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intrinsicist

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Everything posted by intrinsicist

  1. intrinsicist

    National Borders

    @Valdis I've tried to provide some philosophical clarity on this issue on my blog here: Closed Borders: A rights-based defense You are 100% correct in thinking of the US border as the "geographic limit of the jurisdiction of the Federal government". However, this is precisely what makes it "our property", because we've delegated our rights to the US government for the purposes of defense. Defending the border is in essence what we're paying the government to do. If that's "collectivist" than so is any agreement amongst a group of people, and we might as well advocate for abolishing all corporations while we're at it.
  2. intrinsicist

    The Trolley Problem

    Exactly. If the lever is owned by the train company, what right do you have to get involved with the workings of their property?
  3. intrinsicist

    Universals

    No I wouldn't say that everything "possesses consciousness". These things all posses a nature or essence, which is part material and part formal (or mental).
  4. intrinsicist

    Universals

    Like begets like. How can a combination of simple elements combine to form something which can't be explained by the nature and actions of its elements? Logically there would have to be some other element that comes into play, hence the conclusion that this idea of "emergence" is magical or superstitious.
  5. intrinsicist

    Universals

    (the above quotes are from Mind and Cosmos)
  6. intrinsicist

    Universals

    Calm down there Wolowitz, I'm not emotionally invested in this, I'm just not convinced. That's an interesting position to take, but I'm on the side of mental reductionism here. Some relevant quotes from Nagel:
  7. intrinsicist

    Universals

    @Eiuol the question isn't whether universals are of the mind, but whether they necessarily imply the existence of a mind. The existence of the physical implies the existence of a body, because "a body" is the most elemental kind of physical thing. But "a mind" is not the most elemental kind of mental thing, hence the existence of the mental does not necessarily imply the existence of a mind. Hence the analogy fails.
  8. intrinsicist

    Universals

    I don't think that analogy quite works. The basic element of the physical is a body, but the basic element of the mental is not a mind. For example, you can refer to specific mental entities like a concept, a percept, a memory, a thought, or what have you, and these elements are not in themselves a mind. But no matter how elemental you look at the physical, whether it's an object or an atom, you are still dealing with a "body". I'm not describing a mental substance, no. The basic substance has both a physical and a mental aspect. You could instead say it has both a material and formal aspect, that the mind deals with "forms" and the "formal aspect", but "formal" and "mental" are equivalent here, so it's all saying the same thing.
  9. intrinsicist

    Universals

    I don't see that that's necessary. There is an aspect of everything which exists that is Form (or essence), and this aspect is inherently mental. A mind is also something that is mental, and it has the special capacity to grasp the mental aspect of things (in the form of concepts especially, and perhaps in other respects as well). A mind implies the existence of the mental, but I don't see that the mental necessarily implies the existence of any mind in particular.
  10. intrinsicist

    Universals

    No, for something to have a mental aspect it merely needs to have Form (or "essence", whatever you want to call it), it doesn't need to have any mental capacity for sensation, perception, or concept-formation. You can think about this in the sense of Aristotle's hylomorphic compounds; everything that exists is composed of both Form and matter (the Form being the mental aspect, the matter being the physical aspect). This doesn't mean everything has a mind, just that an aspect of its nature is mental.
  11. intrinsicist

    Universals

    that's #1 in my list, which is primarily what this thread is about, the metaphysical reality of universals as opposed to being purely human epistemological constructs. I don't equate the metaphysical with exclusively the mental or non-mental; rather the root metaphysical substance has both mental and non-mental aspects. So universals exist independently of your own concept-formation process as a person, but they can also exist within your mind (insofar as your mind is capable of grasping a concept, the mental aspect of a universal).
  12. intrinsicist

    Universals

    Did you see my previous explanation of why I don't go there? I don't see how it follows. You're saying it's a logical implication, but I have some specific objections to that:
  13. intrinsicist

    Universals

    There are several steps to this conclusion. 1. universals must be said to be metaphysically real. otherwise, we are reduced to nominalism. so we conclude there are Forms or essences. 2. in our own mind, there must be something metaphysically real / causally efficacious to our concepts and reason, otherwise we are reduced to material forces and determinism. 3. these two metaphysical necessities - these universals/forms/essences and the logic that they have to them, we can identify as having the same nature and function both in reality and in our mind. therefore we say that reality has a metaphysical aspect that is essentially mental in nature.
  14. intrinsicist

    Universals

    I believe (like Aristotle) in an eternal universe with an eternal Logos
  15. intrinsicist

    Universals

    No, I believe in a dual-aspect monism metaphysics. Reality is fundamentally a kind of substance which has both mental and physical modes or aspects. Sort of like Aristotle's hylomorphic compounds, a substance which is a combination of matter and form. In DIM terminology, I believe this is the I-type metaphysics, what you are describing is a kind of M-type metaphysics, where the "physical" is an illusion or an epiphenomenon, and real reality is purely mental. The D-type equivalent is that the "mental" is an illusion or epiphenomenon, and the real reality is purely physical. There are also dualist metaphysics a la Descartes in which there are separate mental and physical substances, that somehow interact. Dual-aspect is different from all of these, it posits one, single underlying substance (monism, not dualism) which has both mental and physical aspects to it (i.e. neither the mental nor the physical is illusory or epiphenomenal).
  16. intrinsicist

    Universals

    I don't understand the desire to predicate location of abstract objects. Why?
  17. intrinsicist

    Universals

    @Eiuol The Forms/essences are mental in nature, they are essentially concepts. So the Logos is essentially like a system of concepts, or a body of knowledge. But God is a mind, and a mind is more than just a body of knowledge. So for any kind of belief in God, whether it's deism or theism, I expect to find all the normal characteristics of a mind, like thinking, remembering, imagining, planning, and so on. And with such a person, you would expect the capacity to communicate with language. They would have emotions and goals, and if they have any relationship with normal people like me with free will, they would be trying to persuade or perhaps bargain, to get us to do the right thing in order to serve their ends. But I don't see any explanation for any of these attributes, let alone an explanation that's just implied from the basic idea of the Logos.
  18. intrinsicist

    Universals

    Can you explain how? I don't see it. My question to theists has been this: Objectivism, as normally understood, has a minimal set of metaphysical presuppositions: existence exists, the things which exist are what they are (have identity), and that one is conscious of that which exists. Logic, the method of non-contradictory identification, is also held in this axiomatic way, on the impossibility/absurdity of the contrary. I can see an argument that there's a further metaphysical premise that's necessary beyond this: namely, the metaphysical basis of universals. Since logic deals with propositions, or the relationships between concepts, logic alone is not enough to justify true beliefs, you need to justify having universal concepts, which can only be done with a further metaphysical premise in the belief of universals, metaphysical essences, natural kinds, or whatever you want to call it. Is this further metaphysical belief in universals somehow identical to theism? I'd argue that it can be held non-theistically. Or are there further metaphysical premises needed beyond this? If so, what are those premises, and what absurdities follow from their denial?
  19. intrinsicist

    Universals

    Unfortunately, I don't understand your criticism. I do see your post where you mentioned "logos" and criticized Metaphysical Idealism. Let's maybe start from the top, what does this mean? The word "imply" in my mind refers to logical implication, so I suppose that means I fall in with the Objectivists here. But I don't know what a "systematic necessity" is in the sense of it being opposed to a logical necessity. You seem to be drawing on the distinction between a correspondence theory of truth and a coherence theory of truth, but for me, they are both valid approaches, as what is true is real and exists, and all of what is real and true is logically coherent. Also in my mind logical necessity is entirely on the "coherence" side of things, so I'm confused as to how you're opposing the two.
  20. intrinsicist

    Universals

    I think everyone has the same idea of Logos, as far as I know the concept has roots in ancient Greece prior to the stoics, especially in Plato and Aristotle. The Logos is all the Forms, like the entire concept map. It is all of these abstract objects, coherently ordered and connected. The Christian conception, as best I understand it - and I'm still trying to - is that God is like Logos+, a part of the idea of God but not the whole of it. The Logos is the Word (i.e. the concepts/Forms/essences), it is the wisdom of God (sort of the concept map in the mind of God, since the Forms/essences are mental). "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it." - John 1:1 Jordan Peterson calls it "the thing that brings order out of chaos at the beginning of time". Above I am describing it like this: Aristotle defined the nature of the thing as not being in the material of which it's composed, but in its form, in its design, like the abstract blueprint of the thing. So when we are talking about the "metaphysical nature" of the thing, this is what we are talking about, not the material it's made out of, not the particular, concrete instance of it, but the pattern of it, the design of it. And when Ayn Rand talks about "metaphysical self-preservation", she is not referring to your merely material or bodily self-preservation, she is talking about the preservation of your identity as a human being, i.e. maintaining your hold on your distinctly human faculty of reason: "the noblest form of metaphysical self-preservation: the refusal to commit spiritual suicide by abnegating one’s own mind and to survive as a lobotomized automaton" - Ayn Rand, Inexplicable Personal Alchemy
  21. intrinsicist

    Universals

    Not much, no. Honestly I haven't put in much effort in a while. I'm starting to think about pushing this again. I do think the Logos is rationally irrefutable. How so? Actually I'm having trouble reconciling multiple aspects of theism with the mere assertion of the Logos. I can't seem to find them to be equal. @MisterSwig, is that true?
  22. Hi all, there is a new meetup group in the western new york area for Ayn Rand / Objectivism. There isn't yet a date/location set for the first meetup, but if you're in the area let me know. It would be great to meet some people and talk about philosophy and politics. Link to the meetup page: https://www.meetup.com/Rochester-Buffalo-Ayn-Rand-Objectivism-Meetup-Group/
  23. intrinsicist

    Metaphysics of Consciousness

    For reference, here is Bissell's newer paper on the subject: https://www.jstor.org/stable/41560375?seq=1#page_scan_tab_contents Unfortunately it looks like his view has not substantially changed with respect to the above criticisms. Quotes from the paper:
  24. intrinsicist

    Metaphysics of Consciousness

    Bissell doesn't go as far as saying consciousness is present at lower levels of complexity, because apparently he is only seeking to defend the natural and common sensical belief that our introspective experience is real and meaningful, and not pure illusion as eliminativist materialists argue. The problem with his argument is that he doesn't argue why this model must be true. He only presents his model of how it could be true without suffering some of the problems he attributes to the models of other philosophers. But his model is ultimately unsatisfying even for the limited problem he's trying to solve (due to the problems inherent in epiphenomenalism described above). Further, he seems to be defining the "mental" purely as introspection, hence the assertion that only a brain process of "certain complexity" is capable of it (namely, a process complex enough to reflect on itself). But he's merely using the word "mental" to label the self-reflection of a purely physical process (like any process I could program on a computer which observes and models its own behavior). He does the same thing to "freedom" (a word with which he uses mock quotes like this). By this he isn't referencing a truly libertarian free will; he doesn't mean that there is some metaphysically basic mental aspect which has causal efficacy. Everything ultimately reduces to physical process under his model. All causality reduces to physical force. Just labeling any old thing as "mental" and saying it's an aspect doesn't mean you've offered a dual-aspect theory of the metaphysics of consciousness. He is very far away from what a genuine dual-aspect theory of metaphysics looks like - he offers us a reductionistic materialist view of the universe totally devoid of any mental aspect whatsoever. In a real dual-aspect theory, the mental suffuses everything in reality - it's one of the basic aspects of everything that exists. Like Aristotle's hylomorphic compounds, everything has both a physical and mental aspect: part matter and part form, part material and part idea. Every object in existence is a material instantiation of a universal, mental kind. The mental is intrinsic in the identity of everything, defining the kind of thing that it is. The concepts we hold in our minds and combine in our thoughts, the contents of our introspective experience, are metaphysically real in the sense of being one and the same as the universals which make up the things in reality. These concepts and thoughts in our mind aren't subjective inventions of individual people out of some pragmatic need for the collection and relation of observed material particulars, but rather they are genuine metaphysical universals which are intrinsic in all particulars of their given kind; they are a necessary, discoverable part of the way reality really is. And likewise, our choices and actions are not merely the results of a process of physical force, but rather these mental objects and relations have real causal effects providing for a genuine libertarian free will.
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