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William O

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William O last won the day on February 8

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  1. I don't have much helpful advice to give you about how to accomplish that, except to study very hard for a long time. To do what you want to do, you need a firm grasp of history, politics, and philosophy, as well as the rhetorical skills to express yourself clearly and convincingly. There are probably other fields that you need to be adept at. A week and a half is almost certainly not enough time to prepare by several orders of magnitude - see the aforementioned ten years estimate. This is especially true if you're rusty on Objectivism, which is what I take from your saying that you "studied Objectivism a long time ago."
  2. I don't think compatibilism is a big issue for Objectivism. Compatibilism as a philosophical position usually comes up after determinism is already accepted, with the idea being "okay, we don't have libertarian free will, but can we nevertheless preserve some sense in which moral responsibility exists?" Objectivism's refutation of determinism just renders the whole debate moot. I would advise against classifying Objectivist positions under academic labels like compatibilism or libertarianism, though. I would certainly advise against any attempt to do so quickly. Academic labels often come with connotations that aren't consistent with the Objectivist position, so care is needed.
  3. The level of understanding of Objectivism required for one person will differ from that of another, depending on their other goals. A full understanding of Objectivism requires about ten years of serious study, according to what I've heard from Objectivist intellectuals. That likely won't be worth doing for most people who aren't professional philosophers. If you don't want to be a professional intellectual, I'd suggest aiming for whatever level of understanding will enable you to know what you are doing in life. Get a basic grasp of the principles, then return to philosophy when you sense that you're not clear about their application to something that you are doing. You write that the goal may be "to integrate from the axiom of existence exists to capitalism in such a way that is both local, abstract, clearly understood by other people, and entertaining enough for people to want to comprehend." That sounds like you're aiming at becoming a professional Objectivist intellectual or a popularizer of the philosophy. Is that correct?
  4. William O

    Youth as a value

    I would flat out deny the premise of the question. It's possible to pursue youth as a value by funding scientific research aimed at enabling us to live indefinitely in young bodies. If the research is successful within your lifespan, you could have the body of a 20 year old at the age of 200. (Obviously you'd still get "older" over time here in one sense, but that's a crude equivocation.)
  5. @itsjames, the Ayn Rand Institute has an audio lecture course you can buy called "Charles Babbage and Induction in Computer Science" by Martin F. Johansen. It is Johansen's work rather than Rand's, but Johansen is influenced by Objectivism, and the course is very relevant to your interest in the history of computers. Very cool thread!
  6. 50 years after the event, Dr. Harry Binswanger has decided to reveal the identities of all of the workshop participants named in the appendix to the second edition of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. This has been a mystery for quite some time! I'll quote the key section, and you can visit Dr. Binswanger's public blog to see the rest: https://www.hbletter.com/objectivist-workshop-participants-identified/
  7. To me, an "expert" on Objectivism would be an orthodox Objectivist with a PhD in philosophy or comparable knowledge. I can't immediately think of anyone on OO.com that I would consider an "expert" in that sense. Most of the regulars here are intelligent, reasonably well educated, much more interested in philosophy than the average person, and much more sympathetic to Objectivism than the average person. If that's who you want answers from, great, but keep in mind that you need to think carefully about what they are saying, myself included.
  8. Those Objectivists (whoever they are) should read Bradley Thompson's recent book America's Revolutionary Mind, then. It demonstrates in detail that the ideas driving the American Revolution were in essence highly similar to Ayn Rand's philosophy.
  9. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo was the last novel I read, and it was a couple of years ago now. I don't read a lot of novels. It is excellent, though. The most recent book I finished was Hitler: A Study in Tyranny by Bullock, which was excellent. (I read the abridged version.) Right now I'm reading A World Lit Only by Fire by William Manchester, which is about how awful the Middle Ages were and how we got out of them. Manchester is good in terms of philosophy of history - he thinks every historical event leads to the next in a logical, comprehensible fashion. I don't know how factually accurate the book is, but I'm enjoying it. Good thread!
  10. To start off, I'm not arguing that change isn't objectively real. I think it is. I'm asking how Objectivist intellectuals explain the sociological fact that most physicists are confused on a particular philosophical point. From what I understand, most physicists accept the B-theory of time, which denies the objective reality of change, on the grounds that it is supposedly implied by Einstein's theory of relativity. (I don't have a source for that other than anecdotes, so if I'm wrong then by all means let me know, but this is what I've consistently heard.) I'm curious whether any Objectivist intellectual has given an explanation of the fact that most physicists accept the B-theory of time. The type of explanation I'm looking for is the same type of explanation given of a-causal interpretations of quantum mechanics by Harriman in The Logical Leap, where he points out that the physicists who accept these interpretations of quantum mechanics are logical positivists. I found that satisfying, and I'm curious whether anyone has provided a similar explanation of the widespread acceptance of the B-theory of time among physicists. Thanks in advance.
  11. This is also my answer. I'd be surprised if there were one specific book you ought to read next. Edit: For reference, the first book I read about Objectivism was OPAR, which is supposedly an awful place to start learning the philosophy. So the order you read in is really not a big deal.
  12. He will be making a "quasi-book" out of his HBL posts on philosophy of mathematics since 1998, with an overview essay. He wrote a post announcing the book on HBL a couple of weeks ago. The theme will be that Plato and Kant need to be expelled from philosophy of mathematics.
  13. It looks like Harry Binswanger has a new book on philosophy of mathematics in the works. That should be interesting.
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