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C-Wolf

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  1. Who is the person with the goatee and toga supposed to be? Akston?
  2. I believe Rand wrote that a value is that which one acts to gain and/or keep and a virtue is the act by which one gains and/or keeps it. Aristotle and the other ancient eudaimonists held that a virtue is the application of practical wisdom to a given sphere of life. Therefore justice is a commitment to acting on the principle of giving people what they deserve. You might steal a CD and money falls out of your pocket to cover the CD, but this is not an act of justice (even though the store got the money it deserved) because it did not originate from a commitment to acting on the right moral principle. Virtue for the ancients is to reason well about practical matters, which entails intellectual, motivational, and affective components. Objectivists interested in the nature of virtue would be well advised to study the ancients.
  3. Andrew Bernstein defines the essence of heroism as "an unbreached and unbreachable allegiance to the good in the face of any possible form of opposition." My question is, who is a hero (by Objectivist standards) that the average, educated American would know well? There are many candidates for a hero by Objectivist standards--Rand herself, Newton, Jefferson, Louis Sullivan, Edison, etc. However, the average person doesn't know who Sullivan is, or what opposition Rand faced, or of Jefferson's achievements other than the presidency, etc. In short, an altruist can point to Mother Theresa as a moral ideal, a communist can point to Che Guevera, and so on. So who can Objectivists point to? My answer is Socrates. He embodied rationality, honesty, integrity, courage, and independence. Furthermore, he was devoted to the good in the face of massive opposition. Certainly there is much for an Objectivist to dispute in what we know of Socrates' philosophical doctrine, but he fits the bill closer than any other figure I can think of. Are there other people I am overlooking?
  4. Anything by Neal Stephenson. That man has the coolest brain on the planet. I especially recommend Snow Crash and Cryptonomicon. Just read the first few pages of Snow Crash and you will be hooked.
  5. On the Wiki, knowledge is described as "a product of consciousness: it is the sum of one's identifications retained in some form. Or, in Ayn Rand's words, knowledge is 'a mental grasp of a fact(s) of reality, reached either by perceptual observation or by a process of reason based on perceptual observation' (ITOE 35)." What, according to Objectivism, are the necessary and sufficient conditions for knowledge? For instance, one standard view posits that to know 'p', one must: 1. Believe 'p' 2. 'p' must be true 3. One's belief in 'p' must be justified Would an Objectivist agree that these three are the necessary and sufficient conditions for knowing 'p'?
  6. Yes--I've read Hogan's _Code of the Lifemaker_. It definitely had themes that an Objectivist would enjoy.
  7. That's a fair point. I am not saying that all ARI supporters march in lockstep. I was merely saying that given that he supports ARI and is hostile to TOC, I infered that the reasons that led him to support ARI and reject TOC would also lead him to believe that the scholarship of TOC supporters does not qualify as progress.
  8. Stephen: Earlier in response to WGD I posted the following to clarify: "7) saying "Sure that is exactly what an ARI supporter would think" is an ad hominem(poisoning the well). That is not what I meant. I simply was stating that _since_ you are an ARI supporter, you would not consider TOC supporters publishing books as progress." I genuinely did not mean that remark as derisive and I apologize if it seemed so. But my major frustration was not with the overall tone (although that was frustrating and I am partially responsible for it because of my poor choice of words) but rather with WGD's refusal to admit that he was wrong about Eric Mack being Catholic. He doesn't seem to think it is a big deal, but calling a Randian (again, my term) a Catholic is a big misrepresentation. I was frustrated because he provided no evidence and I provided countervailing evidence, yet he refused to admit he misrepresented Mack.
  9. The implication of your post was clear. ARI is focusing on a very weighty and important topic (Gotthelf getting published) while TOC is focusing on a pointless and threadbare topic (libertarians). All I was saying is that you cannot take that one discussion as indicative of the entire conference. If that was not your implication, I apologize. Furthermore, I said that the reason that TOC doesn't need a panel discussion on a TOC supporter publishing an article is because TOC supporters get their articles published all the time. I am not downplaying the importance of Gotthelf's article--in fact, I said I was happy to hear about it. Of course I haven't read it nor have you named the journal, so I am not sure how excited to be. Finally, the reason for the TOC break was not libertarians. A specific incident regarding Kelley speaking to libertarians (trying to promote Objectivism to them by the way) precipitated the break, but was not the philosophic cause. The philosophic causes were multifarious--tolerationism, Objectivism as a closed system, sanctions, etc. But you are right, TOC does sometimes work and support libertarian organizations.
  10. Once again, I did not say Perigo lied. How many times do I have to repeat myself? Your mischaracterization was not of Perigo, but of the intellectual milieu of the TOC conference. You imply that the one issue about libertarians was the focus or even a major part of the conference; that is false. That is my point. Not . . . wait for it . . . NOT that Perigo lied.
  11. Yes, I said you formed your entire impression of the TOC conference from a few remarks by Perigo. I never said that Perigo lied. Your impression, that the ARI conference was somehow more academic or serious than TOC's, was misguided. In fact, that's what I said in my earlier post!: "My point is that the original poster was trying to demonstrate the ARI is somehow more serious than TOC. Furthermore, if the original poster had been completely forthcoming, he would have mentioned that there were treatments of Rand's ethics contrasted with recent neo-Aristotelian ethical theories, a discussion and critique of Robert Nozick, bioethics, Rand and modern philosophy, and many more "serious" "academic" classes. So let's not attack a straw man here. My purpose is not to engage in a debate over the term "libertarian" or tolerationism--I was making a specific point about the level of dialogue at both TOC and ARI." I agree with you that the TOC spends too much time talking about libertarianism. But you made it seem as if the conference was just a big debate over what to do about libertarians. _That_ is my point, not that Perigo lied.
  12. I'm sorry, I quoted the wrong passage, I meant to quote: "The tone of my remarks is borne of frustration--specifically pointing out patent facts and still having them denied (e.g. my statement that Eric Mack is not a Catholic. I think that it is pretty slanderous to say that he is, given that he is actually an atheist and, from his writings, would be diametrically opposed to Catholicism in every way)." My remark was about Mack in particular. I think that most Objectivists would agree that calling someone Catholic when they are not is pretty slanderous.
  13. I never said Perigo lied. I said "WGD: Even if you think I have been lying and have no integrity, don't you value yours enough to admit when you have fabricated something out of thin air (i.e. calling Eric Mack Catholic)?" My remark was directed specifically about you calling Mack a Catholic, a statement which is completely wrong, yet you refuse to admit it.
  14. YOU should care about fabricating stories about Mack because you should care about honesty and integrity. I never said that Mack or anyone called themselves a neo-Randian. It's a neologism I coined to describe thinkers who agree with Rand's fundamentals but are critical of other aspects of her work. That is why I consider people like Mack and Miller neo-Randians (even though they don't self apply the term)--they agree with Rand's essential framework while disagreeing with other elements. Please post the link demonstrating that Mack is Catholic.
  15. Here is an analogy: You go up to a random person, break his legs with a crowbar, thereby rendering him an invalid. You are required to compensate this person, pay damages, and do what it takes to get him back to self-sufficiency. Similarly, when you bring a child into this world, you are essentially creating a person who is not self-sufficient and YOU are responsible for bringing it to self-sufficiency, just as you are with the invalid.
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