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William O

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William O last won the day on August 23

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  1. William O

    Concept formation and neuroscience.

    @Satsanga, your objection is based on the stolen concept fallacy. It is necessary to validate the faculty of concept formation before neuroscience or any other science is possible.
  2. A.C.E., is this an idea people have argued for in journals or something you came up with on your own? I'm not saying you couldn't have come up with a true idea on your own, but sometimes it's easier to evaluate an idea if there has been scholarly discussion of it.
  3. William O

    Hello (New)

    Welcome! Can I ask what got you interested in Objectivism originally?
  4. William O

    What villain would be most likely to change?

    I'd say the Wet Nurse, because he successfully improved his character to the point that Rearden respected and valued him, even though he started out as a "villain" character. He was also quite young, which made it easier for him. If you want to focus on the really bad villain characters, though, I'd say Toohey would be more likely to improve than James Taggart. The reason is that Toohey grasped the good and consciously rejected it, whereas James Taggart lived in a kind of mental fog fuelled by subconscious nihilism. I imagine it's easier to become good if you know what to do.
  5. If it has, then it would probably be part of the "Howard Roark" phase some Objectivist teenagers go through where they're not sure which parts of The Fountainhead are intended to apply to real life and which are just artistic.
  6. William O

    Korzybski vs. Rand

    Kant was a world historical genius of nearly unparalleled influence in the history of philosophy, so he is objectively more dangerous than Korzybski, who I only just heard about now from your post. That is the reason to focus on Kant instead of Korzybski.
  7. Here's a quote I came across in the sidebar, attributed to Ayn Rand: Google indicates that this quote comes from The Fountainhead. I don't think this should be in the sidebar, because it is patently false - your first glance doesn't tell you everything about a person. Rand probably intended for this fictional ability to play some role in the world of The Fountainhead, but the quote doesn't say that it's from a work of fiction, and it isn't particularly insightful out of context.
  8. I think we can use Rand's novels to get some idea of how capitalism and socialism would act. Capitalism would act like Howard Roark or John Galt, and socialism would act like Ellsworth Toohey or James Taggart.
  9. I don't have any comments on this particular situation, but I'd like to note how much the advice and evaluations being given altered once more details were provided. I've seen this happen before on this forum - someone provides an initial description of what they think is going on in their personal life, advice is given, and then the advice changes once more context is provided. In the future, I would suggest a "fact-gathering" period prior to the giving of advice on personal situations, in order to make sure that the advice being offered is accurate and helpful. This would consist of asking plenty of questions and clarifying any unclear aspects of the situation.
  10. William O


    Do you have a source? I am skeptical of this. Which of these poll results are you claiming are favorable to Objectivism? A priori knowledge and the analytic / synthetic distinction are rejected by Objectivism, for example.
  11. First of all, do you agree that my interpretation of Binswanger is likely to be correct? It's useful to separate the stages of interpretation and evaluation when reading philosophy. (After all, if I'm wrong about what he is saying then we're wasting our time discussing my interpretation.) Secondly, regarding your concern about the alleged absurdity of inductive reduction, I'd ask you to read page 264 of HWK, where Binswanger gives two examples of inductive proof or reduction. Here's the first: Binswanger also gives a second, longer example involving the Law of Demand in economics, which I will not quote here. I assume you have the book with you, so you can read that on your own. I would describe the process of reasoning in these reductive proofs as inductive rather than deductive. Do you disagree?
  12. Binswanger is a property dualist, which as far as I know is consistent with Objectivism.
  13. Patrick, I have a hypothesis about how Dr. Binswanger might answer your question. In HWK (p. 262), he writes: He then gives an example of a deductive derivation, a deductive proof, an inductive derivation, and an inductive proof. (This happens on p. 262-264.) Now, let's try to answer your question: As the above passage makes clear, reduction can be inductive. Reduction is nothing more than walking backwards through the derivation that originally led to the idea. If the derivation was inductive, the reduction or proof will be inductive as well.
  14. Respectfully, I think this is the wrong methodology. When two authors disagree, the right reaction isn't to decide ahead of time that one of them is right and the other is wrong just because of who they are. Instead, I think we ought to study each author carefully until we have a solid grasp of what each respectively is saying, then compare the two positions to determine which has better evidence and arguments in its favor.