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human_murda last won the day on March 28

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  1. Race Realism

    You just listed 3 continents. They're not racial groups by any standard. Why aren't you considering European and Asian as the same? If it's based on the difficulty of traveling, why aren't you considering India and China as separate? After all, the tallest mountain range in the world separates the two and I don't think many have traversed it. Also the Asian category would be the biggest genetic dump ever. Are you considering Northern Asians, North-eastern Asians, South-eastern Asians, South Asians, Central Asians and West Asians as all the same overarching racial group? I'm also assuming you're dumping Australians and Americans into the Asian group? What about the Jarawa/Sentinelese people of India? Are they Asian? What about the Siddis of India? Are they Asian? Also, the reason I asked about Dravidians is that at various points in time, they have been classified as Negroid, Mongoloid, Australoid and Caucasoid (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Historical_definitions_of_races_in_India). Do you believe in this 'oid' classification? The only "racial" category that you have suggested that remotely makes any sense is European. But of course, Europe is much smaller (it's about the same size as USA) than Asia (and maybe Australia and North and South America) which you seem to have dumped into one category: Asian. Also, I personally don't think that racial classification is impossible. I think it should be possible and would have some connection to geographical origins (just not the one you suggested). Also, since homo sapiens are one species and can interbreed (and evolve), I don't think racial categories should be fixed for all time. If there are large enough numbers of "mixed race" people of a similar kind, they should be considered a separate race.
  2. Race Realism

    @Sameak I'm from South India. What do you think my race is? What race are Dravidians/Malayalis? I'm curious to know.
  3. Universals

    Actually, an accurate comparison is between length and colour. An object can possess length (has the capacity to be measured using a metre scale or its equivalent) or colour (has the capacity to be measured using color perception). Once you have determined the similarity and established the universal, you can state more specific things: you can say that the object is long or short, or that it is red or green. Here, you're talking about a range of measurements. However, just as objects don't need to be identically long (for "that object is long" to be a valid statement), red objects don't need to be identically red (they can be any shade of red. Shades of red exist [shades of red are still more precise range of values but still not identical, although they may become indistinguishable at some point]).
  4. Universals

    If your question is how anyone can say that an entity/attribute belongs to a specific category if the criteria for belonging doesn't exist "out there", I'd say your question is wrong. The implicit assumption in your question is that similarity doesn't exist "out there" but only in your perception (and hence if classification is on the basis of similarity, not something identical which exists in objects, that is meaningless). This is wrong. Similarity has both a metaphysical and epistemological meaning. If you ask what makes things similar, in reality, that has a scientific meaning that is enough to justify your ability to state facts about them. For example, consider the universal attribute of length. What criteria exists "out there" that qualifies objects with different lengths to be said to possess the same attribute (length)? The capacity to be measured against a metre scale (or its equivalent). What makes objects possess the universal, length? The capacity to be measured against a metre scale (or its equivalent). This is what makes the objects similar. Similarity is a metaphysical fact. However, at the end of the day, the identities of these objects are only similar, not necessarily identical. You can say that objects are similar (as a metaphysical fact) without them possessing a single identical characteristic. In the realm of identifying colors of an object, the yardstick that you use is your perception. An object is measured by your perception and you check whether the colours are similar in the scale of your perception. Just because the yardstick that you use is your perception does not make it primarily epistemological (as you seem to think). It is as valid as a metre scale and just as scientific and metaphysical. This is the metaphysical validity of similarity: the capacity to be measured against a standard. It doesn't matter if the yardstick is a metre scale or your perception. Your perception exists "out there" as much as a metre scale and isn't any less valid as a yardstick for linear measurements (and surely not just epistemological). The key is to reduce an attribute so that you can speak of it in degrees (linear measurements). The yardsticks may not be mixed. There is no dichotomy between the validity of yardsticks of perception and the ones used for scientific measurements (the latter maybe more precise). The capacity to be measured against a standard is an invariant fact. It is the metaphysical fact used to judge similarity. Color perception and metre scales are two different standards that may be used. Your criticism that one cannot state facts about universals if they do not exist out there qua universals is invalid. There are so many other considerations about the validity of Universals as Rand defined it, but would take too long to post. The only important bits are: if identical abstract universals did exist out there, that makes the problem of universals trivial. In my opinion, a good statement of the problem of universals is: "if things in reality aren't identical, how can they be considered to belong to the same category" (for eg, people may be considered to belong to the same race even if they do not possess a single identical gene that other races do not have). Also it is an absurd claim to suggest that things in reality are pre-classified for the sake of humans (which is what universals existing inside objects would amount to). Humans can classify objects without that classification already existing out there in nature. The classification would still be valid and still capture a metaphysical fact about the object. Universals qua universals don't exist. Universals exist as instances (but not inside objects). Similarity is a metaphysical fact (which is just as valid metaphysically (as a fact "out there" about the object) even if you simply use perception).
  5. Universals

    Evidence for the correct meaning of 'universal' already exists in the English language (or any spoken language). The universal length refers to the length of a specific object. The universal 'man' refers to a specific man. Consider the differences in meaning of the sentences 'man died' and 'the man died'. The former comes across as an invariant fact applicable to all men (and may be true for particular men). In the latter, the universal has been instantiated (which is necessary because individual men have specific measurements. When you're referring to specific men, you cannot continue talking as though any measurement is possible [or as though the individual has no specific measurements]. You have to instantiate the universal: the universal does not refer to an abstract universal that exists in specific objects). Similarly, when talking about specific entities, you speak about 'the length' instead of just 'length' (similar is the case for any concept or attribute). Just as AR said, the universal (such as "manness") does not exist "inside" an object/aspect. That's not the way universals are used in language. Universals do not refer to universals that exist "inside" an object. Universals refer to specific instances. If it's a concept, it refers to the whole of an object, not some part that resides within it. If the universal is an attribute, it refers to all aspects of the attribute as it exists. You talk in terms of universals ("man is evil") is you want to omit particular measurements (and are talking about invariant facts). You instantiate the universal ("the man died"), if you want to talk about someone in particular. The comparison isn't equivalent: because the universal exists as a specific instance (just, not as a universal).
  6. Universals

    I agree with Eiuol (if the following is his claim:) that universals as such don't exist but represent invariant facts about reality (and in this sense, they exist) and exist as the specific entity or aspect you're referring to. This is the sense with which AR used the term universals: So, for example, length of an object exists. But length, as a universal, does not exist out there in reality. It is absurd to think that universals (obtained by a method of measurement omission), as such, exist out there in reality. That would mean, for example, that there exists an object without any specific lengths (which is absurd). Every object which exists has a specific, concrete length. No object exists with a "universal length" (a length without any specific measurements: that is an epistemological device). Similarly, as in the above AR quote, a variable (a universal) can stand for 5 or 5,000,000. But the variableness does not exist in 5 (since 5 is a particular measurement, it is not a quantity without any specific measurements: a universal). This is not to say that universals don't exist: length of an object exists. However, as universals (as an entity with no specific measurements), they don't exist. Universals exist: as instances (specific entities, their aspects, etc). In English, articles are used to instantiate universals ('an apple', 'the length'). Universals are used to refer to concrete things in reality. Universals do not refer to universals that exist in reality. They exist: as the thing or aspect you are referring to. They do not exist: as a universal (as an object with no specific measurement). Universals refer to things, not to universals (they are epistemological: they are something in your mind which refers to something in reality. One part exists in your head. The other part exists in reality. The part that exists in your head [universal qua universal] doesn't exist "out there". Saying that something is epistemological doesn't exclude the existence of something in reality [the existence of something in reality is necessary]. However, universals do not refer to universals. They refer to things). They also capture certain invariant facts about what you're referring to. @intrinsicist: you are equating universal with identity. The fact that universals do not exist (qua universals) in reality does not mean things don't have identity.
  7. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    Neither. Such statements are normative. Gender and sex identify metaphysical characteristics but ideas like "a rational woman cannot want to be President" are different. For example, it is incorrect to say that "human beings are selfish". It would be correct to say that "humans should be selfish". In a similar way, it is incorrect to say that "girls play with dolls". It would be correct to say that "girls should play with dolls". I'm not sure what word I would use to denote such normative characteristics. Perhaps, "feminine" and "masculine" would be good terms. In popular usage, "feminine" may denote some characteristic that is "becoming of a woman" (woman qua woman). It is normative. For reference, Cambridge Dictionary defines "feminine" as "having characteristics that are traditionally thought to be typical of or suitable for a woman". The "suitable for a woman" part is normative. Of course, other dictionaries define things differently, stressing qualities traditionally associated with women, but that definition may be derivative (derived from the traditional standards of society). These 2 words come the closest. I think this is also the way AR used the words 'feminine' and 'masculine'. In this sense, these two words do not identify characteristics that humans universally possess. They refer to virtues (in the same way that "selfishness" refers to a virtue everyone need not possess). They refer to characteristics that one must possess. Femininity and masculinity are treated as virtues in popular usage (validating their usage as normative concepts. By comparison, gender isn't treated as a virtue. It is a metaphysical concept). However, the dictionary definitions aren't very good. So new definitions: male = male animal; female = female animal; man = male human; woman = female human (of a certain age); feminine = characteristics that are becoming of a woman; masculine = characteristics that are becoming of a man. Male/female are sexes. Man/woman are genders. Feminine/masculine are virtues. Sometimes, the term "manliness" is also used to denote the corresponding virtue. Virtues aren't arbitrary. (Again, disclaimer: English isn't my first language. I don't even know what a subjunctive is. I can only talk about the simple, obvious meanings of these terms)
  8. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    Gender as the term <straw man> non-binariesTM* </straw man> use is definitely an anti-concept though. *straw man
  9. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    This is just the way children learn. The child first learned about gender roles, then learned to identify herself based on these roles and then learned about gender. This is an inverted way of learning things. This is just the chronological order in which a child learns the concept gender. That does not mean that gender does not refer to the biological sex of a human being. That is the essential that implies all secondary sexual characteristics (of humans) and gave rise to the concept of gender roles (valid or not). Just because a child first learns of the (possibly invalid) concept of gender roles, then learns to self-identify against that standard and then ultimately learns the concept gender doesn't change the meaning of the word gender. This is pretty much the way you learn all concepts. For example: a child may first learn about the appearance of certain races or may have learned to associate certain behaviours with certain races before he learned about lineage and ancestry. That does not mean that lineage and ancestry are not what the term 'race' refers to. Appearances and behaviours were the way children learned to identify races initially. This is the way a child chronologically learns these things. The child will eventually learn that lineage and ancestry are the basis of the concept of race. This does not invalidate the concept of race. This is how children learn things. They learn using appearances and other people's opinions. How you came across a concept should be irrelevant to you (people's opinions on how to identify an entity doesn't change that entity). In another example, a child may learn to identify people of different sexual orientations by observing their mannerisms and speech. He may not know about sexual attraction. Eventually, he may learn about the concept of sexual attraction. This does not invalidate the concept of sexual orientation. Sexual orientation does exist. How you came across a concept should be irrelevant to you (unless you think meanings are determined by social consensus). Stereotypes and misconceptions exist about pretty much every entity on the planet, from Quantum Fields to race and gender. You may come across these stereotypes and misconceptions (and learn to identify things in real life based on stereotypes and misconceptions) before you actually learn how to identify the concepts correctly. Unless the thing itself doesn't actually exist (which it does in the case of gender, race, etc), your goal should be to correctly identify them. Stereotypes, gender roles and misconceptions serve as faulty definitions used to identify a concept. Gender roles serve as a faulty (and very detailed) definition to identify gender. Don't confuse the two (gender does not refer to gender roles. Gender roles are not "associated" with gender). Stereotypes and gender roles are faulty definitions (and many people strongly conform to these faulty definitions in order to have an "identity") used to identify a legitimate concept. They don't and cannot invalidate concepts (of race, gender, etc). If anything, get rid of these faulty definitions (and attempts to create your own "identity" around them). These faulty definitions are destroying the legitimate concept of gender, race, etc. What's more, even more faulty definitions and "identities" are popping up. If gender roles are incorrect ways to identify your gender, these new definitions are incorrect ways of identifying nothing. For example: if somebody says that "you are not a boy if you can't play tennis", they are effectively using a characteristic to identify somebody as a boy. The concept boy does not refer to and is not "associated with" the "ability to play tennis". The latter is used to define and identify a boy (in a faulty way, of course). Again, as I said before, sex refers to the biological sex of animals. Gender refers to the biological sex of humans. But are valid concepts and definitions. Don't lose these concepts over faulty definitions. (As a note: I would say that your child has a strong sense of gender roles but her concept of gender is very indirect)
  10. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    Never said it was. I don't give much importance to the idea of "male brain" vs. "female brain". And where do they get this intuition from? Do they "just know" something's wrong? Also, where did you get this information that transgenders feel this way? Are there testimonials you can look at? Also, what exactly is it that is wrong? The feeling of wrongness has to be with reference to something. Or are you saying that they "feel" about nothing in particular? If it's about nothing, how could they possibly identify it (or "intuit" it)? If it's about something, then why are you saying that it's only later identified to be stemming from something gender-related? What is the "something" in "something is wrong"? Is it nothing in particular? Also, is this feeling rational? If not, why should anybody else care about it?
  11. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    I was talking in terms of hypotheticals. Nobody is claiming anything about neuroscience. The only unsupported assertions are yours, about what people do or don't know. Instead of your twitch responses, try thinking for five seconds.
  12. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    I'm not talking about feelings. I'm talking about identifications (percepts, concepts, etc). Suppose a person of female gender allegedly has a "male brain". Suppose she has never encountered genitalia till the age of 5. At 5, she says she feels like she is male or identifies as male. The question would be: how can she "feel like" a male or identify as male if she has never acquired the concept of male/female through perception/conception mechanism. Where does her identification (state of consciousness) come from. Assume she has never learned about male/female in real life (her parents hid that information, perhaps to let her choose). However, because of her "male brain", she identifies herself as male. What is the mechanism/source of her identification? How can she identify something she never encountered in real life?
  13. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    Nobody in the entire world has ever said that male/female identifying brains are inherited? Sure... Didn't say it was.
  14. The Royal Family of Nominalism

    I am obviously attacking that idea as a strawman. I'm not saying that's the only idea they have. I'm saying that if somebody has that idea, it's wrong. I'm attacking the idea as compared against reality. I was very careful to avoid associating ideas with people because I knew somebody would accuse me of "strawmanning". This was why I avoided mentioning the term "social constructionists", but I forgot to leave out the term "evo psych". I am very sorry if I offended any scientists. I won't make that mistake again. I'm deeply sorry.