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KyaryPamyu last won the day on August 23 2023

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  1. Humans obey the laws of physics as well. But that's a metaphorical obedience, e.g. obeying gravity is different from obeying a decision. If we go with OPAR, humans do have something in common with rocks: they can't choose not to choose, just as they can't choose to be free from the laws of physics. Quote: ". . .the action itself, the fact of choosing as such, in one direction or the other, is unavoidable. Since man is an entity of a certain kind, since his brain and consciousness possess a certain identity, he must act in a certain way." (Ch. 2, Human Actions, Mental and Physical, as Both Caused and Free) "But," someone might reply, "what about the content of my choice - the thing I actually pick? Does that flow inevitably and naturally from my constitution?" To this I would answer: "No, that would be determinism - and determinism is bad!". And I'd hold onto my position. ...unless, of course, someone showed me an alternative: "Freedom and blind lawfulness are two sides of the same coin, they're never actually apart. As a consequence, Nature will look purposeful when it clearly isn't, and human choice will appear deterministic when it clearly isn't."
  2. Schopenhauer was a big influence on Nietzsche, and Rand liked Nietzsche more than just a little. "His 'Thus Spake Zarathustra' is my Bible. I can never commit suicide while I have it.", wrote Rand, answering a questionnaire, circa 1935[1]. By way of spiritual lineage, could it be that some of Schopenhauer's ethos inadvertently found its way into Objectivism? Well, probably not, but I'm getting paranoid! It's time for a trip down philosophical hall of fame. Like many philosophers of his era, Schopenhauer believed that jumping straight into philosophizing about this and that is irresponsible. If we're going to use philosophy to gain insights, we ought to take a look at philosophy first: Philosophy is concerned with explaining things, so explainability is assumed from the get go. Furthermore, if something requires an explanation, it means that it doesn't explain itself - some other thing does. In short, we assume the motion from an explanatory cause to that which it explains, from one state of matter to another.[2] As the above analysis indicates, things like matter, motion, cause and effect, object-for-a-subject are already built into metaphysical inquiry, like your lungs are built into your body. As for logical, mathematical or moral investigations, they each come with their own inbuilt structure as well, according to Schopenhauer. Interestingly, as Kant observed, those structures can mess up metaphysics big time. For instance, consider the claim that the world is One interconnected whole: From one angle, 'Mankind', 'The State' etc. are mere abstractions, because only real individuals exist, like Sally, John, and Suzy. From another angle, everything is just a word or name for something else: 'pillow' is a name for feathers and cotton, 'feather' is a name for alpha-keratin and beta-keratin, ad infinitum. Individuals are illusory, the Whole alone is real. This dilemma is rooted in the nature of the concepts themselves. Parts and wholes are two poles of a perspectival relation, similar to 'left and right', or 'here and there'. They are not something concrete like beef and candy, but ways of relating beef and candy, and all other empirical content. In Book II of The World as Will and Representation, Schopenhauer proposes an alternative: instead of describing what the world is like, we might simply describe what it's like to be it. And what looks from the outside like a hand being raised, from the inside looks like raising a hand. Those are two ways of looking at the exact same thing, i.e. the angle of perception, plus the angle of a drive-for-activity. Quoting Robert Wicks, "as one is a part of the universe as is everything else, the basic energies of the universe flow through oneself as they flow through everything else."[3] Schopenhauer calls this second aspect simply Will. Will is harmless - unless, of course, Will is perceived through human cognitive structures like part-whole relationships, each part requiring others for its being, a veritable fight for existence. And, as Rand observed, the alternative between life and death grounds all values, and therefore all joys and woes as well. Schopenhauer's Guide to Happiness Suppose you're given a choice between two computer operating systems. They are identical in every respect, save for a key difference: one is aesthetically pleasing, the other is a crime against visual design. Which one would you pick? Most people would probably pick the pretty one. Sure, being biased toward beauty makes sense in a sexual context, but come on - we're talking about pixels smeared on a screen! But Schopenhauer would have explained that the value of graphic design lies precisely in its uselessness for things like booting speed, security, software selection and the rest. Beauty is a normative ideal for what something ought to look like. It's not an individual, it's a unified standard that individuals can succeed or fail at embodying. Thus, archetypes are not specifically concerned with you, or your friends, or what has been or will be; they make you think in Absolute terms rather than relative ones. In other words, during aesthetic contemplation, you lacking something doesn't even cognitively register. Perhaps this has something to do with the fact that at the core, we are neither fragments nor wholes, but simply Reality proper. Remembering this can lead us to a more laid-back and friendly attitude to the world. In effect, we see ourselves in others. Universal empathy is, thus, another mark of happy individuals, according to Schopenhauer. And it's just as rare as artistic genius. But those are temporary. If we're honest, the only way to not be disturbed by anything ever is to not care about anything to begin with. Sometimes this attitude comes naturally to individuals who are genuinely fed up with the cycle of distress. They will gladly ignore their leftover habitual clinging - a "dark night of the soul" - for the prize of tranquility. Asceticism, then, is the aesthetic or ethical consciousness made permanent. However, poetic genius, empathy or ascetic inclination are reserved for extraordinary people, and those are one in a million. Everyone else must study the science of happiness, which Schopenhauer calls eudaemonology (Greek εὐδαίμων [happy] + λόγος [treatise]). However, just in case we forget that the world is not a problem-free place, Schopenhauer elaborates that the 'happy' part is an euphemism for "living tolerably."[4] So, what should we do to become cheerful, according to eudaemonology? Well, that's a trick question. We don't do things to become cheerful; we do things because we're cheerful. The "genial flow of good spirits" is like the zoomies your cat or dog has, an energy that flows naturally from your constitution. Once possessed by it, you blow off steam by engaging in activity. "To secure and promote this feeling of cheerfulness should be the supreme aim of all our endeavors after happiness", says Schopenhauer in The Wisdom of Life. He adds that nothing opens the gate to cheerfulness more than your physical condition, since the state of your body is also the state of your mind. However, "a man may be perfectly sound in his physique and still possess a melancholy temperament and be generally given up to sad thoughts. The ultimate cause of this is undoubtedly to be found in innate, and therefore unalterable, physical constitution." Schopenhauer presents us with an indirect route to a bearable (and if fate allows, enjoyable) life. "The first and foremost rule for the wise conduct of life seems to me to be contained in a view to which Aristotle parenthetically refers in the Nichomachean Ethics: [Greek: o phronimoz to alupon dioke e ou to aedu] or, as it may be rendered, not pleasure, but freedom from pain, is what the wise man will aim at."[5] In other words, it's impossible to enjoy ourselves when we are in pain, so we ought to always set the stage for happiness by keeping preventable woes at bay. (What about un-preventable problems, though? They are not the Boogeymen you think they are, according to Schopenhauer. His analysis of that is well worth a read.) Rand and Schopenhauer I did not feel discouragement very often, and when I did, it did not last longer than overnight. But there was one evening, during the writing of The Fountainhead, when I felt so profound an indignation at the state of "things as they are" that it seemed as if I would never regain the energy to move one step farther toward "things as they ought to be." Frank talked to me for hours, that night. He convinced me of why one cannot give up the world to those one despises. By the time he finished, my discouragement was gone; it never came back in so intense a form.[6] It did come back though, even in that less intense a form. Rand was not exactly shy about making it known that the world isn't as it could be and ought to be. But Rand is Rand. It seems to me that Rand treats life the same way she treats a lover. When you love someone, even their flaws become glamorized to some extent. It's as if saying "although I don't necessarily approve of this flaw, even it is marked with my lover's scent." (Other people's flaws can go to hell.) You know that a novel is a drama before you place your order on Amazon. That's what novels are, and novels are what you're into. So with life. I think Nietzsche had this element as well, of romanticizing life itself. And let me tell you: this is not for everyone. If you're not that kind of person, philosophy won't turn you into one. This romantic spirit might be like musical inclination, or introversion, or (as Schopenhauer says) physically-induced melancholy. Corollary: to fully grasp all the nooks and crannies of Objectivism, or Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, your spirit must already be a little bit like theirs. ---------- FOOTNOTES [1] See the first footnote of Lester Hunt's essay, Ayn Rand’s Evolving View of Friedrich Nietzsche. [2] For Schopenhauer, human cognition is built around the principle of sufficient reason, to which he dedicates his PhD thesis, On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason (1813). [3] Wicks, Robert, Arthur Schopenhauer, The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Fall 2021 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.) [4] Schopenhauer, Arthur, Introduction to Aphorisms on the Wisdom of Life. [5] ———. Counsels and Maxims, §1. [6] Rand, Ayn, Introduction to The Fountainhead.
  3. Eddie believed that the oak tree from his childhood was so strong that "if a giant were to seize it by the top, he would not be able to uproot it, but would swing the hill and the whole of the earth with it". However, a lightning strike revealed that the tree's trunk was, in fact, hollow. In a similar way, Eddie subconsciously suspects that New York's trunk is hollow (for example, due to the stores going out of business). Nevertheless, Eddie is unable to identify why he feels a sense of impending doom, or why he connects this feeling to the oak tree. So he shrugs it off, thinking he's just imagining things. No heroism here 😛 According to Jim, a feudal serf works for the prosperity of his employer, without caring if his employer is ethical or helps society etc. Eddie disagrees that there's a dichotomy between making money and being ethical, so he matter-of-factly accepts the moniker.
  4. Every Objectivist interested in the BUP should read and study Ecclesiastes. After listing all the reasons why the world is a horrible place, the author tells the reader: "Go, eat thy bread with pleasure, and drink thy wine with cheer; And white be (all) thy garments, and oil for the head unfailing. Be happy with a woman' thou lovest, through all the days of thy vanity; For this is thy portion in life, in thy toiling under the sun. Whatever thy hand may find to do with thy strength-do it! For work there is none, nor planning, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in Sheol." (translated by Paul Haupt)
  5. Institutes like ARI and TAS follow a specific 'marketing plan', so I think it's worth considering what can and cannot be achieved by those plans. For the rest of us, who didn't choose a career in promoting Objectivism, I wholly agree with you on simply doing our thing and enjoying life. History abounds with philosopher-writers: Schiller, Dostoevsky, Sartre, Camus are prime examples. I noticed that many of them have at least one organization attached to their name. I think the Ayn Rand Institute is exactly that: an organization dedicated to promoting Ayn Rand's work - of which Objectivism is but one strand among many. Such an organization can expect precisely what, for example, the Albert Camus Society can expect: bringing together veteran fans, attracting a few new ones, and encouraging new scholarly research. In this respect, I think the Atlas Society (the open-system advocate) is different from ARI. Imagine that a few intellectuals took it upon themselves to expand the philosophy of Camus. Well, you obviously can't do that, because Camus is Camus. So I think that TAS is, in fact, offering an alternative to Rand's system-as-she-left-it. (Of course, offering such an alternative is compatible with promoting Ayn Rand the philosopher-writer). If, let's say, 10% of the population read Camus, quoted Camus, attended lectures on Camus every summer, adopted his terminology verbatim, imitated his manner of acting, and excommunicated various individuals, what would we call that? A cult, or a fanatical fan base. Human knowledge is a decentralized business. People can accept Camus' ideas without liking his novels or haircut. No one is commiting a folly by choosing to never read Camus himself, and relying instead on accurate presentations by other authors. This is what it means for knowledge to successfully 'infect' the world. Science and philosophy cannot have Jesus-figures. Anyone who is committed to promoting Objectivism should imagine the following scenario: a world where everybody learns Objectivist ideas from K-pop and TV dramas, but barely anyone has heard of Atlas Shrugged and Ayn Rand. If said promoters find no problem with this picture, there's a high chance they're committed to spreading the philosophy, rather than to spreading Ayn Rand's writings.
  6. Welcome to the forum, metacreation. People who hear about Rand for the first time can still dislike her writing style or her 'interview personality' after looking her up. And that's fine; even if you agree with her ideas 100%, you don't have to force yourself to read novels or essays you don't enjoy. Cool idea. I think the 'like' button is disabled on posts made by newly registered users, so I'll just quote you instead.
  7. In short, the 'movement' would benefit from marketing the philosophy to non-fans, i.e., to people who dislike Ayn Rand as a person, or find her writing style to be obnoxious. As a parallel, we all benefit from studying term logic, but only a small portion of the population is interested in Aristotle as a person or writer. Focus more on making a cutural impact, less on Rand as a personality.
  8. Objectivism upholds the 'if/then' model of morality ('if you want X, do Y'). At first glance, this is completely incompatible with the Categorical Imperative, which simply demands you to 'do it', no matter the context or situation. However, in philosophical discussion, the restrictive CI is always connected to concepts such as freedom, autonomy and human dignity, so what gives? Since human freedom is a hot topic for Objectivism as well, perhaps we can extract some nuggets of truth from the CI's two most popular formulations (those of Kant and Fichte). After a brief presentation of both, I'll tackle the issue of human autonomy, as applicable to the Objectivist Ethics. ______ Kant and the CI Kant tackled morality as part of a wider project encompassing the human faculties: reason (theory), conscience (morality) and taste (aesthetics). In the first installment of his project (The Critique of Pure Reason), he argued that in conscious experience, when the world undergoes changes, it still remains the same world, and thus, you also remain the same self throughout. He then shows how certain relations, such as causality, enable this sameness-in-difference. But, although you can prove that such relations are necessay for preserving the sameness of the self, Kant claims that it's an unjustified leap to assume that the exact same relations operate beyond the senses (Prolegomena, § 28). Reason is extremely tempted to do that, but whenever it tries to make claims about what lies beyond experience, it short-circuits and ends up in antinomies, i.e. for a given metaphysical thesis, it can also prove its opposite, the antithesis. However, since we're endowed with certain faculties such as moral conscience, we can show that certain assumptions are justified, albeit not provable. For example, morality presupposes a belief in freedom, i.e., in the ability to cause an action of our own will, without being forced to cause it. This model can be formally expressed as 'just do it' (the Categorical Imperative). The CI's rival is the Hypothetical Imperative, which can be expressed as follows: 'Do X, but only if you want to attain Y'. According to Kant, since the CI is implicit in freedom of action, our concrete actions should be in harmony with that. For example, it's not possible to 'just lie', because lying depends on first building trust; this turns lying into a Hypothetical, rather than Categorical imperative. Kant also thought that human conscience is innately biased toward the CI, and that following the HI takes a toll on our dignity (in the latter, freedom is merely the 'freedom' to dutifully comply with everything nature asks you to do, like a good boy/girl). Since the phenomenal self is rooted in the noumenal self (outside of the senses), it's reasonable to assume that both selves are in harmony somehow, even if it looks as if maintaining the CI is sometimes impractical or useless. Fichte's Formulation Fichte believed that the proposition 'A exists' does not have universal truth, since 'A' could be a unicorn or a talking chinchilla. However, the proposition 'A = A' does have universal validity, and grounds all of logic. He wanted to track the source of this universal validity, and allegedly found it. He explained that, in self-consciousness, the self (as subject) relates itself to its own self (as object). Thus, in the proposition 'I = I', the mind opposes the two terms, then relates them (in ITOE-parlance, ‘differentiates and integrates’ them). While the truth of 'A exists' is conditional upon what 'A' stands for, the truth of 'A = A' is universal, since it points to an actual content, namely, the unity of subject and object. Theoretical Portion Thesis: I am I. Antithesis: However, I (the subject) am also not I (the object). Those two are distinct, opposed. Synthesis: The 'I' and 'Not-I' co-exist, each having some quantity relative to the other. As you can see, rational integration (synthesis) does not succeed in resolving the separation of subject and object, it merely makes them cohabit. To properly achieve the unification that theoretical reason failed at, we'll simply have to incorporate this 'Not-I' into ourselves, through practical reason. In other words, if our bodies can follow our wills, so can the rest of material nature. Needless to say, that's a daunting project (but doable). Science, technology, art etc. will become our tools for this project. Rand and the Choice To Live Nature blackmails us with endless conditions to fulfill, so at first glance, it looks as if we're only 'free' to dutifully obey whatever nature nags us to do. One of the things I find remarkable about Rand's ethics, is that the basic choice underlying the 'if/then' model is unconditional. More specifically, the choice to live is a pre-moral choice, a precondition for the possibility of morality. Unfortunately, I think OPAR kind of ruins this insight by phrasing things like some pious cleric: No thanks. I'm not bowing my head to anything. Contrast this with Rand's own presentation: That’s a big difference of emphasis. A free being does not pursue life because it's forced to do so by natural appetites, but rather: pursues life (with all of its appetites) as an act of freedom. Back to OPAR: After claiming that the choice to live is pre-moral, Peikoff tactlessly brings up the rungs of hell, suggesting moral condemnation for the sin of not 'accepting reality' (choosing life). Kelley made fun of this in one of his lectures. I just want to empathize how truly radical the 'pre-moral' idea is. Obviously, there's a stark difference between the CI and the Objectivist Ethics. The CI does not even allow people to take their own lives, because that would remove from existence an instrument of freedom. But Objectivism roots the fundamental choice in our absolute autonomy. Not in mechanical causality, not in nature's whims or in externally imposed edicts, but in us. When it comes to those philosophies that uphold 'freedom for it's own sake' (e.g. Fichte's system of ethics), it's tempting to retort: 'no, it's freedom for life's sake'. But the dignity of freedom is so important, that its absence can completely absolish a person's desire to live. As always, one needs to go beyond what's 'technically true' and see the living, breathing reality that faces us. Another example: it's perfectly valid to speak of one's body as a tool/machine for one's will. Rand herself does this in Galt's Speech (FTNI, pg. 130) without contradicting her thesis that a person is an indivisible entity. Likewise, for Fichte, the 'Absolute I' is merely the target; the 'real I' is always a mind-body trying to incorporate the rest of nature into its will. I think there's a grain of truth in the idea that the desire for freedom somehow underpins all of our actions. We strive for a perfect state of affairs that will finally satisfy us, yet the moment we find something that fits the bill, we're struck by its ghastly restrictiveness and incompleteness. The spirit revolts against limitation, all limitation. Perhaps, if Objectivist 'activists' focused on presenting reason as a tool for freedom, we'd see a spike in interest for the philosophy. Personally, I'm definitely not in the camp of people that consider that it's not necessary to 'sell' reason to the masses. No human being is interested in something, unless that something bears positively on his freedom. At least, that's what attracted me to The Fountainhead and VoS in the first place: the fact that Rand wrote about the autonomy of the human spirit. To this day, I still don't care about fawning over how cool Ancient Greece was, or about cringey polemics regarding alternative logics. This is another fact to consider: there might be Objectivists out there who don't care about most of the Objectivist memes, and maybe, *gasp*, they don't even enjoy Atlas Shrugged. All the more reason to focus on properly marketing the philosophy (forgive my blasphemous language), rather than struggling to pull in 500-1000 'rational newcomers' per year, of which at least a portion will be dogmatists who don't care to challenge their views, anyway. ______ Further Reading A brief, interesting overview of Kant's work Kant's weird list of 'duties' (notice the Christian influences) Stephen Boydstun's thorough coverage of Kant's moral theory in relation to Rand's A review of Michelle Kosch's book on Fichte's Ethics
  9. Perhaps I'm mixing up who said what? I'll have to think that over.
  10. Regarding 'early development' arguments, I take a more conservative stance. We also start as flat-earthers, but it doesn't follow that we should dismiss the spherical earth just because we had to perform complex calculations to prove it. Berkeley never once denies that we experience ourselves as embodied individuals in a spatio-temporal world subject to causation; he provided a theory about the 'source' of this experience, and realism does the same. Perhaps a lingering confusion is whether idealism is compatible with physiological theories of perception. The answer is a resounding yes. In this thread, I am solely concerned with the status of claims that can't be verified by experience (cosmic intellect, mind-independent realm, Hyperuranion etc.); I have no beef with wholly verifiable claims, such as those of neuroscience.
  11. I think the discussion is in the right place. I was calling into question whether transcendent claims can be proven or disproven. A brain-in-a-Vat can endlessly bicker that 'Vat-Theorists' don't doubt the existence of brains, vats and scientists. Does that prove anything? No. It merely turns attention to what philosophy can and cannot do. In other words, I can defend realism in the face of objections, but I can never conclusively disprove idealism. To claim otherwise is to overstep the limits of philosophical inquiry.
  12. Stephen, My position is simple: one can doubt that M1 is a representation of a real banana, but not that M2 is a representation of M1. In other words, metarepresentation can be immediately proven, while direct realism cannot. I deliberately describe metarepresentation as an 'object-percept' relationship in order to provoke; all objections to said description will necessarily rest on some presupposition, e.g., on metaphysical realism. And by what standard is metaphysical realism a 'successful' explanatory theory? I say, a metaphysical theory is successful insofar as experience vouches for it. For example, people who commit to determinism must forfeit their beliefs when dealing with the law, since responsibility implies free will. Thus, I am open to the possibility that more than one successful system is possible (unless proven otherwise, of course).
  13. Today, I'd like to introduce the notion of a 'Vacationing Objectivist'. Definition: Thus, a V.O cannot call himself/herself an Objectivist, but can nevertheless continue to admire Objectivism and the work of Objectivist intellectuals and institutes. He/she can also entertain the possibility of 'returning to the club' one day, after clearing all doubts. As a V.O myself, here's a small sample of my doubts, mostly targeting the O'ist metaphysics. (This thread is the evil brother of another thread of mine, where I attempt to defend realism.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ §1. Mind-independence is not claim-independence Do I have stray thoughts, or not? The answer can be true and false, because that fact is independent of any human claims. Therefore, 'claim-independent truth' is not the same as 'mind-independent truth'. §2. Nothing can be deduced from the 'externality' of facts Facts are 'external' to human claims. Fair enough. Let's move on to the next step. The Hyperuranion is external to human claims. Er... what the frick is 'the Hyperuranion'? Precisely. Deducing a so-called 'physical realm' from the externality of facts is as arbitrary as deducing the Hyperuranion. §3. The mind is permanently related to itself To conclude whether a claim is true or false, my mind must look 'outward', at reality. I start with the proposition 'I have stray thoughts', so I look outward at... wait, 'outward'? Yes, because 'outward' and 'inward' reveal an important fact: the mind is inherently a self-relation. §4. "All of your examples are about introspection, not extrospection". Glad you noticed. Actually, all of my examples are about the inner-sense, rather than the outer-sense. The so-called 'outer' sense is still a sense, which makes 'intro-' and 'extro-' a matter of semantics. I deliberately use introspective examples in order to prevent the knee-jerk equivocation between 'outer-sense' and 'outer-realm'. §5. Mental states can represent themselves I'm engrossed in thoughts about yogurt; that's a first person perspective. I snap out of it, and see myself being engrossed in useless thoughts about yogurt; that's a third person perspective on my previous mental state. The latter (M2) is a mental representation of the former (M1). §6. Doesn't M2 exist independently of M1? The same way a physical banana exists independently of the visual percept of a banana. No, and this reveals the unity of 'percept' and 'object'. Does that unity make logical sense? No. Does it happen anyway? Yup. A man will deny he has a nose if logic and/or some dictionary tells him otherwise. §7. If M2 represents M1, where does M1 come from? Let M1 stand for 'the percept of a banana'. To find out where this image comes from, you have two options: either accept it as given, and move on to doing something more fun; or: speculate about its provenance (or lack thereof). Speculation is more of a spiritually fulfilling pastime, rather than a necessity; the practical side of life remains the same, whether you know M1's provenance or not. §8. "We grasp physical objects through our senses, not our senses through a second group of senses." Pure speculation. Plus, it's not about a group of senses grasping a secondary group of senses; it's about the unity of percept and object. More precisely, 'percept' and 'object' are two perspectives on the exact same thing. §9. "Why does experience cohere? If I exit the room and return, all objects are exactly where I left them". Because experience coheres. The only positive claim we can make is that we experience coherence, but not the source of this coherence. We can speculate about its source, but that's about it. §10. "Value implies 'to whom' and 'for what'." No, it implies only a 'for what'. For the task of sending a banana to Mars, a spaceship is good. §11. "But, who benefits from that interplanetary delivery?" In that example, nobody. §12. "Does that mean that morality is not a thing anymore?" No. It means that a pleasant, amazing life is an intrinsic value. That's right: a good life has no utility, so let's scrape the 'for what', shall we? And a pleasant life is pleasant, period (even if you happen to hate it); so let's scrape the 'for whom' as well. Does epistemology support 'intrinsicism'? Nah. Nevertheless, is a good life, good without qualification? You bet. So a 'good' thing is not good merely because it's useful; it's good only if its usefulness pertains to some intrinsic good, i.e., for life.
  14. The concord between mind and truth is not identical to the concord between mind and a physical object. A simple example is identifying whether your mind has stray thoughts, or not. Your answer can be true or false, because that fact is independent of any human claims. Oh, and the ability to take a third-person perspective on your own mind does not imply stepping out into an external realm. The equivocation between the 'externality' of facts and the 'externality' of the so-called physical realm is not a serious argument, and that's my main gripe with Kelley's book. By the way, thanks for posting the summaries you linked in your sig. I used to read them before ARI released these courses on their website.
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