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Everything posted by KyaryPamyu

  1. Objectivists typically dismiss the 'thing-in-itself' when understood to mean 'thing as it really is'. Since there's no thing that isn't the way it is, the 'really' part is redundant. Mind and matter are types of things adding up to the totality (Existence). It's this totality that has primacy, not the specific kinds of things that comprise it. If you tweak either the biological tissue making up the sensory apparatus, or the objects it interacts with, you create a change in the result; hence, 'thing-as-perceived' refers to an existential event between the two elements. Dismissing the notion of 'reality as it really is' still allows for a lack of knowledge regarding certain things. We can know things about the bat's experience in a human conceptual form, but cannot ever directly experience what the bat experiences.
  2. You might be referring to Tenderlysharp's post from a while back. From the founder's mission statement: They do publish every style under the sun, so it's mostly of interest to those that want to keep up with what's going on in the poetry world. There's far more rhymed poetry in the older issues (1912 onwards). Like The New Yorker, the magazine has an 'open door' policy where they publish poems even if you're not famous. They receive about 90.000 submissions/year, with a publication rate below 1%, making it one of the hardest literary magazines to get published in. They even reject submissions from Pulitzer prize winners (and sometimes publish the resulting hate-mail as well).
  3. I know poetry is the most hot-button issue on this forum, but I'm chiming in with yet another installment, this time on modern poetry. Usually when we talk, we use whatever words, metaphors and styles help us effectively communicate the message. In poetry, however, the form is not passive, but an active participant in achieving the desired meaning and effect. We all know that rhyme and meter are artificial, but check this out, if I write the next words Like This there is a special kind of emphasis which would not be achieved by conventional prose. Or, if I said that the sentence you're reading right now raises in your mind like a hungover woman getting up from a bathroom floor, there is disconnect of style that is not strictly necessitated by communicating the gist of the message, but irreplaceable if you want to achieve that exact meaning and effect. Put more simply, poetry is a bona-fide syncretic art, much more than regular prose literature is. This description only takes form in consideration, and remains silent regarding the possible (legitimate) uses of things like opacity an incomprehensibility in poetry (and other art forms). Ayn Rand was against concrete-bound rules when it comes to art, so one can only imagine if she would've been open to modern poetry if she head a rational defense of it. Peikoff, in one of the few treatments of poetry given by an O'ist, thinks that poetry is synonymous with works by western authors. But rhyme and rhytm are not the only kinds of formal artifice employed historically. Tanka poetry uses the 5-7-5-7-7 scheme (number of sylables per line); Greek epics have no rhyming scheme and their meter is meant to facilitate memorization. And many other examples. My newest addiction is looking for gems in Poetry magazine. You have to plough through the 98% of questionable stuff in order to find the 2% of gems, but when you do... it's uncanny how precisely things you deemed incommunicable can be put on a page when you give free reign to form. There's also no particular literary school or theory associated with the magazine, so it's impossible to predict what you'll find when you turn the page to the next poem. All issues can be read on the website. ...though I will occasionaly encounter the full-blown type of subjectivism which claims that an artwork is an artwork because the author said so (the advice is this work is mostly good, by the way). Either way, here are some modern poems to kick-start this thread (which I'm sure will break the OO.com servers due to the massive influx of comments from modern poetry enthusiasts). I don't necessarily condone the values contained inside, only the interesting execution. Some have audio as well (use the play button near the titles) Peripheral (Hannah Emerson) I'm not a religious person but (Chen Chen) New Rooms (Kay Ryan) End of Side A (Adrian Matejka) (an inspiration for this thread, though I like this one of his better, awesome reader)
  4. In the 19th century, German Romantic philosophy was in part a reaction to the reductionism of English philosophy. Germans protested against the implications of reductionism to morality: if a man killing another man is just a bundle of atoms acting on another bundle of atoms, and those atoms act in one way and only one way (i.e. according to past events), then the universe is determined and your free thoughts are, in fact, unfree movements of atoms - and so is your moral outrage at rape or genocide. Agreeing with the Brits, the Germans claimed that the only way to save things like selfhood, love, punishment of evil etc. was to do away with matter (materiality) entirely. If you start with mind and derrive the world from that, you don't have to worry that life, free will and emotion are mere mechanical effects of blind lawfulness. Johann Fichte, the father of German Idealism (a movement distinct from Kant's Transcendental Idealism) proposed that the self is only truly a self if it is an independent agent, its own thing - not a sum of completely foreign parts determining every single thing about its identity. His theory was that when the self asserts its own existence (I am I), it conceptualizes the Self in contradistinction to anything other than that (he calls this Not-Self, or nature), and in distinction from a self that is not itself (hence the plurality of selves aggregating into families and nations). He deduces Kant's categories out of a primordial act of self-recognition, Ich=Ich. Ayn Rand disagrees with the reductionists, but does not go the idealist route like Fichte. O'ism is anti-reductionism. Paraphrasing Peikoff in OPAR pg. 193, a man and a bullet are not 'interchangeable' because they are both a collection of atoms; one collection can die, the other can't. Likewise, what's out there is not a collection of neat rational constructs, such that you can deduce the nature of reality from mathematical equations or boxing observations into a pre-established notion of what a concept should reasonably mean in practice. That type of rationalism is what makes reductionists deny what's right under their nose, e.g. the existence of consciousness, because their logical deduction denies that such consciousness is real. A while back, a poster on this forum argued against emergence, opting for an interesting theory that mind and biological evolution are impossible, magical, unless you hold that mind has always existed, and that mind and matter 'inter-penetrate', neither having metaphysical primacy. I think he would have some interesting takes on the arguments in this thread.
  5. This is a historical claim. Was it based on research, or was it asserted without studying the issue? A cursory glance at articles such as this one will give an account of when and where the concept began to be used in relation to chemistry.
  6. No. It means that the natures of each 'X' might be such that their mere joining (with no additional consequence) is not possible. The sticknes of the puppet can be explained by its parts, the sticks. The gaseousness of water can't be explained by its parts, the gasses, because water is not gaseous, it's liquid. If X represents the gasses, then the cause of liquidity is not wholy in hydrogen, nor wholy in oxygen, but in their interaction. 2+2X adds up to 4X, because you've properly taken the natures of the X's in account, you're not merely playing with empty abstractions. If X represents the sticks, the cause of the puppet's stickness is wholy in the sticks, as their joining does not lead to, for example, a gelatin-like substance distinct from wood. Nothing in the quoted post warrants your interpretation. I refer you to OPAR pg. 192-193 for a statement on reductionism.
  7. Yes, precisely. Every 'pile' of something will exhibit, as a whole, different properties than its components. It seems that, here, this is what emergence is claimed to be. It's not. To answer this as well: Emergent properties result not from joining things, but from the reactions caused by the joining. Water is not merely two gasses stitched togheter, with your mind seeing the collage as 'watern-ness'. The 'stick-ness' of the puppet can be reduced to its components, the sticks. The liquidity of water cannot be reduced to the gaseousness of its components if you can't differentiate between the two examples. The claim to 'epistemological artifact' turns all properties into a way of regarding two things glued togheter as a whole, putting (for example) consciousness on equal footing with piles of vinyl discs adding to a stack.
  8. Are you claiming that, for example, life cannot be shown to depend on chemistry for its arising? If your reply is that this is simply a causal connection (no life without chemistry), then you are right, but also missing the point. If you put togheter a few wooden sticks, you might get a stick puppet, but in the end, the sticks add up to a pile of sticks. In contrast, take two atoms of hydrogen, add one atom of oxygen and you get a water molecule with completely different properties. You have an 'emergent' property, unlike the previous example. Perhaps this answers your question:
  9. Here is an analogy: motion, alteration, destruction etc. are things that can happen to entities. These concepts are not a separate process from causation, but instances of it. This does not make motion, alteration and destruction 'useless' concepts; in life, we need much more than metaphysical concepts in order to understand the world. You'd be hard pressed to find things that are not in motion, and likewise, things which are not emergent. Nevertheless, what is the difference between a thing in motion, and one not in motion? The same as that between an emergent and non-emergent thing.
  10. In my previous post I had written: i.e. emergence is an instance of causation. Yes, that's what I wrote here:
  11. The premise I see here is that emergence is used to explain something. No, it's not. The underlying cause of emergent properties is not 'emergence' itself, but the nature of the interacting existents. In other words, emergence identifies the fact; the how and why is explained by the corresponding sciences. Emergence is also not a metaphysical concept (it's itself an instance of identity and causality). But it adds important knowledge about the world.
  12. When two elements meet, both will exert an influence on each other, causing both to change in some way. Since the two elements are now different, this will also affect how they react to a third element, and how that third element will react to them. The only way to avoid emergent behaviours/properties is to have no interactions whatsoever. The way a thing behaves is an aspect of what that thing is like. That is causality, i.e. a specialized perspective on the nature of a given thing. If 'determinism' means causality, then volition is not a-causal; it's impossible to exercise volition if your nervous system lacks that feature.
  13. A triangle is a way of regarding three lines as a single unit; a line is a way of regarding multiple dots as a single unit. Dots are ways of regarding several sensations as a single unit. Unit-perspectives are not properties. Emergent properties (such as life) arise out of an integration of existents, not out of a mental integration of sensations. In O'ism, unit-perspectives are a form of being economical, and the perceptual apparatus + the things it comes in contact with actually exist, and operate according to what they are, A is A. This is in contrast with Kant's view, for whom integration is not about unit-persepective, but about a 'mine - not mine' perspective: unlike your own thoughts, sensations originating from interactions with the world must be regarded as not of your own doing - that is the rule, and the categories are the means by which that rule of integration is fulfilled.
  14. If you study just one thing, I recommend going with this article. Without understanding this topic, the O'ist conception of rights, honesty etc. will always sound like chinese to you, because the key issue according to your posts is 'what if'. 'What if I'm in such and such situation where I can get away with it?'. The article is long and might seem pointlessly abstract at first, but there will be a huge payoff if you stick with it till the end.
  15. There are no ends that do not require some kind of 'sacrifice'. Success with your career/business might require you to do nasty things, such as attending pointless university lectures to get the degree. That's just how it is. While this never stops sucking, Rand pointed out that if you gain a bigger value at the expense of a lesser one, it's not a 'sacrifice', but more of a necessary (and good) deal. Such is the case with morality. You put up with less pleasant aspects of life but, overall, you thrive because your guidelines of action actually work in practice. With tyranny you win one finger in exchange for the whole hand. If there's nobody else around, you don't need rights. Because other people can willingly compromise your living requirements, you tell them 'If we are to cohabit, I will not tolerate interference with my natural survival needs'. Your neighbour responds just the same. Now you have a society where you have to take that in account if you want to trade with him, or live peacefully. The moral principle of 'rights' emerges: you gain worse by messing with people than by respecting their life. As to lying to avoid loss: in such situations, if you're honest you'll lose, and if you're dishonest you'll lose as well, living under the boots of those that know or can investigate the truth. Better to act in a way that doesn't lead to such situations, because no matter how you look at it, losing sucks.
  16. EF, tell me if I understand your position correctly: Apart from immaterial mind(s), there are only particles and maybe space. Some of these particles interact with your sense organs, leading to sensations. The immaterial mind (not made of particles) performs an act of thought through which sensations are integrated into percepts. Reason, integration, purpose etc. belong exclusively to the immaterial mind, and not to some body part. There are no rocks, trees, and butterflies, only particles. Rocks, trees and butterflies are mental constructs. The immaterial mind can directly interact with material particles in such a way that it directs the evolution of lifeforms. The faculty of reason has always existed. Induction is not a valid method of proof because you're inducing from your own integrations of sensations. If this is an accurate summary, could you clarify the following? 1. There seem to be two clashing premises: a) the existence of sense organs or lifeforms, and b) the notion that there are only particles out there, not rocks, trees and butterflies. Which one is it? Does the mind merely integrate sensations, or does it integrate actual, material particles into sense organs, trees and butterflies? 2. Does the immaterial mind have a physical origin? i.e. the nervous system leads to the immaterial mind, which has a nature of its own and can influence the material nervous system back. 3. If ideas construct percepts, why do you use scientific experiments to validate your positions? For all you know, the ideas that construct the experiment-percepts could be bogus and not related to reality in any way. Are you counting on a pre-established harmony between what is true and what your innate ideas say? 4. Whose mind directs evolution? Thanks.
  17. Yes. Both exist, both are parts comprising the same world, and the absence of either has some consequences for the other, whatever those might be. In this example, the interaction is between the puffs that make up the external entities, plus the puffs that make up the perceptual apparatus (including the nervous system). The result is the experience of the world of three-dimensional objects possessing color, shape etc. We wouldn't perceive the primaries (puffs) but the perception would still be real since it's the product of an interaction that actually goes on in the world. But in this example, consciousness is an effect of the puffs, and not itself a special kind of puff, hence its 'immateriality'. Being immaterial does not disqualify it from existing; it still is, but qua effect and not as substance. The same way the body keeps itself alive by its own action, the brain perceives existence by its own action.
  18. The same way I use 'mankind' to denote every human being, I use 'existence' to denote everything that exists, including the material, immaterial and perhaps other classes of which we have no knowledge of. Poet and philosopher Friedrich Hölderlin authored a brief philosophic fragment which makes the following case: an object of perception cannot exist outside of perception, and the perception of an object cannot exist without the object that is perceived. He then concludes that the world cannot arise out of the mind, and the mind cannot arise out of the world - neither subject or object can exist in isolation, they are two perspectives on an undivisible whole. And he was right, but not in the sense he believed. Notice that whether you start with the mind, world, or an undivisible subject-object (like Hölderlin), you start with something. That is the common ground which materialists, immaterialists (and anybody inbetween) share. Hölderlin claims that he looks at the subject and object, but he only really looks at one thing: perception. Object perceived, and the act of perceiving it. I'm interested in something different: not what exists, but that it exists. If you start with that which exists, the what becomes irrelevant. Whatever is, is not something else; it is not less or more than what it is. Whether mind exists, or matter exists, or both, or neither, existence is the starting point to which no mind can lay claim of authorship. If what is perceived does not exist prior to being perceived, it is not perceived, but conceived. You are contemplating a hallucination whilst still existing as a definite being (material or immaterial) through no fault of your own. To make matters worse, you are 'constructing' perceptions instead of actually perceiving what's out there, the you that actually exists (perhaps alongside other things).
  19. EF, as a student of aesthetics, my research regularly leads me to thinkers like Schelling and Whitehead, which see nature as a living organism or super-subject, contra the so-called mechanistic or lifeless view. Since I'm using the base of Objectivism to ground my thinking about subjects such as art, beauty and personal freedom, I always find myself thinking about how those who hold the view of nature-as-living would react to arguments about the primacy of existence, the derivation of concepts from percepts, and so on. I can't pinpoint your overall worldview yet, but so far there seem to be some themes. You do seem to believe there is a world out there, albeit you claim that the sensations which reach you are integrated by an act of thinking, which was the fashionable view in Kantianism, but not much in line with the current science. In the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant claims that the manifold of mental contents must be seen as belonging to one single subject (my consciousness), that this necessitates distinguishing between what is subjective and what is objective in experience, and that this in turn depends on representing what is objective (from out there) according to rules which belong to the objects and not to your will: causality etc. You also mention the double-slit experiement, which allegedly shows that consciousness affects the world in some way, and in another thread on this forum you mention a disagreement with a purely 'undirected' emergence of life. This would be more in line with a consciousness-first view, such as the one in the OP. I am asking out of curiosity if you can describe your view in some essentials, especially: if the universe emerges out of a consciousness; or if a Nature-as-intelligence gives rise to all particles, chemistry, life and consciousness as it gropes (consciously or unconsciously) for some end goal, like self-consciousness. It could also be that, for you, nature is an objective absolute, but it simply can't be known through perception, and for instance, the double-slit experiment is merely true for how things apppear to your mind and not indicative of some fact about nature. In your opinion, does your view solve some inadequacies or 'evil' implications of materialism, biological evolution or Aristotelianism? If there are some books on your worldview (it could be that it's actually an original view of yours), they might be of interest to future readers of this thread. It is a monumentally important topic, since all forms of departing from the existence-as-absolute view depend on showing that some ideas are innate or created by the mind, independent of perception.
  20. If I understand you correctly: perfection does not rely on measurement, because perfection is what is being measured. If this is the case, then no, The ability to judge closeness or deviation from a set criteria precedes any instance of doing it, it is a mental faculty which is there whether it's being currently used or not. Concepts of consciousness (measurement, perception, intensity of thought) are derived ostensively from observing those faculties in action. The mind is part of reality. So is my ability to measure perfection. So is my thinking of a blue elephant, even if there is no actual blue elephant out there to match that concept.
  21. If you are able to distinguish between a perfect and an imperfect circle, it means you can measure the imperfect circle's closeness to a standard of perfection. 100 points on a test is a perfect score, a video game can be finished with a perfect score, and so on. You can't measure perfection without a standard.
  22. Yes, but... non-beating heart, non-functioning organs. This was my point with the h2o example. Don't look at chemicals. Look at emergent properties. This thread is departing from the subject of tyranny.
  23. EF, you might find this post to be of interest to you. This book is very much in line with your arguments. On another note, studying books like these, as well as German Idealism, is a very good challenge for Objectivists who want to test the strenght of their understanding of the O'ist position regarding metaphysics and epistemology.
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