Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

StrictlyLogical

Regulars
  • Content count

    1926
  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won

    106

Everything posted by StrictlyLogical

  1. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I think this entire subject and thread is illustrative of one thing. IF a "strict" reading of statement Rand made (either taken out of context or taken only in a very of a narrow impoverished context), is construed to contradict nearly everything she conveyed both explicitly and implicitly, by what she wrote and said, in volumes and volumes of fictional, philosophical, and editorial writings, and speeches, books, and interviews, about what values, selfishness, rationality, and morality mean, THEN insofar as anything CAN be concluded from said statement, it is ONLY that Rand, like any other human being is capable of making a mistake, as she (allegedly) did in making the statement, and NOT that a single isolated error (to the extent that it could even be called that) is sufficient to call into question the clear and irrefutable meaning of the monumental achievement which is her ethics of rational self interest as conveyed by her vast body of brilliant work.
  2. What is the Objectivist position on the following observations: 1. No thing can come from Nothing. 2. There was no prior time during which there was Nothing and from which (after which) came or arose all of existence. 3. The Universe is and always was, it had no beginning. 4. At every moment the chain of events in causation prior to that moment are the cause of what IS at that moment. 5. At no moment was there an absence of causation for what WAS at that moment, nor an absence of prior events and existents which constitute the causes of that causation. 6. The chain of causative events of the past are to be grasped as extending indefinitely into the past. 7. A chain of causative events extending indefinitely into the past implies an uncountable number of past events exceeding any finite number, since any finite number of events into the past constitutes a causal chain extending only definitely (finitely) into the past. In order to avoid a conclusion that something came from nothing, entities came from no entities, or that time came from no time etc., or that at one time there was not past and no causation; one must embrace a universe which has "forever" existed and has undergone an infinity of causal events in the past. This infinite accounting of events, is vaguely reminiscent of an infinite causal regress, the flawed argument of creation: universe was created by God 1 from nothing, God 1 was created by God 2 perhaps as part of another higher universe, from nothing; ... God X and his universe were created by God X+1 from nothing... in an infinite regress. The main difference between an infinite accounting and an infinite regress is that the causality of disparate events of an everlasting universe, although they are constantly and always "giving birth" to a metaphysically changed universe from what it was a moment ago, the universe has NOT come into existence from nothing nor is it a different universe, nor something of a categorical different order, and there is no "hierarchically separated" structure of creation as would be implied by a nested series of God creations of the infinite regress. What is the Objectivist position on the above, and (notwithstanding my above ruminations) why IS an infinite "regress" worse than an infinite causal chain?
  3. StrictlyLogical

    Objectivism: The Infinite, Causation, and the Universe

    Interesting... I'm not sure I agree with your assessment re. 3... Peikoff has dealt with it from a philosophical point of view I believe. As for "events", I do not mean disembodied action (which is literally an impossibility) but actual events we observe occurring in reality, i.e. entities interacting somewhere at some time, which together form the causal chain. My use of the term "event" includes the entities and the actions/interactions which define the event. "The car crash at 5:30 at 2nd and 5th streets" is an event which includes the cars, their interaction, etc... I could have gone into more detail but felt it was unnecessary and did not want to overcomplicate things. I do not know of a better term to generally identify or refer to any interaction of entities in the causal chain. If there is a better one please let me know. I would like to correct any misleading implications in the OP.
  4. StrictlyLogical

    What does 'valid' mean?

    ET Peikoff describes a process of chewing. Going up and down the ladder of abstractions from and to concretes... integrating up and reducing and concretizing down... gathering them up again... thinking.... back and forth.. strengthening the structure of your knowledge all the while. Although you will be tempted to skip some stuff (it gets a bit bogged down at parts) stick with it... don't skip things... you will find some of it quite illuminating. Hope you enjoy it! SL
  5. StrictlyLogical

    Classical music

    Ah. This is one of my favorite movements of his symphonies (although I generally like them all). I find music (absent lyrics that is) evokes pure emotion devoid of cognitive content, even though the writer may have been thinking of something specific which inspired him to evoke those emotions in his or her music, and even though the formulation and composition of the work may have involved a great deal of thinking, principles of composition etc. Another musician may be engaged in the composition of the work from a compositional perspective, in a sense, analyzing and admiring what the composer did as a musician himself, and so music can inspire musical thought, but the music does not have content as such, and although one might have feelings of joy, peace, sadness, loss, yearning, etc. wash over one while listening, no ideas of any kind (or even any specific ideas of these evoked emotions) are actually conveyed, just the feelings. In essence, music allows one to image or think about whatever one wishes to accompany the emotions washing over him or her; listening to classical music can and usually does involve a great deal of participation by the listener.
  6. StrictlyLogical

    What does 'valid' mean?

    I really recommend Piekoff's understanding objectivism... your affinity and skill for abstraction ... the best and the best intentions in you ... can fall victim to the academic culture of rationalism .. by a kind of osmosis, and it can infect even the way one thinks. I really think you are a thinker and I've seen a lot of great posts from you... and I think LPs UO (and his other stuff) would be great inoculation against a tendency of all thinkers to place ideas above reality (rationalism). cheers!
  7. StrictlyLogical

    What does 'valid' mean?

    Even disparate sensations prior to being integrated are still sensations caused by something, sensations of a something. Integrating them into perceptions does not transform them into the something itself, the perception is still caused by something (or some things) and hence a perception of something. One can be aware of the sensations and the perception and know they are caused by something or things prior to identifying what the something is or the somethings are. The point is that you know what your senses reveal are aspects of reality... whether it is some flash of light, a cracking sound, or a feeling against your skin... you don't need to know what aspects are causing the sensations or perceptions for you to experience and notice them and know that something out there is impinging on your senses. Until you have enough sensory information to have identified what caused it the widest concept indeed is "something" caused it. But once you have full sensory access to it, you can touch it, feel it, see it,smell or taste or hear (as applicable) it, then you come to understand what in reality you are dealing with. You can then fit it into your hierarchy in any way that makes sense... whether it be a wooden chair or a useless twisted jumble of bent metal... Sorry, what does this have to do with conceptualization?
  8. StrictlyLogical

    What does 'valid' mean?

    Assuming the "Indians" never saw anything on that part of the ocean before, it would make more sense that the ships would have been very noticeable, like a some new unaccounted for island or some inexplicable giant sea bird or other creature, clearly never previously seen in that spot and clearly out of place. I'd take whatever you read with a huge grain of salt. Post modernists like to say ridiculous things about perception. Something noticeable and very out of place does not become invisible simply because it is new to one's conceptual framework. It's something new for sure... and perhaps one cannot identify or fully understand what they are seeing... but is it still is a something which is seen. Whether or not and why they did or did not notice the ships is independent of the fact that they never had seen one before... new things are not invisible... if that were so humans would be literally blind as newborns and would permanently remain so throughout their lives.
  9. This brought a HUGE smile to my face and shocked me a bit at the same time. Mark Carder is a realist oil painter who has online courses, a Youtube channel and web page and a ton of free instructional videos, he also makes and sells paints and supplies. The clip is from a new show "What is Wrong with My Painting" where he meets with a "student" and critiques his or her work. At the end of this episode after the critique, he asks this "student" if she has any more questions. She starts to get a little gushy about how he is such a "pure teacher" and "very rare"... hope this brings a smile to your face too!
  10. StrictlyLogical

    Anything For Anybody Is Everything

    I tend to think we mean "conceptual knowledge" when we speak of knowledge in the context of philosophy. Conceptualization is something which an insect is incapable of... the great apes who use sign language... well even if they were to be held as capable of some modicum of knowledge it would be even more limited and fallible than ours. As with the example of aliens or nonbiological consciousnesses the system is finite, has only finite connection (via perception) to reality etc. Not sure about Rationalism being the core of it... I think many rationalists end up skeptics because they set themselves up for failure... Get a copy of Peikoff's "Understanding Objectivism", he really does a great job illustrating the dangers and errors of rationalism... he said he leant towards rationalism for decades and it was one of the biggest challenges to get over it... and he also claimed that rationalist leanings are the biggest (one of the biggest?) problems with academic philosophy... to paraphrase - a big barrier to understanding and objectivity.
  11. StrictlyLogical

    Anything For Anybody Is Everything

    Not sure what you mean by "several paragraphs"... The problem is how to bring a Rationalist down to Earth. The concept knowledge is applicable to and has ben formed with reference to only to one kind of existent of reality, human beings. "Knowledge" has no other referent in reality than that aspect and property which humans posses, it is utterly meaningless if one attempts to apply it out of that context (at least until we discover conscious aliens or create truly conscious nonbiological entities). BUT even when that happens each of those will be finite and fallible. A valid concept of knowledge already excludes omniscience and infallibility.
  12. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Thank you.
  13. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Plasmatic.. Easy Truth said that... not me.
  14. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I don't know where "temperament" falls in level of importance among the factors, but yes, part of the context of objective value is of course (and we KNOW this) the valuer to whom such and such is a value... his/her situation, age, health, abilities, mentality, personality, etc. i.e. the persons identity forms a paramount context for the objective value.
  15. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I'm not sure what you mean, specifically, by "commensurable". Something like "value", is context dependent applicable only to individuals (not some universal intrinsic quantity that can be added and subtracted in a collective mass of people). It is the same as, for example, as specifying the measurements of the "a personal line of sight" (of a person in a crowd) "to a central statue" they all can look at. One can say there exists a line of sight to the statue for each and every person. It exists. But because no two people stand exactly the same in relation to the statue, each line of sight is unique. As a concept, "line of sight" is equally applicable to each person and objectively each person does stand, and must stand, somehow in relation to the statue. If you mean by "commensurable", the fact that the concept is applicable to any person standing in the crowd then I would say "line of sight" is commensurable. If your definition of commensurable included the requirement that people had the same line of sight to the statue no matter where they were standing, or that there is a universal intrinsic quantity "line of sight" that can be calculated by adding "line of sight" of each of the people together, then I would have to disagree. The resulting multiplicity of lines or even some mongrel mathematically calculated average line is not a personal line of sight from anyone to the statue and such a contradiction with the definition of a line of sight is incoherent. A is a line of sight, B is a line of sight, A+B is NOT a conceptually valid line of sight. Such a conception and requirement for "commensurate" in this realm and the realm of contextual objective personal value would be incoherent at worst, intrinsicist and rationalist at best (still bad). Can you clarify what you mean by commensurate?
  16. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Rand's theory of objective value is both crucial and central to the objectivity of her entire ethics. I assume you are familiar with it. Things do NOT have intrinsic value, they have values and disvalues for you and your life. The difficult task is tallying up the pros and cons of things in an objective way. Spiritual (pertaining to the mind) values are immensely important. Some will claim there are only SUBJECTIVE spiritual values. This, I believe is a gross error, and I believe that Rand and Peikoff, and Tara Smith and others have made a strong enough case that values are objective, and some values are spiritual (pertaining to the mind).
  17. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    First of all, non-X is either a negation, i.e. specifies absence of X, or specifies an opposite of X, but only if an opposite of X actually exists. So keep that in mind when formulating or coining terms such as "non-egoistic" Also recall altruism is an ethical term, it means "otherism" in ETHICS, that is what it means. It would be a misuse of the term, even if you tried to limit it contextually, to claim you are an "altruist" when "people watching" at a coffee shop because you spend much more time watching other people than staring at yourself in a handheld mirror... There is no valid usage of the term "altruism" in the context of people watching. 1. Correct. non-egoistic means anything inconsistent with egoism, including ethical nihilism. That said, altruism is non-egoistic. Black does not MEAN crows, but crows are black. 2. see 1 3. "other focused" simply means "focused on others" it has its own meaning and multiple possible contexts. You CAN be focused on others when people watching. 4. In the realm of ethics, IF you are focused on others rather than on an egoistic standard of morality, then you are by definition (in that instance" being non-egoistic. IF you are focused on others FOR egoistic reasons, and it is BASED on an egoistic standard of morality, then in this instance "other focused" is egoistic.
  18. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Don't forget the objective meaning of "self-interest". An altruist, although "interested" in self-sacrifice, is not acting in his own objective self-interest, when he sacrifices himself to others.
  19. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    What is the problem with what logic?
  20. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Thank you that suffices.
  21. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Eiuol: You have said much here on the topic. For everyone's edification could you clarify something? Is it your understanding (intent) that what you say is: 1. primarily original philosophic thought of your own (which is not simply Objectivism) or 2. limited to an exposition and investigation of only what Rand's philosophy of Objectivim actually is, and hence does not comprise any other (or your own) original philosophy? 3. or some of 1 mixed with 2. I'm finding it hard to tell whether "the back and forth" between you and everyone else participating, is about what Objectivism is or if it is about something else, such as your own philosophical ideas. SL
  22. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    "other focused" is second handed, not altruistic. Rand gives an example somewhere (I wish I could find it) where she explains that an unthinking "rebel" who automatically does the opposite of what some other person is telling him to do, is just as second handed as the mindless sheep who follow and do what that other person is telling them to do, he is still putting the edicts, thoughts, indeed the mind of that other person as having primary importance over his own thoughts etc., he is merely reacting in the opposite way, it is just as unthinking and "second handed" a "leash" on his person.
  23. "There is an unseen underlying irrationality in everyone, and even you are not immune from it, but I know it, and you can know it too... if you listen to me... and pay a small fee."
  24. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    He posted twice on the original thread.
  25. StrictlyLogical

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    [[[Aside: When is it in your self-interest to argue with someone? 1. When it is possible to persuade the other person to accept or see something, AND if their accepting or seeing something HAS value to you. 2. When it is possible that the discussion can reveal something to you, whether some knowledge of reality, of the application of logic or the reasoning process, or a truth about the psychology of other people etc. AND that thing revealed HAS value to you. Are we all acting in our self-interest? ]]] I look forward to Merlin Jetton providing his contribution to this thread as, for me, there are still many unanswered questions about what it is he is claiming and on what basis he is claiming them.
×