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  1. . The installments (in the other thread “Peikoff’s Dissertation”) of my representation of and commentary on Peikoff’s dissertation that I have completed and posted are: Plato – 3/17/17 Aristotle I – 5/14/17 Aristotle II – 11/2/17 Due to a stretch of writing my book, in some Aristotle areas, I’ve only just now resumed studies required for my next installment on Peikoff’s dissertation. In this continuation, I want to convey and assess Peikoff’s account of Kant’s contribution to the transition to conventionality in philosophy of PNC. I hope to touch on not only conventionalist theories to the time of Peikoff’s dissertation, but on those flourishing today and their historical setting. I plan to add a coda that is an inventory of the elements and the cited works in Peikoff’s dissertation that plainly contributed to things addressed in the early ’60’s in the Rand/Branden journals, points in Rand’s epistemology (1966–67), and points, with morphisms, in Peikoff’s own writings from his “Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy” (1967) to The DIM Hypothesis (2012). Here is the Table of Contents for Peikoff’s dissertation. The three installments I mentioned of my series concerned the first 4 chapters of the dissertation. I’ll include here the detail Contents for the remaining, final chapter. The Status of the Law of Contradiction in Classical Logical Ontologism Table of Contents I. Platonism: The Law’s Epistemological Status II. Platonism: The Law’s Ontological Status III. Aristotelianism: The Law’s Epistemological Status IV. Aristotelianism: The Law’s Ontological Status V. The Demise of Logical Ontologism —Some central features of non-ontologism in logic, whether Kantian or conventionalist. —Kantianism as intermediate between ontologism and conventionalism; some difficulties it has faced in the attempt to sustain such a position. —Some problems for the theory of the Law of Contradiction suggested by the later Platonist view of essences as Divine thoughts. —How the attempt to resolve such problems pointed toward a Kantian account of the Law; some signs of this in Cudworth. —Some difficulties in the Aristotelian Form-Matter ontology; the effects of Locke’s rejection of it on his ability to defend logical ontologism. —Suggestions of conventionalism in Locke; the relation between these and his rejection of realism in the theory of universals. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I’d like to indicate here the book with which I resume my studies for treatment of the issues in the remainder of Peikoff’s dissertation. The summary information here about this book is an addition to all my report on Kant’s ideas on logic in earlier posts in the present thread “Peikoff’s Dissertation – Prep.” Kant and Aristotle – Epistemology, Logic, and Method Marco Sgarbi (2016) From the back cover: “Kant and Aristotle reassesses the prevailing understanding of Kant as an anti-Aristotelian philosopher. Taking epistemology, logic, and methodology to be the key disciplines through which Kant’s transcendental philosophy stood as an independent form of philosophy, Marco Sgarbi shows that Kant drew important elements of his logic and metaphysical doctrines from Aristotelian ideas that were absent in other philosophical traditions, such as the distinction of matter and form of knowledge, the division of transcendental logic into analytic and dialectic, the theory of categories and schema, and the methodological issues of the architectonic. Drawing from unpublished documents including lectures, catalogues, academic programs, and the Aristotelian-Scholastic handbooks that were officially adopted at Königsberg University where Kant taught, Sgarbi further demonstrates the historical and philosophical importance of Aristotle and Aristotelianism to these disciplines from the late sixteenth century to the first half of the eighteenth century.” The chapters of this book are 1. FACULTATIVE LOGIC / 2. TRANSCENDENTAL LOGIC / 3. METHODOLOGY Here are excerpts from the author’s prospectus for 1 and 2: Chapter 1 – “I contextualize Kant’s facultative logic within the Aristotelian tradition. Kant denies that facultative logic can be based on the philosophical attempts of John Locke and Nicolas Malebranche, who were more concerned with psychology or metaphysics. . . . I examine facultative logic in Aristotle and the Aristotelian tradition with particular reference to Zabarella and the rise of gnostology [science concerning the mental habit that has to do with the cognizable as cognizable, i.e, the mode of knowing the object in general] and noology [study of the mind’s operation of forming subject-predicate propositions and study of the principles and axioms issuing from such propositions]. . . . I show that Kant can be considered as a part of this philosophical Aristotelian tradition from the time of his early writings up to the Critique of Pure Reason. . . . I examine Kant’s relation to the so-called discipline of physiology, characterizing his Kantian categories as a habit of the mind characteristic of the Aristotelian tradition. . . . Characterize the origin of Kant’s notion of pure concepts of understanding as acquired concepts. I compare Kant’s ideas with those of Locke and Leibniz on the polemic against innatism . . . .” Chapter 2 – “Deals with two fundamental concepts of Kantian epistemology, namely the matter and form of knowledge, and outlines their Aristotelian origin. . . . Philosophical significance of this conception in Kant’s precritical philosophy and in the transcendental aesthetic and logic of his later years. . . . Kant’s appropriation of the Aristotelian syllogism and doctrine of categories. . . . I suggest that Kant’s reawakening from a dogmatic slumber is connected with his rediscovery of Aristotelian categories. Once having established the nature of the categories, I argue that Kant’s conception of categories and schema comes from the nominalistic interpretation of categories elaborated by Königsberg Aristotelianism, and in particular by Rabe [Paul Rabe, c.1700]. . . . I emphasize the epistemological value of analytic and dialectic for Aristotle. Then I suggest the hypothesis that, in the slipstream of the Königsberg Aristotelian tradition, the analytic of concepts corresponds to gnostology, while the analytic of principles corresponds to noology. More specifically, I demonstrate Rabe’s influence on Kant’s conception of analytic and dialectic in conceiving the former as the logic of concepts and principles and the latter as the logic of probability, or logic of illusion.” . . “In the conclusion, I show how the failure of the precritical logical and metaphysical projects prompted Kant to develop the Critique of Pure Reason. I then summarize briefly the result of my research, thereby providing justification for my thesis that Kant’s work must be included within the Aristotelian tradition.” –M. Sgarbi
  2. Objectivism in Academia

    . 23 February 2018, 7-10pm, APA Central, Palmer House, Chicago American Association for the Philosophic Study of Society Topic: Arguments For and Against Liberalism Chair: Shawn Klein (Arizona State University) Speaker: Stephen Hicks (Rockford University) Commentators: Jonathan Anomaly (University of Arizona) / Asborn Melkevik (Harvard University) / Kevin Vallier (Bowling Green State University) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Of related interest at the same APA Meeting: The Promise of Lockean Tacit Consent Theory Jeff Carroll (University of Virginia) ABSTRACT - John Locke is strongly committed to both voluntarism and a consent theory of political obligation. John Simmons has defended both Locke’s voluntarism and Locke’s consent theory of political obligation as being true. Obviously, there have been very few express consenters. This means that Locke’s concept of tacit consent has to do most of the heavy lifting in generating political obligation. Simmons argues that it is not sufficiently strong. The implication is philosophical anarchism. I believe that tacit consent has spent more time in the gym than Simmons. Though mere residence does not qualify as tacitly consenting, a not too distant scenario in which individuals are presented the choice to “emigrate or stay and consent” and they opt to stay, I believe, would. By responding to Simmons’s critique of “emigrate or stay and consent” choice situations, I provide a Lockean path out of philosophical anarchism. A Conventionalist Account of “Natural” Rights Tristan Rogers (University of Arizona) ABSTRACT - Hume observes in the Treatise that the “rules, by which properties, rights, and obligations are determin’d, have in them no marks of a natural origin, but many of artifice and contrivance” (p. 528). Consequently, when we talk of property as a natural right, it is difficult to do so without noticing things like easements, liabilities, zoning, licensing, etc. Call that the conventionalist challenge. Eric Mack, in a series of papers, attempts to mitigate the force of the conventionalist challenge in defending what he calls a natural right of property (Mack, “The Natural Right of Property,” 2010). This paper argues that Mack’s natural rights view does not successfully meet the conventionalist challenge, and further, that a suitably modified Humean conventionalist account can explain the conviction that we have rights without appealing to natural rights.
  3. My Verses

  4. A Complex Standard of Value

    . MiSw, one’s life required that one have parents and adults who nurtured one. It required that others became parents and nurtured in order for one now to have potential producers with whom to trade or to be friends or lovers. That an enormous population will be sustained without one’s participation in reproduction and raising children is a highly secure proposition. Some have thought, however, that just as we have a psychological need and rewards for making things, arising from our human way of survival, we have also a psychological need and rewards for participating in generating and nurturing children, arising also from our biological nature. By the time I finished high school, I knew that I did not want to have children. (I did not yet know I was gay or anyway that I had that potential.) I wanted to devote myself to my brain-children. And of course plenty of others were taking care of making and nurturing babies. However, I do have a concern and hope for the continuation of human kind beyond me and all my loved ones. Perhaps that is an outgrowth of biological constitution. It is a personal, individual concern, although clearly others share it, forming altogether a collective aim. Although, different people assess differently what are the threats to human continuation out beyond say the grandchildren-generation. So you find me stressing we do all we can against nuclear-weapons proliferation, but others would stress our actions for those future generations against other perceived threats. I did end up with a family after all, as in 1996 I met my present husband and became part of his family. He had two sons and soon a grandson. It has been a marvelous thing about our life together. A view contrasting yours and Rand’s concerning the nature of life and human life, with implications for right morality (from an old paper of mine): ~~~~ For Guyau the deepest laws of life are that it is nutritive and self-preservative and that it is fecundity (S 70, 75, 79, 209–10). Beyond nutrition and appropriation necessary for self-maintenance, there may accumulate superabundance capable of the expansion of life that is reproduction. This is a good for humans, as it is for all other life forms. Generation is an elevated intensity of life. Without sexual reproduction, the good that is man, with family and society, would not exist (82–83). “Individual life is expansive for others because it is fruitful, and it is fruitful by the very reason that it is life” (209–10). [S – A Sketch of Morality without Obligation or Sanction – Jean Guyau 1885] ~~~~ Guyau 1 Guyau 2 (Scroll down past References to the Appendix)
  5. A Complex Standard of Value

    . MisterSwig, isn’t it incomplete to think of the biological standard to be only health over sickness and not also reproduction of the species over its demise with the present generation? I’m serious on that. As far as basics of humans goes, isn’t reproduction (and nurturing children) part of them?
  6. My Verses

  7. My Verses

  8. The Law of Identity

    Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -- Process Philosophy --Johanna Seibt (2017) The Activity of Being --Aryeh Kosman (2013) / From the publisher: “For Aristotle, to ask “what something is” is to inquire into a specific mode of its being, something ordinarily regarded as its “substance.” But to understand substance, we need the concept of energeia―a Greek term usually translated as “actuality.” In a move of far-reaching consequence, Kosman explains that the correct translation of energeia is not “actuality” but “activity.” We have subtly misunderstood the Metaphysics on this crucial point, says Kosman. Aristotle conceives of substance as a kind of dynamic activity, not some inert quality. Substance is something actively being what it is.” / This book from Kosman is not an argument over what is true in the matter, only over what Aristotle thought true in the matter. As for true in the matter, I think Aristotle (under this interpretation of him) was wrong, although one doesn’t have to go back to Plato or Parmenides and pals to get things right. And I take Rand as by her philosophy to agree with me in all that. I’d like to add to the other thought in this thread that on the mere face of ‘A is A’ one can say ‘change is change’ even while ignoring ties of change to stasis or to other categories of existence, such as entity (in the Randian sense of that term). But one is then saying much less than one who is saying ‘change is change’ while keeping those ties in mind. At Metaphysics 1030a25–27, Aristotle allows ‘nonbeing is nonbeing’. But he takes such a statement to say far less than were one to say ‘substance is substance’. Those of us who, like Rand, take ‘A is A’ to be making an assertion about existence of A, take A to have ties to other things (counting its own parts as one type of other thing), to have a nature, to have identity (in Rand’s broader sense of the term). For us, saying ‘nonexistence is nonexistence’ is only a sameness of words, a metaphysical zero.
  9. Objectivism in Academia

    More recently: ASU - An Advanced Guide --Lester Hunt (2015)
  10. Aristotle and the science

    It has seemed to me that the sort of satisfaction in understanding that Aristotle found by casting natural phenomena and their causes in the form of a certain sort of syllogism is a faint relative of what now comes to us in some of our uses of mathematics in science today. We’ve satisfaction in deep understanding through mathematical structure instanced in physical phenomena. On thought about this modern satisfaction, I link to Michael Strevens’ paper The Mathematical Route to Causal Understanding. It will be a chapter in a book to appear summer of 2018 – Explanation beyond Causation (Oxford, Reutlinger and Saatsi, editors). I’ve a difference with Streven’s picture here in that I’d emphasize that the physically realized mathematics coincides with synthetic mathematical structure which always underlies analytic mathematical representation (as Euclid’s geometry underlies Descartes’ analytic geometry). Rand did not have this vocabulary for it, but she had this my idea in her conception of mathematical structure in our concepts and in the world which they represent. The issue of the nature of mathematical structure in modern scientific explanation has its related counterpart in (work yet to be accomplished on) mathematical structure in essential characteristics in concepts framed in Rand’s measurement-omission way.
  11. Aristotle and the science

    Favored. Theodoric's advance in theory of the rainbow was accomplished within an Aristotelian outlook on science and metaphysics: thus, thus. Also, prior to the Darwinian revolution, great advances were made in biology in the eighteenth and nineteenth century under the Aristotelian (even if with Kantian color) imputation of final causes to all biological nature. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ PS From the seven minutes of ground view of launch of Apollo 11: “That we had seen a demonstration of man at his best, no one could doubt—this was the cause of the event’s attraction and of the stunned, numbed state in which it left us. And no one could doubt that we had seen an achievement of man in his capacity as a rational being—an achievement of reason, of logic, of mathematics, of total dedication to the absolutism of reality.” –AR Aristotle contributed a tremendous boost on that logic part and this-world focus part. Another big boost from the ancients was the boost we received from Euclid in geometry. Both were tools of Newton and tools for our own scientific advances today.
  12. Aristotle and the science

    Giovanni, Of the friction points you list, I think the worst is under your fifth. The Aristotelian ideas that heavier things fall faster than lighter things and that it is fundamental to bodies of the sublunary region that they come to rest required seriously new thinking caps to overcome. Another barrier to overcome was the overextended role of final (and formal) causality Aristotle had conceived. Another was Aristotle’s (inconstant) nay-saying on the role of mathematics in natural science. Another was his method of science, although in that there was some continuity with early moderns, at least in the organization of disciplines deserving the name science, at least in the more snobbish restrictions of that term. On that last, there is a nice paper available here: The Classical Model of Science: A Millennia-Old Model of Scientific Rationality --De Jong and Betti 2010
  13. Sorry, but in that second one, I'd transcribed the first line incorrectly, so I deleted that post, and here it is corrected: This is my main home library. I shot the photo from the adjoining glassed-in terrace, which is why the photo also shows an overlay image of the outdoors I see from my desk.
  14. . Thanks for the topic and the example, William. Here are some related ruminations. Learning is defined in my 1976 AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY, as a noun, as “acquired wisdom, knowledge, or skill” and, as a verb, as “gaining knowledge, comprehension, or mastery of through experience or study.” In PRINCIPLES OF NEURAL SCIENCE (2013, 5th edition, Kandel et al., editors), we have, consistently with the dictionary, but going beyond it: “Learning refers to a change in behavior that results from acquiring knowledge about the world, and memory is the process by which that knowledge is encoded, stored, and later retrieved.” (1441) In this encyclopedic authoritative reference, the types of memory and what is known of their neural bases is presented. There is a section “Long-Term Memory Can Be Classified as Explicit or Implicit.” Implicit memory sections following that one often sound like stolen-concept talk. “Implicit memory stores forms of information acquired without conscious effort and which guide behavior unconsciously. Priming is a type of implicit memory . . . . Two types of priming have been proposed [conceptual priming and perceptual priming, with much evidence]” (1452) Implicit memory is detailed further throughout the next Chapter titled “Cellular Mechanisms of Implicit Memory Storage and the Biological Basis of Individuality.” On the face of it, there appears to be a stolen concept fallacy in that these tremendous advances are talked of as implicit memory when one is reporting physical and chemical changes in neurons in the nervous systems of animals not possessing consciousness. Memory would seem to be something that entails consciousness in our first conception of memory, yet today we talk of memory in such a thing as a snail. (Rand assumed that even insects have consciousness, but that is incorrect by our present lights, and I set it aside.) In the April 1968 issue of THE OBJECTIVIST the brain researcher Robert Efron wrote: “The concept ‘memory’ depends upon and presupposes the concept of consciousness, cannot be formed or grasped in the absence of this concept and represents, within wider or narrower limits, a specific type or state of conscious activity.” (This paper was reprinted, with adaptations, from one Dr. Efron had presented at a conference in philosophy of science the preceding year at Univ. of Pitt.) Efron argued that in the preceding 50 years, experimental psychologists had destroyed the concept of memory. Similarly for the concept of learning. Many of the instances of talk of memory at the time of his paper remain junk talk today, or rather, junk if taken literally. However, since that time, it looks to me that the extensions of the concept of memory down into the neural processes of even animals not featuring any consciousness is not really a stolen concept. The loop back to the concept with consciousness in it is very long, setting our conscious brain within its developmental story, evolutionary story, and dependencies of specific conscious processes on specific unconscious processes, all among the neuronal activities. It seems to me this best, fullest story can be told without slipping into eliminative reductionism, and is not a stolen-concept fallacy regarding memory or learning.
  15. Peikoff's Dissertation

    Aristotle II In my own picture, if one is reading this and knows horses as horses and trees as trees, one knows that horses are not anything but horses, not anything such as trees. If one has concepts, such as the concept horse, then one knows identity, at least a thin identity, and knows classes, whether or not one yet realizes one is dealing in those general patterns identity, class inclusion, and class exclusion. Knowing horses and trees as such, one knows already that horses are necessarily horses and necessarily not anything other than horses, such as trees.[1] Then too, if one is reading this and has the concept horse, one knows validity of the inference from “All horses have blood vessels” and “Bucephalus was a horse” to “Bucephalus had blood vessels.” Also, being a horse, Bucephalus was necessarily not rooted in the soil like a tree. If one has concepts—even ones held, in early development, according to weighted sums of typical features, not yet according to natures and definitions[2]—I say one has the knowledge grounding recognition of elementary logically valid inference.[3] Where there is knowing things under concepts, there is knowing some what-it-is and what-it-is-not. If equipped with concepts—even before learning to read and before express understanding of grammar—one knows at least dimly that contradiction is false of all things said of the world under concepts, necessarily false. Rightness and necessity in our later grasp as concepts our concepts of things, things as they are, are inherited rightness and necessity from those earlier concepts of things as they are. Grasping logic requires grasping concepts as concepts. Then my view is that rightness and necessities of logic are heirs ultimately of rightness and necessities in our concepts not as concepts, but merely as of things as they are. My own picture then is a variety of logical ontologism.[4] Peikoff sets Locke in that broad stream as well. Locke did not have the vantage of our contemporary scientific research into early cognitive development. On his somewhat inconstant model of human cognition and its ontogeny, one has no knowledge which one had not been self-consciously aware of in its acquisition.[5] Moreover, Locke’s tendency towards nominalism in universal concepts sets him to reject possession of universal concepts of things empirical as funding logical necessities such as noncontradiction (or syllogistic inference[6]). Locke would reject the conveyance of empirical necessities to logical necessities by attainment of empirical concepts. Rather, he would have PNC be a generalization of our early notice of particular empirical distinctions and necessities, which were made without knowledge of PNC.[7] Further, in his congeniality towards nominalism, Locke has PNC with its formality and necessity grounded rather more in keeping our reflections on the world straight than in reflecting the world.[8] Locke rejected the realist theory of universals in both its extreme and moderate forms.[9] Locke understood Aristotle, or anyway the Aristotelianism of his own era, as moderate realism. He argued against our access to any such things as specific, substantial form or real essences.[10] We work with nominal essences, by the lights of Locke, and his own theory of universal concepts has been classified as conceptualism, wherein general words stand for general ideas.[11] Marco Sgarbi 2013 shows that highly empiricist Aristotelian logic texts flourished in Britain in the 16th and 17th centuries. Frances Bacon criticized the strain therein subordinating the world to the mind and the mind to its concepts.[12] Insofar as Locke took concepts as tightly bound to the mind-independent world, he is located, as Peikoff locates him, in the tradition of logical ontologism, specifically in its Aristotelian wing. Conceptualism is an alternative to realism in theory of universals and in theory of science. Insofar as a variety of conceptualism creates any breach or looseness between what Newton called phenomena (such as orbits of planets) and the mind, it leans away from logical ontologism, I should say.[13] Peikoff 1964, like Locke 1690, takes Aristotle in the usual way, which is as a moderate realist[14] in which universal concepts, such as horse or tree, derive from particulars in perceptual experience, particulars containing real essences, which are real forms. Aristotelian forms are the definite delimitations joined with fundamental indefinite matter in any actual particular.[15] Unlike Platonic Forms, Aristotle’s forms, even the forms essential to a thing being the kind of thing it is, are not residents of a realm separate from this world of particulars around us. Those essences reside in the particulars around us, and they are accessible to us through appropriation by intellect attending to things sensed. Essential form is of itself never separate from its matter; it is contemplated as separate by the intellect. Contra Plato, essences according to Aristotle do not themselves reside in a realm separately and independently from the realm of sensible particulars, and essences are not accessed by intellect alone. Where concepts and propositions, including the propositions that are logical principles, were thought to be bonded to and guided by mind-independent reality through their incorporation of Aristotelian form from particulars, supposed conformity to the world by concepts and propositions and logical principles was at stake should the existence of Aristotelian forms be rejected.[16] They were indeed rejected by moderns not Scholastic, excepting Leibniz. They were rejected, as I have mentioned, by Rand and Peikoff. Rightly so. Locke, as we have seen, rejected Aristotelian accounts of abstraction from perceptual particulars via mental absorption of Aristotelian forms, Aristotelian essence. Peikoff observes that Aristotle attempted to account for PNC as deriving from our assimilation of essential forms in particulars, yet account for such assimilation being reliant on our knowing PNC and for PNC being foundation of all knowing.[17] (A parallel tension appears in Rand’s proposition Existence exists as most fundamental axiom, yet as conceptually derived from perception.[18]) Locke rejected any need for any of the accounting after the yet. Before the yet, he rejected Aristotle’s forms and essences as existing and as sourcing the necessity of PNC we find in thought or in the world. Locke proposed necessity of PNC is perceived, by sense, in distinct particulars. I agree with Locke that there are directly perceived physical necessities. Peikoff, Kant, and virtually the entire bench of philosophers are right, however, to dismiss Locke’s idea that logical necessity is among the types of necessity perceived directly in sensory perception. There is another view on the ontogeny of PNC, my own view (supplementing what I wrote in the first three paragraphs of this installment), which is only a stone’s throw from Locke’s. That is the view that impossibility of performative contradictions have metaphysical and epistemological priority with respect to formal PNC. One was getting a grip on incompatibility of one’s alternative physical acts before reaching the one-word stage of language development.[19] Further, one has action- and image-schemata (and working memory) preceding and continually supporting one’s concepts. Furthermore, all defenses of PNC eventually invoke impossibilities in actual performances. Back to older philosophy. Logical necessity for Aristotle resides in character of concepts, predications, definitions, and inferences. These require abstractions from examination of groups of singulars. In Aristotle’s view, perception of a single object not yet conceptualized will not yet open conceptual necessities, such as PNC logical necessity, even though the basis of PNC stands in the intelligible forms and essences shared by and residing in each perceptible singular.[20] Aristotle had located the source of logical necessities in active operations of intellect and not in the perceptual, memorial, and imaginative supports of active intellect. This stance of Aristotle, which Locke rejected, would please Leibniz, whom Peikoff places in the Platonic line of logical ontologism.[21] Recall that the Platonic line takes some ideas to be innate. In their view, PNC is an innate guiding principle we posses, not a principle derived from or delivered by sensory perceptions. And they take logical necessities to reflect necessity in relations between essences or essential forms obtaining apart from any participation of concrete existents in those eternally true patterns. I want to indicate Leibniz’ shredding of Locke’s outlook on PNC, along with my display to Peikoff’s diagnosis of the failures of both Platonic and Aristotelian logical ontologism. Leibniz argued persuasively against Locke’s thesis that we know nothing that was not explicitly known by us at least in its initial appropriation.[22] Locke had rejected the Platonic picture in which there is knowledge of geometry or logic possessed by us implicitly prior to it becoming explicit to us. By way of blocking possibility of innate knowledge, Locke had declined possibility of implicit knowledge. It is implausible, I say (as would most moderns), that we have no implicit knowledge hanging about things known explicitly in their initial acquisition. Yet, contra Leibniz, this is no license for thinking any ideas (as distinct from faculties) to be innate. Demise of doctrines of the innateness of ideas, including necessary truths, cuts down the Platonic line in their defense of the view that logical truths are grounded in something fixed and independent of our knowing those truths. Likewise in ruins became the Platonic support of PNC ontologism by reification of universals and essences, whether residing in an other-worldly place and whether constituting or inhabiting God’s this-world-independent understanding.[23] Leibniz challenged Locke’s position that PNC is simply an empirical generalization from particular oppositions in experience such as that bitter is not sweet or that wormwood is not sugarplum or that the nurse is not the cat.[24] Leibniz objects that such oppositions of sense have not the absolute certainty of freedom from illusion or other defect as has PNC. I should say against Leibniz that that is no airtight showing that PNC is not derived by empirical generalization. A triangulated result can be more sure than its individual elements of evidence towards that result; we fare well with Whewell’s consilience of inductions.[25] Be that as it may, Leibniz was correct, I say, to hold that PNC is not derived merely by empirical generalization because ideas of being, possible, and identity intertwined in PNC is at hand in any of our general concepts. Leibniz errs, to be sure, in his rush from that picture to innateness of such ideas and PNC. Leibniz argues well against Locke’s tendency towards nominalism in universals, essences, definitions, conceptual taxonomies, and logical principles. Leibniz submits their bases to be in the similarity of singular things in reality and in possibilities that are independent of our thinking.[26] But Leibniz’ own realist account, with its Platonic and Aristotelian elements, is upset with the upset of those elements and, as well, of his particular amalgam of them.[27] Aristotle had written in Physics: Following out this line of thought, Aquinas thought of being and its opposite nonbeing as contained in some way in any knowledge we might have, however elementary the knowledge.[28] Aquinas maintained the Aristotelian view that PNC is learned by an integrated employment of sense experience and reason. However, on Aquinas view, The Aquinas over-writing of Aristotle is a right strand, I say, in an adequate theory of acquisition of PNC and logical ontologism. Aquinas is able to support the theses on both wings of the Aristotelian tension Peikoff highlights across the yet I mentioned in connection with Locke. One does not ascend to grasp of PNC by inductive steps, according to Aquinas. Rather, the more comprehensive precedes the less so, in both sense and intellect. Aquinas’ utilization of Aristotle in metaphysics and epistemology of logical ontologism land the ship in wreckage for modern thought since the time of Newton and Locke. Aquinas had nous, or reason, as our essentially human capability in cognition, but nous itself as derived from realities transcending nature. Peikoff shows Aristotle’s sayings in that same voice.[29] For Aquinas formal structure among particulars are latched to Aristotle’s hylomorphism, his fundamental metaphysics of prime matter and form, essential and incidental form, which all would be coming to wreckage.[30] Peikoff argues the unraveling of Platonic logical ontologism into logical conventionalism (as of mid-twentieth century) to have been mediated significantly by Kant. Unraveling of the Aristotelian logical ontologism is mediated significantly by Locke.[31] The Aristotelian moderate realism of universals collapses. Aristotelian Matter, Form, and their join collapse. Concrete particulars, individuated by “matter” nigh well itself “unknowable” apart from form, is a soggy base for any universals, including those entrained in PNC and funding its objectivity. An assembly of super-strong axioms resting ultimately on things unknowable is problematic.[32] In the next installment, I want to convey and assess Peikoff’s account of Kant’s contribution to the transition to conventionality in philosophy of PNC. I hope to touch on not only conventionalist theories to the time of Peikoff’s dissertation, but on those flourishing today and their historical setting. I plan to add a coda that is an inventory of the elements and works in Peikoff’s dissertation that plainly contributed to things addressed in the early ’60’s in the Rand/Branden journals, points in Rand’s epistemology (1966–67), and points, with morphisms, in Peikoff’s own writings from his “Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy” (1967) to The DIM Hypothesis (2012). Notes [1] Cf. Sullivan 1939, 52–53, 62. [2] Boydstun 1990, 34–36. [3] Cf. Salmieri 2010, 160n12. [4] See also Rasmussen 2014, 337–41. [5] Locke 1690, I.1.5, IV.1.9; Peikoff 1964, 87–102. [6] Locke 1690, IV.7.8. [7] Locke 1690, I.1.15, 25, 3.3, IV.1.4, 2.6, 7.9–10; Peikoff 1964, 103–13. [8] Locke 1690, IV.7.4, 10–14, 8.2; Peikoff 1964, 216–26. [9] Locke 1690, III.3.11. [10] Locke 1690, III.6.23–26, 10.14–15. [11] Aaron 1952, a fine work I learned of through Peikoff 1964. Similarly, Salmieri 2008 renders Locke as conceptualist, rather than as realist (51n118). Hobbes is today also argued to be a conceptualist, rather than a nominalist (Sgarbi 2013, 190–92). The conceptualism and empiricism of Locke is presaged in the century before him by the British logicians John Case and Giulio Pace, who were in the lineage of the Paduan Aristotelian Jacopo Zabarello (Sgarbi 2013, 91–97, 101–6). / Binswanger 2014 takes moderate realism most generally as holding there are non-specific properties of things in the world independently of our cognizance of such properties. He argues Locke falls into that general bin in spite of himself (102–4). Binswanger divides theory of universals (Rand’s Objectivist theory aside) into the jointly exhaustive bins of realism and nominalism, as had Armstrong 1978. A conceptualist theory could then belong in either of these bins, depending on the particulars of the conceptualist theory. Salmieri 2008 argues the division of concept theories into realist and nominalist (anti-realist) is not a distinction adequate for classing theories of concepts in accordance with their comparative degrees of similarity and their comparative degrees of difference (52–54). [12] Sgarbi 2013, 169. [13] Conceptualism in which general ideas are thought of as unbound to the world is what Rand meant by Conceptualism in her 1966 and what David Armstrong meant by Concept Nominalism in his 1978. [14] The usual view that Aristotle held to moderate realism is disputed by Greg Salmieri (see Gotthelf 2012, 302n19). Salmieri argues in his dissertation that Aristotle thought our concepts of natural kinds, such as horse or tree, stand to their instances not under identity of shared essential, nonaccidental form, identity of a shared kind-form, or identity of a shared real essence resident in each particular instance. Rather, as a relation of determinables to determinates (2008, 44–51, 56–122). (See citation of Johnson, Prior, and Searle in Boydstun 2004n5. Salmieri aligns Aristotle with the Johnson version of the determinable-determinate relation.) Salmieri’s cast of Aristotle’s relation of horse to an instance such as Bucephalus as a complex of determinable-determinate relations incidentally locates Aristotle closer to Rand than traditional moderate realism is close to Rand. Determinable-determinate relations, I should mention, have a realist underlining, for determinable-determinate relations are along dimensions, such as length or material hardness, plainly real and accessible. / Against the traditional interpretation of Aristotle as a moderate realist holding to shared essences of kind by instances of the kind is also Lennox 2001, Chapter 7. For Peikoff 1964, prevailing interpretations of Aristotle across the long arc of the history of philosophy are the pertinent interpretations to his tracing of logical turns in that history. [15] Aristotle, Ph. 193a30–94b15, 199a30–33, 209b22–23; Metaph. 1033b24–1034a8, 1036a27–31. [16] Peikoff 1964, 212–16. [17] Aristotle, APo. 71b10–72b4, 73b17–74a4, 75b21–36, 77a5–35, 81a37–b9, 85b16–23, 87b28–88a17, 99b15–100b17; De An. 429a10–30a26; Metaph. 1005b9–08b27, 1015a20–b15, 1018b30–34, 1035b32–36a11, 1040b25–27, 1061b34–62b11; NE 1143a32–b6; Peikoff 1964, 60-79, 119–20, 124–35, 213–14. [18] Lennox 2005. [19] Boydstun 1991a, 39; 1991b, 34. [20] APo. 71b35–72a6, 87b28–88a11; Metaph. 982a23–25, 1029b1–12; Peikoff 1964, 63–75; Barnes1993, 95–97; McKirahan 1992, 30–33. 127, 219–22; Ferejohn 2013, 76–80; Salmeiri 2010, 158–60. [21] On the Platonism of Leibniz, see Mercer 2001, 173–205, 243–52. [22] Leibniz 1704, 76–78, 359–61, 411–12. [23] Peikoff 1964, 187–200, 205–9. [24] Leibniz 1704, 86–87, 101–2, 412. [25] See also Zabarella, in Sgarbi 2013, on the perfection of first principles in intellect from received empirical inductions (65–70). On Whewell’s consilience, see Snyder 2017. https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/whewell/ [26] Leibniz 1704, 286–96. [27] Leibniz 1704, 317­–19, 343–48. [28] Cf. Spinoza: “The first thing that constitutes the actual being of a human mind is nothing but the idea of a singular thing which actually exists” (1677, 2p11). [29] Peikoff 1964, 119–23. [30] On the separation capability of Form from Matter, greater for Christian Aristotelians such as Aquinas than for Aristotle, see Peikoff 1964, 148–56. [31] Peikoff 1964, 212–35. [32] Peikoff 1964, 67–68, 126, 214–15; Lewis 2013, 177n4, 185, 251; Reeve 2016, 400–402n691, 428n796. A similar problem is argued in Ferejohn 2013 for Aristotle’s conception of substances as most-primary and as simple beings resisting definition, yet they are to be explanatory grounds of other, complex beings (172–73). References Aaron, R. I., 1952. The Theory of Universals. Oxford: Clarendon. Aquinas, T. c.1256–59. De Veritate. J. V. McGlynn, translator. 1994. Indianapolis: Hackett. Aristotle c.348–322 B.C. The Complete Works of Aristotle. J. Barnes, editor. 1984. Princeton: University Press. Armstrong, D. 1978. Nominalism and Realism. Volume 1 of Universals and Scientific Realism. Cambridge: University Press. Barnes, J., translator and commentator, 1993. Aristotle – Posterior Analytics. 2nd ed. Oxford: Clarendon. Binswanger, H. 2014. How We Know –Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation. New York: TOF Publications. Boydstun, S. C. 1990. Capturing Concepts. Objectivity 1(1):13–41. ——. 1991a. Induction on Identity – Part 1. Objectivity 1(2):33–46. ——. 1991b. Induction on Identity – Part 2. Objectivity 1(3):1–56. ——. 2004. Universals and Measurement. The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies 5(2):271–305. Ferejohn, M. T. 2013. Formal Causes – Definition, Explanation, and Primacy in Socratic and Aristotelian Thought. New York: Oxford University Press. Gotthelf, A. 2012. Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle’s Biology. New York: Oxford University Press. Leibniz, G.W. 1704. New Essays on Human Understanding. P. Remnant and J. Bennett, translators. 1996. Cambridge: University Press. Lennox, J. G. 2001. Kinds, Forms of Kinds, and the More and the Less. In Aristotle’s Philosophy of Biology. Cambridge: University Press. ——. 2005. Axioms and Their Validation. Paper at APA session of The Ayn Rand Society. Lewis, F. A. 2013. How Aristotle Gets By in Metaphysics Zeta. Oxford: University Press. Locke, J. 1690. An Essay Concerning Human Understanding. New York: Dover. McKirahan, R. D. 1992. Principles and Proofs – Aristotle’s Theory of Demonstrative Science. Princeton: University Press. Mercer, C. 2001. Leibniz’s Metaphysics – Its Origins and Development. Cambridge: University Press. Peikoff, L. 1964. The Status of the Law of Contradiction in Classic Logic Ontologism. Ph.D. dissertation. Rand, A. 1966. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. H. Binswanger and L. Peikoff, editors. 1990. New York: Meridian. Rasmussen, D. B. 2014. Grounding Necessary Truth in the Nature of Things. In Shifting the Paradigm: Alternative Perspectives on Induction. P. C. Biondi and L. F. Groarke, editors. Berlin: De Gruyter. Reeve, C. D. C., translator, 2016. Aristotle – Metaphysics. Indianapolis: Hackett. Salmieri, G. 2008. Aristotle and the Problem of Concepts. Ph.D. dissertation. ——. 2010. Aisthêsis, Empeiria, and the Advent of Universals in Posterior Analytics II 19. In From Inquiry to Demonstrative Knowledge – New Essays on Aristotle’s Posterior Analytics. J. H. Lesher, editor. Kelowna: Academic Printing and Publishing. Sgarbi, M. 2013. The Aristotelian Tradition and the Rise of British Empiricism. Dordrecht: Springer. Snyder, L. J. 2017. William Whewell. Online Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Spinoza, B. 1677. Ethics. In The Collected Works of Spinoza. E. Curley, translator. 1985. Princeton: University Press. Sullivan, J. B. 1939. An Examination of First Principles in Thought and Being in the Light of Aristotle and Aquinas. Washington: Catholic University of America.
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