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2046 last won the day on July 14

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  1. 2046

    Objectivist values and the personal.

    The way I understand this, usually cardinal means primary in some sense, but here I think these also refer to the generic or universal goods that we need, that can't really be sized per se, whereas health and wealth are more particular goods, I need them in some amount, but the size can vary depending on what form your individualized flourishing takes. You may be a health nut that is way more fit than me, I may be less into sports and more intellectual pursuits, but I still have some degree of health and you have some degree of wisdom, etc. But you can't really say, well I sorta have some reason some of the time, but my self-esteem is huge, or I really lack purpose in life, but hey I'm super rational. This is more of an Aristotelian interpretation, I don't think Rand was super clear on her three cardinal values.
  2. 2046

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Suppose we are organizing a baseball team in the old sandlot. As we huddle up, Rodriguez giving instructions says, "Okay guys, the pitcher must throw the ball every play." We all take the field and Ham hits a pop fly to Merjet in right field. He misses it, of course, but runs quickly to retrieve it, then looks at Squints tentatively at second base. "C'mon what are ya waiting for?!" Hmm, he used the singular when he gave instructions, Merjet thinks to himself, unsure of the meaning of the rules. I guess only the pitcher can throw the ball then. He then runs all the way to second from the outfield and hands the ball to Squints. "You're killin' me, Merjet!" Ham exclaims. Seems like, in our ordinary language use, the singular modifies that specific noun. It's used when you want to talk about that one thing. But it doesn't seem like it necessarily excludes other things. In the sandlot example, just because the pitcher throws the ball every play, doesn't mean other players don't get the throw the ball too. They might even throw it every play, like say, the catcher does during a no-hitter. There is no logical necessity tying the two together positively or negatively. We just don't know if it's included or excluded because the singular just modifies that one thing. Another thought experiment: Suppose there are two dishes in the sink: a pot and a plate. My mom says to me "2046, can you put the plate in the dishwasher?" I proceed to put both the plate and the pot in the dishwasher. My mom then exclaims, "No, you dofus, I said the plate not the plate and the pot, don't you listen? That's your grandmother's cast iron skillet and needs to be washed by hand. You don't listen!" In this case, we didn't actually want anything else included in "being in the dishwasher." In the sandlot example, we did want other players included in "throwing the ball" (chopping off "every play" here.) But at the time we were just focusing on one aspect. We didn't know about the others until we looked at the facts of the situation. So when we look at the facts of the situation, which I gave reasons for before, it does seem like sometimes we want others to benefit from our actions as well as us. But the question is also how best to interpret Rand. What this shows is that the singular modifier doesn't necessarily, as I said before, include or exclude others also benefiting. And when we look at all the other context where Rand literally does say "mutual benefit" over and over again, it seems as myopic as Scotty Smalls from The Sandlot to insist otherwise.
  3. 2046

    What is 'reason'?

    You seem to think that the "Objectivist method" is some thing, like an actual sui generis "method," apart from a philosophic explanation of the scientific method of observation and experimentation and why it works. In a sense, we start out from knowing that we have knowledge, we know that we have useful ideas, epistemology is then going back and saying "what was the method that I used and how does that work?" And yeah like Eiuol said, I'm not sure how formal logic and probability theory are opposed to, say, the world of Bacon or Mill or a Rand.
  4. 2046

    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.
  5. 2046

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    Let us review the Rand quotation again: "Objectivist ethics holds that the actor must always be the beneficiary of his action " (Rand 1964, ix-x). If we're going to take the Randian "literalness" approach, where one does not "translate it" nor "endow it" with some "meaning of your own," then it seems neither necessarily follows. My (1) would be something like: [T]he actor must always be the beneficiary of his action, and no one else. My (2) would be something like: [T]he actor must always be the beneficiary of his action, and others can too. Both add a predicate that is not literally present and endow it with meaning that is not literally present in the original single quotation. So if we're going on the literalness approach alone, you can't say only (1) follows. Strictly speaking, we don't know if others are allowed to benefit, based singularly on the literalness of the quotation. We don't know that they are or aren't. It is neither logically excluded or entailed. Suppose in some cave somewhere, a long lost scroll of Socrates' writings were found. The scroll contained the following passage: Scroll 1 Socrates: S must always P. Suppose Scholar A had the following interpretation: Scholar A: What Socrates means is S and only S must always P, and no one else. It's the only literal interpretation! Suppose Scholar B had the following objection: Scholar B: Well that's not literally what Socrates says here, clearly not the only interpretation. I assume Socrates means S must always P, and sometimes Q as well. Strictly speaking, based on the Scroll 1 alone, both interpretations are "live options" as academics say, we can't infer one or the other just on the literal words of Socrates. Suppose then a second scroll is uncovered: Scroll 2 Socrates: Men trade their goods or services by mutual consent to mutual advantage, according to their own independent, uncoerced judgment. Every agreement is delimited, specified and subject to certain conditions, that is, dependent upon a mutual trade to mutual benefit. In a free society, men deal with one another by voluntary, uncoerced exchange, by mutual consent to mutual profit... Men trade their goods or services by mutual consent to mutual advantage... It is a system where men deal with one another, not as victims and executioners, nor as masters and slaves, but as traders, by free, voluntary exchange to mutual benefit... The deserved belongs in the selfish, commercial realm of mutual profit; it is only the undeserved that calls for that moral transaction which consists of profit to one at the price of disaster to the other. (And I know I'm shifting from symbols to text here, but bear with me.) What would we then say about Scholar A's interpretation? Perhaps in the days when all we had was Scroll 1, it was a viable option. Even then, it wasn't the only option, because the predicate "and no one else" was added, that is, not literal, an endowment, if you will, like the character from the Chris Rock movie "Head of State," whose campaign slogan was "God bless America... and no place else!" It was an interpretation that wasn't logically incompatible, if not logically entailed. But now that we have Scroll 2, what would we say if Scholar A persisted that his interpretation of Socrates was the only one true logical interpretation? We might say that's just silly.
  6. 2046

    Salmieri's CV

    Indeed, most academic departments require faculty to have a web page with their CV and many contain links to PDFs as well as just lists of papers, which you can then search a site like PhilPapers or JSTOR to find. Usually there is a paywall, but JSTOR allows a certain number of free articles, and if you have an institution password or just want to pay, you'll find a treasure trove. Ben Bayer has PDFs up, Fred Miller, Edward Younkins, Steven Hicks, Carrie-Ann Bondi, James Lennox, Allan Gotthelf, most of these people have PDFs online. For example Onkar Ghate's PhD dissertation is up, lots of neat stuff.
  7. 2046

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    I don't get how "one can benefit others without self-sacrifice” isn't compatible with the above? It doesn't seem to follow, from the above quote, "another can never benefit from one's actions." I mean if you categorized it thusly: (1) actions which benefit myself and not others (2) actions which benefit both myself and others (3) actions which benefit others and not myself It seems 1 and 2 are entailed by Rand's quotation. And why would you always want to be the beneficiary? If "benefit" in this taxonomy is defined as that which contributes to my survival and flourishing, then you just wouldn't want to be going around doing 3 all the time. Even on the margins, time is scarce and life is short, if the standard of ethics is that which contributes to your survival and flourishing, doing 3 is ultimately a drain on your resources and harmful in that sense. Also, as most economical analysis of positive externalities will tell you, most human action lies in 2. Suppose I enjoy gardening and have a rose garden outside, well you can enjoy my garden by looking at it. Is this a 1 or a 2? I work out and educate myself in manners and etiquette, you too can then enjoy my attractiveness and good manners as a little bonus. The point here is, most action is 2, the human race would have died out long ago if only 1 was allowed. Of course, I haven't read the paper in question, and you could break the categories down a lot more, so I shall reserve my judgment, but it just seems silly to interpret that as "no one else can ever benefit from my actions." The scope of actions that fall under 2 that Rand does recommend, friendship, love, commerce, living in a human society, if all of these things seem squarely under 2, then it seems a big problem for merjets interpretation.
  8. Think of it as a continuum. There's some point between having a negative thought and plunging a knife into someone such that the border between each adjacent segment of action might not be easily perceptually identifiable but where the extremes are, and where acting in self defense of negative throughts is too early and when the knife is already in your chest is too late.
  9. Dave Rubin was recently featured on Rogan's podcast, which Yaron has expressed that he wants to go on. Rogan, if you don't know, has one of the highest rated podcasts out there. Rogan has also stated that (1) he doesn't like it when people suggest to him about having someone on, if people keep asking it annoys him and he doesn't want to have that person on, and (2) he doesn't like anyone who is too doctrinaire about anything. When I suggested this to Yaron (in chat) his response was "well I'm not doctrinaire." I'm positive Joe will not see it that way. Joe is really averse to principles, I have a feeling he equates "nuance" with concrete-boundness. But apparently Joe enjoys Peter Schiff and has had him on multiple times. (If you watch those you'll see what I'm talking about.) Anyways: Relevant part is at about 2:05:00 ish. The background is Rogan saying that we have to have government regulation because people won't build houses correctly. Rubin suggests that he doesn't think that implies government regulation, but Rogan is having none of it. People aren't inherently benevolent and so will try to bilk as much as possible out of the next guy, so there will be much more hazardous construction without regulation. Rubin suggests this isn't the only way to organize things, but admits he doesn't really have a good argument. [My transcript guaranteed to not be 100% accurate] Rubin: You know who should have on to talk about this, and I know people have looped you in before, is Yaron Brook from Ayn Rand Institute cause he's really good on this. Rogan: No one's looped me in with him. Maybe they have, but I haven't paid attention to that. Rubin: I'll hook you up, I'll be happy to do that, he's a really interesting guy that has moved my thinking a little bit on this. Rogan: Those Ayn Rand people, they're really fucking harsh. Rubin: They like ideas, man. Rogan: Those are... They're.... Pssssss.....[shakes head] yeah. Rubin: They're not the most fun people on the planet, but I generally like them, cause they just want, they're kind of live and let live. That's really it, that's really the crux of it. Pretty much. Rogan: Is that really the crux of it though? Rubin: Yeah. Rogan: People think that there's like a cruelty aspect to it, though, the Ayn Rand philosophy. Rubin: Well, they believe in rational self-interest. Which, if you say "self," people think you're evil. But we all basically operate in rational self-interest all the time. Rogan: Right, but espousing it, that's the thing. It's like proclaiming it, that's what makes people go "ohhhh," you're essentially setting up the Gordon Gekko idea, that "greed is good." Rubin: Yeah, I kinda buy into that idea. Rogan: Do you buy into "greed is good"? Rubin: Yeah, basically. Not greed to destroy the word, but if you, Joe, do what is good for you, by extension... Rogan: Right but is that greed? Or is that ambition? Rubin: Right, exactly, that's my point. Rogan: That's where it gets conflated, isn't it? Rubin: Right, so without whittling it to the definition of greed versus ambition, it's like you do what is good for you, but it doesn't mean you're just running this rampaging program to destroy the world in the name of Joe Rogan, you're doing what's good for you because you actually like your audience and you want them to learn, you want to have money so that your family can live in a house that you can afford, so that you can send your kids to good schools and all of those things. That's all rational self-interest. If, at the same time, you're running a nuclear power plant, and you're Mr Burns, and you're dumping in the river, well no, that's actually no longer rational self-interest because you're polluting the very environment you live in. Rogan: Who takes care of that, who regulates that? Is that where government comes in? Who gets you in trouble, in your opinion, if you're this deregulation guy, who goes after you when you dump shit into the river? Rubin: I'm not saying there should be no regulation, I'm just saying I generally like this line of thinking. [...they discuss how there's ways to may money through green entrepreneurship] Rogan: What's the solution if someone pollutes? If you're not gonna have regulation, what is the solution when someone does something that's illegal? Rubin replies basically that it's not as if you get rid of regulations and then every businessmen everywhere just goes, "ah finally, let's dump into the rivers!" and that if someone did, it's easy to catch, and that there are more market-friendly ways of doing things. Rogan remains unconvinced and just thinks not having laws wouldn't stop people (which he equates to Rubin's position.) Anyways, comments, deconstructions, analysis?
  10. Also chapter 2 of Piekoff's OPAR has a somewhat lengthy discussion of volition and causality. Also definition would be something like, at its most basic level is a choice, a primary choice: the choice to attain a state of active mental alertness of reality, or to not do so.
  11. There is far from a scientific consensus on this matter. There is not even a scientific consensus on what free will means. There is of course increasing study of human consciousness and even concepts like volition and willpower are being used more often in cognitive psychology. But anyways, to Rand, at the level of philosophy one does not pronounce a priori the contents of science. The philosopher does take the fundamental facts of direct perception into account, that is, that one can directly perceive one's control over the ability to focus and direct ones awareness. This is essentially what she posits "free will" to entail. How this actually works at the level of science is for observation and experimentation to figure out. One does not make something "not exist" by explaining it, that is the fallacy of "rewriting reality." For the scientist to say "free will is magical and acausal, or would have to be in order to exist" and then proceed to show that since that obviously isn't the case, then our choices must all be an illusion, etc., is an example of a scientist irresponsibly philosophizing (and an example of "rewriting reality.")
  12. 2046

    Contextually shocking editorial

    It's funny how left-liberals are suddenly becoming reborn laissez faire free traders when it comes to international trade, because of Trump of course, as Obama and Clinton did the same type of thing.
  13. 2046

    Why follow reason?

    What you don't like trolling and pedantic comments and you want your arguments to be examined and exchanged seriously... Hmm 🤔🤔🤔
  14. 2046

    Why follow reason?

    An argument form incredulity!!! Questioning the person instead of proving it!! Fallacy fallacy!! Guess you can't prove it then! 😂
  15. 2046

    Why follow reason?

    Help me understand objectivism. Where does it say I should be rational? Why should I be rational? And why do I have to be consistent? Prove it. I want citations from Ayn Rand.