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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.
  14. Well hold on. I can see what you're saying something maybe like "if Kant is counter-Enlightenment then so is Descartes through Hume." And maybe you have a point there. Perhaps Hicks would say Kant's constructivist solution is categorically different than Descartes' idealist solution. There's also the question of how Kant's contemporaries and disciples took him, and his influence, versus Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, et al. But regardless I don't think it's fair to say Hicks isn't doing scholarly work. The beginning of chapter 2 in EP starts off with what Hicks takes Enlightenment to be, so it's not as if he doesn't provide an argument for "why Kant is different." Secondly, his thesis is precisely the failure of Enlightenment epistemology enabled postmodernism, so it's not as if he doesn't sort of make the point you're making. But overall, the book is well researched and contains citations, footnotes, and articulate arguments. Not agreeing with something is not the same as it being bad scholarship.
  15. Depends on whether you take as "Enlightenment philosophy" to be (a) the actual philosophy done by the philosophers of the Enlightenment, or (b) what may be termed "the Enlightenment project" which may include something like the goals of x, y, and z, that may or may not have been achieved by (a.) I think she is an anti-Enlightenment philosopher in the sense of (a) but a pro- one in the sense of (b).
  16. Don't forget this classic George Reisman "Why Nazism Was Socialism and Why Socialism Is Totalitarian"
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 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."
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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?
  23. 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.)
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