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About KorbenDallas

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  1. Is it moral not to have a productive purpose?

    I think being productive has to do with the mind being efficacious more fundamentally than producing material values, though generally I get more of a sense of achievement when there is physical involvement. The latter I think has to do with the body and stagnation. For example when Rand would get stuck with writing or have writer's block, she would take a walk. This would more often clear her up and she could continue writing. This isn't to say that one can't gain a sense of enormous achievement from purely mental productivity, but there is a connection. Professional video gamers often intermix exercising with their video game training and cite they have more mental focus in doing so.
  2. Right, knowledge is both contextual and hierarchical. If someone has a false premise they need to check their premises down to reality, to what exists.
  3. How many of the Wal-Mart workers/associates took Galt's Oath?
  4. Choosing to Live, Choosing to Die

    Thanks, that is contextual. Upthread you mentioned something I agree with, "I personally agree with Peikoff that ethics is not for the dying." My thoughts are that ethics are normative and are a tool for living, so figuring if it is moral to commit suicide seems contradictory. But I think there certain contexts where man could maintain his life as his ultimate value and still end it, for example having a terminal illness that is causing him tremendous pain. The concept of man's life as the standard of value or happiness as the ultimate purpose isn't possible anymore. He would value his life enough, ie. living it, enough to know that it isn't possible and choose to end it. (Checking OPAR, I'm seeing some of this on p247-248.)
  5. Choosing to Live, Choosing to Die

    Realizing there are other connecting threads to this one, I'm not sure if this has been posted:
  6. I recommend a study in logic. Peikoff has a good one: Introduction to Logic Lionel Ruby's Logic: An Introduction is a good textbook to use with the course. Also, Rand goes over abstraction in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.
  7. Pleasure and Value

    If I could wave a magic wand (well, I could, but what good would it do me?), I would try to get people (and especially Objectivists) to relax a bit on the issue of whether something is or is not "Objectivism proper." At least at first: there is a fine, but secondary, conversation to have as to whether or not something is or is not Objectivist, strictly speaking. What we ought to discuss at first, rather, is whether something is or is not real. Whether we're describing reality accurately, and in concord with reason. I dare say that this approach is "the Objectivist approach," which is itself more essential to Objectivist philosophy than any specific position (except the embrace of reason and reality in itself). If it turns out to be the case that something is real, but inconsistent with Objectivism, well then, so much the worse for Objectivism. If it turns out that something is real, and consistent with Objectivism, but that our earlier understanding of Objectivism was flawed (such that what we believed to be a "contradiction" was not), then there is no actual conflict. In either case, what matters most (by far) is: what is real. Sure, but that's a bit out of context to me, 'Objectivism proper' was Nerian's premise which I was responding to. The entire context of my reply to him began with recognizing reality, then building a definition, presenting it (also saying, "But even if one doesn't accept that definition,...), and then contrasting it with his current view. I agree Objectivism proper/not-proper doesn't lead to fruitful conversations. Rand's philosophy is part of what exists, and it is up to the individual to judge whether or not it is for them, aspects of it, different versions, or whatever.
  8. Pleasure and Value

    When I think of value I often think, "what standard"? Surely people use different ways for choosing values, perhaps they think they are 'innate', perhaps they believe they are intrinsic, perhaps they think it's determinism, perhaps by caprice, perhaps by consensus (whether the group is present at the time, or thinking about the group), perhaps trying to uphold or gain prestige, perhaps by emotion, ... and so on. Nathaniel Branden described* value as presupposing a few things: an object (whether tangible or intangible, like an idea), a standard, a purpose, and necessitated action to gain or keep the object in light of alternatives--these are the concepts that hierarchically lie beneath "value". I drew attention to the standard part earlier, which helps define what value is, and we know Objectivism says it's "that which one acts to gain or keep." But even if one doesn't accept that definition, there is still the object, purpose, and action--these are a matter of identity and causation. So if you're saying that value is "that which gives you pleasure," then yes, you're arguing against Objectivism and any form I know about. With emotionalism, all bets are off in having that argument because it will be largely based off of your emotion, not reason, trying to use your emotions as a standard of judgment--reality is something we can all talk about**... it's objective. ______ * From The Basic Principles of Objectivism lecture series, also in book form as The Vision of Ayn Rand ** From Ayn Rand and the "New Intellectual" interview
  9. Nathaniel Branden

    This does nothing to break what I've said (which _is_ Objectivism), all you've accomplished here is to put all of your misunderstandings in one place. Check YOUR premises. Though you have TWO correct statements in there, how you arrived at them is wrong. I am finished here.
  10. Nathaniel Branden

    I used Rand's definition of thought, as conveyed by Barbara Branden when Barbara was with Rand. There aren't any parts that are off, they only seem off to you for the reasons I've stated already.
  11. Nathaniel Branden

    Oh, I certainly missed your empathy through your polemical approach, then. (Your committing yet again another straw man fallacy in the above.) It's clear you don't understand some of the Objectivist principles I have been speaking of. Thinking was not loosely defined, it was defined precisely and being used on principle. The problem here is you do not understand the hierarchy between the subconscious, thinking, and emotions, which I have touched on, using Objectivist principles, and from readily available texts, but you have rejected those--rejected them then acknowledged the context of conscious mental activity, thinking, and emotions. Existence exists, man is man, and man has a subconscious, he thinks, and has emotions. It's up to you if you want to understand relationship of all of that--or not--it's your choice. But arguing about it here by dropping that context does not drop it out of reality. They exist, and it's up to you if you want to learn them. That is all.
  12. Nathaniel Branden

    Huh? You said, "I just can't tell if you're making a normative claim that emotion -ought- to only be caused by prior thoughts, or if it's a descriptive claim." I think you need to read VOS again to answer your own question. You said, "I don't think it's possible to say where emotions should come from." VOS can help you here, too. The Romantic Manifesto. The Psychology of Self-Esteem. etc. (.. your statement is false, it _is_ possible to say where emotions should come from: Reason. In fact, that is one of the main integrations of Objectivism.)
  13. Nathaniel Branden

    I already said that emotions themselves are not where the whole cognitive process gets its start by saying they are effects from antecedental causes--causes that are based from a person's values and premises. And to address the last statement, thought is the process of identifying that which exists. Other than that, I'm not saying that in all cases it takes active conceptualization to have an emotion, which was something I described earlier when I wrote about integrating values and premises and the subconscious. Edit: Also, saying "..it just means not all thoughts are conceptual" would be better stated as, "not all mental activity is conceptual."
  14. Nathaniel Branden

    Thanks, I see the error. I approached it from performing the action, yet the potentiality is still there as an attribute. Check out the paragraph before the sentence "The principle of thought precedes emotion holds for conscious thought as well, as a standard of Objectivism," which was: "..emotions are a result of prior thought. Values and premises are incepted by thought, and these can cause emotions as an effect. Integrating values and premises into one's thinking integrates them into the subconscious, to which emotions can then happen without conscious thought, but are result of prior thinking." So the principle of thought precedes emotion still holds. I do want to clarify that there are a great many ways to incorrectly experience emotion, first that comes to mind is social metaphysics, but that would be off-principle and not what I'm speaking of here.