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  1. Boydstun

    Existence, We

    (Click on image.) This image displays the title and subsection titles of my paper to be published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies this July. I developed the metaphysics debuted in this paper over a period of about five years, working on it in the morning hours of each day, beginning before sunrise. An apt name for the resulting philosophy would be Resonant Existence. The image is a pre-dawn look out back at our place, a look to the east. On my way to coffee, I glance out as I’m saying to myself words from the Rig Veda: “So many days have not yet broken.” To those words, I import t
    2 points
  2. Boydstun

    Form v. Matter

    George Walsh - “If you talk about the glass merely in terms of the macroscopic level, then don’t you need some concept of ‘dispositions’?” Rand - “In what way? How?” Walsh - “Because the glass is not acting now, it’s not breaking into pieces.” Peikoff - “Well, what’s wrong with the Aristotelian concept of ‘potentiality’? An entity has the capacity to act because of its nature.” Walsh - “Well, the reason I was bringing this up was because I thought you rejected the concept of ‘potentiality’.” Rand - “No. . . .” Walsh - “I have memory or a misremembrance of someone
    2 points
  3. That's awesome. I'd like to think my reference to the other stink juice inspired it.
    2 points
  4. But your own philosophy, which you live by every day, certainly is. And if one must arrive at precisely each conclusion Rand ever put into writing (including, as the OP'er pointed out, homosexuality) then there has only ever been one Objectivist and I doubt there will ever be another one. On a purely personal note I find the "student of Objectivism" or "admirer of Ayn Rand" terminology extremely self-deprecating and sad. It's one thing if you can't bring yourself to actually LIVE the philosophy, but if you're doing everything you can to live up to your own ideals then I think you
    2 points
  5. People interested in how a leading religious (Jewish) conservative thinks can watch Dennis Prager chat with Craig Biddle. They cover some hard topics and find common ground. I hope more Objectivists get on more conservative shows like this.
    2 points
  6. This discussion has been rather far removed from the fundamental principles regarding man’s rights, and has focused instead on notions of aggression, spreading (versus other means), sensory inputs, affecting a person, doing damage to body or property including creating a risk of same. It has included the idea that one can accidentally initiate physical force. The problem has been (for over a half century) that we (not exclusively Objectivists, referring to people who take the concept of “individual rights” to be an essential concept that must be understood) are constantly playing whack-a-mole
    2 points
  7. A conservative writer who can see clearly: https://americanconsequences.com/trish-regan-the-left-cancels-america/
    1 point
  8. If it's still unused then of course it can't be refused. Otherwise the only argument you need is "I'm using it right now" (and so on back in time until we find the original owner). That's it. No other justification needed. That's why I later mentioned that your options are then to persuade me to let you use it, or to force me off the land. I'm not sure what other standard you can use besides who is using the land (or who is using whatever it is in question). This is a derivative question that I think can only be answered after we establish what the basis for owning property even is. I
    1 point
  9. The past repeats itself only because of: collectivism, altruism and statism. Those are what one fights against and advocates individual rights for, to prevent recurrences. They are mystical conceptions, but so is unearned guilt. Most so, taking responsibility for all the acts of all the people of a nation from yesteryear til now. Since he's not a mystic, an Objectivist would never accept his personal unearned guilt. (The 'social conscience' falls into that category). He makes good for the errors he alone made.
    1 point
  10. Just as with inventing, whoever chooses to exercise their capacity to turn barren land into something useful (if they have that capacity) is its owner. Barren land which currently serves no purpose does belong to everyone, in a way (since it belongs to nobody) and nobody has a right to prevent anyone from doing whatever they want with such land. I was thinking of the abandoned mine (in an effort to mine the same reference) in Michigan, visited by the vacationing lovebirds. They had driven across Michigan to the ore mine. They had walked through the ledges of an empty pit, with
    1 point
  11. I see. Well, then, perhaps I can interest you in a bottle of my new perfume.
    1 point
  12. The assumption seems to be: 1. Western culture is "unattractive" 2. People are magnetically drawn to Islam 3. Muslims are not into survival qua man 4. They come here because they hate us But: 1. Western culture is far more attractive to the young than Islamic tradition. After Several Generations, there is "tendency" to separate from their origins 2. People are not drawn to Islam, they are mostly born to it. There is no strong tendency to join. 3. These are people who want to flourish like anyone else, with the same desires and inner conflicts as any of us. Their fundam
    1 point
  13. I've actually tried that, and it's surprising how often it is that the most fundamental disagreement is in metaphysics. Too many people believe in the primacy of consciousness.
    1 point
  14. Never you mind about that. But I agree with the point.
    1 point
  15. There's a world between starting armed conflict and Trump's actual relationship with not only Kim Jong Un, but Modi, Erdogan, etc., etc. Trump had clear admiration for "strong men" and the liberation that tyranny affords a leader, and this had practical influence on his foreign agenda. But honestly, I wouldn't care so much about his relationship with North Korea if Trump were not so damaging to democracy in America.
    1 point
  16. It's a long read -- with a nice, short review here -- but I highly recommend Paul Graham's engrossing contribution to my collection of troubleshooting stories. Troubleshooting? you might ask. The essay, by writer/investor/entrepreneur/Reannaissance man Paul Graham, is titled simply, "What I worked on." Painting, and successfully getting rich in order to be able to paint are among those "things." I regard the story as troubleshooting of the highest order because it helped me make a connection about why I like troubleshooting stories, particularly those about reformed criminals and others who
    1 point
  17. 2046

    Form v. Matter

    The dominant views in 20th century philosophy of science has been backed by materialism and nominalism. We are familiar with that views challenges to cognition, intentionality, free will, personal identity, and normativity. That view however has been seriously challenged by failures and inability to integrate with new discoveries in the quantum revolution and biology. Another branch of philosophy that the concepts of matter and form can illuminate is philosophy of mind. The two main dominant views in philosophy of mind have been some form of materialism and dualism. But they both have pri
    1 point
  18. The 65-Year-Old Helping to Un-Deplatform Parler Jeffrey Wernick is not your typical tech investor. When Wernick came to Parler late in 2019, he understood that his involvement would be more than financial. Matze, he said, “was looking not just for money but for mentorship.” Parler was getting little traction, and one of Wernick’s first suggestions was to not renew the contracts of the influencers the site was paying to attract users, except for one: Dan Bongino, the Secret Service agent turned lib-owning podcaster. Parler had its best download days when Bongino read its ads on his show.
    1 point
  19. 2046

    Form v. Matter

    That's because any sarcasm was accidental and not essential to our discussion on hylemorphism. While we're on the subject of Gotthelf, his festschrift Lennox and Bolton (2010) is also a good source of information about teleology, namely the first chapter by Sedley. This brings up a great point: that there is not even one "thing" called teleology. There are all sorts of versions and interpretations of it, and even in Aristotle he does not always consistently speak of teleology or the causes or form in the same way. Another good source on the connection between the four causes and hylemorph
    1 point
  20. merjet

    Form v. Matter

    Aristotle, Generation of Animals 5.8, 789a8–b15 Aristotle, Physics, 2.8, 199b27-9
    1 point
  21. 2046

    Form v. Matter

    Indeed, even inanimate things like mineral substances have final causes in Aristotle's physics. Anything with form and matter, act and potency, has final causes. In the case of rocks, its final cause may be something from an intelligent agent like to be kicked or picked up and thrown, or it may be due to external, but non-intelligent, agency like its participation in the rock cycle or its undergoing lithification. Or it may be due to its own internal nature, like achieving a relative position of stability like sitting on the ground or sinking to the bottom of a lake, which Aristotle (300a28-31
    1 point
  22. I proffered: Collectivism; determinism; mind-skepticism; sacrificial altruism. Primacy of consciousness, too. Are those "non-essentials", do you think? Always debating with you, you ignore the most relevant essentials I say in order for you to dismiss what I say. Bernstein actually and correctly enters from the characteristics, of things, events and people, seen and heard in reality, which is the objective approach to forming identifications and making evaluations. Binswanger predominantly takes the top-down approach, more pleasing and acceptable to rationalists. And you could look into
    1 point
  23. There is much more integration (not just coherence, but mutual reinforcement and support) between modern conservatism and Marxism and postmodernism, than there is between Marxism and postmodernism. For just one of many examples, one of the current leading and most influential conservative philosophers Alasdair MacIntyre continues to argue, using Aristotelian and Thomistic methods that Bernstein blathering on about in peak Objectivist mode, that modernism (aka the Enlightenment) is a failed project precisely because of its liberal capitalism, scientific rationalism, and individualism, and
    1 point
  24. Well, the successful and happy-seeming individuals I have ever known, I can't recall one who was an atheist. I've met maybe hundreds of businessmen/professionals, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus, who were most enterprising people. Some very wealthy. One can make the same rationalistic error that Binswanger made, like his referencing of some 12thC Pope's writing about how debased man is - that because the doctrine states X in the abstract, the believers practice X, concretely. Out of touch with present realities. Therefore, as HB would apparently argue, the religion has not undergone var
    1 point
  25. On a slight tangent: Idiot of the Week: Quaker Oats "What’s next, that Coca-Cola might change its name because it is cocaine-based and could be accused of drug abuse? That Lacoste might be associated with animal cruelty because crocodile skin is used to make handbags and shoes? Or perhaps Quaker Oats itself should consider changing its name because it is related to the Quaker religious community, potentially offending other religions or atheists? "What is clear is that the dictatorship of political correctness, promoted and used by the left to silence its critics, only succeeds
    1 point
  26. 2046

    Form v. Matter

    There are two main arguments for hylemorphism: the argument from change and the argument from limitation. (And a whole bunch of secondary arguments around these.) The argument from change follows this basic form: If change is real, then matter and form are real. Change is real. Thus matter and form are real. The argument from limitation is much more complicated, but is more similar to what Peikoff describes in that passage. It follows from the more general act-potency distinction applied to unity and multiplicity. Any universal pattern like roundness is only made actua
    1 point
  27. It can be the difference between life and death here and now if you are ever caught outside the city with a failed vehicle. Which way is north? One of the direct applications of astronomy in the 18th and 19th centuries was establishing local lines of latitude and longitude in order to draw the borders on maps. Here and now, any certified training in surveying for real estate begins with knowing how to establish your local position without a pre-existing map. Again, the practical applications are secondary to your own eudaimonic gains. All of these arguments apply also to that other
    1 point
  28. The easy answer is that it does not need to have any other justification than that it makes your life better. If you find life-affirming enjoyment in the discovery and understanding then that is all that is required. On a deeper level, consider the simple fact that a modest telescope like a 4-inch refractor or a 5-inch reflector, even a 70mm National Geographic "department store" telescope will reveal that many stars perceived as solitary objects to the naked eye are pairs and multiples. For thousands of years - even 200 years after Galileo - we always assumed that the stars were individu
    1 point
  29. [7] That's an important reward for me: revisiting the paths of the pioneers. Jupiter and Galileo are top of the list there. But very many other sites are out there if you read the histories and follow the skies. [1] [2] Your Bushnell 50mm x 1200 mm is a good beginner scope. It does take work getting used to them, no different than shooting a rifle or handgun, or shooting pool or bowling for that matter. Do you remember learning how to drive a car? I have a 10-inch x 2500 mm telescope in the garage on loan from my local club -- an option you might consider -- and it is going back to the e
    1 point
  30. I don't know what hysteria you are talking about with regard to me. I'm perfectly happy to talk about it. A lot of what I said apparently from my memory had to do with the notion that a smiling label is not used to judge people but to make sales. I wouldn't have said anything if it weren't for the strange notion that it is always moral to make money if trade is voluntary and there is no immoral way to make money if trade is voluntary. That's the kind of thing I respond to. But I'm not trying to "cancel" anyone when I talk about race. Don't know what you're talking about. I was just re
    1 point
  31. Jonathan, this is a response to only part of your inquiry. I rather think that proceeding according to the principle that reason is the only source of knowledge and only proper guide to action entails contouring one’s hour-by-hour activities by one’s craft of one’s setting. We have deliberately decided not to have a smart phone. We don’t want that continual possibility for distraction, which we see among friends and family, and our stage of life (retirement) does not require we have one. My older sister, age 80, has opted to not introduce a computer into her life. We just write letters or
    1 point
  32. Eiuol

    Spinoza and Rand

    I've always thought of Keating as someone that is superficially successful but exudes little confidence or makes minimal claims about their superiority. And he lacks the emotional intensity of the person that feels reality itself is under attack when you question that they may have made a mistake about anything. I'm trying to describe a person who is unable to handle an implication that they've done something wrong and shift all moral blame to other people. Now, it might seem like I'm describing a very specific person. But I would bet that more people are like this in reality than you mig
    1 point
  33. The key identification that Schwartz makes about force is that it is a physical action to which we are subjected against our will, being taken by a volitional being to neutralize the choice of another volitional being. “Action to neutralize choice” distinguishes the case where a person pulls out a weapon in order to cause him to abandon his property (mission accomplished) from the case where a person pulls out a weapon to check it and accidentally scares another person into abandoning his property (neutralization of choice is not the purpose). I take it that you are not satisfied with this, an
    1 point
  34. "Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!" -DJT and more: https://web.archive.org/web/20190411191505/https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-president-trump-president-moon-jae-republic-korea-bilateral-meeting/ "Kim Jong Un has been, really, somebody that I’ve gotten to know very well and respect, and hopefully — and I really believe that, over a period of time, a lot of tremendous things will happen." Not worse than sanctioning death camps, no
    1 point
  35. dream_weaver

    Spinoza and Rand

    About 1/2 way into Part 2, Chapter 1, The Man Who Belonged On Earth It is from a paragraph on an elaboration by Dr. Stadler to Miss Taggert on "the hallmark of a second-rater".
    1 point
  36. Oh, boy. Did you know that when Kim Jong Un first rose to power he called all his top aides to a meeting in which he disassembled a machine gun and force-fed the pieces of it to several dogs (who presumably had a very rough time of passing said machinery through their digestive tracts) to convey what he intended to do to anyone who wasn't 100% loyal? Also he has no butthole; he doesn't need one (since he DOES NOT excrete that way) so he was simply born without one. That story I'm slightly more skeptical of but anyone in North Korea who's caught contradicting it is simply exec
    1 point
  37. The Psychology of The Fountainhead Characters Psychology is not one of my strong suites. It is conversations like the several here linked to that provide insights into this novel that otherwise would have alluded me. The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged are two distinct works of art. These assessments are primarily of The Fountainhead, and also provide a parallel between Ayn Rand and Dominique, as Ayn on a bad day. Another comparison is parallelled between Catherine Halsey and Cherryl Brooks as well as the young man on the bike and Richard Halley These are produced by the Ayn Ran
    1 point
  38. BURNS' CENTENARY, by Charles Murray(1864-1941) "I'll be more respected a hundred years after I am dead than I am at present."—R. B., 1796. "My fame is sure; when I am dead A century," the Poet said, "They'll heap the honours on my head They grudge me noo"; To-day the hundred years hae sped That prove it true. Whiles as the feathered ages flee, Time sets the sand-glass on his knee,
    1 point
  39. It seems to me that this kind of thing gets said regularly around here without proper challenge. The idea of "left" versus "right" is mostly a fiction. It's not a distinction that has much real meaning. It's "traditionally right" (in America) to be hostile to certain social freedoms (e.g. abortion, sex, drugs) and "traditionally left" to be hostile to business freedoms, but what they both have in common is that they are both unprincipled and generally destructive to freedom. (I say "traditionally" because, being unprincipled, these things can quickly and easily flip from one side to the other,
    1 point
  40. So which group do you fall into?
    1 point
  41. I don't think that's the claim, the claim has been more like "This mob is united and motivated by one particular concrete belief, namely that the election was stolen. They may vary in ultimate purpose or final goal, but overall functioned to attain some shared end". And then me and others have provided evidence why you should think that there is *some* shared goal at least among those who initiated force. Is this just a general warning against trusting the media? Or are you saying that this is where everyone here is going wrong? You wrongly assumed earlier that I'm using the media wit
    1 point
  42. I selected a Bushnell 18-1561 as a gift option for 10 years of service. Shortly after receiving it, Jupiter and Saturn were available for viewing prior to midnight's. After considerable effort, the telescope was aligned to take in my first personal sight of 4 of the moons of Jupiter. My disappointment came shortly thereafter with the need to re-align the instrument every 2 minutes to maintain an active view. Not long thereafter, Saturn was available for viewing. The "smudge" I was rewarded with came with the realization that to pursue the activity in any meaningful way would require a bet
    1 point
  43. Berra, Aaron - 1957
    1 point
  44. Boydstun

    James G. Lennox

    In his book to issue this spring, James G. Lennox "argues that Aristotle has a richly normative view of scientific inquiry, and that those norms are of two kinds: a general, question-guided framework applicable to all scientific inquiries, and domain-specific norms reflecting differences in the target of inquiry and in the means of observation available to researchers. To see these norms of inquiry in action, the second half of this book examines Aristotle's investigations of animals, the soul, material compounds, the motions of heavenly bodies, and respiration." That book is Aristotle on
    1 point
  45. Most certainly, the second. "...forming all kinds of concepts". The reason we find art, all art, valuable is that it yields to one's mind the meeting between reality and man's consciousness--as typified by a specific artist. We catch an insight into his re-created world, a particular view of existence which is supremely significant to he/she. Whether one is in metaphysical accord or not with their depiction, one gains and takes away from their creation for one's own purposes (by conceptualization). Here is a corrupt or bleak or impotent or petty view of life and man's mind - there is the antit
    1 point
  46. Just the one when it's required to enter a store or something.
    1 point
  47. Might seem off topic, at first. I was reminded last night catching a glimpse of the film I'd seen before, The Pursuit of HappYness. I don't know how it slipped through the movie moguls' attention, but here's a rare movie that encapsulates America. I.e. A black man who is not a victim. In this fortuitous passage I watched, the character played by Will Smith, despondently muses to himself after a particularly trying day coping with his little boy (heroic, too) and two jobs: WHY did Thomas Jefferson come up with "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness"? Did he know that it was only to be "a
    1 point
  48. "The famous image of Aunt Jemima was based on the real image of Nancy Green, who was known as a magnificent cook, an attractive woman of outgoing nature and friendly personality, an original painting of which sold for $9,030 at MastroNet. The painting was rendered by A. B. Frost, who is now well known as one of the great illustrators of the Golden Age of American Illustration.[13]" This quote is from the Wikipedia article covering the life of Nancy Green, the original celebrity personality representing the soon to be discontinued brand, known as, Aunt Jemima. I hope there is common
    1 point
  49. There is a lot to unpack here. First we have to acknowledge that an image is subject to interpretation. The meaning of something viewed in the form of a communication has context... in what it is affixed to, by whom it is presented, and to whom it is presented, all play a role in what it represents. The star of David is NOT a hate symbol when displayed proudly by a Jewish person, but it is when applied to a Jewish person's clothing by a Nazi. The image itself is not objectively anything other than simply what it looks like... what it represents is contextual. A stereotype, to
    1 point
  50. After a bit of searching, here is the song that purportedly popularized the name 'Aunt Jemima' written by Billy Kersands in 1875, and had acquired three different sets of lyrics by 1889.
    1 point
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