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2046

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  1. Don't forget this classic George Reisman "Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian"
  2. Sure, modern philosophers approach logic from different views than the way Rand does. There are too many versions to anthologize here, more than one person can even know if he specializes in, probably. Perhaps there are two factors common to a lot of these approaches (a) a lack of confidence in induction in general, and (b) that logic is a purely formal system of variables and stipulated transformational rules that form a closed system quite apart from the question of whether these variables stand for anything. Accordingly when any group of symbols can be combined according to the stipulated rules of the system, then that is a valid expression of the system, if not then that is an invalid expression in that system. Different systems can then disagree about how, if at all, the relations between the different schemas and variables function. But it's not that Rand has a sui generis view of the situation of logic, but rather that she holds the classical view that the function of logic is a practical instrument (an organon) of human thought for understanding things in terms of what they are and thus preserving the relationship of identity. Moreover the only way to arrive at generalized premises are through induction, including in discovering logic itself, by assembling successful and unsuccessful examples and sorting through their common forms. Aristotle, as I tried to show, does display an inductive method in his logical texts. Rand can be thought of as pointing back to this "old fashioned" way of conceiving logic. Peikoff does speak of a "split between logic and experience" that modern thought effected. And his NBI lectures does seem to point to classical logical ontologism (which is what he did his dissertation on.) Rand in ITOE does speak to "concepts of method" very briefly (p. 36) in connection with logic as abstracting from the content of thought to the correct steps needed to complete an identification (at least that's how I interpret what she's saying there.) The neo-Aristotelian philosopher Henry Veatch has a good book that I've used in discussions: Two Logics: The Conflict between Classical and Neo-Analytic Philosophy if you can find a copy.
  3. If I understand you, of course it's important to distinguish somebody believing something from the something that they believe. Just because somebody believes something doesn't make the thing they believe true. The reason I went into all that, I said that when you give reasons for a belief, what you're doing is you’re giving reasons to believe that belief is true. Reasons are reasons for all of us because beliefs are about some being. Apprehension comes through beliefs, that doesn't mean apprehension is only of beliefs.
  4. Well I mean I agree logic is not learned through some sort of transcendental argument (X is a necessary condition for Y, Y therefore X), although Aristotle does deploy something like that in his "negative demonstration," but he is also careful to say this isn't the same thing as a proof of the PNC. And yes you're going to need some story about how we form any beliefs whatsoever, because when we're talking about logical propositions, we're talking about reasons for believing things. You also need a theory of semantic reference, and of course all the rest of epistemology as well. But I do think you have to start by beginning with entities. I think, for modus ponens, the introspection comes when you are positing "If I held this belief..." The sort of fact "I have this belief" is internal, but intensional in the sense that it is about something. Someone asked the function of "if." In English the word "if" is etymologically related to "to give" in the sense of "let me grant..." or "let me suppose..." If it is Friday, then 2046 will be wearing jeans. It is Friday. Therefore 2046 will be wearing jeans. If Eiuol believed the premises, it would be immediately something he could "say Yes" to in Boydston's sense, because he is seeing the internal connections between his own beliefs. He'd see his own beliefs gave him a reason to believe the conclusion. Thus if Eiuol later on were to think about "why is that a valid form of inference?" he'd be thinking about his own internal belief structure in a sense. And it would be inductive in the sense that he'd already have to know modus ponens and be using modus ponens and then think about an instance of himself using it. Yes he'd need a theory about why did he form the belief about 2046 wearing jeans in the first place, and he'd need a theory about how "jeans" refers to those things I'm wearing, and so on. I mean technically he'd need a quantum physics theory about how the particles are doing things in his head. There are multiple levels of explanation to any given thing. If a kid asked you "why does the square block not fit into the round hole?" and you said "Well, see look, the blocks are made of wood, and it has these particles bonded together made of various molecules and then surfaces collide and there's friction and resistance, and really there's these atoms with various charges whirling around in orbits," etc., Technically you wouldn't be giving a wrong explanation, but is it a better one than "because it's shaped that way"? It seems like we are all looking to different levels of analysis here. Perhaps Aristotle's four causes are a better concept of causality, but I think the simplest explanation is "because you already committed yourself to believing one thing, and you see that thing is related to another."
  5. I must confess I'm confused about what you're asking. Are you asking how modus ponens is justified, how modus ponens was discovered ("how we come to know?"), how logic in general was discovered (specifically in terms of induction), or how necessity commits us to a conclusion, or how does the law of identity apply to modus ponens specifically? These are all different questions, though interrelated of course. I'm reading here you're asking about how to "get logic" from induction. I'm not sure what this has to do with "Objectivism would say," what work did Rand do on logic theory? Simply saying "law of identity" doesn't begin to address the question. Nobody outside of Objectivism? I don't even know how to conceptualize what you're saying because presumably Rand didn't discover logic in the first place? You might want to take a look at the primary texts like the Prior Analytics and the Topics in which Aristotle is formulating the ideas of "scientific demonstration" (as versus dialectic) and try to see what his method is. Obviously he doesn't just look out and go "law of identity" and somehow induce all these rules. You can see there is some "principal data" that he starts off with, like (a) that we are not imbued with automatic knowledge, and that (b) we have made mistakes before, and yet (c) we have also been right and had certainty before. He then moves to pointing out that experience has brought mankind into contact with various cases of making judgments and being right and being in error. He also undoubtedly was familiar with the texts of Euclid and geometers and utilized their methods (and makes reference that he is borrowing some of their terminology and many of his examples are mathematical.) The analyst (logician) then assembles various arguments and analyzes their terms and propositions to try and sort through what causes different ones to be erroneous or certain. We can then see that there is a certain form (or structure) common to all the valid forms of demonstration. Thus he arrives at the PNC and excluded middle in Posterior Analytics I.11-12 and in more detail in Metaphysics 6. Notice it is not until after we have already been using and have been shown to have logical knowledge and have already presupposed its first principles, before we arrive at what those rules and foundational axioms are. Also we cannot demonstrate deductively a proof of the first principles of inference because they would then be derived from something else that is more first (71b20-72a) and nothing can be demonstrated except from its own principles, therefore the first principles must be immediate (76a38-b2.) Of course later logicians like Theophrastus and Galen used Aristotle as a reference to notice more connections and categories than he did (like "what if we posit certain conditionals, if I'm committed to this belief, and this belief entails that belief, then I'm also committed to that one," ie., modus ponens.) But by not putting this "principal data" or "starting point" out of mind, we can see the inductive method at work in the discovery of logic.
  6. As a side discussion, I don't think there is an answer exactly, Rand didn't do work on logic theory. Rand only wrote an introduction to her epistemology, we'd have to say her epistemology is incomplete, thus not everything can have "the Objectivist position on X." And we know from the schismatics, that they don't accept "a position taken by an Objectivist intellectual" to be the same thing as "Objectivism," right? But I think this does have a possibility in textual interpretation of Rand's position in ITOE, specifically regards her theory of reference. Remember she wants a concept to mean all of its nature, whether known or unknown, and and that means all of its attributes and properties. If the major premise posits that "then Q" is an attribute of a P, then when the minor posits a P, it is the same as saying "here is a P, which includes all of its attributes and properties, one of which is 'then Q.'" Thus the conclusion "therefore Q" has a preserving or "containing within" all the attributes of P, such that if one believes the premises, it preserves all their attributes and properties, thus giving you a reason to believe the conclusion. That is consistent with standard faire in classical logic, in which the conclusion "preserves" the truth of the premises, Rand would say it literally preserves the concepts contained in the premises. You are essentially applying what you already know to a new particular, or subsuming that new particular under a generalization that you already knew.
  7. I would just say, not all consciousness has to be the same kind of consciousness. I don't think your grouping of free will in with the "convertible" group works. If free will is the same as consciousness, then wouldn't animals have the same type of will as humans? I don't think they do. Surely a cockroach and a human have different levels of consciousness. The "free" in free will is supposed to be contrasted with impediments or determination in some way, which is already at a different level of discussion. The word volition based on the Latin voluntas seems a better fit, for the idea of the principal of motion originating from within the sensory mechanism. Secondly I would add something like pain and pleasure for consideration. Is pain axiomatic? Or desire or inclination? Are the consciousnesses without these? Or maybe they belong in the second grouping?
  8. The idea of possible worlds is supposed to be a tool to help aid the logician on modal reasoning (thinking about concepts like possibility and necessity.) In so doing, various ways of thinking about these other possibilities and their status came about. Some called concretists posit the actuality of other possible worlds is no different in kind than ours, we just happen to inhabit it rather than others. The abstractionist posits that other possible worlds exist, or can exist in various ways, but they just lack the property of actuality until they obtain. Generally speaking, I'm against the talk of other possible worlds. For the metaphysical realist, even one that held to the idea of multiple dimensions or universes, there would still be some sense in which whatever exists is all thar exists, call it existence. Our thinking about existence can neither bring into or make actual what exists. If concepts of possibility and necessity are supposed to do their job and aid our conceptual frameworks, they can only be made in respect of the capacities and developments of aspects of nature in the common sense world in which we interact. The old concepts of "act" and "potency" are helpful to bring back in. Potencies exist as dispositional manifestations of entities working through causation. Potency is the basis of a causal-realist modality. That I could be standing instead if sitting, or that the Germans won WW2 is a potentiality. A square circle is not a potentiality. That there are 8 planets is an actuality. That our definition of planets could have been something else is a potentiality. Possibility can be seen as referring to the potentialities of things in the one actual world. Necessity can be seen as the causal development of potency to act in the one actual world. Using this framework, possible worlds are not needed. As extra metaphysical baggage, it can be lopped off using Occam's Razor. (I take Rand's metaphysical and man-made to further distinguish between human-caused and nature-caused developmental processes.)
  9. I mean have you been on Yaron's Facebook group for his podcast? Just try it out for a day. The amount of anti-immigration, race realism, and ethnostate stuff on there is an example of what you're talking about. Same with the broader libertarian community from what I've seen online. Mises Institute has self-identified white nationalists writing for them, Hans Hoppe off the deep end now talking about creating feudal societies for white people. The fact that it so easily mutated points to a certain existing pathology that was there all along on the right wing. Guess I'll have to stop posting here if this Mr Swig stuff is just going to clog up the board.
  10. Wouldn't it be better to say that PNC is a rule we want to follow if we are recognizing facts about the world, or that the PNC is a methodological rule that recognizes something about the nature of facts in the world, rather than saying the PNC is a fact of the world? A pragmatic or Wittgensteinian viewpoint would want to say that logic is reality. I'm not sure a classical logical ontologist would want to go that route.
  11. Mulligan owned the land in the book. He didn't take somebody else's land and tell them who they can and can't invite on it. As long as you don't own the US, then your analogy fails.
  12. If this is what your "therefore" is based on, then it is circular. The right to be in the country is the very premise at question. One can't simply point to "but they're not a citizen!"
  13. I don't mean prove guilt as in convicted of a crime. I mean meet positive standards before acting. If you are familiar with English common law there is such a principle based on private property rights called castle doctrine (as in "a man's home is his castle") in which a man has a right to repel unwarranted state intrusion from his property. The doctrine has been extended via English case law to ones person, papers, and effects, which are codified in the fourth amendment as requiring the government to demonstrate probable cause before subjecting a person to screening. If the government is required to meet an evidentiary standard before subjecting the citizen to screening, then that seems to call into doubt indiscriminate and general border screenings, even ones Objectivists seem to favor. Warrants have to be specific and individualized suspicion required of a search is a determination of when there is a sufficiently high probability that criminal conduct is occurring. In the English case law Entick v. Carrington (1765) the chief judge said that general warrants were not the same as specific warrants and that parliament could not authorize general warrants.
  14. I'll throw this out there for consideration. Take what may be called the "moral parity thesis" which has two parts (a) what counts as a threat from an immigrant is the same as a domestic resident and (b) what counts as a "political threat" is the same for a normal threat of assault. (Surely being on the other side of a border can't effect what rights you actually have?) Asking what if, instead if "make an unjust law" someone is say "someone should kill Jones" and no doubt a court having the task of applying the moral parity thesis would have to judge the extent to which any hostile action was actually taken. In the "someone should kill Jones" case only actually saying "I'm going to kill Jones" and only actually taking concrete steps to do this counts. In US civil law, "terroristic threats," "intimidation," and "assault" (which includes intent to assault) would have to be applied to the would-be socialist partisan. So if as currently, having the mere belief of wanting to commit a crime isn't enough to count itself as a crime, not even advocating "Jones should be killed" or "I would like it if Jones were killed by somebody" or forming an anti-Jones rally publishing an anti-Jones article. Only overt and imminent violent act or the display of intent to actually physically harm, such as planning, organizing, funding, as you say "activity" and not mere "belief-having" or "wishing" or even "advocating" will do. Saying "I'm going to kill Jones" is criminal, but not "I would like it if Jones were killed." If this analysis applies to political parties too, then forming and advocating socialist parties, including Nazi ones, but taking concrete steps to seize power could be treated as threatening under (b). A Fritz Kuhn could organize his rallies and goose step and so forth, but an Allende could be deposed. And so under (a) mere belief-possession or expression on the immigrants' behalf for wanting socialism or saying "we should allow cannibalism" or similar dark humor and the like can't be a threat in the same way that someone merely expressing wanting 2046 to be murdered isn't a crime. Under the moral parity thesis, Mister Swig's immigration restriction would not survive. Note that if one takes mere belief-possession of wrongdoing to be a crime, then literally any political party except the Mister Swig party would be illegal. Not even a Capitalist or Objectivist party because these people constantly disagree with one another all the time about what counts as force or crime. Any non-utopian system will have to acknowledge the concept that men have differing interpretations of reality and have mechanisms for resolving this peacefully. In fact, such is one might say a basic requirement for a free society. John Locke in the Letters Concerning Toleration, for example, that having differing interpretations of justice is just part of being human and a consequence of epistemic objectivity. To paraphrase Mises, the "ban all non-x political parties" can never imagine anyone other than himself having the power to liquidate his enemies.
  15. Some people (most notably people who are trying to ape Rand) think throwing "objective" in front of various words seems to have some very special powers. What philosophical content does the distinction add? A contextual qualifier? What does that even mean? A "threat" is an acontextual one and an "objective threat" is a contextual one? Is that philosophically useful? What content does that even add? If I'm constructing an argument does that enhance the argument in any way? Do you see the problem here? What kind of objectivity is even being invoked here? There's at least 12 different notions of objectivity in philosophy denoting various things, and it's not clear what you're even trying to denote here. Value-objectivity? Epistemic-objectivity? Rand's understanding of objectivity as epistemic-objectivity is based on her theory of concepts which she claims treats concepts "as neither revealed nor invented, but as produced by man's consciousness in accordance with the facts of reality" (ITOE 54.) In other words, concepts are instruments for human knowing whose content is dictated by abstraction from perceptual data. "Objectivity" is a concept denoting normative epistemic method, not a positive description of the content or nature of things. To say "oh no, you see, I only mean 'objective threats' here" really adds nothing to the content of just what a threat is, and when you use it as if does, it comes off as a kind of category mistake. Threats aren't "objective," threats are threats. Making the distinction between "threats" simpliciter and "objective threats" is really just another way of saying "only the threats that I want to qualify as threats count as threats, you see," which of course is to assume that which you need to prove. What is a threat, and what is it a threat to, how is it a threat, and why is this a purpose of government, and what problem is this solving for a social system? Saying "x, y, and z are threats to the general welfare or public good and thus are appropriate for government action" is just about the vaguest and meaningless argument one can concoct. Adding "but it's an objective threat in a certain context!" is a question begging redundancy.
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