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Easy Truth

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  1. Universals

    "Will behave" in that context means "will fit in" (be similar). "Will behave" is said in an epistemic context. From your perspective, that context does not exist so I suspect you hear it differently. Differences and similarities are what determine categories, not necessarily (only) how they behave/act. Also, a universal is a universal simply because it was detected/abstracted, NOT because it was useful.
  2. Universals

    Aren't you conflating the act of "defining" with the act of "observing"? A definition (by definition) includes "beyond" the observed set that it was inferred from. There may also be a problem with using the phrase "finite set" since infinity does not exist.
  3. Universals

    I suppose I consider x having influence over y as having some causal power. Meaning if without x, y would not do z, then x is a necessary condition for z to happen. X has some responsibility for z. X has some causal power. Similarly, if Person A, hits a crossroad, he can only go left or right. When mental entity G exists in his psyche, he goes to the left, if not he goes to the right. Then, one can infer that G causes a turn to the left. This was using "Mill's methods". But using the Objectivist model of causation, Person A causes the movement to the left or the right, not the mental entity, because without "Person A" existing, the mental entity can't/doesn't exist.
  4. Universals

    Then to be even more "unambiguous" (and nit picky), shouldn't the statement be "Attributes are a type of existent". Because an attribute is not identical to an existent. An attribute is a subspecies of an existent. I emphasize this because then that would clarify that mental entities are a specific type of existent (a non self sufficient kind). The confusion is in that one can hear "mental entities" as being entities that are a self-sufficient form of existence which ultimately is not what you want it to mean.
  5. What is Subjectivity?

    Then I would initially argue that at a minimum, between reasonable people who understand the meanings of these terms, it helps the communication. I wouldn’t challenge “decision-making” as being subjective or intrinsic. I would rather challenge a perception or an understanding or a conclusion as being that. The issue of values is at the center of ethics, politics, and economics. It would have been great if a value was intrinsic. We would have fewer disagreements. And when we agree that things are a value to a “whom”, the implication can be heard that it is entirely relative and in that sense subjective. XYZ is beautiful. I say it is true it is a fact. You say it is not. Isn’t it proper for you to bring up the fact that I have put forth a subjective conclusion? Assuming I am reasonable, your identifying my statement as subjective should change the direction of the conversation. It should help me realize that just saying that it is beautiful justifiably should not necessarily get an agreement.
  6. Universals

    Somehow, I had missed your post Grames. Yes, I came to the conclusion that "mental entities" can be seen as attributes. But Eiuol seems to emphasize that they are entities rather than attributes.
  7. Universals

    The case I am making is that he will act based on his mental entities. I am not making the case that the mental entities always correspond to reality, that they will "cause" the correct choice. As an aside, know or not, one will make a choice based on what is in their psyche. You don't make a decision in a vacuum. Again, making the case that mental entities do have causal powers. Depending on how he has categorized this (I assume that will include importance too), he will make the one that fits what the mental entities (in this case, premises) would lead to.
  8. Universals

    I asked because I was expecting you to say "No", that volition was outside the realm of cause and effect. My reading of what you say "that mental content matters", implies that it has "small" causal powers. How can something matter, yet have no causal power? Unless, perhaps, one thinks of mental entities as attributes of the concrete being that acts. My understanding is that attributes don't cause. If they were attributes, then okay, they don't have causal powers. But a mental entity is not an attribute like "redness". You emphasize that they are entities. But effectless, entities. I have to think about that.
  9. What is Subjectivity?

    No, I am saying it is extremely useful, I just don't have my head around it. I think my question originated from the conversations in the forum regarding if by survival Rand meant staying alive vs. flourishing and I was making the case that existence vs. nonexistence is objective, everyone knows/(can know) what that struggle is. On the other hand, one man’s flourishing may be completely unimaginable to other people. I don’t want to argue the case here, only the objective vs. subjective aspect. The perceivable to all vs. the perceivable to the privileged. There is more to it. I consistently encounter people who will say “well, that’s my reality, and we have separate realities” and the conversation ends. At least, I am dumbfounded and I don’t know how to proceed. I walk away saying to myself “he is not being objective, why isn’t that a value to him? BUT … they can just as well say that I am not being objective. It is almost like it is important to be objective, yet “I have no right to accuse another of being non-objective”. If you and I are having a conversation, and you are saying something that does not fit into my understanding, when do I have the right to tell you that you are not being objective? Did I have the standing to make that argument when I made it against flourishing?
  10. Universals

    Ok, the idea did not do the acting. The volitional being chose/acted. Won’t a volitional being, put in the exact same circumstances, (including) the same knowledge/mental entities, behave exactly the same way? I believe I saw a video of Kelly’s saying yes to that question. If one thinks there is an abys in front of him, he won’t take a step when in fact it is physically possible. But the will, the volition can be locked, unable to move simply by this mental entity (called abys). To counter it, the idea "solid floor" permits action. If so, then without the idea (or the new idea), the person won’t do what the idea permits. The implication is that an idea makes something possible or impossible to volition. Aren’t there situations where for x to be possible, the idea y is a necessary condition? My position is that the idea is always necessary, not just sometimes, therefore mental entities do in fact have causal powers. Without them, there is no action.
  11. Universals

    I assume that in this context, by existents you meant "mental existents) or am I wrong? Isn't existents a category that includes both concrete and abstractions? So the realness, the fact that they are real or not is based on their causal powers? The thing that caught my eye is the idea that they have no causal power. If a human forms a concept, finds a new way of seeing things that make something very easy, isn't there a causal relationship between the aha moment and the rest of his behavior?
  12. What is Subjectivity?

    Okay, then regarding "survival qua man", knowing that each human has a different direction in life, the objective aspect is that they act to exist. Why is it objective as opposed to subjective? Is it because this process (activity to exist) is perceivable to all? (no privileged observations as you said) It seems to me that the "objective" aspects of a perception are to be extracted based on what one would assume that all can perceive. But how can that be validated in the moment? Non-contradiction? That which is non-contradictory is objective? That would not be enough. An entity, something that has boundaries is identifiable and is itself. That can be subjective (something unique to my perception). How would I know that no one else sees what I see? In other words, when I look at a situation, when can I be confident that what I see is objective? Is there a standard proof available?
  13. A Complex Standard of Value

    Good point, but where does "liking" fit it? I see no way around "liking". If "an objective factor" is to guide your life, then you "like" an objective factor guiding your life, or you would not be pursuing it. Instead of "liking", the word "attracted" is less subjective. Also, the problem of obesity is not a problem of "eating", or attraction to ice cream. It is a problem of not knowing what is enough.
  14. Truth as Disvalue

    Inquiring minds are waiting.
  15. A Complex Standard of Value

    Based on this, the ultimate goal is Balance. My only concern is that I know people who hold "Balance" as the ultimate goal and they are far from Balanced. Balance is not a clear and unambiguous direction. I suspect because they don't have an ultimate goal that arbitrates between the subgoals. Pain or pleasure or emotions are not a tool of cognition because they are not reliable. Sometimes they correspond what is "good" and sometimes they don't.