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Ilya Startsev

Transcending Objectivism and Kantianism

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As can be seen with an old popular thread I started on Objectivism online forum, I am very interested in putting side-to-side various philosophies, even before I learn that some of them cannot be thoroughly compared! So I would like to find out whether it is even possible to conceive of transcending Rand’s worldview with that of her well-known ‘archenemy’ – Immanuel Kant himself. I’ve spent the last two years trying to figure out this big conflict in contemporary philosophy by studying Kant’s philosophy and debating Kantians, especially on Philosophy forums, which are now, unfortunately, non-operational. So what are some ideas that I’d like to put forward to initiate this discussion?

Part I: Describing conflicts

First, I want to delineate the premises of my argument as conflicting characters of both philosophies. Let Objectivism take only (a) subdivisions, while Kantianism take only (b) subdivisions.

  1. General vs. specific
    1. Objectivism is general in respect to being broadly applied to most areas of life, including even sex (in Rand’s words!). Philosophy, according to Rand, is a way of living, rather than only a way of thinking (which is a part of living but not the whole). Hence Rand is more concerned with having an integrated picture of the whole rather than only its parts in isolation or abstraction. Rand’s epistemology starts with metaphysics (most broad or general field of philosophy).
    2. Kantianism is specific in respect to being narrowly applied only to thoughts concerning positive knowledge in theoretical science, moral/ethical practice, and judgments in art. Kantian way of thinking takes ideas in isolation and abstraction and only bounded by mind, representing all areas of knowledge within mental structures and through categories of thought. Kant’s epistemology cycles through itself, making metaphysics subservient to it without a possibility of deriving any knowledge about ends.
  2. External vs. internal
    1. Objectivism is concerned with external experience of reality, where it finds knowledge. Every judgment must correspond to or be ultimately derived from external reality.
    2. Kantianism is concerned with internal experience, wherein it claims to find all positive knowledge. Everything considered to be ‘external’ to mind is merely thought to be a representation or appearance structured by our mind as pure reason or inwardly directed by mind as practical reason with aesthetic judgments connecting the two reasons.
  3. Public vs. academic
    1. Objectivism is well known in general public by means of popular novels, podcasts, presentations, and audiobooks, but not among many academicians, who openly oppose it or try to avoid it. Formal discussions of Objectivism mostly occur in Objectivist journals, and Objectivist scholars do not take these discussions to established and trustworthy academic philosophical journals. Hence the nature of Objectivist discussions and research is mostly closed rather than open, in regard to academic work.
    2. Kantianism is popular among many academicians but not in general public. Kantianism is considered by many academicians to be a ‘suble’ and ‘true’ philosophy not comprehended quite enough by most others.
  4. Objective vs. subjective
    1. Objectivism follows the ethics of rational or objective egoism to the detriment of sometimes being able to develop healthy relationships with others. Objects in this philosophy precede private subjects.
    2. Kantianism follows the ethics of rational yet subjective altruism to the point of forcing others (even violently) to heed one’s ‘social’ will (especially of those in power) as if it were universal law. Peikoff describes Kantian influences on Nazism in The Ominous Parallels, and Kant himself praises the sublime in war over peace in Critique of Judgment, §28. Thus, subjects in this philosophy are not only central but the only ones, as physical objects in themselves are non-existent.
  5. Political vs. scientific
    1. Objectivism has greatly influenced the progress of politics and economics through conservatives, neoconservatives, libertarians, and even some liberals. However, Objectivism hasn’t had much effect on science.
    2. Kantianism has greatly influenced the progress of science through Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, Chomsky’s universal grammar theory, and various neuro and cognitive scientists, anthropologists, and psychologists. However, Kantianism hasn’t had as much direct effect in politics.

Part II: Transcending conflicts

Second, as a possible way to transcend these areas as it would mostly benefit Objectivism (like a stronger connection to academia in 3), I need to provide a potential idea to be built upon. My current and main source of inspiration is Leonard Peikoff’s DIM Hypothesis (2012), which is based on Rand’s epistemology, in particular her theory of concepts. What Peikoff develops in his book called after his hypothesis is a metaphilosophy (although he doesn’t call it that) specifying boundaries of all philosophies involving three categories: disintegrating, integrating, and misintegrating.

As a point of contention, these are Peikoff’s words that I reinterpreted in favor of my own hypothesis:

Quote

Since DIM categories presuppose basic philosophy, they cannot, strictly speaking, be used to classify it; the categories derive from the philosophy. Those who lay the foundations of methodical thought are not guided by definitions of method; on the contrary, they are the source and teachers of method. In a sense, though, one can validly apply DIM categories to basic philosophy, if one does so with an opposite meaning—not DIM processes as the source of such principles, but those principles as the source of DIM. (Ch. 4, his italics)

I’ve been building on some concepts from Peikoff’s hypothesis this past couple of years and have found another way (a visual method) to describe all philosophies, while also borrowing some of these terms from Peikoff. Based on my extensive research, I would like to show not only that I independently verified some insights from Peikoff’s hypothesis (as I also did a few years back for Rand’s theory) but also describe what he had achieved (and he considers this book his greatest achievement so far) as an understanding of Rand’s epistemology not as an epistemology in academic sense (which they don’t accept as such) but a meta-epistemology that transcends epistemology as conceived by Kant.

If Rand’s epistemology be truly a meta-epistemology and Peikoff’s hypothesis be truly metaphilosophical, then we can use these areas to transcend Kant’s ‘transcendental’ philosophy without losing specificity required (as in 1). As far as I know, Kant never covered these areas in his philosophy. Considering that there also exists a term ‘metametaphysics’ (books on the topic: 2009, 2015, and 2016; cf. my metaphysics), maybe this so-called ‘transcendence’ can also achieve greater breadth than Rand was able to conceive, although, as speculative as all this may sound, there is currently not enough understanding of these new ‘meta’ (meaning not just ‘after’ but ‘beyond’) fields because they are on the frontier of contemporary philosophical research. Maybe we can share knowledge and understanding to see whether any of my suggestions have ground for further developments. At the end, if we reach any conclusion, we may find and improve upon the missing links required for Objectivism to hold the center stage it deserves in philosophical discussions.

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Welcome back, Ilya

It's always refreshing to view your multi-faceted concise and to-the-point interlocutions.

Ilya Startsev and splitprimary like this

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Thanks, Repairman. Honestly, I missed you and every one else on this forum, even Harrison Danneskjold, whose comments had been always cutting and hewing me, but I even miss his comments. It's been long three years, my dear Objectivists, and I am back!

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So, the basic idea is the following. After completing and successfully defending my Master's thesis on Objectivist rhetoric in America, I am now planning on professionally studying the aforementioned issues for a Master's in philosophy in Russia. Hopefully there I'd be able to test whether we could build more awareness about Rand in philosophy departments, so keep in mind that your inputs are not only very welcomed but may also be influential in the development of my future thesis.

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Concerning premise 4b, which I thought was a bit unfair toward Kant, here is a paragraph involving the kind of 'social' will from Boydstun's excellent essay on Kant and Rand. The quote is taken from Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals:

On 23.10.2010 at 3:22 PM, Boydstun said:

The practical necessity of acting in accordance with this principle, that is, duty, does not rest at all on feelings, impulses, and inclinations but merely on the relation of rational beings to one another, in which the will of a rational being must always be regarded as at the same time lawgiving, since otherwise it could not be thought as an end in itself. Reason accordingly refers every maxim of the will as giving universal law to every other will and also to every action toward oneself, and does so not for the sake of any other practical motive or any future advantage but from the idea of the dignity of a rational being, who obeys no law other than that which he himself at the same time gives.

Kant seems to know minds better than people, thus allowing people who, he thinks, don't know their minds as well or well enough be forced to follow minds in power who know what the minds subservient to duty need to practice.

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I haven't been on here in a long while as well, higher value commitments pull me away!

I am working my way through DIM and at the same time trying to familiarize myself more with Kant rather than rely entirely on third party perspectives (of course, I haven't the energy or time to actually read A Critique of Reason" so it's all gonna have to be third party somehow :)

But just for fun I wanted to nitpick the statement: "Objectivism follows the ethics of rational or objective egoism to the detriment of sometimes being able to develop healthy relationships with others."

I would argue that the ethics of rational egoism is the ONLY way to develop healthy relationships with others.

Anything less than rational self-interest is either of so little value that it isn't worth it, or it's based on self-sacrifice and altruism, and is wholly unhealthy.

Rational egoism seeks out mutually beneficial relationships in which both parties are willing participants who get something out of it (happiness, etc).

To the extent that a relationship is altruistic i.e. self-destructive you will find an unhappy and unhealthy relationship.

/digress :)

Great post, BTW.  Good stuff.

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Posted (edited)

I'm not sure I agree on the point about general vs. specific. If Kant's position on metaphysics is that it's unknowable / pure subjectivism, then that's a really strong position, whereas Rand leaves metaphysical questions open. Her philosophy is more of a "method" than a metaphysically grounded philosophical system.

Edited by epistemologue

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Posted (edited)

"Kantianism follows the ethics of rational yet subjective altruism to the point of forcing others (even violently) to heed one’s ‘social’ will (especially of those in power) as if it were universal law."

"Kant seems to know minds better than people, thus allowing people who, he thinks, don't know their minds as well or well enough be forced to follow minds in power who know what the minds subservient to duty need to practice."

I also think these are odd claims, especially given what you yourself just quoted him saying about dignity and being subject only to the law one writes one's self: "the idea of the dignity of a rational being, who obeys no law other than that which he himself at the same time gives"

How can he be accused of advocating forcing others when he describes morality originating from the dignity of a person, meaning their freedom to choose based on reason? How can he be accused of replacing "social will" with universal law, when he describes how one ought to obey no law other than that which he *himself* gives?

Edited by epistemologue

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5 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Kant seems to know minds better than people, thus allowing people who, he thinks, don't know their minds as well or well enough be forced to follow minds in power who know what the minds subservient to duty need to practice.

what you've described above sounds a lot more like Plato's political ideas, not Kant's. the quote from Groundwork doesn't support this.

what he is saying there is that principles come from human nature itself, they logically follow from the fact that we are rational beings. because of this nature, "man is an end in himself", and should always be treated that way (with "dignity"). it is the same point that Rand makes that initiating force against a rational agent violates their nature.

here are a few more quotes from the preface to Groundwork that are similar to:
"A rational being obeys no law other than that which he himself at the same time gives." that might make it clearer:
 

Quote
  • "We are subject to the moral law only because it is the necessary expression of our own nature as rational agents."
  • "If a rational agent is truly an end in himself, he must be the author of the laws which he is bound to obey”
  • "Rational agents as subjects are the -ground- of this categorical imperative."
  • "The law which we are bound to obey must be the product of our own will."

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10 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

External vs. internal

  1. Objectivism is concerned with external experience of reality, where it finds knowledge. Every judgment must correspond to or be ultimately derived from external reality.

Hi Ilya.

This point is partly right. Objectivism does emphasize externalism as far as all knowledge, to be knowledge, must be linked to reality and be reduced (traced) to entities at the perceptual level. Objectivist is internalist to the extent that perceptual experience itself is valid to use, and one can make use of internal states. You might be better off avoiding that terminology and saying that internal and external can be linked without a filter in between. This would be like Greek philosophers, as well as some Vedic and Eastern philosophers.

11 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Kantianism has greatly influenced the progress of science through Bohr’s Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics, Chomsky’s universal grammar theory, and various neuro and cognitive scientists, anthropologists, and psychologists. However, Kantianism hasn’t had as much direct effect in politics.

Regarding all that except the Copenhagen interpretation, Descartes and Locke probably impacted a lot more than Kant. Kant had some impact but that's just nativism. If anything, Chomsky matters more to all those fields than Kant and is on equal ground as Kant in those fields.

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8 hours ago, Reasoner said:

familiarize myself more with Kant rather than rely entirely on third party perspectives (of course, I haven't the energy or time to actually read A Critique of Reason

Totally agree, and as Rand said - you need to know your enemy (e.g., in "Philosophy: Who Needs It?"). However, I don't consider Critique of Pure Reason Kant's best work anymore. Now I think his best work is Critique of Judgment. After familiarizing myself with Kant (and I am still in the process), I can verify Peikoff's categorization of him as DIS. I freaking love Peikoff's work - it totally opened my eyes on philosophy.

8 hours ago, Reasoner said:

I would argue that the ethics of rational egoism is the ONLY way to develop healthy relationships with others.

This is actually true. However, if you take it to a logical extreme, then it can create a nutshell around you, which cannot be penetrated by others and has others simply slip away (Chekhov's "The Man in a Case" somewhat comes to mind). And then you are left alone. And since others aren't required, you remain self-sufficient. I am writing from personal experience, by the way. And this is not only my view on this ethics. Consider Stefan Molyneux, who was also inspired by Objectivism and who talks about building healthier relationships than those usually developed by hardcore Objectivists. Besides, there isn't really a need to go farther than Rand herself. Consider how she was with her best friends Isabel Paterson and Nathaniel Branden. I consider Branden INT, by the way. The guy was a genius psychologist.

5 hours ago, epistemologue said:

I'm not sure I agree on the point about general vs. specific. If Kant's position on metaphysics is that it's unknowable / pure subjectivism, then that's a really strong position, whereas Rand leaves metaphysical questions open. Her philosophy is more of a "method" than a metaphysically grounded philosophical system.

Actually both systems are methods. In Boydstun's essay we have this elaboration of Kant's system as an epistemological method:

On 23.10.2010 at 3:02 PM, Boydstun said:

What is needed in addition to general logic in our cognitive repertoire for experience are Kant’s pure forms of sensory intuition (space and time) and his categories and principles of the understanding. Content supplied by the senses into this formal organization yields empirical knowledge universal and necessary[.]

Academicians understand Kant's system in exactly the same way, in that epistemology as a method to verify or test knowledge, so it can be differentiated from belief. Kant is not a skeptic (even Peikoff says this in DIM), Kant is a reducer: he reduces everything to reason alone, ignoring what's 'above' and 'beyond' reason that cannot be represented as knowledge in Kant's system. Kant's system thus becomes extremely narrow, whereas Rand's is considered to be extremely open, in this respect, even to the point of some academicians calling Objectivism - 'playing tennis without a net.' 'A net,' in this case, could be considered a Kantian epistemologism of a priori categories of reason. I think Rand's philosophy's breadth of application boggles some philosophers' minds because they cannot wrap their narrow Kantian heads around it. In fact, I think the general vs. specific conflict is the main one between them that can be overcome through my own philosophy, as I consider it to be broad enough and specific that it doesn't lose on either front and therefore transcends both Rand and Kant. However, maybe it's the same reason my philosophy is not understood by many: they simply cannot accept its Randian side. My purpose is to help them understand, but the best way is to first improve Rand's reputation in academia (hence premise 3 is a close second in importance).

5 hours ago, epistemologue said:

I also think these are odd claims, especially given what you yourself just quoted him saying about dignity and being subject only to the law one writes one's self: "the idea of the dignity of a rational being, who obeys no law other than that which he himself at the same time gives"

One of my issues with Kant is an absence of his politology (scratch that - see a discussion on Kant's politics below, in a reply to splitmary), so we don't know what role he gave to those in power. He couldn't have simply ignored the structures of power in favor of merely reducing everyone to minds, right? So the idea of dignity can be interpreted differently based on Kant's interpretation of how power structure affects citizens. If we agree with Kant and merely reduce everyone to a mind, then each person would be dignified but in a vacuum and completely oblivious to what's going on around him in terms of politics. But if we take Kant's statements when he praises war in Critique of Judgment, §28, and also there, §83, when he speculates that war can be guided by concealed higher wisdom, we can interpret his statement of dignity to the same extent the Nazis interpreted dignity: that is, you are only dignified if you fight for your glorious and sacred Third Reich. In support for this kind of thought, consider Kant's On Pedagogy (I am using a Russian edition, so I have to paraphrase), when he wrote that the only source of evil is when human nature is not made to follow rules and that, since we can train dogs and horses, so we can also train people. At the end of his Pedagogy, surprisingly, Kant teaches how to inculcate respect for religion and faith in God in young adults. Maybe this goes along with the 'concealed higher wisdom' that guides people to kill each other for the glory of one's Fatherland?

5 hours ago, epistemologue said:

How can he be accused of replacing "social will" with universal law, when he describes how one ought to obey no law other than that which he *himself* gives?

Kant's (in)famous categorical imperative: "Act only according to that maxim whereby you can, at the same time, will that it should become a universal law." The infamous SS Lieutenant Colonel Adolf Eichmann declared "with great emphasis that he had lived his whole life ... according to a Kantian definition of duty". ... [After the trial] Eichmann acknowledged he did not "live entirely according to it, although [he] would like to do so" (wikipedia).

5 hours ago, splitprimary said:

what you've described above sounds a lot more like Plato's political ideas, not Kant's

Wow, so people must have been right when they claimed that Kant's philosophy covered everything there is to cover by philosophy. This might seem that his philosophy is as broad as Rand's, but I interpret this as that he reduced everything to his narrow and specific view, whereas Rand, as epistemologue wrote, 'leaves metaphysical questions open' instead of punching out everyone's reality in 12 categories (as Harriman mentioned something similar once about Kant, I think).

Now, as to Kant's politics, from the Wikipedia link you shared, "the exercise of governmental power is constrained by the law." (Question 1:) Is this law different from Kant's practical laws, and if so - how and what if it conflicts with the laws he derived from reason? This political section is very interesting in respect to how it relates to his practical reason. Another related question for you (Question 2), Skye, is (as you mentioned in our Facebook discussion) how does Rawls's egalitarianism contradict Kantian politics?

I should also tell you about Eduard Bernstein, a famous neo-Kantian Marxist - as he, starting the whole revisionist tradition in Marxism (followed by Leszek Kołakowski and Noam Chomsky to an extent), thought that Marx was missing ethics and that Kantian ethics was perfect to fill that void. I am not sure whether Rawls's views at all reflect Bernstein's (I haven't studied either in more detail), but maybe they are somehow related through Bernstein's evolutionary socialism with the final goal of socialism being nothing and progress toward that goal being everything. Reformism (contra revolutionism) can very much match that view, since they'd like to change laws to help citizens economically without necessarily taking political power. It's liberalism either way you look at it: Kant's, Rawls's, or Bernstein's.

From Wikipedia on Kant's political philosophy:

Quote

Kant’s approach is based on the supremacy of a country’s written constitution. This supremacy must create guarantees for implementation of his central idea: a permanent peaceful life as a basic condition for the happiness of its people and their prosperity.

This is similar to what European union did with their Charter of fundamental human rights (to me it's propaganda of peace for economic security, while those same rights are waived instantly when EU starts wars). In contrast (maybe a hidden malice?), compare to § 28.: Of Nature regarded as Might (in Crit#3):

Quote

War itself, if it is carried on with order and with a sacred respect for the rights of citizens, has something sublime in it, and makes the disposition of the people who carry it on thus, only the more sublime, the more numerous are the dangers to which they are exposed, and in respect of which they behave with courage. On the other hand, a long peace generally brings about a predominant commercial spirit, and along with it, low selfishness, cowardice, and effeminacy, and debases the disposition of the people. (my emphases)

Interestingly, low selfishness is seen here as a bad result of commerce. Here is the original German of the last sentence from Kant, I. (1912). Sämliche Werke in Sechs Bänden. Leipzig: Inselverlag. B. 6. s. 126:

Quote

... da hingegen ein langer Frieden den bloßen Handelsgeist, mit ihm aber den niedrigen Eigennutz, Feigheit und Weichlichkeit herrschend zu machen und die Denkungsart des Volks zu erniedrigen pflegt. (emphases as above)

herrschend zu machen can be differently translated as 'prevailing, prevalent' (in terms of happening) or 'ruling', den niedrigen Eigennutz as 'base (low) self-interest', Weichlichkeit as 'softness' rather than 'effeminacy', and die Denkungsart des Volks zu erniedrigen pflegt as 'to humiliate the way of thinking of the people.'

Whichever way you look at this, Kant conflicts with Rand, and their ethics covered in my premise 4 is perhaps their biggest conflict.

Also an interesting piece from Wiki:

Quote

Kant opposed "democracy" – which, in that era, meant direct democracy – believing that majority rule posed a threat to individual liberty. He stated, "…democracy is, properly speaking, necessarily a despotism, because it establishes an executive power in which "all" decide for or even against one who does not agree; that is, "all", who are not quite all, decide, and this is a contradiction of the general will with itself and with freedom."

I don't know what to say to that yet or how to apply Kantian politics to governments other than EU, in whose 'objective' charter of human rights I don't believe. Perhaps I was wrong in thinking about Kant's politics more along the lines of Plato (or Stalin, for that matter), but that's only because I didn't know he had politics in the first place (poor excuse, I know). Thank you for enlightening me with this new information, Skye! Maybe Kantian politics is not so bad after all because we haven't seen yet what it can do to a greater extent. Or maybe EU is exactly that perfection, but then what about Brexit and possible Frexit? Problems with it after all. If it's already falling apart - that means it's not working. EU, following Kant, has 'democratic deficit' so it is not democracy per se but a federated parliamentary democratic republican union of governments - or whatever kind of beast it is, please someone explain. A mixture of some good, if not currently best, government structures so far, and it doesn't seem to be working. Kant "distinguished three forms of government: democracy, aristocracy, and monarchy with mixed government as the most ideal form of government."

I like this part of Kant: "the goal of perpetual peace in society can be achieved only when the rulers consult with philosophers on a regular basis." But it can work to the opposite effect too, as we all know.

5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Objectivist is internalist to the extent that perceptual experience itself is valid to use, and one can make use of internal states.

Yes, and I understood that you understood that the external includes the internal, hence also supporting the breadth/generality of premise 1. Kantians, on the other hand, cannot understand this because the external is included under the internal - the opposite of Rand.

To us (Objectivists and me), perception connects our consciousness to external, physical, contextual reality, right? To Kantians, perception as internal appearances connects them (as minds with a priori categories) to a metaphysical reality (noumenon) within themselves (within mind but beyond the boundaries of reason). That's why Kantians are confusing to us.

5 hours ago, Eiuol said:

You might be better off avoiding that terminology and saying that internal and external can be linked without a filter in between.

Or maybe just explain that 'filter' better. Or maybe the 'filter' itself can be used to transcend the conflict of 2? That's what I am trying to figure out. Can someone connect the connections between external and internal for Rand and Kant maybe by following a better description of them? I know external and internal are connected, but I don't seem to understand how in context with Kant. We totally need a Kantian expert on this thread. I am only trying to understand him still.

Correct me if I am wrong. The directionality seems to be different: in Objectivism perception is outward - toward (external) objects; in Kantianism perception is inward - toward (internal) appearances of objects. While Objectivists take objects as objects (3D?), Kantians take objects as only surfaces (2D?). Perhaps the dimensionality is a useless analogy here, but I am trying to make a point that Objectivists take things-in-themselves as parts of objects of perception, like Marxist materialists do (who, in my opinion, also try to transcend idealism and Kantian materialism, but in their own way, obviously), but Democritus and Kant only looked at the surface of things, at their appearances within reason and could only explain the external world by means of mind/reason, that is, internally. Democritus also used math to explain different characteristics of atoms and called them 'amers' (this is from a soviet 1979 text, so I am not sure how it would back-translate or whether it's even considered accurate by the West academia), but here is something from SEP as a temporary buffer before further transition:

Quote

[Democritus] famously denies {my emphasis} that perceptible qualities other than shape and size (and, perhaps, weight) really exist in the atoms themselves: one direct quotation surviving from Democritus claims that ‘by convention sweet and by convention bitter, by convention hot, by convention cold, by convention color; but in reality atoms and void’

That is, atoms (or matter) couldn't be known in themselves for Democritus but only through appearances (phenomena in Kant), which Democritus gave as much and similar value as did Kant, while both weren't strictly empiricists.

In the Russian book Democritus (B. B. Bits, Democrit, Moskva: "Misl'", 1979), there is written:

Quote

"... in the smallest atom there were 7 amer [амер(ы)]: top, bottom, left, right, front, back, middle. It was mathematics ..." (p. 53)

Hereby, I see this as a kind of similar view taking various categories through which we describe reality. The difference is that Democritus used mathematics, which is analytical, and Kant used synthetic a priori, but with Rudolf Carnap, a logical positivist, we found that there are also analytic a priori (perhaps the Russellian bridge from logic to math helped). Quine showed (as did Peikoff later) that there are NO synthetic and analytic distinctions, and Chomsky used some of Quine's ideas to support his ever-in-progress-to-completion universal grammar theory (remember how Rand called Kantians the grammarians in "Fairness Doctrine for Education" [FDE], 1972?). Hence historically we got to grammar, or mere sentence structures without any meaning in themselves, from a priori categories, first philosophical and then mathematical. This is also going beyond Peikoff's DIM but following in his footsteps and using the main Objectivist premise of philosophy affecting culture and science.

6 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Regarding all that except the Copenhagen interpretation, Descartes and Locke probably impacted a lot more than Kant. Kant had some impact but that's just nativism. If anything, Chomsky matters more to all those fields than Kant and is on equal ground as Kant in those fields.

If it wasn't for Descartes and Leibniz, Kant might have never found his philosophy. Descartes was overly concerned with reason and mechanistic determinism (also found in Kant's Crit3 when he speaks of mechanical teleology), while Leibniz tried 'integrating' Plato with Democritus, and his philosophizing about phenomenological 'appearances' were praised by Kant (see Boydstun's essay, from which I quoted in an earlier comment). So surely, Descartes upped philosophy through Enlightenment, but Chomsky is no Descartean (even though he calls himself so). Instead, he is, as Rand noticed quite accurately, a Kantian. See this quote to remind you of this from FDE:

Quote

Most of today's philosophy departments are dominated by Linguistic Analysis (the product of crossbreeding between philosophy and grammar), with some remnants of its immediate progenitors, Pragmatism and Logical Positivism, still clinging to its bandwagon. The more "broadminded" departments include an opposition - the other side of the same Kantian coin, Existentialism. (One side claims that philosophy is grammar, the other that philosophy is feelings.)

I spoke to a Kantian (Bill Harris, also known on this blog), and he said there is no philosophy in her quote, but I disagree. Here you may find the same kind of metaphilosophical delineation developed in Peikoff's DIM. In this quote, Rand differentiates the determinists vs. indeterminists: the famous conflict between Democritean and Epicurean philosophy (notice that they are both materialists, thus DIS in my book). Today the conflict is between Chomskyans (the grammarians) and the decentralizers like Michel Foucault (the feeling type, like Nietzsche). Do you see the parallels?

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Below is the famous Chomsky vs. Foucault debate on human nature. Chomsky uses 'creativity' like Kant's synthetic acts to oppose Foucault, who opposes Chomsky by claiming that everything is conditioned by social norms. Some commentators said the two sometimes talked passed each other on completely different topics without themselves realizing this.

 

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Posted (edited)

6 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Can someone connect the connections between external and internal for Rand and Kant maybe by following a better description of them? I know external and internal are connected, but I don't seem to understand how in context with Kant.

You seem to be seeking a way to describe Rand and Kant in opposing terms and then transcend or synthesize those issues, or seeking to use dialectic method in order to find solutions to problems like Hegel did.

But I don't think Kant and Rand are opposites or in a 100% opposing relationship. Their methods of doing philosophy are quite different. Internal and external are issues to Kant and replies Hume's inquiries towards them. For Rand, Hume's problems are non-issues or simple to answer - the important questions are rather concept formation and developing knowledge. Kant is in the analytic tradition (which has its value to be sure), Rand isn't. Rand vs. Plato is more directly comparable.

There is no filter to Rand, period. That's the difference. Internal and external are simply different parts of the same process, where internal is either consciousness, or automatic and/or non-conscious. It's not separated or apart from external reality.

6 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

remember how Rand called Kantians the grammarians in "Fairness Doctrine for Education" [FDE], 1972?

Quote please - I don't know what grammarian means here.

6 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Descartes was overly concerned with reason and mechanistic determinism

That's what I mean, this is more like Chomsky. I don't see how Kant is more similar to Chomsky.

6 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Chomsky uses 'creativity' like Kant's synthetic acts

Where? I've seen the debate, I don't think he meant that in a Kantian way.

6 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

(the feeling type, like Nietzsche)

Nah, Nietzsche was more about sense of life and actualization. :P Post-modernism is its own thing.

Edited by Eiuol

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Yes, Eioul, I am trying to do something similar to Hegel here, using dialectics. And I agree that Rand and Kant are not in a 100% straightforward conflict. Instead, their conflict is more like 47% internal and 53% external (greater external on Rand's side). That's what makes this conflict so interesting and a challenge to resolve! I have long abandoned any hope of integrating the two, but I think that an idea of transcending, which is very different from integration, seems fruitful. By 'transcending' their conflict, I do not mean putting their comparable pieces together (I don't think that's possible in order to make a wholesome philosophy from that). Transcending Kant and Rand necessitates opposing both even without putting them together.

So this is also a different kind of dialectic than Hegel's because I do not try to connect pieces through opposition. I am trying to oppose the pieces to the point of launching as far away from them as possible. The end result, I think, should be somewhere between Objectivism and Kantianism. I abandoned my neo-Objectivism when I realized that Objectivism cannot be integrated with Marxism. But there may be a key insight found through my failure. Marxism also tries to find its own way, and they are right between Kantianism and Objectivism! Following the same mathematical comparison I used above (from the levels of my Model), Marxists are 60% internal to Objectivism. In other words, Marxists transcend Kantianism by 13% (or his conflict with idealists like Rand, also comparable to Plato, as Eioul correctly stated).

I also want to transcend Kantianism by 13% like Marxists do, but in a way that is more congruent with Objectivism. In other words, while Marxists were directed more toward Kantianism (and yet, through Russia's historical conditions, became more congruent with Platonism), I want to (explicitly) be more congruent with idealism (like Objectivism) because I am directed toward it. The beauty here is that Objectivism provides exactly the kind of foundation that I seek (Peikoff's DIM). Yet, my transcending Objectivism would have to seem like Kant's transcending idealism, as I also believe in a priori categories, yet my categories are broader than Kant's by 20% (external conflict; Kant's categories as 86% of Kant's reason are only reflected within 66% of my philosophical position) because my categories are not of reason but transcend reason. My categories are of worldviews. My categories are people as they are in themselves. The very nature of a person, which constitutes his or her identity and thus causes him or her to live and view the world in a particular way, is the person's category. And because people's natures (categories) are set and unchanging, they are a priori. I really hope you'd help me with this transcendence, which I call transmaterialism.

15 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Internal and external are issues to Kant and replies Hume's inquiries towards them. For Rand, Hume's problems are non-issues or simple to answer - the important questions are rather concept formation and developing knowledge. Kant is in the analytic tradition (which has its value to be sure), Rand isn't. Rand vs. Plato is more directly comparable.

Yes, this is very interesting. Bill Harris wrote to me on Facebook yesterday, repeating his same old belief, that Objectivism 'isn't a philosophy, it cannot in any way be compared to Kant.' So Kantians like Harris (a true academician) think that this is not a philosophical forum and that most people on it aren't philosophers. The conflict also develops along the same lines you mentioned. It is incommensurable because questions of interest to Kantians are non-questions or not interesting to Randians and vice versa.

Hume is certainly closer to Kant, so Kant found a way for his ethics to work within Humean philosophy: their conflict would be mostly internal, as in 87.5% internal and 12.5% external. (These calculations ignore shared directions above positions.) However, internal conflict only occurs from similarity of views and not their difference. It's a psychological conflict, like when you see something of yourself in another and you hate them for it. People who are not so psychologically insecure (and I think Rand totally showed herself as such in debates with Kantians) wouldn't feed the conflict so much, but simply accept it as a ground of convergence. No need to bash each other's skulls if we converge - simply learn that we have our own spaces, and there is enough space for everyone. In On Pedagogy, Kant mentions a story related to this mindset, and I've just found the original. It is the story of Uncle Toby and the fly in The life and opinions of Tristram Shandy, gentleman by Laurence Sterne. Here is the excerpt from it:

Quote

—Go—says he, one day at dinner, to an over-grown one which had buzz'd about his nose, and tormented him cruel∣ly all dinner-time,—and which, after in∣finite attempts, he had caught at last, as it flew by him;—I'll not hurt thee, says my uncle Toby, rising from his chair, and going a-cross the room, with the fly in his hand,—I'll not hurt a hair of thy head:—Go, says he, lifting up the sash, and opening his hand as he spoke, to let it escape;—go poor devil, get thee gone, why should I hurt thee?—This world surely is wide enough to hold both thee and me. (p. 79)

So in the same way Kantians and Objectivists can coexist in the world that is 'wide enough to hold both,' DIS and MIS. It is also a world that can hold INT.

Returning to your quote, it is a surprise to me that Kant was in analytic tradition because he surely wrote like a continentalist! Maybe because he analyzed so specifically he would be an analyticist, but then Rand did too, didn't she!? (As well as Wittgenstein [some Objectivists' darling] whom I consider a Kantian.) To think Rand in continental tradition seems very wrong to me, very wrong. Perhaps such is the state of the world after Kant, when people are so, so very confused about philosophy. Besides, I reject analytical vs. continental distinction in traditions of philosophy, since they mix philosophers who have nothing to do with each other! I reject it as bullshit, the same bullshit as calling Kant's philosophy an idealism. There is nothing idealismic about it! Kant is a DIS, if you only listen to Peikoff.

I think my problem is that I also share much with Kant. My internal conflict with him is much more complex, however, because my deficient 40% under Kant's categorical 86% is non-convergence that is contradictory and not at the same time (and yet my internal conflict with Kantianism is 7% lower than one it has with Objectivism). It is making me unstable. Kant's philosophy is stronger where mine is weaker, and yet mine is more fundamental (even more specific). I cannot understand this while I am explaining it to you, hoping that someone can explain myself to me, as we cannot explain us to ourselves, just as Kantians like Harris cannot look at themselves in context or Rand couldn't analyze her metaphysics (which she had since she was 3 years old). I have the same problem as everyone. I cannot look at my nature, however much I try, but I think analyzing my own lens is important in order to transcend the factoring philosophies.

16 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I don't think he meant that in a Kantian way.

Metaphilosophically (if I am using the term right, but nobody has contradicted me yet, so I continue using it), it's not important in what way someone means something. It's important in what way someone thinks in context to someone else. And especially with an abundance of conflicts between those who call themselves followers of any one philosophy we need to differentiate even more than a few traditions for contextual analyses. Ideas change and evolve historically, but people don't change. It's people's nature not to change essentially but to remain who they are, regardless of space or time in which they exist.

I haven't found another framework that theoretically explains how people in different countries and historical periods create essentially the same philosophies. With the help of my hypothesis, I've found many such individuals. Here are just a few to give some perspective: Democritus and Kant, Emerson and Hegel, Jean Jaurès and Hegel, Mach and Avenarius, Michael Kosok and Karen Barad. These individuals, some less known than others, developed, what they thought, their own original philosophies, but actually, we find, they were following traditions that continued throughout history. Speculatively, maybe these categories is nature's mechanism to prevent human philosophical diversity and endeavors from succumbing into oblivion.

16 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Nietzsche was more about sense of life and actualization.

So, it wasn't about feelings for him? Did you know that your evaluations of philosophies reflect your own category? I would say, Eiuol, that you are a mat8 (Nietzschean), but you may prove me wrong.

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12 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

but I think that an idea of transcending, which is very different from integration, seems fruitful.

Doesn't this simply mean that you are questioning their premises? If you reject a premise, or use different premises, or find new premises, you will end up somewhere different than either one. Your percentages are rather arbitrary, quantifying how a philosophy differs from another can't be done by adding up related concepts. You seem to be using Rand's theory of as a reason or basis to justify quantification. I think you get concept formation wrong and fail to see it as a creative process, making concept formation additive instead. The problem is, additive mixing doesn't get you anywhere new. Take this:

" C (TC) = C (S + P + C) "

This is missing something; a theory of concepts (or any concept) is more than the sum of its constituent concepts. The act of integration on C(S + P + C) is adding those together and -doing- something. Analogously, you don't bake a cake by mixing the ingredients in a bowl. You also need heat in order to chemically alter those ingredients, or get molecules to bond differently with different ways of mixing. A chocolate chip cookie and a chocolate chip scone have nearly identical ingredients. "Integrating" the ingredients includes other processes and methods of baking. So even if they are 10% different as far as initial ingredients, they are quite different (and arguably, they transcend the starting point). Back to concepts: You use something that wasn't there, then get a new concept. Essentially, then, you aren't looking to transcend, you are looking to create new ideas. Transcend is an okay word, as long as you remember that you can't get something new just by attempting new mixtures.

TC(C) = I(CS + CP + CC) makes more sense to me. Then the attempt at quantification doesn't work anymore.

12 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

No need to bash each other's skulls if we converge - simply learn that we have our own spaces, and there is enough space for everyone.

Converging is fine, but if it's for the wrong reasons or wrong premises, no, there isn't enough room. That doesn't mean I won't talk to a Kantian, I just won't be tolerationist and say "Let's agree to disagree. :)" I'd find out what may be true or of value, or useless.

12 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

it's not important in what way someone means something. It's important in what way someone thinks in context to someone else.

I'm saying the meaning of the words he chose did not suggest a Kantian idea. Where in the video are you referring to? The time - it's a long video.

12 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Besides, I reject analytical vs. continental distinction in traditions of philosophy, since they mix philosophers who have nothing to do with each other

Sorry, I wasn't using analytical as people often mean. I should've explained.

By analytic, I mean philosophers that are typically European, mainly about ironing out the nitty-gritty, big on formalization, dry writing style, and largely work in a linear manner. Also, mostly from Kant until Russel. Frege would be a good example, too. My classification here isn't based on a genealogy - from where and/or when ideas arose. I am only looking at style and fundamental premises. I don't use continental as a category. Emerson and Nietzsche would go together for example in my thinking. Rand wouldn't be far from these two, but she'd get her own category as some sort of neo-Aristotelianism and aestheticism. Hegel had a direct and positive impact on Marx, so Marx goes close to Hegel, but his materialism was pretty new, and not much like any other ideas in the entire world before. That lets Marx get a category of his own, albeit close to Hegel.

With that explanation, a web of philosophers can be quantified by "nearness" to other philosophers with many comparisons in between. This is far better than the quantification you attempted, which is additive and can only make direct comparisons. As a librarian by profession, I'm a fan of classifications, so it matters to me that you classify as well as possible. Your Kant to Rand comparison is too narrow to be so fruitful. A wider net helps to show what makes Rand unique.

Example of a comparison, albeit focused on influence instead:

http://dailynous.com/2017/01/11/visualization-influence-history-philosophy/

https://kumu.io/GOliveira/philosophers-web#map-b9Ts7W5r

12 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I would say, Eiuol, that you are a mat8 (Nietzschean), but you may prove me wrong.

What's mat8? I mean, I like Nietzsche almost as much as Rand (I like Rand more), but I doubt it's for any reason you suspect. :P

Edited by Eiuol

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7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

The act of integration on C(S + P + C) is adding those together and -doing- something.

Yes, so this would be analogous to a cake recipe or Kantian categories. The idea of applying them is implied in the formula when you use it. When you don't use it but merely read it (as many who had only read the Model without understanding how the elements connect) - then it would be merely an act of reading and NOT application. Also, in contrast to Rand and Peikoff, an act of integration in my philosophy differs quite a bit from their acts of 'integration'. An integration is properly done only by integrators, and, as I've found through my research, they constitute about 1% of human population, so quite a rare breed indeed. Thus, in order to successfully grasp the Model starting from the bottom and directed to the top: one needs to be an integrator.

Theory of nested concepts merely describes the Model quasi-mathematically. I do not claim math in any way to substitute for the Model (or for reality, for that matter). I completely disagree with those scientists (to whose worldview you seem to reduce my entire philosophy) who take mathematics as primary or as primary means of understanding reality. Mathematics in my philosophy, if you actually grasp it, is obviously secondary, secondary to every of its branches. Mathematics is an act of description, not an act of application. A theory, not practice. Rand equates theory and practice, while Kant strictly delineates them, and so do I, although not as strictly. Practice for me would be an application of theory, exactly the 'act of integration' whereof you speak. So I guess I am not using Rand's epistemology as a method here but as a theory, arguing here that her 'theory' should be taken for what it is.

As concerns the 'arbitrariness' of my theory -- that's an oxymoron. By calling my theory arbitrary, you are rejecting it. Now, you may very well reject it without rejecting Rand's theory of concepts. However, this is because you do not accept my Model, hence you will never accept any description thereof. Yet, I do not call my Theory of nested concepts a theory for no reason. It is NOT a hypothesis. Every level of the Model is supported by the strictest scientific evidence anyone can ever find. If there is a level, there is that knowledge available in the human base of knowledge. Now, the Diagram, which is based on the Model, is hypothetical because of the results it derives, and yet in three years I haven't found a single contradiction in it. Everyone categorized remains where they have been first put by me; I have never yet changed anybody's category due to contradictory evidence because I simply haven't found any, and I already have 384 individuals in the Diagram's list. Hence calculating differences between levels in worldviews as shown on the Diagram is combining science with philosophy and applying them on people. I haven't used the %'s before, but you've seemingly inspired me to do so here, and I like the kind of quantified analogies they provide.

7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

"Integrating" the ingredients includes other processes and methods of baking. So even if they are 10% different as far as initial ingredients, they are quite different

Absolutely, they are different. In fact, some of them are contradictory. The reason I am allowed to use percentile differences is that I thoroughly and better than anyone understand the very differences of all philosophical worldviews as shown on my Diagram. Someone else who doesn't understand how levels or positions are structured might make a mistake, so I am not recommending using or extending my analogies. I've simply used them first to try to understand myself these philosophical differences better. If you were offended by my analogies, then keep in mind that math is only used to describe, never to replace the referents. I am not a materialist or an idealist who does that.

7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Transcend is an okay word, as long as you remember that you can't get something new just by attempting new mixtures.

I don't want to 'mix' Kant and Rand because it is impossible. If I ever do, then please correct me. I am not getting new ideas strictly from them but by reflecting upon them through my own lens. Transcendence is opposition, like pushing away from a wall, except there are two walls, so you are pushing against both at the same time, thus staying between them. My purpose is to get so far and exactly between them that I get to find out who I am and my own ideas in relation to theirs. I can then use these major figures' insights to evaluate and understand my own ideas in how these ideas compare/contrast (i.e., also my internal conflicts) and how they may, albeit differently, reflect the ideas of both Kant and Rand. The main ideas I am struggling with are all with meta- in them. I was hoping you know something, anything, about them in order to understand how these ideas relate to either Rand or Kant.

7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

TC(C) = I(CS + CP + CC)

That's interesting, but I can't understand it as you seem to do. C stands for 'concept of', so how can you have a concept of theory of concepts being an integration of concepts of sensation, perception, and conception? That would equate the act of integration (your 'I') to a concept (of concepts...)! The (+) sign was describing integration as in 2 data of sensation (senses) = 1 datum of perception (percepts), with 2 percepts = 1 concept. The mathematics applied to epistemology is evidently not strictly scientific math, yet the description makes sense, as you indeed get all three (S + P + C) integrated in theory of concepts.

The issue then becomes, as I've found earlier in discussions with you and dream_weaver (where are you buddy? please come over!) on Rand's epistemology, on what boundary is set on the integration of those three in the theory. Rand sets a strict, unchanging limit because she favors conception. But, as I've shown with my modification to her theory described quasi-mathematically on my blog post, if you set a variable limit, you can get all three in equal proportions. That's the true meaning of my Theory of nested concepts, which not only describes the Model but also provides peculiar insights about metaepistemology (the area of philosophy that studies, not favors, all kinds of 'integrations', whether they are MIS as in Rand, DIS through senses as in Kant, or INT like me going from senses through percepts to concepts as they are, not as they are thought by Rand or Kant). Thus, you could think of my Theory of nested concepts as transcending Rand's theory of concepts, although before I thought of it as an integration of her theory (maybe I still do?).

So, to reiterate, 'I' in your formula is unnecessary, since (+) implies integration (or disintegration, or misintegration, depending on how a worldview combines those elements). By putting 'I' in the formula not only do you keep the 'concepts of' skewing the formula to Rand's direction, but also unjustifiably mixing Peikoff's metaphilosophy into Rand's epistemology, which I delineate, as I delineate science (the Model) as the base of metaphilosophy (the Diagram).

It also seems from this discussion that I've found an explanation for why Rand didn't understand a possible way her theory may be viewed as metaepistemological. The only way I know is the way shown in my theory, as in cancelling 'concepts of' and setting a variable limit, so all three epistemological elements gain a meta- status, as they are taken regardless of what any philosopher thinks of them or how he or she views them.

7 hours ago, Eiuol said:

"Let's agree to disagree. :)"

I believe we should continue searching for available means of persuasion even when we know that we cannot pass the barrier of incommensurability in order to affect our opponent's views. This is so for two reasons: first, rhetoric is the best alternative to violence, which proceeds from isolation and non-communication (as we've seen with Hitler and Stalin), and second, we can thus continue honing our rhetorical skills to later more efficiently persuade those who at least partially share our views. Thus, I do not abandon my debates with Bill Harris, even though three years have shown no progress. In any case, I do not want to kill the old man; I pity him (maybe because we continue our 'useless' debates?).

Concerning the video: I wasn't referring to anything specific, other than Chomsky repeatedly saying 'creativity' to attempt to counter Foucault's attacks. I was providing it for context and hoping you'd see their debate reflecting debates between materialists throughout history, like Democritus and Epicurus, Kant and Nietzsche. Those are the parallels that I see. You need to use 'synthetic' and not 'analytical' thinking, that is, use what I'd call contextual thinking, to try to grasp the intricate conflict perpetuated by the two philosophical traditions. I am also guessing that you would go with the latter: Epicurus, Nietzsche, and Foucault, than the former. Besides, if I may derive an insight from understanding such debates, it seems that, even though I still show it sometimes, analytical thinking isn't the way to comprehend metaphilosophy like that of DIM or my own. It requires thinking that grasps ideas regardless of space or time (contradicting Kant here, as his spacetime is a form of 'synthetic' intuition) but centered in the very characters of philosophers, like key or essential elements of their mental structure, or better, the very structures themselves (comparable to Kant's a priori reasons).

8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Emerson and Nietzsche would go together for example in my thinking. Rand wouldn't be far from these two, but she'd get her own category as some sort of neo-Aristotelianism and aestheticism. Hegel had a direct and positive impact on Marx, so Marx goes close to Hegel, but his materialism was pretty new, and not much like any other ideas in the entire world before. That lets Marx get a category of his own, albeit close to Hegel.

I see you have your own metaphilosophical categorizations. Would you provide your formalizations of them, or at least name them, if you have given them formal names? I disagree with you on putting Emerson with Nietzsche only based on how Nietzsche was influenced by him. If you do that, then you would also need to put Dostoevsky with Nietzsche, and as we all know the two philosophies are so different that we cannot justify putting them in the same tradition. I agree that Rand is certainly not far from Emerson, however, even though she disliked his dialectical reasoning on (in)consistencies. I've proven to a Cambridge-graduate specializing in Emerson (my professor in American literature, Dr. Einboden) that Emerson was not a Kantian but more of a Hegelian. Interestingly, especially if you've read Sciabarra's book on Rand (which I still haven't, but it seems to support this conclusion), Rand through Emerson's individualistic philosophy is right next to Hegel.

I completely agree with and even praise and promote your understanding of Marx as being set in a category all of his own, yet closer to idealists like Hegel. Marx is certainly closer to them than, say, Nietzsche, who, along with Stirner and Feuerbach, had some influence on Marx as well. In any case, kudos to you for even your short Marxist analysis! I know you wrote that you were a Marxist before you became an Objectivist. The one piece of (meta)philosophy that I borrow from the Marxist tradition is their distinction of idealism and materialism. These terms I set under Peikoff's DIM, thus materialism became DIS and idealism - MIS. INT is must more complex, as it is realism/mysticism. I define realism in opposition to materialism and mysticism in opposition to idealism, so INT becomes a way to transcend (not integrate, but oppose!) materialism with idealism, or, as we find in our discussion on this thread, also Kantianism with Randianism. (Side note: While Peikoff has 5 categories, I have 15, 5 in each of his main three. Hence Kant and Rand would be special, rare categories under DIS and MIS, respectively, which are categories more broadly conceived in my hypothesis).

8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

With that explanation, a web of philosophers can be quantified by "nearness" to other philosophers with many comparisons in between.

This is exactly my point. The quantification is a form of analogy, a description, which you have become so focused on that it is pulling you away from what I am actually trying to tell you. Just ignore the %'s, as they were hypothetical anyway - and I used them basically only for myself as an experiment whether any new insights could be pulled (I think that my internal conflict with Kant being smaller than between Kant and Rand was an interesting part that reflects my current stance in this discussion). It's a pity, though, that you don't see any merit in my quantified analogies, or we could've figured them out together.

8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Example of a comparison, albeit focused on influence instead: ...

That's an interesting case of a complex system analysis. However, the basis of relationships being mere influences is misleading. For example, just the fact of me being influenced by Michael Kosok, Ayn Rand, and Leonard Peikoff is not logically followed by a claim that my philosophy is in the traditions of any of these philosophers (I do not follow any of them to an essential t, although I am certainly closer to Kosok, as we are both INT). Hence the system analysis of influences is useless to me, as it only maps discussions between traditions and not the traditions themselves. I have found a visual way showing how 'close' someone to someone else is (whether philosopher, artist, poet, scientist, scholar, movie director, or religious leader, among others) in my Diagram. You seem to have focused on my quantifications without realizing what those quantifications were describing: they are describing a visualization of all philosophies. Please refer to the link (which I also submitted in OP) before criticizing my level analyses. splitmary is also in the process of studying the Diagram, so I am hoping she would provide some of her own understanding that she has attained of the Diagram so far on this thread to help you all out.

8 hours ago, Eiuol said:

What's mat8? I mean, I like Nietzsche almost as much as Rand (I like Rand more), but I doubt it's for any reason you suspect. :P

First, I must say I love your showing-tongue smilies - they are very cute and add a nice, exciting touch to our dry and wordy discussion. Then, please refer to the Diagram. mat8 is an abbreviation I use for a specific DIS category known as vulgar, Nietzschean materialism of level 8 (Body). I would appreciate if you share what you like about Rand as this is very interesting to me. Two other categorized mat8 individuals who were influenced by Rand are Penn Jillette (b. 1955) and Stefan Molyneux (b. 1966). See how you compare to them, for in the Diagram you would be following in their footsteps and thus would be maximally close to them, albeit they are both libertarians.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

...you could think of my Theory of nested concepts as transcending Rand's theory of concepts, although before I thought of it as an integration of her theory (maybe I still do?).

The problem seems to be that I had indeed integrated Rand's theory of concepts (we can discuss/argue this point further), and yet I am trying to transcend her philosophy in contrast/conflict with Kant. So my conflict seems to be between integration of Rand's epistemology and transcendence of her philosophy. But if what I had discovered metaepistemology based on Rand's epistemology, then by the help of this discovery the conflict between Rand and Kant could be transcended if we take into account that metaepistemology is directly related (as the [structural and theoretical] basis) to my metaphilosophy inspired by Peikoff.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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7 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Mathematics is an act of description, not an act of application.

I'm saying that you aren't accurately describing anything. The attempt at measurement isn't working. Theory is not the same as practice, no, but it seems to come ex nihilio in this case. It's not unlike Taoism and Pythagoreans where the theory is a lot of symbolism and numerology. There's no particular justification for their emphasis on numbers, despite the way you can describe just about everything with Taoism. The presented organization is messy and doesn't follow a principle as much as an assortment of connections. Perhaps it just needs to be shown clearer or explained better. On the other hand, your descriptions are starting to look like Jungian personality theory which lacks any good underlying observation in reality. At best it's metaphor - but a really messy one. 

7 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

on what boundary is set on the integration of those three in the theory. Rand sets a strict, unchanging limit because she favors conception.

Explain, please.

7 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

C stands for 'concept of', so how can you have a concept of theory of concepts being an integration of concepts of sensation, perception, and conception?

Why is that a problem? I'm treating I as a function which outputs a concept. I(x) = C. I have not specified what integration does except that its input is a concept. Other integration functions take percepts as inputs but do not involve cognition. I claim that integration is not just placing concepts side-by-side and letting them bond. To get something new or a theory that is a higher level of abstraction requires more elements. If all elements are the same, then you're only making relations without generating a new conclusion. Like reorganizing furniture in your room instead of adding new furniture styles or wall paint.

8 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I disagree with you on putting Emerson with Nietzsche only based on how Nietzsche was influenced by him. If you do that, then you would also need to put Dostoevsky with Nietzsche, and as we all know the two philosophies are so different that we cannot justify putting them in the same tradition.

I see Nietzsche as closer to American Transcendentalism than anything both in writing style and thinking about life in terms of great purpose. Yet Nietzsche had a greater philosophical mind than Emerson and sought so much in art and religion/spirituality. Dostoevsky would be near him, but more dark and nihilistic. From this, my metaphilosophy - as a classification system - starts to appear as a 3-dimensional group. I would use Aestheticism-Naturalism, Pluralism-Monism, and Realism-Idealism.

Your groupings seem to go really haywire at mat8. Sure, Hesse and Nietzsche go together. As does Poe and Nabokov. But how do they fit together? How does Molyneux and Penn Jilette get there? Molyneux is a whackjob moron! Penn Jilette is a run-of-the-mill libertarian (but I like the show Bullshit). When you get past some original categories you probably started with like Rand and Kant, it doesn't seem to distinguish well the people who like to create new systems or dismantle systems. Rand made a system, but she also dismantled others - this is more a matter of if a philosopher or thinker is creative or not. Joyce doesn't fit with J. K. Rowling!

Indeed, Nietzsche mostly dismantled. It was in effort to become a "New" philosopher or to help bring about the "Future" philosopher. He certainly wasn't a materalist - he cared about "becoming what one is" and had a deep concern about how people think and where ideas come from. Psychological thought mattered and wasn't just an ideal.

(Jefferson as integrating? The guy advocated for rights of all people, and owned slaves anyway! He preferred a more chaotic government. He was a mess philosophically.)

9 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I would appreciate if you share what you like about Rand as this is very interesting to me.

She fixes the problems of Nietzsche and identified better where heroism comes from.

Rand in general is just great about art and reason. She grasps what -creativity- is.

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Posted (edited)

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I'm saying that you aren't accurately describing anything. The attempt at measurement isn't working. Theory is not the same as practice, no, but it seems to come ex nihilio in this case. It's not unlike Taoism and Pythagoreans where the theory is a lot of symbolism and numerology. There's no particular justification for their emphasis on numbers, despite the way you can describe just about everything with Taoism. The presented organization is messy and doesn't follow a principle as much as an assortment of connections. Perhaps it just needs to be shown clearer or explained better. On the other hand, your descriptions are starting to look like Jungian personality theory which lacks any good underlying observation in reality. At best it's metaphor - but a really messy one.

Yes, ex nihilo indeed, as everything starts with nothing, and so it does with INT philosophies like Laozi's Tao and Jung's, which have nothing to do with idealist analytics, although their philosophies also don't extend as far or as explicitly as mine does here. In its entirety this criticism is a materialist one, which is directed toward nothingness in rejection of everything (your reduction of the Model to not being accurate or 'describing anything'). Your criticism first tries to make it seem like my philosophy is an idealism, with numbers being its primary analytical position, but this is obviously not the case, even though a materialist could only think this way in order to disintegrate what I have achieved. The easiest way to disintegrate is to idealize and then simply reduce. The same thing is done by Kantians like Harris, who first set me up as a 'randoid' idealist, and then reduce in a similar fashion.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Explain, please [concerning Rand's favoring conception].

You won't understand, as you can't even understand idealists without reducing them to your point of view, but all right. The simplest explanation is how we see Rand's theory starting with sensation and ending in conception, and conception taking the primary role in her philosophy and an actual starting position. It's always about conception, conception this, conception that. You see the same in Peikoff, e.g. in his Objective communication: Writing, speaking, arguing. Now, I get it. We see the same in Kant, even though he reduces everything to a conception bounded by brain, so really a sensation with conception being a reduction of idealist conceptions to a set of categories. With idealists like Rand and Peikoff, conception takes a universal scope, especially with metaphysics, when Rand says that existence is certainly close to universe in IOE (meaning existence is more like metacosmos). Rand or Peikoff do not reduce things to a conception, but instead direct this unitary conception that's sitting on their pedestal (preformed since 3 y.o., in Rand's case) toward perception and sensation without quite reaching them, as Objectivism-as-science simply doesn't cut it for the sole reason of its overconceptualization (should I mention Peikoff's abstract-as-hell model in Understanding Objectivism?): in other words too much conception and not enough of anything else (we see this lack of external experience and sources in Rand's writing, except for the one time she mentioned how crows count up to ... 5 was it?). Because of this Objectivist methodology starting with such metaphysics, we must cancel the conception from each of the epistemological elements before we get the actual thing, whether an actual sense datum, percept, or conception as it is in anyone's mind and not only in Rand et al.'s.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I'm treating I as a function which outputs a concept. I(x) = C.

So you then have a function within the definition of the theory. And all it does is show that the sum must be integrated? Isn't sum already implying integration? I mean, sums call for computations in computing. There is no other purpose for a sum other than to perform it as addition. Now you can make the formula as complicated as you want with as many nested functions as you need, but in my view simplicity is best. The simpler the resulting formula, the more optimized it is, the easier it is to grasp and perform when you do actually calculate it ('integrate,' in this case). I am not trying to program people with my formula, but with your method - it seems to require people to even solve for the unknown in equations. What for, if the existence of the quantified epistemological theory was only justified for the sole act of describing the Model, thus epistemologizing it, or mapping all the epistemic elements onto each element of the Model? There is nothing else to it, and I don't know why you are making such a fuss from only a descriptive theory as if it was a prescriptive one. Just as Rand used her theory to describe how we acquire knowledge, I used the quantified theory to describe how knowledge is acquired through the Model. Really simple, even though it might look intimidating at first.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I claim that integration is not just placing concepts side-by-side and letting them bond.

Yeah, as I said earlier your problem is with the Model. In the Model, integration happens naturally too, but you are forcing it in another direction. If you place atoms side-by-side, based on their field environment, some of them will bond sooner or later. It happens regardless of your descriptions of it. Why force it by a required integration in your formula? It's like you are trying to make a Kantian law out of it. There is no duty or automation in integration, contrary to many views; there is only nature in it because it is a natural process. And if you cannot do it based on your a priori structure of consciousness, you can never do it, and all your attempts merely reveal who you are (i.e., not an INT). An integrator would always integrate whatever data is given to him or her. It's like a law of nature in their case. As I also said earlier, there are quite a few of such people in the world. I haven't found a single one yet on this forum, nor on any other forum. So the point is not to idealize integration. The point is to understand who you are in the scheme of things and accept yourself. If you are not born an integrator, it's all right. 99 out of 100 are not born as integrators, so at least you are in the majority and should be happy with that. I never asked nature to be born an integrator, but here I am and not a single one of you probably understands most of what I write here. And I have to be all right with that too, otherwise I'd go insane from being so unique and lonely in the world.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

To get something new or a theory that is a higher level of abstraction requires more elements. If all elements are the same, then you're only making relations without generating a new conclusion.

True, yet you are ignoring that (S+P+C) in each one of the 34 elements of the Model is unique. So, based on the theory of nested concepts, you get 102 epistemic elements. And that's only the extremes! On each level the continua are virtually infinite, as you can get any real number concentration between the pairs. Hence the actual amount of all epistemic elements of the Model is basically infinite. I wrote before that the Model describes everything. I wasn't lying, you know? And I am not lying when I claim that the everything that the Model describes starts from nothing (the base of the Model). If you follow the Model, you can only have everything if you start from nothing. Otherwise, you would be always reducing everything to a lower number of elements and thus not growing them but driving toward nothing the further you go. Growth starts at nothing. It's a law, it's theory, and you can never go around this without rejecting everything I've built. The funny thing is that every one of you does reject most of what I've built, but that's the law of nature too. Your nature. Not mine or the Model's. The truth cannot be shared even when you are facing it through someone else's words.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I see Nietzsche as closer to American Transcendentalism than anything both in writing style and thinking about life in terms of great purpose.

That's fine, but Nietzsche's attitude toward Christianity and Plato was nothing like Emerson's, and this is a more significant fact in comparison, since it is directly relating him to other philosophical traditions.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Yet Nietzsche had a greater philosophical mind than Emerson and sought so much in art and religion/spirituality.

Have you read Emerson's Nature? Yeah, and I've read Nietzsche's Anti-Christ. Now, to you Nietzsche's mind must be greater, since it approximates yours to a greater extend, whereas you must also reduce Emerson's idealism, so it cannot be as great as it is because of your own a priori restrictions. While everyone is a priori limited (as metaphilosophy shows), you are always limited in a particular way. Hence, in your case, you can only truly understand Nietzsche (or any mat8).

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Dostoevsky would be near him, but more dark and nihilistic.

Dostoevsky nihilistic? That's a new one. So Dostoevsky was a materialist (since only mat8 can be nihilists)? Every idealist I've found (138 so far) was an optimist, and you can never get optimism into nihilism - it's impossible, as far as I know.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I would use Aestheticism-Naturalism, Pluralism-Monism, and Realism-Idealism.

Interesting. To me a famous aestheticist in your tradition was Oscar Wilde (1854). A naturalist and monist - Ernst Haeckel (1834). Pluralist - Gilles Deleuze (1925). I haven't found a pure realist yet. And every idealism comes with a realistic direction.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Sure, Hesse and Nietzsche go together.

Wait, did you just say Herman Hesse, the romantic German author? Hesse and Nietzsche contradict each other because Hesse was a realist and a mystic, whereas Nietzsche was as materialist as they come on the bodily level of existence. To equate an int8 (going toward A) with a mat8 (non-A) is to disintegrate an int8 following 'A is non-A' logic. Yes, you are an obvious DIS now. There is no escaping, you've just attempted a disintegration of a great int8 in the tradition of an int7 Novalis. It's a good thing I can point to others your disintegrative mindset. Otherwise you might actually convince someone that a man who loved existence so much could be viewed alongside the man of eternal return! You have no idea of what a contradiction is because your reasoning is that very contradiction! The problem is that you take direction for a position, as most do who don't know that this distinction exists.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Molyneux is a whackjob moron!

Explain how. I see a family feud.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

When you get past some original categories you probably started with like Rand and Kant, it doesn't seem to distinguish well the people who like to create new systems or dismantle systems.

Probably because these people create the same old systems that they didn't know existed and dismantle everything in the same old way they didn't know was already attempted. The beauty of the Diagram is in finding unique and rare points of view. As for the majority - it's all in a heap as it is in real life. I like to pick gems, not plow through mediocrity, but plowing through mediocrity is the only way to find gems, so I get with it.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Joyce doesn't fit with J. K. Rowling!

The Diagram doesn't differentiate subjective from objective philosophies because most people are objective and subjective to some extent. Joyce could be seen more as a subjective guy, whereas Rowling an objective gal (although you may not believe so with her Harry Potter). But as you can see, even this subjective/objective distinction fails when I try to use it on people. However, one sure fact that both share is their vulgarity, hence mat8 status. Have your read Rowling's most honest work to date, The Casual Vacancy? You should. It's a masterpiece as far as materialist art goes. Virtually all of her characters are mat8, a sure sign of the author's philosophy.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

[Nietzsche] certainly wasn't a materalst [sic]- he cared about "becoming what one is"

And what one is, through such a materialist lens, is a body as an environment, thus a metaphysical, contextualized body, a will in Nietzsche's and Schopenhauer's philosophies. I've seen in the movies today a great example of exactly this kind of materialist metaphysical subject in the film Life (2017). A realist would be surprised and opposed to what a creature of 'Life' could do in that film, but to a materialist - it's all good and imaginary, like another mat8 would say, David Hume. All of these individuals' traditions, however, start with crying misanthropism of Heraclitus (a hard version of mat8, followed by Judas Iscariot) and the peace-loving and metaphysical pleasure-seeking Gautama Buddha and Epicurus (the soft ones). Now, Nietzsche, along with Freud, would be the harder ones like Heraclitus, whereas Hume and Schopenhauer would be the softer ones. In any case, all of their internal distinctions are useless, as they are all based on the same level of the Model (level 8 - body), and by contextualizing body they are looking at the only end they can conceive - the metaphysical reality that is Nonexistence but also called by such individuals Nirvana or simply a meaningless end, the sacred nothing, cyclic decentralized run-of-the-mill 'existence', and whatever else you'd like to call it.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Jefferson as integrating? The guy advocated for rights of all people, and owned slaves anyway! He preferred a more chaotic government. He was a mess philosophically.

Yes, that's another case of your attempt at a Nietzschean disintegration of a most cherished pioneering integrator of the past, the very man who created the first capitalist nation with the first properly integrated economic relationships among people, the first of his kind, who changed our reality by integrating it a level up, from the level of Kantian brain and Aristotelian consciousness. Additionally, to go against Jefferson (by projecting your own mat8 non-A chaos onto him or by accepting what other materialists say about him) is not only to go against integration, but to go against Rand herself, against idealists, which is exactly how your Nietzschean path makes you operate in a discussion like this and what it requires you to follow and to where - away from classical liberalism and toward anarchy, obviously. Or toward a Kantian disintegrating EU, if you become of such a low mind.

2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

[Rand] fixes the problems of Nietzsche and identified better where heroism comes from.

Rand in general is just great about art and reason. She grasps what -creativity- is.

This is confusion. Rand idealized Nietzsche by looking way over him (7 levels above, to be exact). When she finally realized who she was (a special idealist who promotes integrators like Aristotle and Jefferson), she abandoned Nietzsche. In my earlier comment's FDE quote you requested, you can see that she realized that Nietzsche was way down with Kant and looking in the same direction. Even while her position was so much above them, she later felt that when someone compared her to Kant or Nietzsche it was very bad indeed - a reduction/disintegration generally done by all materialists. For creativity you might find more comparable to your type among postmodernists, but then, if you are of such an 'objective' mind as you seem to have been inspired, your case reflects that of materialists who find a complementary relationship with idealists (still reducing them though). That would only support the shared direction of materialists and idealists, and in a way it's good they so connect. Idealists in general inspire a lot of people: that's their only function and purpose given to them by nature. Yet their inspiration seems to make you conflict with your own kind, which is bad.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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1 hour ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Your criticism first tries to make it seem like my philosophy is an idealism, with numbers being its primary analytical position, but this is obviously not the case, even though a materialist could only think this way in order to disintegrate what I have achieved.

No, I'm saying that the whole system is as all over the place and awkwardly integrated such that you end up with lines, boxes, and squares that don't follow any principles except a hodge-podge of intuitions. Whether it is idealistic or not is irrelevant, the point is you have a lot of metaphors but no integration or systematizing. It's like randomly placing books on a shelf and developing a classification system without moving a book. Clearly you are aware of many connections between thinkers, so I'm encouraging you to narrow down and find better categories before insisting so hard you got your categories right.

You keep focusing on how I must be a materialist and confused about Nietzsche by using your "Method" without first looking to see that you really are able to classify me. The sheer size of mat8 suggests to me you don't know how to classify the people in there. You have a gist, as you got right what I have affinities for, but are mixing up people who deny that identity is a thing with people who emphasize identity or explanation. I get why Buddha seems to go with Epicurus, but this misses a huge chasm, with Buddha seeking -loss- of identity. 

13 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

on what boundary is set

Boundary of -what-?

1 hour ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Dostoevsky nihilistic?

Bad word choice; pessimistic is better.

2 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Yes, you are an obvious DIS now. There is no escaping, you've just attempted a disintegration of a great int8 in the tradition of an int7 Novalis.

Can't you entertain the idea that your "Method" is wrong, or that when I say mat8 is a mess it really is a mess? I thought you put Hesse with Nietzsche, but I misread. I still insist that Hesse is like Nietzsche in some major respects as far as aesthetic drive and pursuit of spiritual meaning (but Hesse is more mystical and quite Buddhist). More than that, I think you profoundly miss how eternal return is a thought experiment in order to contemplate reality -as it is-, appreciating it, loving it. It's an idea that makes him not a hardline materialist.

2 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

And what one is, through such a materialist lens, is a body as an environment, thus a metaphysical, contextualized body, a will in Nietzsche's and Schopenhauer's philosophies

I said the word "becoming" for a reason, that there is a spiritual aspect and desire to create.

2 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

the very man who created the first capitalist nation with the first properly integrated economic relationships among people, the first of his kind, who changed our reality by integrating it a level up

Psh, Jefferson didn't. I'd give credit to the Federalists. Jefferson complained about the Constitution and sought a pretty weak government as foundation. He's been lionized beyond what he deserves. Thank Hamilton and those who wrote the Federalist Papers to push back against Jeffersonians.

2 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

When she finally realized who she was (a special idealist who promotes integrators like Aristotle and Jefferson), she abandoned Nietzsche.

Rand did not understand Nietzsche. At all. I made a thread about it.

2 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

If you are not born an integrator, it's all right. 99 out of 100 are not born as integrators, so at least you are in the majority and should be happy with that.

I just haven't told you my huge bias to integrate things into organized systems and to relate numerous ideas. :) On forums I prefer to "tear down" other ideas and point out what isn't working. I leave it up to you to build it up again better than before. That doesn't mean my conceptual landscape is filled with debris.

2 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

In my earlier comment's FDE quote you requested

Where?

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Posted (edited)

The Model is based on Object--Context relationships varied by scale. This is all presented in the description and also can be scooped by perceptive thinkers from the Model itself. You seem to fail to understand both the quantifying description and the Model as it is. I haven't found another way to present or describe the Model, so I cannot help you there. But your remarks that the Model is merely 'random' or 'arbitrary' or 'poorly organized' are all sliding off the wall. You simply cannot understand it, and it's not my problem but the limitation of your mind. The Model is not there to expand your mind, and neither can anything else expand it. People do not change. It's a fact I leaned from the application of the Model in the Diagram. While the Model presents all of scientific knowledge, the Diagram presents all of philosophical, dealing with people only, and it shows vertically (as it ignores the horizontal distinctions of the Model) that all people are limited and should accept this fact. Therefore let's stop arguing over the merits of the Model and concentrate on the limitation of your understanding of it.

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

[you] are mixing up people who deny that identity is a thing with people who emphasize identity or explanation. I get why Buddha seems to go with Epicurus, but this misses a huge chasm, with Buddha seeking -loss- of identity.

Epicurus had lost his identity in the infinite worlds (like Kant’s “manifold of sensation” [ein Mannigfaltiges der Sinnlichkeit]) to which he gives such significance as to compare to the same loss over 2500 years later in Foucault. You see, Eiuol, there are different ways to conceive of the loss of identity: it can be through Nirvana, through decentralization, through infinity over single individuals, and these are all in the same direction, but their primarily means of losing identity is through their position: whenever you take a material object as its own context, identity is not only put onto a metaphysical pedestal (which cuts off everything above level 10 -- all idealisms -- and limits the Model to the level of a mat) but also sends it to Nonexistence. One cannot have a contextualized object, seen as matter floating out in vacuum still alive (like in the movie Life). This contradicts realism of integrators, who take context as the starting location. It contradicts everything. Hence loss of identity we also see in postmodernists. Trying to find distinctions in order to describe my categories is fine, Eioul, but the basic idea, shared by all categorees in the most popular category in existence, comes from the very structure of their minds, not the specifications of that structure, and that's why it is so hard for me to explain this to you without touching upon the Model. It's impossible to explain if you reject it, and you must reject it coming from the limitations of the structure of your mind. I wouldn't have categorized those individuals as mat8 if I knew they would have accepted the Model as it is.

So here is another way to understand the purpose of the Diagram: it is how you read the Model. Since the Model only consists of facts and factual predictions, it does not provide the 'correct' way to read or understand it. Even I can only grasp particular parts of the Model if I ignore the helpful theory, which was inspired by Rand (remember how she compared epistemology to math in ITOE? That's because she had the a priori analytic in her mind when she did that and when she also talked about linearization of drawing in RM, like a machine would have drawn). Because you reject the theory, you would also have to reject the practice - categorizations through the Diagram. So it confuses you how I was able to grasp your category (an easy one, to be sure, as 50% of humanity shares it) because it seems to you to have no theoretical backup. Of course it doesn't, as you've rejected it - you cannot grasp it without limiting it, and by limiting it you are only revealing through practice that you are a mat8, whose understanding of the Model can only be relayed through this category as a whole.

A way to relate this to Kant is if you take the Model - theoretical reason, and the Diagram - practical. So if you didn't understand pure reason, you go on to read practical, and it seems to make sense in a way or at least impresses you in terms of connections it makes, but since you've abandoned your study of pure reason - practical seems to hang in midair. And I've written in my methodology that the first method to understand and use my categorical, practical apparatus is to learn the Model and its law. You can find my methodology here. And it's not called a 'methodology' for no reason. The first method, if grasped and accepted (through the lens of the student, of course), isn't enough. I've spent 5 years teaching my philosophy to my best friend, and while he grasped the Model, he never grasped its law and never could understand how I was able to categorize him as idealP (Platonist) or anyone else as some category. That's because he also never learned to think contextually or nonlinearly. So he opposed me in my categorization of him, and I had to cut our friendship. If a person resists not only understanding himself (which is too hard, I agree) but also keeps others from accurately understanding him in context, I cannot help but abandon all tries to do so and cannot go on having peddling conversations with him. The verdict is simple: either you contradict me on the grounds of my philosophy and accept it otherwise, or your road is the high road, as I have billions of other people to reach and see if they would go along with my framework.

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I'm encouraging you to narrow down and find better categories before insisting so hard you got your categories right

You are encouraging me to narrow down? Narrow down to what? Your level? I can't, Eiuol, I am sorry. The high limits of my own category (int9) won't let me. All I can do is dig with my deficient mat6 under you. You find my explanations and defenses of the categorizations as 'insistence.' If so I allow you not to read them. I hate pushing people in directions they simply cannot go. It's like pushing against a wall. And talking about walls, your category is a tiny bit transcendent between Rand and Kant. Yet you must go more with Kant, since you are closer to him. While I must go more with Marxist distinctions of idealist/materialist, as I am closer to them (even while still contradicting them).

Hey, do you want to know my explanation of your choice to abandon Marxism in favor of Objectivism? Marxists are centralized on government based on class; they love all kinds of centralization, even when it's done by capitalists (Marx sent a letter to Lincoln praising his efforts for unification of the US, and Lenin praised state capitalism and even used a version of it with his NEP). That's why they are mat9: their society is made metaphysical by being taken as nature (all materialists, by the way, share this understanding in their directions, but Marxists position themselves on this level). A mat8 must be more individualistic to narrow the position from social to bodily, and since Rand is this kind of an individualistic idealist, she seems more congruent with you, but in fact Marxists are more congruent with you, Eiuol, and your category abounds in so-called Marxists: Paul Lafargue (1842), Georges Sorel (1847), Leon Trotsky (1879), Mao Zedong (1893), and Herbert Marcuse (1898). But since there is also a Mikhail Bakunin (1814) in that category, it seems like Molyneux actually opposes Marxists, whereas in fact they all go along. Collectivist vs. individualist and Marxist vs. anti-Marxist distinctions, from the words of these people, thus fail. My maxim: never trust what a person says about himself, especially if the person never listened to what others said about him. For the vast majority of people, it's better for them to listen what others say about them, for otherwise they won't know for sure who they are themselves. Context, Eiuol, context is the grounding of all my judgments. Context so far and wide that you can call my very thought contextual, and I've had a conception of such thinking since I was 23 years old. I thought I should teach this thinking to the world, but now I realize that the problem is not in the teacher but in the student: not everyone can think this way, so students must be carefully selected by the teacher. Since I've had a failure with an idealP, I wonder whether the idealH/egelian Skye (splitmary on this forum) would be able to handle being my student and succeed grasping my philosophy. As I haven't found an integrator to succeed me, maybe rare idealists would thus work. Maybe not. I don't know because I don't have enough practice teaching all this. I was really hoping that I would also find a true Randian (idealR) on this forum, but that hope may never be realized.

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Boundary of -what-?

Are you referring to the boundary of the formula? Then the boundary on knowledge, of course. Rand or anyone in her tradition can never expand the boundary of knowledge because it is set solid and unchanging by Rand's idealism, reflecting that of Parmenides. Metametaphysics to the rescue! The beauty of my formula is that there is no boundary. The Model is not limited to even its 17 levels. My metaphysics (which I presume to be metametaphysics, but I haven't read enough on the topic, so I cannot be sure) allows mapping knowledge of levels beyond the 17 found without changing the overall structure. The Model and the theory that describes it are the most flexible scientific epistemologies to date. You won't find this kind anywhere because for that they need to have discovered my metaphysics! Maybe this open-endedness makes you think that the Model be sheer chaos.

I invite you to study my metaphysics, which I discovered thanks to the Model, although you already know the gist of it: I structure everything (all knowledge, as well as all other metaphysical theories) by the continuum of Nonexistence--Existence. Since Nonexistence and Existence are metaphysical boundaries of the Model, they guide unbounded epistemological expansion. In Rand's case, her epistemology is also bounded by metaphysics, but her metaphysics is not absolute like mine (her metaphysics cuts into my [meta]metaphysics, thus reducing it to level 15, although metacosmos is not metaphysical but physical, just more theoretical because it deals with dark energy). So Rand's metaphysics is a hard-set boundary because it cuts down knowledge we may gain on the universe as a whole. What Rand calls metaphysical (or any other idealist, who takes Source as its own context, i.e., Plenum) - I call physical. Because of this I am not an idealist - this is an eliminative explanation concerning my category. Idealists cannot look at their own positions even analytically, since they take their own analytics a priori and the only one (it's their only lens). Hence they also have family feuds (Protestant vs. Catholic is the first that comes to mind), and so do many individuals within their categories. Now, the fact that these merely internal conflicts exist without any external conflicts is interesting, and I don't know how to explain this through the Diagram. However, based on the Diagram, these conflicts may be judged unnecessary. The Diagram promotes internal peace.

Taking Dostoevsky as a pessimist is like taking Peikoff's DIM as pessimistic (what has already been done by Dennis Hardin on the DIM thread). Now, I presume Hardin projects his own pessimism at the core of Peikoff as you do at the core of Dostoevsky. This can be explained by the fact that materialists not only project their internal structures on others (by reducing them to match their positions, as we have seen in your 'evaluation' of Jefferson) but also they only focus on the surface, the appearances, never to penetrate to grasp the actual philosophy of an individual. Peikoff, as Dostoevsky, used the negative aspects of their philosophy in the manner of negative theologies who try to prove existence of God by means of denying things. Peikoff with Dostoevsky, as do all grumpy idealists, only complain because they think that their complaints would force others to focus on their ideals, which are, at the core, optimistic. However, such thinking of these individuals is deeply flawed and can only be opposed by exactly what they desire: whenever they complain, simply say what they want to hear. In Peikoff's case, whenever he complains about religious totalitarianism rising in America, tell him that Objectivism is stronger and better and that it shall, as it deserves, become the absolute philosophy of the age, or whatever else along this line, and you will satisfy him. To Dostoevsky you need to say that belief in God shall prevail and people will change and become more religious, and stuff to this extent, and he'd be satisfied (contrary to the evidence of the senses that these things shall never be). Because they will be satisfied by simply affirming their positive ideals shows that they are truly optimists, and their pessimism is a mere (implicit, unknown by idealists themselves) mask that they want to wear to think (and make others think) themselves deeper or smarter than they actually are (compare to Trump's outspokenness). Now, materialists reduce idealists by focusing on their masks as if they were truths. Thus it is not necessary for a materialist to penetrate deeper than the mask, so the idealists-in-themselves can be ignored (see the parallel with Kantian/Democritean and even Epicurean/Humean philosophies). The purpose of the Diagram, in contrast, is only to view people as they are in themselves, i.e. their natures, and nothing else that apparently differentiates them. Because you are seeing only apparent distinctions, you are failing to focus on the actual distinctions provided in the Diagram.

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I still insist that Hesse is like Nietzsche in some major respects as far as aesthetic drive and pursuit of spiritual meaning (but Hesse is more mystical and quite Buddhist).

Your insistence comes from the a priori structure of your mind (as you are in yourself). Yet the truth is that Hesse and Nietzsche 'drove' in opposite directions. Nietzsche's or any mat8's 'spirituality' is merely 'spirituality' of body, that is, since material body is contextualized, it is also thus spiritualized, and mat8 take matter to be actually spiritual, but only as matter. Hesse is indeed mystical, in contrast to Nietzsche and even Gautama Buddha, who never believed in soul or God, but reduced everything to body in search of metaphysical pleasure in Nirvana, thus making him a lazy bum (a characteristic of many mat8), not creative at all. As we have eliminative materialists coming fresh from the Kantian press, so we have mereological nihilists coming through Gautama.

Eiuol, your disintegration happens to take an integrator (as you would take anyone else) to be a mat8 like Gautama, ignoring that Hesse's Siddhartha is an int8 version of the historical Gautama. The int8 improved the image of Gautama through his attempted integration of him, just as Blavatsky (another int8) attempted the same, but if you study Blavatsky closely - you will find that there is a more ancient and truly mystical tradition that preceded the modern mat8 Buddhism by nearly 16 thousand years! The tradition of mystical Buddhism -- opposed by Dalai Lama's Buddhists -- is of Tonpa Shenrab Miwoche (c. 16,000 BC) , the bon-Buddhist integrator who even developed logic some 16 thousand years before Aristotle! So cut the crap, Eiuol, and listen to the facts if you can handle them. To call Jefferson a DIS you should have first read his inaugural address rather than whatever crap is disseminated by materialists who know of nothing better to do than place everyone into their materialist shoos. Whose method is wrong now? You can only dis my method, as I've learned, nothing more.

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

you profoundly miss how eternal return is a thought experiment in order to contemplate reality -as it is-, appreciating it, loving it. It's an idea that makes him not a hardline materialist.

Eternal return is seemingly idealized by you as it is by many materialists, and especially postmodernists. Postmodernists praise fragmentation and thrive in such 'reality-as-it-is' which is actually Nonexistence (yes, a truly metaphysical reality, in contrast to what idealists believe to be their own -- making it seem like they are floating in vacuum, which they don't). Nietzsche's hardline materialism is his walking on people's heads, as we see Raskolnikov do, but Nietzsche would have never found himself guilty as Raskolnikov had done, which shows that Raskolnikov was an idealist (created by the idealP) and not a mat8. I'll give you a more contemporary example of Nietzschean philosophy in Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch. Here is a quote reflecting exactly the kind of reality-as-it-is and the resistance necessitated to individualize/egotize all mat8 (postmodern or whatnot):

Quote

That Nature (meaning Death) always wins but that doesn’t mean we have to bow and grovel to it.

Now, what are we arguing about? You are praising and placing Nietzsche's ideas on the pedestal of mat8, as is properly done. I am merely showing that you are mat8 and must therefore do so by the structure of your own mind. That you cannot make me do the same as you do or see the world through your lens doesn't mean that your lens is false: it only means that my lens is different, and I would like you to respect our differences instead of your continuing dissing me to your heart's pleasure. I am showing facts about who you are and don't care about what you call eternal return or how great it is or whether everyone should find it the same wonderful thing that you do. I cut through all these apparent reasons and get to the core: eternal return is Nietzsche's direction (which includes method and end, if you look at Complete Reality Hypothesis's -- CRH from now on -- definitions of my terms).

From the very fact of your support for Nietzsche's description of Nonexistence (I don't care about descriptions so much as differentiating factors; Kant describes it as Noumenon, so what?) the Diagram allows me to conclude that you are mat8. Shall we continue this, even if you don't see any logic in my categorization? The logic is there though: it's all in CRH's descriptions as definitions and parameters of the Diagram. I mean, it's not as mathematical as theory of nested concepts, so what's the problem now? Yeah, you love what mat8's love - Nonexistence. That's great, but in my metaphysics - Nonexistence is necessarily taking the logical value of FALSE, in order for there to be Existence in the first place. Materialists love lies and falsities by claiming them to be the truth - that's the basic bandwagon of your general category. As an INT this is the only way I can see what you see, as I cannot look through your lens no matter how much I try. Whether you disagree with me also doesn't matter, since disagreement based on differences is the most natural disagreement that was structured into human minds by reality. From the conflicts alone we can derive most of the categories on the Diagram. I love conflicts, since we may learn the truth about people from them after all!

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Psh, Jefferson didn't. I'd give credit to the Federalists. Jefferson complained about the Constitution and sought a pretty weak government as foundation. He's been lionized beyond what he deserves. Thank Hamilton and those who wrote the Federalist Papers to push back against Jeffersonians.

Now, this is interesting. Hamilton is not categorized, so I can only currently compare Jefferson to Washington, who was a Platonic idealist (idealP). Hence I derived the stable int-ideal bond among the US founding fathers. I know there had to be other idealists among them, as some were inspired by Berkeley, but Jefferson was inspired only by INT, on whose basis he developed his own philosophy, as we know of it from the Declaration of Independence. The three INTs, whose busts Jefferson ordered to be installed in his home, were Francis Bacon, John Locke, and Isaac Newton. To get all INT in one's tradition must be a sure sign of him being an int, don't you think? Otherwise, what's wrong? Now, I've heard of the book Hamilton: The Revolution, in which some probably mat8 tries to dis all US founding fathers, even portraying Hamilton as one dissing sob. To me Hamilton seems to look like Washington (he wrote most of his speeches, after all), but I am going from intuition here. Either Hamilton is a mat8 or the writer of the book is, whose views you seem to accept.

The point of Jefferson's government was not to make it so strong (something that Lincoln, an int8 -- following in Jefferson's footsteps -- improved upon later). The point was to make economic relationships free, which generated the economy without restrictions that were imposed at the time in all monarchies. Now, you may argue against Aristotle along the same line -- his political citizens were basically living in communism and he described slavery, as Spinoza I think did similarly, as a natural phenomenon, which means it was bound to change as evolution allowed. Yet, the point is not whether levels in directions of these INTs were 100% accurate for our time -- they were only the best available at their time. The point is that INT are 100% accurate, and also only from their own developments within the category, about their positions. So Aristotle was more accurate about consciousness than relationships or governments, whereas Jefferson was as accurate about consciousness as Aristotle but also more accurate than him on governments and completely accurate on relationships (Jefferson's int8 position).

Building upon Aristotle and Jefferson, I -- as an int9 -- must agree with their positions (in their individual details and in whole) but not necessarily the details of their directions. Hence my position's central work -- Theory of Emotional Economy -- allows building an integrative culture to support the capitalist social order we've found to work miracles through free relationships and minarchist central government. Hence, as Jefferson, I oppose stronger government, and think that we need a smaller (minimum) government that is still respected by all citizens as the social (and also cultural, in my economic theory) center. The government in my theory is a bank operated along the lines of corporations with a board of trustees, but who can be elected by the citizens. My government structure cuts away the legislative branch and thus transplants the economic branch for the executive while retaining the court system, which would be applied to the new economy. You, of course, must disagree with the mystical (i.e., emotional/heart) elements which grow as direction from my theory, but that's only because it's so far over your head and opposite to your direction that you can do nothing about it. The only DIS who have any strength against my economic theory are Marxists, and you are not one of them, as we've learned, so that's that, as they say.

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Rand did not understand Nietzsche. At all. I made a thread about it.

She couldn't, and she didn't have to. Nor can or do I or anyone else who is not a mat8 like you. Only a mat8 can understand another mat8 as accurately as possible. This discussion has exhausted itself, I think. I am not interested in your mat8 or Nietzsche. This thread is about Rand and Kant. I've only allowed this discussion to go as far because you are the only active one here and I wanted to show to other readers how I apply my metaphilosophical categorical apparatus directly and in real time on an actual member of the audience. You've been helpful in allowing me to take you as an example to further studies of those interested in the Diagram, so thanks for that.

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I just haven't told you my huge bias to integrate things into organized systems and to relate numerous ideas.

Yeah, and so does a mat8 Ken Wilber (1949). That doesn't make him even a little an integrator. Your disintegrating tendencies are more apparent, though. And they are not only apparent tendencies - they are necessitated by your very structure through which you operate in many ways, among those - live, learn, understand, perceive, and also conceive.

FDE quote, which we've discussed in private messages a few years ago:

On 24.03.2017 at 1:34 PM, Ilya Startsev said:

Most of today's philosophy departments are dominated by Linguistic Analysis (the product of crossbreeding between philosophy and grammar), with some remnants of its immediate progenitors, Pragmatism and Logical Positivism, still clinging to its bandwagon. The more "broadminded" departments include an opposition - the other side of the same Kantian coin, Existentialism. (One side claims that philosophy is grammar, the other that philosophy is feelings.)

 

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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Posted (edited)

One interesting and important finding that I derived from my categorical research is that we need to differentiate not just people but their mental structures from their own categorical specifications of these structures. The Diagram shows that there are a priori structures into which we are all born, and yet you can see that each individual within these structures is unique and differentiated from others. This comes from the fact that each individual creates their own categories (ideas) that they develop on their own and due to influences or inspirations from others. However, we need to notice that these internal distinctions of categories are not, in fact, categorical and therefore not a priori as Kant argued. I am writing this in order to show that the distinction of structure versus category (a form of content) is more important because it is a priori in regard to distinctions of categories within each individual’s philosophical worldview.

I think we need to start with consciousness. If consciousness is the structure that allows specifications of categories then we need to know whether consciousness itself could be considered a category and thus the first question should be whether categories can structure other categories. But in order to relate this study to philosophy, we may find this definition or analogy helpful: philosophy studies ideas, but metaphilosophy studies minds that study ideas.

So the conflict is between minds as ideas (categories) and ideas (categories). It seems like categories, if we allow a categorical structure given a priori to consciousness, exist on two levels, one of which is meta- and hence structures the lower level. But the question then is whether (meta)categories can structure other categories.

Based on the metaphilosophical research of the Diagram, I must understand consciousness not as an a priori category but as an a priori metacategory. This distinction may work, if we borrow the term 'metacategory,' which is only used in math, and apply it in philosophy.

If we now look at Kant's a priori and differentiate categories as content from reason as structure, we may think that there is content in the structure, but not in terms of phenomena, which cannot be a priori according to Kant, but content can also be of or belonging to the structure itself as the specifications of the structure, i.e. the categories for which, as we read in the foreword to Crit#2, Kant very carefully selected the terms. Kantian categories are exactly that kind of content, which means that Kant argues for two kinds of a priori: a priori structure (reason) and a priori elements of structure, or content (categories).

My argument against Kant is that elements of structure cannot be specified a priori because any act of specification would itself have to precede the results of it. In order for Kant to specify the elements he had to have a lot of experience (physical as well as mental, abstracting from the physical) before he 'discovered' these elements. However, one cannot discover something by specifying it, unless one is doing math, which itself, as a whole, is an invention, but that is a topic that reaches beyond the merits of Kant's synthetic vs. analytic distinctions.

Kant had four basic categories differentiating into twelve transcendental groups of categories:

  1. Quantity:
    1. Totality,
    2. Plurality,
    3. Unity.
  2. Quality:
    1. Reality,
    2. Negation,
    3. Limitation.
  3. Relation:
    1. Inherence and Subsistence,
    2. Causality and Dependence,
    3. Community.
  4. Modality:
    1. Possibility,
    2. Actuality,
    3. Necessity.

These were based on judgmental differentiations of the basic four categories, into which I won't go further. Kant never called these basic categories anything besides 'categories.' But if Kantian problematic reaches beyond Kant in terms of his synthetic vs. analytic conflict, so then we need a new kind of category to not only transcend the conflicts first developed by Kant but also set Kant in context with other philosophies.

If we assume, following the definition of philosophy given above, that philosophy is a metacategory, which subsumes ideas as categories, then metaphilosophy is a study of metacategories. That could be compared to our philosophy being the lens of our consciousness, from which we cannot escape. But it seems here that I equate philosophy with consciousness as a metacategorical lens, while metacategory itself seems to be a lens.

What I mean is that every time you organize or conceive of other categories, it is your own metacategory, your idiosyncratic way of philosophizing, so a 'lens' metaphor is merely descriptively applied to consciousness as metacategory. But if consciousness (through the lens metaphor) is also our individual philosophy, then there may be no confusing equivocation. (The lens metaphor is borrowed from Kenneth Burke's rhetoric.)

I don't think a person can talk about his/her consciousness without being philosophical about it in the first place, and we've already seen evidence of the kind of conflict of personal philosophies on this thread. So if we can understand our consciousness while living alone on an island, that means that our philosophy was a priori and it was a metacategory. It's interesting to note that metacategory must precede categories also because there are non-philosophers who follow philosophical traditions without realizing their specific categories of thought.

Based on formalizations of my own philosophy, I derive the following 8 metacategories, divided by what they structure:

  1. The Model's metametaphysical categories:
    1. Existence,
    2. Nonexistence.
  2. The Model's metaepistemological categories:
    1. Sensation,
    2. Perception,
    3. Conception.
  3. The Diagram's metaphilosophical categories:
    1. Position,
    2. Direction,
    3. Scope.

I'd appreciate your thoughts, comments, and concerns. ;)

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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13 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I'd appreciate your thoughts, comments, and concerns. ;)

According to a word document I put together just based on your comments in this thread, (including non-OOmember/referenced quotes) you've logged about 15,000 words, (14,964, to be precise by my count.)

Per the searchable CD-Rom, I know Rand (and Peikoff) has made many comments regarding Kant, and what she regarded as specific deficiencies, as well a psychological estimates of some of his tactics, the most relevant in the context of what I can make heads and tails of here coming from

The Ayn Rand Letter
Vol. III, No. 10  February 11, 1974
Philosophical Detection--Part II

Philosophical rationalizations are not always easy to detect. Some of them are so complex that an innocent man may be taken in and paralyzed by intellectual confusion. At their first encounter with modern philosophy, many people make the mistake of dropping it and running, with the thought: "I know it's false, but I can't prove it. I know something's wrong there, but I can't waste my time and effort trying to untangle it."

She goes on to point out:

Here is the danger of such a policy: you might forget all about Kant's "categories" and his "noumenal" world, but some day, under the pressure of facing some painfully difficult choice, when you feel tempted to evade the responsibility or to make a dishonest decision, when you need all of your inner strength, confidence and courage, you will find yourself thinking: "How do I know what's true? Nobody knows it. Nobody can be certain of anything." This is all Kant wanted of you.

A thinker like Kant does not want you to agree with him: all he wants is that you give him the benefit of the doubt. He knows that your own subconscious does the rest. What he dreads is your conscious mind: once you understand the meaning of his theories, they lose their power to threaten you, like a Halloween mask in bright sunlight.

Without going into the concretes here, I thought of this thread when reading the recently posted Reblogged:A Gush Gallop, especially with regard to the section on the Gish Gallop.

Who is your target audience here? The newbie to Ayn Rand's ideas, who comes here to find out more about her ideas? The more seasoned Ayn Rand reader, who has spent time studying her works in general, and perhaps has an area or two of more specialized interest? Or perhaps you're looking for an expert on Objectivism that can unravel what you are spring-boarding from your initial successful defense, in academia, of your Master's thesis on Objectivist rhetoric in America?

Or, more sinisterly, are you trying to thwart the newbie to Ayn Rand's ideas, or buffalo the more seasoned reader? With regard to the expert or more seasoned reader, I suspect you're mostly harmless. The seasoned reader is more likely to know what you are saying has issues, albeit they may not be able to pinpoint it precisely (I'll admit, I fall somewhat into this category.) It is the newbie that will look at what you have to say and be struck with "WTF", or perhaps "Maybe there is something here."

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Posted (edited)

Greg, I missed you! I am glad you finally showed yourself to me in the open. :) It's fantastic how many words I've written! It must be even more fantastic how many words I've written in my 599 (this is my 600th!) posts, some of which are veeery long, on this wonderful forum that you've improved with some new features (like the useful 'quote words') since last I have been here a few years back. Lots of the content from the posts went into my blog, which could be made into a book!

I can totally relate to Ayn Rand's words you quoted. Just like her, I also want to stress that Kant is simplicity clothed in complex, sometimes seemingly impenetrable, words, and at the same time, as she also did, I hated Kant quite strongly. Yet the major difference between Rand and I is that she hated Kant with her brain, and I with my heart, since it is the heart that Kant opposes, whereas the brain is his area, while Rand's brain is secondary to her metacosmic Existence.

Oh, the Gish gallop is hilarious! I somewhat would compare Chomsky's monotonous style to this gallop. Then there is this idea that there are errors in such speeches - well, surely, when we speak we make errors because we must think quicker than in writing. But please don't compare my writing to his speeches! In writing, we can analyze what an opponent has written, and we have plenty of time to do that as long as we have patience and interest, and answer to his/her points. Now, the problem that I think you find with my posts is that you simply cannot understand them, and that's fine. I agree that this kind of content is hard to understand, as even some academicians don't! That's why I am here, Greg, to answer on your questions and simplify my thought as much as possible without reducing its essence.

So, to simplify my previous post, I would say that the 8 metacategories apply to all consciousness, but specific consciousness must specify simple categories (such as a materialist who reduces, idealist who idealizes, and integrator who integrates), thus exiting the 'realm' of meta-. (Please don't confuse the meta- with noumenon, though; I simply showed that meta- and specifics are like two separate realms because of how different they are in terms of breadth and specifics.)

The audience for my posts (as well as blog) is anyone who can reflect upon my ideas and understand in them what they can. Of course, I'd also prefer someone who understands Kant at least to some extent and who has read his works.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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Here is a way to make fun of Kant:

Questions to all Kantians: Are Kantian categories applicable to philosophy in general? And if they are, what is a concrete example of such an application? If no such case can be made for Kant, then Rand was right in calling him a witch-doctor.

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