Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Leaderboard

Popular Content

Showing content with the highest reputation since 05/18/20 in all areas

  1. 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
    4 points
  2. The following is from a presentation of the Rand/Branden model of free will, by Onkar Ghate in the Blackwell A Companion to Ayn Rand. “Rand rejects any theory of volition that roots free will in a choice between particular items of mental content: whether to walk or ride the bus to work (selection between envisioned physical actions); whether to order the vanilla cheesecake because one is hungry or the bowl of mixed berries because one is on a diet (selection between desires or motives that will govern one’s physical actions); whether to admire Mother Teresa or Bill Gates (selection of va
    3 points
  3. https://youtu.be/ssvSsMqTtjo Kibbe on Liberty: Pandemic imprisoning and the culture war. Perspectives from Britain and the USA. Great conversation.
    3 points
  4. As America prepares to certify our next President, a large band of hooligans have taken upon themselves to storm the Capitol. This in the name of Freedom? Are these hooligans striving to look for their Fuhrer? As a footnote, something like this happened in fiction- in Atlas Shrugged.
    3 points
  5. Boydstun

    Entity and Ousia

    Entity and Ousia Contrasting Roark with many other people, Mallory remarks to Dominique of those others: “At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unreversed or unbetrayed; as if there had never been any entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass” (GW V, 485). Consider in Rand’s full metaphysics the finer structure in her conception of the law of identity: "Whatever you choose to consider, be it an object, an attribute, or an action, the law of identity remains the same. A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green a
    3 points
  6. whyNOT Many legal born domestic Americans, which are spoiled, entitled, and lazy, are less "American" in the foundational and fundamental ways that matter, than are you. America is an idea, and they have lost it to the vices and weakness of childhood which they have not escaped... associated with the infantalization of the American adult.. leftism is a natural center of gravity for failed adults, manchildren, so the lurch to the left is almost no surprise. In any case you, as indeed Rand herself was, are more American in spirit, than the many unamericans born within America's b
    3 points
  7. I launched my blog on 2 January 2011. The title was inspired by Gregory Browne’s Necessary Factual Truths (University Press of America, 2001). I met Dr. Browne at Eastern Michigan University in the fall semester 2007. Waiting for a class in police operations, I was walking the halls and heard him lecturing. It was obviously a philosophy class and he sounded reasonable. I looked in and saw “Ayn Rand” on the blackboard closing an array of philosophers in historical sequence. A couple of weeks later, I heard him actually mention Ayn Rand. So, I introduced myself. And I bought the book format
    3 points
  8. Look around your home. Is there anything there that gives you energy? Validates your consciousness? Reminds you of the unique manifestations of your identity? Any song, book, film, tactile object that resonates with the possibility of a goal worth aiming toward? Is there something you could put on your wall that will add a spring to your step, or release the tense confusion of a recent argument because it resonates with a problem solving mindset? As one works toward building a solid foundation in reality, aesthetics is where humanity has a chance to evolve creatively through the con
    3 points
  9. 14 January 2021 We will crush their violence enacted under their feast of self-delusion and contempt for our Constitutional rule of law. The republic will prevail. The citizens on both sides are armed if it should come to that, but I expect the organized force of the American government will succeed in defense and in bringing the violators to commensurate penalty. Tony: Indeed the American citizens overwhelmingly are not so stupid as to buy into Left-tarring of the bulk of Republicans as fascists and white-supremacist. And they are overwhelmingly not so stupid as to buy into the Righ
    3 points
  10. Boydstun

    Anthem

    Ayn Rand’s novella ANTHEM, published in 1938 and revised in a 1946 edition, is set in a fictitious collectivist community, one smaller and simpler than Kira’s historical setting in WE THE LIVING. Rand’s ANTHEM is presented as a journal kept by her protagonist whose name is Equality 7-2521. He records that he dares to choose, in the secrecy of his own mind, work he hopes to do when leaving the Home of the Students. He loves the Science of Things. He hopes he will be selected to be a scholar, but the authorities appoint him to be a street sweeper. The technology of his isolated community is
    3 points
  11. I am not trying to provide an explanation of all his behavior, in every instance, but pointing out that having a hostile and prejudiced Press (from the very start) against one has to have something to do with his actions. It meant that not a single Executive decision would ever meet with approval or a fair debate. He took them on at their own game, and I don't believe this was always smart or principled. I don't fault his unconventional methods in foreign policies, keeping enemies guessing and showing they can voluntarily make good choices: a carrot or the stick. My position is the over all po
    3 points
  12. SL, Poetically said, I think the poetic manner is a singular way to condense and express this unbelievable totality of life and one's life's existence. There are wonders here, how this animal made of star-stuff could become consciously rational and aware of its consciousness which ~almost~ seem mythological or religious. "Lest we be mythologizing ourselves" - of the species and of the individual being, I don't know of how one cannot. Obviously, without the supernaturalism. That autonomous "I" unique to you was who could observe, will to think those things, question them and marvel. This recall
    3 points
  13. Adrian, I'm re-reading Atlas Shrugged for the third time, 10 years since my previous reading. I found that she repeats the same point a lot upon my first reading, and perhaps the second reading, but I don't find it anymore. The repeating is necessary, to make it more convincing and dramatic. To stress the importance of the point. You know, the principle that altruism is evil can be summarized in one sentence, but it's the role of fiction to put the principle in as many concrete terms as possible, making the reader to discover it for himself. It's the principle of "show, don't tell." By the wa
    3 points
  14. 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
    3 points
  15. "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
    3 points
  16. Returning to the initial question, I’m going to say “No, it would not be helpful”. It would be helpful to clearly articulate a real problem which in principle could be solved, but that has nothing to do with BLM. The problem is not that Richard Spencer has his ideas, and the propagation of his ideas cause some other problem. The problem that BLM is addressing is the “rampant and deliberate violence inflicted on us by the state” (their words). As they say, “Our intention from the very beginning was to connect Black people from all over the world who have a shared desire for justice to act toge
    3 points
  17. 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
  18. 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
  19. I, too, am disappointed in the guilty verdict. Providing the epistemic justification requires being able identify and guide others through judicial landscape presented. Thanks for providing the summation. It was nice having it in one place, unfolding as you presented it.
    2 points
  20. Boydstun

    Atlas Shrugged

    For the New Intellectual Three years after Atlas Shrugged was published, Rand penned the essay “For the New Intellectual.” It is interesting to compare and contrast the analysis of philosophical and psychological archetypes in Galt’s Speech—Mystics of Muscle/Mystics of Spirit—with the types Attilas/Witchdoctors in FNI. In the present note I’ll not take that on, and I’ll not take on their relation to the broad philosophical types Peikoff frames in his book DIM. Certainly, in FNI and in Atlas, Rand was affirming, against many philosophies, the equal reality and virtuous unity of mind and bo
    2 points
  21. 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
  22. 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
  23. Hermes

    Light Pollution

    I serve as vice president of our local astronomy club. We received a general inquiry from a reporter for a culture magazine. My comrades on the executive committee were all in favor of taking this opportunity to speak out against light pollution. I started a reply, but did not send it because there was nothing I could gain from the engagement. However, the questions are worth considering. ------------------------- We do not have the same perceptions with light that we do with sound. You can close your eyes. You cannot close your ears. So, we have laws against noise. We do need a rat
    2 points
  24. Riots break out over the country, zones were even created in some parts to accommodate rioters while apologists tried to veil it as free-speech and dismiss the looting as not directly injurious to the life of the looted. A riot breaks out in Washington DC and it is escalated to an insurrection.
    2 points
  25. Repairman

    National Conservatism

    I read the article. It's great. I've been witnessing this transition toward integrating Church and state for years. Back in the day, I was willing to ignore it. I considered the evil of a leftist/socialist agenda to be the greater threat to American prosperity and stability. The left-wing agenda continues to be a monstrous threat. In 1980 and 84, I cast my votes to Ronald Reagan, believing that his support from the Moral Majority would not escalate to the threat to individualism and reason that it is today. The radical Christian conservative agenda now stands as large and menacing as a rival m
    2 points
  26. When I was able to get both planets in the same view with my telescopes, I drew proportional sketches of the conjunction. With a field-of-view, for example, of 2.42 degrees, I used circles of 2.4 and 4.8 cm. I developed a personal technique of being able to view with both eyes open so that I can hold a centimeter scale at a convenient distance to guage separations. I have used this for binary stars, also. ' Images are reversed right and left. Saturn was to the West (Left) of Jupiter. That is an artifact of the refracting telescopes. We correct that with prism
    2 points
  27. Okay, Joker. If you mean also Republicans who wanted to "stop the steal" as well, sure, everyone got what they deserved in the end (I think all of Congress is pretty responsible for the overall distrust throughout America). But to correct anything in the future, this is bad. "There are goblins on Mars that study Hegel's dialectics" is metaphysically possible, but without any kind of evidence to say that this claim is true, it is arbitrary. You need something in reality, something observable, not just possible stories you came up with. This is not a valid way of thinking. You n
    2 points
  28. Arbitrary. You need some kind of evidence here. The best you have is that "one time, there was an attempted kidnapping, it turned out they were antifa type people". That's not evidence for your claim. What you said amounts to "it's possible!" Because of that, anything else you say is storytelling. I have some wild and fantastical ideas as well that would really expand on what we saw today. I'm not going to pretend they are anything other than flights of fancy. They aren't hunches, they are fantasies. You are definitely one of the more rational minded I've interacted with here, so
    2 points
  29. I wear one when required, out of respect for the fact that a private business is required to enforce the mandate. I never decided on a consistent policy to use in situations where I have a choice. I go for walks in a public park and don't wear one, even though it's required as far as I know, because no one is around to enforce. I'm not interested in wearing one without having a good medical reason to believe they actually work. If this premise were somehow proven, and this was communicated through a source I respect, I would be more interested in wearing one, but right now I feel like this is
    2 points
  30. Defiant Michigan UP cafe owner told to shut down after serving indoor diners Since November, bars and restaurants in Michigan have been limited to carry-out service or outdoor dining in an effort to reduce the spread of the coronavirus. Who is mandating the limitation (and by what means)? Who's rights are being violated? Is it the people who chose not to frequent this establishment for CoViD-19 concerns? Is it the owner and voluntary workers at a restaurant violating a mandate to only fulfill carry out orders? A patient checks into a hospital and the diagnosis turns out to
    2 points
  31. Boydstun

    Physical Space

    MS & SL, I like the idea of space as a potential for occupancy. Potentials of nature are real things in my book and so are potential things that might be invented and gotten a patent on. Potential are distinct from mere possibilities in my usage. Possibilities are things in the mind that is engaged in thinking. Potentials are already out there as it were, and together with actualities, they compose existence. Potentials, hence space of the world is real. Space, even unoccupied space, is real, is an existent. However, potential for material or field occupancy is not the only potential
    2 points
  32. If anyone is still interested in the goings on at the Ayn Rand Institute, Yaron Brook has come out strongly in support of Biden for President: Yaron Brook Show The article “Biden is Our Only Hope” comments on this in detail. You can find it by searching on biden yaron "christian right" using Google (Bing and DuckDuckGo won’t work); “christian right” must be in quotes. You will learn that after Brook’s comments it became known that Leonard Peikoff had donated $250 to Trump’s campaign. So far Brook hasn’t commented on having once said that no “Trump apologist” should call him
    2 points
  33. Our new episode covers the controversy over the NY Times' 1619 Project versus Trump's push for patriotic education, when it comes to teaching history. We also get pretty deep into the principles and design of the correct curriculum.
    2 points
  34. I think it is important to remember two contextual factors regarding concepts. First, every concept is a mental integration… which means, it’s in your head. Second, proper concepts in your head arise by applying logic to valid conclusions, given some premises, so to the extent that the facts out there are the same, we all learn the same concept “dog”. Concepts are objective, not subjective. The science of psychology is concerned with the nature of a concept in the brain, whereas philosophy is concerned with the abstract nature of concepts which anyone can grasp using reason. Epistemologically
    2 points
  35. Clip from the fine film Love Letters (1945). Writer of screenplay - Ayn Rand. (The popular song of the same title was written that year and was played without the words in that film. In 1962 an adaptation of it recorded by Ketty Lester became a hit. I was 13. I like that recording very much.)
    2 points
  36. Of related interest: "A Metaphysics for Freedom argues that agency itself-and not merely the special, distinctively human variety of it-is incompatible with determinism. For determinism is threatened just as surely by the existence of powers which can be unproblematically accorded to many sorts of animals, as by the distinctively human powers on which the free will debate has tended to focus. Helen Steward suggests that a tendency to approach the question of free will solely through the issue of moral responsibility has obscured the fact that there is a quite different route to incompati
    2 points
  37. I think this is the hold up because purpose is a subspecies of standard (in a certain context). Standard and Purpose, both give guidance. (but with Rand the primary difference seems to be that one is abstract, the other concrete) The difference between “standard” and “purpose” in this context is as follows: a “standard” is an abstract principle that serves as a measurement or gauge to guide a man’s choices in the achievement of a concrete, specific purpose. “That which is required for the survival of man qua man” is an abstract principle that applies to every individual man. The task of a
    2 points
  38. I have a feeling it was this: When you see that trading is done, not by consent, but by compulsion–when you see that in order to produce, you need to obtain permission from men who produce nothing–when you see that money is flowing to those who deal, not in goods, but in favors–when you see that men get richer by graft and by pull than by work, and your laws don’t protect you against them, but protect them against you–when you see corruption being rewarded and honesty becoming a self-sacrifice–you may know that your society is doomed. https://www.cato.org/blog/ayn-rand-front-page-ecu
    2 points
  39. "What about-ism" isn't a counterargument. It's a distraction. Communism and Maoism are more like Marxism+, that is, there are elements of Marxism. What would change about her argument if she mentioned them? She easily could condemn them on grounds of expropriation. An anticapitalist could say that every attack on Marxism should mention imperialism of the US, but you would rightly respond that the essay is about Marxism, not about the ways that capitalism has been corrupted in the US. The essay is about capitalism, so let's talk about capitalism. By the way, my basic response would be wha
    2 points
  40. I meant what I said. In the examples that I gave, his orders clearly violated well-established law, though perhaps you are not happy about with the law on these points. Your response is mostly part directed at a different question, namely whether it is reasonable to ignore the law. Given that the purpose of a president in our republican form of government is to implement the law, Trump is dysfunctional. This is a basic divide within the population of those calling themselves Objectivists: some consider law to be optional, others consider it to be fundamental to living in a civilized society. T
    2 points
  41. I'm not sure this was covered yet. I think of consciousness as specifically general awareness with mental states. A process, as was mentioned before. Self in this context would be the entire history of that conscious activity. Memories of your life, history of mental states, cognitive development, things like that. A self would be more complex, because it requires directed thinking. A relatively simple consciousness like a beetle can be vaguely aware of things like the presence of food, but it doesn't direct its thinking in terms of values or memories.
    2 points
  42. Of course some Objectivists, choose to be activists for the philosophy, but that in no way means the philosophy itself IS activist, and people interested in the philosophy should not think that it is. In considering Objectivism as a whole, I am confronted with distractions... not in the form of ideas, but in the form of personalities, of movements, of factions... and yes, a little bit of activism. Rather than looking outward and inward to my center.. I find myself sliding my eyes sideways at metaphorical others... whose presences, in the realm of my engagement with ideas, are inap
    2 points
  43. SR, There are concrete things that can only be identified by abstract thought. An example would be an electron or the magnetic field it generates if the electron is moving. An attribute such as the electron’s electric charge or it ability to produce a magnetic field are attributes. I suggest that faculties are just functional attributes. Functional items arise only in a biological setting. The mental is only within the biological. Those are positions of Rand (me too). As you know, in the ITOE, Rand called out a category of primary existents which she titled entities. Here other
    2 points
  44. This is all part of the cleaning up of past history as if it never existed. A statue offends one or only a minority of individuals in one group, tear it down. An innocent image on a box by another, the same. This has a little to do with people not wanting to offend some others too delicate to handle reality, but mostly to do with mind control for political power. You can hardly blame a company's flip-flop marketing strategy, their profits are at the mercy of activists' mass action. On the broad front, all capitalist enterprise can end up 'owned' by the people. Marxism wins without a shot fired
    2 points
  45. I do not equate philosophy for living, and living one’s life with anything like political activism. Life requires knowledge and a philosophy, so having “skin in the game” is to take it seriously and to live by it. You only have one life and it’s yours to live. Some “activists” of a quite different political flavor from myself feel quite strongly that “real life” is lived in the political sphere... the body politic, society as a collective endeavour... and hence participating in life is measured by them by how loudly one shouts and how many likes one receives. These activists
    2 points
  46. I go to Ford to purchase a new car. I buy a car with all the latest features, but I get home and the car is missing some features. I go back to the Ford dealer and summoning my best Karen, I ask to speak to the manager. I bought the package with all these features, but my car doesn't have these features, I say. Ah, but you bought the car from StrictlyLogical and Merjet. They were your salesmen. And they're not here. They're gone. Sorry, you're out of luck. And they won't be in tomorrow, or the next day. In fact, they're saying home and we're shielding them. And you can't get reimbursed fr
    2 points
  47. Regarding "retaliation" Ayn Rand wrote: "Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use" (Lexicon). So violence against a Minneapolis police officer who was not on the scene of the George Floyd incident would not qualify as "retaliation" in her view.
    2 points
  48. Well, even if we fully buy into the "good provider" theory, that is an evolutionary theory. In other words, it deals in men as they lived before specialization (as hunter gatherers, where you proved you are a good provider and protector through behavior, rather than any achievement or possession. And it was a very specific set of behaviors, because there was only one way to be a good provider and protector: be strong, fit, assertive, but also loving, open and honest. Specifically, EMOTIONALLY honest. This is what the "Red Pill" crowd fails to understand: being honest, being willing to put
    2 points
×
×
  • Create New...