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Regi F.

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Everything posted by Regi F.

  1. .I know Rand called it introspection, but I think it misses the point. All we can perceive is the physical. Ayn Rand herself said perception is the only consciousness we have. Perception is seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling, and tasting, and the physical is all that we perceive. Consciousness is not physical. The physical is what we are conscious of, but consciousness and what we are conscious of are not and cannot be the same thing. We cannot see, or hear, or feel, or taste, or smell our consciousness. We do not know we are conscious by perceiving it. We know we are conscious because we are. We do not know we see because we can perceive our seeing--we cannot. We know we can see because we do. We do not need to introspect to know we see, we see, and that is enough to know it.
  2. StrictlyLogical, New Buddha, Thank you both for your comments.
  3. By the physical I mean the world we are directly conscious of, the world we see, hear, feel, smell and taste. It is the world the physical sciences study, but it is not science that makes it what it is. The physical world is what it is, independent of anyone's knowledge of it. I'm pretty sure I agree with what you mean by the physical. Life and consciousness, however, do not fit the definition of the physical, because consciousness, for example cannot be perceived at all; it cannot be seen, heard, felt, smelled, or tasted. We certainly know that is true about anyone else's consciousness, and it is actually true of our own as well. We know we are conscious because we are, not because we can perceive it. Since the physical is that which we can be directly consciousness of and we cannot be directly conscious of consciousness itself, it cannot be a physical attribute. Simply put, the physical is that which consciousness is conscious of, consciousness is that which is aware of the physical. Consciousness, and that which we are conscious of cannot be the same thing. If you do not agree with that, if you think that there is only the physical that is somehow conscious of itself, I'm asking, "how do you know that?"
  4. I agree that nothing exists independently of the physical. The physical is all that can be directly perceived (seen, heard, felt, smelled, or tasted) and all we know about the physical is derived from our direct perception of the physical. But perception, an attribute of physical entities (organisms), itself cannot be perceived. Everything that can be perceived in this world can be perceived by anyone. No one can perceive another's consciousness. (In fact we do not really perceive our own. We do not know we see by perceiving our seeing, we know we see, because we do. But no one else can perceive our seeing.) How do you know that consciousness is not a perfectly natural attribute of existence that just doesn't happen to be a physical attribute. I'm not asking if you agree with that, I'm asking if you do not, how you know it?
  5. "Lest you say "together" and "alone" are different contexts, well, the point is that some properties are only present in one context (combined, perhaps with pressure as for a diamond) but not the other (not combined, no pressure), that is emergence..." Yes, I know that is what you mean by emergence. If you like to call the fact that some thing's properties are determined by their physical context emergence, I have no quibble. You can call that fact anything you like. Water is a liquid at temperatures between -32 and 212 farenheit, but solid at temperatures below -32 and a gas at temperatures above 212. I just don't understand why those facts need an additional concept called, "emergence," unless someone is trying to put something over, like the idea that, "life," can, "emerge," under certain states or conditions of the physical..
  6. One principle I always observe in all my reasoning is to ask about any assumption I have, "how do I know this?" Just as background, I know there is no such thing as the supernatural--no God, or Spirits, or demons or any of the other things that men have imagined. Nevertheless, I am convinced that the physical attributes of existence are not all the attributes of nature there are. I don't want this to sound mystical, so I'll tell you what I mean. I do not believe that life, consciousness, and volition are physical attributes or attributes that the physical can produce. I'll say more, if you will answer this question: How do you know there is nothing "outside the purely physical?"
  7. Yes, exactly! I'm ashamed I did not notice that. Bravo!
  8. First, a single atom on a rolling wheel does not trace a circle. If it is rolling on a flat serfice it traces a cycloid, if it is rolling around a circle, it traces an epicycloid, one version of which is the basis of the wankel engine. Second, the trajectory of that which moves is not an action, it is the description of the path the object moves in. There is nothing "emergent" in the fact the parts of a wheel must take specific paths when that wheel is rolling.
  9. But your first question was not if carbon could be dense in "the same sense as a diamond is dense," it was only if they could be dense. The answer to that is yes. because in any form, carbon has some density.
  10. Well, yes, but you're not going to like it. First I'll answer your questions directly. "Can carbon atoms be dense?" Yes. In whatever form carbon atoms are found, there is some level of density. "Can carbon atom arrangements be dense?" Yes. Since there is some density in whatever form they are found, but I assume you are asking if they can be as dense as diamond. Of course, when they are in that particular crystaline form. "Is there a concept that already makes this distinction?" Yes. It is called a proposition, a statement that describes the relationship between two things, such as, "diamonds are a form of carbon." If we attempt to identify every possible proposition with a concept, that would be an epistemological nightmare. We could have a concept, "carbtodiamond," that identified the fact that diamonds are carbon in a particular crystaline form, but what would the epistimological value of such a concept be. None. The concept of "emergent" attributes is the same kind of epistemological mistake.
  11. My initial response was serious enough. I'm sorry if you didn't appreciate the irony. I'll refrain. I read your post #117 but did not get any clarification of what it is, exactly, you are asking. I did see this: "Metaphysically, there is no emergence, that's because properties of anything are epistemological - they exist as part of entities and don't exist on their own." ...and have no idea what it is supposed to mean. If an entity has properties ( inherent ones, like it size, or weight, or color, not extrinsic ones like where one lives, "Athenian," or what one does for an occupation, "painter") those properties are metaphysical properties. The entity has those properties whether anyone is aware of them or not. They exist metaphysically as properties of the entity. It is an entities properties that identify it, in fact, an entity is its properties. Strictly speaking, an entity's properties are not part of the entity, they are the entity. It is true, no properties exist independently of the entities they are the properties of, and they certainly do not exist epistemologically. The properties of an entity may be identified epistemologically, but that identification is only a true one if the entities actually have those properties. I think you might be referring to abstract qualities, like "dogness" or "humaness." Such concepts do only have epistemological existence because they are not part of the entities they refer to. A dog is a dog because it has all the properties necessary to dogs, and we can, epistimologically refer to all those properties as dogness. We can even say a dog is a dog because it has dogness, because that means it has all the properties that make a dog a dog. But dogness has no metaphysical existence. It is a concept for what we know about a dog's nature. The same would be true for humaness. This is as close as I can come to making sense of what you said, but that may be just because I've misunderstood or misinterpreted something. Please correct me if that is the case. I also am no closer to understanding exactly what you are asking me.
  12. Yes. Whether abiogenesis can happen or not, it is dangerous to assume something as an axiom. It is certainly not self-evident, and there is no other evidence for it. I'm not sure exactly what you are getting at. I'm sure you're not asking me for the difference in the dictionary definitions. All explanations of "emergence" seem to me, either obvious, "There is no 'carness' in the parts of a car," [so what!] or absurd, "beauty emerges from the organization of oil and pigments on a canvas." Transmutation means the change of one chemical element into another, originally by alchemy (pseudo-science, so never happened) or by atomic reaction or radioactive decay (and it does happen). I don't see how one thing being changed into another could be confused with the concept emergence, as useless as I think the concept emergence is. Perhaps some academic genius will propose that new elements "emerge" by the "submergence" of others. I can make up concepts too. Oh dear, now you have me thinking, a very dangerous thing. Perhaps we should develop a whole new theory of ontology in which "emegence" and "submergence" are the metaphysical principles explaining all existence and change. I mean, if new stuff just keeps emerging the universe would jam-packed in no time at all, so there must be submergence to make space for all the new emerging things. No? What do you think?
  13. I know your response was not to me, but permit me to say you have captured what the pseudo-concept of "emergence" is--mysticism. Exactly!
  14. Yes, exactly! I very much appreciate the addition of the technical (physical, metaphysical) aspects of your comment.
  15. If a so-called emergent property is nothing more than a feature resulting from the combining of components in a certain way, what is the point of such a concept. It is the so-called "emergent" concept that is the unnecessary complication.
  16. "Emergent properties," is a pseudo-concept. The properties of physical things are always explained in terms of their components and the relationship of those components to each other, their structure. Nothing is "just a collection" of components or parts. When is anything ever explained by reducing it to its component parts, without including the relationship of those parts to each other? In some rare cases, the structure of an entity will be determined by the properties of its components, but that structure is still part of the understanding of the entity. Something that identifies everything, identifies nothing. If emergent properties are whatever properties a thing has when its components are organized in a certain way, then the properties of every existent there is, are "emergent." It identifies nothing new because the fact that a thing's properties are determined by its components and structure is all that can be known. If "brick-buildingness" is a property of brick buildings emerging from the way bricks are organized into a structure, than when bricks are dumped higgily-piggily into a pile, the attribute "pileness" is emergent. Absurd. All these pseudo-concepts: emergent properties, self-organizing systems, symmetry-breaking systems, holism, etc. are the inventions of physicalists to argue that physical components can be organized in such a way that life just, "emerges," as a property. Let it be demonstrated, just once, that physical components without life (not already living components) can be organized into a living organism. By inventing concepts for processes or attributes that have never been observed to "prove" something is the worst kind of rationalization. Nevertheless, some very intelligent people are taken in by them. [i know the pseudo-concepts I've listed are used to put over a number of other very bad ideas, like societies being "emergent" organisms, etc.]
  17. My interest in this thread is Amber Pawlik. I've known about her since her university days where she took a very unpopular stand about a woman's sense of decency and privacy. Since then she has demonstrated a sense of independence and courage I've admired, even though I often disgree with her specific views. It is refreshingly rare to discover someone who truly thinks for themselves and is willing to defend their position rationally and objectively without resorting to obfuscation, name-calling, and rhetoric.. I disagree, for example, with her use of the word sexuality, but still think her views are closer to Rand's than most of those on this thread.
  18. Well, it's not my glove, it's Ayn Rand's. I'm glad to wear it. I know you believe you are a mind-reader and know all about my emotions, but my gay friends would disagree with you--that is, they would if they should meet you, which is unlikely. I'd tell you why, but since you can read minds, I don't need to.
  19. I take it you have not read anything I wrote. My point is only about the view that everything an individual is and does is a consequence of his own choices. That every individual is self-made, and whatever he is at any moment is the sum of all his past choices, reasoning, and/or evasions and that is also the view that Rand clearly and explicitly taught. I would never say, " masculinity or femininity would reflect essential traits of gender which correspond with 'proper' sexuality." I have no idea what that would mean.
  20. I have no idea who the image is supposed to be. I didn't choose it. I admit I'm old, but I do shower regularly. If I'm a pederast, are you judging me for that? Perhaps I am, but what would you care? I don't care what you are.
  21. I was not my link. The "article" was to material derived from a debate with Chris Matthew Sciabarra on the now defunct SOLO site. That was in 2004, ten years ago. It has no relevance to this thread. I'm sorry I did not see that you answered me. It is what I concluded, however. Thank you for verifying that. I try to be explicit and precise in all I write. If it seemed vague to you, put it down to my inability to be more concise. I certainly didn't intend to be vague. Thanks for the conversation.
  22. I have no idea why you are fixated on homosexuality. I said explicitly that I had nothing to say about homosexuality. I was only interested in knowing if you thought your views agreed with Objectivism as Rand explicated it. Since you seem to want to evade a direct answer, I withdraw the question, and will draw my own conclusion. As for, "what's for dinner," a person with pica is certainly making a self-destructive choice. As for, "immoral," if you regard morality as a way of judging others (or if you expect me to so regard it), that is definitely not an Objectivist view, nor mine. Moral or ethical principles are only for the individual to determine their own choices, not to judge others. As Rand said, moral principles are to teach us how to live and enjoy our lives, period.
  23. A quote is evidence if what is being questioned is what someone said, in this case, what Rand said. My original point was about your question: "When did I choose my sense of humor? Sexual preferences? Way in which I walk? Interest in music? Etc." [which I said sounds] as though you did not know the source of such things, or have any intention of discovering them. If that is the case it would seem to be in direct contradiction to Rand's views. I had no point to make about homosexuality, only that Pawlik's views, however imperfect, seemed to reflect Rand's veiws better than those who disagreed with her. I do not think it is likely that anyone can change anything about themselves that is a consequence of years of bad thinking or choices. Habitualized thinking and behavior is extremely difficult to change, or even to recognize. Personally, I have no interest in whether anyone changes their life in any way. How anyone lives their life is no else's business (unless a direct physical threat). I would like for everyone to live happily and successfully, but it's none of my business that most don't. I do think Objectivism regards any belief or practice based on feelings, desires, or emotions resulting from false premises, irrationality, or evasions as self-destructive and therefore immoral? Do you think that is incorrect?
  24. You are right, there is rationalization going on. "[a man's] emotions are not his enemies, they are his means of enjoying life. But they are not his guide; the guide is his mind. This relationship cannot be reversed, however. If a man takes his emotions as the cause and his mind as their passive effect, if he is guided by his emotions and uses his mind only to rationalize or justify them somehow... he is condemning himself to misery, failure, defeat, and he will achieve nothing but destruction—his own and that of others." Ayn Rand, "Playboy's interview with Ayn Rand," pamphlet, page 6.
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