Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 07/12/19 in all areas

  1. 1 point

    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.
  2. 1 point

    Truth of a Statement

    To wit: "Colorless green ideas sleep furiously" - Noam Chomsky (link) "Colorless green" is contradictory. So try another. Short green ideas sleep furiously. 😊
  3. 1 point

    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)
  4. 1 point

    Charles Tew

    Merlin For a more in-depth treatment of Math being about the world (nothing to do with Tew) see Robert E. Knapp’s book. https://mathematicsisabouttheworld.com/ I’m slowly making my way through it. In the first chapter I find his style awkward and repetitive (this might change in later chapters) but the substance so far, once distilled, is illuminating. I can’t wait to get to the chapter on group theory.
  5. 1 point

    Charles Tew

    This may be a broader topic than what you guys are talking about, but I think this is all predicated on that there is such a thing as "the Objectivist movement" and that it has a clear and district meaning and purpose. What even is "the Objectivist movement" and what task or problem is it solving that requires its existence? Why does it have a health and what would this be that I can even know it? Can anyone point to any example of this movement, who is in it, what has it accomplished? Does it even need one? What is the difference between a philosopher working on Rand being in a movement versus not being in one? How would this work differ as "operating with a movement" versus not? What would just any old group of people doing whatever they do look like as "operating in The Objectivist movement" as versus doing the same exact things just as regular people doing whatever they're doing? Do we need to be in "the Objectivist movement" to discuss any set of topics or talk philosophy at all? Rand 1968 "A Statement of Policy" denies both the existence or need for any organized Objectivist movement (and of course raises many more confusing questions for what she even means.) Is there even enough content in her Objectivism to be a coherent ideology for a "movement" and does it even have a criteria of membership in said movement, or a program of action, or even a coherent and realistic single end for action? It's clear to me that the answer is no it does not. I realize this is a larger topic but that leads us to the following: Implicit in all of that is that (1) Tew even is an actual philosopher, and that he's saying anything substantial or has done any important and original philosophic work one can point to. And (2) that his YouTube videos are even significant, important, or relevant to this "movement" you speak of, whether in terms of substantial content or number of views and popularity. And it's also clear the answer to 1 and 2 is both no. Rather it seems to be, the whole idea that there even is "the Objectivist movement" is widely pathological, and leads to things like everyone condemning and "sanctioning" one another qua "representative of our movement" or "hurting our cause" (whatever that is) whereas normal folk just look and go, "What? Y'all are weird." Implicit in this is the assumption that the space is zero-sum, that engagement with Rand can only be done in that space, and that everyone must give moral sanction to everyone else or "they're out."
  6. 1 point
    In other words, you can defeat Ayn Rand's arguments by refusing to grant meanings to words. Is that it?
  • Create New...