Welcome to Objectivism Online Forum

Welcome to Objectivism Online, a forum for discussing the philosophy of Ayn Rand. For full access, register via Facebook or email.


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About Grames

  • Rank
    Serial Thinker

Contact Methods

  • Website URL http://
  • ICQ 0

Profile Information

  • Gender Male
  • Location Pennsylvania

Previous Fields

  • Country United States
  • State (US/Canadian) Pennsylvania
  • Relationship status Single
  • Sexual orientation Straight
  • Copyright Must Attribute

Recent Profile Visitors

15297 profile views
  1. A standard is put to use by comparing to it. A standard of value has to be itself commensurate with what is being compared. Therefore a standard of value has to be a value. Circularity as a logical fallacy is about logical justification that references itself. To simply pick one value out of the set of all values as the standard by which one can compare them and order them is not circular because that does not define or justify value by referencing itself. A value is "that which one acts to gain or keep".
  2. So, "life in itself" is considered to have no content, is empty, has no identity as in particular place and time and no need to take actions to continue living? Yeah that is a pretty sterile concept of life. However, any existent shorn of all its attributes simply does not exist. Your concept of life (human life in this specific context) is faulty because it does not refer to or include any of the biological attributes of life. But there is no life without moment-to-moment experiences, pre-rational desires and satisfactions of biological needs, therefore no valid concept of life can omit them. Concepts are open-ended, thus the concept of life in Objectivism refers to all of the attributes of life and not just some of them or the abstract rational attributes.
  3. The stolen concept fallacy is employing a concept which is logically dependent on a prior concept to attack the validity of that prior concept. Rand on Anti-concepts : "... It consists of creating an artificial, unnecessary, and (rationally) unusable term, designed to replace and obliterate some legitimate concepts—a term which sounds like a concept, but stands for a “package-deal” of disparate, incongruous, contradictory elements taken out of any logical conceptual order or context, a “package-deal” whose (approximately) defining characteristic is always a non-essential. This last is the essence of the trick." As anti-concepts are not reliably dependent on antecedent concepts I don't buy into your statement that stolen concepts are a type of anti-concept. In fact the stolen concept fallacy needs a valid concept to steal before the fallacy can be completed. Consciousness can never be an anti-concept no matter how ill-defined or mis-characterized. Epiphenomenalism is a theory about the attributes of consciousness. Epiphenomenalism qua concept has reference to specific imputed attributes of consciousness and thus is a perfectly valid concept acting as a file-folder and name for that particular wildly erroneous theory. It is neither anti-concept not stolen concept. EDIT: Objectivism holds consciousness as fundamental, even identifies it as the third axiomatic concept after Existence and Identity. Epiphenomenalism abuses the axiom of identity as it applies to consciousness, as if something could exist yet not participate fully in existence by being both caused and in turn being a cause.
  4. Some (most common ones today? I'm no expert) software players can emulate what a DVD player does and play protected DVD files straight off the hard disk. Brief history of DeCSS on wikipedia, which made it possible to watch DVDs on Linux computer systems.
  5. Actually, the legal distinction is that encrypted data is considered differently. Music CDs have never been encrypted.
  6. Your understanding applies to music CDs. Ethically the right thing is keeping a copy of what you paid for. Legally, one never had a right to make an electronic copy with or without a corresponding physical DVD purchase and possession. The special purpose rent-seeking legislation that was the DMCA simply made it illegal to break the encryption on most video DVDs for any purpose whatever. Since hypothetically one having made copies would already be in violation of the law regardless of the presence of physical backups, one could destroy the physical versions with no change of one's legal status. How that hypothetical situation answers your question I leave up to you. (I am pro-IP rights but against non-objective unenforceable IP laws. Copyright law should essentially be about redistribution.)
  7. In this particular passage the full quote of chapter 5 "Definition" of ITOE is: and yes here she is referring the valid concepts, the same concepts the other four schools of thought are also trying to explain. Here the phrase "dictated by reality" is simply underscores that consciousness is awareness of reality, not creating reality, nor half-remembering Platonic Forms from some other dimension in a prior existence before birth. The context of the sentence must be kept in mind when trying to understand the scope of the claim, and the context here is to distinguish Rand's theory from the other four prior theories she discussed. She is certainly not asserting that any wild gibberish spouted by a madman is also dictated by reality (and for that matter neither would Plato claim that the Forms were always remembered correctly and in full, in other words Plato also had a theory that implied invalid concepts existed, but invalid by his own, different standard.) I have been as clear as I can be and can think of nothing more to add would be helpful.
  8. To add on to this ... She was a fiction writer, a writer of such scenes as Kira getting shot by Soviet border guards as she tries to flee that country "Howard Roark laughed" Hank Rearden holding the lifeless body of the young man only referred to the "Wet Nurse" Eddie Willers getting stranded on a broken down train in a desert We would have never heard of Ayn Rand or read her nonfiction if not she had not first been able to make powerful emotional fiction first. She came up with her ideas known as Objectivism for the sake of her fiction. One type of persuasion can lead to others.
  9. Well its either that or shoot them in the face when they come to take you away to the reeducation camp. My way is more humane.
  10. As One wouldn't attack their whole worldview at once with salesmanship tactics, but rather chip away at the margins and sow doubt. This technique is compatible with the Objectivist "spiral of knowledge" and "crow epistemology" theories. No one can comprehend a topic all at once so address smaller aspects separately and from different directions over time.
  11. First, no concept was ever dictated by reality. Reality dictates a standard that can be used to distinguish between valid concepts and other kinds of concepts. It is up to you whether or not to use that standard in your own thinking. Second, invalid concepts are not objective. It is not the case that all concepts are properly formed and objective. If all concepts were objective then there would be no point in studying epistemology or the problem of universals since we would all be automatically correct anyway. I've been more than patient with you and do not appreciate being trolled. Your failure to understand is your own personal failure.
  12. It is a controversial claim. Rational argumentation is the only way to reach truth, but there are people who value something else more than truth and for them other methods are appropriate. See for example the books authored by Robert Cialdini, a long list of books on salesmanship tactics including Donald Trump's own Art of the Deal, or the histories of each of the world's religions and how they spread.
  13. The principles of structural engineering apply equally to buildings that stand and buildings that fall. Rand's principles of concept formation apply to both concepts that are valid and concepts that are not valid.
  14. What is ridiculous about it? If non-rational motivation causes someone to persist in socialist or Marxist thought then how would rational argumentation address that motivation? Plainly it can't and doesn't unless and until a person comes to value rational argumentation over the emotional payoffs of being righteous or conformist or rebellious etc... Some people (most people?) never get there.