven't heard that; but, I have heard about the conclusions he based on very flimsy premises (what an Objectivist might call "rationalism"). On the other hand, he's known to have collected specimens, and attempted classification: which shows a respect for the study of reality. Along with the Renaissance, came a real thrust to the "scientific method" and for experimentation (a move attributed to Francis Bacon in the Anglophone world). Before Galileo became controversial about astronomy, he was doing experiments in physics that were upending long-held beliefs in Physics. Yet, these were beliefs one could upend by an experiment that did not take that long. It indicates that people had not thought of actually experimenting about many things they took for granted. Consider a farmer in the 1500's who always used a particular amount of fertilizer for his vegetables. It is unlikely that he would say to himself: "let me vary this in a small experimental plot and learn from those experiments". (We see "gentlemen farmers" doing this post-Enlightnment). Of course human beings have been "experimenting" even before they were human, as animals do; but that changed to be way more purposeful. Reading about Galileo's controversy with the Church, I got the impression that the fear was not that he was overturning the Bible, as such; but, Aristotle: who had reached his conclusions nationalistically. So, from a certain perspective, one might say that Aristotle was partly responsible for Galileo being rejected and prosecuted. But, I don't buy that argument: it comes from treating Aristotle as scripture. Blame the faith-based epistemology of the church, rather than Aristotle. Imagine that the Wright Brothers had made some conclusions that would be proven true through the propeller age, but were actually false and would be proven false by the jet age. Imagine that this held back the jet age by a decade. Would we blame the Wright brothers for holding back the jet age? We (being ingrates) can criticize them for being wrong, but everyone else who agreed with them is primarily to blame. We should not follow and agree with all a person's ideas just because they have a lot of great ones: be they the Wright brothers, Aristotle, or Ayn Rand.
  38. 1 point
    Even if a source of "groupthink" were hijacked, that in itself would not alter a general tendency for "groupthink." A far better course would be to identify the thinkers and gravitate towards the opportunities that offers.
  39. 1 point
    2046

    Jan Helfeld Interviews

    Well yes, I don't think Helfield is valuing the interview as such, but that's not his purpose. Helfield is a master at employing the Socratic method. He doesn't want to allow his debate partner to obfuscate or dance around the topic using rhetoric or sophisms, he has to pin down an answer to the question. Once a thesis is agreed upon, then you can show how assent to that thesis leads to condradictions with other held beliefs. But the questioner has to stick to questions about that thesis, otherwise the interlocutor will spin rhetoric and avoid the question. Of course Matthews is too politically savvy to answer directly, but in the end, he does get Matthews to agree in some vague "will of the people" and then quits the interview. I'd score that one clearly for Helfield. You can't penalize Helfield for staying on one topic and wanting to drive the discussion, it's a necessary part of the method.
  40. 1 point
    MisterSwig

    The Audit

    I bolded "only" because I suspect that you use that word (and similar ones) to stop yourself from thinking. It is actually a very powerful word. If you look it up in the dictionary, it means things like "alone in kind or class," "sole," "standing alone by reason of superiority or excellence." So when you say "the only problems" that means you have determined that these problems are all there are to consider. They represent the complete class of problems which need to be solved in order to fix your reasoning. So how would you respond if someone came along and said, no, there are other problems to consider? What if, perhaps, one other problem is that you have stopped thinking about certain things? Why has it become difficult for you to spot your own errors?
  41. 1 point
    Eiuol

    How Do You Achieve Bliss?

    My thinking is that it often reflects an insecurity to tell oneself "I'm great" as a form of meditation is going as far as to say emotions may be willed. What I tried to say earlier is that this isn't so good, and I say so from a point of view where I'm in a state where I feel balanced and successful.
  42. 1 point
    epistemologue

    The Audit

    here you agreed with my characterization of you as a "positive utilitarian", despite having just said I don't anymore think that position is correct
  43. 1 point
    CartsBeforeHorses

    The Audit

    I have only been on this board for a couple months, but I find you to be a particularly bright, intelligent individual with a happy sense of life. Whatever you might have been in the past, you have obviously changed for the better. I would recommend reading Dr. Joseph Murphy's "The Power of Your Subconscious Mind." I should warn ahead of time that the book is from a New Age author who was an ordained Jesuit minister, so there are references throughout to the "law of attraction" and miracles... Nevertheless I still recommend the book because Murphy does the best job of any author that I know of describing 1. the nature of the subconscious mind, 2. how to change its contents, and 3. how to harness its power. For only $1 on Kindle, I would consider that money well spent. Also know that "Life is practice." The learning and refinement process never ceases. It is a continual journey and you will gain wisdom along the way, knowledge of what you did wrong and how you could do better in the future. In that sense you are never a "finished product" and should never hope to be so... that would mean that your personal development has come to a stop. I wish you luck on your continued journey--and know that you will not be alone. I too am constantly refining my reasoning process, and my psycho-epistemology... I think Huey Lewis put it best... "All I wish for tomorrow, is to get it better than today."
  44. 1 point
    Tenderlysharp

    How Do You Achieve Bliss?

    Quite honestly I didn't believe you when I read that she rarely smiled. The glint in her eyes when she sets the stage for a profound abstraction is so poignant to me, I never questioned the joy I felt I shared with her in those moments. For some reason this makes me think of the opposite feeling I had when watching a video of a diplomat saying some horrifyingly nasty things while a smile was plastered on his face and his head was nodding up and down.
  45. 1 point
    Nicky

    How Valuable Is Your Attention?

    I don't think Objectivism is about focused attention. It's about a mind that is focused on reality, certainly, but that doesn't mean you have to always carefully consider the specific aspects of reality you focus on. Honestly, always consciously willing your attention has its drawbacks. You can miss out on a lot you might gain by letting it wonder. Obviously, when you're trying to get something done, you want to eliminate distractions, and focus on that specific, pre-planned thing...even if it's just watching a movie, rather than work related. But, a lot of the time, it might be good to not plan out what you pay attention to, and just focus on experiencing the world around you, whatever it may be, and let your subconscious curiosity take your attention, your interactions with others, and even your physical location, in whatever direction it happens to take them. Doesn't mean volition isn't at all times tied to attention. If you are mindful of your values, that will impact what you find interesting, and as a result what you end up paying attention to, even if you aren't consciously directing it.
  46. 1 point
    "It's OK to be white" is what flashes through my mind when halfwit protesters scream that all white people are somehow guilty of anything and it gets ongoing attention from media organizations. It's not something I would think otherwise. And no, "the protesters" are not "black people." It's any screaming idiot.
  47. 1 point
    Love Caravan Palace! Over the Hills is definitely a good one, but my favorite Nightwish song is this: Nightwish - "Planet Hell"
  48. 1 point
    2046

    Is objectivism consequentialist?

    Indeed, however to be fair, it's not as if C theories such as utilitarianism, hedonism, psychological egoism, etc. don't have an answer to this. The point of the term C was to classify broadly between the relationships of moral terms in various normative theories. Each one of those theories may have its own meta-normative grounding for its theory, but here we are just isolating one aspect.
  49. 1 point
    Brilliant! You have many images that are inspirational. I find Pinterest a good source for artistic inspiration as well - especially images with amazing lighting.
  50. 1 point
    JMeganSnow

    Million Dollar Baby

    I checked but I didn't find a thread on this movie yet. I just saw it tonight, and I think it was probably the best movie I've seen in years. The heroine was completely human and yet larger-than-life, much like John Galt is in Atlas Shrugged. She lives on her terms, and that's it. "All fighters are pigheaded about something . . . there's always one thing that you can't beat out of them no matter how much you try, even if they know it'll be the ruin of them. But then, if you could beat it out of them, they wouldn't be fighters at all." Wonderfully selfish art. Extremely romantic. I cried for an hour and a half. Spoiler alert The best part of the movie, I think, is when she throws her family out of her hospital room and refuses to sign her money over to them.
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