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Everything posted by Boydstun

  1. I think Rand’s value realism, and specifically her moral-value realism, is true. That is a basic superiority to all stripes of moral anti-realism, since I take them to be false. The true is better than the false. Studies such as the dissertation of Dr. Strandberg can introduce one to the current varieties of anti-realism and the arguments for and against them. It would be an expansion of my understanding of Rand’s system to situate it and its arguments alongside the arguments of Strandberg. At the same time one could learn where Rand’s value realism is situated with respect to other contemporary value realists. I have scarcely surveyed the contemporary landscape of ethical and meta-ethical theories. Much good study and reflection are waiting for me to do. I have followed the contacts made so far in this sort of comparative study within the writings of Profs. Tara Smith and Irfan Khawaja (his paper for the 2007 session of the Ayn Rand Society).
  2. Example of a contemporary proponent: Moral Reality: A Defense of Moral Realism Caj Strandberg 2004
  3. Boydstun

    Das Lied

    Schubert Schwanengesang Ständchen Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau & Gerald Moore Schwanengesang Die Taubenpost Gerhard Hüsch & Gerald Moore Die schöne Müllerin Die liege Farbe / Die böse Farbe / Trockne Blumen Ian Bostridge & Mitsuko Uchida
  4. Yes, quite neat. One sympathetic character in The Fountainhead is Toohey’s aunt. “She was a tall, capable woman to whom the word horse clung in conjunction with the words sense and face.” She is endowed with goodness and is not fooled by the public deceits of the youth Ellsworth, whom she calls Elsie. “‘You’re a maggot, Elsie,’ she once told him. ‘You feed on sores’. ‘Then I’ll never starve,’ he answered” (317, first edition).
  5. The Meriden Daily Republican 19 December 1898 (Meriden, CT) The Sign of the Three Balls
  6. Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged Robert Mayhew, editor (Lexington 2009) This collection of essays is excellent. One contribution to the collection is Michael Berliner’s “The Atlas Shrugged Reviews.” He “describes the generally hostile nature of the reviews the novel received, and underscores that this hostility came as much from the Right as it did from the Left” (x). The first contribution in this collection is from Onkar Ghate on the Part headings and Chapter headings of Atlas. He marches straight through the novel, explaining what happens in the story making each heading appropriate. Very nice (51 pages) and it adds up to a summary of the novel. Two essays were contributed by Gregory Salmieri. The first is titled “Atlas Shrugged on the Role of the Mind in Man’s Existence.” His focus is on what the novel says about the role of the mind in an individual life, rather than on what it says about the role of the mind in society as a whole. The subheadings of this essay are: The Human Form of Consciousness / The Productive Faculty / The Valuing Faculty. This is a masterful fresh rendering. Professor Salmieri also contributed “Discovering Atlantis – Atlas Shrugged’s Demonstration of a New Moral Philosophy.” One contribution in the collection Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged is by Darryl Wright. The title of his essay is “Ayn Rand’s Ethics: From The Fountainhead to Atlas Shrugged.” In tracing Rand’s development of her ethics between ’43 and ’57, Wright uses the two novels themselves, but in addition, he uses (i) Rand’s draft material for a non-fiction work not completed, titled The Moral Basis of Individualism, and (ii) Rand’s notes for Atlas. This essay alone is worth the price of the book. On the 3rd of April, this coming Saturday, 6:00-9:00 p.m., Essays on Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged will be the subject of an Authors-Meet-Critics session of the Ayn Rand Society at the Pacific Division Meeting of the American Philosophical Association. The Meeting is at the Westin St. Francis in San Francisco. The critics will be Christine Swanton, Lester Hunt, and William Glod. The responding authors will be Onkar Ghate, Allan Gotthelf, and Gregory Salmieri. Prof. Swanton will discuss Prof. Salmieri’s contribution “Atlas Shrugged on the Role of the Mind in Man’s Existence.” Dr. Glod will discuss Dr. Ghate’s contribution “The Role of Galt’s Speech in Atlas Shrugged” and Prof. Gotthelf’s contribution “Galt’s Speech in Five Sentences (and Forty Questions).” Prof. Hunt will discuss Salmieri's “Discovering Atlantis: Atlas Shrugged's Demonstration of a New Moral Philosophy” and Gotthelf's “A Note on Dagny's ‘Final Choice’.” Prof. Mayhew will give an overview of the book at the outset. Prof. Fred Miller will chair the session. You can attend this session (GXIII-A) even if you are not a member of the American Philosophical Association. Go to the Mezzanine level of the Westin St. Francis, and tell them you want to purchase a special $10 ticket to attend a single session of the APA Meeting. They will let you know the room in which the Ayn Rand Society session will take place. Registration will be open these hours: Saturday 8:30 a.m.–1:00 p.m. Friday 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. Thursday 8:30 a.m.–8:00 p.m. Wednesday 11:00 a.m.–8:00 p.m. (Expect long line on Wed., the first day of the APA Meeting) For $90 one not a member of the American Philosophical Association can register, receive a book with sessions and their locations, admission to any number of sessions, and discounts from many of the book vendors.
  7. Mr. Tucker: You seem to be saying that the entire history of philosophy, at least up to when Dewey wrote the quoted passage (1920/1948), has been intellectually dishonest. Am I understanding you correctly? Why do you think that? I mean just because we see Aristotle assuming a lot of the values of his culture in his ethical and political writings, can’t we also allow that in his metaphysics he is genuinely trying to fathom being and in his logic genuinely trying to formulate correct inference? I realize that he is building on and greatly extending previous thought about these latter two areas in Greece, but that is no bar to objectivity, is it? You write that both Objectivists and Pragmatists “recognize the tradition of reflection and abstract postulation as the search for justification.” When Rand, or her reader, engages in thought about existence, identity, consciousness, entities, and attributes in their most fundamental character, it seems implausible that she is looking for some kind of justification of a cultural value. Truth is a cultural value, but one does do not seek it primarily because of its position there. We seek truth to have it and to have real life. Culture facilitates having those things, but assessment of which sort(s) of culture facilitate them better can’t be justified by final appeal to culture. Right?
  8. Taken as the formula ‘Every A is A’, the principle of identity was being used by logicians at least by the time of Albert the Great (13th cent.). They used it, for example, to prove the convertibility of "No B is A" to "No A is B". They added "Every A is A" to "No B is A" to infer "No A is B", relying on one of Aristotle’s forms of syllogism (first mood of the second figure): No L is M Every S is M No S is L No B is A Every A is A No A is B (See Kneale and Kneale’s The Development of Logic, 235–36.) The logical formula of identity ‘A is A’ was expressed first by Leibniz. He was the first to capitalize the law of identity in logic, in mathematics, and in metaphysics. Leibniz knew that not all valid forms of deductive argument can be reduced to syllogistic form, but he maintained that the principle common to a properly enlarged theory of deduction is the substitution of equivalents, which is a logical license of identity. Identity and contradiction are two opposites of the same fundamental law for Leibniz. “An identity corresponds to a proposition which implies a contradiction. For the primary impossibility in propositions is this: A is not A; just as the primary necessity in propositions is this: A is A (Ltr. to H. Conring, 19 March 1678). ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Said of any existent, “A is A” can mean either “A is being A, specifically, A is predicatively being A the way it is and not in other ways” (Metaph. 1041a10–26) or it can mean “A is the same as A”. The latter can be divided into the merely verbal, as when we say “a belly is a tummy” or it can be more than merely verbal interchangeability, as when we say “a triangle is a trilateral” or “the morning star is the evening star.” It is because identity has various bearings in the real that it has various bearings in logic. These would include the license of substituting like for like and the proscription of equivocation. Truth is preserved under the former, spoiled under the latter. Another bearing of identity in logic is the logical relation of identity, which is usually denoted by the equals-sign in the texts (Copi’s Symbolic Logic, 158–68; Quine’s Methods of Logic, 268–73). Logic assimilates this relation by adding two axioms to those sufficient for the logic of (logical) quantification. One of those additional axioms is: for any a, a = a. The workings of identity in logic can sometimes look like a barren exercise. But these workings are for true thinking about the way the world is. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Oops! I was supposed to put this under a certain one of the existing branches of the root, rather than on a new branch. I'll get it right next time.
  9. Steven Tucker, Looking forward to your next Part. Stephen
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