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StrictlyLogical last won the day on September 19

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  1. Standard of Value - Life, Posterity, Legacy

    I'm sorry but this seems nonsensical and prone to context dropping. Surely a man's moral standard cannot be Man's life, as in Mankind's life, that isn't practicable or even possible even if one could make sense of it. Certainly understanding general principles of human exercise and diet etc are useful in determining right and wrong from the standpoint of activity and eating but only as a rough first approximation. One must act in the context of ones own particular life but one's own person, taking his joint condition or seafood allergies into account to determine what is beneficial to his life and what is inimical to it.
  2. Abstractions as such do not exist?

    Yes. A man, each and every man who has lived is living or will live.
  3. Abstractions as such do not exist?

    The answer to that is not simple but multilayered. The abstraction literally exists only in a man's mind, but all of man exists in reality. It has to do with the fact that on the one hand there is a mind which perceives, identifies, thinks about, remembers, things in the real world. Generally the referents of mental activity are real. The contents of mental activity ARE to be distinguished from the things in reality which is why one should be careful about confusing concepts and their referents... they are not the same thing. On the other hand man is a natural system, he is in his entirety made of natural stuff, functioning according to the particular arrangement and state of that part of reality of which he is made. Man is not divorced from reality or separate from it, he is embedded in it... this is also true of his brain and his mind. The abstraction chair (in the context of a man) is a dynamic existing subset/or portion of an incredibly complex process and equally complex system which obtains whenever that man goes through the process of thinking about a chair. The existence of that dynamic existing subset is required for him to introspectively assert he is thinking about chairs and using the process of conceptualization.. i.e. that he holds an abstraction "chair" which refer to "chairs" of reality. It also must exist for him to make any decision based in any way on any consideration involving chairs... without the concept a man would not walk over and sit on it. The fact that chairs are even made rely on the fact of existence in a men's mind the abstraction "chair" otherwise he would not build it. Here is where we come to the central issue. "What" in existence we mean by the "abstraction" chair? Certainly there is no little chair floating around in a man's skull, there is no wood, and no chair backs, or legs. There is no image on a man's frontal lobe in the shape of a chair. There is an unfathomably complex process occurring in a mass of chemicals and cells and electrical impulses... There is an aspect of reality which corresponds to the abstraction in a man's mind of "chair". As I hinted at previously this can be seen or experienced from two perspectives, the internal first person one and the third person one. From the first person perspective the fact of reality which is the abstraction in the man's mind is experienced as a thought of a "chair". From the third person perspective the fact of reality which is the abstraction in the man's mind would be observed and identified as something which looks nothing like a chair and may in fact be unrecognizable without the most sophisticated diagnostic system. The abstraction literally exists only in a man's mind, but all of man exists in reality.
  4. Abstractions as such do not exist?

    I think if you looked at it literally it's more complicated than the bare question "do they exist". Consider by analogy the processes and functions of your perceptual apparatus which gives rise to a perception. Consider also there are two viewpoints generally by which one could hope to analyze it. A third person viewpoint sees sensory stimuli in reality impinginging upon the physical parts of the perceptual apparatus, processes are set into operation and a conversion is made into chemical and electrical signalling and activation which are carried and propagated through the nervous system and to various centres of the brain. By all rights, from the third person perspective the perception is the process and the complex system carrying it out and undergoing the process. The other viewpoint is the first person view of the conscious entity who is experiencing the perceiving. This is in quality quite different from the third person view but it is also a true identification of the "what" of reality that is the act of perception. I think all mental activity is just that, a process (a static brain is dead... only an active electrical and chemical signalling brain is alive). So does a process which corresponds to the act of thinking with use of abstractions exist? Can some aspect of the complex system and the processes involved be identified as giving rise to that part of the thought which is the abstraction? I see no reason why not. If those systems and processes responsible for abstraction exist then in that way abstractions exist. Certainly in the sense that they happen and in fact have causal consequences by virtue of man's use of them in volitional action they exist, in a complex way, but not in a child's view of thoughts rattling around in ones head like so many literal tiny little toy replicas of things to which the thoughts refer.
  5. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    There is nothing here which requires anything additional to what has been discussed above. I'll bow out now.
  6. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    This makes no sense to me. Describe a single scenario and I might be able to follow.
  7. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    "Necessity" is a problematic term but the accepted use of it does capture the law of identity and causality as applied to temporal relationships. As I said above it's redundant, but it is OK if ALL you mean by it is what you already know from identity and identity applied to action.
  8. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    The question is ill formed. It is asked in a way that implies some entities participation in an interaction do not contribute to a result (when clearly they do) by comparing the interaction to a DIFFERENT interaction that WOULD have resulted in a DIFFERENT result which to a blind unthinking eye is indistinguishable. The implication that the contribution was not required to get the result (as stated) ignores the fact that there was a contribution and there was a different result. The actual result in reality is that three coins squish a fly faster, and more fully than two coins. Whatever the result, what participated, participated, and what happened, happened due to what participated. The result (necessarily) flows from the entities participating.
  9. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    Yes. The philosophical aspect of this, is that wholly independently of when you know the whole story, or whether you ever know it, reality itself never departed from identity and causality.
  10. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    OK just to follow up, and to explain why you're getting some pushback from me on this consider the following statement: Electrons have an electrostatic charge and act to repel other electrons. Keeping in mind the referents of this statement, electrons, and the fact that they do have a negative electric charge, and the fact that they act to repel each other, how would the meaning of the statement, the meaning relevant, valid, and true in its reference to reality, be improved by the addition of the term "necessary"? Is your statement of reality more accurate if you state a thing "necessarily" has identity or that it "necessarily" has a property (as opposed to stating the fact that it simply is what it is and has that propery). Is your statement of reality more accurate when you state an electron "necessarily" repels other electrons or "necessarily" acts in accordance with its nature (as opposed to merely stating electrons act to repel other electrons... period)? The invocation of "necessity" is redundant (pardon the pun but entirely unnecessary) when the law of identity and the law of causality are fully embraced.
  11. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    The weight of three coins combine to squish a fly... if two would have been sufficient... is the presence of the other one necessary? If not, did one coin not cause the fly to be squished? If the coins are each the exact same weight and any one of them was unnecessary are all of them equally unnecessary?
  12. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    As long as there is any contribution to the outcome a something can be one of the causes. I'm not sure what you mean by necessity. Something either interacts or acts or it simply doesn't... can you explain necessity? IF you mean something extra acting to make things happen I would suggest using Rand's razor... if by necessity you are simply restating the law of identity as applied to action ... then yes. Water dissolves sugar at room temperature because ... water dissolves sugar at room temperature! It happens because of what they are ... a fact being a law implies a kind of necessity ... an identification that reality does not depart from it... I.e. It is necessary that things act according to their natures. But this is not some additional thing added onto the law causality it is merely a way of expressing it.
  13. Ayn Rand's official public notice

    Oops I had first used the permissive "may not be" but opted for the more definite "is not" and failed to completely clean it. Thank you!
  14. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    That depends on the context. English uses include the things which are involved in a process, those things which were present in their states prior to the process, being the "causes". English also uses "cause" as a term denoting the process itself... the things in their states prior to the process "cause" the process and also the end states and things after the process. The term cause also denotes a temporal relationship of necessity, the things present in their first state caused the process to occur, the processed occurring caused the things in their end states... BUT FOR A, B would not have occurred, i.e. A is in relation to B as its cause. Really cause is just a label for the entities, the actions they take, and relationships they have... in reality A is A and B is B and in the context, A and B interact, and C results. C can be A and B in different states, or a destroyed A or B or something neither A nor B, all of it would be in accordance with the nature of the entities. If your subconscious starts to look for it... there is not cause for causation.
  15. Causality For Someone who Doesn't Get it!

    That is not my intended significance. As far as I am concerned the "law" is applicable to "causation", "causes", "causality", actions by entities (all actions), and entities that act (all entities ... sometime), interaction, change, reactions, results, effects, outcomes... etc. etc. etc. it matters not what particular term was used to entitle it. Perhaps it is easier to consider the law from the perspective of the result or effect or outcome. The law of causality means that any result, effect, or outcome is due to the nature of the entities participating to produce that result, effect, or outcome and that result, effect, or outcome must be consistent with those natures. Rather than get into a language game, I take each of these (result, effect, outcome) to be synonymous and indicative of the broad concept, in this context, of the end state after some process occurs involving entities.