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Everything posted by adrock3215

  1. You said earlier: "This thread is a gambit by "Bill" to establish the significance of 'validity' with such power that it reinforces deduction and minimizes induction." However, given the fact that the concept 'validity' only applies to deductive arguments, I don't understand the meaning of your claim. There is no correlation between the Logical conception of 'validity' and the concept 'induction', so how can Bill be "establishing the significance of 'validity'" while "reinforcing deduction and minimizing induction"? Bill is not even talking about induction. At all. That's the problem. He's stuck in his deductive world. I'm not sure how you are convinced that Bill is "completely aware of what Objectivism is and represents". Before packing your posts with words that insinuate some grand evil scheme, you should consider his perspective. Like you observed, he is an analytical philosopher. That hardly leads one to the conclusion that he is "securing the weightiness of his approach, making it seem that any feeble attempt to prove the "truth" of a statement by poor little old fallacious induction is a fool's delusion by comparison." In the terms we have been discussing, your argument is both invalid and unsound, since the premises you've given do not lead one to your conclusion, and your premises are demonstrably false. It may be possible that Bill simply thinks that induction is fallacious. In so far that this is the case (I think it is), the conversation should be centered upon straightening up that divergence of perspective.
  2. Wait, why would one say that Bill's argument is not deductively valid? It is. If one accepts the truth of the premises, then the conclusion must necessarily be true. The term valid applies to the process of reason, it does not apply to the truth of the argument, neither in the premises or conclusion. One should reply to the post: "An Objectivist would say that Bill's argument is valid but unsound: valid, because the conclusion follows from the premises; unsound, because the premises do not follow from an identification of a fact of reality." The Maverick conceives of Logic as a branch of philosophy, while Rand thinks of Logic as a tool of philosophy. There's a huge gap between the two views.
  3. I think you've misunderstood his post. He's not using any "tactics": you're making that up in your head. The argument that Thomas wrote is deductively valid. In the logical sense, 'valid' means: if the premises are true, then the conclusion must be true. Validity does not relate to the veracity of an argument, it relates to the manner in which an argument is presented. When the premises are actually true, and the argument is valid, then the argument is also sound. The example Thomas gave is valid but unsound. It is important to remember that both validity and soundness are characterizations of deductive reasoning. When talking about inductive reasoning, the terms change, and one must use the concept of congency. The entire disagreement with the Maverick stems from deduction vs. induction. Rand, in the quotes that Thomas has brought into the discussion, is talking about inductive logic, whereas the Maverick is talking about deductive logic. The predictable result is that both parties talk past each other.
  4. One would suspect that they use it in the same way SEP would characterize it. Link here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/logic-modal/
  5. I think Thomas named the root of the disagreement throughout the whole discussion. Incidentally, this is the root of every disagreement I have run into with non-Objectivist philosophers. Whereas others focus on deduction, I tend to argue inductively. I have noticed that those who deny free will tend to argue (and think) deductively: "Since the physical universe is determined by the laws of nature, and since the brain exists in the physical universe, then the brain must be subject to the laws of nature. You would have to posit a brain outside of the physical world in order to arrive at your conception of free will." Peter's assertion that Objectivists argue differently and practice logic differently is, like Thomas wrote, true. Perhaps not the best argument, but I have gotten around some free will denying philosophy students through some version of the following: "All of the evidence I have points to the fact that I have free will; that I could have chosen to marry my wife, or I could have choosen to marry (say) Ashley. I have taken Physics courses through higher-level relativity and quantum theory, yet have never been able to predict what my friend (say) Bill is going to do tomorrow. Oh, and I know him really well too. What evidence do you have that says you did not choose to have this conversation with me, and secondly, how much success have you had in predicting the actions of people around you, despite the fact that you know all known natural laws and forces, i.e. gravity, weak, strong, electromagnetic?" This is likely not the best way to argue it. However, I think that it is impossible for an individual to look at reality and conclude that he or she doesn't have free will. In my experience, I found that's why those who deny free will argue deductively and end at conclusions that are incongruent with observable reality. Am I wrong in making this connection? That said, I think that Harry and Travis could have presented their posts in a more orderly fashion. Peter Lupu, for instance, presented his post in a more coherent and readable manner. Clarity is important in these types of discussions, and there are posts on both sides that are not clear.
  6. No, she didn't give an objective assessment; she gave an assessment. If she had given an objective assessment I would have said: "I too agree with you on Beethoven, and disagree with Rand's objective assessment." The word assessment means an act of assessing; that is to say, an act of appraisal or evaluation. Whichever one you pick corresponds to an estimation or judgement on the nature of something or someone. Etmologically, it comes from the Latin assidere, which means "to sit beside." According to the Online Etmology Dictionary, the term was originally used to describe one who "sat beside" a judge and estimated (or judged) the value of a property to be taxed. The word has evolved to mean, as written on the above-linked site, "to judge the value of a person, idea, etc." There is no, nor has there ever been, any qualification of objectivity contained in the meaning of the term assess, or--by extension--on the term assessment.
  7. I too agree with you on Beethoven, and disagree with Rand's assessment.
  8. This is an entertaining video that is telling of the way NASA operates (by supressing innovation and creativity). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_424YskAfew Hope you all enjoy it as much as I did.
  9. Insecurity. Yes, in fact there is. He's asking because he wants someone to confirm his estimation of his mother. So called Objectivists who have a complaint against the world do not help the movement gain academic respectability (much less acceptability).
  10. What was the reasoning provided for this statement?
  11. I don't think it is. Have you ever been to an auto or an art auction? Multiplying the number of buyers and sellers doesn't make the process any more rational.
  12. First, throw away the notion that markets are rational. That is totally unfounded and completely wrong. The finance theories that they teach in universities are garbage. Factually speaking, the opposite is true: financial markets are highly irrational. For the nonprofessional investor who wants to spend a few hours a week doing homework, the best advice is to follow the wisdom of Buffet and his mentor Graham. That is, buy good companies with solid, reliable, and understandable business models for cheap prices and hold them. What does that mean? For instance, it is likely that Coke will still exist in 20 years, and that people will still drink Coke. It is likely that most of those who are yet to be born in the next 20 years will also drink Coke in the future. Given the strength of its brand, KO is a great stock to own over the long-term (it also has a long history of dividend payments). The real question is when should you buy it. Typically when everyone else wants to sell; that way, you will be able to buy it at a cheap price. When the market is down, think of it like a sale at WalMart--an opportunity to buy things cheaper. Like right now. It's a great time to buy companies on the cheap!
  13. I bought this CD a few weeks ago. It just doesn't touch me the way I'd like music to. I couldn't even listen to the whole thing.
  14. On a related note, I find it strange that this particular composition of Grieg's has not made it onto the top of Objectivists' lists. It is absolutely stunning. Did you get Leif Ove Andsnes performance of it? By far he is the top performer who I have heard. He's from Norway and is a great admirer of Grieg, in general. There is a video of him expressing his admiration here.
  15. Hmm...Looks like a lot of good stuff. There are so many Chopin pieces that are terrific that you seem to not have. Vivaldi's Four Seasons is missing. Also Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto, and his "On Wings of Song". You have some on your list that I haven't listened to yet, so I'm going to give those a try.
  16. adrock3215


    Many on here are recommending Rand's works on this subject, which are quite good. However, the idea you stated in the quote above is, at its root, thoroughly Aristotlelian. I would recommend reading his Poetics, because the majority of it is devoted to examining conflict and its relation to plot. You can find the book online for free.
  17. You seem to be looking for a deductively reasoned argument. In that case, you won't find one. As David essentially wrote, this issue (and all others, at their root) is inductive.
  18. I'm glad you like them! In Grieg, I love the drumroll leading to the chords of the piano at the start of the first movement. Additionally, there are some beautiful melodies in that piece. Oh, and the cadenza is terrific. And the finale.
  19. What you are posting is irrelevant information. The original poster asked about investment banks, not commercial banks, i.e. depository institutions. Investment banks do not expand the money supply.
  20. Gags has it right. At the start of this crisis, many investment banks had $1 in equity on their balance sheet, $39 in borrowed liabilities, and $40 in assets. Thus, with a mere $1, an investment bank was able to invest $40. A (say) 10% return on $40 equates to more than a 10% return on only $1. Easy monetary policy by the Federal Reserve was the primary cause of this phenomenon. Remember that the capital structure of any company is constructed on the premises provided by monetary policy. If you look at the balance sheets of Fortune 500 companies in general over the last 50 years, you will see a decrease in funds sourced through equity sales and a corresponding increase in funds sourced through debt markets, notably, short-term borrowing. In an environment where the Federal Funds rate is negative in real terms (as it surely is now), one is essentially being paid to borrow money. Investment banks felt that it would be OK to borrow short-term and invest long-term, given that one can roll over the short term debt as it comes due ad infinitum.
  21. Maybe he means that he has a problem with the statement when it is reduced to: An event that appears to be inexplicable by the laws of nature cannot happen because it would defy the laws of nature. Without any other context of the passage, that's all I can think of.
  22. Looks interesting! Thanks for the link!
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