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merjet

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About merjet

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  1. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Oh, my. What a poor attempt at ad hominem ridicule. I hope Hamming it up made you feel good. How do you know what Ayn Rand's thoughts were when she wrote that passage? How do you know Ayn Rand wanted your non-literal interpretations put into her "dishwasher," i.e. her literal words? My Google search for "mutual benefit" on the site http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/ showed five hits. That's "over and over again"? Also, all five pertained to trade. Sorry, but the range of human action is far greater than only trade.
  2. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I acknowledge your opinion and respectfully disagree. How is a reader suppose to know what a legitimate literal interpretation is, according to you, when you haven't supplied one? What constitutes a breach between actor and beneficiary according to you? A number of examples might help.
  3. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    What of it? Are you trying to trivialize the difference between acting for the benefit of (a) oneself solely, and (b) oneself and one or more family members or friends, or oneself and co-workers or other organization, or oneself and community? Let's see. Is it your belief that such implication is merely my unbridled imagination and it has no basis whatever in what Ayn Rand literally wrote? If yes, then I foresee nothing to gain continuing this dialogue with you. If no, please explain why your opening a door for some frail person, or slowing down your car to let another driver merge, is selfish, not even partly "other-ish" and not a breach.
  4. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    "Carefully read the last sentence of what I quoted from VOS. It says "the beneficiary", which is singular and therefore excludes any beneficiary other than the actor. The part in the quote preceding the last sentence about any breach reinforces that" (link). I strongly disagree with your last sentence. Like I said earlier (link), Rand's statement is about both. It is against any breech (between actor and beneficiary), which is essential to altruism, and advocates no breech, which is essential to egoism.
  5. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    How do you reconcile "not for the egoist ...." with the last sentence I quoted from VOS. That is: "The Objectivist ethics holds that the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action[.]"
  6. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Whose interpretation do you mean? Your own? I much disagree with "Rand delivered ... lifetime."
  7. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Objectivist Living: anthony
  8. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    For a moment I thought you finally had grasped the implications of the passage from VOS cited in the third post in this thread. Then I read your latest post, which negated that thought. Then I saw your real name. Now I have a better understanding of what you have said, and may later say, in this thread.
  9. merjet

    OCON 2018

    A funny segment is 30:20 to 30:58. At the end Jordan Peterson says, "The rumor is that finance guys have no soul." That reminded me of an actuarial joke: What is an actuary? A mathematician without a personality. 😊
  10. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Our ideas of what is a literal interpretation of the quote from Rand's VOS are very different. See the post I made moments ago for mine. I agree with much of what you say, but don't regard it as a literal interpretation of said quote. You say little about the actor benefiting anybody besides himself/herself. You don't use "breach" any, whereas Rand did, and she did not use "interloper", whereas you did. I'm also perplexed about your phrase "while not only [ ] beneficiary."
  11. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Silly? Carefully read the last sentence of what I quoted from VOS. It says "the beneficiary", which is singular and therefore excludes any beneficiary other than the actor. The part in the quote preceding the last sentence about any breach reinforces that. So I don't agree that your #2 fits a literal interpretation of the quote from VOS. Only your #1 does. So the problem is for your non-literal interpretation. You might believe that Ayn Rand did not intend my literal interpretation and your #2 fits Objectivism more broadly. I can buy that. Her fictional heroes and she herself at times acted in accordance with #2. To what extent she really meant what I quoted is debatable, but I think my literal interpretation is spot on.* Maybe she got careless in a polemical mood, since what I quoted is an attack on Comtean altruism (self-sacrifice) as much as it is a positive statement about egoism. Maybe an error was made getting the essay into print. Later in VOS she did approve of an actor benefiting others the actor values in emergencies. However, it did not include non-emergencies. * The following is Rand's advice about reading philosophers. "You must attach clear, specific meanings to words, i.e., be able to identify their referents in reality. This is a precondition, without which neither critical judgment nor thinking of any kind is possible. [...] You must not take a catch phrase -- or any abstract statement -- as if it were approximate. Take it literally. Don’t translate it, don’t glamorize it, don’t make the mistake of thinking, as many people do: “Oh, nobody could possibly mean this!” and then proceed to endow it with some whitewashed meaning of your own." (“Philosophical Detection”, Philosophy: Who Needs It, p. 18-19)
  12. merjet

    Objectivism in Academia

    Thank you. I will post again on the other thread when I have more time at my computer in a few days.
  13. merjet

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    The following are Rand's own words from VOS. "Since all values have to be gained and/or kept by men's actions, any breach between actor and beneficiary necessitates an injustice: the sacrifice of some men to others, of the actors to the nonactors, of the moral to the immoral. Nothing could ever justify such a breach, and no one ever has. ... The Objectivist ethics holds that the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action" (Rand 1964, ix-x).
  14. Replying to the initial question, Binswanger's How We Know says: Self-evident means "available to direct awareness. "Self-evident" is not a synonym for "obvious." To one who has learned arithmetic, it is obvious that two plus two is four, but that truth is not self-evident; it is inferred by a process of comparison and counting. But that the page you are reading exists is not an inference; it is self-evident. The data of sensory perception are self-evident." More can be seen on Amazon's "Look Inside" feature on pages 22-3 (link).
  15. merjet

    Objectivist Virtues

    The following is a time-line of what Rand thought were virtues, the dated ones from Journals of Ayn Rand. September 18, 1943: Per the editor she presents independence as a primary virtue, but later identifies independence as derivative, an aspect of the primary virtue of rationality. September 29, 1943: She names integrity as the first, greatest, and noblest virtue. She also writes about the virtues of courage, honesty, sense of honor (a selfish virtue by definition), self-confidence, strength (of character, will, and wisdom). All these virtues are contained in, enhanced by, based upon the fundamental virtue of self-respect. July 19, 1945: Her chief virtues: self-reverence, self-sufficiency, worship of the ideal. July 29, 1953: The virtues of the Life Morality - thinking (rationality), independence, honesty, purposefulness, happiness, self-esteem. Galt's speech in Atlas Shrugged: Adds integrity and justice to the July 29, 1953 list. Happiness is dropped. Pride replaces self-esteem. Productivity replaces purposefulness.
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