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    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"

    "Deep State"

    By dream_weaver,
    Has anyone else noticed a notion of "Deep State", apparently originating from Turkish ideological lore, making inroads as a shadow government within a shadow government even here in the good ole US of A? Given this google search, it doesn't appear to be just a libertarian phenomenon.

    Does The End Require the Means?

    Query One: Objectivism's countenance of the (originally) Aristotelian principle that, to want for demonstration of all things is to betray a want for education, is obvious and indisputable. Both Rand and Aristotle share a crucial appreciation for the necessary existence of certain explananda which must be accepted as the metaphysically given -  as the precondition of man-made explanans (and their viability). Some have objected to this postulation of inscrutables by affirming that it is perhaps possible in some sense that the relationship between the human understanding and "true nature" of existence is asymmetrical; there might be some things "true of existence" which it is impossible for the mind to assent to without later contradiction. In my own words, there is perhaps an unavoidable rupture between metaphysics and epistemology, and there might be things whose postulation invalidates any claim to knowledge or methodological objectivity, but are nevertheless the way of things. In this sense then, contradiction is not simply a sign pointing to unchecked premises, but perhaps also a sign simply of metaphysical impasse insofar as ascension to whatever is the cause of contradiction and impasse is the case, but can nevertheless never known to be the case, ie. that the premise of "symmetry" between epsitemic method and metaphysical reality I mentioned earlier is unjustifiable (I think some aggressive lines of defense might be open to Objectivism in acknowledging that symmetry is man-made - it is constitutive of method). Is the proper rebuttal to remarks of this nature to affirm the necessary supposition of a knowing subject for epsitemic affairs and value? By this I mean is the solution to recapture the uniquely human viewpoint of Objectivism - the insistence on conceptual identity being not a bar but a precondition of epistemological purchase? Is the solution to affirm ineffable claims about "what is the case" as literally meaningless without the requisite means to establish those claims, ie. to affirm the meaninglessness of an uncaused knowledge? Query Two (hopefully related): Objectivists often make use of the principle that appeals to the impossible are fundamentally inappropriate. Indeed, they describe something like omniscience being a bar to certainty as an invocation of an inappropriate standard of certainty. Why must standards of judgment be possible? Isn't it part of the usual detractors' points that such things are impossible precisely in virtue of the impossible standard required?  Thanks in advance for any discussion.

    Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Notable Commentary

    "None of these problems [poverty, cronyism, and low economic growth --ed] has anything to do with the inequality gap between rich and poor." -- Yaron Brook, in "Economic Equality Is an Immoral Ideal" (PDF) in The Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy, vol. 40, no. 1.

    "[Coolidge] did not merely recognize medicine's contribution toward mitigating disease and increasing life expectancy, he went further, praising the root cause of those advances: reason." -- Jared Rhoads, in "Calvin Coolidge's Speech to American Doctors: Praising Medicine and Venerating Reason" at Coolidge Blog.

    "The Saudi regime's domination of women; the public executions of apostates; the floggings for blasphemers; the patrols of the morality police; the prohibition on buying or consuming alcohol; the subjugation of the individual under sharia law -- all of that calls to mind the horror of daily life in Raqqa, a stronghold of Islamic State." -- Elan Journo, in "Why Trump Should Disrupt the Scandalous US-Saudi Relationship" (blogged here) at The Hill.

    "[G]overnment health administrators might be more interested in using AIs to maximize overall cost savings for a large population by mandating 'cookie cutter' health guidelines." -- Paul Hsieh, in "3 Big Questions About AI-Guided Medicine" at Forbes.

    "[My 2014 book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels] argues that the way we have been taught to think about and discuss energy issues is wrong, and that if we follow a better method of thinking, we will conclude that the proper energy policy for the foreseeable future requires increasing our use of fossil fuels -- not dramatically and coercively restricting our fossil fuel use." -- Alex Epstein, in "A Straw Man Attack on the Moral Case for Fossil Fuels" (PDF, blogged here) at Energy Law Journal, vol. 37, no. 3.

    "The story switches midway from the-dollar-will-collapse to gold-will-go-up." -- Keith Weiner, in "The Gnome Underpants Gold Model" at SNB & CHF.

    "[Gold and silver] perform different functions." -- Keith Weiner, in "Will Gold or Silver Pay the Higher Interest Rate?" at SNB & CHF.

    "In a free country, soldiers who fight against an actual threat to America are not sacrificing what is most important to them -- they are upholding it." -- Peter Schwartz, in "Memorial Day -- but Don't Call It a Sacrifice" (2015) at Huffington Post.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Reblogged:Burning Fossilized Thinking for Clarity

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Over at the web site of The Energy Law Journal is a reply(PDF, from Vol. 37, No. 3) by energy advocate Alex Epstein to a non-review of his best-selling book, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels (MCFF). The piece is not a point-by-point rebuttal, because, "Such a rebuttal would require that her criticisms and arguments were of the actual content of the book; they overwhelmingly were not."

    I would add that such a reply would also be a waste of his and his readers' time. Epstein does much better than that: He takes the opportunity afforded by Harvard's Jody Freeman to introduce readers to his book for the first time, by explaining his overall approach -- and then demonstrating beyond the shadow of a doubt that, whatever Freeman was talking about, it wasn't his book. The latter Epstein does by comparing several passages from Freeman's "review" with passages from the book that contradict them. In the process of doing these two things, I think Epstein will (1) encourage any honest, curious reader to consider his book, and (2) help other fossil fuel advocates anticipate the kinds of evasive, context-dropping, and dismissive attacks they will likely encounter. For the second group of readers, this will be a good refresher. I recommend reading the whole thing, but will provide a couple of excerpts below.

    On his overall approach to the question of fossil fuel use, Epstein writes: It is too bad Freeman never actually gets around to understanding these arguments, let alone evaluating them. To wit, the following is a quote from Freeman's "review":"Yet MCFF repeatedly states that there is a warming effect associated with greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere," Epstein replies, before quoting what I thought was one of the more helpful passages of his book on exactly that matter:What I like about this piece, as I did with Epstein's debate with Bill McKibben, is that he does not allow himself to be drawn into squabbling over non-essentials (as McKibben's Gish Gallop was intended to do), but focuses on helping his audience think about the issues themselves. This approach not only promises hope for a more rational debate about energy, but about countless other issues.

    -- CAV Link to Original

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