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Everything posted by Bowzer

  1. ItOE appropriately delimits the field of epistemology and epistemology covers everything that needs to be said by a philosophy with respect to languages. If you are looking for something more than what is covered in there then may I suggest Wittgenstein?
  2. Philosophy, as a universal science, is concerned with concepts and not language per se. Languages can differ from man to man but the conceptual faculty behind all languages is the same. Linguistics is the specialized science that studies languages and as such it is not a part of Objectivism. The fundamental work in Objectivism in this regards is Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.
  3. So in one word--"obviously--you attempt to refute several very well-known and very correct articles on why Kelley is not an Objectivist. Even if you disagree with these writings, your intent here could only be one of insult to those who do agree with them. Why else would you flatly sweep aside everything that has been written on the subject with one single word, as if nothing has been said on the matter? To continue your rant, the above (i.e., your post) is called philosophical evasion.
  4. Silence implies neither acquiescence nor resignation in argument. There may be other, let's say, less-flattering-to-you reasons for silence.
  5. Objectivism is the only truly consistent philosophy. If you understood this then you would understand Robert's statement.
  6. Yeah, I figured that that would be your response, Hal. But you see, all you have been offering as "evidence" thus far in any of your posts are thought experiments and those aren't any different from movies. There is already a thread about so-called "living" robots from a while back.
  7. See, as Objectivists, most of us here build our knowledge on reality rather than on movies or "simulations." Given that you are a philosophy student it doesn't surprise me that you have a hard time separating the two. I'm not trying to ad hom you or something; it's a fact that I know first hand from my own experiences in several philosophy departments and programs.
  8. You have crossed into the realm of the truly bizarre with that reply...but that's just my own phenomenological experience.
  9. I can cite references from a dozen cognitive science and psychology textbooks that hold the computer/brain analogy to be entirely literal. It's not a view that I hold and it apparently isn't one that you hold either. That wasn't my point. My point was a generalization about the cognitive sciences. I think that quite an awful lot is known about the workings of consciousness. From a philosophical standpoint, all of the fundamentals have been stated explicitly in several places in the Objectivist literature. Most notably in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and in Dr. Binswanger's lecture, The Metaphysics of Consciousness.
  10. And I thought you were in neuropsychology! Just kidding.
  11. I, of course, agree with your point here, Stephen. We must remember, however, that consciousness is an exception in the minds of people trapped in the errors today's cognitive sciences. For them, the analogy between a computer program and consciousness is a very literal one. A brain is just a piece of hardware computing the software that is the mind. These people would agree that a flight simulator is not the same as flying an actual plane but they will emphatically disagree that a mind simulator is not actually conscious. In fact, computer "models" of cognition very often stand in place of real subjects in many psychological research studies these days. I found this quite stunning when I first discovered it but I have since learned that psychologists swallowed that horse pill long ago. I'm not sure if this is Hal's position or not but it is the predominant view taught unflinchingly in university science and philosophy courses.
  12. Thanks, Stephen! I can appreciate the analogy to "doing time" in jail because that's what I feel the cognitive sciences are (albeit a mental one). I mean, just look at what a couple of college psychology courses can do to a person!
  13. Would you give us some references please so that we know which writing(s) you are referring to?
  14. By the way, Bridget, one cannot simply use emoticons to change a derisive remark into some form of entertainment. I don't find your disrespect to be humorous at all. Actually, it is almost funny that you would tell a true scholar of science that he "doesn't get science."
  15. I have never understood the appeal behind the idea of so-called "conscious" machines. So many Objectivists seem to be gravely mistaken on this issue, specifically on the nature of consciousness. This issue has come up in several forms in the Metaphysics and Epistemology forum.
  16. Who do you propose to be worse than Kant? People can read The Ominous Parallels or "From the Horse's Mouth" in The Ayn Rand Letter (Vol. IV, No. 1 Oct. 1975) if they want to learn more about Objectivism's evaluation of Kant.
  17. See "Kant and Self Sacrifice" by Leonard Peikoff in The Objectivist September, 1971 and "The Ethics of Evil" Chapter 4 in The Ominous Parallels. There is also a nice discussion in Miss Rand's letter to Hospers dated April 29, 1961 in The Letters of Ayn Rand
  18. I haven't heard the DIM lecture yet but I have read a significant amount about it. I guess I'll just disagree that there is a fundamental contradiction between Dr. Peikoff and Dr. Binswanger's views and leave it at that. Perhaps you can summarize the portions of their views that you see as contradictory for those who wish to pursue this further? Every comment I have read from Dr. Binswanger on HBL has been one of agreement with Dr. Peikoff on all of the fundamental issues so needless to say I am quite puzzled as to where your question came from.
  19. I often use an impersonal “you” in reference to the general reader. There are a lot of readers on this board and I try to make my posts as relevant as I can to each and every one of you, i.e., the reader. I wasn’t so much addressing you, Brent Rolfe, as I was any reader who would assert that the application of philosophical principles is a straight matter of deduction. If you don’t think that applies to you then don’t take my comments personally. Tell me how two people “contradict” each other when one says “Vote for Kerry” while the other says “Vote for Bush.” These are not assertions but directives, thus, they do not assert the truth of falsity of something. How is that a contradiction?
  20. Consider what Miss Rand wrote in The Objectivist Newsletter (Vol. 1, #4): It's certainly possible that two people who disagree on a presidential vote may differ in fundamental principles. It's also possible that two people who share the same fundamental principles may disagree on the presidential vote. As Miss Rand noted above, the most complex kind of judgment to make is one that involves the character of another person. There are numerous complex issues that come into play when choosing a candidate in an election. To take the fact that two people disagree on a conclusion as complex as this year's presidential election as evidence that they disagree on fundamental principles is absurd. Kerry and Bush are so mixed philosophically that it is a very complicated matter to apply philosophical principles to either of them and I have seen many valid reasons to vote one way or the other. The differences I have seen among Objectivists (they aren't just between Dr. Peikoff and Dr. Binswanger), however, are optional ones since the principles behind each differing opinion are in agreement. If you think that the application of principles to concrete situations is just a simple deduction, then I can understand why you would make such a disastrous conclusion. But even the most simple cases of principles in action are not strictly 1…2…3 deductions. Rather than fault those of us who apply a consistent set of philosophical principles to the 2004 election you should blame the candidates; they are the ones who are inconsistent.
  21. I'm sure you'll have no problem getting some people that visit this forum to agree with that "conclusion." I, however, think that's absurd.
  22. Nope. Pay close attention to what I said. I didn’t say, “Don’t read The Evidence of the Senses.” What I said was that I don’t consider that book to be a piece of Objectivist scholarship. The next question will most likely be, what do I consider Objectivist scholarship to be? If you have read much of the Objectivist literature, you should have noticed that alternatives to Objectivism are discussed in many places. But the purpose of each and every one of these contrasts is to further the readers’ understanding of Objectivism. In other words, in a positive exposition of a philosophy, polemics should never reach the level of being the primary purpose. This makes it much harder for readers to grasp the meaning of the writing and it violates the principle that the truth should be presented on primarily positive grounds. Books like The Evidence of the Senses raise polemics to the level of a primary. This is typical of most academic journals and books so it isn’t a criticism of Kelley alone. It just violates what I think should be the standard of scholarly writing. Look, it isn’t just coincidence that bad theories of epistemology have led to the standards of academic writing that we see today. A primacy of consciousness epistemology demands that one refer not to reality but to what some other guy said. Objectivist epistemology, likewise, demands a certain standard of writing and I’m saying that this standard is quite different from what you find in libraries today. Let me just finish by saying that I’m not against footnotes and references altogether. There are many valid and appropriate ways to use these tools. It’s not the content of the book that bothers me as much as the method used to deliver it; Objectivist scholarship demands the correct method.
  23. There are many new and interesting formulations in that book and I think that is the best thing about it. In one sense it isn't saying anything new but in another sense it is (i.e., integrations between ideas count as content if made in the reader's mind). This is why I consider it to be a standard of Objectivist scholarship. I haven't heard about the situation that you mention so I can't comment.
  24. Yes, it's a valid book in that it has pages with writing on them. I wouldn't, however, consider it a valid piece of Objectivist scholarship. Look to Dr. Gotthelf's On Ayn Rand for an appropriate standard of Objectivist scholarship.
  25. I have enjoyed the Rhapsody service for about a year now. I have very ecclectic tastes and they have kept me satisfied for that entire time. They are constantly adding new catalogues to their library. Tracks are only $0.79 a piece there.
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