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About AndrewSternberg

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  • Birthday 04/22/1984

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    Andrew Sternberg
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    Drexel University, Philadelphia
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    Student, Electrical Engineering

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    Robotics, Philosophy (obviously), Japanese, Science, Badminton. Note: looking for more.
  1. Does a work of art speak for itself or must one's esthetic evaluation of it take into consideration the artist's intended "message"? I would say that once a work of art is created, whether it be architecture, a painting or a symphony, etc., it exists and has the nature that is has and should be evaluated on that nature alone. Its history is irrelevent.
  2. I will involve myself to the extent that my free time allows. As of late, it has not been very giving. I have read the book though, and it would be useful to revisit it. However, the subject matter is slightly out of order for me. I am following a particular order of investigation into Objectivism. I am currently delving deeper into Epistemology, as the ITOE discussions indicate. And I have also just ordered HB's "Metaphysics of Consciousness" lectures. Honestly, I expect to spend about a year focusing primarily on Epistemology before moving on. When I do move on, TBBoTC will be a good place to begin for the next phase of my study.
  3. First, what does "pinning" mean? Since our Admin, GC, was planning on subdividing the Premium Forums once there was enough content to break it up into smaller sections, I assumed that it would be then that GC created a new directory(s) for our specific discussions. He could group them, first by book, and then by chapter. Once in these directories, he could rename each thread by simply ommiting the portion prior to the ':'. For example: Main Title: ITOE, Ch. 1: Axioms as Related to Consciousness Sub-Title: When they are grasped implicitly Would be moved into an "ITOE" directory, with sub-directory "Chapter 1" and be renamed to: Main Title: Axioms as Related to Consciousness Sub-Title: When they are grasped implictly So, until these directories are created, maintain the current nomenclature: (Book Title),(Chapter of Book): (Main Title of Thread), (Sub-title of Thread)
  4. I reread that entire discussion and it helped me immensly. I recommend that everyone do the same. And after reading it, I think my earlier formulation is not precise enough: After the discussion mentioned by Bowser, I think it is easiest to understand what an implicit concept is by thinking of it as a POTENTIAL concept. If I hold the concept of a 'pen' implictly, it means that I have enough percepts of pens that I am able to form the concept, but have not yet done so. The steps required to make that concept explicit, are the steps of conceptualization; isolate these percepts by differentiating them from, say erasers and paper; perceive the essential similarity among my percepts of pens through measurement ommision; and integrate these percepts into a new mental entity by associating it with a new perceptual concrete, namely "pen." The concept is implicit untill and unless my mind focuses on the neccesary components in the neccesary context. Thus, the concept "existent" is implicit from the very start, because one has all the requisite data needed for the explicit concept. And this would apply to "Identity" and "Consciousness" as well. In the very act of perceiving something, you are perceiving that it IS (existence) and is DISTINCT FROM OTHER THINGS (identity). In the very act of perceiving something you ARE ACTUALLY PERCEIVING something (consciousness). It is in this sense that these axiomatic concepts are implicit, i.e. potential concepts, in the first act of perception. They do not become explicit concepts untill your "mind focuses on the neccesary components in the neccesary context", and these components and concepts don't come untill much later on in the game. I have a little more to say, but alas my lunch break is over.
  5. While I agree with most of what you say about the concept 'existent' after the ":", I am having trouble connecting it to the idea of 'existent' being implicit in man's sense-perception. You say: "The concept "existent" is implicit in the sense that it is usually not used as an explicit genus." I am not sure that I agree with this. The reason it is not used as a genus in most definitions is that it is too broad of a genus to meet the rules of a proper definition. The purpose of a genus, as I understand it, is to zoom in one's mind on a particular category of existents; the purpose of a differentia is to take that category provided by the genus and indentify the particular concept one is trying to communicate. If cat is the concept one is trying to define, "an existent with fur" does not do the job. Since the genus here, 'existent', doesn't achieve the neccesary 'zooming in', the differentia is unable to differentiate a cat from other furry existents. What all of this has to do with the implicit nature of the concept of existent, I still don't know.
  6. Hey Brian, I am in the process of transfering into the Architecture Program at Drexel. I had read this thread of yours a while ago, but completely forgot about it. It would be awsome if you were able to transfer in too. My decision to transfer is only 2 weeks old!
  7. I would collect gold and then refuse to accept dollar bills in payment for any of my goods or services.
  8. I'm glad you agree here, i.e. TangentMan prevails. Whenever I do go off on a tangent, there is usually a reason. And I try to get back to the main topic as quick as possible assuming that I am able to close the book on the tangential one. And aren't tangents conducive to integrating seemingly disparate ideas? It’s just a tangential thought I had in defense of my tangent mongering. I'm not sure what you are saying here? Is the statement that "there is no immense gap between humans and the next level down" your current opinion or one of the past of which you have now discarded for a more enlightened perspective. Last one-tenth of one percent of what? Are you saying that one small jump from the pre-conceptual to conceptual level is "a doozy" in terms of the power it grants the wielder. I agree if this is what you are saying, but is it? It depends on what you mean by intelligent. Are you using 'intelligence' to refer to a capacity/potential that one is born with as opposed to the knowledge one acquires after birth? I tend to think of 'intelligence' as referring to the former, and 'ability' to the latter. I think our concepts have advanced "as we go along", just as our technology has. But both phenomena are caused by ideas building off of other ideas (i.e. the hierarchical nature of concepts), and not by any increasing intelligence that later generations are born with. I have no proof that the latter is the case, and given the extent of my scientific knowledge on the matter it would be arbitrary for me to assert or accept such a claim. Feel free to provide any evidence if you think you have some.
  9. Would the house be the same entity even if it wasn't knocked down? Is the entity-status of the house time independent. Clearly something has to change with the passage of time, even if it is unnoticable to the human senses. What effect on the entity-status of the house does that change have. Is entity a metaphysical or epistemological concept? In other words, is whether or not a 'something' is an entity depend on the arrangement and relation of its parts (metaphysical), or does it depend on man's automatic integration of the interaction between man's senses and a 'something' (epistemological)? I don't think I can answer the original question without knowing the answer to these questions (and perhaps more).
  10. In order for it to be an entity, it has to be more than the some of its parts. The parts in your example are the blocks. The sum is the house, which is identifably more than the blocks. The "glue" is whatever makes the the collection of entites more than just a collection. It doesn't neccesarily mean that the blocks must be physically connected, even though they are (through gravity).
  11. The purpose of rights, and therefore the government that protects them is to keep the consquences of ones own irrationality confined to the person being irrational; to keep men free from other men.
  12. Just to reiterate what some others have been saying. It is still possible to be immoral when alone on a desert island. Being immoral means taking actions that are harmful to your own life, which one can certainly do by themselves. The initation of force is a sitation where one contaminates another with their irrationality. You effectively irradicate that other person's judgement when you initatiate force against them. Also, a man is harming himself when he initiates force against others. He is harming himself directly by inviting retaliation against his initation. His is harming himself indirectly by implicitly accepting a policy of human interaction that states it is proper for one man to initiate force againt another. Thus, by initiating force against others, he is implictly rejecting the concept of rights. In a society without rights, what is the result? This time, he was the one initating force. Next time, it may be someone else, where he is their target. Who will protect him then? Certainly not anyone who knows that he has done it himself in the past.
  13. Perhaps these seemingly intelligent chimps are limited by an inability to form abstractions of other abstractions, i.e. restricted to "first-level" concepts. Jennifer (or do you go by Jen?), what do you mean when you distinguish between the faculty of conceptualization and the faculty of reason. What is the dividing line?
  14. I wonder how this relates to the Primacy of Existence. It might be useful re-read the section in OPAR about the it while keeping the above in mind with the hopes of integrating the two topics.
  15. The following was mentioned in another thread but is in my opinion more relevent to this topic. I am importing them for the purposes of restricting all comments on them to the confines of this thread and thereby leaving the other thread 'un-infected' by tangential 'bru-ha-ha' (don't ask me what this word means because I will only bombard you with more gibberish) Ummmm, so yeah, the following: (I cut portions from the beginning and end of your post that were too specific to the other thread topic) AisA responded: While I have heard of the monkey sign-language, I was skeptical about it. I view it as a more complex form of perceptual association directed by pleasure and pain. But going back to my original question, is this complex enough to be more than mere perceptual association, yet not complex enough to be conceptual.
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