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  2. Disagree. They are having an open debate. No, but some of them need to be re-conceived. It sounds like a popular textbook writer would, and he gets them while they're young and impressionable.
  3. I have a meta-question about why you’re saying these things in this particular way. I suggest rearranging the claims in a more hierarchical fashion. For example I conclude that #1 is wrong, but perhaps not literally false. What is most wrong about #1 is that is draws on fragments of concepts but skips lower level concepts that are necessary for making identifications. As for #1, to if-and-only-if with “meaning”. “sentence” concept to “word” for definition, necessary bypassed which the sticking a have is giving the in scheme relate you order. Oops, I meant, sticking with the if-and-only-if scheme for giving a definition, you have bypassed the concept “sentence” which is necessary in order to relate “word” to “meaning”. So first the word-string must be a sentence: it must follow the rules of sentence-syntax. “String of words” refers to a something bigger than “sentence”. However, between the two, there is also “phrase” e.g. “the members of Congress”, which is not a sentence and does not quality as a statement (=assertion), but it has meaning. Words, as well, have meaning. The correct approach to the topic, IMO, is to start with the fact that words have meaning, and word combinations may have a meaning which is composed via a proposition-building function – the rules of the language (I’ll totally skip the details, but they have to do with how word-combinations in an order have a specific meaning in a language, so that “the dog chased the cat” means something different from “the cat chased the dog”). Being a statement (I assume you consider this to be a synonym for assertion) is a property of certain sentences – other sentences are “questions” or “commands”. Only assertions are true or false. “Congress” or “ruins” is neither true nor false, and “the members of Congress” is neither true not false. However, both have meaning. Questions and commands are kind of sentences – they are not just “strings of words”, and they have meaning, but they are neither true nor false. So I conclude that #2 is false: “meaning” applies to more things than just statements. This is kind of fatal to the enterprise of relating units of language to reality. Your corollary A also has to face the problem that questions and commands have meaning and are sentences, but not statements / assertions. I don’t understand what #3 is intended to say (what is its function in your system?). The assertion “The House voted to condemn Trump” is true, that is, it describes a fact. The assertion “The House voted against condemning Trump” is false, which means that it describes the opposite of a fact, or, its denial describes a fact. The assertion “Trump was assassinated in 2018” is also false (does not correctly describe reality), but it clearly has meaning and it does not mean the same thing as “The House voted against condemning Trump”. I especially do not understand what you mean by the relationship between the something that a statement says and the statement’s referent. I assume this is intended to get at the notion of “correspondence” or the fact that a certain proposition describes a fact – I just need some unraveling of this way of talking about truth. Getting back to those rules of language and the proposition-building interpretative function for sentences, sentences like “Sentence A is true” is actually the same problem as “I just saw a rat” or “You found my watch”. They have “loose end” terms: “I”, “you”, “my”, and “Sentence A”. If you take try to interpret language completely out of context, the watch sentence describes (or misdescribes) at least 520 facts, i.e. it is always huge out-of-context contradiction. Clearly, this sentence is true (or false) once we settle on the intended referent of “you” and “my”. There are social rules about how we objectively determine intended reference especially in sentences contructed by other people, though in the case of “I”, it plainly means “the guy talking”. The problem with “Sentence A” is that out of context there is no hope of assigning any referent to that clause (therefore no hope of determining if the sentence is true), but in context, it may be true or false, or neither. Sentences like “Sentence A is true”, “Sentence A is in Spanish”, and “The dog is barking” presuppose the existence of “Sentence A” or “The dog”. I think that sentences with false presuppositions do not describe a fact, so they are false and not true.
  4. Thank you Boydstun. Another interesting twist. You seem to indicate that a string of words can be meaningful and a sentence if it tries to state something about an identifiable referent... even if that something is inapplicable, or nonexistent. The result is a sentence which is false. "This sentence" is surely a referent. The purported something about the sentence, is its truth or falsity. Let us consider what "truth" or falsity" is. Objectively it identifies a state of the relationship between the "something said" and the referent. As such, the term "true" or "false" must have its own referent, the relationship. Here the content (something) attempted is "truth" but "truth" as such presupposes antecedent relationship which it cannot itself supply. So in a sense, only the content is meaningless, or better, missing. The string of words says nothing about "This sentence" although it promises to. So what about "is true"... do we treat it as inapplicable, nonsensical, or missing entirely? "This sentence is furry." Here "is furry" is inapplicable to words. But is the sentence meaningful? Certainly the referent is clear. But the content is categorically inapplicable, words can never possess furriness or non-furriness. Is this simply an error of degree akin to "this sentence has 2 words in it" or is it an error of a different kind? In some sense this is cleaner than "This sentence is true" because it does not mislead one (quite as much) to presume something... namely that the sentence can be evaluated as true or false... since most sentences can be evaluated as true or false, it sucks us in... whereas since we know sentences cannot be valuated on furriness "This sentence is furry" can easily be dismissed as nonsensical. In what sense can something be nonsensical but meaningful? Alternatively should we adjudge based on higher principles that all sentences which are not true are simply FALSE, and any attempt to distinguish between meaningful, non-meaningful, sensible or nonsensical is somehow artificial? This reminds me in a very indirect way the impotence of the zero... What I like about dropping the idea of meaningful versus meaningless falsehoods, is that it wipes away all the confusions about the so called indeterminate cases. It also seems to take care of fiction. Everything that does not qualify as TRUE is simply FALSE. Now if we ground truth in objectivity, then the referent, the something, and the relationship all each have to be identified with words in a meaningful and rational manner. The words must identify valid concepts and their valid relationships in a logically cogent manner. "This sentence is true" cannot be objectively true, it is nonsensical, meaningfulness is beside the point? Do I have anything to say anymore? Is my OP in any sense useful? I'm not sure...
  5. Yes, SL, thanks, and thanks to all. SL, did you put this under the sector Physics and Mathematics because of some parallels or intersections with mathematical conjectures proven to be not provable and problems proven to be not computable? I incline to think Q is stating something about a particular sentence, and is therefore meaningful, but is false because its form, by convention, insinuates that it is stating some fact beyond itself, which it is not doing. It is claiming implicitly to be able to deliver something that it is not able to deliver. By contrast, the statement Existence exists, unparticular as it might be, makes a statement about some things not itself. By that analysis, the second conjunct of K is also false, therefore K is false.
  6. That's fine, but Journo is obviously responding to Hazony and not you. So Hazony needs to get from "believes universal truth" to "will dominate others" and doesn't have the middle term. As far as empirical investigation of intrinsic responsibilities, that's fine. You can observe people do act in certain responsibility confirming behaviors. Can you move from that observation to the normative? No you cannot. Can you move from that descriptive observation to "non-consensual intrinsic responsibilities" in the normative sense? No you cannot. Does Hazony hold the normative claim? Of course he does.
  7. Since I use the Emacs text editor for almost all of my writing, I keep abreast of related news, including occasional looks at a couple of Emacs-centric blogs. On one of these, Irreal, I ran across a post whose author admittedly rankled from a disparaging remark about his preferred software. And, yes, I'll admit enjoying this part of his reaction to the contention that "the cool kids" don't use Emacs: What is the source of this steam? (Image by gdtography, via Unsplash, license.)I don't think it's true. At least not for any reasonable definition of "cool kids." But suppose it is true. Who, then, are the cool kids? I submit that by and large they are just like the cool kids in high school who ended up pumping gas after graduation. In modern terms, they are the hipsters. Or to put it a third way, they are unserious people.It sure does feel good not to be one of those superficial people who always go for the latest shiny object. Or at least it did until I read a response, by one Alex Birdsall, who replied in relevant part: It seems to me that "how can [E]macs be more welcoming to kids and hipsters without disrupting experienced users' workflows?" is a more interesting question than "how can these kids and hipsters be so shallow", and one more likely to lead to new and useful insights.This follows a highly relevant torpedoing of the notion that a concern for esthetics is a necessarily a sign of superficiality -- a lesson I learned long ago, but forgot in the moment. I would guess that this is true of the author as well, but I am glad he vented anyway, and not just for the above interesting and potentially valuable back-and-forth. (Since a decent user base is part of my criteria for adopting software, I am glad the issue got raised.) The exchange also illustrates the value of having a "sounding board," that is, of bouncing ideas off of others, and suggests a way of getting objective feedback. A common problem in thinking or writing is that intense emotion can interfere with consideration of relevant factors (or impartially evaluating a piece). In thinking, we will often "sleep on it" and in writing, frequent advice is to set aside a piece for a few days in order to look at it afresh. But we don't often have that luxury, and any way to save time can help. One of those ways can even be to vent, while being open to feedback. I don't think constant venting is a great idea -- that could lead one to become overly focused on the negative -- but doing so occasionally with this purpose in mind can be quite helpful, particularly when the source of the irritation isn't so clear. -- CAVLink to Original
  8. This page might help on terminology. My suggesting it doesn't mean I recommend "proposition." The word "declarative" might help. I commend StrictlyLogical for attempting a very challenging task.
  9. The notes are really detailed. Thank you for sharing them. Some brilliant insights!
  10. Bringing your attention to an interesting conversation and discursive to and fro taking place between Gregory Mankiw and Washington Post columnist Robert Samuelson about the need to tear out or not our economics textbooks. Find the to and fro here on Washington Post and here on Mankiw’s blog post titled ‘Not So Fast’. Author of the popular textbook ‘Principles of Macroeconomics’, wrote back stingingly saying that the days of textbooks are far from over. It makes for an interesting read. This stands out to me for multiple reasons: 1. The unprofessional and juvenile behaviour of writing about each other and not writing TO each other, which would be more grown up. 2. The interesting point raised about the obsoleteness of textbooks. I wonder if the time of textbooks is actually over? 3. The politics of fame as a writer. Does a Washington Post columnist tend to have a larger readership than a popular textbook author or is it the other way around? Thoughts?
  11. Do you consider a pictograph a word or statement?
  12. This is an interesting connection. I doubt it is done quite directly. Sort of like "let me show you what it's like to have hopes in life and have them destroyed by someone", but only implicit. When someone struggles to find meaning in their own life (even if they abstractly know what the meaning should be), they might attach meaning onto someone else. Then imagine that being worse when it is accompanied by self-hatred like the kind of depression that Tew described about himself. But then when the darkness and hopelessness of reality becomes apparent again like it was for themselves originally, the same pessimism and self-hatred would be directed to someone else. This is even an interesting case study about psychological health as related to one's philosophical views. We have Tew expressing his own thought processes so we don't you to make assumptions about what he thinks. We have some evidence of symptoms of depression, and some evidence of alcohol abuse (confusing rationalizations, outright denial of wrongdoing, sabotaging stable and healthy social relationships).
  13. I want a broader theory of politics than Rand left us without abandoning any of what she did leave us. So yes I'm going correct any perceived weaknesses or missing elements in Hazony's theory by filling with the stronger foundation of Rand's work. The end result won't be Hazony's theory anymore. I suppose it would be mine, based on Rand and Hazony.
  14. This is an empirical approach not an exercise in rationalism. One can observe actual human beings and observe how they speak and act with regard to "responsibilities" and then investigate what those are and what causes them. With enough observations and a diverse sampling one can then engage in measurement omission and getting to an essence of the concept as used by actual human beings. I claim that it is possible to objectively investigate even a relatively high level concept such as responsibility. By Peikoff's principle of two definitions there should be both an objective and a normative definition for the concept.
  15. In response to Tew's criticism of him, Rucka made a comment on YouTube. Tew had claimed that Rucka defended Charles' harshness "on the grounds that spreading Objectivism doesn't matter that much." Rucka, however, denies saying this, which, if true, fatally undercuts Tew's argument. Without evidence, Tew's accusation is arbitrary. Furthermore, he fails to mention the issue in a follow-up video, so perhaps he has conceded the point. Rucka also accuses Tew of "unbelievable cowardice" for "unload[ing] without [him] there to defend [himself]." This is the only part of Rucka's response that Tew directly acknowledges. However, he doesn't start doing it until thirteen minutes into the video called "Updates." He says: "if you took what [Rucka] said at face value...you would not have guessed that I notified him in advance of putting either of those last two podcasts up, and that he approved of my doing so." This claim is at least half-absurd. Why wouldn't we have guessed that he gave Rucka advanced notice, when he told us he would do exactly that in the video on which Rucka commented? Regarding the second half, Tew suggests that Rucka calls him cowardly for doing something of which Rucka approved in a prior email exchange. However, note that Rucka calls him a coward for "unloading" without Rucka being present, not for merely posting a "critical" video like he said he would. Rucka indicates his problem with the degree or kind of criticism, which he believes warranted a face-to-face chat. And, furthermore, since he had not seen Tew's video beforehand, he could not know or approve its highly estranging content. Besides, what control does Rucka have over Tew's actions? Should Rucka have begged for a one-on-one discussion, even after Tew had rejected that request in the emails? Tew says that he "gives people the benefit of the doubt. I assume good things about people until I am proven wrong. And I think that's valid." Yet here he could not see a possibility in which Rucka spoke earnestly. "In my view, that response is conclusive evidence, proof, that Rucka is a fundamentally dishonest person." Tew also declares Rucka "irredeemable" and "worthless," apparently on account of the "cowardice" remark alone. For, up until that point, he still expected to speak with Rucka about him creating "nihilistic filth," not caring about the spread of Objectivism, and acting "worse than an enemy." But then after the comment was made, he wanted to have nothing to do with the guy. It is curious that Tew could not identify a supposedly "essentially dishonest" person over the course of many multi-hour interactions, until, of course, Rucka called him yellow. Perhaps Tew doesn't understand people, or maybe Rucka is a phenomenal liar. I suspect that the former is more likely. Tew uses his judgment to justify ignoring Rucka's other responses. "I don't care about, or pay attention to, fundamentally dishonest people. So I haven't looked at anything else he said on the issue past that comment." First of all, if he doesn't pay attention to his opponents, honest or not, then he blindly exposes himself to their attacks. It's not a rational policy to evade what people publish about you, even if you intend not to respond. You should at least determine whether an attack poses a real threat to your person or reputation, which you can't do without looking at it. And second, if Tew insists on appealing to his personal judgment of Rucka, without giving us adequate evidence for his conclusion, then we might want to gauge the reliability of his judgments. So let's do a bit more of that now. When Tew needs to explain his initially high regard for Rucka, he claims that Rucka "deceptively presents himself as very reasonable. That is the overwhelming vibe, feeling, you get from him. He's just very measured in his mannerisms, and his tone, and his speech. And so you get the impression of somebody who is supremely reasonable and willing to talk things through." However, when Tew needs to justify his current, very negative evaluation, suddenly Rucka becomes a mixed-up "hothead": "Now, it didn't take long, in fact this was obvious in our first conversation that this was, to some extent, an affectation, because he almost immediately revealed that he was highly irrational and emotionalistic in the short-term." We're given a tale of two Ruckas, depending on the needs of Tew's different points. In one breath Rucka is "supremely reasonable" and "measured in manner and speech," but in the next breath he's "obviously irrational" and "emotionalistic." How does Tew explain his contradictory assessments? Well, he must have been hoodwinked by a dishonest nihilist. "Even though [Rucka] was irrational, hotheaded in the short-term, in the long-term he seemed to be rational. But, eventually, I realized that that too was insignificant. It was superficial and also an act, because, yes, he calms down, but not in a way that he ever learns from what he did." Tew perhaps forgets that earlier he argued for Rucka's "deceptively reasonable vibe" and "measured mannerisms, tone, and speech." Those are not long-term qualities of an individual. So not only do we have two Ruckas, we have them at the same time: in the moment, in the short-term. Tew doesn't make sense. And it's unfair for him to condemn someone while providing such a wildly inconsistent description of their character. I conclude that Tew greatly exaggerates Rucka's alleged flaws in order to maintain the delusion that he's "worthless." Basically, Tew has built a straw Rucka in order to avoid facing the real Rucka. After discussing Rucka, Tew starts talking about himself, about his own psychological issues which might have caused audience members some confusion. "I'm not critical to a fault, I'm generous with my praise to a fault, because I am desperate to find good people. I blow out of proportion anybody's good attributes, because I really want there to be good people." Perhaps he's being sincere, but this attitude doesn't match with his admitted disinterest in sanctioning evil. Recall that, for him, sanction is about finding good people. But "[his] kind of people don't exist, so it's hard for [him] to care very much about sanction." So, if good people don't exist, why then does he desperately seek them? And, on the other hand, if they do exist, why doesn't he care about sanctioning evil? I question whether he actually wants to help people get better by offering objective criticism. He seems more interested in dreaming good people into existence through the power of undue praise. "I do overemphasize people's good qualities early on. I did this with Ben Shapiro, [and] with Jordan Peterson." In his videos, Tew periodically compares himself to characters in Ayn Rand's novels. While pondering his pessimism, he says he's like Dominique Francon. While thinking about his tolerance of evil, he's like Gail Wynand. And while explaining his drinking, he describes himself as most like Leo Kovalensky. I can think of another potential match: Ellsworth Toohey. Toohey also has a penchant for "praising to a fault." But he doesn't do it hoping to find good people. He does it hoping to hurt them. He overly praises Peter Keating, to ruin Howard Roark. Toohey represents an actual nihilist. From Journals of Ayn Rand (p.193): "It would be Toohey who'd find philosophical significance in Donald Duck. Why? It's not Donald Duck that he's boosting. It's philosophy that he's destroying." Similarly, it would be Toohey who'd find a model Objectivist in Rucka Rucka Ali. Why? It's not Rucka Rucka Ali that he's boosting. It's Objectivism that he's destroying. The nihilist aims to crush values, and thereby gain crushed followers. "Toohey is out to destroy and discredit--philosophically and practically--all happiness. Unhappy people look for a yoke--and they come to him." (Journals, p. 210) Charles Tew says that his particular flaw, "praising to a fault," is "a common mistake with better Objectivists." I say, no, it's a common fault among anti-Objectivists, and I think Tew realizes this. Notice here how he catches part of his self-deception (at 27:10-40): "Because [better Objectivists] want to find good things in the world, they'll overstate its value, not in an attempt to deceive anyone, but, well, except for themselves really." Is this Tew admitting his self-deception? If so, why put his audience through all that nonsense about being honest and objective? "Some people are saying that I was being dishonest and misleading people, but that is not the case." Actually, it sort of is, according to his own statement. So, which is it: is Tew deceiving himself or being honest? Maybe he's lying to himself and telling the truth to everyone else, but I don't see how that would work. And I'm about done entertaining his nonsense. Throughout this critique, I have been, in an indirect way, charitable to Mr. Tew. I have left out several "uhs" and "ums" from his quotes that I transcribed. But in this final quote I need to include them all, in order to convey his evasive mental action after recognizing his self-deceptive method of moral judgment. Note how many filler words he cycles through before latching onto a concept that is not self-deception. "And, uh, so, you know, it's a kind of understandable, uh, irrationality, but it is still irrationality. It is a form of emotionalism, and therefore evasion, and therefore immorality." Yes, he spits up several words there, but not dishonesty, because that would put him in the same category as Rucka. He would then need to explain how Rucka is "essentially dishonest," while he is not, despite the revelation that his immorality begins with deceiving his own self.
  16. Does he or does he not think there are responsibilities? If so, then it is normative.
  17. Right, which is the point Journo made in the article. A bloodthirsty dictator and an Antifa window smasher both think they know a truth. So does Hazony. So does a Jefferson or a Rand. The question is not the holding of a truth (and I already question what "universal" is doing in there) itself but what is the content of that truth. And Hazony is okay with intrinsic values, the tribe family, and clan, so it can't be that. You're trying to salvage him by putting Rand's value theory in his missing middle term, but it's a square peg in a round hole.
  18. Natural rights theory isn't a justification, or even a single theory. The "natural" refers to a concept of human nature, and so in that sense Rand's rights theory is naturalistic. And it's not necessarily intrinsic except to the extent that human nature refers to a definite thing. But let's drop the historical interpretation and focus on one area here in the first paragraph: 1 If one's rights theory is justified 2 one can impose that value on distant lands and the whole world 3 and the people can be expected to welcome it Surely you must know you're making wild non sequiturs here? 3 does not follow at all. 2 follows in the sense that surely if I have rights I am justified in imposing them on anyone in the world. If I have rights to this chair, I can impose them from anyone in Afghanistan or wherever, everyone has an obligation to respect my chair rights. Any arrangement of control over the chair will involve imposing something. But is this "imposing a value" (you said "that value") in the same way imposing ethical norms? I submit not because rights are not the same kinds of norms as other value claims. That would take a much longer post to argue for so I'll just leave it as a possibility. But if that's true, then "imposing" in 2 isn't avoidable, whether it's Hazony tribal politics or liberal politics. In fact, only liberal politics leaves normative value-sets open-ended and pluralistic because it imposes individual rights, while Hazony's tribal politics imposes "non-consensual inherited" duties. You said "universals in epistemology" now you're saying well universals as metaphysical or extra-dimensional. You're forgetting nominalism, which is a counterexample to your claim. Then you're saying "any broad claim universally true." These are all different things, and the goalposts keep shifting here. Well this just brings up what does he mean by "universal." What is a "universal claim applicable to everyone, even foreigners in distant lands?" Is it a Kantian universalizability that applies to ethical values? Or to just any truth claim? Any broad claim? Is it "universal" because it's broad? You see the ambiguity here. Since (as I argued a couple of pages back) liberalism doesn't rely on universalized values, or universal acceptance and conformity to certain practices, or metaphysical or extra-dimensional essences, that leaves open the question of what purpose this "broad universal claims" is doing here. Is a narrow, non-universal claim okay then?
  19. Hitler isn't a nationalist because he wanted to de facto restore the Holy Roman Empire but with his idiosyncratic racial theory substituting for holiness. Bertrand Russell was strong D in Peikoff's D.I.M. scheme, of course he was an anarchist. The question is to what degree was he an intrinsicist? Intrinsicism is necessary to move from claiming to know a truth to imposing it on others. Stalin and Jefferson indeed both thought they grasped universal truths, but different ones. Jefferson would not approve of compulsion in matters of conscience which makes him better than your ordinary theist who is almost automatically intrinsicist. Jefferson was a deist.
  20. You wrote " Hazony's own "tribe and family" collectivism" and the substance of my reply is against the characterization of family and tribe as collectivism, Hazony's or anyone else's. An empirical description of what actually exists is not a normative theory of what should exist. Collectivism is a normative theory. Hazony's description of the social bonds of family and tribe is empirical. You are certainly entitled to critique it as false in one way or another but you are committing a category error with this attempt.
  21. "Natural rights theory" is exactly the kind of intrinsicism invented to justify the theory of rights when the objective justification is unavailable because objectivity was not yet fully conceptualized. And if one's theory of rights is intrinsically justified then one can impose that value upon the entire world, from the deserts of Arabia to the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan, and the people there can be expected to welcome their liberation and convert to the program upon being enlightened. Liberalism based upon natural rights theory is now in hindsight obviously false and a failure. Which is not to say that rights are false or forever unjustifiable, just that it does matter how one goes about doing it. Rand showed the way, and it isn't natural it is objective. No, only Rand tried to teach that universals were epistemological. All other versions of universals were metaphysical or extra-dimensional (enabling intrinsic value theory). Perhaps that last sentence makes more sense if you keep that in mind. {edit for addition} So any broad claim held to be universally true was held to be applicable to everyone, even foreigners in distant lands speaking foreign languages and worshipping alien gods. This is just recapitulating Peikoff in regard to how a universal cast as intrinsicism would then justifies using force to coerce people to be good, because if the good is not relative to one's consciousness then understanding and consent have no role to play. This is not offered in a normative sense of theory but as a neutral objective observation of what actually happens in real people around the world and throughout history. That there is such a thing as human nature implies that humans have intrinsic attributes. The affirmation that existence implies identity and definite attributes is Objectivism, not Hazony. Intrinsicism as used in Objectivism refers to the principle of asserting knowledge can exist without knowers or values without valuers. An attempt to identify human nature is necessarily universal to all humans and is going to identify intrinsic attributes, but that doesn't come near to being intrinsicism even if wrong.
  22. Yesterday
  23. On Hazony's classification, Hitler isn't a nationalist and the anarchist Bertrand Russell is a bloody imperialist, and both Stalin and Thomas Jefferson thought they grasped universal truth. If you think that helps clarify things for you, more power to you.
  24. Nothing "leads straight to" anything, until it does. And a position has its own logic, and that logic leads somewhere regardless of whether you or anyone else says they don't want it to. Locke didn't want his epistemology to lead to idealism or skepticism, but Berkeley and Hume showed just how it did. Nietzsche didn't want his ideas to lead to Nazism, but Heidegger showed just how (some of them) did. Rorty didn't want his epistemology and ethics to lead to nihilism and racial collectivism, but it does. Where does the logic of the concepts of politics employed in Atlas Shrugged lead as versus the concepts employed in the following statement: I know it isn't Galt's Gulch or Lexington/Concord. (And by the I didn't say "leads straight to" I said "is compatible with" which you changed to "leads straight to")
  25. Liberalism and natural rights theory predated Rand, so the claim that it was only historically possible to avoid intrinsic value politics after Rand seems just historically wrong. Of course it's only possible to be Rand if you're Rand, but "non-intrinsic politics" and "being Rand" aren't coextensive. (After all, didn't Rand say she thought it was possible to come up with her theory after Locke and the Industrial Revolution happened?) With both Locke and Spinoza we find examples of arguments to the effect that each individual must reason for himself, first-hand, in order to find the good for him. But your last sentence is literally makes no sense to me. Presumably Rand, Plato, Aristotle, and Hazony all believe in universals in epistemology, so I fail to see how that translates to favoring a single "universal state." Presumably Hobbes is disobeying that rule then, since he doesn't believe in universals in epistemology, but does believe in an absolute sovereign (which would have to be a single world-sovereign on his own arguments' grounds.) Thirdly, doesn't Hazony himself favor intrinsic value theory with his "family and tribe" collectivism? You wrote the following note on his text: "non-consensual mutual loyalties bind human beings into families, clans, tribes, and nations; each of us receives a linguistic, cultural or religious inheritance as a consequence of being born into such collectives. Locke neglects responsibilities that are intrinsic to both inherited and adopted membership in collectives of this kind, establishing demands on individuals that do not arise as a result of consent and do not disappear if consent is withheld." If these "non-consensual inherited tribal responsibilities" are not intrinsic, then I don't know what is. This forms its own universal truth Hazony wants us to believe. And we already see that they are non-consensual and do not disappear if consent is withheld. So clearly Hazony doesn't intrinsic value being the path to imperialist domination, but he does see universal truth as being that path. Thus he is still missing the middle term to that argument.
  26. I should add that it is widely regarded that the most econcomically meaningful question that could be answered in mathematics now is the P v NP question. An answer would have vast consequences for the direction of the development of technologies. There is (as I recall) a one million dollar prize offered to the solution of this question. And this question takes as absolutely fundamental such things as symbolic logic and truth tables.
  27. No, it does not involve self-contradiction, and the "self-reference" (we can informally call it a kind of "self-reference" but that is to be severely qualified by understanding the exact mathematics of it) can be constructed with only statements involving generalizations about natural numbers. Moreover, it was later proven to apply to the question of decidability of Diophantine equations, which is (putting it roughly) to answer the question whether there is an algorithm to decide for solutions to the kinds of formulas one finds in high school algebra. If one ever had the intellectual curiosity to ask "Is there an algorithm I could use to solve for unknowns in any given high school algebra problem?" then this is answered as a followup (years later) to Godel's work. Moreover, it was later found to apply to certain other questions in mathematics that had long been a concern to mathematicians quite aside from the Godel theorem. ------ A meaningful system is Peano arithmetic. A meaningful system is PRA (which is finitisitc mathematics about natural numbers). Godel's theorem proves that there are formulas such that neither the formula nor its negation is a theorem of the system (thus that there are formulas that are true about arithmetic that cannot be derived from the axioms) and thus that there is no algorithm to decide for all formulas whether they are theorems of those systems. That is, even just onto itself, a fascinating discovery. ----- Possible claims about "profundity" or philosophical implications of Godel's theorem are separate from the mathematics of the Godel theorem itself. Indeed, there are lots of ridiculous claims about supposed implications of Godels' theorem; but that people misappropriate the theorem is not a fault of the mathematics of the theorem and they do not make the theorem itself "nonsense". ----- We don't need Godel's theorem to inform us that human knowledge is not complete. Godel (or Rosser, et. al) did not advance the work with regard to completeness of human knowledge. Rather, the work concerns specific types of formal mathematical systems. Moreover, there ARE complete and consistent formal mathematical theories; and this is well understood by anyone with a reasonable familiarity of Godels' theorem. Godel's theorem concerns only certain kinds of systems. Granted, Godel had his own philosophical views, but they do not determine the actual mathematics of the theorem. ----- And a cousin of Godel's result is Turing's proof of the undecidability of the halting question. This implies that there is no algorithm that can determine for all computer programs whether they halt upon a given input. This has ramifications (though, I might not be able to find it again on the Internet) for the question of whether there could ever be a universal program to check for any given program whether it has a bug that causes it to not terminate (except, of course, by the physical limitation of memory in the computer). ---- I think it is much better to learn about the actual mathematics of Godel than to opine about it based on various oversimplifications and misinformation about it on the Internet and even in books meant for popular reading rather than actual mathematical scrutiny.
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