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Mnrchst

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  1. There's probably already been a few threads on this. Anyway, I sent this to Peikoff, so I thought it'd be cool to start a thread. There might not be enough info in my question to know what the correct answer is, so there's also the question regarding the situation in the book itself (with any relevant context). "In the graphic novel, THE WATCHMEN, a character named Ozymandias fakes an extra-terrestrial invasion which kills millions in order unify governments around defeating extra-terrestrials as opposed to trying to destroy each other. He does this while the U.S. and the Soviet Union are on the brink of a full-scale nuclear war which appears all but certain to occur and result in billions of deaths. After Ozymandias accomplishes his goal and prevents the war, a character named Rorshach decides he will reveal the truth behind what happened, even though this may cause the war to occur. In order to prevent this, a character named Dr. Manhattan kills him. Who was right? Who was wrong?"
  2. Are we talking about "I'm experiencing my existence"? I suppose that's sort of non-propositional because you can't really demonstrate it to someone else?
  3. Robert, it's been a while since I read the article, and I remember it being very complicated. Could you, briefly, re-state what the 'doctrine of the arbitrary (as Peikoff has stated it)' is and why it's wrong?
  4. I'm not too sure I'm convinced of this, but this is the best I can come up with: The only appropriate answer to this question is "Because I want to". "But why?" "Because I want to" (ad infinitum)
  5. Yeah, all of it really. In retrospect, I should have realized the distinction Dream Weaver pointed out. However, Campbell does a perfect job (as far as I can tell) arguing against the position he sets out to oppose.
  6. I've just started reading David Kelley's 'Evidence of the Senses' (great so far!) I realize there's already a thread on this, but I didn't find one (semi-recent) with criticisms of the work. From what I've read on various threads and other sites, most of the posters here and Oists in general agree with the work (I think Peikoff does too?), so I'm curious: Are there any criticisms of the case he presents in this book which you agree with?
  7. And he wrote such a long article. Poor guy. I guess it's a valuable critique of the straw man position he attacks, at least.
  8. Sure. I'm not saying Oism doesn't have an ontology, just that it's doesn't have info under the heading of ontology. Specifically, what's the Oist proof of the existence of free will and refutation of solipsism?
  9. "What Yang seems to be doing here is defending a place for uncaused knowledge, mysticism." Not uncaused, just not from sense perception. In other words, if someone "put an idea into your head" using a yet-uninvented machine or God/mysticism. "Our minds are not blank." How would you interpret Rand's 'tabula rasa' statements? "You did not write what Yang argued" Here's what is boils down to: how can children form a concept without a concept? "You don't give enough of what Yang writes to make sense of his objection." He basically reiterates the problem of induction. I think Peikoff solved it. I was hoping someone here would be familiar with Yang's critique (didn't want to write everything out, maybe I'll do that later). "Rand says the meaning of a concept is its referents, not that a concept is its referents." This means that we don't know (or can't be sure that we do) what the meaning of concepts are. This works because they're just observations with measurements omitted, yes?
  10. So you're arguing that Peikoff is correct, and that Campbell's mistake is to confuse the "arbitrary" with the "fallacious"?
  11. "Rand crosses the is/ought gap via induction as well." How?
  12. Another major criticism: "She write's, 'A concept subsumes all the characteristics of its referents, including the yet-to-be-discovered.' This is tantamount to saying that a concept is its referents. What Rand mean is this: The concept of a man includes all that has been discovered about man--man is a living thing that utilizes logic, moves, walks on two legs, possesses 1.2 million neurons in each of his optic nerves, etc.--but it also includes other characteristics yet to be discovered. That is, the concept of man is identical to existent man. There are several problems with Rand's claim. First, if the concept of man is identical with the real existent man and all his characteristics, then the concept cannot represent a condensation of knowledge as Rand has said. It would no longer be an abstraction...the characteristics yet to be discovered about the extramental entity man are not yet present in the mind...what evidence did Rand have for these yet-to-be-discovered qualities?"
  13. Perhaps my biggest criticism of Oism (among many) is that it does not have an (explicit) ontology, just a brag-bag of assertions "man is tabula rasa", "man has free will", etc, without any type of attempt at a systematic demonstration of these views (like in Sartre's "Being and Nothingness" or Merleau-Ponty's "Phenomenology of Perception"). So what's the role of ontology in Oism? What is Oist ontology? How does it fit in with the rest of the philosophy?
  14. A guy named Robert Campbell has critiqued Peikoff's views on the 'arbitrary'. http://hubcap.clemson.edu/~campber/peikovianarbitrary.pdf I suppose this technically isn't Oism, because he introduced us to this after Rand's death, though that didn't stop him from putting it in OPAR. Hm... I think Campbell's case makes sense. Whadda y'all think?
  15. I just finished reading through all of these. Great stuff. I put them in a good reading order. -- 1. Reformulation - living organisms and valuing. Rand's metaethics makes sense if we ditch the 'immortal robot' argument http://www.reasonpap.../10/rp_10_7.pdf 2. Criticism - Rand and is/ought problem. Rand doesn't bridge the gap. http://mises.org/jou...s/7_1/7_1_4.pdf 3. Criticism - role of consent in ethics. Rand's ethics are, by her own standard, reductionistically rationalistic and subjectivist. http://www.aynrandst...1_1gjohnson.pdf 4. Criticism - choice to live. Rand's assessment of the choice to live is terribly vague. http://www.aynrandst...1drasmussen.pdf 5. Criticism - rationality and survival. Rand's case for being rational repeatedly shifts back and forth between two different types of arguments. http://www.aynrandst...ars5_1emack.pdf 6. Defense (rejoinder to 5) - Despite a misstatement or two, Rand's case for rationality is sound. http://www.aynrandst...ars7_2fbubb.pdf 7. Defense (rejoinder to 4 and 5) - Rand's case for rationality is sound. http://www.aynrandst...s7_2tmachan.pdf 8. Criticism (rejoinder to 6 and 7) - Rand's case for being rational repeatedly shifts back and forth between two different types of arguments. http://www.aynrandst...ars7_2emack.pdf 9. Reformulation (rejoinder to 7) - Rand's case for rationality doesn't quite work, but does if we make it more Aristotelian. 10. Reformulation (rejoinder to 7, 8, & 9) - Rand's case for rationality works with a little tweaking. 11/12 . (brief comments) http://www.aynrandst...s8_2tmachan.pdf http://www.aynrandst...2drasmussen.pdf -- I tend to agree with the criticisms here. What I've gotten out of this is that it's probably the case that: * The 'immortal robot' argument doesn't work * The fact that someone contradicts themselves alone doesn't bridge the is/ought gap * Rand's ethics are rationalistically reductionist (as opposed to taking a holistic approach) * Rand's ethics are subjectivist (in an effort to be absurdly anti-paternalism) * Immoral behavior won't necessarily hasten one's death
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