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About Eiuol

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  • Experience with Objectivism Rand related: All major works. (Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Virtue of Selfishness, Atlas Shrugged, etc)

    Peikoff related: OPAR and three lecture series (Objectivism Through Induction, Understanding Objectivism, Unity in Ethics and Epistemology)

    Tara Smith related: Most things, including Viable Values and Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics.

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  1. Linguistics has a lot to say about language, it's not just the role of grammar. Nowadays, linguistics and psychology have a lot of synergy, and combined are about the role concepts, propositions, and other linguistic features play in making thought more efficient. Propositions are harder to study from being so varied, but plenty of studies involve interpreting sentences that possess certain features like morphisms. http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0010028573900364 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/002210317790004X Those are related. This page is helpful: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cognitive_linguistics Propositions aren't often studied, but schemas and frames are other terms for related ideas for what you want.
  2. Not a psych major per se, but as far as my knowledge and actual pursuit of the field, I'm well aware of the field. I don't follow your question, or why psychology matters here. Rand seems to talk about psycho-epistemology as one's psychological state for thinking and one's attitude toward thinking. So a rational or healthy psycho-epistemology is one which promotes proper use of concepts, enjoyment of thought, and pursuing knowledge. A better question may be: taking as a premise that Rand is right about the role of concepts from a philosophical basis, what could a psychologist take away from this to study the details of what propositions do? Linguistics is a better angle to approach that question and some ideas in psychology. That would help to define "proposition" so we know what the content of a proposition has anyway. From my knowledge, philosophically, a proposition has concepts or proximate percepts or distal percepts as content, but it's still open what to do about noun-phrases, semantics, pragmatics, etc. From that you'd compare people employing propositions to those being told to employ only a few concepts. I suspect another way to study it is to show one group a set of propositions, another group a set of single terms, and use a test of creativity to see which group if any thinks better. I hypothesize, though, that propositions allow one to get into a "thinking and rational" state more easily by virtue of connecting your ideas to more concepts, without cognitive overload. Consider a proposition has more content than a concept within that proposition, so one might argue that propositions only hinder thinking, making one prone to biases and errors. Propositions -organize- concepts though, regardless of the linguistic rules or details. Philosophically, it is reasonable to say propositions connect concepts, but it doesn't tell us how hard it is to do, if it's pretty natural to do, or the specific impact on the brain.
  3. I'm working on this again now to focus more of my studies onto concepts, epistemology, and conceptual development science. It's part of wider stuff I want to write on volition and mental content.
  4. Good thought - I have her book on rights, so I'll take a look at it for relevant thoughts, and report back. Rand had some thoughts as far as vigilantism, but that's not about the conflict of how to respond to mixed governments.
  5. I don't have another way to explain the position. I can't formulate it more clearly other than it depends on the degree your right to life is hindered. By "violation" here, I mean being forced to act in ways one doesn't desire. I desire to pay it even if it were voluntary. Because I hate the phrase "moral dictum". It's not appropriate here. Quite literally, "it depends on..." is as context-related as it gets. You disagree with a principle I use, but that doesn't make it rationalistic. Not exactly. Ok, so there's taxation as a general policy, and following that policy. I say in general, as there are some rules you could break and still follow its stated intent without flouting/ignoring the law. Flouting isn't just breaking rules, it's also disrespecting them. Perhaps it seems like a contradiction. No - it's just complicated, just as tax law is. I still desire to be a citizen and satisfied to work on tax policy via legislation in spite of any tax law unfairness. No, of course the US does not have the right to violate rights. It's legitimate as in... well, think of it as one bad action doesn't make one evil. In the long-run, thanks to the Constitution, justice is paid for small and big bad actions. I desire to be a citizen for this aspect. There are periods of greater and lesser justice, while having a general tendency over decades towards more liberty. Thus, desiring to be a citizen and valuing the Constitution, I find it appropriate to still pay. I still want large swaths of the protections afforded to me. The way I see it, the only people who should not still pay taxes are those who don't want any protections afforded to them, or people prepared to renounce their citizenship. Given other threads I've posted on, I'm all for aggressive action as protest. Tax is a different story. On the other hand, if I were Thoreau in the 1840s, I too would refuse to pay my taxes. But his protest wasn't -about- taxes, it was about slavery. It all comes down to desiring to be a citizen as far as 2017 is concerned.
  6. That was about "you are relatively free". You are mixing up my arguments. I had a post describing "wide areas of the law", and "entire rule of law", and taxation I explained as neither, as in it is really only a violation for people who really want no part of the government. That is, taxation is best fought (yes, -fought-, not justified) within the law as it is. And do you desire this to continue? Are these possibly reasons you would like to be a citizen? Totally, especially after I said that colonists were really abused after the Tea Party... The Revolution wasn't about taxation any more than the Civil War was about states' rights! Taxation was an issue as a symptom of a worse problem. Taxation, to me, is never a primary issue.
  7. I explained justifications in several posts and used history as concrete examples... Anyway, as far as I see, this is the issue: that anything short of an ideal government is an illegitimate (i.e. their rule of law is illegitimate wholesale) government. I'd say this is absurd. To explain that point, and why in spite of some injustices I'd still support "the system" with its taxation, will you first tell me anything you like about the US system of law and government?
  8. No, that's not right. The US government is both legitimate and tends to protect rights, so in general one ought to follow the law, and pay taxes as long as one seeks to fix injustices of tax within tax law. There are times when it is justified to break the law. See above. Notice I didn't say "always obey the law". Well that's what I suspected. Since you say the US government is -illegitimate-, then yes, flout the law. My premise is that the US government is legitimate; illegitimate governments have no justified authority. Being a citizen of such a bad country has no value, thus the tax has no value. I think you're wildly wrong to call the US illegitimate, though. I have nothing else to say regarding the US if you think it is illegitimate.
  9. Serious question, if it is so bad, why don't you renounce your citizenship? I mean, you'd be declaring in no uncertain terms that the US government is illegitimate to you and has no authority, that there is no rule of law worth respecting. For me, I do -not- think things are close to ideal. Yet I think the meaning of citizenship is the same, and I desire to be citizen. That isn't to say I apologize for rights violations, or refuse to resist break laws as a citizen, or submit. I gave qualifications as to when resisting and even rebelling is appropriate. I see the US as tending to support rights and appropriately so, and I seek to amend injustices. Thus, as bad as tax law works, and I'm a bit conflicted as to accepting, I'm still willing to pay taxes. I don't feel SO bad about taxes as they stand, I only mean to say I'm not about to go to the streets.
  10. Rand and Nietzsche would characterize altruism this way, but nihilism? I don't think so. Rand didn't use the term a lot as I recall, and N referred to the rejection of any meaning at all in life as nihilism. That mentality there isn't nihilism or altruism, it's emotionalism. I agree with DWs last phrase.
  11. Citizenship properly implies certain obligations: funding the government and respect for its laws. Why funding? Tanstaafl. Why respect for its laws? You would seek rights protection within that system of laws. At times, people will make unjust laws, so a proper system allows laws to repealed, amended, or taken to court. For a system of laws to work, it is important to improve the law, and even vociferously demand problems get addressed. Sometimes, breaking the law is advisable despite getting arrested insofar as an entire subset of people are abused, and when negotiation loses its power. MLK and other broke laws to make a point, without going as far as revolution like the Black Panthers. What we know about taxation is that, as DW showed, renouncing your citizenship won't get you out of taxes. This is unfair and unjust. On the other hand, few people even wish to renounce citizenship anyway. As long as you want to be a citizen, you should fund the government as requested. The only people really impeded are those who see the US as a moral monstrosity, and anarchists. I don't advocate initiating force on those people, but taxing them is as low as traffic laws when it comes to rights violations. I tried to convey that taxes were an issue for decades. Taxes weren't the big issue, it was the improper assertion of authority. The British ramped up the rights violations significantly after the Boston Tea party. Again, it wasn't the tea, or a raise in tea prices. The Tea Act made tea cheaper in order to appear nice while making some money - while not offering colonists rights as citizens. I'd only be for a revolution after the Coercive Acts. Funny you mention fidelity to the crown. I'd probably be a Federalist post-revolution (e.g. people like Hamilton). Federalists were accused by Jeffersonians/Anti-Federalists of being pro-British monarchists. As Thoreau said in Civil Disobedience: “If the injustice is part of the necessary friction of the machine of government, let it go, let it go: perchance it will wear smooth--certainly the machine will wear out… but if it is of such a nature that it requires you to be the agent of injustice to another, then I say, break the law. Let your life be a counter-friction to stop the machine. What I have to do is to see, at any rate, that I do not lend myself to the wrong which I condemn.”
  12. That isn't nihilism, though. A nihilist doesn't even see a good to hate, or an evil to love.
  13. Peikoff explains how it isn't in the part you didn't bold... If there is a proof, it's yours, and ultimately that means it doesn't make sense. In a way, choosing life is axiomatic: it's just there and it happens absent any formal reasons or justification. This is what Peikoff means. Commitment to life is a volitional attitude, perhaps a doxastic attitude (an attitude of holding a belief). That attitude is not innate, as it requires a will. You seem to suggest a commitment to life is innate, that by nature we all are committed to life regardless of will. A nihilist, for example, has NO commitments.
  14. Look, I agree there are injustices. Even Epist does. But it's blown out of proportion. See below. Oppression isn't the same as all injustice. It starts to look like hyperbole when there are substantially worse injustices. Sorta like this (it's a joke, don't read into it): Historical note: The Tea Act was a bailout of the British East India Company. The tea was made cheaper than normal for the colonists. More or less, the British were saying "look guys, cheap tea!" The colonists responded as "thanks, but we don't want the tea anyway". Not taking well to this, the British said "well, we're sending it, and you'll buy it". So the tea was sent on 4 ships to different ports. 2 ports sent the ships back. One port didn't let the British unload the tea. Boston totally trashed the tea. That's when it all went downhill. Taxation was always a negotiable issue, as unjust as some tax policies were. Those tax laws were worse than today, except for income tax. There are substantial rights violations that wholly deny your life, and rights violations which impede your life yet still be ironed out and smoothed over. All laws - taxation laws included - are part of a wider system of laws. That is, the law is the means in which to protect your life and property. As a system, they work together. Some parts are unjust, so those are amended later on. It isn't always a sacrifice to follow an unjust law, especially if it is negotiable and able to be improved by existing mechanisms within the system. Or if your life isn't -immediately- threatened. This is the rule of law. Errors occur, yet we don't throw it out and break the law piecemeal as it suits us. Breaking the law, if it's rational, presumes a significant and wide area of the law failing to tend towards protecting rights. Many civil rights protests showed major violations in the law. Taxation isn't at that stage. When an ENTIRE system tends to rights violations on a major scale (USSR), then that suggests no actual -objective- rule of law, so breaking those "laws" becomes respect for -objective- law.
  15. I mentioned it to point out that you are at least able to freely leave, while in Soviet Russia you'd be shot at the Berlin Wall. It'd be foolish to consider that taxation in the US is as unjust as being sent to the gulag, or as unjust as eminent domain in the US. It doesn't mean I'm okay with it if I say there is a pretty good degree of freedom regarding taxes despite some real injustices. They lacked representation in Parliament, and the taxes that were at issue was on tea they did not want, and a number pf oppressive laws that built up over time. Taxation in the colonies was done without any benefit of citizenship.