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Moerbeke

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  1. I agree that this problem is designed to be a trick problem. The trick is context dropping. One thing is only the same to another in a particular context. The law of identity only applies to a thing within the contexts of time and respect. So the question that must preceed answering this question is: in what respect do you want to know if they are the same? Are they the same house in respect to builder? No. Are they the same house in respect to design? Yes. We deal with questions like this all the time -- is your sandwich the same as mine? Same in what context? Are they the same physical material? Are they the same abstract components? This is simply a problem of not enough information. Those who attempt to answer to answer it are assuming a specific context for the question.
  2. I did not orginate the idea that philosophy preceeds science. I believe that I first heard this in Peikoff's "Advanced Lectures of OPAR" under the topic of "should we define man as a rational primate?". However, I think that the points brought up were valid and require further explination. I did not mean to imply that the spiral theory of knowledge did not apply to philosophy. My knowledge of how the Industrial Revolution influenced Ayn Rand (which I believe I got from the "Unity In Epistemology and Ethics lectures") is that the Industrial Revolution was a huge example of how abstract ideas were of practical value to man's life. It helped her induce that reason is man's basic means of survival (or something similiar). An example is the use of abstract physics in the creation of new devices such as the steam engine. The point that I intended to argue was that you do not need to study the Industrial Revolution in order to prove the validity of rationality as man's highest value. Nor, by the same token, do you need a clinical analysis of a child's brain functions to validate Tabula Rasa. In both cases, the examples serves nicely for induction or clarity, but are not necessary for philosophic validation (that is you can use any example of any period in history). To contrast, this is not the same with molecular biology; you cannot study it without having chemistry first.
  3. Sorry if this has been pointed out (I only quickly scanned the thread), but Ayn Rand would have no problem with this. In "Objectivist Ethics", she says, "it is only the concept of life that makes the concept of value possible." Her example to show a mobile entity without values is an indestructible robot. So keep your robots destructible and by implication, they have values...
  4. Philosophy preceeds science. It explains the basis of knowledge observable at every level of scientific discovery. If you are using scientific sources to validate this claim, then, I believe, you are missing the point. Tabula Rasa is in reference to concepts, and it is negating the view held by Kant of "a priori" concepts (concepts before experience). My take on it is that it is a negative concept. Because of the way that man learns concepts from his perceptual data a non-Tabula Rosa child would have other non-experienced knowledge. Reflexes and autonomic processes are not included in "a priori". I believe the only analytic concepts are. As to your example, a quick internet search will show much more information on babies holding their breath by reflex. http://www.swimwithus.co.uk/Articles/Swimm...h-baby-swim.htm If babies do have an "instinct" for underwater breathing, its only to keep them alive until they can breath and is not properly knowledge in even a perceptual sense. Other arguments against Tabula Rasa include arguments of personality being implanted at birth, but this is an attempt by determinists to explain volition in youngsters. For further discussion in the philosophic basis of this issue, I suggest reading ITOE chapter 2 which explains how man learns concepts and by implication that he does not need any to start. And also read "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy" also in ITOE for the philosophy argument against Tabula Rasa.
  5. I am not extensively read on Objectivism (yet), so please let me know if this issue is covered somewhere.* But I like to try and digest interesting corner cases. In the essay "Isn't Everyone Selfish" in Virtue of Selfishness, Mr. Branden uses as his extreme example of an act which might appear selfless a man dying for the woman that he loves. (page 67-68 of the Signet edition) He quotes an example from Atlas Shrugged where Galt tells Dagny that if they are going to torture her, then he will commit suicide. In the essay "The Conflicts of Men's Interests", also in Virtue of Selfishness, Miss Rand says that there is no conflict of interests even within the realm of romantic love. In this case, she says: Miss Rand also says (just above the previous quote) that a rational man "does not regard any concrete, specific goal or value as irreplacable. He knows that only persons are irreplaceable--only those one loves." This leads me to ask what happens to all the Hank Rearden's of the world. Let us assume that some man loved a woman who chooses another man as her highest value (as her lover). This woman still lives, and has the choice to be friends with the unrequited man or not, but I could see such a man unable to live without her love. This however does not feel right to me, so I am trying to mentally clear up this issue for myself. *This post represents my first discussion of Objectivism since I have begun a serious study. Please let me know if I make etiquette mistakes (such as should Ayn Rand be referred to as Miss Rand?), or any other category of mistake. Also, I am strongly studying grammar alongside of philosophy, so I promise it will improve.
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