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Everything posted by 2046

  1. 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.
  2. Why follow reason?

    What you don't like trolling and pedantic comments and you want your arguments to be examined and exchanged seriously... Hmm 🤔🤔🤔
  3. Why follow reason?

    An argument form incredulity!!! Questioning the person instead of proving it!! Fallacy fallacy!! Guess you can't prove it then! 😂
  4. 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.
  5. Why follow reason?

    Also there's a Greg Salmieri talk about the proverb themed "taking responsibility for your happiness" although it's more of a motivational Ted-talk style than a talk about academic philosophy, but interesting theme nonetheless. He brings up a connection between Sartre's concept of "bad faith," that a kind of self-deception involved in not taking responsibility for your actions.
  6. Why follow reason?

    Well you've moved the goalposts. Surely you can see that the question of whether or not her argument for ultimate ends is a successful one is a different question from whether she believed there are ultimate ends and life is just a matter of choosing arbitrary goals. And you've now shifted these goalposts with this post. Of course we can address both questions, but we should be clear that these are two different claims. If you can't even recognize that, then it seems I'm not dealing with an honest broker here. Let's take "why be rational?" Like we said, you don't have to be, but if you want to engage in thought, one must fellow certain methods, such as the principle of non-contradiction (PNC.) To draw an analogy, it could be put into the form "If I want to engage in thought, then I ought to follow the PNC." Since the PNC binds all thought, one way to evade it then, is simply to stop thinking. It doesn't apply to a non-thinker. The PNC isn't a categorical injunction to engage in thought. On the other hand, its non-application to the non-thinker is hardly a threat to its logical or epistemic authority. A non-thinker can't raise an objection (or even have one), and thus cannot constitute a problem for the PNC.
  7. Why follow reason?

    The proverb refers to actions having consequences, the "and pay for it." Nowhere in there does it say "and one ought to take whatever one happens to want." If you want to interpret it that way, that's fine, but it seems hardly as "pretty obvious" and "clear" as you think. You can say, well I just don't know, I guess she's not consistent. Could be, but you'd have to address the fact that Rand clearly doesn't accept the idea that any and all ends are equal, that there are ultimate ends (see David Odden's post), and accordingly that the standard of moral goodness is set by man's nature. If she argues for a standard of value, your interpretation is threatened.
  8. Why follow reason?

    I'm not seeing your interpretation there. It seems to be a basic observation that if you will some ends, you must will the means to said ends. There is nothing in that statement "giving license" to any specific end at all, just a statement that on the relationship of means to ends, that actions have consequences because that's how reality works. If you try to square your interpretation with the pages and pages of Rand's text against emotionalism, subjectivism, relativism, hedonism, "taking desires as a primary," and "whim worship," should clue you in to something you're missing.
  9. Why follow reason?

    In Rand morality is a hypothetical imperative, an "if-then" type relationship. A good quote is from "causality versus duty" In answer to a man who was telling her that she's got to do something or other, a wise old Negro woman said: “Mister, there's nothing I've got to do except die.” (PWNI, 133)
  10. It is true that Reid has utmost respect for Hume and wrote to him that if he stopped doing philosophy "we would have nothing to talk about." It seems Reid considered Hume the reductio ad absursum of enlightenment epistemology, so it makes sense he would attack Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Locke quite often. Have you heard of the "New Hume" tradition, according to IEP: Against the positions of causal reductionism and causal skepticism is the New Hume tradition. It started with Norman Kemp Smith’s The Philosophy of David Hume, and defends the view that Hume is a causal realist, a position that entails the denial of both causal reductionism and causal skepticism by maintaining that the truth value of causal statements is not reducible to non-causal states of affairs and that they are in principle, knowable. (Tooley 1987: 246-47) http://www.iep.utm.edu/hume-cau/#H6
  11. Wow that is really weird, as I've just started a class on Thomas Reid and the Scottish common sense school today. It's quite true that Reid and his followers have some very proto Randian ideas. First, it is important to understand Reid was a contemporary of David Hume and his writings were basically a response to Hume's skepticism. Reid basically says if this is where your philosophy ends up, then that's a prima facie reason for your philosophy being wrong. When we reach a conclusion that was inferred from premises, if the conclusion is plainly false, such as we can't know anything or reality isn't real, etc., then we must reject the entire line of reasoning as absurd and start over. Reid reinstated foundationalism, that is, there must be noninferential justification. This is quite similar to Rand's conception of "verification," which is a wider genus to which "proof" belongs. The epistemologist doesn't start out by saying "prove existence and logic and consciousness, etc.," as in Descartes, rather the epistemologist starts out "we have knowledge, we know existence exists, we need to find the proper method." He also argues against representationalism in Locke, and although he doesn't have a theory of perception of his own, he takes for granted the validity of the senses. Perception is not of ideas, but direct perception of objects. I don't need a "proof" for why my hand is in front of my face currently, I just point to it. There is no propositional justification necessary. He would've likely foubd much to enjoy of Kelley's Evidence of the Senses. Once we perceive objects, we can abstract our ideas from their similarities and differences, building more complex ideas upon less complex ones. A remarkably proto Randian view, although he holds to some older distinctions like primary vs secondary qualities that Rand rejects. Although he holds to a mind-body dichotomy, he does not draw inferences from it. There are minds and consciousness, we study the former with natural science and the latter with psychology, they are whatever they are. I don't know about his ethics yet, be he was a religious man, and seems he was an ethical intuitionist applying his common sense view to morality. And therein lies probably Rand's major difference, that sometimes Reid seems to be saying there are innate beliefs about the foundations of reason. Although he does say that "morality can be demonstrated as of mathematics." He also believes free will is among his self evident principles. All in all, his major influence seems to be saying most of modern philosophy is absurd and abstruse gibberish. There is a certain framework that must be within which an investigation can take place. Reality is real, existence exists, there are objects we are directly aware of, the senses are valid, reason is valid, yes believe your hand in front of your face, and if you doubt any of these things then throw your philosophy away or check your premises. http://www.earlymoderntexts.com/authors/reid "For, before men can reason together, they must agree in first principles; and it is impossible to reason with a man who has no principles in common with you." One of the first principles he goes on to list is that "qualities must necessarily be in something that is figured, coloured, hard or soft, that moves or resists. It is not to these qualities, but to that which is the subject of them, that we give the name body. If any man should think fit to deny that these things are qualities, or that they require any subject, I leave him to enjoy his opinion as a man who denies first principles, and is not fit to be reasoned with." (Cf. Wikipedia) "It is useless to reason with someone who denies the first principles on which the reasoning is based. Thus it would be useless to try to prove a proposition in Euclid to someone who denies Euclid’s axioms. Indeed we ought never to reason with men who deny first principles because they are obstinate and unwilling to yield to reason." (Essay on the Intellectual Powers of Man)
  12. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    😂🤣😂 Grandpa, thats enough computer for today
  13. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    This points to a problem Wittgenstein talked about, that is imprecise language and its effects on philosophical conversation. "Connotation" is an idea or feeling that a word invokes in addition to its primary or intended meaning. In addition to things like synonym and homonym, equivocation, undertone, implications and so forth, almost like Rand's conception of anticoncepts as package deals, all helps to obscure conversation. Anyways the point is taking an argument involving differing interpretations, saying something like "if what you mean by..." can help, like I said, that's why you define your terms. If there's a package deal, you seek to remove the meaning you don't want. So William, would you accept a framework involving something like "If what you mean by S is P, and Q entails P, then Q can be seen as a species of S." Keep in mind, the entire issue was raised in response to the OP asking about how free will was supposed to square with cause and effect. But Eiuol raises a good point, one that questions whether free will/determinism is a good distinction. Rand sought to eliminate many dualities, why not this one. It isn't just as simple as "because one side is correct" because, as we have seen, if what you mean by determinism is simply "all causes have effects," then it's not as if every deal in the package is bad, and furthermore not every deal in the "free will" package is good (in fact most conceptions of free will are rationalist and acausal.) So sometimes Rand wants to jettison a package deal like "isolationism" or "meritocracy" but wants to keep ones like "selfishness" and "capitalism" and "radical." She never really provides a criteria as to how to know what ones to keep and what ones to jettison, I suspect it largely depends on culture context. But anyways, just a side observation, and the "if what you mean by..." can be seen as a strategy for overcoming package deals.
  14. Questions about Free Will and Morality

    Well, that's not exactly true. Determinism and free will are notoriously hard to debate about because different philosophers do use the terms differently and add different elements to them. Some use it to mean all events have causes, which would seem vital to Rand's conception. Some then add "that you can't have acted otherwise," some add a time-element and use it as synonymous with predestination, some take it to mean mechanism and reductionism, some don't, some mean strictly biological causes, some mean environmental causes only. I mean to say that all philosophers have the same concept of determinism is fantastic. That's why you define your terms and use clear language. And even if they did have meanings "as traditionally defined," well so does "selfishness" and "capitalism," and yet Rand would acknowledge the meaning she wants to use is different from the meanings popularly ascribed precisely in order to change people's minds about what the true meaning of the concepts actual are. So we can replace your criticisms as the following: The problem is that the terms you are using - primarily "selfishness" and "capitalism" - already have perfectly clear meanings in academic philosophy (and even in the Objectivist literature, which to my knowledge always uses them the same way academics do [do they????]). As they are traditionally defined, neither of those terms are consistent with Objectivism. If you continue to describe Objectivism as a selfish/capitalist philosophy, you will mislead and confuse people about what Objectivism says.
  15. Race Realism

    NY times had a surprisingly good op-ed by Harvard geneticist David Reich, researcher on "ancient DNA" wherein he makes several points that sound downright Rand-tastic. Some snippets: institutional discrimination also has a negative impact on I.Q. of populations, which when those factors are controlled (education, economic upbringing, even being adopted and raised by parents who are of a different race), leads to even less substantial difference in even the average I.Q. of populations. Differences in individuals vary far more widely than populations. Especially with intelligence. The key point is that whatever science finds should not affect the way we behave toward one another. Whatever small average differences across groups might exist (and genetic studies have already made it clear that average differences across populations are much less than those between individuals), we are members of a single species, all of whom must be given every opportunity to flourish in every realm. “Race” is fundamentally a social category — not a biological one — as anthropologists have shown. As a society, we are already committed to giving everyone a full opportunity for self-realization — regardless of the particular hand each person is dealt from the deck of life. https://nyti.ms/2GmRY2n Of course the mainstream right and left want to "provide opportunity" by coercive legislation, and the postmodern leftists want to provide it by tearing everything down, but ah, we can't have everything can we.
  16. Rand and Sartre (Objectivism vs Existentialism)

    Also, some more weird facts: both were born in 1905 and both died years apart, 1980 S and 1982 R. Also both have a novel with an "R" protagonist Roark (The Fountainhead) and Roquentin (Nausea) who apparently could not be more opposite of each other.
  17. Rand and Sartre (Objectivism vs Existentialism)

    There's a bunch of odd similarities between them, for one they were both in open relationships, the both wrote novels to convey philosophy, they both used amphetamines, were heavy smokers and died of lung disease. According to Nathaniel Branden, early in her career (perhaps owing to her earlier Nietzchean influences) she one considered naming her philosophy existentialism, but decided against it. They both have a very minimalist ontology, limited to a few broad descriptive categories. They both uphold the primacy of existence and a kind of conscious intentionality, that is, that consciousness is awareness of objects, and not simply awareness of itself, and both reject the prior certainty of consciousness and the cogito. Sartre, however, is a phenomenalist in the tradition of Hegel and Heusserl and so upholds a kind of Kantian thing vs thing in itself distinction, though he does believe in the validity of sense perception, although sorta kinda, because the fact that sense perception is limited and fallible counts against them for him and not for Rand. Plus Sartre days a bunch of incomprehensible gibberish like, "consciousness is nothingness," which Rand denies the possibility of. Apart from that they both stridently believe in free will, but Sartre's is a kind of indeterminist and acausal agency that overrides and literally cancels out the causal reality that underlies it("nihilation".) Rand's is compatible with the law of causality and is a naturalistic faculty at one with biological identity. They both also draw different conclusions, for Rand volition is the startig point of human value achievement, and so undergirds her heroic and optimistic ethical egoism, whereas Sartre pessimistically laments free will, which "condemns" us to make choices and face suffering and failure and navigate a nauseous array of subjective values. Sartre, in general agrees that reason and science are valid and efficacious, but are cold impersonal, only giving us formal knowledge, but not meaning and purpose in life. But they're both atheists and are searching for meaning and purpose and want to substitute a kind of secular humanism in the place of religion. Sartre has a lot (more) to say about psychology as well, but I'll cut it short there.
  18. Gentleman if I may, if we understand "reconcile" to mean "to make or show to be compatible with" then the question is valid is to why isn't there more scholarship, especially seeing as how this is a hot button "pop philosophy" type issue that people are talking about in the culture. However, Gio also has a point that since you mentioned "especially the second law of thermodynamics" that if one needed to show something to be compatible, there needs to be first presented a line of argumentation as to why it wouldn't be, and then one could show why that's not the case. Of course I avoid this by having a compatibilist interpretation of free will, so being compatible with physics is just built into my viewpoint, and I think Rand's too. Anyways, carry on... Also: Since Rand's viewpoint is an introspective account of levels of awareness, it can't reslly be explained in terms of "how does this work" at the level of philosophy. Cognitive psychology has a lot of research on things like volition, willpower, sense of agency, locus of control, and things like how focus works, how cognitive biases work, and so on. All an objectivist philosopher is really going to be doing is correcting false assumptions of the other camps and then saying "this, this is all we mean by free will."
  19. Race Realism

    Indeed, and earlier he crawled up on the cross and cried out that the Scientologists and so forth had called him a subversive and, oh my, we were trying to call him a "heretic!!!!" (who knew individualists were against racism? Weird!) Now he's the one going "eek! A mouse!" Why, oh no, the spectre of "leftist" heresy is upon us, as if that is supposed to frighten one. Wait till he shits a brick when he finds out Rand hated "meritocracy" and called it "one of the most contemptible" fallacies in modern political parlance, and identifying it as a species of "tyranny." Or that Rand favored a radical anti-privilege egalitarianism, identifying equality "in a rational sense" with opposition to "special privileges granted to some, denied to others."
  20. Race Realism

    Why is this all that fascinating/perplexing to you? Rand (and Randians more broadly) is a radical individualist, and Rand's thought had both left and right wing strains. The whole lineage of individualists in the English, French, and American liberal tradition have historically been supporters of economic freedom and privately property rights, and at the same time supporters of broadly "left wing" causes like supporting social safety nets, mutual aid, poverty relief, worker solidarity, anti corporatism, anti racism/sexism/bigotry, LGBT rights, anti war/militarism, pro choice, etc. Individualists thinkers like Spencer, Tucker, Spooner, Garrison, embraced cooperation and tolerance, upheld the rights of marginalized groups, fought for the abolitionist movement, supported the burgeoning feminist movement and women's rights (Patterson, Wilder, and Rand), and upheld a market economy against government planning and corporate capitalist management. It seems you want this right wing racial collectivist fusion with a "scientific racism," but you're going to have to drop the left wing and individualist aspects of the philosophy, and do you really end up with something that looks like Rand at all?
  21. Race Realism

    Indeed this "virtue=intelligence" is a major distortion of pretty much every virtue theorist in modern philosophy including Rand: Man has a single basic choice: to think or not, and that is the gauge of his virtue. Moral perfection is an unbreached rationality—not the degree of your intelligence, but the full and relentless use of your mind, not the extent of your knowledge, but the acceptance of reason as an absolute. (FNI, 178)
  22. Race Realism

    So a non answer. Just "differences would be astounding" if it were 83 vs 119. Why 83 vs 119? Why not 84 vs 119? 85 vs 119? 86 vs 119? 118 vs 119? Get it? At what point would it cease to be "astounding"? What inferences follow? Blankout. When given the opportunity to name whatever inferences you're drawing from a difference you refuse to do it. A key aspect of objective philosophy is clear and concise use of language and insistence on removing ambiguity and linguistic connotation. One would think someone moved to tears by Anthem would agree, but I guess not. Bye then.
  23. Race Realism

    Indeed, it is true that much of what we call "race" is a social construct, that is, a concept of culture. However, even the last part of what you said is questionable. Is skin color, height, or musculature a "racial difference"? What does that even mean? Is "racial" the same as "genetic"? It seems questionable that race just doesn't exist, as in there is no biological basis for distinguishing it, no inherent biological relationship between intelligence, nose size, height, blood group, skin color and certainly not any number of complex human behavior. Traits considered in common parlance to be "racial" like skin color, facial structure, musculature, etc., are actually distributed indepedently and depend upon many environmental and behavioral factors, have distinct distributions from other traits, and are rarely determined by a single genetic factor.
  24. Race Realism

    But what's the point of your argument? Let's put aside the data, because none of us are going to agree with the validity of it, there has been enough scholarly criticisms of your viewpoint no one is going to agree with whatever links you're posting. Suppose there are two people, A and B. A tests a IQ of 120, B tests an IQ of 119. Ergo what? What inferences, in terms of political philosophy, follow from this?
  25. Words do get hijacked, meanings change and get debated, people have differing interpretations of meanings. Certainly, part of what we do when we do philosophy or exchange ideas is deliberating over meanings and interpretations. As Locke wrote in "Essay on Human Understanding" and the "Letters Concerning Toleration," these are just parts of being human, knowledge is not automatic and reason is not automatic, nor does it function without effort. People are doing to disagree on ideas. So tell me, how exactly do you plan on getting around this little fact? Your question of "who decides" is ill conceived, the real question is what decides and on what basis. You wouldn't build an engine and go "Even physicists disagree on how physics work, and well, who decides how internal combustion works anyways? These are constantly shifting goalposts, guess I'll walk, or use a horse and carriage."