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Grames

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  1. Like
    Grames reacted to whYNOT in Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"   
    National Rights

    A nation, like any other group, is only a number of individuals and can have no rights other than the rights of its individual citizens. A free nation—a nation that recognizes, respects and protects the individual rights of its citizens—has a right to its territorial integrity, its social system and its form of government. The government of such a nation is not the ruler, but the servant or agent of its citizens and has no rights other than the rights delegated to it by the citizens for a specific, delimited task (the task of protecting them from physical force, derived from their right of self-defense) . . . .
    Such a nation has a right to its sovereignty (derived from the rights of its citizens) and a right to demand that its sovereignty be respected by all other nations.
    “Collectivized ‘Rights,’”
    The Virtue of Selfishness,
    ----
    "Such a nation has a right to its own sovereignty (derived from the rights of its citizens)..." [AR]
    No one is there yet.
    So? Does one put on hold one's nation's sovereignty and national interests until this is achieved?
    It is national *identity* which I think concerns us here. If that identity is not 'perfect' as yet, one may be advised to "not let the perfect be the enemy of the good". That's a source of frustration and unhappiness, and, most probably, an obstacle to achieving this desired state of affairs. The "good" has to be emphasized, not left behind and forgotten.
    To mention again the "esteem" one has (or has not?) "...for one's country's liberties... etc.".
    Perhaps some would think that one cannot hold any value for one's country and the amount of freedom all individuals have - until -  individual rights are attained? I disagree. E.g. Americans have much to be proud of due to their aggregated national culture - their specific identity - which was and is still individualism, implicit and not fully realized as it may be. I would think this is THE sound base to be built upon. To expect individual rights and laissez-faire to arrive in one's lifetime, is likely unrealistic (depending on your age ;)). 
    A national identity is what anti-nationalists, internationalists/globalists repudiate, quite as altruist-collectivists do an individual's identity, by playing on fears of war-mongering, xenophobia, etc.. (I.e., a person's subjective, predatory 'selfishness'). From what I observe there are hidden motives here to merge a nation's unique identity with other nations, so to sacrifice it.
     
     
  2. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"   
    The centrality of individual rights as an organizing principle in the conduct of government is itself an aspect of a culture only few nations have ever possessed.
  3. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Consciousness as Irreducible   
    He does not know or accept that information is a physical phenomenon properly included within the scope of physics, first defined by Claude Shannon in "A Mathematical Theory of Communication".  If information can only be semantic he cannot conceive of studying information non-semantically.  For those that persist in doing so anyway, they must be denying the existence of semantic information.  Then he has the additional problem, how is it possible for purely semantic information to have physical consequences such moving one's limbs and communicating thoughts in speech or writing?  The new mental force or substance bridges the gap between semantic meaning and physical causation.
    Binswanger also misuses the concept of irreducible in the context of the axiomatic concept of consciousness.  What is epistemologically irreducible is not necessarily physically or metaphysically irreducible.  Life is also an axiomatic concept but it is absurd to claim living things are not composed of physical parts that can be studied.
    This line directly addresses the title of the thread:  Consciousness is epistemologically irreducible because it is axiomatic but it is an error to claim consciousness is physically or metaphysically irreducible.
  4. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Consciousness as Irreducible   
    Consciousness is an attribute of living things.  Living is action.  Consciousness is a type of action.  The concept of action assumes entities that act, nevertheless the action is distinguishable and distinct from the entity that acts.   So yes, as Binswanger writes “Consciousness exists and matter exist” but also I would add consciousness can only exist because matter exists, matter as both subject and object of consciousness.  
    Binswanger is correct to argue against a version of reductionism that would deny consciousness exists.  But to investigate the physiological nature of brains (human or animal) to identify what actions of consciousness are and how they occur is not reductionist.  Binswanger is wrong to adopt the dualist premise that consciousness is one of the fundamental ontological components of the universe, literally a yet to be discovered substance.
  5. Like
    Grames got a reaction from EC in Eco-fascist attack in New Zealand   
    The central bank is the central pillar of fascism.  America has had its central bank for over 100 years now and a lot of toxic shit has spawned in its shadow.  We have the black shirts and political correctness, we have the degenerate popular culture of Wiemar.  We have the race vs. sex. vs religion identity group struggle over control of local and national government. Mass news media and academia is entirely given over to moralizing propaganda of the fascist perspective.  Fascism is here.  It isn't fully manifested yet and isn't fully in control but it is definitely here.   Its going to get worse.
  6. Like
    Grames reacted to Reidy in Law of Identity and Evolution   
    The argument here (identity precludes change) first showed up in Parmenides ca 500 BC. From the Dictionary of Greek and Roman Biography and Mythology:
    On the former path [i.e. of reason] we convince ourselves that the existent neither has come into being, nor is perishable, and is entirely of one sort, without change and limit, neither past nor future, entirely included in the present. For it is as impossible that it can become and grow out of the existent, as that it could do so out of the non-existent; since the latter, non-existence, is absolutely inconceivable, and the former cannot precede itself; and every coming into existence presupposes a non-existence.
    His writings give us the first example of an explicit premise-and-conclusion argument. Much of Aristotle's metaphysics amounts to an explanation of what's wrong with that argument.
  7. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Which Eternity?   
    Causal connection.  Physical, material causality through direct and indirect contact or through fields or whatever else physics may discover.
    Then that thing would be unknowable, and it would be arbitrary to speculate about its existence.
  8. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Which Eternity?   
    No.  The concept of Universe works just as well whether what exists is finite or infinite.  Concepts are by definition and in practical usage open ended.   Furthermore, paraphrasing Aristotle and his principle of identity, everything that exists has particular definite form.  A 'sum' or 'whole' used in reference to the diversity of all that exists then is not something that has a primary sense of existence but rather it is merely an epistemological device.   A good definition will specify a genus and differentia; but the definition of Universe can have no differentia.  Universe then is a special and problematic epistemological contrivance.   
    Is it a problem that needs solving?  Can it be avoided?  I say no and no.
  9. Like
    Grames got a reaction from MisterSwig in Which Eternity?   
    Potential is identity viewed from epistemological perspective, a mind with memory and imagination.   All that exists are particulars, doing particular definite things in accordance with their identities.   It takes imagination or memory to divert the mind's attention away from what the object of the mind's attention is doing right this moment.  
    'Potential energy' is a concept taught in elementary physics classes.  Pendulum motion is described using the principle of conservation of energy such that the sum of the pendulums kinetic energy of motion and its potential energy of position must remain constant (neglecting friction for the moment).  Here the so-called potential energy is real and actual because the pendulum is a real and actual existent with a real and actual position within a gravity field at every instant.   One can avoid the potential confusion of thinking of potentials as real because it appears in an equation describing the pendulum's motion by using the term 'energy of position' instead.   
    This kind of statement "a sea battle either will happen tomorrow or not happen tomorrow" is formally true because the alternatives are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive, but it does not constitute knowledge and cannot be categorized as a fact because it does not predicate anything.  (It predicates two perfect contradictories which cancel to net zero predication.)  The grammar of the statement is correct, the logic of the posited alternatives is flawless, yet it remains entirely an exercise in method.  It is an unfalsifiable statement of the kind Popper scorned.  The statement employs the useful and valid concept of "tomorrow", but that does not transform the referent of "tomorrow" from an epistemological construct (a 'concept of method' in Objectivist jargon) into an existential fact.
    Tree rings exist in the present as an effect with a cause in the past.  The cause existed, then the effect existed.  The present existence of the effect does not require the present existence of the cause.
    Going back to your argument:
    No beginning and no end can still be literally true if a finite Universe had some kind of strange asymptotic boundary conditions governing time.  For example, space and time are related such that a very high mass density implies a very high space time curvature such that time slows to a crawl relative to a lesser curvature. The Big Bang would have played out very slowly, and extrapolating backward in time beyond the Big Bang requires crossing an inflection point where time would not pass at all.   A remote future in which all matter had entered black holes and then been re-radiated as Hawking radiation until all the black holes were gone would be a perfectly static universe in which time had no meaning.
  10. Like
    Grames reacted to StrictlyLogical in Which Eternity?   
    Sorry to interject, and I cannot speak for Grames,  but everything which exists, exists now.  That does not in any way detract from the fact that things existed "in the past" or that things (or states or configurations of things) will exist "in the future".  I know it sounds like a semantic game, but it is not.  The fact that we can remember and/or deduce the past from the present, or predict (to varying rates of success) future events from the present, does not serve enough to "equate" the fundamentally different categories of NOW versus "PAST" and "FUTURE". [ I do understand there is some nuance involved in talking about the fundamental differences without invoking the ancient fallacies that "change requires destruction and creation" (or there can be no change?) or "you cant stand in the same river twice"]
    So what is the status of traces of the "past"?  Whether rings of a tree, or photographic remains from the 19th century, or actual memories in our brains, there exist states and configurations of things as they exist now, which are a result of causation which occurred in the "past" and involved existents as they were in the "past".  But the existents are no longer as they were in the "past"... forms, chemicals, arrangements of matter change... although some preservation of states (or a clear connection of present states to those of the past) is necessary to deduce the past (chemicals in a photographic plate which have preserved their states which were caused by interaction with light at the moment the photograph was taken)   [Aside: I accept the oddness that since time is always in motion, even the act of recalling the distant past involves processes which themselves involve time... to see an image of my childhood home, my visual cortex and associated systems are provided with something which has been stored for years, but the experience I have of seeing it in my mind, is already milliseconds old.. since the time of recall to the time of "display/experience" is not instantaneous....] 
    In that sense things only ARE, but we see from what they ARE what they (or perhaps what other things) WERE.
    What about the status of the "future"?  The "future" IS not, but it WILL be.  What it will be is inexorably through causality linked to all that is now, so we have the luxury of being somewhat able to predict and project, what to expect existence to be in future, by thinking about it.  That a ball will arc through the air into your baseball glove according to a parabola, and you can place yourself to catch it is a wonderful thing.  But "time" is simply a measure of the changes in the things which exist... it is not that there is a ball and time and you somehow have figured out the relationship between the two, there is, was and only ever will be the ball.  The FACT is that the ball, its attributes (position momentum weight size) and its arrangement in relation to the Earth its nature and the fact of gravity, all mean that there will be a causal chain of events which is not random.  The facts of things that ARE do exist, and they will affect the future, but those facts of things as they are now, exist now.
    Again in that sense, things only ARE, but we can see from what they ARE what they MIGHT (or WILL) be.
     
    Although we can remember the "past" and predict the "future", although the "past" affected the present and the present will affect the "future", there IS only NOW.  Moreover, since time is merely the fact that THINGS change, and "time" is not a thing in itself, there literally is no PAST or FUTURE.  They do not EXIST now...  All we should mean when we refer to various "points" in time are the THINGS as THEY WERE (or WILL BE) AT those times.  Referring to a disjointed floating time is technically meaningless.  There is no December 2, 2020 as such, but we CAN speak of THINGS AS THEY WILL BE on December 2, 2020.
    It's the same as the concept "number", one is no more correct to refer to a disembodied "past" or "future" (rather than referring to the past states of things or the future states of things) than to refer to "six" absent specifying six "what"? [As in "I saw Six running in the lobby today" ... "Six?  You saw Six what running in the lobby?" ... "No just Six, I saw it running in the lobby" ... "Incredible... utterly fantastic numbers are not things... there are only numbers of things (and by measurement omission ... numbers of "anythings")]
     
    For clarity, I do not think you are wrong to see the "past" and the "future" in things that ARE, but the notions "past" and "future" can only ever mean what things were and what things will be, and the act of seeing those "in the things that are" is merely an identification of identity and causality as the prime "movers" of "change", not an identification of a literal past or future "in" the present.
  11. Like
    Grames reacted to dream_weaver in Which Eternity?   
    It was in the Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy to be found:
    The climax of the "miraculous" view of existence is represented by those existentialists who echo Heidegger, demanding: "Why is there any being at all and not rather nothing?"—i.e., why does existence exist? This is the projection of a zero as an alternative to existence, with the demand that one explain why existence exists and not the zero.
    Granted the claim of the "miraculous" view is not stated explicitly in your lines leading up to it, but Heidegger's demand resonates in the cited portion. The denial that it is "NOT Reification of the Zero" brushes aside just 'what' is the alternative to existence.
     
  12. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Which Eternity?   
    Potential is identity viewed from epistemological perspective, a mind with memory and imagination.   All that exists are particulars, doing particular definite things in accordance with their identities.   It takes imagination or memory to divert the mind's attention away from what the object of the mind's attention is doing right this moment.  
    'Potential energy' is a concept taught in elementary physics classes.  Pendulum motion is described using the principle of conservation of energy such that the sum of the pendulums kinetic energy of motion and its potential energy of position must remain constant (neglecting friction for the moment).  Here the so-called potential energy is real and actual because the pendulum is a real and actual existent with a real and actual position within a gravity field at every instant.   One can avoid the potential confusion of thinking of potentials as real because it appears in an equation describing the pendulum's motion by using the term 'energy of position' instead.   
    This kind of statement "a sea battle either will happen tomorrow or not happen tomorrow" is formally true because the alternatives are mutually exclusive and jointly exhaustive, but it does not constitute knowledge and cannot be categorized as a fact because it does not predicate anything.  (It predicates two perfect contradictories which cancel to net zero predication.)  The grammar of the statement is correct, the logic of the posited alternatives is flawless, yet it remains entirely an exercise in method.  It is an unfalsifiable statement of the kind Popper scorned.  The statement employs the useful and valid concept of "tomorrow", but that does not transform the referent of "tomorrow" from an epistemological construct (a 'concept of method' in Objectivist jargon) into an existential fact.
    Tree rings exist in the present as an effect with a cause in the past.  The cause existed, then the effect existed.  The present existence of the effect does not require the present existence of the cause.
    Going back to your argument:
    No beginning and no end can still be literally true if a finite Universe had some kind of strange asymptotic boundary conditions governing time.  For example, space and time are related such that a very high mass density implies a very high space time curvature such that time slows to a crawl relative to a lesser curvature. The Big Bang would have played out very slowly, and extrapolating backward in time beyond the Big Bang requires crossing an inflection point where time would not pass at all.   A remote future in which all matter had entered black holes and then been re-radiated as Hawking radiation until all the black holes were gone would be a perfectly static universe in which time had no meaning.
  13. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Which Eternity?   
    Is not the view actually put in the positive sense, that it is claimed time is only inside the universe?  Time is an attribute of what exists.  Outside of the whole of existence there is nothing.  Nothing can have no attributes.  Nothing can be claimed about what is not-existence.
    All of that is merely laying out foundations of straight thinking in metaphysics to rule out some mysticism.   I would not read Rand as making wild claims about the ultimate fate of the universe, whether it exists endlessly or not or in what form.
     
  14. Like
    Grames got a reaction from KorbenDallas in Animals and Unit Identification   
    Animals don't have language and so cannot have concepts.  Without concepts they cannot regard instances of the concept as units.  
    What animals do have is abilities of pattern recognition and memory and patterned behavior and those do a pretty good job together of doing everything  a conceptual capacity would do with respect to (for example) a mammalian predator taking a go at stalking a new type of prey it hadn't encountered before.  So those mammals would not benefit from a conceptual capacity so evolution has not rewarded selection for it.  Humans can operate at that level: Malcolm Gladwell's book Blink is about pre-conceptual pattern recognition and I am specifically referring the examples there of "antiquities experts who recognize a fake at a glance" long before they can articulate what exactly is wrong with the fake.
     
  15. Thanks
    Grames got a reaction from Nicky in Do we have a "primitive mind"?   
    Can you apply the correspondence principle to it?  Reaction Y is not true or false it simply is, the legacy of your biological inheritance and integral to your identity as a rational animal (don't deny the animal part).  So no, it is not knowledge.
    Genetics encodes a great deal of information and it is expressed in the material form of the body and in its behaviors.  If you study photosynthesis you gain knowledge, but when a plant performs photosynthesis that is not application of knowledge.  'Information' already has a general, low level and thoroughly objective definition given by Claude Shannon that doesn't really focus on a biological context.  Using 'instinct' on plants doesn't seem correct either.  I think of it as 'technique'.  It is capacity for action which is genetically encoded, and action is not true or false.  An action improves evolutionary fitness or does not.
  16. Like
    Grames got a reaction from 2046 in Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"   
    You are way off topic here.  If this is a continuation of a disagreement originating in another thread then please take it back there.
  17. Like
    Grames got a reaction from softwareNerd in Notes and Comments on "The Virtue of Nationalism"   
    What alternative?  Name it please.
  18. Like
    Grames got a reaction from Craig24 in Means and Ends - False Dichotomy or Just False?   
    When there are people around you starting to feel a little squeamish about the amount of blood being shed, you remind them that the end justifies the means.  Then raise your eyebrow at them.
  19. Like
    Grames got a reaction from Craig24 in Means and Ends - False Dichotomy or Just False?   
    I agree.  There is a thread here discussing Consequentialism as the category of moral theories holding that morality lies in the ends not the means.  Deonotological moral theories hold that morality lies in taking certain actions, i.e. the means not the ends.  The two together form a category of Intrinsicist moral theories.  As intrinsicism is entirely false, ends versus means is a false dichotomy.
    Recapitulating what user gio reminded us of in that thread : Morality guides action, and actions are means.  Thus in Objectivism morality is about means and so cannot be characterized as Consequentialist or compatible with Consequentialism.  But Objectivism does not tell us what actions to take.  No actions are intrinsically good in Objectivism because Objectivist ethics are not Deontological (or intrinsicist of any type). 
    Objectivism is based on identity and causality, thus the appropriate actions to take are the ones that cause the consequences desired.  The full appreciation of the problem of morality is that multiple actions may bring about the desired consequence, and each action will have multiple consequences in addition to the desired consequence.  It's just too much to deal with, it's an epistemological overload. 
    Objectivist ethics then, goes on at length about values and codes of values and the standard of value in order to deal with the epistemological problem of morality.
  20. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Means and Ends - False Dichotomy or Just False?   
    I agree.  There is a thread here discussing Consequentialism as the category of moral theories holding that morality lies in the ends not the means.  Deonotological moral theories hold that morality lies in taking certain actions, i.e. the means not the ends.  The two together form a category of Intrinsicist moral theories.  As intrinsicism is entirely false, ends versus means is a false dichotomy.
    Recapitulating what user gio reminded us of in that thread : Morality guides action, and actions are means.  Thus in Objectivism morality is about means and so cannot be characterized as Consequentialist or compatible with Consequentialism.  But Objectivism does not tell us what actions to take.  No actions are intrinsically good in Objectivism because Objectivist ethics are not Deontological (or intrinsicist of any type). 
    Objectivism is based on identity and causality, thus the appropriate actions to take are the ones that cause the consequences desired.  The full appreciation of the problem of morality is that multiple actions may bring about the desired consequence, and each action will have multiple consequences in addition to the desired consequence.  It's just too much to deal with, it's an epistemological overload. 
    Objectivist ethics then, goes on at length about values and codes of values and the standard of value in order to deal with the epistemological problem of morality.
  21. Like
    Grames got a reaction from A.C.E. in Ontology via Contrast: a proposition concurrent with Objectivism?   
    Many things exist.  Everything that exists interacts with every other thing that exists, and no matter how small or attenuated that interaction may be it is not zero.  For an existent to be somehow isolated fully from every aspect of existence it would effectively be in its own separate universe, unknowable and epistemologically out-of-bounds as an object of valid thought.
    Identity  which does not involve a relational aspect with other identities is just unknowable.  So it can't be discussed.  
    Metaphysics and epistemology go together because the limits of what can can be claimed to exist coincide with the limits of what is knowable.   No one can justifiably confirm or deny either the existence or nonexistence of what is outside of the Universe.  Any justification that one might discover to such an isolated unknown would also be a casual link that would rope that existent into inclusion in what the concept Universe refers to which is the entirety of existence.   Existence is Identity is Casuality.
     
  22. Like
    Grames got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Ontology via Contrast: a proposition concurrent with Objectivism?   
    Many things exist.  Everything that exists interacts with every other thing that exists, and no matter how small or attenuated that interaction may be it is not zero.  For an existent to be somehow isolated fully from every aspect of existence it would effectively be in its own separate universe, unknowable and epistemologically out-of-bounds as an object of valid thought.
    Identity  which does not involve a relational aspect with other identities is just unknowable.  So it can't be discussed.  
    Metaphysics and epistemology go together because the limits of what can can be claimed to exist coincide with the limits of what is knowable.   No one can justifiably confirm or deny either the existence or nonexistence of what is outside of the Universe.  Any justification that one might discover to such an isolated unknown would also be a casual link that would rope that existent into inclusion in what the concept Universe refers to which is the entirety of existence.   Existence is Identity is Casuality.
     
  23. Like
    Grames got a reaction from patrik 7-2321 in What exactly is "full validation" of an idea in Objectivism?   
    OTI was created long ago with the laudable goal of combating a tendency toward rationalism.  However, there was not an actual theory of induction within Objectivism during Rand's lifespan (and arguably there still isn't since Objectivism as Rand knew it became a closed system upon her death).  So it is a question whether what Peikoff and Rand were doing in OTI is actually induction in the technical philosophical sense.
    Binwanger is unreliable due to his radical dualism.  In any contradiction between Binwanger and Rand or a Peikoff/Rand presentation dump Binswanger.
    Peikoff and Harriman authored "The Logical Leap: Induction in Physics" which is little more than the claim that the process of concept formation is induction.  That doesn't satisfy many people looking for a theory of induction who are not already Objectivists and many who are.
    Peikoff's lecture course "Art of Thinking" lecture 6 covers "aspects of certainty excised from OPAR for space".  The four aspects covered are thinking about the future, thinking in terms of statistics, does present context of knowledge limit certainty, and does certainty imply error is impossible.   I wonder how much your line questioning here is motivated by an underlying confusion about certainty, and if that should be your next question.
  24. Like
    Grames reacted to StrictlyLogical in "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton   
    Agreed.  Here is one stark example I am reminded of:
    "In proportion to the mental energy he spent, the man who creates a new invention receives but a small percentage of his value in terms of material payment, no matter what fortune he makes, no matter what millions he earns. But the man who works as a janitor in the factory producing that invention, receives an enormous payment in proportion to the mental effort that his job requires of him. And the same is true of all men between, on all levels of ambition and ability. The man at the top of the intellectual pyramid contributes the most to all those below him, but gets nothing except his material payment, receiving no intellectual bonus from others to add to the value of his time. The man at the bottom who, left to himself, would starve in his hopeless ineptitude, contributes nothing to those above him, but receives the bonus of all of their brains. Such is the nature of the “competition” between the strong and the weak of the intellect. Such is the pattern of “exploitation” for which you have damned the strong."
    Galt's Speech (For the New Intellectual, 186)
    Although the above involves a mix of material and spiritual values (both of which I think would qualify as "benefit"), I think it is clear that it accepts that the act of invention involves conveying a great degree of benefit to others (perhaps given the quote this is an understatement?).
     
    To my knowledge, Rand did not make it a point to state that it is not in a man's rational self-interest to invent anything, i.e. although she did strongly suggest that being a parasite or a thief are inimical to a persons life and thus those "careers" should be avoided, she did not make the same pronouncement about the vocation of "Inventor" notwithstanding the imbalance of "benefit" quoted above. 
    She was a strong supporter of Patents and Copyrights, and as far as I know nothing in her analysis of a proper intellectual property system addresses the issue of the inventor receiving only a "small percentage of his value" NO MATTER what millions he earns. In essence, "free riding" here (at least in spiritual values) is inevitable, and unavoidable, BUT at the end of the analysis, irrelevant since inventing is still in the inventor's self interest, and VERY much so if one both enjoys it and can do it in a lucrative manner.
  25. Like
    Grames reacted to 2046 in What is 'reason'?   
    Also, in Rand's epistemology, it's not the sensations that are being conceptually united by the process of reason, one does not experience sensations in most normal circumstances (ie., unless you have diminished mental capacity, are in a sensory deprivation experiment, etc.) The process of integrating sensations into perception is physiological, not rational (as in Kant), one experiences a united perceptual field, rather than sensations. The process of reason proceeds, under this theory, by abstracting from the field of perception, and then integrating the units conceptually as you described.
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