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William O

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  1. Like
    William O got a reaction from 2046 in Naturalistic fallacy   
    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.
  2. Like
    William O got a reaction from Boydstun in Are there other books like *The Unity of Philosophical Experience* by Etienne Gilson?   
    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 books by Aristotelians or neo-Thomists that you liked or think an Objectivist would like.
    Thanks in advance.
  3. Like
    William O reacted to 2046 in Are there other books like *The Unity of Philosophical Experience* by Etienne Gilson?   
    I mean consuming anything by Gilson should profit you substantially. His Methodical Realism is a very good, short read. His Thomist Realism and the Critique of Knowledge is good for setting the ground rules on engagement with Cartesian and Kantian epistemology.
    More neo-Thomist stuff:
    Anthony Lisska's two books Aquinas' Theory of Perception and Natural Law is a reconstruction of Thomistic epistemology and meta-ethics that engages with contemporary analytic philosophy.
    John O'Callaghan's Thomistic Realism and the Linguistic Turn employs Aquinas' semantic theory to describe how concepts as formal signs of knowledge are replaced by words in contemporary pragmatism targeting what he calls the "third thing" thesis of Quine, Putnam, and Rorty.
    Edward Pols' Radical Realism engages with the presuppositions of what he calls the "linguistic enclosure" of knowledge from reality by employing a Thomistic point of view.
    Henry Veatch's Rational Man is a Thomist counter to existentialism and all around classic. You should pretty much think of Veatch as the American version of Gilson and consume all of his stuff actually.
    Anything by Anthony Kenny, Eleanore Stump when reading Aquinas.
     
  4. Like
    William O got a reaction from William Hobba in Is there any Objectivist literature reconciling free will with physics?   
    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.
  5. Like
    William O reacted to Easy Truth in Applying Objectivism to personal relationships (currently struggling)   
    If one holds it that way, the only choice available will be to be separate from everyone, be a hermit. The key was that he knew what he wanted very clearly. Far more clearly than most of us do. He was not distracted because he was so grounded in his "knowing".
    If you make it primarily about "other people", you already lost the game. Your wants, your goals have to originate from you. Sometimes it is hard to identify "was that my idea (desire) or someone else's" and we admire Roark for not being confused about his priorities.
    I didn't care about how people felt about me most of my life and I regret it. Social interaction is a part of a satisfying life, just don't loose yourself (in them).
  6. Like
    William O got a reaction from itsjames in Ayn Rand and Computers   
    @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!
  7. Like
    William O reacted to Boydstun in Harry Binswanger Reveals the Identities of the ITOE Workshop Participants   
    Thanks for the information, William, and the link.
    There is a bit more here from the wife of Laurence Gould.
  8. Like
    William O got a reaction from Boydstun in Harry Binswanger Reveals the Identities of the ITOE Workshop Participants   
    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/
     
  9. Like
    William O got a reaction from dream_weaver in Harry Binswanger Reveals the Identities of the ITOE Workshop Participants   
    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/
     
  10. Like
    William O got a reaction from RohinGupta in Objectivism in Academia   
    During my time as an undergraduate philosophy major, Rand was mentioned several times. One of my ethics classes used James Rachels' The Elements of Moral Philosophy, which takes Rand seriously but presents a misrepresentation of her argument for egoism. (The professor in this class also presented mistaken interpretations of several other parts of Rand's philosophy.) Another ethics class mentioned Rand but only to assert that she was a nihilist in the sense that she did not believe in ultimate value. I also heard a student say that Ayn Rand was an example of a philosopher who was a logical positivist "if you want to call her a philosopher."
     
    So, my impression is that academic philosophers know that Rand is someone they have to address at some point when speaking to undergraduates, but they don't usually make a serious study of her work.
  11. Like
    William O got a reaction from Boydstun in Do Objectivists truly believe Objectivism will ever be more than a philosophy of the few?   
    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.
  12. Like
    William O reacted to Roderick Fitts in Reblogged:William Whewell's "Discoverer's Induction" (Part 5)   
    Previous posts: William Whewell's "Discoverer's Induction" (Part 1)  William Whewell's "Discoverer's Induction" (Part 2) William Whewell's "Discoverer's Induction" (Part 3)
    William Whewell's "Discoverer's Induction" (Part 4)

    Introduction
    This penultimate post will cover two of William Whewell’s three steps of induction. These steps are also his general theory of the generation of scientific hypotheses and theories. Whewell believed that these steps of induction are what scientists have followed in some form throughout history to discover and create conceptual knowledge and propel scientific inquiry. This progress in the creation and use of conceptual knowledge impacted all of the various, interconnected fields of science. Continue...Link to Original
  13. Like
    William O got a reaction from Boydstun in Favorite Book(s) of All Time   
    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!
  14. Like
    William O got a reaction from nakulanb in Favorite Book(s) of All Time   
    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!
  15. Like
    William O reacted to nakulanb in Favorite Book(s) of All Time   
    Frankenstein by Mary Shelly.
  16. Like
    William O reacted to nakulanb in A New Work   
    "Waltz"
     
  17. Like
    William O got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Popular Scientist vs. Popular Comedian   
    I haven't seen anyone bring up the contrast to religion in this thread. Tyson's comment that the universe doesn't care about you could reasonably be taken as a rejection of religion, which says that the universe does care about you - or, at least, is controlled by a magical omnipotent God that does.
  18. Like
    William O reacted to Yitzhak Finnegan in Impressionist painter Konstantin Razumov   
    He is talented, and certainly has an eye for the beautiful ladies! https://www.pinterest.ca/nadooshka1/konstantin-razumov/
  19. Like
    William O got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in New Peikoff Book: Keeping It Real   
    This book provides transcripts of many of Peikoff's podcasts. I've bought the Kindle version and I'd say it's pretty good.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P5TWX4J/ref=nav_ya_signin?#reader_B07P5TWX4J
  20. Like
    William O got a reaction from dream_weaver in New Peikoff Book: Keeping It Real   
    This book provides transcripts of many of Peikoff's podcasts. I've bought the Kindle version and I'd say it's pretty good.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07P5TWX4J/ref=nav_ya_signin?#reader_B07P5TWX4J
  21. Like
    William O reacted to StrictlyLogical in The Passion of Ayn Rand: What's the Big Deal?   
    One difficulty with it might have been that it created fodder or material for detractors and regressives who very often rely on ad hominem attacks... no matter how logically flawed, such yammerings are very annoying and hard to counter when third parties (population at large) are swayed by such tactics.
  22. Like
    William O reacted to Boydstun in Did Ayn Rand reject modern formal logic in favor of Aristotle's logic? If so, why?   
    William,
    I link below a good book of modern formal logic. (The author has another book on mathematical logic, which is beyond this much logic.) I learned a lot from it, and he has some neat historical notes at the ends of chapters. This logic is not a rejection of Aristotelian logic (leaving aside A’s modal logic, which is a further area, beyond what we’d think of as standard formal logic, and beyond the scope of this textbook), certainly not whole cloth, though it assimilates advances in deductive logic attained in the late 19th and early 20th century.
    I’m not aware of anything Rand wrote decrying modern formal logic itself. She probably never took up mastery of the contents of the textbook I link here. I’d think she would have taken issue, however, with common philosophies of logic with then-current views on the ways in which logic is situated with our understanding of the world. I’m thinking of the various views on logic expressed by Dewey or Nagel or Wittgenstein (in his later phase). When I look into the Index of The Letters of Ayn Rand, I find no entry for logic, only for basis of logic. The basis of logic in her philosophy (and I concur in this view) and setting the nature and use of logic in serious sensitivity to that basis was a part of Nathaniel Branden’s lectures in those days The Basic Principles of Objectivism and later in Leonard Peikoff’s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Beyond those, I incline to take issue, springing from Rand’s view of the nature of logic, with a couple of ways in which inference is treated in standard modern logic texts. But this is no wholesale rejection of formal modern logic, the contested friction points are actually old, and there are contemporary experts on both sides.
    https://books.google.com/books/about/Methods_of_Logic.html?id=liHivlUYWcUC&printsec=frontcover&source=kp_read_button#v=onepage&q&f=false
  23. Like
    William O reacted to softwareNerd in What is "Appreciations" relationship to "Value"   
    It is a bit of a paradox: that we want certain values and 
    the easier they come, the more of them we'll be able to achieve, yet if everything is super-easy where's the mental satisfaction to come from? Evolution "made" us feel positive about the work that goes into creating/achieving value.
    The stoic who achieves value too easily keeps piling on more "to-dos" on his list. This is a good approach, but must be done consciously and by questioning whether one really wants to achieve that value and why. There's a yarn about a young, ambitious MBA vacationing on a small island, chatting with a local fisherman about his life-plan.  "I'll join a great company"... "And then what, senor?" ... "I'll form my own company" ... "And then what, senor?"... "I'll go global"... "And then what, senor?" ... and it ends with "And then, I'll buy a plot on this far-away island and retire here to fish for the rest of my life". 
    The epicurean, on the other hand, tells people to chill out and enjoy life. Don't be lazy, he says, but don't be in the rat-race for fame or fortune either. True laziness, in this perspective, is to work so little that you cannot provide for a comfortable life: a nice home, nice food, ample wine, time to relax, and throw in a good bunch of close friends. This approach too makes sense, but can leave the stoic feeling unsatisfied: will I die having done nothing to be super-proud of? The point that's missed in the fisherman's yarn is that the young MBA has a lot of fun (or at least he ought to) through the process of his achievement. Chances are, he'll never even retire the way he dreams of. He'll have the means, but it'll just seem too boring.
    As an individual, one has to think this through, and make the choice that suits you.
     
  24. Like
    William O reacted to softwareNerd in Institute for Justice   
    While so many American fret worry about issues that are really only marginal to their lives. the Institute of Justice continues is slow and steady chipping away at violations of rights. 
    They just won a case that will restrict civil forfeiture in Philadelphia There's a win on city code enforcement in Charleston and many other Each of these cases is very local. It is easy to despair that it is like fighting a giant with a tiny pin as a sword, inflicting minor cuts. On the other hand, the big-picture approach to philosophical change isn't easy, and with the cases that IJ wins, there is the satisfaction of having helped at least those people, in that one city or state win back some right. If a few women in one city can now make a career hair-braiding, and that let's them earn more money and have a better live: that's something, even if it's a small cut to the system at large.
    The list of cases continues to grow. Here's the list. In the long run, I think their wins could help other lawyers, in other states and cities, win similar cases. Maybe, one of two of these issues might even become  a theme that can be tied together to ripple across the country. 
    All the best to IJ
     
     
  25. Like
    William O got a reaction from Boydstun in Should this quote about your first glance at someone really be in the sidebar?   
    If it has, then it would probably be part of the "Howard Roark" phase some Objectivist teenagers go through where they're not sure which parts of The Fountainhead are intended to apply to real life and which are just artistic.
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