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8 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

Yes, I would say that universals exist even if they are not instantiated.

Then all (uninstantiated) universals/connections are here with us, have been with us, all the time, eternally.

Going deeper, we have identified "instantiated universal" vs. "uninstantiated universals".
Look at the idea of an "eternally uninstantiated universal".
There is no way for consciousness to know that it exists, yet if they are metaphysically real, they do exist independent of consciousness.
One question is how can one know that they exist yet not ever be conscious of them?

Maybe it is by using reason. But to create awareness via reason, would you not have to instantiate the abstraction, or observe the instance to know/derive it?

Can a mind know of a relationship where it sees no "things" that are related?
Afterall, there is no way to "know" a connection where no two things are connected.

If concepts/universals exist eternally/metaphysically, to know, consciousness has to use reason to "rebuild"/re-engineer from instances and then insert the "idea" into the mind.

Therefore, a consciousness can't ever know about an "uninstantiated universal" when there are never any instances of it.

We already agree that a consciousness is not capable of absorbing a universal ready made without the use of reason (as theorized in Intricism).

If we have all these (uninstantiated) universals/connections lying around, what wakes them up, what instantiates them?
What instantiates "Adam" from "Manness"?

What is the cause of the instantiation of a commonality? a property, a universal?
We agreed that a universal has no causal power, so it will not instantiate itself.
It is is not itself, and there is NO God and NO supernatural force that will instantiate a universal, what is left is that consciousness instantiates them.
And if only consciousness can instantiate them, then they have to be mental entities, because consciousness only instantiates mental entities.
In that way, "Manness" is derived from "Adam, Jim, Joe, etc" instead of "Adam, Jim, Joe, etc" being instantiated from "Manness".

 

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3 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Then all (uninstantiated) universals/connections are here with us, have been with us, all the time, eternally.

Going deeper, we have identified "instantiated universal" vs. "uninstantiated universals".
Look at the idea of an "eternally uninstantiated universal".
There is no way for consciousness to know that it exists, yet if they are metaphysically real, they do exist independent of consciousness.
One question is how can one know that they exist yet not ever be conscious of them?

Maybe it is by using reason. But to create awareness via reason, would you not have to instantiate the abstraction, or observe the instance to know/derive it?

Can a mind know of a relationship where it sees no "things" that are related?
Afterall, there is no way to "know" a connection where no two things are connected.

If concepts/universals exist eternally/metaphysically, to know, consciousness has to use reason to "rebuild"/re-engineer from instances and then insert the "idea" into the mind.

Therefore, a consciousness can't ever know about an "uninstantiated universal" when there are never any instances of it.

 

...

It isn't true that a universal which is never instantiated is unknowable. Some universals can be grasped without ever witnessing their particulars.  Knowledge of their existence can be inferred from knowledge of other universals. For example, I have never seen (and will probably never see) a collection of 10^10^10^10^10 things. Nonetheless, I know that the universal corresponding to that number must exist because its existence can be inferred from the laws of arithmetic.

Quote

What is the cause of the instantiation of a commonality? a property, a universal?
We agreed that a universal has no causal power, so it will not instantiate itself.
It is is not itself, and there is NO God and NO supernatural force that will instantiate a universal, what is left is that consciousness instantiates them.
And if only consciousness can instantiate them, then they have to be mental entities, because consciousness only instantiates mental entities.

When a universal becomes instantiated, it itself does not change in any way. It is the particular(s) embodying the universal that change(s). What causes particulars to change are causal forces exerted by other particulars. Hence, it would be far more sensible to say that particulars cause other particulars to instantiate universals.

 

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15 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

It isn't true that a universal which is never instantiated is unknowable. Some universals can be grasped without ever witnessing their particulars.


Agreed, there are fictitious concepts, imaginary concepts, ones that don't correspond to reality.

Your statement could also be interpreted another way, as a universal that could be instantiated but has not been until now which is different than what I am talking about.

I am bringing up an eternally uninstantiable universal/concept, basically, one that cannot be instantiated.
(I am talking about something that I think does not exist i.e. there is no such thing).
A contradiction can't be instantiated. Yet the concept exists.
You will say that contradiction (similar to "nothing") is not a universal and yet I would argue that we identify contradictions all the time.
A contradiction exists only in fact as a concept/universal, there is no metaphysical version of it.
But if contradictions are metaphysical, then they have to exist.

I am going along because you argue universals/concepts do exist metaphysically, independent of consciousness.
In that paradigm, since uninstantiated universals exist independently of consciousness, they exist even if consciousness has never observed their instance.

So numbers could have existed without "things" to be counted. Such a universe does not exist and for me is unimaginable.
I am also arguing that the abstraction (number) would not exist if the act of counting has never been done (ever).

(I will respond to the rest of the post)

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On 1/23/2018 at 4:02 PM, SpookyKitty said:

Thus, reality is not a mere assortment of particulars. It is a structure consisting of particulars "connected" to each other by universals

 

Sometimes I wonder if you see the necessity that universals have to exist metaphysically, independent of consciousness, otherwise, when everyone is asleep, the universe might not go by rules and would fall apart.
These laws have to be real for the universe to work.
But these universals you talk about have to have "connective power", they have to have some causal powers.
If universals don't, in fact, have causal powers (we agreed they don't) then they can't keep the structure together.
If that is what you are concerned about then Objectivism fills that void with the law of causality also called uniformity of nature. (not universals/concepts).

That may fit what you are talking about more than "universal" or concepts because universal is primarily about categories and categorization.
The structure that keeps the universe intact, that in a sense prevents an apple from barking, a table from dancing, a tree from rolling is the fact that an entity acts based on its nature. It is limited by that law so not just anything can happen.

So those set of rules, that structure, does exist and is metaphysical/"out there" independent of consciousness.

 

Edited by Easy Truth

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Spoiler

Agreed, there are fictitious concepts, imaginary concepts, ones that don't correspond to reality.

Your statement could also be interpreted another way, as a universal that could be instantiated but has not been until now which is different than what I am talking about.

I am bringing up an eternally uninstantiable universal/concept, basically, one that cannot be instantiated.
(I am talking about something that I think does not exist i.e. there is no such thing).
A contradiction can't be instantiated. Yet the concept exists.
You will say that contradiction (similar to "nothing") is not a universal and yet I would argue that we identify contradictions all the time.
A contradiction exists only in fact as a concept/universal, there is no metaphysical version of it.
But if contradictions are metaphysical, then they have to exist.

I am going along because you argue universals/concepts do exist metaphysically, independent of consciousness.
In that paradigm, since uninstantiated universals exist independently of consciousness, they exist even if consciousness has never observed their instance.

So numbers could have existed without "things" to be counted. Such a universe does not exist and for me is unimaginable.
I am also arguing that the abstraction (number) would not exist if the act of counting has never been done (ever).

(I will respond to the rest of the post)

I agree that universals for contradictory properties exist (e.g., the property of being both red and not red in the same way at the same time) but that such universals can never be instantiated. That's totally different from saying that contradictions exist, as that would mean that facts can contradict each other, which is false.

I would definitely say that universals for numbers exist even if there were no things to be counted or if the act of counting has never and can never be done. I would like to see your arguments to the contrary.

9 minutes ago, Easy Truth said:

Sometimes I wonder if you see the necessity that universals have to exist metaphysically, independent of consciousness, otherwise, when everyone is asleep, the universe might not go by rules and would fall apart.

That's a humorous way of putting it.

Spoiler

These laws have to be real for the universe to work.
But these universals you talk about have to have "connective power", they have to have some causal powers.
If universals don't, in fact, have causal powers (we agreed they don't) then they can't keep the structure together.
If that is what you are concerned about then Objectivism fills that void with the law of causality also called uniformity of nature. (not universals/concepts).

That may fit what you are talking about more than "universal" or concepts because universal is primarily about categories and categorization.
Rules, "out there", is about the law of causality.

The structure that keeps the universe intact, that in a sense prevents an apple from barking, a table from dancing, a tree from rolling is the fact that an entity acts based on its nature. It is limited by that law so not just anything can happen.

So those set of rules, that structure, does exist and it is metaphysical/"out there" independent of consciousness.

Universals are not about categories and categorization. Nor are they about natures and causality. They are about predicates and predication. A universe without universals would be indescribable since you would not be able to predicate anything of anything else. Indeed, I would argue that such a universe wouldn't be anything at all. Since to say that a universe is a certain way is to predicate something of it, and predicates would never be justified in a universalless universe.

A universe without causality, on the other hand, would merely be weird and unpredictable, but not indescribable.

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31 minutes ago, SpookyKitty said:

A universe without universals would be indescribable since you would not be able to predicate anything of anything else.

In your paradigm, indescribability seems to mean non-existence (of the universe).
With the primacy of existence, I would say it is immaterial.
That the existence exists regardless of consciousness.

But then thinking aloud, if something is not anything in particular, then it does not exist.
I don't think that holds for existence as a whole.
I would go back to existence exists (as an axiom) regardless.

So describability is the greatest logical necessity there is?

As an aside, the way I see an overall difference between our paradigms is I am pushing for one entity per universal, you are pushing for two.
I am saying there is only one in my mind.
You are saying there is one in my mind and one out there and they are not the same thing of course!
I have always wondered why you need this redundancy.

If you acted like a normal intrinsicist you would have said, you don't have to do all that work, it's all there, ready to be absorbed, no mental process necessary.
But in your case, not only is the universal/concept out there, I have to do all this induction etc to create one in my mind.
I like my universe better, seems fairer (even if it was indescribable).

I admit I will have to study predicates more, I don't understand them enough to argue on that level.
 

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1 hour ago, SpookyKitty said:

I agree that universals for contradictory properties exist (e.g., the property of being both red and not red in the same way at the same time) but that such universals can never be instantiated. That's totally different from saying that contradictions exist, as that would mean that facts can contradict each other, which is false.

 

Why is it false?

You may say that it is indescribable, and I would say that in a universe where a contradiction can exist, anything can be anything and it would be meaningless, it falls apart. So I see some merit in the indescribability argument now, in a universe where anything can be anything, nothing can be described either. So it is not totally different as you say. I am making a metaphysical argument (contradictory chaos), you seem to be making an epistemological argument (indescribability).

Nevertheless, if a metaphysical universal can't be instantiated, it is (by definition) not a universal. How can a "universal for contradictory properties exist" and yet not be a universal?

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Spoiler

In your paradigm, indescribability seems to mean non-existence (of the universe).
With the primacy of existence, I would say it is immaterial.
That the existence exists regardless of consciousness.

But then thinking aloud, if something is not anything in particular, then it does not exist.
I don't think that holds for existence as a whole.
I would go back to existence exists (as an axiom) regardless.

So describability is the greatest logical necessity there is?

I think you've misunderstood my argument. I am not making any grand metaphysical or epistemological claims about "the greatest logical necessity there is" or some such. I am merely demonstrating that the causal structure you proposed is not a substitute for universals.

Spoiler

As an aside, the way I see an overall difference between our paradigms is I am pushing for one entity per universal, you are pushing for two.
I am saying there is only one in my mind.
You are saying there is one in my mind and one out there and they are not the same thing of course!
I have always wondered why you need this redundancy.

If you acted like a normal intrinsicist you would have said, you don't have to do all that work, it's all there, ready to be absorbed, no mental process necessary.
But in your case, not only is the universal/concept out there, I have to do all this induction etc to create one in my mind.
I like my universe better, seems fairer (even if it was indescribable).

I admit I will have to study predicates more, I don't understand them enough to argue on that level.

There is no redundancy. Universals are not the same as concepts. And I could also ask you again, if you think universals are a redundancy, then why isn't the same true of particulars? If you have particulars in reality, then what's the point of having them in your mind? Or, if you have them in your mind, then why bother with them in reality? Seems """fairer""" to just get rid of them.

Quote

Why is it false?

Because facts can't contradict each other.

Spoiler

You may say that it is indescribable, and I would say that in a universe where a contradiction can exist, anything can be anything and it would be meaningless, it falls apart. So I see some merit in the indescribability argument now, in a universe where anything can be anything, nothing can be described either. So it is not totally different as you say. I am making a metaphysical argument (contradictory chaos), you seem to be making an epistemological argument (indescribability).

No it is completely different. A universe where an apple can be both red and not-red at the same time in the same way is inconceivable. A universe where an apple barks one day and writes sonnets the next is weird, but not inconceivable. I believe that both things are impossible but for very different reasons. Hence, the causal and universal structures must themselves by very different. In any case, they are not the same.

Spoiler

Nevertheless, if a metaphysical universal can't be instantiated, it is (by definition) not a universal. How can a "universal for contradictory properties exist" and yet not be a universal?

It's a special case of a universal. Just like zero is a number, even though you can't really count zero of anything.

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5 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

I think you've misunderstood my argument. I am not making any grand metaphysical or epistemological claims about "the greatest logical necessity there is" or some such.

It's just that you seem to give validity to your arguments based on linguistic characteristics. There may be some merit to that, I'm just noticing a pattern, a style that I don't emphasize and am not well versed in. The idea of predicates seems to be linguistic. The original proof you had of metaphysical universals made uses of grammatical principles a lot with "subject" and "predicate" etc. I am not judging it, just noticing it.

5 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

There is no redundancy. Universals are not the same as concepts.

Are you saying that universals are not concepts because one is a mental entity and one is a physical one or are you asking that we redefine universal because it does not mean concept? 
In my paradigm, the physical referent of a concept does not exist at all.

5 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

I could also ask you again, if you think universals are a redundancy, then why isn't the same true of particulars? If you have particulars in reality, then what's the point of having them in your mind?

Yes, I would say that particulars are redundant in the sense that consciousness has them like a mirror. What is out there that can impact senses gets registered automatically and a duplicate image is a mental entity. There is a one to one correspondence between mental entity and referent. (an association)
Of course, a particular in the mind and a particular out there is different, one is a mental entity which refers to one single entity outside of the mind (not instantiating it, not inferring it). So, a particular mental entity is not the same as the particular's physical referent.

5 hours ago, SpookyKitty said:

It's a special case of a universal.

If contradictions are special cases of universals ultimately you have to define universals with exceptions like commonalities that don't include "nothing", "zero" or contradictions. But epistemologically and linguistically speaking you still have the same calamity of indescribability. A language and epistemological collection that does not include the concept "contradiction" or "nothing" is not going to describe reality.

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On 1/23/2018 at 6:02 PM, SpookyKitty said:

Alright here is an example:

This all sounds fine - but you made no argument as to why the universal itself is something that exists apart from your recognition. So far I see you calling it a predicate, but this is rather empty when you are describing it all within the context of language and logical structure. I want to know what "to exist identically" means. Also, in what manner are particulars connected by universals? This is my main disagreement. The notion of connecting is rather vague.

On 1/30/2018 at 6:12 PM, intrinsicist said:

You know in analytic synthetic dichotomy, Peikoff talks about how a nominalist forms categories that are merely tautologically true, as in you can't get anything out of them that you haven't already defined? I

I was busy with school so here is more. A lot of classwork. The questions below are not rhetorical.

I agree with Peikoff that the dichotomy is no good. I don't fall into that corner since I don't buy into the dicotomy. An identification is an act of defining, but this isn't to say it "only" consists of that definition. There is always some referent, and these referents ought to be real, as in not a result of a mental activity. In other words, I am not trying to take any side of the dichotomy.

There are things that hold universally. The issue is in what manner. I mean, is it separable from a particular? If it isn't, how can two particulars hold the same universal? After all, you seem to mean that the universal is the same one, not just a sharing of identical characteristics (identical being the same range of values). The only answer I see is to call universals epistemic. The same mental entity "red" refers to anything that falls in the red range. The particulars don't share the -same- redness even if they have the same value. When I say I have the same shirt as you, I don't mean -that- shirt. That's not tautological - I'm still grounding it in reality. There's a metaphysical grounding if I am rational about the whole process.

The thing left that's universal is that the range of values is definite. The only time you alter it is if you notice it fails to unite the particulars. Also, learning more is no issue. The point of an essential is that you explore what things with a certain trait will do. 

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On 2/1/2018 at 4:19 AM, SpookyKitty said:

the causal and universal structures must themselves by very different. In any case, they are not the same.

 

Agreed, I am not questioning that. You agree that a contradiction is inconceivable but to be clear, what you mean is "the instance of contradiction" is inconceivable, a "something that is not itself" is inconceivable.  But notice you use the word "contradiction" (the concept/universal), just as I do, so we have conceived it already. So we have to be specific, I assume you mean conceivable in a metaphysical way, which means, contradictions don't exist.

You say these are special universals. Granted, they are uninstantiable. Does that mean when we say "universal" we should not include them?

On 2/1/2018 at 4:19 AM, SpookyKitty said:

Universals are not the same as concepts.

It's very important to know the difference or we have been talking about different things. What is the difference? It seems that to you that the set that comprises universals does not include contradictions, or fictitious universals, or imaginary universals.

On 2/1/2018 at 4:19 AM, SpookyKitty said:

Because facts can't contradict each other.

Although I agree with your statement above, I wonder about your use of the word facts. Is a fact something that is out there? Or is it something in the mind? I say that because I notice that you don't say "contradictions don't exist", rather you seem to imply an epistemological rule "facts can't contradict each other" which could leave open the idea that particular contradictions could in fact exist.

So facts to me are epistemological, but I wonder if facts to you are metaphysical.

 

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On 1/24/2018 at 12:08 AM, Grames said:

An epistemic universal can be personal as in one mind reusing the same concept of color as it is encountered at various different times and contexts.  Rand did claim that the primary purpose of language was to enable conceptual thought, which occurs in one mind, rather than communication between minds. 

Can you go into more depth about this? Ideally 2 examples with 2 epistemic universals. (I assume your use of the word epistemic is redundant). I especially would like to see the different times and different context demonstrated.

How did Aristotle imagine essence being in things? Like if you stabbed a table,  "tableness" should ooze out?

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14 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

How did Aristotle imagine essence being in things? Like if you stabbed a table,  "tableness" should ooze out?

Last question first, I don't know well enough to try to answer.  I'm not a philosopher nor have I read closely Aristotle's Organon, and it has been a long time since I've read it at all.  University was decades ago for me and what familiarity I have with Aristotle since then mostly comes from secondary sources writing about what he meant.  Aristotle was a student of Plato so unless he could solve the problem of universals while also inventing logic and mastering every other contemporary field of knowledge he would carry over that basic approach from Plato, that essences are intrinsic to things or 'metaphysical' as described in this thread.

15 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Can you go into more depth about this? Ideally 2 examples with 2 epistemic universals. (I assume your use of the word epistemic is redundant). I especially would like to see the different times and different context demonstrated.

'Epistemic universal' is redundant for people that accept and use Rand's epistemological theories but in contexts (such as this thread) where there are people seriously contending the case for other kinds of universals it is good to spell out in full what kind of universal is being referred to.

A classic example comes to me by way of Kelley:

Quote

Children learn to recognize an object, when it reappears after being hidden, long before they begin to acquire language. More important, there is preconceptual awareness of qualitative recurrence, in adults as well as children. H.H. Price illustrated the point with the shape of a blackberry bush. One can recognize the shape immediately, even though he has no concept for that particular shape, could not begin to describe it in words, and cannot think of it determinately in its absence." (The Evidence of the Senses, p. 219)

So, children, blackberry bush, colors, thats 3 examples.   "Preconceptual awareness of qualitative recurrence", use that phrase a few times when speaking or writing and people will think you must be pretty smart.

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I notice an area that I have contradicted myself. I have said that concepts do have causal powers and I have said that they don't. I think I have to revise my statements to say that concepts have an influence on choices but not causal power. They do NOT have causal powers in the sense that they don't have initiation capability.

But in a volitional mind, they have an influence on the direction that one will take.

On 1/31/2018 at 1:45 AM, SpookyKitty said:

When a universal becomes instantiated, it itself does not change in any way. It is the particular(s) embodying the universal that change(s). What causes particulars to change are causal forces exerted by other particulars. Hence, it would be far more sensible to say that particulars cause other particulars to instantiate universals.

I agree that instantiation has no effect on the universal itself and in my mind instantiation is in my mind. 

I could see this as true epistemologically. Without two things in the field of awareness, sameness cannot exist. The mind cannot create the concept without the particulars, they are the building blocks.

In your model, I believe instantiation happens outside of the mind in existence.

Instantiation implies that the particulars in question, the instances don't exist. But somehow other particulars cause instantiation. At this stage, this is an arbitrary statement. I can't make it work in my mind yet, you will have to elaborate.

I assume you don't mean that particulars cause "sameness". That would imply that sameness does not exist until particulars exist and implies that you agree that connection can only exist when things exist, not the other way around similar to the argument that numbers can't exist without things to be counted.

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I have looked into predication and for now, I think it implies a need for nature (distinguishing characteristics).
Indescribable would mean having no distinguishing characteristics, no sameness, AND no differences.
To not have any sameness or difference means to not exist and it is not describable, undetectable and unnoticeable.

To have an unknown nature, does not mean non-existence. 
To NOT have a nature means nonexistence.

To say a fact about something is to put it in particular class/category.
The apple is red, is to put apple in the class of apples that are red, the universal "red apple" which is an instance of "red" and "apple", "red" also being an instance of "color" and "apple" being an instance of "fruit" on and on.

The relationships of predicates and universals is, to predicate is to make the subject "a something", a member of a class/universal/category.
"An apple is a fruit." apple is member of class fruit, "A lion is an animal." lion is part of class animal

If there is no class to be a member of, then there are no characteristics, no nature.
When something ends up being nothing, in particular, it can't be existent.
Nothing would exist without these classes.
They hold the world together in this structure.
Without the existence of "fruit", there can be no apple.

The existence of the apple in front of you could not have been, if the (concept) number/amount "one" did not exist.
We can't describe a single entity without putting an implicit "one" in front of it.
To exist, something has to be part of the class existent. Without the universal existent, nothing would exist.

So, everything has to have a class that it belongs to.
There is an infinite regress, anything has to be another thing.
In that world "the apple is." describes nothing, the apple is a nothing in particular.

Isn't the structure, the pattern in the universe something simply observed? Without causal powers, it is not like an active scaffolding exerting forces to create an equilibrium. Universals don't hold things physically, it is as if they do, this (holding) vision of it is only in the mind. 

Universals don't have any causal powers and they don't change, they are like an unseen observer.
So why couldn't they reside in the mind since they are created whenever needed? Because I say they get created and they say they are eternal?

For those who think of universals are non-epistemic, the necessity for having nature still is true if universals were epistemic.

Within existence but outside the mind, things just are without predication,  consciousness predicates to recognize, it is the necessity of the mind and consciousness initiates the process.
 

Edited by Easy Truth

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The thing this boils down to in intrisicism is that things are what they are, they have a definite nature. In a purely reductive materialism, there are no actual things, not at the high-level "middle-size dry goods" ordinary objects of our day to day experience. If everything we see around us is a happenstance configuration of particles that could just as equally be any other way, if you can arbitrarily hack on various properties to these objects, arbitrarily assign various functions, and that ultimately the definition *doesn't matter*, then there are no "things". The only demarcation involved is your own naming schema, a nominalistic assignment.

There is a really easy analogy here to software. In my coding philosophy, all of your objects are well-defined, your database tables are normalized. Attributes of the objects are columns on the table, and separate concepts go into separate tables, etc. etc. All of the functionality is broken up into delimited, well-defined functions. In every case, the objects and the functions are coded to the spec. The spec is a higher-level definition of what the thing is, what it ought to be. Any mistake can be easily judged - and intrinsically known to be wrong - without looking at any outside purpose, without performing any estimate of the consequences relative to an agent - because the judgment is relative to the spec, to the definition of the thing, which also lays out the standard of its ideal.

When you see people abandoning this philosophy in code, when there are no well-defined functions, they don't have any specified purpose, all you have, rather, is a chunk of code which happens to do something - just as in a metarialistic metaphysics, you just have a configuration of particles - it could be any other way or do any other thing just as well, it just happens to be the way it is. And there's no way to know whether or not it's got a bug, except by some far-reaching consequence, that the user is unhappy, or that the system as a whole is slow, or what have you. When you look at the function itself, there's no way to know or define whether it's right or wrong, it's all relative to a utilitarian system whose outcome is completely out of the scope of the function. The code is in essence unintelligible, buggy, inefficient spaghetti code. Or when the database is not normalized, and you have multiple concepts crammed into a single table, or a table with a sprawling list of attributes that conglomerate a bunch of pragmatic considerations, with no overall definition, no spec which the idea of the table is supposed to adhere to, you end up with the same issue: an unintelligible, buggy, inefficient mess of spaghetti code.

And likewise, as a developer, how can you own something, if there is no *abstractly-defined* "thing" to own? There's just a scrambled mess of a system that everyone is trying to hunt for little improvements or patch the problems where they spring up. Nothing has a spec that defines what it is or what it ought to be, and therefore there *is* nothing in particular which anyone can specifically own and ensure that it does the "right thing". There's is just the brute, collective reality of all the things that *are*.

This is the way I see reality as an intrinsicist. There is a higher-level metaphysical spec which defines what the objects of this world are, and what they ought to be. There is a well-defined, intelligible order to the universe; reality has a flawless ideal which everything can be measured against.

You can't say that is implies ought, if you don't have an abstract spec of what is, such that you can infer what ought to be *from the spec*. Otherwise the distinction between "is" and "ought" would be meaningless - if everything, concretely, ought to be what it already is, and nothing beyond that, then you cannot infer any moral conclusion whatsoever. The philosophical basis of the idea that is implies ought, is one in which there is an abstract standard, a metaphysical spec which defines the nature of the object, the purpose for which its intended, and the standards which define the ideal. Then, anything concrete can be checked against its spec, against it's abstract standard, and can be judged accordingly. Everything about how it ought to be, what it ought to be doing, and every standard of goodness and behavior, is implied by what it is.

And if you abandon "is implies ought", then you are left with no rationally justifiable moral standard whatsoever.

This is the way the intrinsicist sees the world, everything has some well-defined abstract nature. Every concrete is an instance of some defined abstraction, a kind. And there are many kinds in the world. This system of kinds you can call the logos - it is the metaphysical nature of reality. This logos is an important part of what people often mean by "God" - theological non-cognitivists take note. And while "God" often means many other things to many different people as well, it usually means this, too. And skeptics, atheists, and materialists of every stripe not only deny "God" - which includes all sorts of things to all sorts of people, often incorrectly - they also deny the logos. In this they are wrong, because the logos can be shown to be rationally irrefutable by the impossibility of the contrary, in that it makes absurdity out of any system of thought which denies it. 

This logos and the system of rationality, morality, and individual rights it makes coherent, is at the root of the religious worldview, as opposed to say a skeptic/pragmatic or absurd/postmodern worldview. So when you hear a believer talking about God, there is something basically true, basically right about their point of view, about what they are saying. At the very least, insofar as "God" means this logos, this intrinsicist worldview, they are *right*.

This is just something to think about.

All of philosophy - the rest of epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics - is going to start from, and depend on, this foundation. Everything in Objectivism needs to be analyzed and evaluated in this light, and the parts of Objectivism that are based on a consequentialist ethics and materialistic metaphysics, need to be *corrected*. Whether you want to *call it* Objectivism or something else, these issues need to be corrected, and we need to move forward with this project of philosophy.

Make no mistake, we are losing, and we are losing to the absurd, postmodern worldview. And Rand was right, the moral and practical are one - this postmodern break from reality, break from morality, break from individual rights, is going to disintegrate into absolute hell, in your private life, and in our political world, if we don't start winning again. Just being louder, printing more copies of the books, is not going to change the game board. Atlas Shrugged has been published for more than 60 years. The Objectivist movement is broken. The liberty movement is broken. These ideas have not swept the political landscape, they have not unified the culture (or even the liberty movement, or even the Objectivist movement). Objectivism itself is broken. The philosophy is incomplete, and in places, inconsistent. 

We must start from the foundational roots of metaphysics in order to fix the philosophical problems, fix the arguments and inconsistencies, and thus change people's minds, unify the movement, and sweep the cultural and political landscape.

That foundation is intrinsicism.

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3 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

This system of kinds you can call the logos - it is the metaphysical nature of reality.

Just so I know where you're coming from, are you getting the terminology 'logos' from Jordan Peterson? It would affect my response. I've heard it in other contexts such as stoicism and Christian theology in case you meant those, but the only contemporary use I've seen is from him. 

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5 hours ago, intrinsicist said:

The thing this boils down to in intrisicism is that things are what they are, they have a definite nature. In a purely reductive materialism, there are no actual things, not at the high-level "middle-size dry goods" ordinary objects of our day to day experience. If everything we see around us is a happenstance configuration of particles that could just as equally be any other way, if you can arbitrarily hack on various properties to these objects, arbitrarily assign various functions, and that ultimately the definition *doesn't matter*, then there are no "things". The only demarcation involved is your own naming schema, a nominalistic assignment.

There is a really easy analogy here to software. In my coding philosophy, all of your objects are well-defined, your database tables are normalized. Attributes of the objects are columns on the table, and separate concepts go into separate tables, etc. etc. All of the functionality is broken up into delimited, well-defined functions. In every case, the objects and the functions are coded to the spec. The spec is a higher-level definition of what the thing is, what it ought to be. Any mistake can be easily judged - and intrinsically known to be wrong - without looking at any outside purpose, without performing any estimate of the consequences relative to an agent - because the judgment is relative to the spec, to the definition of the thing, which also lays out the standard of its ideal.

When you see people abandoning this philosophy in code, when there are no well-defined functions, they don't have any specified purpose, all you have, rather, is a chunk of code which happens to do something - just as in a metarialistic metaphysics, you just have a configuration of particles - it could be any other way or do any other thing just as well, it just happens to be the way it is. And there's no way to know whether or not it's got a bug, except by some far-reaching consequence, that the user is unhappy, or that the system as a whole is slow, or what have you. When you look at the function itself, there's no way to know or define whether it's right or wrong, it's all relative to a utilitarian system whose outcome is completely out of the scope of the function. The code is in essence unintelligible, buggy, inefficient spaghetti code. Or when the database is not normalized, and you have multiple concepts crammed into a single table, or a table with a sprawling list of attributes that conglomerate a bunch of pragmatic considerations, with no overall definition, no spec which the idea of the table is supposed to adhere to, you end up with the same issue: an unintelligible, buggy, inefficient mess of spaghetti code.

And likewise, as a developer, how can you own something, if there is no *abstractly-defined* "thing" to own? There's just a scrambled mess of a system that everyone is trying to hunt for little improvements or patch the problems where they spring up. Nothing has a spec that defines what it is or what it ought to be, and therefore there *is* nothing in particular which anyone can specifically own and ensure that it does the "right thing". There's is just the brute, collective reality of all the things that *are*.

This is the way I see reality as an intrinsicist. There is a higher-level metaphysical spec which defines what the objects of this world are, and what they ought to be. There is a well-defined, intelligible order to the universe; reality has a flawless ideal which everything can be measured against.

You can't say that is implies ought, if you don't have an abstract spec of what is, such that you can infer what ought to be *from the spec*. Otherwise the distinction between "is" and "ought" would be meaningless - if everything, concretely, ought to be what it already is, and nothing beyond that, then you cannot infer any moral conclusion whatsoever. The philosophical basis of the idea that is implies ought, is one in which there is an abstract standard, a metaphysical spec which defines the nature of the object, the purpose for which its intended, and the standards which define the ideal. Then, anything concrete can be checked against its spec, against it's abstract standard, and can be judged accordingly. Everything about how it ought to be, what it ought to be doing, and every standard of goodness and behavior, is implied by what it is.

And if you abandon "is implies ought", then you are left with no rationally justifiable moral standard whatsoever.

This is the way the intrinsicist sees the world, everything has some well-defined abstract nature. Every concrete is an instance of some defined abstraction, a kind. And there are many kinds in the world. This system of kinds you can call the logos - it is the metaphysical nature of reality. This logos is an important part of what people often mean by "God" - theological non-cognitivists take note. And while "God" often means many other things to many different people as well, it usually means this, too. And skeptics, atheists, and materialists of every stripe not only deny "God" - which includes all sorts of things to all sorts of people, often incorrectly - they also deny the logos. In this they are wrong, because the logos can be shown to be rationally irrefutable by the impossibility of the contrary, in that it makes absurdity out of any system of thought which denies it. 

This logos and the system of rationality, morality, and individual rights it makes coherent, is at the root of the religious worldview, as opposed to say a skeptic/pragmatic or absurd/postmodern worldview. So when you hear a believer talking about God, there is something basically true, basically right about their point of view, about what they are saying. At the very least, insofar as "God" means this logos, this intrinsicist worldview, they are *right*.

This is just something to think about.

All of philosophy - the rest of epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics - is going to start from, and depend on, this foundation. Everything in Objectivism needs to be analyzed and evaluated in this light, and the parts of Objectivism that are based on a consequentialist ethics and materialistic metaphysics, need to be *corrected*. Whether you want to *call it* Objectivism or something else, these issues need to be corrected, and we need to move forward with this project of philosophy.

Make no mistake, we are losing, and we are losing to the absurd, postmodern worldview. And Rand was right, the moral and practical are one - this postmodern break from reality, break from morality, break from individual rights, is going to disintegrate into absolute hell, in your private life, and in our political world, if we don't start winning again. Just being louder, printing more copies of the books, is not going to change the game board. Atlas Shrugged has been published for more than 60 years. The Objectivist movement is broken. The liberty movement is broken. These ideas have not swept the political landscape, they have not unified the culture (or even the liberty movement, or even the Objectivist movement). Objectivism itself is broken. The philosophy is incomplete, and in places, inconsistent. 

We must start from the foundational roots of metaphysics in order to fix the philosophical problems, fix the arguments and inconsistencies, and thus change people's minds, unify the movement, and sweep the cultural and political landscape.

That foundation is intrinsicism.

I'm not sure the extent of the postmodernist worldview is that you're ascribing such a dominant view to. "We are losing?" Statements like these are puzzling to me. Sure, there's a lot of people who have this view, and especially in the humanities departments, and in education in general, but it's not as if they have a total monopoly on society. Most professional philosophers aren't postmodernists, if that's what you mean. And as a general school, much of Objectivist philosophy is increasingly received positively.

According to a PhilPapers survey of Phd philosophers, on many crucial points congenial to Rand's Objectivism, the respondents were in the majority, or at least a sizable minority:

A priori knowledge: yes or no?
Accept or lean toward: yes    662 / 931 (71.1%)
Accept or lean toward: no    171 / 931 (18.4%)
Other    98 / 931 (10.5%)

Abstract objects: Platonism or nominalism?
Accept or lean toward: Platonism    366 / 931 (39.3%)
Accept or lean toward: nominalism    351 / 931 (37.7%)
Other    214 / 931 (23.0%)

Aesthetic value: objective or subjective?
Accept or lean toward: objective    382 / 931 (41.0%)
Accept or lean toward: subjective    321 / 931 (34.5%)
Other    228 / 931 (24.5%)

Analytic-synthetic distinction: yes or no?
Accept or lean toward: yes    604 / 931 (64.9%)
Accept or lean toward: no    252 / 931 (27.1%)
Other    75 / 931 (8.1%)

Epistemic justification: internalism or externalism?
Accept or lean toward: externalism    398 / 931 (42.7%)
Other    287 / 931 (30.8%)

Accept or lean toward: internalism    246 / 931 (26.4%)

External world: idealism, skepticism, or non-skeptical realism?
Accept or lean toward: non-skeptical realism    760 / 931 (81.6%)
Other    86 / 931 (9.2%)

Accept or lean toward: skepticism    45 / 931 (4.8%)

Accept or lean toward: idealism    40 / 931 (4.3%)

Free will: compatibilism, libertarianism, or no free will?
Accept or lean toward: compatibilism    550 / 931 (59.1%)
Other    139 / 931 (14.9%)
Accept or lean toward: libertarianism    128 / 931 (13.7%)
Accept or lean toward: no free will    114 / 931 (12.2%)

God: theism or atheism?
Accept or lean toward: atheism    678 / 931 (72.8%)
Accept or lean toward: theism    136 / 931 (14.6%)
Other    117 / 931 (12.6%)

Knowledge claims: contextualism, relativism, or invariantism?
Accept or lean toward: contextualism    373 / 931 (40.1%)
Accept or lean toward: invariantism    290 / 931 (31.1%)
Other    241 / 931 (25.9%)
Accept or lean toward: relativism    27 / 931 (2.9%)

Knowledge: empiricism or rationalism?
Other    346 / 931 (37.2%)
Accept or lean toward: empiricism    326 / 931 (35.0%)
Accept or lean toward: rationalism    259 / 931 (27.8%)

Laws of nature: Humean or non-Humean?
Accept or lean toward: non-Humean    532 / 931 (57.1%)
Accept or lean toward: Humean    230 / 931 (24.7%)
Other    169 / 931 (18.2%)

Logic: classical or non-classical?
Accept or lean toward: classical    480 / 931 (51.6%)
Other    308 / 931 (33.1%)
Accept or lean toward: non-classical    143 / 931 (15.4%)

Mental content: internalism or externalism?
Accept or lean toward: externalism    476 / 931 (51.1%)
Other    269 / 931 (28.9%)
Accept or lean toward: internalism    186 / 931 (20.0%)

Meta-ethics: moral realism or moral anti-realism?
Accept or lean toward: moral realism    525 / 931 (56.4%)
Accept or lean toward: moral anti-realism    258 / 931 (27.7%)
Other    148 / 931 (15.9%)

Metaphilosophy: naturalism or non-naturalism?
Accept or lean toward: naturalism    464 / 931 (49.8%)
Accept or lean toward: non-naturalism    241 / 931 (25.9%)
Other    226 / 931 (24.3%)

Mind: physicalism or non-physicalism?
Accept or lean toward: physicalism    526 / 931 (56.5%)
Accept or lean toward: non-physicalism    252 / 931 (27.1%)
Other    153 / 931 (16.4%)

Moral judgment: cognitivism or non-cognitivism?
Accept or lean toward: cognitivism    612 / 931 (65.7%)
Other    161 / 931 (17.3%)
Accept or lean toward: non-cognitivism    158 / 931 (17.0%)

Moral motivation: internalism or externalism?
Other    329 / 931 (35.3%)
Accept or lean toward: internalism    325 / 931 (34.9%)
Accept or lean toward: externalism    277 / 931 (29.8%)

Normative ethics: deontology, consequentialism, or virtue ethics?
Other    301 / 931 (32.3%)
Accept or lean toward: deontology    241 / 931 (25.9%)
Accept or lean toward: consequentialism    220 / 931 (23.6%)
Accept or lean toward: virtue ethics    169 / 931 (18.2%)

Perceptual experience: disjunctivism, qualia theory, representationalism, or sense-datum theory?
Other    393 / 931 (42.2%)
Accept or lean toward: representationalism    293 / 931 (31.5%)
Accept or lean toward: qualia theory    114 / 931 (12.2%)
Accept or lean toward: disjunctivism    102 / 931 (11.0%)
Accept or lean toward: sense-datum theory    29 / 931 (3.1%)

Politics: communitarianism, egalitarianism, or libertarianism?
Other    382 / 931 (41.0%)
Accept or lean toward: egalitarianism    324 / 931 (34.8%)
Accept or lean toward: communitarianism    133 / 931 (14.3%)
Accept or lean toward: libertarianism    92 / 931 (9.9%)

Science: scientific realism or scientific anti-realism?
Accept or lean toward: scientific realism    699 / 931 (75.1%)
Other    124 / 931 (13.3%)
Accept or lean toward: scientific anti-realism    108 / 931 (11.6%)

Truth: correspondence, deflationary, or epistemic?
Accept or lean toward: correspondence    473 / 931 (50.8%)
Accept or lean toward: deflationary    231 / 931 (24.8%)
Other    163 / 931 (17.5%)
Accept or lean toward: epistemic    64 / 931 (6.9%)
 

That's not to say that everything's all rainbows and lollipops, its radical liberalism and egoism being the two biggest stumbling blocks, it seems, but things aren't as doom and gloom as reading a Peterson book might convince one to be. 

Further, I'm not really sure on this idea of "the movement," I mean why does there need to be a "movement," what would that be? The Enlightenment, or the Renaissance, something like that was a movement, there are tons of artistic movements, genres, scientific movements, paradigms, schools of thought, etc. But how would this apply to Objectivism? Usually how such paradigms work is things of value in the thought system that are absorbed into cultural mainstream become just "reality" or "common sense," and the school itself fades away. This is not an objection, but more of just an observation. 

Certainly a good idea to carry on, or even resurrect, the "Enlightenment project," to give it the solid metaphysical foundation it lacked, which was responsible for its undermining and demise. But is Hegelian pantheism the way to go there? That may be a bit problematic.

And is it true that The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged haven't had any positive impact on the culture? I mean, if I went to a room full of normal people, stood up and began to quote Toohey or James Taggart quotes at them, telling them they have no right to exist or be happy, even to a room full of postmodernist educated people, I would venture there might be a good deal of booing or objecting in most cases.

And finally, you say Objectivism needs to be stripped of all its consequentialist and materialistic elements, well by all means, but on my reading, there are no such cases, and so I'm not sure what that would be like.

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9 hours ago, 2046 said:

And as a general school, much of Objectivist philosophy is increasingly received positively.

Do you have a source? I am skeptical of this.

Quote

According to a PhilPapers survey of Phd philosophers, on many crucial points congenial to Rand's Objectivism, the respondents were in the majority, or at least a sizable minority:

Which of these poll results are you claiming are favorable to Objectivism? A priori knowledge and the analytic / synthetic distinction are rejected by Objectivism, for example.

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7 hours ago, William O said:

Do you have a source? I am skeptical of this.

Which of these poll results are you claiming are favorable to Objectivism? A priori knowledge and the analytic / synthetic distinction are rejected by Objectivism, for example.

Uh, yeah, you'll note that: Accept or lean toward: no    252 / 931 (27.1%)

That's a pretty good number for a minority view. Putnam (1975), Kripke (1980) and Browne (2001), are examples of sources of mainstream rejections of the ASD. Browne specifically mentions Rand's theory of concepts in his work and did a piece in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

Now I'm not saying you can mention Rand totally uncontroversially, but from my humble experience, you can mention almost every single position that Rand held on anything uncontroversially (that is to say, without peers and professors freaking out), with the exception of the two that I mentioned (libertarianism and egoism.)

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9 hours ago, 2046 said:

That's a pretty good number for a minority view. Putnam (1975), Kripke (1980) and Browne (2001), are examples of sources of mainstream rejections of the ASD. Browne specifically mentions Rand's theory of concepts in his work and did a piece in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies.

More exactly, Roderick T. Long wrote an article referencing Browne's work in JARS V7N1, and Browne responded to Long's article in JARS V8N1. Both can be read online with a free subscription to www.jstor.org.

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