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Everything posted by Bowzer

  1. I think OPAR is one of the greatest achievements in the history of mankind. I was being sarcastic.
  2. I don't think there's a quandry here. Read "The Role of Words" in the Appendix to ITOE. Here, Miss Rand expands on the process of using words in particular (and sensory concretes in general) in order to integrate the instances subsumed under a concept into a single mental unit. This section--I believe--supports my contention, especially in sentences such as the following: For most intents and purposes, it serves the point to just speak of words representing concepts. I maintain that this is just for simplicity's sake because this same principle applies to other linguistic products as you have shown, David.
  3. I think the essential here is that the identification be expressed as some kind of perceptual concrete whether it be a whole word or a morpheme or a visual symbol. The important thing is that it be easily graspable as a single mental unit (re the crow). The case that you describe in the Greek language is entirely compatible with this view as expressed in ITOE.
  4. It has already been pointed out here what the author's intentions were while writing The Fountainhead. I find it quite disingenuous for people to claim they know better than the author herself what happened in a fictional work.
  5. There are several threads throughout this BBS concerning the topic of "Artificial Intelligence." Please search the board lest we all repeat ourselves yet again.
  6. I just want to bring up a point elucidated by Burgess' post: I don't believe that there was a word stroked by Miss Rand's pen that wasn't completely intentional. She said what she meant and she meant what she said.
  7. Don't you mean exponentially? If not then I'm not sure what you are asking.
  8. I would highly recommend Dr. Binswanger's courses, Psycho-Epistemology and Psycho-Epistemology II.
  9. I can't speak for you but for me to deny that my wife is conscious absolutely does contradict everything that I know about her...
  10. I would suggest reading "Existence, Consciousness, and Identity as the Basic Axioms" in OPAR, Chapter 1 and the "Axiomatic Concepts" portion of the appendix to ITOE, particularly the section entitled "Self." I wouldn't say that there is an "official" wording for the axioms so I think that this question is based on a misunderstanding.
  11. I have read Mr. Schwartz's book and although I have not and will not be reading the above reference to Sciabarra, here is a quote from The Foreign Policy of Self-Interest: That doesn't sound very imperial to me.
  12. That's exactly the point. One of the most distinctive aspects of Objectivism is its answer to the "problem of universals." That answer is given in ITOE, remember, that book that you read so carefully?
  13. I'm not sure that my point is being understood. It wasn't/isn't just one guy that is claiming that artificial intelligence = conscious machines; from its very inception (as Stephen has shown), the field of artificial intelligence has had as its aim conscious machines. In fact, quite to the contrary, an entire field of study has spawned from the idea that machines can be/are conscious: cognitive science. Haugeland's statement is by no means the exception here. I agree with others that the technology coming from people who say that they design "artificially intelligent systems" is wonderful. It's the philosophers that I have a problem with, the Minskys and the Dennetts.
  14. Different commentators date cognitive science to different eras, some as far back as Turing. Regardless, Turing was a spiritual founder of the cognitive science movement in every sense of its modern incarnation. Good point, I would just reject its application to the study of consciousness because it is at the root of the computer/brain analogy that is so ingrained in cognitive science.
  15. Three cheers for actually writing a coherent response to an incoherent question.
  16. I don't support any attempt to "legitimize" anti-concepts that have their roots in the non-field of cognitive science. The two worst of these being "artificial intelligence" and "computation." The history of these terms is stemmed in very bad philosophy; that is, they were created in a non-field in order to express anti-concepts versus the concept of consciousness which is just misapplied there. It's my opinion that they should be done away with entirely, written as entries in the annals of our philosophical horror files.
  17. Hal, I know that you said that you have read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology but it is apparent that you have not grasped the material. I'm sure that David can competently answer your questions but you keep asking things that would be dissolved by a complete study of ITOE. Relatively stated, ITOE is a short work. Do not let this deceive you, for there is more content in that book than there is in entire volumes written by other philosophers.
  18. A fascinating book--discussed in a lecture by Dr. Peikoff--is Madness and Modernism by Louis Sass. It traces the connections between modern art and postmodernists back to Kant.
  19. In a Nietzschean, "superman" kind of way, yes.
  20. It's too bad that my cats won't let any kind of "accessory" touch their bodies otherwise I could verify this! I did recently view a short online documentary about cats and their magical ability. Some very funny slow-motion footage illustrated that cats are actually able to form their bodies into parachutes. Don't tell them this, however, because it would be just one more reason for cats to get even more big-headed!
  21. I think your problem is that you are dealing with floating abstractions. There is very little to no concretization in your post so it it is only right for you to be disturbed by your thinking on this issue. My advice would be to study consciousness from the perspective of a good biology/neurobiology textbook. Gather for yourself abundant examples of conscious, living organisms—their structure and the biological functions that consciousness serves for them. Remember that it is not only man that is conscious, that the faculty we possess shares the same fundamental characteristics found in other conscious organisms. Many people would benefit from an inductive approach to the topic of consciousness. The problems that you seem to be having should be rectified by this approach. I would also very highly recommend Dr. Binswanger’s recent lecture, The Metaphysics of Consciousness. In this lecture he discusses the fundamental nature of consciousness including its biological context and the disastrous AI perspective that seems so popular on this forum. This lecture is required listening if you ask me.
  22. Yes, it's a form of intellectual schizophrenia that has nothing to do with reason.
  23. Lots of people say lots of things about Ayn Rand. There isn't a single quote in her published works that could possibly even be misinterpreted in this way--not even in her Journals and Letters. One should not be so fast to believe everything that one hears, especially when it pertains to such an important and controversial figure.
  24. I wouldn't change a thing about the movement and for me personally it has been people like Stephen that attracted me to it in the first place.
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