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KALADIN

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KALADIN last won the day on January 3 2017

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  1. The Law of Identity

    The fact that a living entity is implies only what it ought to do if it is to remain in existence and in the human case, if it chooses to remain in existence. Biological conditionality is the metaphysical basis for normatively valenced existents in an organism's umwelt but that metaphysical normativity for humans becomes immanent only where the man-made desire or otherwise prediscursive, voluntarist motivation to remain a biological entity is present. Ethics is not some categorical imposition and the choice to live is not the sort of thing that can be impugned as immoral; the choice to live is categorically a precondition of evaluation and so therefore its default can never be wrong for the victim, let alone categorically wrong. Lest these remarks tempt you into thinking there is then no way one can morally evaluate those individuals who might not choose to live (for whatever possible actions and duration that might mean), recall the agent-relative character of value, and realize that for those who do in fact choose to live, hardly anything could be more evil than those individuals who are indifferent to wanton destruction of themselves and the world around them insofar as they pose destructive consequences also for oneself. It is the same depersonalization of ethics that gives rise to thinking morality exists outside of individuals to accept and participate such a relation that gives rise also to thinking morality can not apply to those individuals who do not choose to accept and participate that relation. Ethics is about you. The Objectivist Ethics is addressed to you.
  2. The Law of Identity

    The "endemic equivocation" you seem to be calling attention to is the popular conflation of "man's survival qua man" with and reduction to "man's de facto survival". This conflation mistakes the literally derivable survival requirements from man's nature to be necessarily constituted also of those activities which might happen to promote immediate survival. But Rand is not a consequentialist; there is no legitimate distinction between the value of a life - and its species-specific identity - and the values in a life. A further (sufficient) condition must be met by those aforementioned activities - that they be concomitant with reason. How a man's survival qua animal can be achieved bears nothing directly on whether or not man's survival qua rational animal is achieved. I have never seen or read anywhere David Kelley's failure to appreciate these distinctions, and am curious to know where you think he does fail in this regard.
  3. This level of context-dropping is near impossible to believe. I will simply assume you are a troll and move on.
  4. No you are again demonstrably wrong. Divergence, like "randomness", is entirely epistemological. Just how there are no violations of causality there are no magic, computational abrogations of what is programmed but only violations of what is thought to be potentially possible, or is intended, or is expected to happen. Your blatant confidence in your positions is profoundly unwarranted and your continued ability to neglect the substance of my responses non-conducive to your learning the genuine epistemological status of perception.
  5. Notice how that call depends crucially on you, on the importation of some knowledge of what is actually correct beyond the computer's defined inputs. Computers do not diverge from their inputted programming and so can neither err nor know. You've contributed nothing meaningful in your two replies to me thus far (demonstrative of your understanding in agreement or otherwise) and so I think I'll waste no further time entertaining your positions.
  6. Yes they do. One can not be mistaken, can not err, if there exists no choice concerning the adherence to what is correct. The "error" messages of computers symbolize only incomplete processes, not any divergence from the correct ones, i.e. not mistakes or errors. Your continual failure to observe the genetic roots and applicable contexts of the concepts you are using is frustrating and the root of your mistaken positions. Your "perfect" qualifier is invalid for there is no natural actualization of any sense modality that is not mediated by some sense organ, i.e. some incomplete, "imperfect" means of perception. Nature flies from the infinite, and I accuse of attempting to do epistemology without a knowing subject. See my remarks above and further, consider your invalid, implicit conflation of information and knowledge.
  7. Self-evidence is not something which can be assessed third-personally so with this question you are not asking how it is that the senses are self-evident but how it is that the senses can be self-evident. The senses are not actually in question here only your understanding of that fact. In his Metaphysics, Aristotle speaks to the things first and best known as being, in part, that about which it is impossible to be mistaken. To be potentially mistaken is to be fallible, but the concept of "fallible" is inapplicable to the physiological process of perception for this process is in no part volitional. Thus, the evidence of the senses can not be leveraged in genuine favor of any thesis claiming such evidence to ever be "fooling" or "misleading", for the relata necessary to distinguish between what one has or has not been fooled about is too an aspect of the evidence of the senses. The senses can not fool for they are silent. There can be no such thing as a non-veridical percept. Edit: spelling.
  8. I've been a bit busy and haven't had much time for thinking. Will respond when I have thoughts worth sharing.
  9. But they are dependent. Those "contradictory elements" Rand speaks to are necessarily held conceptually. Just as concepts are a form of awareness of existence, so contradiction is a form of awareness of consciousness, and the attempted union of concept and contradiction - an anti-concept - is an obstacle to awareness of existence (existence has no contradictions). For the attribution of acausality (the thesis I'm lambasting), the "disparate, incongruous, contradictory element" is the deployment of identity in opposition to causality. A concept which tries to integrate this impermissible, metaphysical divisibility can and should be designated an anti-concept. This is specifically why I included the phrase "[t]he adjectival form of "epiphenomenon", i.e., "the attribution of acausality", not a name. This is restating where I said, "the attribution of acausality contradicts the requirements of knowing an existent to attribute". The point was that knowledge-acquisition is a causal process, and an existent incapable of participating this process is an existent incapable of being knowingly attributed anything at all. I meant to say first*-person ontology. The fact that we both are and participate the systems which facilitate the capacity of self-awareness, that our knowing subject can at once be also object. Sorry for any confusion.
  10. This is precisely what I mean by "fundamentally acausal in the physical sense" and "an illusory and metaphysically impotent byproduct of our third-person ontology"; the motivation for ascriptions of acausality to something is the recognition of that something's ability to "violate causality". I suppose I can appreciate your providing a more meticulous description of the thesis I'm arguing against though. Do you have anything to say about the argument itself?
  11. Introduction: By "epiphenomenonal" I do not mean those perfectly valid descriptions appropriate to the context of physics and biology to articulate those phenomena which can be termed non-primary insofar as their effects are correlated with some relevant primary effects, but are not suspected to be their cause (see: Epiphenomenon subsections "Medicine" and "Electromagnetism"). Instead I mean the usage common to materialist theories of mind, i.e. the doctrine that consciousness exists, but is fundamentally acausal in the physical sense (as though there could exist some rupture between physicality and causality). In this sense consciousness does not affect the brain in any meaningful way, but is "epiphenomenal" - an illusory and metaphysically impotent byproduct of our third-person ontology. Argument: "Epiphenomenon" in this sense is an anti-concept, and more specifically, a stolen concept. When speaking to the referents of the concept of "nothing" in the appendix to Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Ayn Rand describes such negative concepts as "purely relative". She remarks later on that "[n]on-existence - apart from what it is that doesn't exist - is an impossible concept. It's a hole - a literal blank, a zero". In our case of the concept "epiphenomenon", the relative distinction has been collapsed - the referent in question is both "non existent" and the "what it is". The omissions relevant to the formation of the concept "nothing" are the totality of the measurements belonging to the existents whose absence is being signified. The omissions relevant to the the formation of the concept "being" are the the totality of the measurements of the measurements belonging to the existents whose existence is being signified. In collapsing the just-mentioned distinction, the measurements and the measurement's measurements become one, absolving the relative character needed to produce anything of sense about an absence of being. This "sense" derives from the existent (read: causal) nature of all productions of knowledge and principles known. Put very simply, the attribution of acausality contradicts the requirements of knowing an existent to attribute. The absoluteness of reality and the principle of no metaphysical hierarchies guarantees the nonexistence of any gradations of existence, including the gradations of existence relative to putatively known existents. Conclusion: The adjectival form of "epiphenomenon" common to those materialist fetishizations of the human mind's nonexistence is an anti-concept, and just another poor way (albeit a fashionable one) of attempting to side-step the axiom of consciousness.
  12. Peikoff's Dissertation

    Where do you see this?
  13. I've taken a look at everyone else's replies but the answer seems rather simple: the domains of emotion and evaluation are not the sole cause of their correlated physiological responses, e.g., nocturnal erections, tearing from sulfur compounds (onions), circadian clocks, etc. For these examples there are no reasons to attribute lust, sadness, or boredom as cause. With the utter normality in the animal kingdom of infant vocalizations being an invitation for caregiving I see no reason to chalk up to an emotional faculty what can be attributed to evolution.
  14. Does The End Require the Means?

    Your latest answer was exactly what I was looking for. Thank you again. Would you agree that to be unknowable, and not simply unkown but unknowable in principle, is to be nonexistent?
  15. Does The End Require the Means?

    Logical and Grames, I greatly appreciate your responses and am very satisfied specifically with your answers to my second question. Your answers to my first have given me much to think on, but I still can't dispel my original sense of confusion. I'll try to spell out the source of my confusion as slowly and carefully as I can: Attention to degrees of similarity and less difference between units relative to a background is effortful. Regarding them as a class is effortful. The employment of concepts - which are a form of awareness - is effortful. The operation of man's conceptual faculty - the faculty responsible for the acquisition of knowledge - and mental manipulation of these classes are effortful. Because this and much more are effortful, cognition is not intrinsically reality-oriented (hence this post) but requires a method to direct the course of one's mental effort such that it remains in contact with reality. Now Objectivists call the proper sort of methodological adherence "objectivity". My question is what if the identity of our consciousness and form of apprehending existence makes it such that there are things whose acceptance would invalidate any claim to objectivity, but are nevertheless the case? Objectivists often seem to employ, as a kind of form of negative demonstration, that if the acceptance of something entails the impossibility of ever knowing that something, then that something can not be. I'm having a real hard time understanding why our epistemic predicaments might legislate what may or may not be the case, as opposed to something merely being the case and yet impossible to know in virtue of causing an affront to objectivity (self-contradiction being one example). Is it not possible for something to be the case, and yet be unknowable in virtue of its acceptance causing the impossibility of knowing that something? If it is still unclear what I'm attempting to get at I'll just try to sort it out myself with previous comments in mind. Thanks.
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