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  2. This is actually not an appropriate time to use that principle. The second definition needs to be a narrower subcategory of the first definition, and the narrower subcategory needs to be normative. All you've done here is point out the way in which you can observe volition. That's not even enough on its own to warrant distinguishing these things as separate concepts. If anything, Rand excluded from volition anything to do with locomotion: "his volition is limited to his cognitive processes". But this is still vague about what a cognitive process is (she doesn't really define it), and does
  3. Interesting. This establishes a clear distinction between self-initiated motion and the application of volition to the arena of self-initiated motion in the realm of cognition. In this context, a resort to the principle of two definitions is appropriate with the distinction drawn between volition as applied extrospectively to the observable self-initiated motion contrasted against the introspectively observable self-initiated motion in the realm of cognition. Such leaves the animal kingdom free to volitionally repeat their self-initiated motions generation after generation while mank
  4. Additionally, given my later, more considered examination, I should take back my earlier, imprecise statement: “Galt’s Speech confined itself to what a person needs for an integrated full framework for living in the modern world.” Rather, that confinement is what remains of GS when one sets aside “psychologies and motives of religionists and of materialists (e.g. Marxists, Behaviorists) / psychologies of savages and of dictators.” I said also earlier in the reflections in this thread that the doctrines in Galt’s Speech “suffice to cover all the essentials of the philosophy. (Amplification
  5. Yesterday
  6. So you literally accept that there are other kinds of volition besides cognitive or conceptual. But also, why do you pick the word "physical? It sounds like you are suggesting that purposeful volition is itself nonphysical and exists as its own kind of substance. So you would have created a volition for the body, and a volition for the mind. I assume you're being metaphorical though. Don't be metaphorical, it isn't helping. Locomotion isn't about movement. It's about a progression of movements from point A to point B through swimming, walking, flying, etc. Reflexive actions are br
  7. You're not really trying to brag about the Jewish Space Laser lady now, are you? You - ... You do realize how insane the rest of her belief system is, don't you? I really don't think that's a member the Q movement should be bragging about. If she came out tomorrow and endorsed Ayn Rand I'd be mortified, because - well, Jewish Space Lasers. Unfortunately, in general I would tend to agree with that. One of the reasons I'm so frequently tone-policing my peers here (indeed, a large part of the reason why I'm reviving this old thread) is in the attempt, in my own small way, to comba
  8. Animals have volition. Not near as much as humans, but it's still volition -- the abilities of selective attention and self-initiating locomotion (and more bodily movements). How do you know what happens in the mind of a dog or a cougar on the prowl for prey or any other animal? Clairvoyance? You apparently quote Rand (no specific source stated). "Living organisms possess the power of self-initiated motion, which inanimate matter does not possess; man’s consciousness possesses the power of self-initiated motion in the realm of cognition (thinking)." Apparently you don't understand
  9. "Self-initiated motion" by AR is much better than the rough 'physical' volition. Man exists and his mind exists. Both are part of nature, both possess a specific identity. The attribute of volition does not contradict the fact of identity, just as the existence of living organisms does not contradict the existence of inanimate matter. Living organisms possess the power of self-initiated motion, which inanimate matter does not possess; man’s consciousness possesses the power of self-initiated motion in the realm of cognition (thinking), which the consciousnesses of other living spec
  10. 'Physical volition' (loosely) - I mean the group of innate, instinctive, reflexive, learned acts, or actions driven by biological urges and sense-perceptions - as opposed to cognitive, conscious, purposeful volition. Man alone makes "choices". Animals 'making choices' undermines the significance of the concept. Besides, it is simply false. You see an animal doing one thing but not any other and take it as "a choice"? How does one know which, if any, alternative possibilities it had in mind? Clairvoyance? "Impossible" - Would sitting on a drawing pin -perhaps- cause one's locomo
  11. What does this even mean? The point is that locomotion is impossible without some kind of nonautomatic choice involved in the process.
  12. I think this is accurate. 'Physical' volition, we (men and all life forms) possess. How conscious that volition is and isn't, is altogether another complex matter (for biologists, behaviorists, neuroscientists, psychologists to work on) and rising in intricacy with the higher mammals. But ANY goal-directed action is volitional. And: Volition = goal-directed. Unconscious, involuntary, semi-conscious or fully conscious. I think Rand completely and cleverly encompassed all traditional understanding of "volition" by her "goal-directed action". Nerves and senses to brain. Brain to muscle
  13. A volitional consciousness has a dual role imo. It relates to the means - focus/identify/conceptualize, and also- to the result, one's expanding knowledge and one's character. Rand indicates very briefly her thinking about the contents of consciousness, below. Therefore, one gains one's *state" of consciousness, by choice and free will - i.e., volitionally. (The truism, "Character is destiny" is semi-true: Knowledge and character put into congruent action "is destiny"). Rand: "The faculty of volition operates in regard to the two fundamental aspects of man’s life: consciousness and e
  14. Certainly, the movement e.g. a plant's roots extending, may be imperceptible but is equally, "goal-directed action". As are the non-visible activities of internal processes and the organs in a body. Where animal locomotion only is taken to be evidence of life, the biologists (etc.) are limiting the range of life-identity.
  15. Notice that my immediately preceding post contradicts what I said in the first post of this thread, in respect of OPAR containing the essentials of the philosophy. It is the later post that is the more considered assessment and that demarcates some inessentials of the philosophy that are included in OPAR. That the book contains more than the essentials is no demerit to its aim. If one goes, as many do, in looking at who is an Objectivist in their philosophy by whether they concur with the essentials of the philosophy, I should not want to leave the impression that everything in Peikoff's
  16. Last week
  17. Peikoff’s book on the philosophy of Ayn Rand covers all of the basics of the philosophy. Is every point the book includes as part of the philosophy essential to that philosophy? I should say No. As I mentioned earlier, Rand’s measurement-omission theory of concepts (which I have championed and developed further in my 2004) as well as her theory of esthetics are not essentials of the philosophy. Those things were not in Galt’s Speech, whose doctrines suffice to cover all the essentials of the philosophy. (Amplifications of those essentials Rand subsequently published could also be taken as
  18. It may be metaphorical but an example would be a plant growing toward the sun. It is an alternative that is life enhancing for the plant, it is a movement too.
  19. The intent is to understand the nature of free will and animal consciousness, rather than free will in the context of conceptual consciousness.
  20. Point taken. She obviously set a distinction by contrasting a volitional consciousness to what would have to be implied as an instinctive consciousness. Perhaps better stated as a volitional conceptual consciousness contrasted with the animal mind amounting to "here now tree", "here now food", "here now master." If the intent is to apply it solely to man and how it relates to his conceptual faculty as set apart from the animal, it is difficult to square with her usual precision and particularization with the English language.
  21. The thoughts in OPAR move smoothly. It is as easy to read as GS. The two have the same range of readers to whom they are significantly understandable. Peikoff begins OPAR with remarks on the nature and function of philosophy (1–4). Rand had taken on that issue in her 1974 address at West Point, and Peikoff excerpts from that speech for his springboard into what is philosophy, in Rand’s conception of it, and how he will proceed to present the areas of philosophy hierarchically in his book. He then proceeds in his first chapter to point out that philosophies build on starting points, and th
  22. This suggests or implies there are nonvolitional choices. I have no idea of what they might be. What dilution? The terms volition and volitional existed long before Rand used them. Living organisms exhibit various levels of self-regulation that are implemented by choosing (often only by selective attention), i.e. using the faculty of volition. Ayn Rand chose to write about volition mainly regarding a human's control of his or her conceptual capacity, even "reducing" that "to think or not." That she chose to do so does does eliminate other levels of self-regulation, i.e. volition, that
  23. I would say thanks for pointing that out, but I think I alluded to that already.
  24. Since we are talking about consciousness in the ways we have observed, you start by identifying if it's biological. If you want to talk about robots, things that are not biological, it is still pretty unknown how to identify when they are conscious in the first place. Or another option, that Rand should've used a different concept or word because volition is more general than she realized. I just realized that WhyNot didn't simply misunderstand me or overlook what I said about causes. He thought that I was talking about simultaneous events, thinking that I was suggesting that
  25. Rand made the distinction of a volitional consciousness, and the section on life sustaining action stemming from plants, and stampeding though animals and stood man erectly apart using volitional choice as a distinguishing characteristic. If the intent is to merely dilute volitional choice by extending it to what she clearly did not have in mind, what is a better term to use in the place of volition regarding man in her context, or a better term to use regarding animals to avoid usurping its usage here by such a dilution?
  26. But how do you identify volitional movement as apposed to non-volitional movement? Can't volitional movement be "mimicked" by deterministic systems? The question was discussed in the thread regarding "external indicator".
  27. What is consciousness for? "So, our primary hypothesis is: The ultimate adaptive function of consciousness is to make volitional movement possible. Consciousness evolved as a platform for volitional attention; volitional attention, in turn, makes volitional movement possible. Volitional movement (including any automatized components) is the sole causal payoff, the “cash value” of volitional attention and thus of all conscious processes. There is no adaptive1 benefit to being conscious unless it leads to volitional movement. With volition, the organism is better able to direct its attentio
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