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2046

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  1. That's fine, but Journo is obviously responding to Hazony and not you. So Hazony needs to get from "believes universal truth" to "will dominate others" and doesn't have the middle term. As far as empirical investigation of intrinsic responsibilities, that's fine. You can observe people do act in certain responsibility confirming behaviors. Can you move from that observation to the normative? No you cannot. Can you move from that descriptive observation to "non-consensual intrinsic responsibilities" in the normative sense? No you cannot. Does Hazony hold the normative claim? Of course he does.
  2. Does he or does he not think there are responsibilities? If so, then it is normative.
  3. Right, which is the point Journo made in the article. A bloodthirsty dictator and an Antifa window smasher both think they know a truth. So does Hazony. So does a Jefferson or a Rand. The question is not the holding of a truth (and I already question what "universal" is doing in there) itself but what is the content of that truth. And Hazony is okay with intrinsic values, the tribe family, and clan, so it can't be that. You're trying to salvage him by putting Rand's value theory in his missing middle term, but it's a square peg in a round hole.
  4. Natural rights theory isn't a justification, or even a single theory. The "natural" refers to a concept of human nature, and so in that sense Rand's rights theory is naturalistic. And it's not necessarily intrinsic except to the extent that human nature refers to a definite thing. But let's drop the historical interpretation and focus on one area here in the first paragraph: 1 If one's rights theory is justified 2 one can impose that value on distant lands and the whole world 3 and the people can be expected to welcome it Surely you must know you're making wild non sequiturs here? 3 does not follow at all. 2 follows in the sense that surely if I have rights I am justified in imposing them on anyone in the world. If I have rights to this chair, I can impose them from anyone in Afghanistan or wherever, everyone has an obligation to respect my chair rights. Any arrangement of control over the chair will involve imposing something. But is this "imposing a value" (you said "that value") in the same way imposing ethical norms? I submit not because rights are not the same kinds of norms as other value claims. That would take a much longer post to argue for so I'll just leave it as a possibility. But if that's true, then "imposing" in 2 isn't avoidable, whether it's Hazony tribal politics or liberal politics. In fact, only liberal politics leaves normative value-sets open-ended and pluralistic because it imposes individual rights, while Hazony's tribal politics imposes "non-consensual inherited" duties. You said "universals in epistemology" now you're saying well universals as metaphysical or extra-dimensional. You're forgetting nominalism, which is a counterexample to your claim. Then you're saying "any broad claim universally true." These are all different things, and the goalposts keep shifting here. Well this just brings up what does he mean by "universal." What is a "universal claim applicable to everyone, even foreigners in distant lands?" Is it a Kantian universalizability that applies to ethical values? Or to just any truth claim? Any broad claim? Is it "universal" because it's broad? You see the ambiguity here. Since (as I argued a couple of pages back) liberalism doesn't rely on universalized values, or universal acceptance and conformity to certain practices, or metaphysical or extra-dimensional essences, that leaves open the question of what purpose this "broad universal claims" is doing here. Is a narrow, non-universal claim okay then?
  5. On Hazony's classification, Hitler isn't a nationalist and the anarchist Bertrand Russell is a bloody imperialist, and both Stalin and Thomas Jefferson thought they grasped universal truth. If you think that helps clarify things for you, more power to you.
  6. Nothing "leads straight to" anything, until it does. And a position has its own logic, and that logic leads somewhere regardless of whether you or anyone else says they don't want it to. Locke didn't want his epistemology to lead to idealism or skepticism, but Berkeley and Hume showed just how it did. Nietzsche didn't want his ideas to lead to Nazism, but Heidegger showed just how (some of them) did. Rorty didn't want his epistemology and ethics to lead to nihilism and racial collectivism, but it does. Where does the logic of the concepts of politics employed in Atlas Shrugged lead as versus the concepts employed in the following statement: I know it isn't Galt's Gulch or Lexington/Concord. (And by the I didn't say "leads straight to" I said "is compatible with" which you changed to "leads straight to")
  7. Liberalism and natural rights theory predated Rand, so the claim that it was only historically possible to avoid intrinsic value politics after Rand seems just historically wrong. Of course it's only possible to be Rand if you're Rand, but "non-intrinsic politics" and "being Rand" aren't coextensive. (After all, didn't Rand say she thought it was possible to come up with her theory after Locke and the Industrial Revolution happened?) With both Locke and Spinoza we find examples of arguments to the effect that each individual must reason for himself, first-hand, in order to find the good for him. But your last sentence is literally makes no sense to me. Presumably Rand, Plato, Aristotle, and Hazony all believe in universals in epistemology, so I fail to see how that translates to favoring a single "universal state." Presumably Hobbes is disobeying that rule then, since he doesn't believe in universals in epistemology, but does believe in an absolute sovereign (which would have to be a single world-sovereign on his own arguments' grounds.) Thirdly, doesn't Hazony himself favor intrinsic value theory with his "family and tribe" collectivism? You wrote the following note on his text: "non-consensual mutual loyalties bind human beings into families, clans, tribes, and nations; each of us receives a linguistic, cultural or religious inheritance as a consequence of being born into such collectives. Locke neglects responsibilities that are intrinsic to both inherited and adopted membership in collectives of this kind, establishing demands on individuals that do not arise as a result of consent and do not disappear if consent is withheld." If these "non-consensual inherited tribal responsibilities" are not intrinsic, then I don't know what is. This forms its own universal truth Hazony wants us to believe. And we already see that they are non-consensual and do not disappear if consent is withheld. So clearly Hazony doesn't intrinsic value being the path to imperialist domination, but he does see universal truth as being that path. Thus he is still missing the middle term to that argument.
  8. Journo strikes back Not really a detailed review, but the highlights: (1) It's a bit of a jump from universal truths to imperialism (2) Hazony's own "tribe and family" collectivism is compatible with both inter- and intra-national conflict and domination (3) Hazony's classifications are obscurations that beg all the relevant questions
  9. Is that all it takes to make someone a philosopher: followers that are willing to pay for wisdom? Following Socrates' distinction, that may make one a Sophist, but not a philosopher. I'm not nor did I say he has to be a degree-holder (which is the number 1 stock midwit response to what I said.) In fact, there's no guarantee being a degree-holder makes you a philosopher either. Sam Harris has degrees in philosophy and neuroscience, and has way more followers and patreon supporters, and is not a philosopher. Many degree holders don't contribute anything and make bad arguments all the time. But what it does do is show that generally speaking the person has met some kind of minimum standard, and that you have had many of your arguments filter-tested by your peers routinely, and that you are in touch with the current state of problems and debate about those problems. The fact is Tew has done nothing in philosophy. His videos about Objectivism show a level of superficiality appropriate to someone outside of professional philosophy who has read a few Rand-related books and is parroting what he takes them to be saying. Understandably this might upset someone to hear. One might lash out and blame the snobby academy and its corruption and they don't get me I'm smart. But really it's better to hear it so you don't waste your time, or can make improvements.
  10. This may be a broader topic than what you guys are talking about, but I think this is all predicated on that there is such a thing as "the Objectivist movement" and that it has a clear and district meaning and purpose. What even is "the Objectivist movement" and what task or problem is it solving that requires its existence? Why does it have a health and what would this be that I can even know it? Can anyone point to any example of this movement, who is in it, what has it accomplished? Does it even need one? What is the difference between a philosopher working on Rand being in a movement versus not being in one? How would this work differ as "operating with a movement" versus not? What would just any old group of people doing whatever they do look like as "operating in The Objectivist movement" as versus doing the same exact things just as regular people doing whatever they're doing? Do we need to be in "the Objectivist movement" to discuss any set of topics or talk philosophy at all? Rand 1968 "A Statement of Policy" denies both the existence or need for any organized Objectivist movement (and of course raises many more confusing questions for what she even means.) Is there even enough content in her Objectivism to be a coherent ideology for a "movement" and does it even have a criteria of membership in said movement, or a program of action, or even a coherent and realistic single end for action? It's clear to me that the answer is no it does not. I realize this is a larger topic but that leads us to the following: Implicit in all of that is that (1) Tew even is an actual philosopher, and that he's saying anything substantial or has done any important and original philosophic work one can point to. And (2) that his YouTube videos are even significant, important, or relevant to this "movement" you speak of, whether in terms of substantial content or number of views and popularity. And it's also clear the answer to 1 and 2 is both no. Rather it seems to be, the whole idea that there even is "the Objectivist movement" is widely pathological, and leads to things like everyone condemning and "sanctioning" one another qua "representative of our movement" or "hurting our cause" (whatever that is) whereas normal folk just look and go, "What? Y'all are weird." Implicit in this is the assumption that the space is zero-sum, that engagement with Rand can only be done in that space, and that everyone must give moral sanction to everyone else or "they're out."
  11. My comments should be interpreted as stand-alone and not as related to Rucka or alcoholism. The guy is just weird. What's up with the super old picture that obviously is not what you look like? Are you trying to catfish your audience? Most of what he says is just unoriginal and uninteresting. The universe is eternal. The choice to live is an irreducible primary. Free will is the choice to focus. Okay, yes I too have read Peikoff. Combine that with constant pretentious posturing and ad hominem, with all the standard Randian tropes ("you're evading and have failed to focus your mind!"), crankish delusions that he's the greatest living philosopher of our time and ARI is immoral because it didn't accept him to OAC, and no one is as smart and virtuous as him, etc.
  12. You said you have no degree in philosophy, failed out of undergraduate school, have read nothing but Rand and Peikoff lectures, and "in a rational world," you would be chair of the most prestigious philosophy department. That is crankish. You may think you're a philosopher outside of the academy because the academy is just so corrupt and bad and not good enough for you, and that you've produced important work that solves real problems. You haven't published anything. You haven't done any work. You've made YT videos, which are not every good, and which repeat Randian jargon and basic talking points, most of which are also not very good. You will likely say the academy is biased and you're glad you're not there and that I'm evading and not focusing my mind properly. But you're not doing philosophy, not producing original or important work, not contributing to the field, and are crankish. And not many people will watch your videos.
  13. NDT and the value of philosophy Massimo Pigliucci is Professor of Philosophy at CUNY who also has a PhD in biology.
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