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McGroarty

What's the deal with the Kelley Objectivists?

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First, induction isn't merely necessary - it is fundamental.

Deduction can't get off the ground unless at least one induction has been done. Over reliance on it leads to conclusions that aren't anchored in sensory data (rationalism). Because of that, in learning Objectivism it is a good idea to try mightily to _avoid_ deduction, especially when one is new to the philosophy. If you catch yourself deducing something, double check it by attempting to induce it instead. If you can't do it, then it doesn't matter how airtight the deduction was, the conclusion doesn't qualify as knowledge.

Second, to qualify as an Objectivist, as has been pointed out before I believe, one must understand, agree with, and live by all of the essentials of the philosophy. All of those were identified by Ayn Rand in what she wrote and stated publicly.

Anybody with the requisite intelligence, honesty and courage can do that, not just Ayn Rand, but it is hard to do, and always takes years of hard work. That's why many people call themselves students of Objectivism and not Objectivists, even if their years of effort have paid off and they are very knowledgable.

The name Ayn Rand gave to that body of essentials was "Objectivism", which is why the philosophy is closed. She named it in order to make clear what was hers and what was not. Adding anything to _any_ philosophy and calling the result by the same name is fundamentally _unjust_. That's why Dr. Peikoff and other Objectivist intellectuals scrupulously separate their own identifications from Ayn Rand's. That's one reason why Ayn Rand gave her _own_ philosophy a new name.

David Kelley and his ilk don't understand, agree with, and live by all of the essentials of Objectivism, and they add things to it and still call it Objectivism. That is why they don't qualify as Objectivists.

Honest people do what Ayn Rand and Dr. Peikoff did, not what Kelley did. We who are not at Rand's or Peikoff's level are even _more_ careful about that.

Mark Peters

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A factual question:

It is my understanding that the dispute that lead to the foundation of TOC began with a speech/lecture Dr Kelley gave before a Libertarian group. Did Dr Kelley maintain that the group was a group of Objectivists- meaning, that Libertarian are in fact Objectivists; or did he just claim that they are “close to Objectivism”?

[i understand this is a little different question than the one discussed on this thread. However, after seeing all the thread merging that went on here, I am assuming that the opening of a new thread would not be welcomed. If I am wrong, please correct me]

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thanks y_feldblum. I always enjoy people contentless forum insults.

Ideasave- the question I keep running into is, what essentials of Objectivism did Kelley violate? For that matter, what are the essentials of Objectivism? The best example I can think of, of Ayn Rand stating them publically, was "Metaphysics: Objective Reality; Epistemology: Reason; Ethics: Self-interest; Politics: Capitalism." If someone can prove to me that Kelley and TOC violate these essentials, I will admit that they are not Objectivists. Or if you wish to present a different version of the essentials of Objectivism, I'll consider that as well, but bear in mind that I've already explained why I don't consider "created by Ayn Rand" to be an essential characteristic of Objectivism.

Also, as a side note, I don't think it's possible to develop Objectivism, or any sort of abstract knowledge, without both deduction and induction. For example, how would you use induction to prove that capitalism is the only just political system? It's never even fully existed! Or how can you use pure induction to develop something as abstract as, say, morality? Somethings just can't be directly observed. I thought this was Rand's answer to the old empiricist/rationalist dichotomy?

and I have no idea whether or not Kelley claimed that libertarians are Objectivists, although I really doubt that he would.

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Seriously, pirate, you agree about as much as A is B. Open your eyes to the fact.

Induction is the means of arriving at abstract knowledge. Deduction is a method of combining concepts to arrive at still other concepts, but induction is the means of acquiring those concepts in the first place. Deduction is the last step; induction is the first.

A philosophy cannot be discovered, only created. It is a worldview; worldviews do not exist in nature, waiting to be picked up; they are not abstract existents. They are formed from one's observations of reality. Kant's philosophy was certainly created by Kant, but since it's false, it certainly was not discovered by him.

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Pi-r8 wrote:

Also, as a side note, I don't think it's possible to develop Objectivism, or any sort of abstract knowledge, without both deduction and induction. For example, how would you use induction to prove that capitalism is the only just political system? It's never even fully existed! Or how can you use pure induction to develop something as abstract as, say, morality? Somethings just can't be directly observed. I thought this was Rand's answer to the old empiricist/rationalist dichotomy?

I mean this in the most polite and serious of ways: if this is your understanding of Objectivism in general and Rand's method in particular, perhaps you should hold off on any decision or judgment regarding the whole Peikoff/Kelley thing. Review ITOE. Also, Understanding Objectivism and Objectivism Through Induction will help immensly with the rationalism/empiricism induction/deduction questions.

In Objectivism Through Induction Peikoff goes through the inductive process needed to validate egoism. He does the same for capitalism, as well as objectivity and a hald a dozen other importand principles of Objectivism. I'm curious, how is it that you think morality can be deduced? And deduced from what?

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y_feldblum wrote:

Induction is the means of arriving at abstract knowledge. Deduction is a method of combining concepts to arrive at still other concepts, but induction is the means of acquiring those concepts in the first place. Deduction is the last step; induction is the first.

I don't think this is correct. Concepts aren't formed inductively or deductively. Concept formation is its own process. To borrow Rand's file folder analogy: inductions are the papers that go in the folder. We form the concept "man" (this is the folder) and generalizations about "man" go in the folder, such as "all men are mortal." Of course, a concept means everything about its referents, but we may not know all of what there is to know about a concept. That is what induction is for. Induction fills the file with information about the concept's referents.

Also, deduction is not the method of combining concepts to form more abstract concepts. That is just further abstraction. Induction forms principles from particulars, deductions applies those principles to new particulars. So we observe some men and arrive at 'all men are mortal.' Then we see a man we've never seen before and deduce from our principle that he, as a man, is mortal.

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the question I keep running into is, what essentials of Objectivism did Kelley violate?  For that matter, what are the essentials of Objectivism?
If you want to learn the philosophy you should read some of the literature that explains it. While I'm sure the people here can help you, it is not their job to teach it to you.
The best example I can think of, of Ayn Rand stating them publically, was "Metaphysics: Objective Reality; Epistemology: Reason; Ethics: Self-interest; Politics: Capitalism."  If someone can prove to me that Kelley and TOC violate these essentials, I will admit that they are not Objectivists.
I already provided the link to Fact and Value where Peikoff explains exactly what you are asking. That you still don't understand means you are not reading carefully and need to take your time and go through it again.
  Or if you wish to present a different version of the essentials of Objectivism, I'll consider that as well, but bear in mind that I've already explained why I don't consider "created by Ayn Rand" to be an essential characteristic of Objectivism.

If you don't consider the creator of Objectivism to be an essential characteristic of Objectivism, why would we waste time discussing it with you? If she had't created it-we wouldn't even be here discussing it, so for you to consider that *not essential* is to completely trivialize the whole thing.

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If you want to learn the philosophy you should read some of the literature that explains it. While I'm sure the people here can help you, it is not their job to teach it to you.

Maybe not, but if we're going to discuss this in a rational way, you're going to have to try. I'm going to consider myself right unless one of you convinces me otherwise. Telling me to go read such and such a book, or that I've clearly misunderstood what I've already read and need to read it again, doesn't help.

And, I do not think morality can simply be deduced, I think it requires both deduction and induction, which is the method Peikoff uses in OPAR.

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Maybe not, but if we're going to discuss this in a rational way, you're going to have to try.
No I don't
I'm going to consider myself right unless one of you convinces me otherwise. 

Not my problem.

You have shown a refusal to answer direct questions yourself or provide any basis for your own assertions here, so what value could I possibly gain from furthur discussion with you?

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Ok, I've tried to present my views in a rational manner and to answer all questions that have been asked of me. At first I thought I was getting somewhere, but now I'm just being insulted.

Enough of this discussion for me...

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