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Everything posted by CrowEpistemologist

  1. It was this thread: http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?showtopic=22456 Are you sure you'd characterize that poster as a "Keynesian Leftist"? The OP said, "A proper government has no moral right to meddle in the area of trade" and demonstrates a pretty deep knowledge of Objectivism in that post (including an anecdote from an obscure Peikoff taped lecture!). That doesn't sound very "Keynesian Leftist" to me...
  2. By this, I take it you agree with my premises here, correct? In browsing through the forums here, I noticed you (softwareNerd) made the following claim of another poster in another thread: "Just as an FYI, the OP is not an Objectivist." The OP clearly was "trying" to be an Objectivist and clearly had a lot of knowledge of it. What was the rationale behind that statement? Was there any?
  3. From the podcast (transcribing here, conveying the typical Peikoff EMPHASIS on terms :-) ): "[...] it's practically almost impossible to apply [the definition] to A particular case". and: "[...] there are DEGREES of understanding" and: "[...] personally I would not WORRY whether the label [Objectivist] applies or doesn't apply, what you should [do is judge the person within the specific context of that person's word/actions/etc.]". and: "people make too big of an issue [out of this question]". *** So what I take all of this to mean is that, while it might be a handy construct to locate and/or identify "somewhat like-minded people" and to be able to start with the assumption that you don't have to go over "basic stuff" when you strike up a conversation, this definition most decidedly breaks down in the edge cases, and it's much more accurate to simply stick to "true" and "untrue" in any particular context. So my answer, I think, is as follows: 1. If somebody identifies themselves to me as "an Objectivist" I should take that in a general way in that they won't be a Muslim or a Socialist, etc. However, I should also not assume they are Leonard Peikoff in terms of their knowledge of Objectivism, or even that they necessarily apply every aspect of Objectivism correctly. 2. Insofar as I identify somebody being in the right "ballpark", I should not use this concept any further and simply decide on "who they are" using other concepts such as true/not true, smart/dumb, evil/good, honest/dishonest, etc. 3. I should not worry whether I myself am an Objectivist or not. As far as I'm concerned, I am, and there's no loyalty oath beyond that. Clearly, at minimum, I'm trying to be, and in this context "trying" is actually quite material. Anything else?
  4. Well, I suppose that's part of the answer to my question, isn't it? (Which maybe is why you are asking). In other words, why should one care about a "label" you ascribe to yourself or to somebody else, or somebody ascribes to you? What objective need is served by this bit of knowledge? To take a stab at it, I suppose the answer is unit economy: rather than asking somebody what could be dozens of questions, they could instead simply tell you, "I'm a Muslim" and you would instantly know a lot about what they think (insofar as you believed them to be consistent with their views). On the flip side, identifying yourself as a Something might allow you to be able to find other Somethings and converse much more efficiently as you can presume that you don't have to go over the endless details of your context every time--you are presumed to agree on a great many things. For instance, I personally have no interest in teaching somebody Objectivism as I understand it as this is a waste of my time. I happen to know that fundamental premises don't change particularly rapidly and truly "teaching" this (in the sense of changing somebody's mind over very fundamental things) is an arduous task at best. However, it's interesting to me to discuss things with those whom I presume to have quite a bit in common with my own fundamental premises--I can learn things I didn't know before, easier. I can discuss things "efficiently" as it were. Hence it's useful for me to be able to identify others as "Objectivists" and it's useful for me to have them identify me as "an Objectivist".
  5. I am curious if anybody here has a clear definition of "Objectivist" in the sense of, "when would you consider somebody to be (or not to be) an Objectivist? So what does an "Objectivist" do to make him so, and/or somebody who might claim to be an Objectivist (for instance, quote Ayn Rand or consistently act in a way consistent with Objectivist ethics) make him not so? Thank you.
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