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epistemologue last won the day on November 12 2017

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    Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Anthem, Philosophy: Who Needs It?, Virtue of Selfishness, The Romantic Manifesto, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, and others.
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  1. Again, they could only be "perfectly entitled" to those things on the premise of nihilism and relativism in aesthetics and morality. If instead, these norms follow from their metaphysical base, then nobody who doesn't have that biological foundation could legitimately claim any of the norms which follow from it.
  2. Very well said, and unfortunately we see exactly this sort of subjectivism even among prominent "Objectivists" like Diana Hsieh, http://www.philosophyinaction.com/blog/?p=14774&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+noodlefood+(NoodleFood) This view of one's own mind as an unintelligible black hole, an unreasonable force of emotions, is actually quite sad... Ayn Rand did a lot of work to describe the connection between reason and emotions (especially in The Romantic Manifesto, as well as in Atlas Shrugged). She taught how one can understand their own mind in just this respect, but it seems to have been lost on the likes of subjectivists like Diana Hsieh.
  3. I would just like to make a point regarding aesthetic ideals and utilitarian optimization. You are trying to say that there is no meaningful connection between one's biology and one's behavior. I would say that is a form of nihilism and relativism in the realms of aesthetics and morality which is quite contrary to the philosophy of Objectivism. Starting from the metaphysically given, in this case one's biological sex, there are going to be certain choices which are more or less consistent with the ideal aesthetic form and with the optimal utilitarian function for the person with said metaphysically given characteristics. Let's just keep things superficial here and think only about a few of the statistically significant biological differences in the population of males vs. females to start with. For men: Grip strength Height Preference for rough-and-tumble play Throwing ability Upper-body strength https://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/201711/the-truth-about-sex-differences Now what do these traits imply as far as the ideal aesthetic form and the optimal utilitarian function of males as opposed to females? Because of the differences in these metaphysically given characteristics in males, it is going to aesthetically consistent for them to choose to be physically big, strong, muscular, and physically fit (and it would be aesthetically inconsistent to choose otherwise), and because they have a competitive advantage in these functions, it's going to be more useful for them to be employed in these sort of roles in the home and in the economy. As I said, this is just a superficial example, this analysis can be applied much more deeply to the differences between men and women by nature and therefore in the differences in aesthetic ideals and utilitarian optimization which follow, and from there ultimately the differences in choice which would rationally and morally follow from an objective standard.
  4. Now obviously these deterministic machines aren't acting with any libertarian free will like we know humans do, so to that extent there are going to be issues with applying human terms which rely on volition. But I'm not sure what to say about these terms beyond that...
  5. The materialist conceptions of concepts, learning, and so on, have a very limited meaning, and can only produce limited results for that reason. "Learning" is the accumulation of regularities, and statistical estimates from there. "Concepts" are bundles of correlated properties grouped together according to statistical or pragmatic standards. A more Aristotelean or Objectivist conception of concepts or learning have a stronger meaning, and can produce much stronger results when implemented. Concepts are universals, which classify all units of a kind, and have a logical definition based on the rule of fundamentality. Learning is induction of universal concepts or propositions from particulars using the methods and within the limits of logic and non-contradictory identification.
  6. I think there is a valid concern here, but not in the way you're suggesting. I think there are practical, technological consequences to having a correct or incorrect philosophy. A philosophy based on materialist premises is going to imply a nominalist approach in epistemology, which as a technical approach, will lead to inappropriate forms of knowledge representation (e.g. Humean bundles of properties), and bad methods of inductive learning (e.g. cataloging statistical regularities).
  7. here you agreed with my characterization of you as a "positive utilitarian", despite having just said I don't anymore think that position is correct
  8. Can a button be added to the top banner like it used to be? https://tlk.io/objectivismonlinechat
  9. @JASKN have you had any chance to look at PHPFreeChat? or anything I can do to help? I'd love to get a chat back up here on OO again. maybe we could even do a regularly scheduled chat meetup on Sunday nights or something like that.
  10. This is one of the most dishonest, malevolent things I have ever read. You are a true representative of Objectivists these days.
  11. Plasmatic I comprehended the argument before I read Scott Ryan. The mini-critique of Oist epistemology in this thread was written before I'd ever heard of the book. Oist epistemology is broken and it's conclusions are unjustified. I'll have to take whatever this necessarily commits me to, if it's Platonic Forms with "bizarre abilities" - then they aren't so bizarre, if they are necessary for the justification of knowledge, are they? But I have no idea if that sort of thing is in the cards or not.
  12. It makes any general knowledge or induction unjustifiable. I don't know if I can say much more than I already have, I haven't studied enough metaphysics. In my opinion, Objectivism has a fundamental problem in metaphysics, and it's a fracture which runs through and corrupts the entire philosophy. I agree with Scott Ryan on that. I am still in the midst of reading his book. I don't know how much else I agree with him on (it may be a lot or a little), he seems to be "Absolute Idealist", which is some kind of Hegelian thing that I simply don't understand. I'm going to put forth a legitimate effort to study the field of metaphysics; I've bought a number of textbooks on the subject and will also consult various online articles and lectures. I want to improve my knowledge (virtually everyone in both threads keeps talking about universal "entities", I don't understand this at all), as well as improve my arguments, and refine my judgment on these matters and the individuals and philosophies involved. The philosophical system as laid out by Rand and followed by Peikoff and other major Objectivist figures I believe to be fundamentally broken, from metaphysics on up - though of course I agree whole-heartedly with it's spirit of non-supernaturalism, free will, rationality, egoism, Rand's list of virtues and values, and capitalism, among many other things (I also love Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, I've read both 7 times each). The question at this point is whether to "reinvent" Objectivism from the ground up, keeping with Rand mostly only in spirit if not in philosophy, or else to abandon "Objectivism" entirely to the dust pile and work from some other, more suitable foundation, perhaps "Objective Idealism", as Scott Ryan calls it, or Brand Blanshard's "Absolute Idealism". or maybe something else entirely, or something new, I don't know. If anyone's interested in studying the field of metaphysics and corresponding send me a message. Otherwise I'll try to come back these threads and the various issues involved at a later time.
  13. I'm not saying that everything metaphysically given to us needs explanation *in order to exist*... are you serious? I'm telling you that without some metaphysically real universality, any identity between two units of a concept is logically inconsistent with one's premises. That is, on the metaphysical premise that everything that exists is particular, there is no *shared* identity between particulars.
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