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  1. I don't mean to be defending Diana's view here. I don't even know what it is. My point is only that we should wait for her to put forth her view before we begin to assess it. What we have from Joerj11 can mean anyone of a number of things depending on how DH understands the ideas of open and closed systems. We would need more context. Moreover, it was inappropriate for Joerj11 to publicly quote bits of a private correspondence, and it is inappropriate and counterproductive for the rest of us to conduct a conversation based on this information. I would suggest that the moderators delete the
  2. It is inappropriate to post details of a private email exchange to a public forum. Joerj11's peculiar attempt to reformulate what he takes to be Diana Hsieh's position into logical formalism ("A can be A and B"), his lack of a clear statement of Mrs. Hsieh's position, and his approach to this correspondence, gives us every reason to question the accuracy of his reports on their exchange. Given this, the proper course in evaluating Mrs. Hsieh is to ignore Joerj11's comments and to judge her on the basis of her public writings.
  3. AR discusses courage as part of the discussion of integrity in Galt's Speech. She calls it "a practical necessity" and writes that "courage is the practical form of being true to existence".
  4. If anyone is interested in learning about Kant, I strongly recommend beginning with a secondary source. (The same goes for Aristotle, BTW, who is also very hard to read.) A shorter discussion is better than a long one to start with, so I think the place to go is a good history of philosophy. The best and most accessible one I know of (on Kant at least) is W.T. Jones's _A History of Western Philosophy_. The chapters on Kant are in the 4th volume and are quite readable. (It might be helpful to read the chapters on Hume first.) -Greg
  5. I don't really want to get involved in this debate again, and I certainly don't want to discuss anything further with Isaac, who is quite obnoxious. But in case any one else is following this it may be worth making a few observations. Isaac's C3 does not follow from his C1 and C2 (nor is his C3 true). It does not follow from the principle of non-contradiction that nothing can have two contradictory attributes *potentially*. The contradictory of "potentially a" is "not potentially a", not "potentially not a". For example, because it is pliable, a piece of clay is potentially a sphere and pot
  6. I keep on regretting putting my two cents into these threads. I keep thinking that I can make a brief helpful comment, but inevitably I end up getting drawn into a debate. So this will be my last post here for a while. All causality is an entity causing itself to do something, so it is not surprising that Isaac can reformulate causal statements to bring that point out. However, some of his specific reformulations rest on confusions. The concept "nature" conceptualizes an entity from a certain perspective (viz. as a metaphysically-given cause of actions). It is not valid to simply subs
  7. Your nature and you aren't different, they're the same, and your nature determines that in certain circumstances you *choose* -- i.e., cause action in a certain uniquely human way that is not predetermined.
  8. I don't have the time or interest in continuing this thread. In response to Anatotle, I'll just make some closing points. (1) The LP Platform does say: "The violation of rights and liberty by other governments can never justify foreign intervention by the United States government." It says other things that seemingly contradict this, but none that actually do. (2) The Declaration of Independence makes it very clear under what situations succession is appropriate, and the Revolutionaries did not believe in succession of individuals or of sundry political entities. (3) A legitimate gov
  9. But it is precisely the essentials of the Libertarianism that are bad. The fact that Libertarians don't typically explicitly endorse anarchism does not mean that anarchism and nihilism are not at the root of their philosophy. Libertarians are not espousing the right principles for the wrong reasons. They're mouthing some Objectivist slogans (e.g. no initiation of force) in a context that undercuts their meaning and their ability to apply them. For Objectivism the primary is right -- the moral principles necessary for men to live and pursue happiness in a social context. You start from cer
  10. kqvl: What makes you think that a "pure objectivist" would leave this society, or that *any* sanction whatsoever is involved in staying and voting for the best available candidate? Atlas Shrugged takes place in a nation on the verge of dictatorship. America today is not such a nation, there's no need to shrug, and it would be positively irrational to do so. If you decide to vote you have two options: Republican or Democrat. Those are the only two parties that have any chance of winning, so it you're trying to have some short-term effect on the course of national policy, those are the on
  11. Isaac's interesting post ignores Rand's position on free will entirely. Like all soft-determinists, he posits and then debunks a false alternative between determinism and indeterminism. But what about the alternative of agent-causation, which Objectivism endorses? It's a bit disingenuous to say that this is one of the only points where Rand gets something wrong, and then to make an argument on the subject that doesn't even address her own position. Presumably Isaac thinks that it is ultimately a form of indeterminism, but he needs to argue for that, because it's not obvious (and indeed it's no
  12. For one thing a vote for the Libertarians is nothing but an ideological statement, since (fortunately) the Libertarians have no chance of winning, nor do they have any chance of becoming large enough to exert a real political influence for a long long time. A vote for a party that has a real chance at winning can be a vote for the lesser of two evils, and needn't imply any endorsement. There is no shortcut to political improvement. Some people said they were interested in the Libertarian Party because they wanted to effect political change now. But you can't effect the kinds of change you w
  13. I agree with Ash here, but I'd like to add something. The acceptance involved in proof can't be "the same as any other physical reaction" because neither proof nor the acceptance of a belief, are *physical* reactions. First they're not physical, they're *mental*, second precisely because volition is key here, none of this is properly described as a *reaction*, which at least implies passivity. What's wrong with the standard Objectivist definition of proof as the process of establishing the truth of a proposition by reducing it to perception?
  14. According to Bradley Thompson's "John Adams and the Spirit of Liberty" and to the evidence presented there, Adams, though very influenced by Deism, was never a Deist. He was a sort of minimalist Christian who was very critical of Christianity as traditionally practiced. Nothing in the quotes linked to earlier is inconsistent with this.
  15. These lists seem to be missing one of the most damning quotes on Christianity from a founder: "Of all the systems of religion that were ever invented, there is none more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself, than this thing called Christianity. Too absurd for belief, too impossible to convince, and too inconsistent for practice, it renders the heart torpid, or produces only atheists and fanatics. As an engine of power it serves the purpose of despotism; and as a means of wealth, the avarice of priests; but so far as
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