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West

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  1. Albert isn't saying that it is. He's saying that it's not nothing because there are fields (hence why it's ridiculous to say that there's nothing, as if that's coherent).
  2. Philosopher David Albert wrote a scathing review: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/books/review/a-universe-from-nothing-by-lawrence-m-krauss.html?_r=4
  3. I'd exercise a bit of caution when recommending S&W (though it's the most common recommendation to give on the subject of writing). Pullum has some interesting points to make in this respect here: http://www.lel.ed.ac.uk/~gpullum/ETfinalProof.pdf I'd actually recommend Huddleston and Pullum's 'A Student's Introduction to English Grammar' (since the Cambridge Grammar of the English Language makes for quite a wallop on your wallet): http://www.amazon.com/Students-Introduction-English-Grammar/dp/0521612888
  4. I agree with the main point of the post, though I disagree with aspects of the proposed alternative approach (or maybe it's just the specific application?). While I agree that people don't ask enough questions, the alternative of asking too many can be just as bad. In other words, asking question after question of a person won't necessarily lead them in any kind of meaningful direction. Questions are a tool, like any other pedagogical instrument in your tool box. They don't necessarily fit every situation, just as one can't use a hammer on just any old task. Often, as I think is demonstrated i
  5. You included it in a previous post, and it wasn't clear to me what your background was, so I thought it was relevant to ask. I'm not interested in debate or discussion on most of the issues raised here, but given that you make claims here and elsewhere against McCaskey's academic work (some of which weighed in on what one should or should not include in academic work as an Objectivist, how one should say it, etc.), I was curious to what extent you have experience with that sort of thing, what kind of issues you may or may not be aware of given that background, that sort of thing.
  6. What is your background in physics and philosophy?
  7. His list doesn't surprise me at all, considering the kind of films he makes. #3, 'Audition', is particularly fitting. Read the plot synopsis for a taste of real horror.
  8. Here's a link for a presentation on the subject of Galt's Speech, by Onkar Ghate (one of the foremost experts on the subject): http://atlasshrugged.com/book/a-study-of-galts-speech.html
  9. Just wanted to clarify something: Objectivism has nothing to say about the profession in the sense that it has no official position on trading, just as it has no official position on metal, computers, or any other such concrete issue. Philosophy deals with the broadest fundamentals; Objectivism can have something to say about the profession in the sense that the broad principles that make up the philosophy can be applied to such a concrete issue, but the philosophy itself can have no "official" position on it. With that, the question to be asked is whether or not the profession leads to
  10. Yes, you're right. I definitely agree. I didn't mean to imply that altruism was a necessary (vs. sufficient etc.) cause or premise, which is an error in my original post. I just mean that it is generally a go-to evil for Objectivists because of the fact that it is seemingly ubiquitous. edit: grammar and clarification.
  11. Absolutely, I do think it loosely lists needs that humans have; the problem is that it isn't exhaustive (which it doesn't necessarily need to be, it just seems like he picked possible 'needs' out of a hat) and further, it has no concept of actual hierarchy because it doesn't establish an objective standard by which one would judge needs to be more fundamental or less fundamental. Further, it would need to establish a range. We don't live day to day without having some concept of the longer-range. By looking at Maslow's hierarchy, it's hard to tell what he defines "needs" as. Does he mean "need
  12. Typically I lose interest in discussion once someone brings up Maslow's "Hierarchy," but okay, I'll bite. By what objective standard are you judging the order in which the hierarchy should occur? Further, by what process? At best, Maslow's "Hierarchy" (scare quotes intended) is a gross oversimplification. How exactly acceptance from the tribe is more fundamental than self-esteem or acceptance of the facts of reality is beyond me.
  13. I tried to wade through your post, and the best that I can discern is that you think that "primaries" or "fundamentals" are subjective, or at least that's what your opening statements put forth. Your opening paragraph completely subverts the idea of the role of hierarchy in concepts, much less objectivity. If your statement that "What is or is not a primary is decided by the person who accepts something as a primary" were true, then there'd be no such thing as the fallacy of the stolen concept, to say the least. To be honest, I skimmed the rest of your post and I lost interest. SP
  14. I think your second paragraph contradicts your first. Fear has to stem from some conceptual content, as it cannot be a causeless primary. I agree with your second paragraph that the fear of existence stems from either the lack of philosophy or bad philosophy, and I would hold that altruistic premises (the conceptual content) gives rise to that seemingly ubiquitous fear. In what seems like the "chicken and egg" scenario, I think that the premises or content, such as altruism, is more fundamental. MichaelH says a similar thing about "desires" or "emotions" being the primary when he states:
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