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Posts posted by ruveyn1

  1. Yes... because when people abandon reason you are dealing with animals.

    and people who adhere to reason are rational animals.  We are animals  whether or not we use reason and logic.  That is a biological fact following from the biological definition of animal.

  2. In other words, without the right Ethics, Politics means nothing. The right Ethics, of course, must also be chosen the same way: by applying logic to reality. By formulating principles for men to live by according to their nature. The most fundamental of those principles is rational egoism. And, the most fundamental principle of a Politics that allows men to be rational egoists is freedom (individual rights).

    If there were two distinct ethical systems each of which is compatible with human survival and flourishing  how would you say that one is "better" than the other?

  3. Ruveyn,


    Edward Zalta takes the discipline of logic to be “the study of the forms and consequences of predication” (2004, ch. 23). That conception of logic fits well with Rand’s conception of logic as “the art of non-contradictory identification.” Valid inference is a subsidiary division of what is modern logic, as expressed by Zalta. Rand's definition is an instance of her general proposition "Consciousness is identification." Her definition of logic locates its place within that general conception of consciousness and dovetails fine with logic from Aristotle to Quine (through first-order predicate calculus with quantification and identity* and through some of modal logic [s5 is fine in Rand's metaphysics], though possibly with some embrace of relevance logic displacing standard material implication). I count Rand's definition of logic as true, original, and important.


    * As in "the morning star is the evening star" or "ruveyn is Bob Kolker."

    Did logic identify the molecular structure of water?  I think it took more than logic to do that.



  4. I put myself as Jewish, but I am by no means from a religious household. Thanks to Communism suppressing all religion and my parents being afraid of me (and my sister) falling for religion when we moved to Israel, our house was quite strictly atheist. I did not even know I was Jewish until close to the breakup of USSR (I was about 7 at the time). So to say the least keeping Kosher or the Sabbath was not something my family had ever done. And my father was never circumcised. As such I grew up (and still do) identifying myself as Jewish purely from ethnic perspective.

    What I would be interested in is how many of the people identify themselves as from atheist/agnostic background in the survey, are actually Jewish (or had one Jewish parent). Just to see if this would confirm or disprove my hypothesis. Since most Objectivists I personally know are Jewish (though most of my friends in general are not Jewish), I would expect a higher percentage of Jewish people to be on O'ist forums than other religious backgrounds, though that would include Jews like me who did not really grow up in a religious household.

    I am guessing you mean actually celebrate the 'birth' and 'resurrection' of Christ. So obviously I wouldn't. However do I celebrate a holiday that is essentially Christmas but with all the Jesus stuff taken out of it. In USSR, except the orthodox community, no one celebrated Christmas. Instead on New Years we did everything one would do for Christmas. We had a tree (and the star at the top was representing the Soviet) star, we gave presents, and one of my relatives would dress up as Santa (Father Frost in Russian) and give us presents at midnight. So when I moved to a Christian country (England and Canada), I simply switched the date of the Holiday from the 31st to the 25th. I.e. I still get a tree and presents etc. Just no Jesus involved. Also since most of my non Jewish friends are with their families over Christmas I spend time with mine, and on New Years I go out with my friends. Also I grew up painting eggs on Pascha (Russian Orthodox Easter).

    The "first generation" Objectivists were mostly Jewish in the sense that they were brought up in Jewish homes and families.  


    Start with Ayn Rand herself.



  5. The distinction between soundness and validity does not belong in a definition of logic.   Just so we are on the same definition, the genus-differentia definition Rand gives from the Lexicon is:


     Logic is the art or skill of non-contradictory identification.

    That is not the definition that people who do logic for money  use.  


    Every professional logician alive will tell you logic is the art/discipline  of valid inference.


    If you wanted to know what scientific medicine was who would you ask:  1. a novelist  or 2. a licensed medical practicer or a medical researcher with degree,  publications and other  certifications? 



  6. Rights are only applicable in a societal context. They are principles of action that apply to human interaction.


    Morality would still be operative. Morality deals with man qua man, an individual isolated would still need to act to sustain his life and would need at least to identify that which furthers his life.

    I see that as a person choosing to live and survive.  There is no ethical imperative to do so.  We can choose to live or not choose to live. Neither choice is unethical.



  7. I would vote for her idea that each object, whether animate or inanimate, is an end within itself.  And that nothing can cause something to behave in a manner not in accordance with it's nature.  So much of her philosophy rests upon this premise.  I see this as a reversal of Aristotle's idea of the "Prime Mover".  There is no one Prime Mover -- each thing is it's own Prime Mover. 

    How do you reconcile this with the physics of interactions.  How do you work this in with the conservations laws for systems of particles



  8. With considerable trepidation I vote for objectivity of essences and of values.


    Rand did not "solve" Hume's is-ought challenge, because nobody can.  As he states it, it's a tautology: without "ought" in the premises, you can't get "ought" in the conclusion.  If by solving the challenge you mean showing that "ought" statements can be natural truths, she was not the first.  She claimed altogether wrongly in "The Objectivist Ethics" to be the first naturalist in the history of ethics.  Naturalism was the norm until the twentieth century, and the version she uses, deriving it from the nature of life and the beings that possess it, was in Aristotle and Phillippa Foot before it was in Rand.

    And Sam Harris -after- Rand with no basis in Rand's philosophy. See -The Moral Landscape- by Sam Harris


    Ayn Rand was gifted but her work, like the work of many others was incomplete in some respects and in error in other respects.  For example her definition of logic  misses the distinction between soundness and validity.



  9. Im well aware that logicians are generally not students of philosophy or Oism in general..

    So I need to go make an "observation" or take measurements to know if the claim that "god" exists is true?

    Since your here in a forum dedicated to Oism why don't you go read Peikoffs article and then come back with any particular challenges to what you read.

    If I want to know what medicine is I talk to a doctor or a medical researchers  whose life is dedicated to pursing medicine.  I do not go to philosophers.


    Logic is a technical discipline.  Aristotle identified it as drawing conclusions using valid syllogisms or chains thereof (viz.  sorites). 


    If I want to know what logic is I go to Aristotle, or Boole, or Frege or Goedel.  I would not to to Neitzche,  who is a philosopher.  When you want to know something go ask the professionals.


    Ayn Rand got many things right.  But here definition of logic is not quite correct.



  10. The "societal context" is not the standard by which rights are jugded, man's life is.  


    A man, say alone on an island, needs to act in order to sustain his life, his primary means of survival is his reason. If and when men live together or form a society , rights are the principles that define the freedom of actions that each individual possess by his nature. Any violation of those principles can only come from the use of physical force, which would only be applicable in a society.

    On a desert island I can  see choices and preferences (constrained by the talents of the individual and physical laws).  Can you tell me where rights or any other ethical issue is operative?



  11. That's a massive claim. For you to have established that as fact, you would have systematically had to, for every single idea in Rand's works, have read through at least one philosopher who has also said the same thing.

    Either that, or you're just repeating something you heard someone else say.

    Personally, I hope it's the former, because then I have tons of questions to you. Just to get started with a very popular one, who described measurement omission before Rand?

    That is implicit in all numerical measures.  A numerical measure requires a compact ordered fields to associate with measurements.  Or put another way, a measurement associates a real number with that which is measured.  So after all other properties are abstracted what is left is the real number.


    People have been using measurement omission since the time of Eudoxus who defined ratios for all quantities whether they are rational or not.  So my vote goes to Eudoxus for measurement omission.  The ultimate exercise in measurement omission is point set topology which separates (abstracts) important properties of objects from any metric considerations. This goes back the Euler in the 18 th century.


    But Eudoxus and Euler did not develop a system which covered politics and ethics.  


    My point was that each of Rand's empirically true theses were dealt with (singly) by others.  Rand put it all together in a system.  That is her distinction.  She also packaged her ideas in some entertaining novels.  Very few philosophers are good writers.  Besides Rand the philosopher who was an entertaining writer was Plato in his dialogues.  They are jewels either in the original Greek or in translation.  This is especially true of his earlier dialogues and not so true of -The Laws- which was very tedious.



  12. Newton's Principles of Natural Philosophy is rationalist in the sense of violating condition three. Newton gives no mention of where he got his Laws of Motion from.


    Incorrect.  Read Newton's rules of experiments which is his method of deriving hypotheses from experiment.  You might call it induction on steroids.


    Please see:  http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/newton-princ.asp


    He states these rules in Principia Mathematica



  13. When I get home I'll get specific but:

    " Logical is not synonymous with rational or reasonable" is the premise you need to check.

    "Logic is the art of non contradictory identification OF THE FACTS OF REALITY".....

    As to your first comment above. My objection has nothing to do with what you keep going on about in regards to "god", because that is not what aleph 1 or ruyven was claiming. When someone asks me "Do you believe in God?", the first thing I do is say, "What do you mean by God" and begin the task of discussing epistemology and concept formation.

    If you ask logicians what logic is they will tell you logic is the discipline of valid inference of conclusions from premises.  A valid argument does not require that the premises be true,  only that the conclusion follows from them according to accepted rules of inference.  For a an         argument to be --sound-- it most not only be valid,  but it must be based on true premises.  Determining the truth of premises is the job of observation, measurement. Generalizing from a set of true propositions is the job of induction and abduction ( reaching probable causes from observed effects). 


    All the modes of reasoning must be employed to get to conclusions -soundly-  reached from specified premises. In particular the physical sciences require induction, abduction and deduction.  



  14. Hi,


    first of all, my name is "Shlomi" and not "Shlomo" (long story here - see http://www.shlomifish.org/meta/FAQ/ ), and a lot of speakers of languages written using the Latin alphabet get it wrong ("Schlomi" is also common). If you want you can call me "Rindolf" or "Rin" instead.


    Some people told me they suspect I have Asperger, but:


    1. I was told that Normal -> Asperger -> Autism is a continuum and there are many levels of it.


    2. Many men with Asperger lead perfectly normal life. I met some people on IRC (= Internet chat) who told me they were diagnosed with Asperger's or suspected it to be the case, and they seemed perfectly normal, emoting, etc. I too (despite all my fauults) feel a wealth of good and bad emotions, and am able to eventually cope with most everyday situations.


    3. I was told that Asperger was recently removed from the list of known and detected psychomedical defects.


    4. Many geeks diagnosed themselves with Asperger (or previously ADHD or whatever) or got these diagnosed, but it's easy to be diagnosed as such because the tests are not accurate.


    5. What I do know is that in the past I had clinical depressions, hypomanias and even some manias, which might give me the psychiatric label “Manic-depressive” or “Bipolar”, but otherwise as my psychotherapist says won't help with curing the psychological core of the problem (and despite popular belief, medication is usually ineffective for treating people even with clinical depressions, which are the common cold of psychomedical problems, though medication do help some people). During hypomanias (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypomania ) I exhibit symptoms of self-grandiosity, ego-Mania, self-publicity, hypersexuality, euphoria, a large amount of very good (although often irrational or farfetched) ideas for stories, essays, etc. and also a desire to write them a lot. Hypomanias are extremely common among creative people and my father told me that a study found that 50% of the authors of English literature were diagnosed as Bipolar.


    Anyway, I found several ways to better deal with hypomanias, including Cognitive Therapy, reading the book Feeling Good, and my interest in various pieces of old and especially new philosophy and artworks (which to be good must reflect an inner philosophy), which made me reach various conclusions and insights. In a way, I feel that my writing is a kind of therapy for me, because it makes me reach newer conclusions that allow me to become a better and a stronger person (because passive learning is not enough and you learn more first by implementing something and even more by teaching it). I also now realise that despite being a computer geek, and mostly a person without social life up to this point, I should socialise more (in the so called "real life" - not on the Internet) by joining various clubs of my various interests, maybe joining some support groups of people with Bippolar disorder, play basketball (which I was never really very good at, but was my favourite sport), and even go on some dates. Tel Aviv is a great city for doing all that, and I should exploit that more.


    I hope I made myself clear.




    -- Shlomi Fish

    Under the new DMV Aspberger's has been folded in with Autism. 


    I am an Aspie myself.  While it created some difficulties when I was young,  it put me an an advantageous position in applied math and computer software design and testing.  If I were religious I would say computers and math are G-D's gift to the Aspies.  Being what I am,  I had the perfect "head" for ferreting out errors in both my work and in other people's.  They used to bring me in just to wreck systems.  Not a bug was safe once I entered the building. 


    When you described some things about your self I picked on some possible markers since I am familiar with them first hand. 


    An aside question:  why schlomi as opposed to schlomo which is a more common Hebrew name?


    Lech b'shalom.



  15. Euiol: "I disagree".

    That's because you don't understand the A-S dichotomy.

    "logic can only be applied to a deductive framework."..."existence pertains to perception", is the essence of an analytic view. Think the logical-factual dichotomy, synthetic as empirical, etc.

    Logic IS deduction.  However to get anything useful out of logic one must operate on -true- premises.  Now how do we get true premises. By induction and abduction (hypothesizing to likely causes).   Logic is great for justification,  but it takes induction and abduction to get something to justify.


    Not everything logical is factual.  There are internally consistent systems which do not align with the facts of the world.  And there are primary facts,  things which are so,  and we accept them as such.  It is not "logical"  that masses attract each other,  but THEY DO.   Aristotle believed things fell because they strived to get to the earth which is an element of which heavy bodies are made.  Air and gas rises because they are made of Fire or so Aristotle believed.  It made perfectly good sense to him,  but it was dead wrong.   And please don't get me started on heavier bodies falling faster than lighter bodies ....   



  16. How could any anthropic theory rest on anything other than primacy of consciousness?

    The universe must be of such a nature that a brain like ours can arise by purely biological physical processes.   


    Do you deny that the brain is the seat of consciousness?  If not,  then you have to ask how did a brain such has humans posses come about?



  17. Hi all,

    my name is Shlomi Fish (or שלומי פיש in the Hebrew alphabet), and I'm a (male) writer (of both fiction and non-fiction) and software developer, raised and living in Tel Aviv, Israel. You can learn more about me and see the various online resources that I created on my home-site.

    I have written several works of fiction and humour inspired by Objectivism and many other sources of influence and published them on my personal web site, under Creative Commons licences. Among them I can mention:

    1. The One with the Fountainhead - a two-part episode of the television show Friends that parodies and modernises Ayn Rand's The Fountainhead. Was read and enjoyed in the past by people who were not familiar with the show.
    2. The Enemy and How I Helped to Fight it - my first substantial novella, this is a surrealistic political satire of Middle Eastern national politics written from the perspective of an Objectivist.
    3. The Human Hacking Field Guide - a story about several teenagers in the vicinity of 2005 Los Angeles who extensively deal with open source hacking, as well as their love lives, and reflections about various aspects of popular culture. While emulating commercially produced stories for adolescent girls in form, it was liked by many people who now despise the genre, and it is the closest story to resembling romanticist realism, that I have ever written.

    I also have my own Star Trek: Deep Space Nine episode there, and a parody and reflection upon Buffy the Vampire Slayer titled “Selina Mandrake - The Slayer” (though they both share many concepts from my personal associations and crazy imagination), and they both also reflect my personal philosophy.

    I should note that I don't think philosophy has reached its natural end in Ayn Rand (or that she was the Omega) and have been constantly inspired by many other ideas and idea systems, both old and new, and both real and fictional. I call my current philosophy “Rindolfism”, after "Rindolf" which is my IRC nickname, which is easier for some English speakers to digest than "Shlomi" or "Shlomif", and it is a dynamic philosophy (subject to change and hopefully improvement in time), and I don't need followers as much as I need people who will build upon it, improve it, compete with me, or even sharply criticise some aspects of it (so I'll know how to improve). See Lawrence Lessig’s quote from “Remix” about why I feel this way.

    In any case, I am a 1977-born Jewish Israeli male, currently single, graduated from the Technion (in Haifa, Israel) in Electrical Engineering in 2003/2004, had problems maintaining the same job as a software developer for various reasons, and often found that I am productive doing open source and text and media-authoring work, than actually working as a hired employee. I have been susceptible to clinical depressions, hypomanias ("below-mania") and even a few manias (which proved to be nasty), which has interfered with my ability to work and maintain a job, but on the other hand, proved a lot of inspiration for my stories and other works. I find it easier to network with other people using with the various Internet means, than I do in real life, and tends to prefer and be good at doing more “spiritual” stuff like writing code and text, than more tangible and physical stuff.

    I hope to prove myself of utility and inspiration here and you can contact me using many means including E-mail and some forms of instant messaging (IM) in case you need to reach me.

    Best regards — Shlomi Fish

    Shlomo,  have you considered a possible diagnosis of Aspberger's syndrome?   What you have written seems to show some of the external behavioral markers of A.S.    You might want to look into that.

  18. .

    What in Rand's philosophy is all three: true, original, and important?

    As far as I can make out,  every view of Rand that conforms to external reality has also been made by others,  sometimes better than Rand made the point.  Which is not to say that reading Ayn Rand's work is not worthwhile.  She does make her points dramatically with her novels.  Absorbing Franscisco's "money speech" can be a lot more enjoyable than ploughing through von Mises book on money and credit.



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