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Everything posted by Akilah

  1. Now, I want to first make definition of that concept "cause"; for it seems to me that qua verb, a cause is the act of a thing creating another thing; e.g., when men say, "a dog barks" he means that the dog is creating bark(s). And so, cause qua noun identifies a thing that is the creator of another, as it is; and so, e.g., the dog is the cause of a bark (the dog creates barks)--and philosophy is the cause of history; i.e., it is only be means of philosophy that history exists, for philosophy creates history. And here, creation is the act of putting a thing into existence. And so, in regards to those things that are--what seems to me to be a peculiarity--self-caused, these are things which create themselves by no other means than themselves; however, I want to make clear here that I do not mean final causality in the Aristotelian conception of it; i.e., these here derive from my own original thinking on the matter. For in regards to the universe, a man may say, "the universe has a cause"; however, in the sense by which men seem to mean "cause" modernly would amount an extension of deterministic cause (i.e., that all things are the effects of other things; that all things are caused by previous things) as by whatever inclination they have in them, they conflate the concepts of determinism and causality with each other--they think determinism is causality and that causality necessitates determinism and so it goes. And so, when a man says, "the universe has a cause" their mind immediately hastens without doubt to conclude some other thing outside the universe as the cause of the universe; and in this lies the illumination in regards to the actual nature of determinism; for determinism is the rejection of but a single kind or species of cause; i.e., the rejection of self-causality. When we investigate the three modernly popular conceptions or positions on free will, we see that they all share this common premise of deterministic causality; i.e., both the determinist, compatibilist, and the libertarian accept without suspicion the deterministic premise of causality (that all things are effects of, or caused by previous things; for them, this is what it means to be a cause, and what causality is). But it is this premise of which I precisely call into question: are all things really caused by previous, other things? Or is there a class of things which need not to be caused by previous things? And therefore, in regards to the universe, the consistent determinist would then need to point to some mystic, supernatural entity which caused the universe (determinism leads us directly into mysticism, not on account of choice, but necessarily despite the determinists position that he is scientifically inclined, it couldn't be more untrue). However, my primary question would be in regards to the kinds of things that would be self-caused (i.e., what kinds of things are self-caused?); I can imagine that the most rudimentary constituents of matter (of particles or whatever they are) would necessarily be self-caused as they cannot be analyzed further. And finally, in regards to free will, it seems that (just by means of observation) that the act of making a choice itself devoid of any content of that choice is self-caused--i.e., it is indeed caused (just as everything else is), but it exists by means of itself.
  2. That would be an aesthetic preference; I would prefer it as well.
  3. Okay, so let us suppose the premise, that, all languages can perform the function of a language by one way or another—the means matters not, so long as the process of conceptualization is able to be achieved. Now, the only differentiating factor between languages then, is how they sound; i.e., Latin doesn't sound like Mandarin of which Mandarin doesn't sound like English—is language preference then just reduced to a matter of aesthetics? And if so, by what criterion does a Man judge this language better sounding than another? I absolutely love the way Latin sounds, and hate the way Mandarin sounds; but I cannot answer why that is, and whether it is rational. I have hypothesized it is because of the crisp, clear-cut sounds of Latin as opposed to Mandarin. Also, Latin was the spoken language of the Renaissance, so one may speculatively infer that the rational aesthetics of that age manifested in Latin.
  4. Now, I presume we are all familiar with the proposition, "no language is better than another"; but, just as the proposition, "no culture is better than another culture" is false, so it for the language proposition. I.e., the standard by which a language is judged as "good" or "bad" is by its achievement of that function of a language; per Ayn Rand, "language is a code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the psycho-epistemological function of converting concepts into the mental equivalent of concretes" (IOE). And so, my question is thus, "what language performs that function of language the best"?
  5. No, I understand that the subconscious has a primary role in, generally, automatizing knowledge; of which, includes evaluations of existents (emotions). I am trying to understand what exactly "integration" means and how the subconscious performs it. I understand it to mean a mental process of differentiation (of any existent, whether perceptual or conceptual) and synthesis of that which was differentiated by a uniting unit. In the case of Rand's conception of an emotion, how is that process of integration carried out subconsciously? Isn't integration a feat only performed by reason? I think she meant that the integration is performed by the conscious mind (reason) and then that integration is then automatized (memorized) by the subconscious.
  6. What does Rand or Peikoff mean by "integration"? Rand says emotions are the automatic responses to an evaluation of some existent integrated by the subconscious. Or, the process of consciously integrating? Branden says evasion is the process of avoiding integration; that is of consciously initiating the process of disintegration. And it's further complicated when Peikoff says the subconscious is necessarily an integrating mechanism.
  7. Akilah

    Health & Evasion.

    No, the problem is within treating 'genetic' disease as self-evident (the immutable given) - i.e, unfortunate, distasteful events which Man cannot reverse with the use of his mind; that is, not thinking, limited to the concrete and specific. There is a cause of disease, just as there is a cause of a man's choice to eat junk food or refuse to study philosophy. It likens to the common view of life and ageing (or senescence) - the unstated and uninvestigated premise (unthinking) that ageing is the given, immutable, unchangeable fact of life; "Man is doomed to age, wither, acquire cancer, and succumb to his genetic defects of which we call ageing, its just what it is". Instead of investigating the cause of senescence to which a man then may grant himself a state of biological non-senescence, non-aging, infinite youth (and if it is, in fact, genetic, the next step is then to particularize in the cause even further; "what genes, or what methylation processes cause this".., etc. Or more commonly, the notion that an individuals intelligence is 'genetic' hence immutable (why? blank out) - this same argument is then thus applied to the overweight and obese, "Its just the way it is, my hormones, my inexplicable desires and emotions, those damn thyroids, my genetics, I cant help it". Again, it is treating the concrete and specific as the self-evident and the given. But, again, morality is absolute, only contextually; so, I would say that, to the extent that one knows a certain action or blemish is in opposition to his beauty (or any other value, as judged after the complex process of assessing all of ones objective values in their respective hierarchy) and continues to pursue that action (say, eating doughnuts, candy, not studying philosophy or going to the gym) constitutes and overt evasion. In the case of an ugly nose - I would ask, "why is it ugly?". As, the beauty of a nose is defined contextually on a persons face (another persons nose is unlikely to be beautiful on me); is it ugly because I have gained too much fat on my face? Or is it ugly because of a genetic defect of which I have identified which results in the size of my nose being far out of proportion in regards to the size of my face? And so on. If one knows the former (and is trying to know) and continues to over-eat, then he is evading. I just find It peculiar to observe a host of intellectuals and not one of them seem concerned with health and beauty - perhaps they are, and I just don't know. That is all.
  8. Akilah

    Health & Evasion.

    "There's no mention of baseball either. Doesn't mean they don't care about it, it just means it's not relevant, beyond the painfully obvious: a rationally selfish person should take care of their health". Thanks, that clears it up.
  9. Akilah

    Health & Evasion.

    I am pretty there is some rational explanation for their lack of interest in health -I've read OPAR about 3 times now and cannot recall any discussions on physical health. It just seems there is a disregard for physical health and beauty among popular objectivists. And, lack of health is an evasion (to the extent that one knows, and is trying to know) - with the exception of certain genetic-dependent diseases. My primary concern is if I am thinking about health incorrectly - I see it as one of the highest values (up there with reason, purpose, and self-esteem) - thus the reason for popular objectivists lack of concern with the matter (or perhaps I just don't know). It reminds me of those ivory tower intellectuals who regard their abstractions as far more important than any application of those abstractions (which Peikoff devotes a whole section to in OPAR) and thus disregard their health and beauty. It parallels the man who eloquently speaks of great plans and endeavors to supreme virtue; but, then never accomplishes his tasks - there exists a kind of disconnect. Well, no - beauty and health are measured in degrees; someone with sickle-celled anemia resulting in yellow eyes and so on is not as beautiful.., etc.
  10. Akilah

    Health & Evasion.

    Yes, and yes. Someone who is not healthy cannot be beautiful (a contradiction in terms) - I use 'health' as defined by, the proper biological (physical) functioning of man; thus, human beauty as, the proper physical appearance of man. Beauty being a subset of aesthetics; i.e, a depiction of man in his proper metaphysical state (which is thus genetically dependent upon his proper biological functioning). To set beauty against health - or the reverse - is a logical error (an error in judgement; which could have serious anti-life consequences); as, there is no proper physical appearance of man if he has no proper biological functioning. This error can be seen in common hip-hop-rap female artists (think Minaj) who inject themselves with all kinds of synthetics and plastics at which a large portion of men then judge that as "beauty" - which it is not; its a perversion in judgement. Beauty is objective. I agree with Aristotle's definition of beauty (symmetry, definiteness, and proportion) as those are the precise characteristics which indicate proper biological health - forming a kind of harmony between the two. I must stress however, that, there is a distinction between beauty as applied to living systems as opposed to nonliving physical concretes; as, the standard of biological beauty is the proper functioning of that living system. Whereas with physical concretes, this cannot be so. (To say, as applied to a random sample, "she is beautiful" while she is obese, living with atherosclerosis, and has a disfigured face, perhaps, from a car accident is to err in judgement).
  11. Now, it is true - when objectively assessed - that health is a value - and that, physical beauty is thus a manifestation of health; i.e, there exists no physical beauty apart from health; that gross error would be a stolen concept. And so, when observing the common intellectuals of objectivism (I am an objectivist) such as Brook, Peikoff, Ghate, Binswanger, and perhaps Rand herself - there appears to be a complete absence of this consideration (an objective value); one can merely glimpse at the physical disposition of these men (and Rand) and observe their *seeming* carelessness about health (and consequent, beauty). Is this just some gross evasion shared among them - or, are they simply unaware?
  12. I suppose I was conflating concepts and emotion--i.e, any kind of particular emotion being a concept, hence, having units which constitute that state of consciousness. My error lies in thinking that, the concept of emotion is the emotion itself--which is untrue. So, you think that emotions (each and every particular) exist as primaries?
  13. Oh, I see; so, instead of 'basic' I am trying to find the 'primary' emotions if they exist--surely they must?
  14. I.e, you cannot expand the concept of joy and suffering to then obtain hatred and love? What I grasp from joy and suffering being "basic" is that they are the primary emotions; meaning, no other kinds of emotions precede them. And so, all other emotions are 'narrowed' abstractions from those primaries which serve as their basis.
  15. I think there exists a difference between hunger and the sensations of hunger; i.e, 'hunger' is the concept of recognizing that food is necessary at that moment (hence, the desire of it) as concluded from the evidence of the senses (the feeling of an empty stomach). Hunger is not built in--the sensations preceding it are. Sorry, my mistake; she describes the basic emotions in Atlas shrugged.
  16. Is that not what basic means?
  17. Ayn Rand in her book the Objectivist ethics--while not explicating the reason for this truth--claims that the basic emotions are joy and suffering from which all others are derivatives; but, perhaps this is merely a result from my past Stoic philosophy before my conversion to Objectivism, however, are not the basic emotions desire and aversion? I.e, joy, being the result of the successful state of life is then necessarily the result of the satisfaction of desire, and the aversion of that which is bad. Desire being the logical correlate of volitional thought--i.e, value judgments. E.g, the desire for food is not some innate biological instinct, but the result of value-judgments; the frustration of that desire is what results in a host of other negative emotions, and if prolonged long enough, results in suffering.
  18. The good is that which promotes life as per individual qua man; and the reverse applies--however then, what is the 'right' or 'wrong'? Is it that which is correctly identified as good or bad? Meaning that the differential between that which is right and good lies in the 'right' being the factual evaluation of a certain object (action, material good.., etc) as 'good'? I.e, "You are wrong about this matter, eating cake is not good for health" and so on.
  19. Akilah

    Choice - or not.

    Given that a choice is a concept before an action, that is, it is the predicate of action. But, what is a choice? I have worked out that, a choice is merely the result of judgment of what, amongst alternatives, is right or wrong. The necessary result, is that, it is fundamental to human nature that he can only act on what he has judged right or wrong. Making the choice between the slice of pizza and ribeye steak is to say, "is the pizza right or is the steak right and the pizza wrong?"; Man cannot act out of morality - it is his nature to be morally perfect. Let me stress this, action is the result of judgment amongst alternatives; that is, choice, which is merely that precise judgment of those alternatives as right or wrong. Man cannot act outside of this judgment - it is the kind of identity he is, his nature. To choose, is to judge, and to act, is to choose. To act impulsively is to judge whims as right and planned action as wrong (choosing) and so on. Necessarily, then, what is fundamentally wrong cannot possess any rationale as to why it is 'right' - that is, if an action is wrong, then there exists no contexts, no circumstances, no rationales as to why it is right for that specific context. Exempli gratia, if one has proclaimed that eating healthy foods is right and eating unhealthy foods is wrong, then, there exists no rationale to justify eating unhealthy foods (that is to say, a reason for why, granted a specific context, it is right to eat unhealthy food) - I am tempted to say, that, it is a stolen concept to answer otherwise, in that, when an object is fundamentally wrong, there cannot exist any pretexts for which it is right because it is already wrong. The resulting, and rather exciting, conclusion is that mans nature is to be morally perfect; that is, he cannot act outside his judgments - so much for "man isn't perfect"; it is his job to be perfect. *Note: I am looking for objections from my fellow objectivists, am I wrong? I want to know the truth*.
  20. Very simply, the three cardinal values are reason, purpose, and self-esteem. Which I presume are ranked in that order as well. My question is, how does one integrate his own values with the three cardinal values and remain consistent? Exempli gratia, 'health', or 'wealth' and so on.
  21. So, can we definitively say that, using the faculty of 'reason' is reduced to asking 'why' and 'how'?
  22. The way Rand and Peikoff use it in their books is extremely vague; how can one practically use his faculty of reason? And what relations does the faculty have in terms of emotions? The epistemology of objectivism states that man first senses, then he perceives, at which he then gains concepts. Perceptions are merely collections of sensations - that is, all existents are different, it is the stage where a conscious being "identifies". From this, a unit of measure can be obtained from the perceptions to which that unit becomes a concrete concept which man decides to express in symbols. Where is 'reason' in this process? How can I consciously use 'reason' over emotion, and why does emotion conflict with 'reason'?
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