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1 hour ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi

I will study him, but if he is the same guy who taught breathing practices for the brain, and not the heart (like in HeartMath Institute), then he is not a mystic but an idealist. The difference is between being centered in the heart and in the brain.

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8 hours ago, Ilya Startsev said:

I understand a concept, like dog, refers to an existent and hence itself can be considered an existent (as a correctly integrated thought).

No, a concept is an existent because it is a discrete mental something.

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Putting our differences of understanding epistemology aside, Eiuol, a concept is a thought, which obviously exists in our brains. However, Existence is not a thought. If it were, it would have existed in our brains.

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1 hour ago, StrictlyLogical said:

"Existence" as you conceive of it, IS a thought, which evidently only exists in your brain.

How can a thought not be a thought? You contradict yourself by contradicting me, SL. By the way, Rand called existence an implicit concept.

edit: your comment is a psychological projection, as you obviously unable to conceive of existence as it is, you must reduce it to a mere thought. You aren't an idealist, SL.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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A very relevant quote I've come across while reading John Amos Comenius (translated by me from Russian, not original):

Quote

He will not rise to the greater, who is not strong in the lesser.

It may be useful for pedagogical purposes, especially for mat8 like Eiuol and StrinctlyLogical.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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22 minutes ago, Ilya Startsev said:

How can a thought not a be a thought? You contradict yourself by contradicting me, SL. By the way, Rand called existence an implicit concept.

Rand said that the concept of existence is implicit in all concepts. When a concept is implicit, it is unformed (my phrasing) - Rand expands on it in the appendix. But then the concept 'existence' is as explicit as any other formed concept.

" Axiomatic concepts identify explicitly what is merely implicit in the consciousness of an infant or of an animal. (Implicit knowledge is passively held material which, to be grasped, requires a special focus and process of consciousness—a process which an infant learns to perform eventually, but which an animal’s consciousness is unable to perform.) "

That's in the lexicon, not any of the "deep cuts" in Rand's writing.

The concept 'existence' only exists in your head, while the referents are all and every existent. As such, existence itself isn't all in your head - so SL is saying that you see existence itself as "all and only in your head". The issue seems to also be that you don't notice that the "concept of X" isn't the same as "X" according to Rand. "X" doesn't even need to be metaphysically real (e.g. Easter Bunny, the ghost of Elvis, the astral plane, contradictions). In this case, there's the axiomatic concept 'existence', then there's existence itself. 

Kyary is onto something that I also noticed, Ilya. You seem to be going towards the way some Hindus and Buhddists think of existence. See Nagarjuana: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nagarjuna

 

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1 minute ago, Eiuol said:

Rand said that the concept of existence is implicit in all concepts. When a concept is implicit, it is unformed (my phrasing) - Rand expands on it in the appendix. But then the concept 'existence' is as explicit as any other formed concept.

No. Read what you wrote. Existence as the concept is implicit in all concepts. How can you think of all concepts? A thought of all concepts is not explicit or particular in any way. It's like taking all the concepts in your brain, or even your brain, and everything beyond your brain that you made a concept of and... guess what happens next.

Concerning her thought in the lexicon quote, it's not very accurate. She made blunders when she rationalized her philosophy on children (we saw this explained by Binswanger in Perception). Rather, Rand only guessed how implicit concepts work, as she defined the thing in the first place. Her definition of this sort, by the way, is very similar to what Kant called an analytic a priori, like bachelor being a single man. This means it's inaccurate. The reason it's inaccurate, I think, is that Rand didn't have an ontology. Without an ontology a thought cannot be as sharp or as accurate as it can be. Ontology is the lesser you must grasp before rising to the greater.

If the concept of existence only existed in one's head, then this would not be different from Kantian epistemology. But existence is not an epistemological concept. The point of all this is that Rand wasn't perfect. Her flaws are exactly those I've repeatedly pointed to on these pages.

8 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

so SL is saying that you see existence itself as "all and only in your head"

No, it's you with SL who are reducing all metaphysics to being in your head, in a Nietzschean manner. Metametaphysics that I present here is seemingly beyond the grasp of materialists. But why? That's the pity because you surely know what nonexistence is, as that's your primary goal. It's in the Direction of your very consciousness.

11 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

the "concept of X" isn't the same as "X" according to Rand. "X" doesn't even need to be metaphysically real (e.g. Easter Bunny, the ghost of Elvis, the astral plane, contradictions)

If X isn't metaphysical, then concept of X may or may not be metaphysical, if my logic is right. The metaphysical 'concept', if you like to call it that, will not be the same as any other concept because it is a concept of all concepts. It's a metaconcept, an implicit, not an explicit one.

15 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

In this case, there's the axiomatic concept 'existence', then there's existence itself.

This is too easy to take as dogma and mix with epistemology in the brain, which is what Rand had done in her division of existence and nonexistence. To me, if Existence is a metaconcept, then Nonexistence is also a metaconcept, since they are related.

17 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

Nagarjuana

Bah, I will need to study him as well. Thanks for the tip to you, and also to KyaryPamyu. However, I am not a Buddhist, nor am I interested in their way of thinking, especially if it's in Gautama's tradition. I hate Zen Buddhism too. Also, reading this part:

Quote

the central concept of the emptiness (shunyata) of all existents (dharmas)

Perhaps this is a reduction to Nonexistence in the style of Gautama. Unless, if Nagarjuana is not mat8, he means that Nonexistence is in all existents. Then that would be right, since Nonexistence and Existence form a continuum, out of which all ontology and its relationships differentiate.

On the other hand, I know Buddhists do not believe in dualism and hence mix everything in the single nihilistic concept. I do not mix things like that. I am an integrator because I strictly delineate concepts, metaconcepts, ideas, categories, metacategories, you name it, before I can put them together in a single whole.

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44 minutes ago, Ilya Startsev said:

Existence as the concept is implicit in all concepts. How can you think of all concepts?

Anytime one has a concept, existence is implicit. Implicit is any pre-conceptual sense of all the content that makes up what the explicit concept would be. One doesn't "think of all concepts" at once at all here, no idea how you got that idea.

 

 

Edited by Eiuol

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Because you called existence a concept, therefore a thought. But you are right, it's pre-conceptual in a way, and not explicit but implicit. Basically what I wrote to you.

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On 23.03.2017 at 7:06 PM, Ilya Startsev said:

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.

This is 4b from OP. I am starting to rethink it. The two problems with it that I see are my use of terms altruism and will as applied to Kantianism. The altruism part is false, so Rand was wrong about it in Kant. Aristotle was more altruistic than Kant both in his politics and ethics. In Aristotle, society was the direction for all political and ethical individuals, so congruence with others was important. In Kant, on the other hand, the idea of will is a reduced version of Rousseau's, but it is not the same as Rousseau's general or social will. Instead, in Kant it is a selfish kind of will that projects itself on all egos, thus equalizing egos as per Kant's understanding of the nature of man. Perhaps Rousseau had done more to inspire Nazism than Kant. Kant, however, is closer associated with the politics and ethics of European Union. In Rousseau society must force others (even violently) to make them free. In Kant, society is a mental construct - it doesn't really exist other than in an a priori category of Community. In Kant, only independently existing and similarly egoistical individuals exist as ends in themselves, and they only follow their practical and theoretical categorical laws, none from outside themselves. So, the new 4b should be this:

Quote

Kantianism follows the ethics of rational yet subjective egoism as if it were universal law. Thus, subjects in this philosophy are not only central but the only ones, as physical objects in themselves are non-existent.

 

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Thereby, we can delineate three kinds of egoism:

  1. Randian egoism: rational and objective
  2. Nietzschean egoism: irrational and subjective
  3. Kantian egoism: rational and subjective

It is important to note that while the first two egoisms differentiate collectivism vs. individualism and are individualistic, Kantian egoism doesn't make this distinction. Thus, in contrast to Rand and Nietzsche, Kantianists don't consider collectivist vs. individualist distinction meaningful, and anything that opposes these two sides is not considered a philosophical question, but rather a triviality for not true philosophers. The reason for this is that 'collectivism' has no meaning for Kantians because society just as a collective is a mental construct that has nothing to do with the nature of an individual.

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The scientists-on-Mars illustration is also incorrect because it reduces the categories to experience when they are also conditions for scientific knowledge, which is based on experience.

Building on the discussions of this thread, I would like to give three arguments to clarify further my points:

  1. Randians and Kantians are unable to understand each other's positions while their levels span the following:
    1. Transcendent reality: noumenon
    2. Phenomena, sense data
    3. Transcendental ideas of Kant
    4. Transcendental reality of Rand
  2. Positions of their philosophies complement each other in the following way:
    1. Noumenon is missing in Rand
    2. Phenomenon is included in both
    3. Concepts condition phenomena (internalism)
    4. Transcendental reality is missing in Kant (externalism)
  3. The combination of their positions becomes a condition for a new philosophy like this:
    1. Nonexistence, from which matter differentiates
    2. Material particles
    3. Internal concepts
    4. External Existence as a metaconcept, which pre-conceptually conditions internal concepts

An important provision of studying these arguments is to remain neutral toward both philosophies.

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On 4/20/2017 at 2:11 PM, Ilya Startsev said:

...we can delineate three kinds of egoism:

  1. Randian egoism: rational and objective
  2. Nietzschean egoism: irrational and subjective
  3. Kantian egoism: rational and subjective

I'd like to add to that a peculiar corresponding list of altruisms:

  1. Marxist altruism: rational and objective
  2. Hitlerist altruism: irrational and subjective
  3. Stalinist/religious altruism: rational and subjective

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I guess my stance would be to connect reason to both objectivity and subjectivity. My previous project to connect Randism to Marxism failed because egoism and altruism cannot be connected. But this new project to connect Randism to Kantianism could succeed because, if you follow my own delineation of these philosophies (which I think is more fair than the chart by the Objectivist Standard because I don't mix altruism and egoism anymore, such as you can see in their third, yellow column, especially row 4 in contrast to the rest and the mixture in row 7), the only thing left to connect is reason to subjectivity from an objective standpoint. The idea that Objectivists seem to ignore is that indeed there is subjectivity hiding beneath the objectivity, but the overwhelming focus on the word "objective" leads to thinking that being subjective can also be objective, and this is actually the Kantian stance.

Edited by Ilya Startsev
grammar

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So what we need to connect is the two lines going back and forth: 1) subjectivity beneath objectivity, and 2) subjectivity that can be objective. The first is the effect of our concepts, including implicit ones, such as (meta)categories, upon our percepts in our minds. And the second is how we view our concepts in relation to what we perceive. Concerning the first, here is a passage from David Kelley:

Quote

In one study, for example, children turned a crank and were rewarded with candy. Some of the children received the candy directly while others (the experimental group) received a poker chip they could trade for candy. After sufficient exposure to this little economy, the children were asked to make size estimates of a poker chip by adjusting a variable standard until it looked the same size as the chip. Children in the experimental group set the standard larger than did children in the control group. The authors concluded that although “the actual mechanism which produced overestimation following reinforcement is . . . entirely obscure,” the experiment provided some evidence that the value placed on an object can affect its perceived size. (EoS, Ch. 7,  "The Autonomy of Perception")

Concerning the second I don't think there is a problem in either Randism or Kantianism. Both accept the evidence of the senses as important.

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Kant on rational egoists:

Quote

Most men are among those who have their best-loved selves fixed before their eyes as the only point of reference for their exertions, and who seek to turn everything around self-interest as around the great axis. Nothing can be more advantageous than this, for these are the most diligent, orderly, and prudent; they give support and solidity to the whole, while without intending to do so they serve the common good, provide the necessary requirements, and supply the foundation over which finer souls can spread beauty and harmony. ("Observations on the Feeling of the Beautiful and Sublime", Sec. 2, original italics)

 

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On 3/23/2017 at 7:06 PM, 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.

That's 5b from the OP. This is not accepted by most academicians. Rand's genius was in seeing that Kant is congruent with quantum physics, whereas most academicians think he isn't because they connect Kant to Newton. In contrast to them, Rand connects Newton to Aristotle, hence the opposing connections. Additionally (edit): academicians think that Newton contradicts Aristotle because Aristotle's physics was non-experimental and logical, whereas Newton's physics was experimental (empirical) and mathematical.

It is academically accepted that euclidean and non-euclidean geometries contradict each other. Yet I am still confused as to why so many philosophers, like M. Schlick, H. Reichenbach, and T. Oizerman, believed that Kant's a priori space was contradicted by Einstein's spacetime continuum, which itself was similarly ideal and empirical. Kant only explicitly mentioned that a line is the shortest distance between two points and that space has three dimensions, both are factual statements in euclidean as well as non-euclidean geometries.

As for politics, I think Kant is represented by the likes of John Stuart Mill, on whose political philosophy EU and, in particular, the Scandinavian model are based and whose examples are set as the goal for America by liberals. Egalitarianism by John Rawls is also Kantian in nature, hence the kind of tolerance presented by Social Justice Warriors is also in order.

Edited by Ilya Startsev

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I can't do anything here but agree with Rand concerning the connection between Newton and Aristotle. Yet I explain the connection differently. Both of them, although used different rules of description, accepted reality as an ontological given. Yes, Aristotle viewed reality teleologically to describe its mechanics. Interestingly, so did Newton, as he also mystically described reality in his Alchemical Papers. We can also independently verify the connection by evaluating these two factors:

  1. Kant's antifoundationalism, particularly as found in his The False Subtlety of the Four Syllogistic Figures (1762) and Attempt to Introduce the Concept of Negative Magnitudes into Philosophy (1763), meaning he intentionally contradicted Aristotle.
  2. Kant's congruence with quantum physics as seen in the ways of thinking of the leading quantum physicists: Niels Bohr, Richard Feynman, and Alan Guth. The idea is to reduce the universe to sensations being material particles, represented and structured in mathematical language. These particles do not follow laws of ontological logic.

If 1 and 2 are true, then Kant contradicts Aristotle and Newton. And since we also know that Aristotle and Newton are contradicted by quantum physics, we can realign the connections, contra the academically accepted, in sync with Rand.

Edited by Ilya Startsev
'by' changed to 'in'

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On 11/7/2017 at 11:31 AM, Ilya Startsev said:

Kant only explicitly mentioned that a line is the shortest distance between two points and that space has three dimensions, both are factual statements in euclidean as well as non-euclidean geometries.

Kant contradicts non-euclidean geometry:

Quote

That in space there are no more than three dimensions, that between two points there is but one strainght line, that in a plane surface from a given point with a given right line a circle is describable, are not conclusions from some universal notion of space, but only discernible in space as in the concrete. ("Dissertation on the Form and Principles of the Sensible and Intelligible World", § 15)

 

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