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KyaryPamyu

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  1. This seems to be your point: There is a science called philosophy Objectivism is true Therefore, Objectivism is philosophy as such, just with a fancy name Philosophy must be perfected and expanded Under this model, the concepts of 'theory' and 'system' do not exist for you. Theory or system simply means: philosophic claims. A collection of true philosophic claims is a true philosophy. Under this category, you put: Objectivism. A collection of false philosophic statements is a false philosophy. Under this category, you put: Kantianism, Actualism, Hegelianism etc. And you probably agree with the following: claiming that Aristotle had a theory of quantum physics is an example of rewriting history, or commiting forgery. --------- Peikoff is protesting against attributing quantum physics to Aristotle. Kelley is protesting about Peikoff claiming that philosophy must not be perfected. That is Kelley's misunderstanding. No argument can, or will, solve a debate where the two parties argue for completely different things. This is what I mentioned a while ago: you are arguing for one thing, to people who mean something completely different.
  2. Here's an analogy: There is gravity We can formulate a theory of gravity Newton and Einstein formulated a theory on the same subject, gravity Since both theories cover the same subject, they are the same theory. In other words, if by theory of gravity you understand: the concept of gravity, then yes, concepts are open-ended and allow for revisions. If by theory of gravity you understand: a theory about gravity, then different theories of gravity have their own corresponding (closed, non-revisable) concept. The concept 'Objectivism' does not stand for philosophy. It stands for a system of philosophy originated by Rand, distinct from the systems of Aristotle, Giovanni Gentile, Kelley etc.
  3. Proving, entirely from consciousness, that there is a world outside of consciousness, is not as straightforward as other philosophical issues. This is because the arguments for the primacy of consciousness do not always immediately strike rational people as unjustified, even if they hold the opposite view. In such cases, analysing those claims can help us grasp exactly where the uncertainty about 'direct perception' comes from, and why it occurs. In ITOE, Chapter 6, Rand mentions: In other words, consciousness is a specific instance of seeing, tasting, feeling something. An awareness-as-such is the same as 'feeling without feeling'. With that in mind, we can explore various statements that occur in arguments for the primacy of mind. ______________ Table of Contents: 1. Awareness of sense objects 2. I am the Seer 3. A consciousness independent of the brain 4. Why is there qualia? 5. I am consciousness 6. Reality is hallucinated 7. Consciousness is not a thing 8. Time is ideal, not real 9. Space is ideal, not real 10. Free will is an illusion 11. The self is an illusion 12. Matter must be formed by Universals 13. Hegelian coherentism 14. Mind-independent causality = no free will 15. Why are things the way they are? ______________ 1. I am aware of sense objects. Not true. The sensory field is not located outside of the sensory field, waving at us from the next room. Awareness is the sensory field. 2. I am the Seer. In eastern philosophy, this means: do not identify with what you perceive (the embodied person of a certain sex, age) and instead recognize yourself as the Eye who is seeing, perceiving that person from afar. Here, awareness (the Seer) and the sensory field (the seeing of an embodied man) are separated like previously. They are, in fact, not separate. Note that this applies even to states of consciousness where sensory awareness is suspended, or minimal. In such cases, the Yogic sense of 'I am' or 'am-ness' is the relevant instance of consciousness. 3. Why does consciousness need to be connected to a brain or a man? Can't instances of it simply exist independently of some other agent? Whatever exists, is what it is (lawful). It doesn't matter whether it's made of matter, energy, or neither. Sensory experience is not less real than the brain's electric signals and synapse firing. Normally, we can point out that actions are the actions of entities, such as the rolling of a ball, or the waving of a hand. But here, we are not connecting an object with its motions. We are linking two kinds of motion: the motions of the brain, and the motions of sense data (colors, tastes etc.) However, consciousness cannot create an instance of seeing color, because consciousness is that instance of seeing color. A perception that already is, needs not create, because it is itself the product of some external condition. 4. Biological organisms can pick up data, and act on it, without an accompanying sensation, such as pain or sound (qualia). So what's the point of having any sensation at all? Humans have a limited alphabet of sensations, which are arranged into various combinations to 'tag' received information, the same way concepts tag percepts, and letter-combinations tag concepts. This allows the mind to store information, and locate it, by means of its specific 'qualia-combination'. It also enables it to link certain qualia-codes to other information, such as 'danger'. Without memory, an organism cannot combine pieces of information to expand the range of its awareness. 5. I am consciousness The argument states that a good life would be irrelevant if we didn't experience it. Therefore, we can say that we are not the material body, we are consciousness - the experiencing of this raspberry, or of this mountain hike. Except, 'I am the experiencing of this raspberry' is not true. The correct statement is: 'the experiencing of this raspberry, is the experiencing of this raspberry' (A=A) Awareness is a specific instance of awareness, not an independent entity which takes the form of all experiences, like water takes the form of snow, vapor and ice. The closest referent to a concept of 'awareness as such' is not an instance of experiencing, but the totality of existents and processes that lead to consciousness. 6. What if what we perceive is all a hallucination, like in the Matrix? Are we a brain in vat? This argument assumes the existence of brains, vats, and Matrix techology, even though we got this belief from our (possibly hallucinatory) perception. Philosophy can show that the base of cognition (sense perception and its corresponding axiomatic concepts) grounds all arguments - and so, no arguments can be made through cognition against cognition. This puts the question outside of philosophy, and within the onus of proof. 7. Consciousness is not a thing; all things are its perceptions. It's not subject to time and space. Time and space are notions of consciousness. Consciousness cannot create its own instances of sense perception, such as that of a color, thing, or space-time notion. Put differently, it can't create its own self. The reason is covered in point 3. Note that 'consciousness is not a thing' assumes that it is, in fact, a thing: 'the identity of X is not this, but that'. 8. Motion is actually a sequential view of an unmoving thing, hence Time is an illusion. No, relating a sequence of mental pictures mistakenly implies that the pictures are outside of awareness, and you are relating them from afar. We grasp motion directly. If you study a painting sequentially, it does not follow that you've seen a movie. An unmoving consciousness is a consciousness that does not grasp (move), i.e. not consciousness. 9. Space is a perspective on a non-spacial thing. In awareness, separate perspectives on that thing, are spread out like photos in a collage, making it seem as if there are many things. Space is just a snapshot's position relative to the other within the totality of the sensory field. We do not spacially relate the contents of perception, because that implies that the objects of perception are situated outside perception. We relate actual positions of objects, by means of direct perception. 10. If the source of consciousness is not within itself, how do you prove that your brain isn't tricking you into believing that your choices are free? Proof means: 'self-verify the properness of your argumenting'. The ability to do so is presupposed by all proof demands, i.e. is already accepted by the question. 11. By introspection I only see various sense data, thoughts, feelings. I see no self. The self is a superstition. Various brain processes work in concert to give rise to the unitary experience of self, but that self has no referent in reality. (An instance of seeing color, does not act. It is the act of some existent.) The existent which performs judgements, chooses values, and is aware of doing it, is a self. Existents which perform action, but are not aware of it, are not a self. Involuntary processes - such as sense data, feelings, and the sense of being/existing - are not a self. If that which acts and is aware of it (the self), stops being aware that it is acting, then it is no longer a self. 12. Is something that is continually renewing itself, or changing, the same thing throughout? That's not possible unless that object is a concept whose elements self-organize to bring that concept into existence. Changes are undergone by entities. If a ship changes, e.g. gets slightly damaged, then it is the same ship. If the ship is completely pulverized, its components no longer form a ship, but a dust pile. If part of a ship is changed, then the ship is partially not the same. If all of its parts are changed, then it is a completely different ship. If a kidney is renewing itself, then it is the same kidney. If that kidney is replaced with another kidney, then it is obviously not the same kidney. One can't describe reality in terms of disembodied universals. For example, If things are what they are because of an Universal of Identity, it means that the Universal in question can be what it is without the legislation of a second Universal of Identity. Platonic universals disprove themselves. Universals are epistemological (see Rand's ITOE). Natural laws, and categories such as 'potentiality', are not independent existents which legislate things. E.g. 'potentiality' is an identification of what things can do in a specific situation. 13. Aren't the 'categories' (being, becoming, quality, quantity etc.) merely the same category viewed from less or more comprehensive viewpoints? Knowledge is indeed hierarchical, since it is relational. Understanding the concept 'life', for instance, is rooted in concepts such as: existence, alternative, goal-directedness. However, concepts condense percepts. When we think a concept, we involuntarily need to recall the percept for which it stands. This is especially true of abstract concepts, like 'relation', because one can only grasp them by observing things acting - using that as a 'perceptual aid' to hold the meaning of such abstractions in mind. (Concepts, also, cannot be recalled without a concrete perceptual code, such as spoken or writen word.) One can only go from categories like 'quality' to 'quantity' if he already holds perceptual knowledge. Considering concepts in their 'pure' form is akin to reaching 'xxq, from yqz, because qqw'. 14. Causality disproves free will. Freedom requires a mind-first universe. Causality means that how a thing is, affects how it acts. Biological structures act in a goal-directed fashion. Rocks act with no goal directedness. Goal-directed organisms are made out of particles which are not capable of goal-directedness. Consciousness is enabled by neurons which are not capable of consciousness. Free will results from structures of elements which are not capable of free will. The cause of human action is motives. One's legs do not randomly start walking by themselves, without their owner's volition, i.e. without an intention motivated by a goal (such as reaching the refridgerator). Man can question his motives. He is forced by nature to make a choice between grasping reality clearly (conceptually), in honest fashion, or not. He can choose either, but cannot choose not to choose. Free will, like everything, is an instance of the law of identity. 15. Why are emergent properties, as described in the previous point, possible? This is akin to asking why the universe exists, or why do things move. There is no why. Causes are rooted in entities. Entities are not rooted in disembodied causes. Philosophy describes what is. What is, is.
  4. You equate a philosophic system/worldview (a limited treatement of a set of issues) with the entire field of philosophy. In other words, you're arguing for the latter, to people who mean the former. One can only judge by himself, by studying the system and determining which principles add up to the total worldview. I am copying my own summary. Anybody who is at home with the following, I personally call an objectivist.
  5. It's not complete. In her late years, Rand was planning a theory of induction: Any kind of essay, book etc. is complete if it fully covers what the author intended to cover. It's his decision how in-depth that treatment is. A system is a collection of interconnected principles. It is not a theory, but it can contain any number of theories, completed or not. The system is the main work, and is distinct from any presentation it might receive in full books, short essays, spoken lectures and many more. With Objectivism, Rand was concerned with the essentials regarding five fundamental needs: the status of reality (mind-independent); proper cognition; survival; protection of individual rights; condensing our widest principles. Systems that cover this many branches are not commonplace in history. The system craze reached its peak in the 19th century. Everything in the universe is interconnected (and thus all knowledge). We can expand any subject we want until we exhaust it completely. This is obvious to anyone. Protestations for 'openness' are simply calls for such expansion. If you fiddle with the core ideas behind a worldview, you reach a different worldview (even if it's a close sibling of the original). According to my judgement, Kelley's corrections are not congruent with, and misinterpret, parts of Rand's system. When Fichte become involved in a scandal, Kant had to publicly repudiate his philosophy because Fichte kept suggesting that his own system was simply the Kantian system, with a few rough edges softened. (It wasn't).
  6. The answer is readily available to anyone. To live, we can't escape making judgements. What should I eat, what should I do this weekend, why is some people's behaviour the way it is? You mentioned that you want to flesh out some theories in the future, so let's go with that. We want to know whether our theories are certain, or, only plausible. Or not plausible at all. So we need a study-aid, a method to help us validate the theory. This method helps us avoid errors. Cusation vs. correlation, using a certain word but meaning something different, straw manning when referring to other people's theories etc. This is logic and epistemology. They are useful for any theory, any judgement, about anything. They are the province of philosophy. Now let's say that some philosophers with PhD's from the Catholic University of Divine Studies read your book, and come to your book launch event. In the Q & A section, they mention things like this: "Well, all of this is perfectly logical. And I can't spot any methodological erros either. But, on what ground is logic supposed to be an infallible authority? If you try to prove logic, the proof is circular: you prove logic by means of logic. See? And Kant showed how reason can disprove God, and also fully prove God - so logic can prove anything you want. Plus, we don't see reality as it is, because it's filtered through our five senses. What if God is behind those filters?..." Now, if you know metaphysics and epistemology, you know how to refute this, and the million other objections raised throughout the history of thought. You can't do a science experiment to show that the senses are valid - you have to use your eyeballs to see the results. So you're stuck with concluding (internally) 'Well, I guess I can't be 100% certain. But I'll go with the sciency camp because unlike theology, it has shown great results in other realms, like technology". Under this situation, it would be a miracle if anyone would prefer objectivity to simply a hobbyist-kind of stacking the deck, as you mentioned. The Copenhagen interpretation, evo psy, Chomsky's theories and so on, are examples of what happens when people do not have a firm grasp of proper epistemology and metaphysics. In every day and age, we need guidance on how to dissect an idea without appeals to its pedigree. If you told me that the science whose topic is causality and the law of identity was originated by the Sumer civilization as a means to develop magic spells to control nature, I would never say 'well, time to drop causality'. It would not make a damn difference regarding the function of metaphysics for human cognition, not to mention holding an accurate view of it. Anybody can pick this post, or any other post in this thread, and show how the claims contained inside are grounded on metaphysical assumptions.
  7. I was addressing the origin of the name, not of the science (Aristotle didn't originate metaphysics). The first metaphysician in the western tradition was likely Anaximander. The SEP article on metaphysics suggests Andronicus of Rhodes as "in all probability" the originator of the term. As I said, opinions in metaphysics range from naturalism to full blown mysticism. --- To add to the biology - metaphysics connection, let's imagine that Homo Sapiens has evolved an innate biological instinct of procuring as much meat as possible. A biological adaptation occurs, namely a science called 'meatosophy'. The function of this science is not truth, but helping people persuade or trick other people into giving away their meat supply. What does this theory entail, metaphysically? Existence: there is something, as against nothing. Identity: biological theories can be true, even if theologians disagree. Causality: biological organisms act in ways which further their survival and reproduction. This tongue-in-cheek example illustrates how the philosophical approach works, more or less. You are already operating under a metaphysical framework, whether you argue for nihilism or the best TV drama. And this fundamentality to human cognition or living is what makes it philosophy, not physics or biology.
  8. The part in bold is the category under which WW2, femininity and your other examples fall in. Rand herself changed her mind on some of these, such as homosexuality. More is explained here. As for the fundamental principles, they were gathered into a single volume by Peikoff (OPAR). Nothing wrong with trying to complete a system. IMO Kelley's additions are at odds with several important O'ist principles. Maybe somebody in the future will author a system that is in line with Rand's but much more comprehensive.
  9. In the first century CE, an editor put togheter a few fragments of Aristotle into the treatise now known as Metaphysics. The word means 'after the Physics' (the Physics was another of Aristotle's works). It does not mean 'beyond physics', but the order of study within the curriculum, i.e. that the study of nature comes before. Though the proper hierarchy is obviously metaphysics first, since the study of nature relies on its assumptions. Colloquially, 'metaphysical' is used to describe the occult and matters of the supernatural, but that is not what the term means in philosophy. There are naturalistic metaphysics that reject the supernatural, and also many mystical metaphysics. To illustrate what metaphysics means, take this statement of yours: What is presupposed by it? That the world is the way it is, independently of people's knowledge. What is true, was true before B.D. (before Darwin), it's just that people only started being clued on it in the A.D (after Darwin). This is an instance of the law of identity, a part of metaphysics. Are you, then, relying on B.D superstition to discredit B.D superstition? I assume that the biology of philosophy means: for what survival and reproduction purpose does philosophy occur in living organisms; and how does this play out? If so, that's not a question for philosophy, but for science. Say a bird suddenly develops reason, but does not shed its programming, which dictates it must build nests. Such a creature would have the ability to obtain a much better and safer type of shelter, but its programming would force it to backwards-rationalise reasons to keep the nest situation, even if it means obfuscating the truth. This is because its survival strategy is hard coded into its nervous system, and is inflexible. This seems to be the trend in modern views of human nature. Many scientists do not clearly delineate the difference between need (food, reproduction), instincts (such as nest-building) and biological features (e.g. high calorie foods tasting better). It's not metaphysics that needs to catch up to biology. It's advocates of evo psy et. al who need a tighter grasp of logic.
  10. ARI is an institution which, in the public eye, is more knowledgeable about Objectivism than, say, a NY Times columnist or a random Internet commenter. Lots of people put words in Rand's mouth. If ARI wants to make an impact and spread Objectivist ideas, it is also in their interest to dispell falsehoods which circulate around, and indeed, mention if the author of a theory is Rand or some ARI board member. 'Closed', in regard to a system, does not mean complete, nor does it mean that it is perfectly accurate as far as non-essentials are concerned. For example, there's discussion as to whether percepts are really integrations of discrete sensations, as Rand said. But this doesn't affect her theory of epistemology. Compare this to changing some essential, e.g. denying free will or the primacy of existence; that would require massive revisions throghout every branch, to the point of reaching a different system altogheter. There are many closed systems in philosophy, the most famous one probably being Hegel's, which is outlined in his three-volume Encyclopedia of Philosophical Sciences. Some philosophers, like Schelling, authored several ones, involving vastly different premises and methodologies. Although followers of these philosophies altered or repurposed some parts for their own views or systems, their views were never considered to be Hegel's or Schelling's actual systems.
  11. Roark's meaning is crystal clear if you read the novel. The creation of goods should be motivated by the value of that good, not by any other consideration. Even if your product is a game changer in terms of qualiy-of-life improvements, it's possible that people will not understand it right away, or will resist it because they feel it threatens the comfort of some established tradition. Thus, if short-term profit was everybody's motivation, we would still be hanging around in the Savanna. Innovative creators are betting on the fact that if the product is good, it is good. It will eventually become a staple, simply in the light of its benefits. Even if the process will be annoyingly slow. Yes, this applies to politics as well. There is no connection between Schiller's brotherly love, a warless world, and Roark's quote. The key to understanding any novel, or system of ideas, is to study it. No comparision is possible otherwise.
  12. System building rests on the assumption that reality is a closed system, i.e. that facts are aspects of a larger picture, and merging them will reveal that picture. An 'open system' is an oxymoron. The term 'open', when applied to a system, means that its application to various issues is open to options. For example, Objectivism advocates the primacy of existence. It is not open to views which rest necessarily on the primacy of consciousness. In this, and other issues regarding fundamentals, it's closed. In regard to its application to concrete cases, such as a romance, hobbies and political events, it allows for a variety of options and applications, which is why some disagreements are possible. In this, it is open. Hearsay is never conductive to any fruitful conclusion or discussion. Always go straight to the source. Relevant: Peikoff answers this question Ditto for Objectivism being 'built on the chassis' of Aristotle. That's false. Agreeing with someone on big issues is a completely separate issue from building a system on top of his system. On this matter, one resource I suggest is the course 'Objectivism Through Induction', available for free on the ARI website. There, Rand's methodology of system-building is explained.
  13. True. People bend definitions and principles, not out of some ill intention, but because otherwise their explanations do not match their actual, real-life experience. This is a bad strategy, for two reasons. First, you will get into trouble. To give a crude example, jumping into a fire is not life-supporting, even if your PhD thesis states otherwise. Second - and this is why most people do it - is because they feel that an 'alternative' truth would force them to make painful or uncomfortable changes to their lives (or at least make them live with the knowledge of being an outlier). This is also wrong. Of course, we are shaped by factors such as childhood experiences, natural inclinations toward introversion/extraversion, the knowledge we have and so on. An accurate view of how things work (reality) will increase our ability to thrive and to stand proudly for who we are. The Stanford definition you quoted mentions three classes: doing stuff solely for yourself; doing it for others; and doing it simply to harm others. Say I do something for someone because it gives me pleasure. Under the above definition, this is selfish, because I do it for my enjoyment. But it is selfless, because it's for someone else. See the problem? If two opposite terms can convey the same thing, the definitions fail to fulfill their purpose.
  14. Depends on how you interpret the quote. If you simply read it and leave it at that, then the answer is yes, she would praise both dictators. If you add the other relevant facts, such as her philosphical views, then no, definitely not.
  15. None of the examples in your post are instances of altruism, even if they're all followed with the word 'altruism' colored in red. Consider what money can get Andy in prison, compared to the outer world. Now consider the benefit of improving the collective he's stuck with for the rest of his life (barring an escape). A person's situation dictates where his time and energy is best spent. In the Mozart scene, he concludes that the potential punishment is a good tradeoff for what he gains by playing the recording. Was his judgement right? For him it was worth it, for others the punishment might be a deal-breaker. Depends on the person. Doing things for your friends, as Andy does for Red, is not altruism. The movie is fine from an Objectivist perspective. Reminds me of a question to Peikoff about superheroes. He replied that fighting for justice (if that's a top value for you) is completely selfish, not altruistic. I'd say that your view of what altruism is differs significantly from Rand, as presented in The Virtue of Selfishness and elsewhere. So for you this movie might not resonate very much with selfishness.
  16. It's a talk on Vedanta philosophy, but it's almost a word for word exposition of Rand's take on metaphysics. He explains how the validity of perception ('appearance') cannot be denied through reasoning, because the concepts used in reasoning are derived from perception. Unfortunately, he then claims to have a solution, which is to 'go beyond' the notions of space, time and causality. But one can easily retort: 'beyond' and 'within' are spacial concepts. You can go the whole way and say that without those structures of thought, it would be impossible to cognize concepts such as 'true reality', 'illusory reality' and so on. ---- What about 'outside' and 'inside'? They are a pair of mental concepts, so your mind can theoretically use them to postulate an external world without there actually being one. Right? Nope. Let's put it this way. I possess this pair of concepts, 'outside' and 'inside'. I assume that this is true independently of anybody's opinion, including attempts on my part to deny this. An idealist system will never make sense, because it describes how the structure of reality is solely mental while simultaneously assuming it to be fully mind-independent. This was one of Rand's genius insights. She showed that a metaphysics is possible, but unlike the grand systems of the past, it's short and sweet.
  17. Reason is a method of drawing conclusions, or some animal's ability for it. Rationality is choosing based on conclusions reached that way. Biological needs, or star clusters, are not instances of 'unreason', but natural facts. Different class. But yes, reason is a tool in the service of biology; Rand would fully agree. The nature of the universe is such that life can arise within it. So it can be said that, through us, the universe is 'expressing its nature', achieving all that it can. But that's a weird way of putting it, because what would be the alternative? You are what you are; it's impossible to go against your own characteristics, to move from being you to not being you. Those philosophers were right in saying that we want to develop the most we can, but that is a consequence of our nature, not the other way around. We possess reason, which enables us to calculate our future and solve problems related to our quality of life. Naturally, we don't want to waste this opportunity. But are we fully capable of guiding ourselves by reason, 100% - no exceptions? Absolutely. Not always because we like it, but because the alternatives are much more inconvenient than simply giving things the requisite thought. Reluctantly, we aknowledge that what we are oblivious to can bite our backs, and we proceed to think. This tradeoff is context-dependent, because humans are not invincible. Fatigue, stress, overwhelm and other things can erode our reasoning ability. The rational thing to do in such cases is to rest and temporarily halt making more decisions. This is one example of being guided by reason - you take the best course related to the goal (life). If despite our seriousness we make mistakes along the way, that's not irrationality, but our natural limits. It's definitely worth it to guide our lives and society rationally. Because in the case of fulfilling our needs, some strategies fail and some succeed. And we want to be on the winning side. The human species is definitely equiped for it, moreso if people combine their brainpower. Just look around.
  18. This analogy might help you. Think of a piano string, and the sound that it makes. The string (1) and the sound (2) are not identical, they are two different things. You can say that the sound is caused by the vibrating string but you can't say that the sound is identical to the string. The sound is the sound, the string is the string. So you won't describe the sound as 'a very long and thin wire made of steel', and you also won't describe the string as 'a high-pitched squeak'. The sound is irreducible to the string. The same thing applies to matter and consciousness. Certainly consciousness is caused by material things (a nervous system), but the experience of an apple is just that, the experience of an apple. The fact that the experience has material causes does not mean that the brain (1) and the experience of the apple (2) are identical. The brain is the brain, the experience is the experience. When you talk about the brain you talk about neurons, synapses and so on. When you dissect the experience of the apple, you analyse it on its own terms - color, smell, how vivid or clear the experience is etc. It's in this way that consciousness is a thing in its own right, irreducible to its material causes.
  19. It could not, because those particles only act according to what they are, not according to what they aren't. You can't arbitrarily hack anything. You can't do more than its possible to do given the nature of what is, particles and 'meta-energy puffs' included. The fact that things are made of more basic ingredients does not invalidate the existence of those things. Explaining something doesn't invalidate its existence. By the way, Objectivism is not a materialistic philosophy. It holds existence, not matter, as the primary. Matter and conciousness are specific things that exist. No, there isn't. When you say that two bottles of water are the same thing, you're saying that both of them are man-made objects with a shape and material suitable for carrying liquid. You retain those characteristics and ignore their measurements (in reality everything might be different about them: their size, their exact shape, whether they're made of plastic or glass). But those bottles are not the same thing at all, i.e. instances of an Archetype. They are two different concretes which man can classify togheter in order to reduce the complexity of the world. According to your views, if there is a higher-lever 'spec' which defines what things are and ought to be, what is the even higher level spec which defines what the previous spec is and ought to be? In other words, causality. But actions don't cause objects, it's objects that act. Causality is an instance of the law of identity: because something is what it is, it acts according to that. A thing isn't the way it is because it ought to be what it is. What is, is. 'Ought to be' is a specialized category applying only in a specialized context, that of choice. In no way does it apply outside that context. In morality, when you say that you ought to do something in order to achieve a goal (man's life), you mean that you ought to do it because of certain facts, i.e. because of the identity of man and the world. Everything is what it is, i.e. has a nature. Not an abstract nature. Define your terms, otherwise your arguments will go all over the place. The ability to mentally isolate certain characteristics of an object and to contemplate them apart from that object is what abstraction consists of. It allows man to observe similarities and differences between objects and thus to form concepts and the whole body of human knowledge. Abstractions themselves have a nature. For example, they are formed in the brain of a particular living being, they require a certain type of action on the part of that being, they are made possible by a very complex kind of nervous system. In your view, do the abstract universal archetypes which define the nature of things have a nature themselves? In that case, what do you think defines the nature of these universals? Other universals? If those universals are primaries and their identity is not set by previous universals, do you think that by the same token we can dispose with universals altogether and simply accept existence as a primary?
  20. These four objections are common criticisms of the Objectivist ethics which I've encountered in discussions or occured to me in my own study. I sum up the answers as follows: 1. Short and long-term actions are the component and symbiotic parts of one irreducible primary (i.e. happiness). 2. The process of life does not need justification, any more than any other existent. | The emergence of life, consciousness and free will from non-conscious processes is neither miraculous nor signaling the presence of an unconscious intelligence in matter which is blindly striving towards full self-consciousness. 3. The pursuit of excellence is an inherent, necessary and non-optional aspect of what life is (as against existentialism). 4. The metaphysical relationship between man and the universe is also the ideal/absolute best (i.e. that which is - the facts of reality - are the very roots and constituent parts of phenomena such as 'best', 'ideal', 'good', 'bad').
  21. Yeah, as I said my focus is not on Anatta (non-self) because it's radically different from Advaita or Objectivist approaches. It blows my mind how sophisticated schools like Advaita were, since they precede classical german philosophy by more than a millenium. Buddhism is on my list of study though, so I might form my objections to Anatta later, though what you describe seems to be the kind of stuff that would drive any follower of Oist epistemology insane 😂 Well, let's say that a man is born in the US, spends his childhood there and then moves to France to study painting. He gets kidnapped by some mind-hackers and has his memories replaced with memories of spending his childhood in France, having completely different french parents, french friends etc. Would he still be the same person?
  22. Objection #1: Long range philosophies cause people to get stuck in the future while forgetting to enjoy the present moment. Answer to objection #1: Long range planning and productive work are activites that one does for his present-moment happiness, not solely for future benefits. Not planning for the future compromises your immediate enjoyment of life by causing anxiety and worry; planning for the future elevates your mood in anticipation of the good things that will come; finally, if you are able to enjoy the present moment, it's probably because you've done something right in the past, and you are reaping the results right now. There is no real dichotomy between enjoying the present and planning for the future. They are both the integral parts of your moment-to-moment enjoyment of life, since life only happens in the present moment. _________________________________________________________ Objection #2: Objectivism fails to justify the pursuit of happiness. Clause one: if life appeared by cosmic chance and not by some pre-determined universal goal, life has no justification at all. Answer to clause one: the labels 'justified' and 'not justified' are value judgements, and value judgements presuppose the goal of life. Clause one is therefore unintelligible, basically amounting to saying that living is not a good strategy if your goal is to live. Secondly, the way something got here does not invalidate its present, factual existence. Even if life appeared without some pre-determined universal teleology, it still exists and its existence is the starting point of discussion; only the unreal is not a subject of debate. Clause two: In Objectivism, there is no justification for the choice to live. Variation one: you cannot justify choosing to live, because the choice is a primary (it is not necessitated by some previous, higher goal). Answer to variation one: 'justify' is used here as a stolen concept, dropping its root in the concept of life. You are trying to justify why choosing to live would help your goal of living life. Variation two: choosing to live is a whim, because it is a primary (it is not necessitated by some previous, higher goal). Answer to variation two: a whim is a goal for which there is no actual necessity to engage in, relative to a preceding goal which is consonant with the root of values (life). Saying that choosing to live is a whim steals the concept and amounts to claiming that if you want to live, choosing to do so is a whim. Variation three: In Objectivism, the choice to live is defined as an acceptance of reality, of your existence. Therefore, you are merely dutifuly being nature's servant. Answer to variation three: accepting one's own desire to live is not an act of submission to nature, any more than an inanimate object being itself is an act of submission to its identity. The desire to live is a metaphysically-given aspect of living organisms. In accepting this desire, people are not submitting to a natural edict, they are simply observing what is already true, i.e. their nature. Variation four: Choosing to live is a moral choice. Answer to variation four: a moral choice is a choice that furthers man's goal of living a good life (it already presuposes that goal). _________________________________________________________ Objection #3: Objectivism tells people to grow and actualize their full potential. But why should you grow if the path is infinite, there being no particular point at which you can retire and be satisfied? Answer to objection #3. This boils down to metaphysics. The concept of infinity cannot be actualized in practice. No matter how long a counting streak is, its actual lenght is dictated by where you stop counting. If growth was a limited endeavor, it would actually hurt happiness by physically limiting the amount of things you can enjoy. The only way to ensure long-term happiness is by never reaching a dead-end in your possibilities. Asking why you should grow is akin to asking: how will making myself happier make me happier? _________________________________________________________ Objection #4: If existence, not consciousness, is a primary, then the universe is my direct antagonist. It is not aware that I exist. It is not somehow linked to me in a common ground between consciousness and matter. Nothing happens for a predestined purpose or teleological program towards complete self-consciousness/merging with god. It has no ability to protect me. It can't hear my prayers. It has no will to decide against randomly sending a tsunami onto my house. I am to be held responsible for absolutely everything in my life. Answer to objection #4: Man alone has a real, genuine capacity to use the metaphysically-given to further his own personal goals. This is in direct contrast to the universe itself, which is not alive and does not have goals. A universe that is 'separate from man' is implied to be a universe outside his reach, rendering him incapable to use it for his goals. But the universe is here for the picking. In fact, only the universe is here for the picking, being the only reality that exists, and both the source of life and life's value-warehouse. Given that values are a type of fact, choosing the correct values is not an instance of being a slave to the metaphysically-given, but the act of identifing the goodness which is already there for the picking as long as you earn it or work to create it. Saying that the universe limits your options is unintelligible insofar as 'values' becomes a stolen concept - different values are only made possible by a specific context of facts and cannot exist in a vacuum. The enjoyment and meaning of values would be robbed from man if values were arbitrary (not objective, firm, absolute) or if the universe was alive and played favorites (personal achievement plays a big role in the ability to enjoy a value). Luckily, the universe is a given and not the product of the Absolute's fully free (i.e. arbitrary) desire to reach full self-consciousness.
  23. Interesting. I practice a form of IF but only recently started incorporating coffee and tea. The opinions on this seem to be mixed, ranging from 'coffee will break the fast' to 'coffee enhances the effects of fasting'. The latter camp claims that coffee and teas enhance autophagy, one of the major mechanisms through which IF improves overall health.
  24. I've only started drinking the stuff a few days ago, it gives me a nice kick though it will probably get tamer as my tolerance level increases. If you like the subject you can check out this meta-analysis of twenty studies.
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