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About Tenure

  • Birthday 07/17/1989

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    I have an eclectic taste in music, but it'd be fair to say I'm a fan of mostly modern stuff. I'll listen to classical music, and classic rock, but it's not what I pursue really. I like something with a good bit of wit to it, like Cake, for example. Or something well constructed, by a band of people I can respect, like lostprophets.<br /><br />As for movies, it's even harder to pin it down. I definitely like Sci-Fi, though I'm not that avid a fan. And I like some anime stuff (Cowboy Bebop especially). Basically, if the writing is good and it seems like everyone made an effort in making the film, I'll really like it. <br /><br />Books, well, there's poetry and prose. I like Rudyard Kipling, Shelley, Keats, Wordsworth and Byron. It'd be safe to say I'm a bit of a Romantic. As for novels, I like Gaiman's work, the way he explores his themes through vastly imaginitive worlds (American Gods, Mirrormask, etc), as well as his far more autobiographical stuff (Fragile Things). Palahnuik's fine for his style and research, but I'm not so sure about his themes. I also like this little-known Russian author who emigrated to America as a kid. You've probably not heard of her.

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    I'm a student at the University of York. I am an enthusiast in the theatre, specifically the nature of acting. I love dealing with all theory associated with the expression of meaning in the arts, so long as that theory isn't too convoluted. I'm a lover of big, extraordinary things.

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  1. Come the revolution, are we first up against the wall?

  2. I love this post by Betsy where she states the basic difference between Rand and most academics is their repudiation of objectivity (a bit of a 'Well, duh!', but it bears repeating): http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...ost&p=47976 In fact that whole thread, from that point on, is a good discussion of Rand's method and why the fact it is not 'academic' is what's so damn good about it!
  3. I can't wait to see what they do with that live-action film of Tin-Tin now. "My god, Tin-Tin, they've stolen the Professor's shark-submarine!" "Indeed, Captain Haddock. Shit's gonna get fucked up. Fucked up, Belgian style."
  4. Ah! I only listened to the first few of those lectures in induction back last year. They're hazy in my memory, and I had no idea what the 'problem of induction' was, so it never really integrated properly. I knew he said *something* about the crow/swan thing, I just didn't know what it was. I thought it was something like the response to Descartes' doubt thing, "There's no reason to consider the arbitrary... unless you have reason; in which case, it wouldn't be arbitrary anyway". But, in fact, it seems what Peikoff was saying in this case was that this isn't about considering the arbitrary, but actually a matter of proper induction (and specifically, that enumerative induction is not good in and of itself). Sorry if that seems I'm just saying back to you what you just said. I just find it helps cements a new bit of knowledge (and, if I make an error in understanding, it means someone can point it out to me). So, regarding your first point about certainty: yes, indeed! And I was thinking this in class today. The professor was talking about Gettier's problem, and that it runs (in part) on this assumption: that it is impossible to have false knowledge. And to clarify what this meant, he stated that a belief cannot both be justified (where justification could be the most strictest, most stringent kind of induction or deduction), and then turn out to be false. What this would lead to is a state of pure skepticism, where all *supposedly* justified claims are, potentially, false. At best, it means all things are probable, but not quite definite. However, if I'm getting what you say here, this does not necessarily have to lead to skepticism, because, by the very nature of my discovering I am wrong: if I am capable of making justified claims which turn out to be false, I must have some infallible method by which to verify claims. To sum up: I can have knowledge, of which I can be reasonably certain (which I can have no reason to doubt, but which is still fallible). I also have a method of verification, of which I am absolutely certain (which I have no reason to doubt because it is infallible). As a consequence, knowledge is 'justified belief' which I have every reason to believe to be true -- and if it turns out that my justified belief is not true, it does not invalidate my method of knowing truth, it just means that I am not omniscient and not infallible.
  5. David - reading that section, when she approaches the end, she says: "What have I added to the term "reality" by saying "facts"? I have narrowed it. I have said: whichever aspects, events, or existents you happen to know, these are the facts of reality -- meaning: these are the things which actually exist." (Emphasis mine; for convenience) Am I right to draw from this, that we can possess knowledge, of which we can be justifiably certain, but which turns out to be false? Does it turn out to be false in the face of facts? And, given that, are facts knowledge which can never be false? I draw this last question from the statement by 'Prof B' which Rand affirms: "'Fact' designates existents, but it is used in a context in which it is relevant to distinguish knowledge from error". This statement implies that facts are absolutely true, but that we can have knowledge which is false (and a quick question - since you raised the "crow" issue in that other thread: what do we say about knowledge at the time when we are only aware of black crows? Can we saw we certainly and truthfully know that only black crows exist?).
  6. I hope a few people here are aware of Gettier's problems with Justified True Belief (JTB). We're looking at it in our Epistemology seminars, and I thought I had a response to it, but it turns out I may have made a mistake. I'll summarise what I said, and then post what I originally said. Basically: something is true only once it has been identified as so. A 'fact' describes the relationship between our mind and reality - namely that our the a proposition in our mind reflects something in reality. This relationship is justification. In the "Justified True Belief", the word "true" is redundant, because it is implied by "justification". But I read this thread where D.O. and Dan Edge discuss the Correspondence Theory, and D.O. makes a few marks about Gettier, and states an objection to Dan Edge that I don't quite understand, but which basically mean that truth does not come about through justification, and that 'false knowledge' is possible. I was wondering if anyone can weigh in here on Gettier's problems, or if D.O or Dan Edge would care to say something, because I'm quite stuck on this issue. And my statement on this issue in full (at least, the conclusion): "Gettier's objections are perfectly sound given the premises of analytic logic, and it shows why it is just so insane, and why it really is just a modern day version of Platonism, where we treat true knowledge as some perfect form, which exists outside ourselves. Gettier's claims are valid, so long as we accept that one can make some sort of "logically true", justified argument, without knowing the truth (without conforming to reality) - and so long as we accept that something can also be true without justification (that "objective truth" is some literal thing, out in reality, not requiring any kind of recognition on the part of the seeker for it to be "true") However, I should note, that this does not mean that Justified True Belief is at all wrong, of course, except that the word 'true' is redundant. As O'ists, we hold that Truth and Justification are one and the same, and cannot exist separate of one another. All this Gettier problem shows is that abstracting "truth" from "justification" results in the erosion of any justifications, and results in the search for truth in something outside of what can be "purely reasoned" (thank you, Kant!)."
  7. I would mention one other thing that a friend pointed out to me: there is nothing wrong with an Objectivist supporting a Libertarian group. The whole issue has always been that, well, it looks like "Objectivism" is endorsing this or that position, and that there's no difference between the two. But the truth is, one is a human being first and an Objectivist second. Whilst Objectivism guides ones life, and one practices what one preaches, one is not a representative of 'Objectivism', in the sense that everything which one does is representative of what Objectivism is about. But that's what's so great about having the Ayn Rand Institute as this pure group which refuses to endorse things like the Libertarian party or the libertarian movement. It means that we can garner support for our cause, associate with libertarians and try to get them to be active in supporting our cause or donating to the ARI. We can do what the ARI cannot do, because by doing so, even though it does not mean to endorse a group, it would like it was endorsing it. Hell, even if it's just in direct political action like getting the support of sympathetic groups in voting down or up on some issue, or in campaigning a political representative. And when someone asks us who we are, what we believe, we can point to this pure, untainted source at the ARI and say, "Look, this is what I'm about!"
  8. Hugh Jackman Edit: One guy who looks good in a Fedora wearing modern clothes:
  9. I would say it's a result of people not dressing so smart anymore. I'm no expert on fashion, so I have no idea why smart went out of style. You'd have to look into that to find your answer - why the shift towards casual? An embrace of the joys of life? The freedom (and money) to enjoy the luxurious and casual? I don't think it's the 'hippy generation' though. I wouldn't want to see them brought into style, unless suits came back big time. And I don't honestly care to see everyone dressing so formal again. I prefer seeing variety - it's why I like living in the city. Formal hats on a guy in trainers, jeans and t-shirt looks ridiculous.
  10. I'd offer, although, Santiago does have a good voice.
  11. Well, there's part of your problem. You haven't essentially defined what an ethical system is. You've imported a normative ethic (an ethical rule) into your definition of "ethical system". A certain ethical system could be one which sees people doing "whatever they want" as being wrong. This causes issues for you, because then you can't understand a system which tells you what you may do -- you only understand it in terms of things which you are forbidden to do; constraints on your choices, telling you what you shouldn't do, rather than guides to choices, telling you what you should do. As Sanjavalen pointed out, what Rand said was that this is a mistake. People inherently thinking that Ethics should be something about "stopping people from doing what they want". Now, she wasn't advocating that people should just do whatever they want, but she noted that by putting in that delimitation, you're involving a non-necessary attribute in your definition of an ethical system. She asked why we need an ethical system and the answer she found can be split into two sections: 1) We need a system of ethics because we do not know what we ought to do in every situation (given the choices we have) 2) We need a system of ethics, because we need some sort of principles (we can't hold in our head what we should do in every conceivable type of situation). So, we the purpose of ethics, you see, has something to do with how we should act, which must be defined in certain principles (but that's a side issue for now, the principles thing). The other important step to learn is the whole thing, as stated above, that ethics must be concerned only with life, and the kinds of things which support life. To understand this, you have to understand life's conditional nature, specifically man's conditional nature, and make a whole heap of inductions about what his life requires so as to flourish.
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