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Plasmatic

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  1. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from Not Lawliet in Persuading People of Objectivism   
    Dustin said:
    That is not a matter of rhetoric but philosophic principle. What you are saying is that Oist are minorities on that issue and should recognize the mob cant be wrong. You don't persuade others to change their premises by pointing out they are an intransigent minority.
  2. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from dream_weaver in Persuading People of Objectivism   
    William said:
     I'd say it depends on who your talking to. I have had quite a bit of success in person surprising people who think they are against everything Rand said by finding ways to point out how the virtues a given person actually has (implicit or explicit) and showing them how and why Oism considers those traits as virtues. This has largely been with conservative types. I find leftist have far fewer virtues to work with. (though, not non existent) I especially find that if you can identify an unearned sense of guilt or shame and show how that character trait they are wrongly evaluating is a virtue it makes people hungry for this source of self affirmation. Likewise for unidentified indignation over unjust peer evaluations. Productive achievers are terribly mistreated in the work place quite often.  
    Edit: I guess I'm saying that inspiration is the most potent catalyst for change.
    Above all I'd say its essential to never misrepresent another's philosophy because it is an almost sure slammed door. Know what you know and what you need to justify before speaking. Be a responsible thinker and hold others to that standard. What should they know given their commitments in a given area?
    William said:
    Even here it depends on who your responding to. Many folks misinterpret this as a type of passive mindedness. I find it is most effective to quote in order to establish what Rand, in fact, actually said herself. Also it is the best way to give credit where its due.
    Depending on the person and the context, I can be extremely patient and benevolent, or publicly judgmental.  Both are necessary traits.
    One mans passionate assertiveness is another's fundamentalist "zealot". I think you have to focus your efforts on what audience you value the most. For example, I don't really have any interest in talking to people at a 4th grade level. I prefer to use whatever terminology I see essential and explain if asked clarifying questions. That sort of intellectual responsibility is an indication of virtue anyway. I'd rather find the diamonds that need polishing in that regard.  
  3. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from TheZigs in Looking at truth as more than a belief"   
    Zigs said:
    You did ok until here.
    Certainty is the state achieved when no evidence is known against something and all evidence supports it. Under those conditions it is irrational to claim that that item of knowledge is "possibly" false.
  4. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Descartes's "Demon"   
    Harrison said:
     
     
    It's important point out that this is not an Objectivist tenet.
    The statement itself is a claim to know absolutely that we cannot know anything absolutely.
    Edit: also it is an assertion of an arbitrary "possible". There is no evidence that we are in a matrix, therefore the evidentiary category of "possible" does not apply.
  5. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in No-one Denies that "A is A". Why Is It Such a Huge Theme in Objectivism?   
    Dustin, did you attend a religious college? As you report your experiences you have had an unusual or non typical encounter with skepticism of identity. A religious college of the more right leaning theistic types would explain that more Realist-anti irrationalist environment. 
    As softwarenerd pointed out in different words, folks deny the LOI implicitly all the time. That is not to lessen the point that the majority of academic environments are filled with irrationalist philosophy. 
    And just to correct an error being propagated here unintentionally.  Objectivism does not hold that "A is A" is grasped by the objective interaction of the form of senses and its objects alone. In fact it claims quite explicitly that to fully grasp what that means requires one to rise to the conceptual level and perform several integrations that enable one to realize that the LOI is implicit in every perception. This skill, the need for this epistemic process is precisely what enables many to affirm identity on one hand and deny it on the other. It is this fact that motivated Ms. Rand to stress the axioms as principled "reminders" that aid integration.
    The objective relation of the senses is the "foundation" of objective knowledge but Objectivity requires "a process of reason based on the senses".
     
    Edit: just wanted to add that I realize that your mention of college was in response to Buddha bringing up an alleged claim of Oism that did not address or relate to your question in the OP. My response is a result of integrating your comments with the actual issue you are questioning in the OP. 
  6. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from KALADIN in Integrating Objectivity and Economic Exchange   
    Kaladin, I didn't see that you had responded until recently.
    Kaladin said:
    The comment about Dr. Peikoff's position on economics is related to the Oist conception of value, more specifically evaluation.  Somewhere in the induction in Physics and Philosophy lectures Dr. Peikoff mentions Ms. Rand's view of the role of "teleological measurements" in economics. His point was that all of the sciences that pertain to the interplay between the metaphysical and the man-made (consciousness) are dealing with teleological measurements (as opposed to, say, physics).
     
    Kaladin said:
    The differences between the senses of objective and subjective become important here.
    Remember that the Oist ethics are normative and therefore involve evaluation:
    One "must choose" goals and values. The choice of values is conditioned on volitional, active effort. Remember Ms. Rand's comments in Atlas Shrugged:
    The conditional nature of reason requires one to mark clearly the metaphysically given from the man-made.  If your model of economics does not counsel one to consider the legitimately subjective sense of an individuals volitional evaluation of their own value hierarchy, then how will you deal with a market that involves irrational evaluations?
    Ethics tells us what one ought to value but that is an "If-then" conditional. If one chooses to live then they must choose to constrain their values by recognizing metaphysically given facts, facts that are not open to evaluation and therefore not the province of teleological measurements.   It is a metaphysically given fact that any given market contains volitional agents that act irrationally. The legitimately meaningful sense of subjective applies to these evaluations. It is however an objective fact that these agents preferences are subject to their own self-made evaluations. It is my own subjective (or personal if you rather) preference that I prefer blondes but it is an objective fact that I do have this preference.
    Any investor interested in an objective evaluation of their rational, life serving options, better recognize that IF the market they are evaluating contains volitional agents who have conditional evaluations of their own, they must THEN consider these metaphysically given facts.
    Be careful not to make the fallacy of the frozen abstraction regarding economic theory. A market contains man-made preferences and that is a metaphysically given fact. That a rational investor evaluates the evaluations of other market agents as irrational and unobjective does not mitigate the damage to the objective investors values that will follow from acting as though these irrational agents are not present in said market. 
  7. Like
    Plasmatic reacted to Eiuol in Mossoff on Intellectual Property Rights   
    Harrison, yes, those are exactly the answers to consider, and the ones to start with if we want to evaluate invention. I'm mostly observing here, but what is the right answer? Forget IP for a moment - think of something like listening to Dark Side of the Moon. Was Pink Floyd doing something new within music, or something directly based on prior musicians or prior ideas? A third option is to say neither, it's subjective. Or a fourth is to say no one is able to be wholly new anyway (DW, perhaps you'll find AS quotes addressing the fourth one?).
  8. Like
    Plasmatic reacted to dream_weaver in Mossoff on Intellectual Property Rights   
    The Unearned in Matter and Spirit
    Francisco spoke of this in regard to money:
    Money will not give you the unearned, neither in matter nor in spirit.

    John Galt pointed out in his speech:
    [T]he corollary of the causeless in matter is the unearned in spirit.

    While editing her thoughts in her journal, she penned:
    The desire for the unearned in matter is only a consequence and an expression of a deeper, more vicious aim: the desire for the unearned in spirit.
    And later:
    Those who want to seize the material wealth produced by others actually want the virtues of the producers, and they want to obtain them unearned and undeserved: unearned respect, unearned love, unearned admiration.
    In the Monument Builders, Rand puts these points this way:
    The desire for the unearned has two aspects: the unearned in matter and the unearned in spirit. (By "spirit" I mean: man's consciousness.) These two aspects are necessarily inter-related, but a man's desire may be focused predominantly on one or the other. The desire for the unearned in spirit is the more destructive of the two and the more corrupt. It is a desire for unearned greatness; it is expressed (but not defined) by the foggy murk of the term "prestige."
    The seekers of unearned material benefits are merely financial parasites, moochers, looters or criminals, who are too limited in number and in mind to be a threat to civilization, until and unless they are released and legalized by the seekers of unearned greatness.
    Unearned greatness is so unreal, so neurotic a concept that the wretch who seeks it cannot identify it even to himself: to identify it, is to make it impossible. He needs the irrational, undefinable slogans of altruism and collectivism to give a semi-plausible form to his nameless urge and anchor it to reality—to support his own self-deception more than to deceive his victims. "The public," "the public interest," "service to the public" are the means, the tools, the swinging pendulums of the power-luster's self-hypnosis.
    And finally, in The Objectivist Ethics, excerpted from Rationality,
    [O]ne must never seek or grant the unearned and undeserved, neither in matter nor in spirit (which is the virtue of Justice). It means that one must never desire effects without causes, and that one must never enact a cause without assuming full responsibility for its effects[.]
    ***
    Language, in ITOE, is a tool each individual must grasp for themselves. They must learn to create the sounds that are words, create the connections to the percepts they are associated to, develop the chains of abstractions that connect the words which go in two interacting directions: toward more extensive and more intensive knowledge, toward wider integrations and more precise differentiations.
    Note the act of creation in this realm is of a spiritual nature. The entities and aspects of entities already exist. The audio-visual symbols a child learns already exist. It is the spiritual connection that the child needs to create between the two referents, an act and choice of consciousness to make, as a matter of policy, when I use this word, it will refer to that aspect of existence.
    The formative years are full of discoveries. Identifications of the things which exist, a combination of metaphysical existents as well as the man-made. Note the pride the young learned displays as they point out, demonstrating the new connections they have created between words and objects.
    Given paper and crayons, or lego’s, tonka trucks in a sandpile, he goes on to learn how to create in a material sense as well. Drawing a picture, rearranging the lego’s to build a house, or a car, rearranging the dirt in the sandbox to divide it into roads, lots, sand castles, open pit sand mining operations, etc.
    The child may also be taught an understanding of property, which things in his environment he can rightly and properly avail himself to, from those he should not.
    As he grows up, he may be given chores for an allowance, or get a job in order to acquire money to make purchases at his own discretion. In the material realm, the distinction between the earned and the unearned is fairly straightforward. Shoplifting, burglary, and other forms of acquiring the unearned are rightly emphasized as wrongful doings.
    Rand’s Atlas Shrugged develops a strong parallel in the realm of spiritual values as well. The relationship between Reardon and his family, the boys in the room at the Wayne-Falkland, address trading spiritual values on the interpersonal level and where the public is substituted in its stead.
    The moral establishment, outlined by Andrew Bernstein in his book Capitalism Unbound on page 85, consists of the government, schools, universities, churches, formulating and propagating men’s moral codes. For nearly two millennia, these entrenched institutions have been relentless urging some form of self-sacrifice.
    Rand described the power of morality as the greatest of all intellectual powers. In a difference between the animals and man she points out if a carnivorous pack attacks them, animals perish—man writes the Constitution of the United States. The power of morality has been inverted and used to enslave man for nearly all of human history. It was moral arguments that nearly wiped slavery from the face of the globe.
    In conjunction with Individual Rights, to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness (property), this discovery was also implemented with a spiritual counterpart, of Intellectual Property Rights, the recognition of the power of the intellect, to create in spirit, and bring forth in property, new forms of wealth. Since it’s inception, IP Rights have rightly been limited in time. Rand certainly agreed with time limitations (although the determination of an acceptable duration she identified as complex) when she wrote:
    The right to intellectual property cannot be exercised in perpetuity. Intellectual property represents a claim, not on material objects, but on the idea they embody, which means: not merely on existing wealth, but on wealth yet to be produced—a claim to payment for the inventor's or author's work.
    A proper role of government it to protect individual rights. A worker’s claim to payment for work done, in the material realm, is widely recognized as earned. Is the work of the intellect, of man’s spirit, perhaps research to develop a new drug to cure a disease which was previously incurable, to be tossed into the same realm as learning concepts, or learning an existing labor skill.
    It is important to note, in this connection, that a discovery cannot be patented, only an invention. A scientific or philosophical discovery, which identifies a law of nature, a principle or a fact of reality not previously known, cannot be the exclusive property of the discoverer because: (a) he did not create it, and (b) if he cares to make his discovery public, claiming it to be true, he cannot demand that men continue to pursue or practice falsehoods except by his permission.
    The difference between a discovery and an invention here, is the difference between the metaphysical and the man-made.
    Anyone with the equipment and know-how to analyze the chemical composition of an entity can do so, whether it is a metaphysical entity or a man-made one. The essential difference is that a metaphysical discovery is made in the realm of that which already exists. Submitting a new drug to chemical analysis required the drug to have first been created, the mixing of one’s labor, or the new drug is, to borrow a phrase, a frozen form of living intelligence. Does one earn the right to it, simply because one has the equipment, and the know-how to analyze an existing specimen?
    The door was not locked, thought Dagny; she felt an unreasoning desire to tear it open and walk in—it was only a few wooden boards and a brass knob, it would require only a small muscular contraction of her arm—but she looked away, knowing that the power of a civilized order and of Ken Danagger's right was more impregnable a barrier than any lock.
    Patents were under attack when Rand wrote her article. They are still under attack today. From what I am putting together here, in part, ties the attack into a desire for the unearned in spirit as well.
    How drugs are to be administered and utilized is not written in the fine print of a chemical analysis, so user discretion is highly advised. The new drug is here. How did it get here?
  9. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in The Causal Efficacy of Relationships   
    SL said:
     
     
    But you are in good company! Kaladin's question is answered in spades in the appendix to ITOE. Ms. Rand's comments in the sections on primary/secondary qualities and constituent vs dispositional properties are highly relevant here.
    Consider especially the conversation surrounding these comments.
     
     
     
    A grain of sands potential or capacity to burn the skin of a foot exposed stroller is no less  a result of an aspect of the entity than its solidity or surface texture. The cognitive isolation of the relevant attributes pertaining to temperature are held as an epistemological device performed by abstraction. The "essential" attributes isolated, the range of measurements chosen, are held in abstraction. 
     
    Entities ARE their attributes exactly in the same way that "Existence IS Identity".  In fact, in metaphysical, causal context, "to be, is to be an entity".
     
  10. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in The Causal Efficacy of Relationships   
    For Objectivism, if its a cause, its an entity. There are no non-agent causes. The differentiation is useless.
  11. Like
    Plasmatic reacted to StrictlyLogical in The Causal Efficacy of Relationships   
    I think I understand other posters positions on this matter.  It is all well and good that one can speak and in fact perform engineering thinking of things in the way you all seem to imply.
    I simply do not, take properties, attributes, or relationships, as a matter of fact, causal agents.  I hold "property" (etc.) as such, as our identification of entities' particular exhibition of its agency.
     
    I suppose I am in the minority on the issue.  
  12. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from jacassidy2 in variation as a basis for applying concepts   
    Vik asked:
     
    Quantitative relationship of what? That is, it seems your question presupposes that there are entities with no qualities. That is, are you asking if the effect we experience called weight is an effect of the number of fundamental constituents in the substance and not the kind of entities the substance contains? The only difference being the number of entities?
    Think about the basis for both the conceptual and the mathematical.... All omitted measurements, the "more and less" that is the basis of class inclusion, are quantitative differences. The concept entity-1  is the base of both fields because it is the ontological bedrock metaphysically and epistemically. The "some but any" is a consequence of the irreducibility of the concept entity in terms of fundamental characteristics. 
     
    ITOE said:
    Edit:
    Posted too soon
    However, since entities are their attributes how could the ontological-qualitative differences not be relevant? Likewise, without the qualitative differences we would have no differentia, no foil epistemically.
     
     
  13. Like
    Plasmatic reacted to dream_weaver in Intellectual property   
    Discovery is the key element of what is being contested here. Christopher Columbus' discovery of the 'new worlds' rests on a similar distinction. History contests Christopher's discovery on the grounds that Eric the Viking and/or the Chinese discovered the America's earlier. Of the three, which recorded their discovery in such a way as it was officially recognized at the time? Should the America's be delegated to the Viking via a log entry, or Chinese by inclusion on an obscure map in retrospect? In these cases the discovery wasn't monopolized, rather it was acted upon and accredited to Columbus in accordance with the governance of the time. As Rand indicated in CUI,
    The government does not "grant" a patent or copyright, in the sense of a gift, privilege, or favor; the government merely secures it—i.e., the government certifies the origination of an idea and protects its owner's exclusive right of use and disposal.
    In other words, the government does not "grant" a patent or copyright, or other type of discovery, in the sense of a gift, privilege, favor or monopoly; the government merely secures it—i.e. the government certifies the [verifiable] origination of an idea and protects its owner's exclusive right of use and disposal.
  14. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from StrictlyLogical in Neo-Aristocracy? Devil's advocate position   
    Louie said:
    I find this to be characteristic of the kind of psycho-epistemology that would support an übermensch. The kind that treats independence as a type of willingness to persue their own whim "to hell with you if you dont like it" with no thought for rational warrant or principle.  The kind that says "He is smarter than me, so I should listen even if I dont understand. I can pretend to understand. I'll never admit that I am ignorant because what matters is that the genuinely virtuous think I'm virtuous too". 
    This is a maximization of pretense, not virtue. A society of actors-performers in a social drama. 
    Your Nietzchean devil has no idea what independence means, or how productive acheivement requires volition.
    legislated virtue is an oxymoron for a truly independent mind. Duty and force are antithetical to productivity.
  15. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from dream_weaver in Neo-Aristocracy? Devil's advocate position   
    Louie said:
    I find this to be characteristic of the kind of psycho-epistemology that would support an übermensch. The kind that treats independence as a type of willingness to persue their own whim "to hell with you if you dont like it" with no thought for rational warrant or principle.  The kind that says "He is smarter than me, so I should listen even if I dont understand. I can pretend to understand. I'll never admit that I am ignorant because what matters is that the genuinely virtuous think I'm virtuous too". 
    This is a maximization of pretense, not virtue. A society of actors-performers in a social drama. 
    Your Nietzchean devil has no idea what independence means, or how productive acheivement requires volition.
    legislated virtue is an oxymoron for a truly independent mind. Duty and force are antithetical to productivity.
  16. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from Robert Romero in Neo-Aristocracy? Devil's advocate position   
    Louie said:
    I find this to be characteristic of the kind of psycho-epistemology that would support an übermensch. The kind that treats independence as a type of willingness to persue their own whim "to hell with you if you dont like it" with no thought for rational warrant or principle.  The kind that says "He is smarter than me, so I should listen even if I dont understand. I can pretend to understand. I'll never admit that I am ignorant because what matters is that the genuinely virtuous think I'm virtuous too". 
    This is a maximization of pretense, not virtue. A society of actors-performers in a social drama. 
    Your Nietzchean devil has no idea what independence means, or how productive acheivement requires volition.
    legislated virtue is an oxymoron for a truly independent mind. Duty and force are antithetical to productivity.
  17. Like
    Plasmatic reacted to Reidy in What about plumbers, electricians and builders?   
    Nobody should be surprised to see Atlas Shrugged recommended as a source for what Rand had to say. Anne Heller points out that the story, quite literally on the first page, salutes the skill of a bus driver. This scene leads straight into a dialog scene between a VP’s personal assistant and the company’s CEO in which the assistant clearly understands the company’s situation better than the CEO and cares about it more. Not long after that is a chapter entitled “The Top and the Bottom” which (unfavorably) contrasts a bunch of corporate higher-ups in a bar with the aforementioned assistant and an unskilled laborer in the company cafeteria. One could go on and on in this vein.

    Rand preferred as a novelist to write about people of extraordinary character, talent and accomplishment. In her novels, as in life, these qualities correlate imperfectly with money and status. The world would offer fewer storytelling possibilities (less conflict, less surprise) if the two matched up well.

  18. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from Devil's Advocate in Is there any reason, any religion should still exist?   
    DA said:
    I know you want to deal with what Hegel said of existence, "To be, is to be known". I think it would have been better to say "to be, is to be knowable". I do not see this as an axiomatic corollary though, and I dont see how we could say with certainty that all of existence is accessible to consciousness. Don't get me wrong, I like the sentiment, but can it be justified by analysis of axiomatic truths alone?  It's not obvious to me how. 
    I think its obvious that anything that can be made accessible to consciousness can be identified, but that's another premise entirely.
  19. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from Devil's Advocate in Is there any reason, any religion should still exist?   
    DA asked:
       
    Your amazement is due to the same lack of familiarity of Oist epistemology that lead you to the previous difficulty in this thread. The question cannot be answered in the form you've asked it. 
    What would constitute evidence of the non-identifiability of an existent? How would you identity such evidence? You want an answer about the possibility of some hypothetical which has no clear evidentiary status.....
     
    DA said:
    This response took honesty and sincerity and earned some respect from me!
  20. Like
    Plasmatic reacted to dream_weaver in Is there any reason, any religion should still exist?   
    To state that 'the reality of a Creator as a more knowledgeable and powerful version of ourselves acting as Nature's God remains a viable option' is to effectively claim that it is possible, which suggests you either have some (but not much) evidence which points in that direction, or you are simply making an arbitrary assertion.
  21. Like
    Plasmatic reacted to William O in Academia and Objectivism   
    Academic philosophy is mired in controversy and rarely arrives at a definite consensus. In addition, only a minority of philosophers, albeit a significant and growing minority, pay attention to Objectivism. Objectivists need a way of integrating these facts, since academic philosophy is often considered an authority on philosophy.
    One way of integrating these facts is to conclude that, since academic philosophers resist or are not aware of Rand's arguments, academic philosophy is not worth paying attention to. This conclusion requires nuancing, however, for several reasons.
    First, many academic philosophers produce work that is either true, as in the case of Boghossian's recent attack on relativism in his book Fear of Knowledge, or interesting, as in Bloomfield's recent collection of essays Morality and Self-Interest. It is true that these contributions almost never appeal to Ayn Rand in particular, but sometimes philosophers arrive at positions and arguments similar to Rand's or make points about ideas like hers that are worth thinking about.
    Second, academic philosophy is influential. In particular, it is the main source that philosophically inclined people outside of Objectivism will get their terminology from, and it will also shape the framing that such people use for philosophical debates. Having some understanding of how philosophical issues are discussed in academia will make it easier to find common ground with people who were introduced to philosophy through academic philosophy.
    Third, academic philosophy produces a lot of good work in history of philosophy. There are good companions to Aristotle, Hume, Mill, and many other philosophers that come from academic philosophy.
    As a result of these considerations, I think it is best to take a practical approach to academic philosophy. An Objectivist should not usually treat an academic philosopher as an authority on philosophy the same way they might treat a physicist as an authority on physics, but particular works produced by academic philosophers can be beneficial and useful, and these can be identified by careful discrimination.
  22. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Some people welcome oblivion   
    Life extension and immortality are not the same thing. The indestructible robot being incapable of values point is not isomorphic to rejecting life extension.
  23. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from Harrison Danneskjold in Free Will and the Choice to Focus   
    Harrison and Louie asked for a citation on Searle's view of first person vs third person ontology.

    Here is one of the many places you can find it:

    He also deals with this in Mind, Language and Society, Seeing Things as They Are, his audio Lectures on the Philosophy of Mind and several other places.
    Edit: Incidentally, Searle does make the error of dabbling in special science but he does so in a way that is consistent with his philosophy at least.

    Part three is relevant here too:

  24. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from DiscoveryJoy in Relationship between Object and Percept in perceptions   
    Discovery asked:

    The category possible.
    Oism holds that the categories of evidence are possible, probable and certain. The arbitrary is not an evidentiary status but the lack of one.
  25. Like
    Plasmatic got a reaction from jacassidy2 in Sanctioning Skeptics (or not lol)   
    The relation of skepticism to nihilism is clear here. I appreaciate the passionate moral fire in the tone of this post.
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