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merjet

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merjet last won the day on June 30

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  • Country
    United States
  • State (US/Canadian)
    Ohio
  • Relationship status
    Married
  • Real Name
    Merlin
  • Copyright
    Copyrighted
  • Biography/Intro
    I have several articles published in Objectivity and the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (7.2, 11.2, 13.2, 17.1, 18.1)
  • Experience with Objectivism
    Decades. Most books and periodicals by Ayn Rand.
  • School or University
    University of Illinois
  • Occupation
    actuary (retired)

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  1. whYNOT omitted the rest of that sentence. The whole sentence is: "His volition is limited to his cognitive processes; he has the power to identify (and to conceive of rearranging) the elements of reality, but not the power to alter them." I disagree. Human volition is not limited to cognitive processes. It also includes volitional actions in the physical world. Clearly humans do have the power to rearrange or alter the elements of reality. How so? Rand gave no explanation of how that is possible. Humans make things like machines, tools, computers, bridges, vehicles, and buildings. The obvious explanation is that humans have physical bodies, and their hands are hugely important in being able to make machines and so forth. If that is contradicting Rand, so be it. She also wrote in the same essay: "But just as animals are able to move only in accordance with the nature of their bodies..." That's true for humans as well. Let R1 denote "His volition is limited to his cognitive processes". Let R2 denote: "The faculty of volition operates in regard to the two fundamental aspects of man’s life: consciousness and existence, i.e., his psychological action and his existential action, i.e., the formation of his own character and the course of action he pursues in the physical world." This is from The Romantic Manifesto. whYNOT quoted R1 while being oblivious to R1 and R2 being incoherent. I'm not surprised.
  2. He is quite right for a change. I do not follow his gibberish. Read and compare what he wrote to what Ayn Rand wrote that I quote below, keeping in mind a definition of "property" -- an attribute, quality, or characteristic of something. "Because man has free will, no human choice—and no phenomenon which is a product of human choice—is metaphysically necessary (link). "Man's volition is an attribute of his consciousness" (my bold, link). Rand's two sentences are clear. whYNOT's are gibberish and even contradict Rand's.
  3. I could read only a small part of the Hot Air article without a paid subscription. So I found other articles about Philadelphia's electric buses. https://whyy.org/articles/septas-cracking-battery-buses-raise-questions-about-the-future-of-electric-transit/ dated 4 days ago. https://whyy.org/articles/phillys-entire-fleet-of-battery-powered-buses-has-been-mia-since-february/ dated about 10 months ago.
  4. This is more of whYNOT's gibberish. property - an attribute, quality, or characteristic of something (meaning 2 here). Ayn Rand wrote: "... man is a being of volitional consciousness." This means volition is a property of man's consciousness per the above meaning. So whYNOT clearly and obliviously contradicted Rand.
  5. The same answer is plainly evident in Pierson's and Trout's article: "Consciousness, via volitional action, increases the likelihood that an organism will direct its attention, and ultimately its movements, to whatever is most important for its survival and reproduction." This is whNOT's mangled summary of Pierson's and Trout's article. We get it. If whYNOT says something, it is plain and self-evident. However, if Pierson and Trout say essentially the same thing, it's all wrong. Two more instances of whYNOT contradicting himself and his poor reading comprehension are plain for readers to see. His mangled summary is even evasion. Evasion is "not blindness, but the refusal to see" (link).
  6. Yes, except to whYNOT, who is very good at not paying attention, e.g. to this. He was again oblivious to his own mangled ideas about reality in his reply, such as falsely assuming the non-existence of a voluntary nervous system.
  7. I'm not clear on what you would consider an error. Suppose a deer decides to cross a road when a truck is coming towards it at 60 mph. If the deer gets hit and killed by the truck, thus failing to reach its goal, would you consider that an error?
  8. I borrowed a book from the library titled In the Theater of Consciousness by Bernard J. Baars. It has a short chapter Volition: Conscious Control of Action. He doesn’t say if “action” pertains to mental action or physical action or both, but the examples he uses are mainly physical actions. The following are a few of his points: 1. Two physically identical actions are experienced differently if one is voluntary and the other is not. For instance, we can voluntarily imitate a slip of the tongue, but the imitation is experienced as voluntary, while the slip is not. Likewise, voluntary actions tend to become automatic and free of voluntary control with practice; if we then try to stop or control them, we will experience them as involuntary. 2. In the brain the differences between voluntary and involuntary functions are simply too marked to be ignored. For example, the Autonomic Nervous System is so named because it works “autonomously,” outside of voluntary control. External muscles, on the other hand, operate voluntarily. Their neurological pathways are separate. 3. The only conscious components of action are: a. the “idea” or goal; b. perhaps some competing goal; c. the “fiat” (the “go” signal, which might simply be release of the inhibitory resistance to the goal), and finally, d. sensory feedback from the action. 4. All actions have automatic components. Some are wanted, when they are conducive to a conscious goal. Some are unwanted, working against one’s overall conscious goal. Most details of routine actions like reading or writing must be automatic: we could never control their numerous details, given the limited capacity of the conscious system. Usually only the novel features of an action are conscious and under voluntary control. Automatic aspects of an action being unwanted comes clear when we try to control “bad habits.” These habits are characteristically difficult to control voluntarily; they escape control especially when conscious control is directed elsewhere. An example of misplaced automaticity is a London bus driver who crashed a double decker bus into a low overpass, perhaps because he was in the habit of driving the same route in a single-decker bus. 5. A loss of conscious access leads to a loss of voluntary control. 6. Voluntary action is consistent with one’s dominant goals. 7. Voluntary actions are shaped by conscious feedback. The following are my comments with the numbers corresponding to those above. 1. We blink involuntarily most of the time, but we can blink voluntarily as well. I experience my moving my arm differently from, say, a physical therapist moving my arm. 2. I would say external muscles operate voluntarily much of the time.
  9. I agree. Also, whenever the actor does act voluntarily, there is constant feedback from the environment via the sense organs of the appropriateness of the action.
  10. I think her hesitancy is understandable considering the lack of access to what takes place in the infant's mind, its lack of self-awareness, its inability to introspect, and its inability to express itself in words. The same barriers exist when considering volition in other species. Notice she said, "even a preconceptual infant has the power to look around or not look, to listen or not listen. He has a certain minimal, primitive form of volition over the function of his senses." In different words, that is the selective attention part of volition that I have often emphasized in this thread.
  11. Uber and Lyft prices Philosophy and science compared New Alzheimer drug USPS pension Ponzi scheme
  12. Here is a video of Lee Pierson, one author of What is consciousness for?, from the Ayn Rand Center UK. It's long, almost 110 minutes. I haven't heard all of it, but I plan to. The last 48 minutes or so is Q&A.
  13. Priceless and utter nonsense. I have emphasized attention as a big component of volition. Attention is the control of access to conscious awareness. Moreover, to focus one's mind is to direct one's attention. Tony (whYNOT) is very good at not paying attention. This is more of his contradictory nonsense. Here he implies A is not-A. He says: "Simple: don't read me." Why don't you follow your own advice? Don't read anything I post nor respond to it.
  14. Thank you. The quote shows that Rand attributed some level of volition to (1) a pre-conceptual consciousness and (2) a being less than fully self-aware and unable to think "I." Both are contrary to what whYNOT has asserted.
  15. You made it so easy. 1. "Debating Objectivists who can't accept a critical difference between voluntary/involuntary movement and volitional cognition. Between the physical and the mental actions" (link). 2. "Notice any reference to muscle volition in there?" (link) You are oblivious to your contradictions.
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