Jump to content

Welcome Guest

Navigation

  • Objectivism Online Wiki

On Social Media:

Welcome to Objectivism Online Forum
Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more. This message will be removed once you have signed in.
Login to Account Create an Account
Photo

Checking Premises . ORG Statements and My Position

- - - - - Objectivism Subjectivism Rationalism checkingpremises.org epistomology psycho-epistemology

  • This topic is locked This topic is locked
353 replies to this topic

#1
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
Checking Premises . ORG Statements and My Position

By Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

02/04/2012


I seem to be getting quite a few friendship requests after taking a stance against certain aspects of the checkingpremises.org essays and statements as presented on their website -- especially after posting the following to several friend's wall posts:

"I think you guys [Chip Joyce et al] have a ways to go to present your case. Yes, there are people who claim all sorts of nonsense is compatible with Objectivism, but when I asked you via FaceBook to give three examples of what you were referring to -- no one came up with three examples. You didn't even point to Libertarianism, Kelley, and Brandon and what they say that is contrary to Objectivism, and hence a mere "belief" in the words of Chip Joyce's "Subjectivist Objectivists." That essay needs to be fleshed out more if you expect the rational student of Objectivism enquirer to understand what your point is -- especially if you are trying to reach the modern day Objectivist student who may do an internet search and come across CP. I mean, there are copious examples out there, such as anarcho-capitalism, the Christian-Objectivist, the determinist-Objectivist, etc...but you would have to show how holding onto these ideas is a form of subjectivism. You didn't even state what subjectivism is and why a belief without facts is a form of subjectivism, nor how a rationalist method and conclusion can lead to a type of subjectivism. John Kagebein's more recent essay is much better in that he referred to specific facts about DH that lead him to his conclusion that she is incompetent to present Objectivism."

So, I think I need to clarify my position, least it seems that I am for what he claims to be against. I think he is on to something in his identification of the "subjectivist objectivist" -- only, I wouldn't call it that, as it is a contradiction in terms, and I would have made the case clearer as to what I was actually against. Yes, insofar as there are people out there who seem to cherry pick their ideas from Objectivism on a personal like basis -- i.e. I like Ayn Rand's views on capitalism, but insofar as she disregards God, I cannot be for Objectivism as she presented it, so I am a Christian-Objectivist -- this is an act of subjectivism; of making a decision based on emotions, rather than reason. There is more to subjectivism than that as a methodology, but I am trying to keep this brief. I am definitely and wholeheartedly against those types of people.

The problem is that Chip is claiming that the Libertarians, David Kelley, Nathaniel Brandon, and Diana Hseih are acting in a similar manner with regard to "applications of Objectivism that Miss Rand never talked about." But he didn't make his case. He presented no evidence from which he drew his supposed inductive generalization in his essay. Yes, they tend to pick and choose among Objectivist principles -- applying them in a hash-hazard way -- but does this make them subjectivists? Are they doing this based on their emotional reactions to statements that Miss Rand and Dr. Peikoff have made? Not in my experience of dealing with their issues and having discussions and arguments with their followers. I see their primary problem as a lack of Objectivity and integration, and making arguments based on arguments, based on arguments, but never touching the ground in the process. In other words, a form of rationalism. Now, if one holds onto a rationalistic argument that can be shown to be unconnected to reality and therefore not true based upon an emotional attachment to one's mis-generated ideas, then yes, this would be a form of subjectivism. In that regard, Chip is on to something. But he would have to demonstrate this by a reference to the facts instead of merely asserting it. So, while I think I agree with him, after thinking it through a bit with some help from John K on FaceBook, he didn't present the issue very well. So, I am not against the idea (aside from it being presented in a contradiction in terms), just the execution.

So, be forewarned if you are friending me because you think I am for what Chip is against, because you would be friending me on the wrong terms.

Edited by Thomas M. Miovas Jr., 04 February 2012 - 06:08 PM.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#2
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
Let me elaborate further. It is well known among Objectivists that there are no facts supporting the idea that there is a God and a Kingdom in Heaven or that Jesus will return some day or that God is looking out for you to insure a delivery of Justice, etc. Some Christians are very intellectual and can give rationalistic "reasons" for their support of their God, such as stating that everything has a cause and therefore there had to be some cause to the universe, and that cause must be God. The idea that "everything has a cause" is a floating abstraction not tied to the facts of reality. It takes Aristotle's efficient cause in an out of context manner, because Aristotle didn't say that everything that exists has a cause of it coming into being (although he almost said this in his theory of the Unmoved Mover). What he said is that there are cases whereby something will be caused to act the way it does due to something acting on it -- like billiard balls. So, all these floating abstractions (ideas not tied to reality generated by rationalism) are put together in a supposed non-contradictory manner by the Christian intellectuals, generating a rationalist "castle in the sky" or a "Kingdom in Heaven." And this has quite the emotional appeal to them. Notice that they get quite defensive when one points out to them that their ideas are not connected to reality and that they cannot demonstrate one iota of it, let alone prove it philosophically or scientifically. When they do this, when they get defensive instead of dropping their idea of a God because there are no facts to back it up, then they have switched from being a rationalist to being a subjectivist. Many Christians are much more honest about their position, saying that it requires Faith instead of reason, making it a belief not based upon the facts instead of an argument, which is also a form of subjectivism.

What Chip is claiming is that the Libertarians and the Kelleyites are acting in a similar manner. "Libertarianism, The Perversion of Liberty" thoroughly blasted their ideas and showed that these ideas were not based on the facts of reality, and yet people continue to hold onto to them out of an emotional appeal of liberty, thus making them subjectivists. Similarly, "Fact and Value" thoroughly blasted David Kelley's ideas, showing that they were not based on the facts of reality, and yet people continue to hold onto those ideas out an emotional appeal of not judging ideas morally nor the people who come up with them, because it is nicer; and presumably, one ought to be polite and respectful to one's intellectual opponents, even though one's opponent is completely irrational. As a contemporary example of both these ideas in action, notice how Ron Paul believes that if we are only nice to the Iranians that they will not nuke us with their nuclear bomb they are trying to make -- you know, because Islam means peace!

In short, if one has a belief system or a set of ideas tied together but not connected to reality, and one holds onto them after it has been shown not to be based on reality, then one is holding onto them out of mere belief, and has moved from being a rationalist to being a subjectivist. The proper and objective way to be when someone points out that one's ideas do not match the facts of reality is to drop them and to re-think the issue, taking the facts into account and organize those facts mentally into proper concepts, rational principles, and inductive generalizations. For example, if one rationalistically comes up with the idea that there are little green men on Mars, because life happens on planets and Mars is a planet; and one points out the fact that there is no evidence for little green men on mars; then one ought to drop the idea and re-think through what conditions are necessary for life to exist on earth, let alone another planet. Otherwise, one is holding onto a belief and is not being rational.

Edited by Thomas M. Miovas Jr., 05 February 2012 - 09:12 AM.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#3
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
I've put this series of essays up on my website for easy reference at http://www.appliedph..._statements.htm

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#4
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
I've added some points for clarification of my original posting and the follow-up,and posted them to my website:

Now, if one holds onto a rationalistic argument that can be shown to be unconnected to reality and therefore not true based upon an emotional attachment to one's mis-generated ideas, then yes, this would be a form of subjectivism [the implication would be that reality can be anything one wants it to be (dependent on the subject, the person who holds certain organized ideas) so long as one is “rational enough”].

*Ayn Rand -- In metaphysics, “subjectivism” is the view that reality (the “object”) is dependent on human consciousness (the “subject”). In epistemology, as a result, subjectivists hold that a man need not concern himself with the facts of reality; instead, to arrive at knowledge or truth, he need merely turn his attention inward, consulting the appropriate contents of consciousness, the ones with the power to make reality conform to their dictates. According to the most widespread form of subjectivism, the elements which possess this power are feelings.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#5
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
I'm here thinking about the theory that the universe is so orderly because God is rational and reality conforms to God's consciousness. Some philosophers dispense with God and make it more humanized -- i.e. the idea that reality conforms to scientific formulae, that reality wasn't so organized until Newton came up with his physics.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#6
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
The newly re-written essay "Subjectivist Objectivist" makes a lot more sense to me. Basically, Chip is saying that the supposed Objectivists wish their arguments or positions were compatible with Objectivism, though it can clearly be shown that they are not; thus placing an "I wish" over an "It is" -- making them subjectivists. The examples drawn from DH in John k's essay demonstrate that DH's argument on several topics is not compatible with Objectivism, though, of course, she *wants* them to be so compatible.

Regarding rationalism as a method, it is not compatible with the Objectivist method of objectivity -- of remaining focused on the facts while having an abstract discussion. So, their argument is not that rationalism is a type of subjectivism; but rather that rationalism is not compatible with Objectivism.

Wish they had made all of that more clear from the beginning.

My original analysis of what I thought they were saying was that insofar as a rationalist argument can be shown to not be compatible with reality, and the rationalist stamps his foot when this is pointed out to him, that insofar as he does that he is also trying to place an "I wish" over an "It is" -- i.e. that the rationalist methodology does not lead to an understanding of existence, though they *want* it to.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#7
Trebor

Trebor

    Advanced Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin, Texas
  • Real Name:John Shepard
Thank you, Mr. Miovas, for posting the link to Checking Premises (I was unaware of the site before you mentioned it), as well as to this latest post by Mr. Joyce, "Subjectivist Objectivists."

I, for one, certainly like the idea behind Checking Premises, and I'm grateful to the principals and associates of the site for creating it.

#8
Steve D'Ippolito

Steve D'Ippolito

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,973 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Colorado
  • Chat Nick:LordGodTarskyte
Trebor,

Do please check out the response by Dr. Hsieh:

http://blog.dianahsi...troversies.html
"The landslide has already begun. It is too late for the pebbles to vote." Kosh Neranek, Babylon 5.

“The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction.” Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

#9
Trebor

Trebor

    Advanced Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 929 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Austin, Texas
  • Real Name:John Shepard
Thank you, Steve, for the link. I'll certainly read Dr. Hsieh's response.

#10
Grames

Grames

    Serial Thinker

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,815 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pennsylvania
I would like to see all sides be more objective in practicing philosophy, including adherence to a professional ethics for public writer, speaker and intellectual. A decent respect for their audiences as reasoning individuals would rule out moving from an argument against a badly justified conclusion to an argument against the person making the bad argument. A series of successful refutations can speak for itself. Formulations such as "Subjectivist Objectivists" is simply childish name-calling.

#11
Dante

Dante

    Eudaimoniac

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,367 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Nashville, TN
  • Real Name:Chris Cotter

The newly re-written essay "Subjectivist Objectivist" makes a lot more sense to me. Basically, Chip is saying that the supposed Objectivists wish their arguments or positions were compatible with Objectivism, though it can clearly be shown that they are not; thus placing an "I wish" over an "It is" -- making them subjectivists. The examples drawn from DH in John k's essay demonstrate that DH's argument on several topics is not compatible with Objectivism, though, of course, she *wants* them to be so compatible.


I'm not seeing this demonstration at all in the Open Letter. First off, the most space by far is devoted to the compulsory juries issue, where Kagebein's argument is not that Hsieh is wrong about juries, but rather than she has misunderstood Peikoff and they both agree that these arrangements should be voluntary. No 'incompatibility with Objectivism' there. The other issues which are brought up are not explored in any kind of depth; in most of them, an assertion is made, such as the following:

"Hsieh attempts to uphold the principle of property rights as a non-contextual absolute, thus violating the Objectivist principle of objectivity, which holds that all conceptual and generalized principles are contextual; only the proper method of reason is absolute in all contexts."

However, there is no support provided. There is no demonstration of any kind. Three such issues are brought up on one or a few paragraphs each, and again assertions are made without demonstration. And then again, we get to an issue which gets more than a few lines, anencephalic infants. Here, Kagebein is even less impressive. He claims to have found a 'fundamental misunderstanding of Objectivism’s ethics' in this quote of Hsieh's:

"For the record, I have zero desire to eat human flesh (!!). But I don't see any strong grounds to condemn someone who did as immoral, provided that no rights were violated (or any other injustice or immorality done) in the process."

He attempts to read this quote to support the idea that Hsieh thinks that morality doesn't extend beyond rights-violations. Putting aside the fact that Hsieh does weekly podcasts on issues of practical ethics that often extend beyond merely discussing rights, she notes the possibility of 'injustice or immorality' above and apart from rights-violations in the quote itself! Kagebein couldn't even find a quote capable of being fully pulled out of context in order to support his argument here.

In short, I see nothing in this essay or on the page in general which is substantively adding to the discussion in any way.
"What kind of idea are you? Are you the kind that compromises, does deals, accommodates itself to society, aims to find a niche, to survive; or are you the cussed, bloody-minded, ramrod-backed type of damnfool notion that would rather break than sway with the breeze? – The kind that will almost certainly, ninety-nine times out of hundred, be smashed to bits; but, the hundredth time, will change the world." - Salman Rushdie

#12
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
I sent CP the following letter:

I agree with the assessment of the Open Letter on the CP website. John Kagebein gives some very good reasons to be concerned about the methodology and lack of seriousness of Diana Hsieh, citing specific examples from her works. While anyone can make a mistake in presenting Objectivism, those considering themselves to be professional philosophers and especially professional philosophers of Objectivism must be held to a higher standard. Besides, DH never acknowledged that her arguments were incorrect and therefore that she was mistaken and corrected her views. His essays has prompted me to think more clearly about how I am presenting Objectivism -- to check my premises.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#13
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
By the way, I put this thread in the metaphysics and epistemology section because it is really an issue of mental methodology. The point is that rationalism -- thinking without taking the facts into account, of moving from idea to idea without looking at reality -- cannot lead to knowledge of existence, nor knowledge of Objectivism. Consequently, the rationalist cannot come up with proper applications of Objectivism. A good example I just discussed on this board is that of anarcho-capitalism. A-C is incompatible with Objectivism because it rationalistically takes the market as a primary and thinks that if we only had a market in force or retaliatory force, that individual rights would naturally be the outcome because the market place comes up with good values. Besides, Miss Rand was completely against anarchy and competing governments, so it is incompatible by direct contradiction to Miss Rand's philosophy. I don't want to get into a discussion of anarchy or A-C in this thread, since there is a thread on it already; but I am just indicating that an improper epistemology will not lead one to the truth.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#14
softwareNerd

softwareNerd

    Proud Father

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,004 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Chat Nick:sNerd

... I am just indicating that an improper epistemology will not lead one to the truth.

At this level of abstraction, and to this audience, you're stating the obvious! You have a post saying "DH never acknowledged that her arguments were incorrect" without so much as a minimal attempt to say what may be incorrect; then, you follow it up talking about anarcho-capitalism! You might as well say that following the wrong methodology does not lead to proof, and give us the example of religion and God.

| Check out my Blog |
So many otherwise intelligent men want to raise other men to their mountain top by marching them up at gun point.


#15
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
My apologies. I meant to provide a link to the Open Letter, which does go into specifics as to method and conclusion. It's not a full treatment, but it does indicate that if one does not take the facts into account then one's conclusions will not be compatible with a more rational, objective approach. The examples given are DH stating that it is moral to eat brainless babies because they don't have rights (which ignores the fact that it is a *human* baby and which mother in her right mind is going to want to eat her own baby nor let others eat it?), and permitting the building of the NYC Mosque because they do have property rights (which ignores the hierarchy of right to life precedes right to property, and one cannot permit a deadly enemy to become established in one's country after 911). In both cases,DH was being rationalistic -- not taking relevant and important facts into account.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#16
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
The issue is not one of any given conclusion -- Libertarianism, anarcho-capitalism, determinism, etc. -- nor of any given personality -- Brandon, Kelley, Diana Hsieh, etc. -- but rather one of methodology. What method are they employing and is it objectivity? Objectivity is a specific method of mental operation, which basically involves taking the relevant facts into account, organizing them according to similarities, and forming concepts, rational principles, and inductive generalizations. Insofar as one is not employing the method of objectivity, one's conclusions will not match the identity of what actually is real, or what is Objectivism. And yet, there are those who claim any spurious conclusion they reach by a non-objective method is compatible with Objectivism; and when it is pointed out to them that they are wrong, they tend to stamp their foot at reality or any representative of the objective method (I.e. Dr. Peikoff), implying that their wish is superior to the facts of reality and of reason, thus making them subjectivists (of placing an "I wish" over an "It is").

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#17
softwareNerd

softwareNerd

    Proud Father

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,004 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Chat Nick:sNerd

In both cases,DH was being rationalistic -- not taking relevant and important facts into account.

The facts were clearly taken into account, but that does not mean those are the only facts to be considered. I can understand disagreeing with DH, but labeling her argument rationalistic is simply a straw-man. Worse still, it is concept inflation: any time you dislike the way your opponent stresses the importance of certain facts and relationships in a way different from the way you do, you can happily label him "rationalistic". That might convince people who weigh the facts the way you do, but it is completely unconvincing to the people who have weighed the facts differently and find you telling them -- pompously, BTW -- that they have not considered the facts. They'd be willing to listed it you realize that they have, in fact, considered the facts, The irony is that your use of the phrase "taking..into account" is a rationalistic floating abstraction.

| Check out my Blog |
So many otherwise intelligent men want to raise other men to their mountain top by marching them up at gun point.


#18
brian0918

brian0918

    Egophile

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,440 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Chat Nick:brian0918

I sent CP the following letter:

I agree with the assessment of the Open Letter on the CP website. John Kagebein gives some very good reasons to be concerned about the methodology and lack of seriousness of Diana Hsieh, citing specific examples from her works. While anyone can make a mistake in presenting Objectivism, those considering themselves to be professional philosophers and especially professional philosophers of Objectivism must be held to a higher standard. Besides, DH never acknowledged that her arguments were incorrect and therefore that she was mistaken and corrected her views. His essays has prompted me to think more clearly about how I am presenting Objectivism -- to check my premises.

This letter appears written purposely to be included on the CP.org Positive Feedback page, as particularly evident by the pandering in the last sentence.

It's unfortunate to see Edward Cline included on that page, passing judgment on DH based solely on his "one and only encounter" which "left a bad taste" in his mouth. He compares her to "sworn enemies" of Rand who "attacked her with smears" intent on destroying Objectivism, as if we should presume that DH is even attacking Rand or Objectivism, and not simply disputing LP's application of Objectivism to particulars (for which I agree with LP, not DH, in certain instances).

Might I remind you that LP himself states that disagreement with him, or even with Rand, on concrete applications of Objectivism, does not disqualify one from being an Objectivist.

Cline is right that many people are "very confused about what is and what ought to be." But confusion isn't immoral, and it is not alleviated with a condescending remark ("alleged Objectivists... presumptive students of Objectivism"), but with clarification and discourse.

Edited by brian0918, 11 February 2012 - 07:37 AM.

The problem with reality is that it only works in practice. In theory, it can never work. ;)


#19
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
You would have to look up DH's Atloscon write up and her 05/31/2011 podcast to see what her argument was for eating brainless children. Effectively, she was stating that they didn't have rights and therefore could be eaten, which is a rationalistic argument, basically putting such children in the same category as cattle and chickens. She even elaborated and said we could have them in grocery stores and her and the audience celebrated the fact that we could have baby baby-backed ribs! As I said in my previous post, it overlooks the fact that such deformed children are born of human parents, that it would be a great tragedy for the parents, and that they would not drop that context and take the position that, "Hey, Johnny didn't quite come out right, so let's have him for dinner!" Her position drops a great deal of context of expectant parents. So, it is not a matter of me disagreeing with her conclusion that labels that argument as rationalistic, it is the fact that she dropped a great deal of facts and context in her processing of considering what to do with brainless children. And by the way, I am not morally condemning her for making that mistake -- I see it as an error of method -- and she ought to realize she made an error, acknowledge it, correct her mistake, and take down that portion of that podcast.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#20
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
Also, the Objectivist position of the foundation of rights is not that we *can* reason, and if you can' t then you don't have rights; it is the argument that man's mind is his basic means of survival -- that in order to survive a man *must* think and therefore must be free to act on the rational judgement of his own mind, being free from force regarding those decisions. In a rational society defending individual rights, the non-rational individual would also be protected from force (since the law would cover a certain geographical area), but one's volition and the ability to make choices in and of itself is not the grounding for individual rights (contrary to the Libertarians).

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#21
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.
In light of this discussion, I have added a paragraph to my essay on "Governments and Individual Rights", concretizing the idea further:

"It is the human mind and the capacity to reason about the facts of reality that make it possible for man to create the values necessary for his survival. Things like automobiles, computers, books on philosophy, movies, radios, etc. are values -- they support human life -- and do not come about due to instinct or feelings, but the rational application of the methodology of thinking about the facts and figuring out how to apply that understanding to the issue of human survival -- to make life better by a rational standard. And the concept of individual rights is there to acknowledge this fact about human existence and to insure that such thinking and activity is protected so that it can flourish."

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#22
Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

Thomas M. Miovas Jr.

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 2,639 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Pittsburgh PA area
  • Chat Nick:tmiovas
  • Real Name:Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

Might I remind you that LP himself states that disagreement with him, or even with Rand, on concrete applications of Objectivism, does not disqualify one from being an Objectivist.


The issue is not about concrete applications that might or might not disagree with Miss Rand or Dr. Peikoff. I wholeheartedly agree with him on that. For example, it is well known that Objectivists have major disagreements over the value of certain movies or other forms of entertainment. Miss Rand held that her "tiddlywink" music was her favorite (and compatible with her benevolent universe premise). Dr. Peikoff does not prefer that type of music, and neither do it (I prefer "Swing Music" and "Classical Music" even those that are not so benevolent). Nor about applications of what one should do with one's time (like post to intellectual discussion groups or partake in intellectual activism). Nor is it about other concretes that others might choose to have in their lives (so long as they are compatible with human existence). It's not about the concretes, it is about *methodology*. The Libertarians, for example, try to base the issue of individual rights on the facts that they can make choices and ought to be free to do so, but free will is not the foundation of individual rights, nor the proper method of thinking about individual rights. It does not take into account that the *fact* that man must think in order to create the values necessary to survive and to flourish. Similarly, DH's argument that we can eat brainless children is not about the concrete of eating or not eating such children, but rather the methodology she employed in order to arrive at that conclusion (such as dropping the context, as indicated earlier). Past a certain point, the person continuously employing a non-objective approach to issues of the day (which Miss Rand did not speak about -- i.e. SOPA) means that one is not an Objectivist, because one has not yet learned the proper methodology of thinking in terms of the facts of reality. This is not to say that DH is not an Objectivist, since I don't think she has come out against Objectivism *on principle*, but if she wrote a paper on epistemology and didn't discuss the objective method, but rather supported rationalism, then yes, that would disqualify her from being an Objectivist.

$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
Philosophic essays based on the philosophy of Ayn Rand
http://www.appliedphilosophyonline.com
Applied Philosophy Online .com
Where Ideas Are Brought Down to Earth!
All rights reserved 2013 by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

*****
The DFW OPAR Study Group is now available on-line for viewing
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/opar/


Live local to Pittsburgh? Join the Pittsburgh Objectivism Society!



Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.


#23
Jonathan13

Jonathan13

    Senior Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPipPip
  • 1,083 posts
  • Gender:Male

And yet, there are those who claim any spurious conclusion they reach by a non-objective method is compatible with Objectivism; and when it is pointed out to them that they are wrong, they tend to stamp their foot at reality or any representative of the objective method (I.e. Dr. Peikoff), implying that their wish is superior to the facts of reality and of reason, thus making them subjectivists (of placing an "I wish" over an "It is").


A great example of a person reaching a spurious conclusion by using a non-objective method is Peikoff's position on the "ground zero mosque." He began with an "I wish" -- he wished the mosque not to be built, and to use the initiation of government force to prevent its construction -- and then very poorly "reasoned" backward from there, asserting that our "metaphysical survival" was at stake, and thus proposing the "solution" that the building not be allowed to be built, but neglecting to propose the alternative idea that those whom he was accusing of presenting a clear and present danger to our very survival should first be tried and then imprisoned if found guilty. His desire to violate property rights based on his mere aesthetic (symbolic) distastes, and to rationalize those aesthetic feelings as being based in rational ethical thought, was very subjective, whimsical and irrational.


Similarly, DH's argument that we can eat brainless children is not about the concrete of eating or not eating such children, but rather the methodology she employed in order to arrive at that conclusion (such as dropping the context, as indicated earlier).


I'm not sure that I follow. Are you saying that your disagreement with DH hinges on the concrete fact that brainless children have no brains, and therefore we should not eat them because they are missing the only part worth eating?

J

#24
softwareNerd

softwareNerd

    Proud Father

  • Admin
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 12,004 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Chat Nick:sNerd

The issue is not about concrete applications that might or might not disagree with Miss Rand or Dr. Peikoff. I wholeheartedly agree with him on that. For example, it is well known that Objectivists have major disagreements over the value of certain movies or other forms of entertainment. Miss Rand held that her "tiddlywink" music was her favorite ...

The example of music is not too useful here.

As for eating babies, I don't intend to delve into the details of how the discussion arose, because I think that particular concrete is simply a distraction. As you yourself said, who is going to be eating babies or offering up babies as meals. It's so far-fetched, that it is in the realm of life-boat examples. it is fine to discuss such examples occasionally, but these are not really about Objectivism one way or the other. I'm willing to bet DH is not advocating eating babies in any proper sense of the concept "advocate". So, enough said.

Now, on the other hand, questions like a mosque in NYC or SOPA are real, and therefore far more interesting. On these real issues, I have never seen anyone make a coherent case that the other side is being rationalistic. I understand how the two sides have different judgments on the concretes, but this does not come from a different fundamental approach to philosophy nor from a more or less rationalistic approach. It is a total straw-man to claim that this is so, and simply avoids discussing the actual argument.

| Check out my Blog |
So many otherwise intelligent men want to raise other men to their mountain top by marching them up at gun point.


#25
Ninth Doctor

Ninth Doctor

    Advanced Member

  • Regulars
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 922 posts
  • Gender:Male

A decent respect for their audiences as reasoning individuals would rule out moving from an argument against a badly justified conclusion to an argument against the person making the bad argument. A series of successful refutations can speak for itself.

There’s plenty of precedent to be found for this in Rand-land. Here’s an essay on the McCaskey imbroglio:

http://txpropertyrig...rd-peikoff.html

For the answer to how McCaskey should be evaluated, I suggest reviewing Leonard Peikoff’s excellent article “Fact and Value”, which is available for viewing on the ARI website. Discussing Ayn Rand’s evaluation of Kant in that article, Leonard Peikoff states:


In the final issue of The Objectivist, Ayn Rand described Kant as “the most evil man in mankind’s history.” She said it knowing full well that, apart from his ideas, Kant’s actions were unexceptionable, even exemplary. Like Ellsworth Toohey, he was a peaceful citizen, a witty lecturer, a popular dinner guest, a prolific writer. She said it because of what Kant wrote—and why—and what it would have to do to mankind. [bold added]


In summary, ideas require an evaluation with man’s life as the standard of value. McCaskey should be evaluated for what he said about scientific induction, and what it would mean for science.



I’m not going to take the time to express my opinion of this mentality, er, policy. BTW there was already a thread for this topic, and it was locked soon after it began, on the grounds that it didn’t “offer much value in relation to the forum”.

http://forum.objecti...ndpost&p=288044

What I think this is really all about is the fact that you can't critique DH on her own turf (she actively deletes posts and bans people, as is her prerogative), and since OO isn't good for personal battles, having such active moderation, there is no forum for a certain element to gather. Why they don’t migrate to Betsy Speicher’s forum is a not entirely clear to me, unless you isolate the essence of this group’s identity as being that of Peikoff purists. BS ruled herself out of such a group in 2006, by disagreeing that theocracy was an imminent danger to the US, therefore vote Democratic or else you don’t understand Objectivism. She was anathematized for this by DH, hence the irony that I can assure you we Kelleyites are enjoying immensely.
"If in this book harsh words are spoken about some of the greatest among the intellectual leaders of mankind, my motive is not, I hope, the wish to belittle them. It springs rather from my conviction that, if our civilization is to survive, we must break with the habit of deference to great men." - Karl Popper, The Open Society and its Enemies, Preface

"Ma gavte la nata" - Jacopo Belbo



Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Objectivism, Subjectivism, Rationalism, checkingpremises.org, epistomology, psycho-epistemology

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users