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Old Toad

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Old Toad last won the day on November 10 2010

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  • Birthday 03/17/1910

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  1. This is actually what Ayn Rand explained, --Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto, Art and Cognition Throughout her writings, Ayn Rand was always careful to be clear in her use of the word "subjective", as she is in the above explanation. I prefer the word "personal" to "subjective" because it is less likely to be confused with subjectivism. J, I don't understand your discussion of the "predicting the future." All values, including of beauty and good music, are metaphysically tied to reality--in the present--even if the conceptual relationship to reality is yet to be discovered. In your discussion, it appears that you are treating beauty and music as metaphysically subjective--at least in the present because we cannot predict the future. Metaphyics does not depend on future discoveries, but rather, the other way around. Finally, beauty, for example, woman's beauty, is different than music in that several standards (epistemological relationships to reality), which can be grouped and summed, have been identified, as discussed on this thread. Most people can peg a man or woman as about a "6" or a "9" on a 10 point scale, for example, within a point or two. (Also bearing in mind Ayn Rand's discussion of socially objective values, and the relationship of that to philosophically objective.) Even in regard to music, most of us can objectively agree (both metaphysically and epistemolically) to limits, for example, that utterly random sounds, white noise, etc. is not music at all, let alone good music.
  2. J, Ayn Rand did explain that, "until a conceptual vocabulary is discovered and defined, no objectively valid criteria of esthetic judgement is possible in the field of music. ..." (Original emphasis.) Quite a bit more can be said about beauty, however, including its relation to age, health, and physical proportions, among other things, for which we do have at least some conceptual vocabulary. Philosohically, there is a crucial difference between objectivity and subjectivity. That a concept may need to be discovered and defined does not take it out of the philosphically objective--it merely makes it personal until then. OT
  3. Hello J, The ultimate, objective standard of value is man's life. Every kind of particular value judgment--from beauty and love to stylized cartoons and rock arrangements--is measured relative to his standard. But because man does not measure such relationships to his life with a protractor or ruler does not make the measurement subjective. Within limited ranges, which are established by the requirements of man's life, personal preferences are possible and optional. That ranges are possible, and rational men can differ as to the ranges of certain values such as beauty, does not make unlimited, subjective judgments of beauty valid or justifiable. OT
  4. Beauty is a kind of value judgment. As a value judgment, the standard of man’s life ultimately dictates the standard of beauty. More particularly, the objective standard of beauty is the physical nature of man qua man. The metaphysically given standard of beauty includes limited ranges of symmetry, proportions, hair colors, etc., all of which are identifiable with the nature of man qua man, and, ultimately, correlated to man’s life as the standard of value. Among other things, visible manifestations of good health contribute to a judgment of beauty, whereas visible manifestations of ill health detract, because these are directed to the requirements of man’s life. What dictates the limited ranges? Ultimately, man’s life qua man. For example, being relatively big or tall for a man can be considered a good attribute, but being too tall can shorten a man’s life, and be considered bad. It should be understood, of course, that the standards for beauty are somewhat different for man qua man and woman qua woman, but the same principle and ultimate standard applies. The measurement of these kinds of values, including beauty, is teleological, according to the objective standard of man’s life. The less relevant a physical characterisitc is to success in man's life qua man, the less relevant it is to objective beauty. For example, blondes may be a bit more popular, but this is far down the telelolgical scale of physical attributes directed to success in life, which means it can become a matter of personal, even subjective preference. BTW, no projection is needed regarding your animosity here, J. Nicky, for example, immediately noted it regarding your opening post. Animosity, including ad hominem, bursts and oozes from your opening post and others on this thread. Nevertheless, I hope you and others may find my post helpful, and I would value any mutually respectful and civil discussion.
  5. Perhaps you will find this helpful, J: --Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Concepts of Consciousness, pp. 32-35. I suggest you read (or re-read) this material, as it seems to be at the root of your questions (and animosity).
  6. More particularly: --Ayn Rand, The Journals of Ayn Rand, The Moral Basis of Individualism, p. 291. --Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism:The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, Chapter 12, Art
  7. Thanks for the article, Gus. softwareNerd, at least there is always a "public need" for a new moving company offering a lower price. Unless the moving company offers its services for too low a price, which would be anti-trust. Unless it is an advertiser-supported moving company, which offers its services for "free"; which would be "unfair competition" (a la Google offering its map service for free in France). You can't win for losing. :-(
  8. The mind is incompetent? How do they know?
  9. Hi Brian, These don't contradict, either. McCaskey did not say why Dr. Peikoff "preferred to have it stand as is." Perhaps McCaskey did not know why, as they appear to have had little communication. In any case, Peikoff just now offered his explanation. Regarding your suggestion of a 4th option, Peikoff did not need to negotiate with McCaskey regarding publishing a follow-up explanation to provide context for his original e-mail. Peikoff' always had the option to offer a follow-up explanation, as he may judge appropriate. He chose to publish a follow-up explanation yesterday. He could file another tomorrow. --OT
  10. The added underlining shows that these two statements do reconcile.
  11. I volunteer to be one of them. You can choose which one you want me to be. :=)
  12. I don't buy "misleading." Perhaps someone's played enough chess to be concerned about more than one move ahead. :=)
  13. Although dated November 5, 2010, Dr. Peikoff just published a public statement on his website, including regarding the issue of damning McCaskey to hell. http://www.peikoff.c...i-board-member/
  14. In response to the quote from Rory, a voluntary association should not tolerate dissent from any high-level manager directed to its central purpose, regardless of the nature of its central purpose. I don't know about ARI's corporate charter, but its central purpose as stated on its website is: http://www.aynrand.o...ename=about_ari ARI should not tolerate dissent on its central purpose of introducing young people to Ayn Rand's novels. ARI should not tolerate dissent on its purpose of supporting scholarship and research based on her ideas, either. Agreement with the central purpose(s) of a voluntary association should be a minimum standard for whether a person is qualified to be a high-level manager for the association. Of course, it is the role of the managers of ARI to be critical about which particular scholarships and research projects are based on Ayn Rand's ideas and are of sufficient quality for ARI to support (and for how much to support each, morally and financially). An association such as ARI should have mechanisms--bylaws--for resolving internal disputes among the managers in making these difficult judgments. In addition, such an association should be able to expel from its management a person who is intractably--especially if publicly--at odds with the rest of the intellectual leadership regarding which particular scholarships and research projects to support. I have not seen any evidence that McCaskey dissented from the central purposes of ARI, even though he criticizes Harriman's work. In addition, even though I have not read the book, in reading through this and other threads on the internet, it appears many people I regard as honest are struggling to independently understand whether Harrimans' work is valid in light of Dr. McCaskey's criticisms. While Dr. Peikoff is surely an expert on Objectivism--though not on science or the history of science--and while I assume ARI is within its rights under its bylaws to expel McCaskey from its board, in my judgment Dr. Peikoff has not made an objective case for damning McCaskey to hell. “If, in a complex moral issue, a man struggles to determine what is right, and fails or makes an honest error, he cannot be regarded as ‘gray’; morally, he is ‘white’.” —Ayn Rand
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