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  2. Well, from my understanding, a substance is a particular, and is a matter-form composite. So it's not what particulars are "made out of" (like, eg., the modern chemistry term.) And matter-sans-form wouldn't be a substance, it would be prime matter. Prime matter, while a real feature of the world, isn't concretely real, or isn't a concrete, in the sense that it isn't any thing unless made determinate by form. Or at least that's the A-T line of thought (Cf. the Oderberg book mentioned earlier.) Scotus and Suarez think that prime matter can exist by itself, related to their views on the aforement
  3. But isn't identification some sort of deduction? Perhaps "recognition" can be perceptual or automatic. If it is a deduction, there is a concept being used. If so, somehow the concept has been formed. The freewill issue seems to rest on the question of: was the concept formed consciously or subconsciously. Can't a concept simply "happen", as in form due to repeated observation? Or volition is a necessary component (choosing to form it)? If it can form subconsciously without volition, a lion could form a concept of friend of foe is. Even though, instinct controls a lot of what a l
  4. SL, Aristotle was trying to supply an account of change that would apply to all cases of change. He was also trying to solve puzzles composed by earlier philosophers. Parmenides had had it, for example, that change is not possible because it would require being to come out of not-being (and, to boot, the later being could not come out of being because being already is). Aristotle was trying to give a more nuanced and sound-sense view of the world, and as well he was aiming for an all-encompassing view of things. Parmenides would have it that fire could not come out of air because air
  5. I'd like some clarification about form and matter before I get to my main thought. I was under the impression before that form is the abstract or categorical nature of a particular (in the same way "this particular table" can belong to the category "kitchen table"); that substance is what particulars can be made out of; from my reading of this thread, that matter (according to Aristotle) is a substance without form yet - so matter is potential in the sense that it is something concretely real and can change in numerous ways, but no determinate course of change. Form would give matter a determi
  6. Yesterday
  7. Yeah, I see another problem with the Everest objection. I doubt they will place the Mars colony on a mountain of rock and ice that gets pummeled by high winds and snowstorms most of the year. They will have to contend with extreme cold though, and of course the oxygen problem. I kind of get how they plan to solve the cold and oxygen problems by transporting needed materials and machines to Mars, but the water problem puzzles me. If they rely on ice in the soil, won't they eventually be forced to travel further and further away from the city to mine for ice? At some point each citizen m
  8. Once the context were such that there was a market for passage and colony building, and free people chose to pay passage to live there (as settlers who crossed the sea to NA did), then I suppose it would at least seem "good" for those who were taking the risk and making the choice to start a new life on Mars. Unless and until free peoples do so, any "colonization" would probably be premature, involving coercion and/or taxation.
  9. Yep, that might be an issue, depending on how much taxpayer money goes into the mission. I believe SpaceX is a private company that's partnered with NASA and holds contracts to deliver astronauts and equipment to the space station. That's partly how Musk plans to finance and develop his Mars colony idea. He's also got profits from his other companies, and probably some big investors. I think it's an interesting question. If you had a few hundred grand for a ticket to Mars, would you go? Musk means a city on Mars. And I'm not aware of any interest from Russia or China. They hav
  10. Four Wins, of Various Sizes The below are gleaned from a recent review of my daily "wins log." 1. I got my second Pfizer/BioNTech shot about a month ago. Thank you, Ugur Sahin and Ozlem Tureci!In the past, they focussed on developing cancer therapies, essentially by programming cells to produce therapeutic proteins. For a decade, their company had never brought a product to market. During a 2018 conference of infectious disease experts in Berlin, Prof. Sahin made a bold statement: that his company might be able to use its "messenger RNA technology" to rapidly develop a vaccine in the event
  11. Would it be obtuse for me to ask what particular perceptual or empirical data serves as the motivation for investigations into these ideas, and how those data govern, guide, and reign in the selection among the alternatives proposed as corresponding to reality, to those most promising?
  12. Interesting. Seems Aquinas was getting himself an additional layer of analogical thinking beyond Aristotle. Thanks for notice of Aquinas’ prime/functional distinction. I do not buy that potentiality can be a substratum of change. (And down from Galileo-Descartes and Newton [and Einstein’s version], I take inertial motion as brute, requiring no cause nor substrate, only matter [non-zero mass], actual matter, and spacetime.) Potentials belong to and are followers on actualities, and they are delimitations on alterations of actualities. The notion of form that I find useful from philosophy (
  13. It should be clear that Musk is talking about big timescales that might even be several centuries. The objection that Mars would be like living on top of Mount Everest doesn't even take into account that it takes a long time to start a Martian city that flourishes eventually. Musk makes the assumption that Mars can be made into a great place (which is a very positive outlook on humanity) - given enough time. The only reason to believe this is cynicism. I mean, it's not an objection, just a baseless fear. You need to say something more to justify this. Actually, it might be the
  14. I was thinking about this, and reading about a problem Aquinas had. Or really his Dominican brothers had and he set out to solve. It seemed like there was a problem with the concept of matter. We know God and the angels can't be material because of certain passages in the Bible. We know that the world of nature abounds with material things from common sense observation. We also know that matter provides the basis of potentialities and the substratum of change. Problem is, if both God and the angels are immaterial, how can the angels be different from God? God, as we know, is pure form, s
  15. Last week
  16. Answer is: It's good for some and not good for some. Who will pay for it? Or who might be forced to pay for it? In principle, it's bad if you are going to be forced to pay for it especially if it will cost you a lot. Otherwise, whomever wants to pay for it voluntarily, has a right to do so as long as it does not "harm" anyone else. Some will benefit, some will pay a high price as in death, it's their business, not for us to judge. What is the point of determining if it is good or bad when someone wants to take a high risk. Like with an untested drug. Is that good or bad and for
  17. Is colonizing Mars a good or bad idea? For whom is it good or bad? Why is it good or bad? Elon Musk thinks it's a good idea for humanity. He says we have a choice: stay on Earth and inevitably perish in a doomsday event or become a spacefaring, multi-planet species. (See about a minute of his speech starting here at 1:44.) On the other hand, Jeff Bezos seems to think that colonizing Mars is not a good idea. Compared to Mars, he says, living on top of Mt. Everest would be a garden paradise. Perhaps Musk should try living on Everest for a year before trying to start a colony on Mars. E
  18. When I say "Nobody has a right to someone else's body," I mean that in the same way as "Nobody has a right to an iPhone." Clearly you can buy an iPhone if you can find a willing seller, and when you do, you have a right to that iPhone, because you've bought it. (It might also be possible to rent, lease, or borrow an iPhone, and thus have the right to use that iPhone even though you don't own it.) However, I still think it's correct to say that "Nobody has a right to an iPhone." People, by consenting, can give you rights you wouldn't otherwise have.
  19. So am I. The difference is that these are for medical purposes, or the things are no longer part of your body anyway. I don't like the word right here, but in any case, it is not that the man is using a woman's body, but that he is coming into contact with her. That's why consent is necessary and also why consent doesn't sign away any control or decision making power.
  20. I think the following paragraph -- from an account of a successful derailment of a character assassination and takeover attempt of a charity by woke "activists" -- captures the essence of the events: Don't apologize or defend yourself against vague accusations of "harm." An apology when you've done nothing wrong is a lie. It will only further convince your accusers their delusions are reality. They don't want dialogue; they want compliance. Nor will you defeat them in logical debate: Theory rejects objective truth.It strikes me that such events, which appear to be sprouting like weeds, are r
  21. I'm talking about use rights, but people do sign away body parts that can be extracted or detached, such as hair, blood, eggs, sperm, bone marrow, kidneys. Even kids trade baby teeth for money from the tooth fairy. Yes, but a woman doesn't have a penis to insert into her own vagina and inseminate herself. She must grant that right to a man. And if she doesn't grant it, he's not permitted in there. If he uses force it's rape.
  22. I think there's something to be said for the division of labor and how it affects the spread of ideas, but I'll have to think about it more. Good question. Our second episode is up on YT. This time we discuss cancel culture and review some clips from Ben Bayer, Onkar Ghate, Stephen Hicks, David Kelley, and Yaron Brook.
  23. But rights presuppose that somebody already has complete control and decision about how they use their body and mind to achieve ends. You can't in any sense sign away any part of your body as if it were property. Even if you wanted to. There cannot be a right to control a spouse for reproductive or romantic purposes. Of course there can be a basis for marriage contracts perhaps, but I don't think they would be valid in any way for dissatisfaction with sex or reproduction. That's just a remnant of misogyny in the past where women really were property when it came to marriage, so of course you
  24. Oh okay. Yeah the more I think about it, the more I think it would have to be matter-form composites as a whole applying to both mass and energy. Energy would have to be a way of conceiving of part of an already-enformed piece of matter, in other words a whole substance, in order to be a real thing capable of physical description. But really I don't know much about it. I'll check out the Handbook. The Oderberg book, Real Essentialism is something I've been reading, and had been influencing a lot of my understanding. But that's precisely what the early moderns did believe. A
  25. Hi Dan, I subscribed to your YT channel some time ago when I searched for Objectivists. I'll be checking out more of your content. Maybe you could post some links to individual videos in this thread.
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