Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by KevinDW78

  1. | I forgot to tell the story of what I said a few weeks ago in class. When discussing Peirce's theory of Tychism, one of his premises is that measurements ALWAYS have a margin of error. To this I raised my hand and said, "That's false. If I measure how many professors are in this room right now--there's ONE. There was no margin of error in my measurement."

    1. Black Wolf

      Black Wolf

      I don't think counting is the same as measuring, is it?

    2. OCSL


      Correct me if I'm wrong but would saying there are exactly 12 inches in 1 foot also disprove this theory?

    3. Black Wolf

      Black Wolf

      I don't think so, because 12 inches and 1 foot are both concepts, rather than applying a concept to practice

  2. This place is maggoty with cow clickers tonight!

  3. Cow clickers in my pasture need to get-to-clickin' or be booted in favor of someone who does. If that sounds like an ultimatum, it is. I take my cow clicking very seriously.

  4. knows that a lot of his things get posted twice due to his Twitter integration with Facebook, and ya know what? He doesn't care.

  5. needs to restock his bar after Chris Lee and Devan Fronk house sat while he was at OCON.

  6. Dear Facebook, I do not wish to try the "Friend Finder", thank you.

  7. Just shot a pistol for the first time. If any two-dimensional shadow men ever attack him they at as good as dead!

  8. "That's all right. These things gotta happen every five years or so, ten years. Helps to get rid of the bad blood." -The Godfather

  9. phibetakappa, thank you for your response. I'll think about the infinite regress and perceptually given facts when dealing with this concept in the future.
  10. Well, I don't have a problem with primary concepts. This is about being in a philosophy class and being forced to meet their standards of proof (or being able to make a valid argument of why their proof is flawed). When you are in upper-level philosophy classes in state universities, it's not acceptable to simply say "it just is". They literally will scoff at you.
  11. Thank you for your thoughts. I too thought of stepping from "what is action?" to "It is a change in an entity" but I knew that if I did that, I would simply be asked "What is change?" and then I would have no clue where to go from there because I have no clue how to explain "change".
  12. Thanks for the reference. I'll grab my ITOE and check out that section.
  13. Thank you for the response. I knew in my head that a justification for cause and effect would have to come down to perceptually given facts. You pointed out something I hadn't considered—that it is for science, not philosophy to determine how actions happen. Part of my confusion is due to how the philosophy TA was challenging me. For example, he raised his arm an inch and said, "Is this an action?" Then he raised his arm 90 degrees and said, "What about this? What's the difference?". This led me to wanting to reduce the concept of action as much as I could before proceeding.
  14. I am currently re-reading OPAR because I want to have a better technical understanding of Objectivist metaphysics. The question I am wrestling with is: what is action? This came up because last week in my philosophy class I asserted that cause preceeds effect and the T.A. asked me to prove that and it ended up in him asking me to answer this question of "what is action?" and me being dumbfounded to come up with a response (even if the response was "that's a stupid question") Here is where I am running into a circular argument: - What is action? - It's what entities DO. - How do entities DO things? [i'm unsure if there needs to be something else inserted here] - Via the law of cause and effect. - What is cause and effect? - It is action applied to entities. - What is action?
  15. I'm in the process of writing my paper and missed one aspect of the scenario we have to use: the coin will only be flipped once and then destroyed. But I don't think that has any bearing on my thesis and where I am going to take it. But it does make me shake my head at the poinlessness of these silly hypotheticals that philosophy students are asked to endure.
  16. Thanks you SN and Grames. I think those points along with the others given are adequate for me to get a starting grasp on this subject.
  17. No, I wouldn't be questioning the validity of induction, that'd just be silly. The question really is, does "probability" refer to a metaphysicical relationship or an epistemic relationship (i.e. degrees of ignorance). And then on top of that, is it a quantitiative measurement or a qualitatitive concept? Then finally, how would one form and apply probabilities to scenarios.
  18. ok that is more what I was looking for. An answer to the question of "is probability a quantitative concept or a qualitative concept?". Because I have the same objections you raise. To use a quip F.P. Ramsey made about Keynes' theory of probability, you would need some sort of psychogalvonometer in order to quantify degrees of belief.
  19. Thank you Grames, I have wanted to get both of those Peikoff lectures because I assumed they would have the answers I've been looking for. Just gotta find the time to justify the cost of buying them. Your notes definitely help shed light on the issue.
  20. But that just takes me back to square one. HOW does one measure evidence against certainty? By what standard? This is why this question has been so difficult for me to grapple with.
  21. From what I gather than, Objectivism would be more in line with Karl Popper's Propensity theory since Propensity theory is Frequency theory but with the addition that you can incorporate priot knowledge of the universe before you start flipping. von Mises would have rejected even that you can assume 50/50. He would flat out reject the scenario and say it is outside the purvue of probability until only AFTER you started flipping. But Popper would have said (if I understand his theory correctly) that we can at least assume it is 50/50 because we have prior knowledge about coins and what happens when we flip them, so we can start with an assumption based on that prior knowledge, than incorporate more data (via Bayes' Rule) as it becomes available to us to adjust the calculation.
  22. Thanks for the replies. This is definitely helping. From what you guys are saying though, it would be in line with Richard von Mises Frequency interpretation. i.e. you can't say anything about the probability until you start flipping and accumulate data. I would have initially agreed but then I learned that Richard von Mises is one of the people who founded the theory of Logical-Positivism, which Rand fervently and explicitly rejected. So Then I started to get confused and torn as to where my thoughts on this should go.
  23. Perhaps it would also be helpful if I gave an example. This is the question we have to write our final term paper on and address each of the different interpretations I listed in my OP and how they would answer it. So if someone could shed some light on how the Objectivist interpretation of probability would answer this (or maybe it would completely reject the question), I think that would be very helpful to my understanding: You have a biased coin (i.e. it's either weighted towards the heads side or weighted towards the tails side). But you don't know which side it is baised towards. What is the probability of a flip coming up heads?
  24. Thank you for the response. I have already read OPAR and that was the first place I went when looking for an answer to this. It wasn't any help with regard to what my question is. Specifically I am looking for how probability should be quantifiably measured (if it even can) and what the context of its use would be. The aspect you mentions only helps minimally with the basic concept of probability but doesn't really address the nature and mathematics.
  25. After searching the forums for the term "probability" I didn't come up with anything directly addressing this question. If you know of an existing thread that does, I would appreciate being pointed there. I am currently taking a "Foundations of Probability and Inductive Logic" philosophy class. I am trying to figure out what the NATURE of probability is from an Objectivist standpoint. What does it refer to? Is it a measure of a metaphysical relationship of possible outcomes or is it somehow a measure of epistemic relations? If so, what are the means of inducing these relationships? I very much enjoyed Peikoff's recent podcast where he tells the story of trying to figure out how many people would be in the lobby of Ayn Rand's apartment building and it started to shed some light on this question but I am looking for a more explicit and succint response to the questions I listed. When being faced in my class with interpretations of probability such as Richard von Mises Frequency interpretation, Karl Popper's Propensity interpretation and F.P. Ramsey's Subjective interpretation, what is the proper way of viewing this subject? Thanks for any help you guys can offer.
  • Create New...