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William O

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William O last won the day on February 8

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  1. @Jeff Kahl, Objectivists tend to like Durant's history of civilization, which has volumes on the ancient Oriental world, Greece, and Rome. I can say that his writing is superb. He may be substantially out of date. Dr. Leonard Peikoff has a list of recommended history books: History Reading List « Peikoff I can say that I read McNeill's single volume history of the world, and I really liked it. I am nothing resembling a historian, though.
  2. Respectfully, this seems a little rationalistic. Why couldn't the particles rotate around one another within the solid mass to move?
  3. I'm averse to that term being connected to Objectivism because I view Christian Presuppositionalism as a dishonest and ludicrous concept, due to having interacted briefly with some proponents of the apologetic and read some Wikipedia pages and such. These are people who use difficult, fundamental epistemological problems to undercut any challenge to their religious dogmas and shut down rational discussion of them. Like, if you say the resurrection can't have happened because it violates physics, they'll say you can't know anything without the Bible being infallible, so your challenge fail
  4. I sometimes call this kind of argument "retortive." Alternatively, you could use the phrase "re-affirmation through denial," as in "the axiom of identity can be shown to be an axiom by the technique of re-affirmation through denial." The latter is used in HB's HWK, as I recall. Christian Presuppositionalism isn't something I've studied, but I know that the basic idea is that the infallibility of the entire Bible and all of orthodox Christian doctrine is basically a giant axiom. Like, you can't deny that God is Triune without contradicting the preconditions of knowledge. It's not an honest
  5. @intrinsicist, Presuppositionalism is a school of Christian apologetics, not a "form of argument." Even if Presuppositionalism were a form of argument, I would never use that term for an Objectivist argument in discussion or debate due to the high likelihood of confusion. The phrase "transcendental argument" also has Kantian and Christian connotations to many people, so I would not advise using it.
  6. This is not a "valid deductive argument," per @2046's post. You'd need an additional premise that an entity ought to perform the function it was created to perform to make the argument deductively valid.
  7. According to Harry Binswanger, who worked with Rand for ten years, "that which one acts to gain and/or keep" was intended by Rand as an initial characterization of value rather than as the definition of value. If you have an HBL subscription, Binswanger explains this at length in the thread entitled "Defining "value"--a common misconception among Objectivists", which is post 12067. I think copying and pasting an HBL post to a public forum may violate the terms of use for HBL, so I'm not going to do that. I'm not sure Objectivism contains a definition of value, strictly speaking.
  8. I really liked this book, and I have every reason to believe the userbase here will know of other, similar books of which I am ignorant. On reflection, the reasons I liked the book were that it's Aristotelian, very confident of our ability to know the truth objectively (in this case, in metaphysics), informative, well written, seemingly well argued, and has a lot of inspiring quotes scattered throughout. That sounds like an ad for the book, but it's not. It's just a description of the sort of book I'm looking for. Here's the back cover: So basically, I'm looking for more book
  9. If we acted deterministically (or at random), there would be no free will. It would not matter whether the deterministic (or random) elements forcing us to act as we do could ever be isolated by scientists. Moral principles would have no authority in the counterfactual scenario you are proposing.
  10. I do not spend much time thinking about the Bible, let alone applying it to economics. There are legitimate academic reasons to study the Bible. It also contains the occasional sensible idea, since it is a primitive hodgepodge of superstition and common sense. That said, I would not go to the Bible for "truths," for any number of obvious reasons. Did you have some reason for posting this?
  11. If you're comfortable sharing your age here, that would help people give you advice. Some young people go through a "Howard Roark phase" upon first learning of Objectivism which can make them unpleasant to be around. (I know I did.) I don't see any specific reason to think that that's happening in your case, but I thought I should mention it. I have a couple of pieces of generic advice. First, if you want to talk to someone about a deeply held belief like socialism that they have a personal attachment to, it's good to approach it by asking them polite questions rather than by arguing agai
  12. Accounting and singing technique both involve learning skills which are best acquired by extensive practice. So, the best way to learn those particular subjects would presumably be to practice the relevant skills repeatedly rather than to (only) read about them. Edit: I can think of other subjects that I know for a fact are like this (I'm not that familiar with accounting or singing). Reading about how to program without actually doing any programming is almost a waste of time, for example.
  13. Your disproof reminds me of Parmenides. Respectfully, though, I think a more "Objectivist" approach would be to start by asking why you're trying to disprove something that there is no reason to believe in the first place.
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