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A few problems I have with Objectivism

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Concerning free will, I recommend John Conway's six part lecture series, hosted on Princeton's servers, on his proof of the "free will theorem".

I recommend avoiding it based on the title. Free will cannot possibly be proven because there is no way to avoid the circular argument fallacy. Save your time. Take a walk outdoors, watch a football game, anything at all would be more productive than this.

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Wrong. Reading comprehension failure on your part. THAT is NOT what objective knowledge is because it is impossible. If there is objective knowledge, and there is, it must be something else.

Oh, and what is it so?

Knowlegdge is what is known. Objective, in reference to Objectivity, means the world as it is, independent of our minds.

If Objective knowledge is knowledge of the world as it is, then things as they are and things as we perceive them MUST correspond, otherwise it isn't freaking Objective.

Go.

There is 'good subjective' and 'bad subjective', but knowledge can be derived from the subjective, distorted material we have to work with.

I agree.

I said: So you are refuting the standard definition of 'objectivity'!

CJM said: I do not see how I am, could you elaborate?

'Objectivity' means that recognition of a fact is observer-independent. Given that, what should I make of your following statement:

"Just because there is a standard does not mean it is objective." (Reminder: the "standard" that you were referring to is man's non-contradictory knowledge derived from perceptual data.)

Therefore, you are clearly refuting the idea that non-contradictory identification implies objectivity.

Please let me know whether you agree with the definition I provided. If not, then also explain why you still hold that objective evaluation is impossible.

Just because data may seem fully and wholly non-contradictory to us does not mean it is, I may not have taken your use of the word "standard" as to be as large a part of your argument as it was. I was merely using it as criterion, which was most likely a mistake while responding to your argument if you had previously defined it as something else which I missed.

Your last sentence is correct and made me smile. But on whole, you are attacking a straw man. Rand never said it is proper to act on an unidentified "feelings" (that life would be miserable). It's about rationally evaluating choices that you have. For instance, the choices could be: "life of pain and misery" vs. "a very risky attempt to save your top value". A rational man's choice in this matter will depend on how much he values and his evaluation of risk. Therefore, it is not a suicide in the loner sense - it's dying in an attempt to save your top values.

I am not setting up a strawman, this is just an interesting discussion on the implications of Rands ethics, nothing more.

Having said that, I think it is OK for man to choose death if the only alternative is an unavoidable painful survival (e.g. if a man looses all his limbs etc.), but that is a separate issue. Morality applies only to life. Ayn Rand characterized Objectivism as "a philosophy for living on earth."

A man may choose death yes, but there is no more reason for him to fight for his values than to swallow a cyanide pill if the odds are insurmountable. Just like there is no more reason to push a loved one out from a train whole sacrificing your life than their is to swallow a cyanide pill. In fact, you'd be better off taking the pill, if you are fully rationally self interested because your end will most likely be a whole lot less painful.

Thus? Do you now see why a rational man holds life as his highest value?

This rejection had nothing to do with that, it was about whether a mans life being his standard of value made it his standard of value. Whether that is switching metaphysics and ethics around doesn't have anything to do with man holding his life as it's highest value.

Seems like you are moving behind rather than ahead. Now you reject the idea of not only choice but also alternatives. Tell me, if you are asked to clap your hands in next 5 seconds, what would you do? Aren't both alternatives - clapping and not clapping - physically possible?

I have not rejected the idea of either of either. You claimed choice required the possibility of alternatives(or at least implied it)

It is a contradiction to say "I could not choose any others". Either you made a choice or you didn't.

I simply pointed out that one can weigh up alternatives and choose a course of action even if the alternatives you were weighing up are not physically possible to carry out. That implies an assumption we cannot posit impossible actions.

If that is not your premise, do you care to explain where does the statement "I cannot chose other [values]" come from?

It comes from being asked a ridiculous question. To assume that I could choose other values, my identity would have to act against it's nature.

I could not have done what I did not do, and I could only do what I did. If you were to replay a choice over and over again without changing any physical variables, how could I choose differently? How?

What points did I miss? I know I skipped the "keyboard is an elephant", because it

A. Makes no sense. Everyone has numerous instances where people have perceived thing

s in totally different ways to them.

B. Doesn't just have to do with the senses, but concept formation.

Now then, Ayn Rand is not suggesting that the organs of perception are infallible. What she observed is that the different forms in which some people perceive reality are precisely that: a difference in the form of perceiving the same objects of the same reality.

Are you basically saying that what Rand meant when she held that what we perceive is reality is not that our perceptions represent reality, but merely what we are perceiving is?

How does that then lead her to conclude that our perceptions can lead us to Objective knowledge? Objective reality being objective reality doesn't do anyhting for the problem of the veil of perception.

All sensory input is objective. To claim otherwise is to claim that our senses are not what they are and can do something other than what their structure/identity dictates.

No it isn't. It is just to claim that what they give us are imperfect, subjective perceptions rather than objective ones.

Do you people have a different idea of what perception is? I take it to mean, from my reading of Rand, what is referred to as sensation in modern Psychology. The physiological stimulus detection that occurs when our sense organs sense external stimuli and translate them into nerve impulses sent to the brain. Correct?

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It comes from being asked a ridiculous question. To assume that I could choose other values, my identity would have to act against it's nature.

I could not have done what I did not do, and I could only do what I did. If you were to replay a choice over and over again without changing any physical variables, how could I choose differently? How?

Why would you *want* to act differently? On top of that, the question is pointless because it is not possible to time travel.

Are you basically saying that what Rand meant when she held that what we perceive is reality is not that our perceptions represent reality, but merely what we are perceiving is?

If what you perceive IS reality, isn't that a representation of reality? And obviously that has nothing to do with how much about reality you know. Things don't exist *as* blurry, just as much as things don't exist *as* sharp. Those are concepts, which can be wrong/inaccurate/meaningless. But you do know the thing you are seeing exists.

How does that then lead her to conclude that our perceptions can lead us to Objective knowledge? Objective reality being objective reality doesn't do anyhting for the problem of the veil of perception.

Because all you see IS reality as it is.

Does objective reality mean to you reality with all its tangible objects and every single property of those objects, such as size and weight?

Do you people have a different idea of what perception is? I take it to mean, from my reading of Rand, what is referred to as sensation in modern Psychology. The physiological stimulus detection that occurs when our sense organs sense external stimuli and translate them into nerve impulses sent to the brain. Correct?

Sure It's still an automatic process, though.

You don't seem to have anything to say about my seismograph analogy.

Edited by Eiuol

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Consciousness(as I understand the way you and her are using it in this context, to choose to think or not) is held to be subjective and volitional in Objectivity, so therefore what we perceive isn't objective anyway.

I don't know what Objectivity is. Define it, and state how it is relevant. If you meant to say Objectivism, it is not true that consciousness is held to be subjective.

No I did not say this is what Causality is.

Yes, you did. Here it is:

If volition or will is caused by factors outside our contol(causality) then how can it be said to be free?

If you did not mean to say it, then please, start paying more attention to what you are posting, or take responsibility for your errors. I have no intention to overlook your inability to write in a precise, unambiguous manner, and guess what you mean to say. If you write it, I take it as if you meant it.

For the record, I'm also not interested in facetiousness, sarcasm, or any other humor you wish to employ in this debate. I don't know you, and this is not the medium where complete strangers can enjoy having a funny conversation. If you're here to make points, stick to them. If you're here to be facetious, do it with someone who's interested.

And where did this decision come from? Was it not caused?

It was caused. By me. And I was caused. By my parents' decision to have me. As I said, there is no contradiction between causality (as it is defined, in reputable sources, including Objectivist Epistemology) and free will (as AR defined it). You claim there is, back up your claim.

Edited by Jake_Ellison

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Why would you *want* to act differently? On top of that, the question is pointless because it is not possible to time travel.

I agree that it is a pointless question, I wasn't the one who asked it.

If what you perceive IS reality, isn't that a representation of reality? And obviously that has nothing to do with how much about reality you know. Things don't exist *as* blurry, just as much as things don't exist *as* sharp. Those are concepts, which can be wrong/inaccurate/meaningless. But you do know the thing you are seeing exists.

Yes, it is a representation of reality, and it has everything to do with what we know. If what we perceive is a representation, it isn't reality. Again, what "we perceive is reality" is a statement that has a few different interpretations. It can mean

A. That what we perceive is itself reality. This statement tells us nothing about our perceptions, merely what they are based on.

B. That out perceptions are an accurate representation of reality.

Because all you see IS reality as it is.

Yes, but what your perceptions are not.

Does objective reality mean to you reality with all its tangible objects and every single property of those objects, such as size and weight?

Yes.

Sure It's still an automatic process, though.

So what.

You don't seem to have anything to say about my seismograph analogy.

You don't seem to have anything to say about the fact that the neurons can send the wrong signals to our brain leading to incorrect perceptions.

I don't know what Objectivity is. Define it, and state how it is relevant. If you meant to say Objectivism, it is not true that consciousness is held to be subjective.

Yes, I meant Objectivism. In this very thread, I have been misinformed on this issue then. Consciousness requires thought, which is held to be volitional. I was under the impression(given to me by a member here) that volition implied it was subjective.

Yes, you did. Here it is:

What in that statement led you to believe that was a "definition" of causation, and not something it necessarily entailed? Be careful with your assumptions.

If you did not mean to say it, then please, start paying more attention to what you are posting, or take responsibility for your errors. I have no intention to overlook your inability to write in a precise, unambiguous manner, and guess what you mean to say. If you write it, I take it as if you meant it.

It is quite funny that the problem here arose from you attempting to guess what I was saying. Note the following sentence

A is A(Aristotle).

Now, would you jump to the conclusion that I have just defined Aristotle as the law of identity? This came from a fuck up on your part, not mine.

As I said, watch those assumptions, otherwise you are likely to get some pretty strange ideas of what anybody believes.

It was caused. By me. And I was caused. By my parents' decision to have me. As I said, there is no contradiction between causality (as it is defined, in reputable sources, including Objectivist Epistemology) and free will (as AR defined it). You claim there is, back up your claim.

Radn defines free will as our minds freedom to think or not, or choice to think or not(we shall ignore the glaring problem that choice denotes forethought).

She claims that at any point in a mans life, he is free to think or to evade the effort. "Free" implies that it is not controlled by obligation, that it is not caused. If it is necessitated by cause and effect, it is in no way free. Nothing can happen without being caused, that is causality, cause and effect.

If the choice to think is caused by external factors(do not say it was caused by me, "me" is caused, as you said, by factors outside your control-your parents decision) then how is it to be called free?

Unless the factors outside our control changed, we would not change, and the choice would not. To hold differently breaks the chain of causality.

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Oh, and what is it so?

Knowlegdge is what is known. Objective, in reference to Objectivity, means the world as it is, independent of our minds.

If Objective knowledge is knowledge of the world as it is, then things as they are and things as we perceive them MUST correspond, otherwise it isn't freaking Objective.

This is the weakness of your version of the correspondence standard of knowledge. Some limited correspondence is enough, total correspondence received all at once is both impossible and unnecessary.

And don't capitalize objectivity, just the proper noun Objectivism.

I agree.

You do? Knowledge can be derived from subjective experience? Amazing. Well, it must be the describing the result as "objective" knowledge that seems contradictory. It is not contradictory because "objective" has a specific meaning that highlights the difference between 'good subjective' and 'bad subjective'.

What points did I miss? I know I skipped the "keyboard is an elephant", because it

A. Makes no sense. Everyone has numerous instances where people have perceived thing

s in totally different ways to them.

B. Doesn't just have to do with the senses, but concept formation.

Are you basically saying that what Rand meant when she held that what we perceive is reality is not that our perceptions represent reality, but merely what we are perceiving is?

How does that then lead her to conclude that our perceptions can lead us to Objective knowledge? Objective reality being objective reality doesn't do anyhting for the problem of the veil of perception.

No it isn't. It is just to claim that what they give us are imperfect, subjective perceptions rather than objective ones.

Do you people have a different idea of what perception is? I take it to mean, from my reading of Rand, what is referred to as sensation in modern Psychology. The physiological stimulus detection that occurs when our sense organs sense external stimuli and translate them into nerve impulses sent to the brain. Correct?

"Veil of perception" Ha! Why didn't you just come out with the most complete and jargon filled description of your understanding of the problem in the first place? Several people here are quite capable of conducting a technical debate on philosophical issues. You are also insisting on a particular meaning of 'objective' that you import from somewhere else. No wonder you can't understand what people here are saying, you haven't acknowledged the vocabulary differences.

Yes, we do have a different idea of what perception is. I already laid it out once in this thread.

Objectivism explains the conscious grasp of existence as happening in a sequence of sensation, then perception, then conception. Sensation is 'mechanical' and automatic, or in other words deterministic. The senses act as transducers creating mental sense data from the physical excitations falling upon them. The Law of Identity applies to consciousness and the senses and therefore requires sensation in a particular delimited finite form. The demand that sensation be perfect (or even "to know everything about something" as you put it earlier) is a demand for an indefinite means therefore is invalid.

Perception is the automatic organization of sense data into recognizable entities. The eyes focus and pick out things, not just color patches. Hearing perceives voices and words and notes, not just a power-frequency distribution. Perception is also finite, automatic and deterministic. (And I'll add: it is also partly learned as a skill and not entirely given as a body part is given to us)

Conception is an act of abstraction from percepts (not from reality directly). Conception is not automatic but optional and voluntary, i.e. volitional. It is precisely and only because of its volitional nature that conception can be in error. Free will and volition are taken to be synonyms here. Free will causes fallibility. In this sense then, sensation and perception are infallible without invoking a standard of perfection or omniscience.

In Objecivism, 'objective' means based on reality and derived by a reliable method. Sensation and perception are deterministic and causal, and so totally reliable. 'Objective' and 'objectivity' are in action primarily problems in creating concepts and reasoning with them, contrasted with arbitrariness in the forms of rationalism and mysticism (which are other forms of subjectivism or the 'bad subjective', as objective is personal and thus still a type of subjective.)

To relate this to existing philosophical positions, this is a kind of indirect representative realism. See also the entry at Plato for further context around the problem. The Objectivist is unique but 'indirect representative realism' is a closest starting point. The third section at Plato on "Epistemological Externalist Theories of Perception" is also relevant to the Objectivist account, the results of the deterministic and causal (thus reliable) processes of sensation and perception are indirect representatives of reality that the mind works with.

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This is the weakness of your version of the correspondence standard of knowledge. Some limited correspondence is enough, total correspondence received all at once is both impossible and unnecessary.

You misunderstand the use of the word "total". Either our knowledge of a thing in reality corresponds totally or it does not. If it does not, our knowledge isn't objective. You can't know half or a quarter of a thing objectively to be true, because you can't know the totality of that half or quarter. You cannot know a half or quarter of this half or quarter to be true either, because you cannot perceive the totality of that half or a quarter of a half of a quarter.

What you seem to be suggesting I am saying is that for us to know anything about anything, we must know everything about everything, this is not what I am saying at all. For us to know anything as it is in objective reality, to know it as it is, we must know it in totality, because this is what it is in objective reality. This same reasoning applies to a part of thing, to any aspect, to anything.

I do not mean to know anything about a table, we must know the total table down to parts we cannot perceive. But we must know the total of the anything. I cannot make it clearer than that.

Understand what I mean by total correspondence?

And don't capitalize objectivity, just the proper noun Objectivism.

I will capitalize whichever words I like, sir.

You do? Knowledge can be derived from subjective experience? Amazing. Well, it must be the describing the result as "objective" knowledge that seems contradictory. It is not contradictory because "objective" has a specific meaning that highlights the difference between 'good subjective' and 'bad subjective'.

Yes, objective has a specific meaning. It is something that is true independent of mind. To know something objectively is to know it as it is in objective reality. You cannot gain objective knowledge through subjective experience, that's a contradiction.

"Veil of perception" Ha! Why didn't you just come out with the most complete and jargon filled description of your understanding of the problem in the first place? Several people here are quite capable of conducting a technical debate on philosophical issues. You are also insisting on a particular meaning of 'objective' that you import from somewhere else. No wonder you can't understand what people here are saying, you haven't acknowledged the vocabulary differences.

To a large extent I have, but I may be missing some. My meaning of objective is the standard one and works perfectly in conjunction with your up to the point of concept formation, as I see, so there is no reason to be worried about that when talking about perception.

Perception is also finite, automatic and deterministic. (And I'll add: it is also partly learned as a skill and not entirely given as a body part is given to us)

Free will causes fallibility. In this sense then, sensation and perception are infallible without invoking a standard of perfection or omniscience.

Yet again, why does it being automatic and deterministic mean that it must be infallible?

This is the problem.

In Objecivism, 'objective' means based on reality and derived by a reliable method. Sensation and perception are deterministic and causal, and so totally reliable. 'Objective' and 'objectivity' are in action primarily problems in creating concepts and reasoning with them, contrasted with arbitrariness in the forms of rationalism and mysticism (which are other forms of subjectivism or the 'bad subjective', as objective is personal and thus still a type of subjective.)

If they are based on reality and the sources are held to be totally reliable, then my definition of objective(objective being used in it's standard sense here) knowledge fits perfectly.

How on earth can representative realism be the closest starting point when it claims we cannot know the external world as it is, when Objectivism holds that we can? How does that make ANY sense?

Edited by CJM

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You misunderstand the use of the word "total".

Your problem is that you use the word 'total' at all, regardless of the meaning.

How on earth can representative realism be the closest starting point when it claims we cannot know the external world as it is, when Objectivism holds that we can? How does that make ANY sense?

BECAUSE OBJECTIVISM DOES NOT HOLD THAT WE KNOW THE EXTERNAL WORLD AS IT IS! WE only can know it partially, in our jargon 'contextually'. In your jargon 'imperfectly'.

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Your problem is that you use the word 'total' at all, regardless of the meaning.

No it is not.

BECAUSE OBJECTIVISM DOES NOT HOLD THAT WE KNOW THE EXTERNAL WORLD AS IT IS! WE only can know it partially, in our jargon 'contextually'. In your jargon 'imperfectly'.

Knowing a part as it is in objective reality is still knowing it objectively. How do you not get this?

If you know a part in objective reality, you need to know the totality of this part. Otherwise you do not know it objectively at all.

Rand rejected representationalism, I have no idea what you are taking about.

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edit- We only know the parts partially.

OBJECTIVISM DOES NOT HOLD THAT WE KNOW THE EXTERNAL WORLD AS IT IS!

I have no idea what you are taking about.

Because I'm talking about Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand and you have a incorrect understanding of what that is.

"Rand rejected representationalism". I said starting point. Rand's viewpoint is indeed not representationalism, it is Objectivism. It is a new formulation with relevant similarities to representationalism.

Edited by Grames

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OBJECTIVISM DOES NOT HOLD THAT WE KNOW THE EXTERNAL WORLD AS IT IS!

Because I'm talking about Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand and you have a incorrect understanding of what that is.

"Rand rejected representationalism". I said starting point. Rand's viewpoint is indeed not representationalism, it is Objectivism. It is a new formulation with relevant similarities to representationalism.

You might want to tell that to all the people who think we can gain objective knowledge about the world on this forum, because you are the first person to hold this.

You said closest starting point. You what Objectivism held was

a kind of indirect representative realism.

Representative realism is totally contradictory to Objectivism.

It seems like you are the person who holds an incorrect understanding of Objectivism, telling me a contradictory philosophical position is the closest starting point and claiming it doesn't hold that we can gain objective knowledge about the world.

What do you mean we only know the parts partially? I have already pointed out the problem with this, numerous times. These partial parts of parts have parts, which we cannot perceive in totality. This continues to the level beyond what we can perceive.

A man’s consciousness can acquire objective knowledge of reality by employing the proper means of reason in accordance with the rules of logic. When a correct cognitive process has been followed it can be said that the output of that process is objective. In turn, when the mind conforms to mind-independent reality, the theory of conceptual functioning being followed can be termed objective.

Taken from rebirth of reason. So who is wrong? Me, most of the people on this forum, and this website, or you Grames?

Edited by CJM

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You might want to tell that to all the people who think we can gain objective knowledge about the world on this forum, because you are the first person to hold this.

We CAN gain objective knowledge about the world, they are right. You are wrong in your arbitrary assertion that 'objective' is synonymous with 'total'. I am merely the first person to corner you on this fundamental.

What do you mean we only know the parts partially? I have already pointed out the problem with this, numerous times. These partial parts of parts have parts, which we cannot perceive in totality. This continues to the level beyond what we can perceive.

There you go with the "totality" again, invoking the infinite. I have already pointed out the problem with this, numerous times. Furthermore, the unknown does not invalidate the known. The unknown has no epistemological relation to the known, that is what makes it unknown.

A man’s consciousness can acquire objective knowledge of reality by employing the proper means of reason in accordance with the rules of logic. When a correct cognitive process has been followed it can be said that the output of that process is objective. In turn, when the mind conforms to mind-independent reality, the theory of conceptual functioning being followed can be termed objective.

This quote is perfectly accurate. The only problem here is your insistence on your idiosyncratic definition of 'objective' as total knowledge of something.

Edited by Grames

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We CAN gain objective knowledge about the world, they are right. You are wrong in your arbitrary assertion that 'objective' is synonymous with 'total'. I am merely the first person to corner you on this fundamental.

There you go with the "totality" again, invoking the infinite. I have already pointed out the problem with this, numerous times. Furthermore, the unknown does not invalidate the known. The unknown has no epistemological relation to the known, that is what makes it unknown.

This quote is perfectly accurate. The only problem here is your insistence on your idiosyncratic definition of 'objective' as total knowledge of something.

Total has nothing to do with infinity.

How do you not get this?

1. Things exist in reality. Correct?

2. These things have identity. Correct?

Edit: I may as well finish this

3. This identity is finite and real, and entails the totality of the thing. Totality is just the thing, the shole of it.

4. To know something objectively is to know it as it exists

5. To know something objectively is to know it's identity

Do you disagree with any of these?

The problem is that you are taking totality as meaning something it does not, as demostrated by your ridiculous "infinity" remarks.

Totality just means the whole of something, as it exists in objective reality. Do you get it?

OBJECTIVISM DOES NOT HOLD THAT WE KNOW THE EXTERNAL WORLD AS IT IS!

We CAN gain objective knowledge about the world, they are right.

I think now would be a great time to hear your definition of objective knowledge, which you failed to define earlier.

Edited by CJM

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And how can you ever know what the 'whole' of something is? What authority can tell us "Okay, you're done now. There is nothing more to know."? There is no such authority, nor can any such standard of completeness be perceived or inferred. Only an omniscient knower could comprehend the totality of something, because 'totality' requires knowing that thing and the entire universe in relation to that thing to rule out the possibility of another yet unknown attribute. This is how totality invokes the indefinite and the infinite.

'Objective' means based on reality and derived by a reliable method. 'Objective knowledge' is actually redundant, it is like saying 'valid knowledge'. Why was a particular statement ever counted as knowledge if it was invalid? 'Invalid knowledge' is a contradiction in terms. 'Objective knowledge' merely emphasizes the source of the knowledge, the method of its derivation. Other sources of knowledge such as 'mystical knowledge' are not knowledge because the method is not reliable.

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And how can you ever know what the 'whole' of something is? What authority can tell us "Okay, you're done now. There is nothing more to know."? There is no such authority, nor can any such standard of completeness be perceived or inferred. Only an omniscient knower could comprehend the totality of something, because 'totality' requires knowing that thing and the entire universe in relation to that thing to rule out the possibility of another yet unknown attribute. This is how totality invokes the indefinite and the infinite.

Not the infinte, and yes that is my whole fucking point!

'Objective' means based on reality and derived by a reliable method. 'Objective knowledge' is actually redundant, it is like saying 'valid knowledge'. Why was a particular statement ever counted as knowledge if it was invalid? 'Invalid knowledge' is a contradiction in terms. 'Objective knowledge' merely emphasizes the source of the knowledge, the method of its derivation. Other sources of knowledge such as 'mystical knowledge' are not knowledge because the method is not reliable.

If it is based on reality and derived by a reliable method, how is it notknowledge of things as they are in reality?

Edited by CJM

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Not the infinte, and yes that is my whole fucking point!

Your whole fucking point is an invalid standard of knowledge for same reason that dividing by zero is wrong in arithmetic: it invokes the indefinite and the infinite.

If it is based on reality and derived by a reliable method, how is it not knowledge of things as they are in reality?

Because for you "things as they are in reality" means an indefinite, potentially infinite inventory of the universe in order to meet the standard of knowing something in its totality.

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This will be my last response to CJM's posts. I think he (or she, but I'll use 'he' hereafter) is debating on terms I don't agree on. He is 'off' on so many (epistemological) issues that I think it will be a waste of my time to try and address each of his errors. When I first started responding, I erroneously assumed that he has at least a partial grasp of Objectivism. Also, I think there is a deliberate attempt on his part to befuddle the discussion.

For example, consider the following:

Just because data may seem fully and wholly non-contradictory to us does not mean it is

First, let me address the issue. It is meaningless to say that although our knowledge "seem" non-contradictory, it is not. It implies rejection of reason (and thus, logic). Because it is by means of reason one "sees" whether one's knowledge is contradictory or not.

Now, let me point out the bigger issue. At first CJM didn't reject the idea that non-contradictory knowledge is attainable. But later, when he was pointed out that this contradicts with his notion of fallibility of the senses, he tried to have it both ways. He is very careful not to accept this contradiction openly. Instead, in his quote above, he is trying to smear up his previous (implicit) acceptance of non-contradictory knowledge.

His (intellectually dishonest) manipulation can also be seen in the following:

I am not setting up a strawman, this is just an interesting discussion on the implications of Rands ethics, nothing more.

After I pointed him out that he is attacking a "straw man" because he misapplied Objectivist ethics, he is trying to play down his statements by calling them "just an interesting discussion". Of course, he still claims it is not a "straw man", while at the same time conceding that he was deriving "implications of Rands ethics". He is trying to have his cake and eat it too.

The same is true in his following response:

A man may choose death yes, but there is no more reason for him to fight for his values than to swallow a cyanide pill if the odds are insurmountable.

Observe another attack on a "straw man". I clearly pointed out to him earlier that a rational man will consider "how much he values" and "his evaluation of risk" while making a choice whether to fight for a (top) value or not. Ignoring that point, he still attacks the (never-mentioned) idea that a man must fight even if the odds are insurmountable.

He thinks he can get away by making the discussion befuddled. This is evident by the following:

This rejection had nothing to do with that, it was about whether a mans life being his standard of value made it his standard of value.

My "rejection" was aimed at clearing up that false notion he had heard from someone else. He projected it as if that notion was the only thing hindering his acceptance of the fact that man's primary choice is life vs. death, and that all other value-judgments are secondary to that. Now he drops that entire context and claims that "[t]his rejection had nothing to do with that". He doesn't even attempt to look back and clear up his context.

I am starting to wonder if his senses are actually unreliable (as he has been claiming all along).

The attacks on a "straw man" continue in the issue of "free will". He brings up a false definition of alternatives. According to him, an alternative could both be physically possible or impossible. After I pointed him out that he is rejecting the standard (as well as Objectivist) notion of 'alternative' in context of choice, he comes up with garbage he had already spewed earlier:

You claimed choice required the possibility of alternatives(or at least implied it)

[... and...]

I simply pointed out that one can weigh up alternatives and choose a course of action even if the alternatives you were weighing up are not physically possible to carry out. That implies an assumption we cannot posit impossible actions.

As to his following question on "free will":

I could not have done what I did not do, and I could only do what I did. If you were to replay a choice over and over again without changing any physical variables, how could I choose differently? How?

The problem here is his invalid concept of "replay". I will merely point out to what I wrote earlier in this thread:

"[This] confusion comes from picturing consciousness as a mere spectator to our thoughts and mental activity. But that is impossible because it would mean that consciousness is completely detached and outside the material universe. In this case, consciousness would have to be a mystical presence devoid of any existential form. Of course, this leaves several other questions unanswered too, if consciousness is free from existence, why does it have an identity? Why does it "attach" to one human body? What is volition?

The fact is that you can't divorce man's soul and his body. Consciousness is a process actively interacting with the environment. You can't separate mental actions such as making a choice from you consciousness, and somehow claim that your choices are not yours."

This leaves the following:

What points did I miss?

I mentioned many instances of what he missed in my analyses above.

I know I skipped the "keyboard is an elephant", because it

A. Makes no sense. Everyone has numerous instances where people have perceived things in totally different ways to them.

B. Doesn't just have to do with the senses, but concept formation.

A. A person with a poor eyesight sees blurry alphabets on a poster than a normal person. But that does not mean that they perceive a different object. What will be different is their (automatized) method of integration of visual data as well as the extent of knowledge they can gain through their eyes (for example, one can read the word on the poster, other couldn't).

B. I already addressed this in my previous post: "You can't talk about objective knowledge without talking about integration of perceptual data by our mind".

Edit: Minor typos

Edited by Rockefeller

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Because for you "things as they are in reality" means an indefinite, potentially infinite inventory of the universe in order to meet the standard of knowing something in its totality.

What exactly does "things as they are in reality" mean to you so?

Is it not identity? Well?

Are you smoking crack Rockefeller?

First, let me address the issue. It is meaningless to say that although our knowledge "seem" non-contradictory, it is not. It implies rejection of reason (and thus, logic). Because it is by means of reason one "sees" whether one's knowledge is contradictory or not.

No it does not, if our perceptions are wrong. If our perceptions are wrong our reason may function perfectly and still lead us to believe that our knowledge is non-contradictory. So your point immediately falls flat on it's ass.

Now, let me point out the bigger issue. At first CJM didn't reject the idea that non-contradictory knowledge is attainable. But later, when he was pointed out that this contradicts with his notion of fallibility of the senses, he tried to have it both ways. He is very careful not to accept this contradiction openly. Instead, in his quote above, he is trying to smear up his previous (implicit) acceptance of non-contradictory knowledge.

Non contradictory knowledge, IF this knowledge is meant to be objective, is unobtainable. I would never claim otherwise and never did.

After I pointed him out that he is attacking a "straw man" because he misapplied Objectivist ethics, he is trying to play down his statements by calling them "just an interesting discussion". Of course, he still claims it is not a "straw man", while at the same time conceding that he was deriving "implications of Rands ethics". He is trying to have his cake and eat it too.

I never claimed this is what Rand said, or argued. I consistently stated they were implications of her ethics, and never anything else.

On the other hand, when I was asking a question and not making a statement, I also made this clear. Questions aren't strawmen.

Observe another attack on a "straw man". I clearly pointed out to him earlier that a rational man will consider "how much he values" and "his evaluation of risk" while making a choice whether to fight for a (top) value or not. Ignoring that point, he still attacks the (never-mentioned) idea that a man must fight even if the odds are insurmountable.

Maybe thats why I made the specific statement IF THE ODDS ARE INSURMOUNTABLE???! Did you miss that part? That would imply that said man had evaluated the risk and found it insurmountable. Jesus titty fucking christ. This was also after I had stated I was doing nothing more than discussing implications of following Objectivist ethics.

He projected it as if that notion was the only thing hindering his acceptance of the fact that man's primary choice is life vs. death,

Projection? This was nothing I said, it was an assumption on your part. Do you know what they say about assumptions?

Because this was an assumption on your part, I won't target the rest of the stuff you just posted for obvious reasons.

The attacks on a "straw man" continue in the issue of "free will". He brings up a false definition of alternatives. According to him, an alternative could both be physically possible or impossible. After I pointed him out that he is rejecting the standard (as well as Objectivist) notion of 'alternative' in context of choice, he comes up with garbage he had already spewed earlier:

An alternative is an object or choice, where if you choose one, you cannot choose others. They are mutually exclusive.

How did I bring up a false definition in saying we can weigh up alternatives that are not physically possible to carry out?

You need to buy a dictionary badly.

The problem here is his invalid concept of "replay". I will merely point out to what I wrote earlier in this thread:

"[This] confusion comes from picturing consciousness as a mere spectator to our thoughts and mental activity. But that is impossible because it would mean that consciousness is completely detached and outside the material universe. In this case, consciousness would have to be a mystical presence devoid of any existential form. Of course, this leaves several other questions unanswered too, if consciousness is free from existence, why does it have an identity? Why does it "attach" to one human body? What is volition?

The fact is that you can't divorce man's soul and his body. Consciousness is a process actively interacting with the environment. You can't separate mental actions such as making a choice from you consciousness, and somehow claim that your choices are not yours."

I have never claimed consciousness is a spectator or not physical or material. In fact that would go AGAINST what I am arguing. I clearly was talking about PHYSICAL VARIABLES not changing.

Holy shit, could you be any more wrong up their on your high horse?

Edited by CJM

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It is quite funny that the problem here arose from you attempting to guess what I was saying. Note the following sentence

Now, would you jump to the conclusion that I have just defined Aristotle as the law of identity? This came from a fuck up on your part, not mine.

I'm sorry, my mistake. I assumed you speak English, and you know that when you place a concept in parantheses, that is short form for saying that's what the concept is, and that this helps people avoid writing another sentence. And that when you write the name of a person after something, that's short form for saying that this person said that thing.

Obviously you don't, you don't even realize that the two are different. (Either that, or you're being facetious, which annoys me, especially since I asked you not to be.)

My advice is that you should practice the language on easier subjects (like sports, the weather, read newspaper articles about current events), and when you get better at it, come back to this forum and ask your questions.

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I'm sorry, my mistake. I assumed you speak English, and you know that when you place a concept in parantheses, that is short form for saying that's what the concept is, and that this helps people avoid writing another sentence. And that when you write the name of a person after something, that's short form for saying that this person said that thing.

Obviously you don't, you don't even realize that the two are different. (Either that, or you're being facetious, which annoys me, especially since I asked you not to be.)

My advice is that you should practice the language on easier subjects (like sports, the weather, read newspaper articles about current events), and when you get better at it, come back to this forum and ask your questions.

Do some reading.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bracket

Parentheses have many uses, you tool.

Now if you are done attempting your ad hominem argument, would you mind addressing the actual arguments?

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Yes, You're a troll. Go away.

Great, rational argument to solve the problem of causation and free will. :P

You are an exemplary rational figure.

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What exactly does "things as they are in reality" mean to you so?

Is it not identity? Well?

All knowledge originates in its narrow base of that which can be sensed and perceived, and then expands to include what can be reached conceptually by inference. Knowledge of a thing can only ever be the result of the interaction of the thing's identity and the identity of a knower, including his definite limited means of sensing and reasoning. Knowledge of things as they are in reality is not equal to things as they are in reality, but the things that are known have a correspondence with reality as perceived. Existence apart from being sensed, perceived or reasoned about or in other words "in itself" is an unknown to which only the broadest metaphysical generalities apply.

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Knowledge of things as they are in reality is not equal to things as they are in reality, but the things that are known have a correspondence with reality as perceived.

What correspondence, if we know no things as they are in reality?

Where does this correspondence come from if we know no things identity?

And "correspondence" is a very ambiguous word to use here., it will need a definition.

It seems to me that you are trying to hold that we can hold objective Knowledge, which must conform to reality, while also claiming we cannot know things as they are in reality. This is a contradiction.

Edited by CJM

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An alternative is an object or action, where if you choose one, you cannot choose others. They are mutually exclusive.

How did I bring up a false definition in saying we can weigh up alternatives that are not physically possible to carry out?

This is what this sentence should say, the edit function wasn't working for some reason.

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