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mike o

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  1. Concept-formation

    If I only could pick one of your answers then it would be the first one. Certainly not the second one. So before I go, I've been studying her book ITOE over a period of 30 years now, off and on. That set the foundation that allowed me to make some big jumps when I started writing about it. If anyone wants to really learn a subject matter then write about it and it's an amazing process on your way to clarity. It's funny though, I consider her an incredible writer yet I've reached a point where I see a lot of presentation flaws in ITOE which makes it confusing and much more difficult to pick up the concepts. Unfortunate, because I've always found it to be an incredible book, and wish it would become available easier to more people. She is literally all over the map when it comes to similarity descriptions in the ITOE 2nd edition. Mostly due to the fact that the relevant context or frames of reference are not clearly identified. I'd like to thank dreamweaver for the interaction, as it allowed me to find my answer via this discourse. On the bottom of page 139 she states a vague idea of similarity and differences. However she clearly identifies the principle on page 140. "Observe that you would first have to grasp that there is such an entity, and then you would have to grasp in what way it is different from the class of objects which it resembles most." As referenced on the previous page yet the same answer, she is saying that the similarity is what they have in common with the things they resemble most, the genus i.e. the conceptual common denominator. The differences are the differences this specific group, set of measurements has with the genus, that is the distinguishing characteristic(s) that identifies the concept. She's saying that these automobiles are similar to motor vehicles and different in a certain way that distinguishes them from other motor vehicles, thus creating the concept automobile. Here's my problem or what perspective one needs to understand, is that, you don't directly (without a comparison to a foil) see similarity. Her writing implies or can lead the reader to believe that in regards to the genus, that you saw that similarity directly, as opposed to her definition of similarity as common differences to a genus. I think it is important to understand that you don't see "similarities and differences", that to be consistent you see "differences and differences", you see differences of trains, boats, automobiles from other items and that is how you create the similarity of the genus - motor vehicles. Then you do that step again, in order to determine the common differences that isolates the concept automobile from motor vehicles, that is you see the range of motor vehicles that specifies automobiles because they are different than other motor vehicles in the same way. She is starting from the CCD as a given starting point when it isn't, it too like the concept is created by noticing a common difference from a larger background. But she shortcuts that as a starting point and calls that noticing similarities and although the step below it performs the exact same thing, she calls that noticing differences. Her frame of reference is the genus- as a given -in regards that the items in question say trains, boats and automobiles are all similar and create the genus, (but you can't drop the context in regards to her ultimate similarity definition - common differences to a foil) that is in relation to the genus, these items are different in the same way. Fair enough if we understand the frame of reference. But I think it is important to understand the principle that similarity is common differences to a foil, so whether it be the genus or the range of measurements within the genus that identifies the concept, you find similarity by comparing to a wider category, a broader range of measurements. The common differences first establishes the genus from a wider range of measurements - that allows one to see that trains, planes and boats are similar IN RELATION to a wider group, then you perform the same calculation again, the specific measurement of automobiles within the larger range of motor vehicles, similarity is created by common differences to a wider range of measurements i.e. items. So you see similar items and then similar items within that group. or you see the common differences of certain items to a larger group and then again common differences to that group which forms your concept. A concept is a standard of measurement, of a relationship between a certain group of particulars in relation to the a larger group of similar objects. It's a two step repeated process. In addition, to writing about it, for those that really are fanatics - I'd take the entire book, put it on a word document, and have it reorganized into the following three categories 1) measurement, 2) Language/grammar, 3) concept, also alternatively once you grasp the basics of the book, reverse the order of the book - chapter 7 - cognitive role of concepts as chapter one and then chapter 6 is chapter 2, etc. starts to make more sense that way. I've appreciated this forum - but I've finished my research enough to finish the first chapter of my book and move onto the 2nd - it's an eight year project to integrate cognitive psychology, neuroscience, physics, geometry, anatomy into an integrated movement theory for the golf swing. All the Best! Mike
  2. Concept-formation

    Maybe, hopefully someone else can jump in and answer my question. Which is if you say in the same sentence in regards to forming a concept "similarities and differences" to what are you referencing the differences to? Because I'm beginning to think that although I made a tremendous effort to identify my point, question, issue - it's been missed. Likewise and in the same regard, I read your reply post Dreamweaver and I consider it doesn't answer my question that i've asked, when I assume you think it does (nothing against you on that one - potentially the same issue that I am having). Let me introduce one example of how "similarities and differences" in that sentence could make sense IF interpreted in a certain perspective. If you noticed similarities between the items in the concept that you are forming - cash, coin, stamp, promissory note, against a group of wider objects and that formed your CCD. Then you noticed specific differences of the stamps in relation to the CCD. Since the term similarity is noticing differences in both cases - you ignore that and say that you noticed the things in common to form the CCD and then noticed the things that are different from the CCD (the DC) to form the concept. Similarities CCD and differences DC. But then again, notice that you've switched the perspective as you move from one to the other, because you could easily and more correctly say that you noticed just similarities or just common differences in both cases i.e. in forming the CCD and in forming the DC. I am interested in a reply from someone - in regards to the sentence that I quoted from Dreamweaver: Hoping someone can help me. Dreamweaver - nothing personal against you, I've seen this in many publications including ITOE. However, I just don't grasp the context that it refers to. Looking for some help here.
  3. Concept-formation

    Just so I'm clear I'm revising my last paragraph above from: to: In short, you were able to ascertain similarities (common differences to the genus for each stamp) and differences (differences to the genus for each stamp (that is how each stamp is different to the genus and therefore different to each other )) between the two stamps presented as contrasted against the background. You are using "similarities" (that is their common differences) to the genus. Then you're sentence reads that you learn differences of each stamp from the genus - the only way that makes sense is if you are repeating yourself. Because from a 1st person perspective you are not noticing the differences between the two stamps by comparing each stamp to the genus. Not in our example of comparing these with all stamps and assuming that these are the only two that are jefferson 2 cent stamps i.e. we are forming a concept. In summary, the "vagueness" I see in your statement with "similarities and differences" is that I know those two terms can have numerous frames of reference i.e. many different established relationships and you haven't clarified in what context or frame of reference that you are using each of them (separately identified) and I'm curious to know in the hopes I can clarify what i know or learn something new.
  4. Concept-formation

    I'd just like to understand exactly what you mean by the above. Let's use all stamps as the the genus. Let's use these two stamps as an example of forming a concept, with both of them. Let's view this from a first person perspective. We compare those two stamps to all stamps and find that they are similar in the same regard (they have common differences). That is they have common differences to all the other stamps. I didn't see similarity "between the two stamps" directly. I saw one different than the genus and then I saw another different than the genus and they were both different in the same way. So if we left out "and differences" then I would agree with your statement quoted above. I'd have no problem with In short, you were able to ascertain similarities between the two stamps presented as contrasted against the background. Now, from a first person perspective, I didn't ascertain differences between the two stamps, I wasn't focused on the differences between the two stamps, therefore i wasn't aware of the differences. I was focused on the difference of each stamp to the genus. I didn't need to learn the differences between the two stamps, I just needed to learn that each stamp was different than the genus in the same way, I just had to see that they were similar. Therefore, I have a problem if your sentence read: In short, you were able to ascertain differences (not common differences between each stamp and the genus), that is differences between each stamp and the other. From a first person perspective, that didn't happen. I don't pay attention to omitted measurements when forming a concept. Please clarify in what frame of reference(s), you are referring to "similarities and differences". Because for me on a first person perspective and applying them to the next and same frame of reference below the 1st person perspective frame of reference (notice that multiple frames of reference are in play), you've made a mistake. Unless, your going to see my point and agree with me, please clearly state your case, that is your context. Edit: Finally, One other perspective to point out my confusion with your sentence. Let me translate how I read your sentence but putting it in a different way. I'll translate how I read "similarities and differences", by putting their equivalents in parentheses - using the same standard: In short, you were able to ascertain similarities (common differences to the genus for each stamp) and differences (differences to the genus for each stamp (that is how each stamp is different to the genus compared to the other stamp)) between the two stamps presented as contrasted against the background. From a first person perspective I don't do what is in red. But that is how I read your sentence Thanks, Mike
  5. Concept-formation

    No, I find your comment vague. In one case, I found them similar, In another I found them different. In forming concepts I am dividing things up, to organize information. In neither case, did I focus on looking at both similarities and differences at the same time, between the two stamps and the same background. In both cases, the genus I used determined if they were similar or not similar. Now, I could pick 5 other perspectives that you possibly used "similarities and differences" but you'd need to identify which one you were talking about. And I absolutely appreciate you not understanding my perspective or not clarifying your perspective clearly for me, possibly due to my own blindness. So I look forward to having you clarify your perspective. As of now, I think we disagree.
  6. Concept-formation

    Not sure if the reply below will answer your question in general. After I finished it, I thought you might be annoyed that I didn't directly answer your question, so I added these couple of sentences here, to try to avert that. I would tend to say that if I limit my knowledge to just this screen, in essence become a child with no prior knowledge, then I would say that yes my pictures I have on my screen in comparison to these two stamps, would make me say that the two stamps are similar. First we need to understand what we mean by similar. Do we mean that kinda, for the most part? Or do we mean exactly? Rand's similarity would be exactly. Exactly within the parameters I set, something either is or is not an automobile. Similarity is contextual. The context are the items that you are comparing something to (the relationships among the items). The species to the genus, in concept formation. However, if you want to compare one stamp against the other, you would say that they are not exactly alike, they are not similar, IF you are just comparing the two and using the term similarity in an exact manner. (The black marks are different and one is torn). If we just weigh the amount of common traits and similar traits among the two objects - we would say that they are similar, if by similar you mean kinda of, for the most part. That's just comparing one stamp to the other, and I object to that method, because it is not precise and is undefined and assumes that similarity isn't a classification system by man for his needs, but inherent in the objects themselves (only). Of course, that is much different than similarity in forming a concept and grouping a number of items under one concept, because we are only going to form a concept when we have the need for unit economy. My points on similarity have been in relation to concept formation - that's the context. in regards to concept formation, you notice similarity based not only with the existing items on display as above and other items in the immediate environment but also in relation to all of your previous knowledge. Are these stamps similar? Depends on the context of the knowledge that you have. Given that I've seen a lot of different stamps in my lifetime and I compare these stamps to them, I would say that these stamps are similar, exactly the same in a certain respect (omitting the different black lines on them and the torn edge on the one) compared to the genus of all the other stamps that I have seen. Keeping in mind that I'm mentally taking the one item (two attached stamps) and mentally creating two individual items to compare, against my entire memory of all the stamps that I have experienced and remembered in my life. Ask your self - could these two stamps be dis-similar? In that they wouldn't be included in the same concept, assuming that we had a need to form concept of this particular kind of entity in reality? Certainly not if I compare them to the various stamps that I have seen in my lifetime or the other images on my computer screen. Based on a genus that is all the stamps that I have seen in my life i would say that they are similar. However, if I was a stamp collector and had seen and knew that the black markings on the stamp on the right were printed on 42 million of these stamps that were made and that the stamp on the left had the different location of the black markings because it was the last stamp on the final run and was personal torn off by Jefferson himself, then I would say that these two are not similar, that the stamp on the left is significantly different than the stamp on the right - in relation to the genus (42 million prior Jefferson stamps) as opposed to the genus of every stamp ever made. This is where based on your need and purpose, you control the choice of the genus, the items that you want to compare those items that you are trying to identify for a specific purpose. Are these two stamps similar? That question always has to be are these two stamps contextually similar? There isn't absolute knowledge that has no relation to anything else. What's the context? It's based on your values. The thought that you can see similarity by looking at two items and just comparing them to each other - really since everything is different - they would not be exactly the same, then nothing would be similar UNLESS your definition of similarity is a vague resemblance or not exactly the same but mostly the same. She has created an exact system of thought. It is or it is not, no grey area. Also, if all you had to do was compare two items, in other words that is the only way that you determined similarity, then things would be similar (assuming two things could be exactly the same) or not similar, AND that would never change. That would be a world where things were absolute, where knowledge was not about relative relationships among things but frozen in time. That would be the erasing of value, goals, intent, context, life from knowledge, when those are the only reason we have knowledge! Knowledge is always in relation to man, to your needs and purpose- that's the context for the relevant & appropriate genus. As I described above, depending on the genus chosen, the stamps could be considered similar or not similar. Now, if the stamp on the left was unique and different than the stamp on the right and also different than the other 42 million stamps that matched the one on the right, and Jefferson himself had torn it off of the last run, then I would imagine it would be worth a tremendous amount of money and that would further make me consider it NOT similar to the other stamp, for obvious reasons (black markings are different plus the value is different). On the other hand, if you didn't know the story behind it, regardless of the fact that it was slightly different than the other 42 million, you might group it with the 42 million against all the other different types of stamps and just see it as a 2 cent stamp, lick it and mail off your envelope. So the last paragraph, not only took the markings into consideration when comparing the stamps to other stamps, but it also took into account the value of the stamp in addition to the markings. Similarity is contextual. It's not just in the objects, but it's items in the objects viewed from a certain comparative relationship. So to quote her on page 6 and 7 of ITOE 2nd edition "Notice that the concept "unit" involves an act of consciousness ( a selective focus, a certain way of regarding things), but that it is not an arbitrary creation of consciousness: it is a method of identification or classification according to the attributes which a consciousness observes in reality. This method permits any number of classifications and cross-classifications: one may classify things according to their shape or color or weight or size or atomic structure; but the criterion of classification is not invented, it is perceived in reality. Thus the concept "unit" is a bridge between metaphysics and epistemology: units do not exist qua units, what exists are things, but units are things viewed by a consciousness in certain existing relationships." While reading the above quote, I would add something to it. Because it covers that your identifying something in reality, and involves a certain way of regarding things, that is by shape, color, etc., but instead of saying "it is a method of identification or classification according to the attributes which a consciousness observes in reality", while true, that's a little dry for me, a little scientific and doesn't fully validate the value judgment made in picking the classification category. You don't just classify according to the attributes you observe in reality. That's part of the story but not the whole story, the relevant classification takes into account your values, desires and goals. Those control the proper context for selecting the relevant genus that provides the concept that is correct for that context. As noted in the two stamp examples above, how you value something or your intent or goal, determines what you compare it to 9chosen genus) and what you do with it. Similarly, picking a genus to create your concept is no different than picking a standard to measure movement. Is the pen on the table in front of you moving? No, not in relation to you. However, If you are an astronaut, traveling to the far reaches of the galaxy, and are coming back next week, you better realize that your pen is moving otherwise when you come back on the same exact path that you went out on, you'll miss the planet earth. The genus chosen in forming a concept has to be appropriate for the value and goal at hand. Your values and the goal at hand determines the appropriate context that guides the appropriate and relevant choice of genus to use. That in turn, controls your result of whether something is similar or not.
  7. Good point - I'm just randomly posting thoughts , expecting agreement or disagreements. I'll control it a little better going forward. A lot of this has been a process for me recently as research for the 2nd half of a chapter to my book. I'll be moving on soon. Thanks, Mike
  8. Yes, Relevant to my other posts showing that a concept is a form of measurement (not only uses measurement but is a form of measurement itself), so the same principle is in play. Concepts measure entities say to begin with, there are lots of different attributes of entities, so you start to create a concept for length, then you create a concept for a certain length - inch. At that point when you get to inch, it is not formed for unit economy of items. In concept formation i.e. any knowledge you are measuring, that is, determining things that are different from others in the same way, then the 2nd step is within that subcategory you are seeing which items are different than others in the same subcategory, in the same way, to form the 2nd subcategory i.e. concept. Measurement of attributes works in the opposite direction and comes later. That is you have to get to the point of grasping an attribute such as length to measure, before you identify a specific length to use as a unit. However, once you get there then you take that specific length and go out and measure various objects to determine relationships of that attribute from one item to another. So you get to the unit of measurement as you get to any concept. And the concept and a traditional unit of measurement also have the same thing in common - they help understand the relationships among entities. It's formed to relate items to other items in order to determine their relative relationship for that attribute from one item to another. They are all standards of measurement - one say measures a certain portion of what motor vehicles (that is for automobile) and one for length (inch).
  9. I quoted the last question in the original post above, that started this thread. That's not a statement, that's a question based on what I referred to as confusion. When you say there is no confusion - not sure the context you were using. Clearly this person doesn't have a clear answer and wants to discuss it and make it clearer. Now, I'm not saying my feedback was accurate, won't be wrong, was clear, etc. etc. - that's open for discussion. Easily could have been off base as I didn't understand the entire potential context of it. Also, I have not read up on what Peikoff said about two definitions and was going to be asking for a clear example for someone to post and/or link me to the source? Thanks, Mike
  10. Similarity and Differences: Please clarify your statement if you ever use these in the same sentence. Anytime the term similarity is used, it is a result of common differences from another group. If you only look at a apple and an orange - they are not similar. They are only similar for example if you compare them to a vegetable. When people speak of noticing similarities and differences - that is just too vague because it doesn't elaborate the frame of reference - what is similar to what? What is different than what? Plus, the context of whether we are in the frame of reference of 1st person perspective or 3rd person perspective, changes the answer. For example, as the apple/orange example points out, you don't notice similarities among/between just two items that you perceive. Although that is the way it can be experienced from a 1st person perspective. You don't notice similarities and differences among the same units in a concept. What you notice is similarities of the automobile, train, plane, etc. from a wider group of existents, via the differences that these motorized vehicles have with a wider category. Then you notice the ways in which these automobiles are different than the other motorized vehicles. First you have to form the genus, then the distinguishing characteristic that forms the concept at hand. Step one is you notice common differences with a higher group to create the genus, then step two you notice common differences between the concept (distinguishing characteristic) and the genus. From a first person perspective you can say I notice similarities. From a third person perspective/ analysis of the process, you can say I notice common differences. To say you you notice similarities and differences in the same sentence implies you are using the same frame of reference! To not elaborate on the frame of reference for the concept and topic at hand is a crime.
  11. Realize the necessary dual level of noticing similarities from differences. When you validate (not necessarily form) the concept automobile within the full context of all the available knowledge known for an adult. You are looking at or comparing your knowledge of motor vehicles (cars, trucks, airplanes, boats, etc), and you are looking at all of their measurements. You are then comparing your knowledge of gliders, horse drawn carriages, bicycles, etc (non-motorized vehicles) and all of their measurements and other items (non-vehicles motorized and not motorized) such as rocking chair, merry go round, and all of their measurements, etc. You now have enough information to hold the concept motorized vehicles due to the same differences it has with these other items that you have differentiated them from (non motorized vehicles and other man made objects, especially those that create motion but don’t take you anywhere). Motorized vehicles: A man made object that carries people from place to place via a powered man made engine. The next step is to differentiate automobiles from other motorized vehicles so you go through the same process, you look at all the characteristics (to a degree – don’t take all literally, but more than is used in the distinguishing characteristic) of the different items, trucks, cars, airplanes, boats, etc (not an easy or quick process), and you start to focus in on the same essential differences that trucks and cars have to the others, that they travel on land. An automobile is a motor vehicle that travels on land. Then you discover a train and a motorcycle and you have to revise your definition. An automobile is a motor vehicle with an enclosed compartment and rubber tire surface for transporting people and items on land. Remember the purpose for concept formation and their definitions. Unit economy and clarity. For your purpose. If someone creates a hybrid, motorcycle with an enclosed compartment, not really a big issue or seen as crumbling the entire concept formation theory. You either treat it as a one off item, create a subcategory for it, or a separate concept or disregard it since you don’t use it, study it, work on them, etc. If it is not important for YOU – you don’t have to conceptualize it! That’s true for a one off item, not true for your entire knowledge base and items, as everything is related and integrated and not subjective.
  12. Maintain the identities of what you are referring to and your confusion will go away. For example, what you list above is not the "basic definition" of value, it's an incomplete definition and an invalid definition. There are a lot of things that people act to gain and/or keep that is not a value (even if they think it is a value due to poor judgment.
  13. Must be that I'm limited to two edits and the edit button disappears after the first two edits. I'm guessing the premium membership comes with unlimited edits Below is the edit of my last paragraph from my last post: In Summary, regarding their similarities and differences. Both use the same process in identifying the units, that is they both use the distinguishing characteristic to measure something from a wider aspect of reality. However, when you create a concept, you do that for unit economy purposes and set the parameters wide enough, that is the distinguishing characteristic(s) broad enough, to include a large number of things you have observed in reality. When forming a standard of measurement for a specific attribute such a length, your measurement device; the distinguishing characteristic, omits no measurements. The purpose of a standard of measurement is not unit economy, in the same sense as a traditional concept. But it does the same thing as traditional concepts; it expands the range of man's consciousness. Likewise the quote below, from my previous post should have said: Whereas the meaning of a concept such as automobile has measurements of color, lenght, weight, shape, etc. etc. etc.
  14. Both articles are sloppy, poorly analyzed, junk and way off base (sorry if I was vague in my description) What do the two above things have in common and how are they different? In common: The "units" are identified via man's consciousness by a distinguishing characteristic from a wider commensurable aspect of reality. The distinguishing characteristic sets the parameters, is the measuring device of the broader group of similar aspects of reality. Notice the purpose of concepts (automobile or inch): to measure - understand a relationship between one thing and another, between the genus and the specific measurements that isolate some other aspect of reality. It's a form of measurement. Different: In the case of concepts of entities, methods, etc. the meaning of the concept, that is the referents in reality have a massive amount of details, within the parameters set. Looking at it from a third person perspective, the measurements omitted (the difference between the definition of the concept and the meaning i.e. all the aspects of all the items) is massive. Contrarily, in the case of a measurement unit such as inch, the parameter of it's distinguishing characteristic (inch) in relation to it's genus (length i.e. one attribute) It only measures one thing, one attribute - length, but only one specific portion of length, (the difference between the definition of the concept and the meaning i.e. all the aspects of all the items) the measurement omitted from the distinguishing characteristic i.e. an inch, is nothing. A concept's units therefore require that measurements be omitted in order for it to be broad enough of a measurement to include a great number of entities. That's the cognitive role of concepts - unit economy. On the opposite end of the scale, a unit of measurement has an entirely different purpose. While it uses the same method to form the concept "inch", however since the distinguishing characteristic omits no measurements, it's purpose certainly isn't to hold a great number of entities. but in a ironic reversal, it is used to measure an unlimited number of entites however only in one dimension. Whereas a concept such as automobile has measurements of color, length, weight, shape, etc. etc. etc. In Summary, regarding their similarities and differences. One uses the same process in identifying the units. However, one form of unit omits measurements and one does not omit measurements. Hence, they have a different purpose.
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