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William O

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William O last won the day on August 23 2018

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  1. I seem to recall that Rand rejected modern formal logic in favor of Aristotelian logic, which is the system of logic that you might find explained in Aristotle's Organon or H. W. B. Joseph's An Introduction to Logic. However, I am having trouble finding specific sources that confirm this memory, and I don't know what Rand's reasons would have been for taking this position. So, did Ayn Rand reject modern formal logic in favor of Aristotle's logic? If so, why?
  2. William O

    Do we have a "primitive mind"?

    One issue I haven't seen addressed in this thread at all is: What is the philosophical worldview of the scientists performing this alleged research? Objectivism holds that philosophy controls science, not the other way around. The philosophical conclusions that a person holds will control the outcome of their scientific inquiries. For example, this is why logical positivists who go into physics tend to end up thinking that physics refutes causality (e.g., Neils Bohr), whereas Objectivists who go into physics do not (e.g., Travis Norsen). No one here has the ability to really evaluate the science first hand as far as I know, so in my opinion two of the first questions we should be asking on this or any controversial scientific issue is (1) whether the scientists involved hold premises compatible with Objectivism and (2) whether scientists in the same area of inquiry who accept Objectivism tend to agree with them. Obviously, this is only a heuristic - you can't draw a definitive conclusion on a scientific issue without looking at the scientific data itself. But as laymen, this may be one of the strongest indicators we have as to which side we ought to be on.
  3. Since he has passed away, I'm concerned that his work might disappear from the internet over time and be lost. This has already happened to at least one website that he ran.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. William O

    Hello (New)

    Welcome! Can I ask what got you interested in Objectivism originally?
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.