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Everything posted by Grames

  1. But that claim is that every concept is valid. You used the phrase "properly conceive". Not every concept is properly conceived.
  2. SABATON - Winged Hussars (Official Lyric Video)
  3. Holy hell, I did get something out following this thread.
  4. Yes, the in real world where we live on the surface of an oblate spheroid "you can't get there from here" is, taken literally, wrong. There is always an indirect path. But in hypothetical space-by-analogy network of man-made concepts that need to be in principle reducible back to percepts to be valid it is possible to create concepts that are not valid because they are not so reducible. To claim otherwise is to claim every concept is valid. "X is unknowable" means it is not reducible back to percepts by any means, direct or indirect.
  5. As far as corrective measures go, I don't like government schools. But one good thing that has come out of this hubbub around a potential "national conservatism" faction is that a proposal has been advanced to defund the universities of government money. There is a growing realization that the primary vector encouraging the growth of wild eyed communism decades after the death of the Soviet Union are the universities. Censorship is not legally possible, but we should stop subsidizing our own destruction.
  6. He wrote his chapter nine in terms of "extension of the sense of self" and how values come to be shared in common. It is NOT altruism or altruistic, not philosophically or psychologically. This is congruent with Rand's statements about being willing to die for her husband, or in her fiction of characters musing about protecting a city with their bodies. It is not necessary, and in fact incorrect, to interpret his chapter nine as a peaen to a Kantian sense of duty. Classical political liberal theory IS utopian and unrealistic, both communist and libertarian. The Kantian categorical imperative sense of duty is NOT essential, merely a sense of responsibility that underlies parents care for their children and what ought to create a sense of gratitude and some degree of obligation in those children when the relationship is healthy (an obligation certainly far short of any version of Confucian filial piety construed as total obedience). That governments do not derive from the consent of the governed is not uncontroversial. That loyalty and mutual loyalty is actually a thing that exists and is important to political theory is not uncontroversial, not here anyway.
  7. That's a good article. I'm not much interested in the particular corrective measures Hazony has called for because I'm not a conservative.
  8. Even ISIS terrorists need to eat, and presumably derive some group cohesion from shared meals. Because everyone needs to eat food, how do you find a difference that makes a difference in thinking about cross-cultural culinary comparisons? You don't, so ignore it. Hazony is not an Objectivist, so I'm not concerned about not tracking him exactly. I take away what is genuinely and plausibly fundamental and philosophical. That anarchy is actually a default political order of families and tribes and not a "state of nature" war of all individuals against all other individuals is fundamental. That government is derived from the compliance of the governed and not the consent of the governed is fundamental.
  9. Criticizing Journo for evading the philosophically significant critique of conventional pro-capitalist political theory. He did not acknowledge its existence and he should have. When Hazony lumps Rand together with Locke and Kant as Utopians, he has a point. Rand didn't compose a political theory beyond validating individual rights, and that meant she and the rest of us Objectivists have had to muddle along with the existing theoretical justification of government, that it derives from the consent of the governed. That is the common element Hazony is calling out. Government is not derived from the consent of the governed, it is derived from the compliance of the governed. Consent is subjective, compliance is objective.
  10. Wait a minute, how can you write temporally prior and then posit a political system that "it then later forms" as if that were rationalism? Causation is not rationalism. A culture will have some political order at any point in time, but what comes later necessarily is based on what went before whether it was progress or regress. Explicit identifications of new political concepts often depended upon what was already the practice, but there was an implicit idea in the culture that motivated the practice in the first place. I'm glad to see you've rejected "state of nature" thinking. Journo's review didn't even bother to grapple with that critique. I guess the cognitive dissonance was just too painful to bear even though "state of nature" thinking is not even within the scope of formal Objectivist politics. It costs nothing to jettison it.
  11. I disagree. Differentiating between cultures on the basis of their recognition and respect for individual rights or lack thereof is primary context within this thread. The first thing that occurred to me upon reading the Caplan article was that he had no idea there was any relation between culture and individual rights, or that cultures can differ on fundamental issues such as the relation of the individual to society. Superficialities such as food or music styles are not fundamental and are not what I would be discussing here. I vaguely recall a story about the British Army working to subdue India. A regiment arrived in a village for the first time to establish British rule and one the first things done was to outlaw the practice of suttee, the burning of the widows on the pyres of their dead husbands. A local pleaded with the regimental commander to allow suttee because it was their culture. The British commander replied that it was his culture not to permit it. Now that is a fundamental culture clash, fundamental because it turns on recognition and respect for individual rights. What makes this story of the British Army suppressing suttee of interest to me (and hopefully all Objectivists) is that while individual rights are purported by some here to be universally applicable, Rand's theory of values holds that the good is neither an attribute of “things in themselves” nor of man’s emotional states, but an evaluation of the facts of reality by man’s consciousness according to a rational standard of value. To the villagers, the imposition by force of British rule and protection of individual rights was incomprehensible to them, as the entirety of the cultural underpinnings of the justification of individual rights was from a culture completely alien to them. They couldn't possibly understand it, not all at once and not after years or decades for many of them. For the case of India and in general, can any good come from treating individual rights as if they were an intrinsic good?
  12. As an Objectivist versed in the epistemological principle of conceptual hierarchy, I can't accept that as remotely true. The ideological underpinnings were in place long before anything like the modern concept of rights became widespread. Stadler IS the antithetical element in making the generalization that "men are not open to truth or reason." After all, Stadler is a man so he is simply a hypocrite living a contradiction, but from a position of great influence. I did not write the phrase "fighting antithetical elements" or "fighting" at all so you should not have used double quotes as if I had. The rest of this is good and I must agree with it. Rights, objectively defined, can distinguish between what is a proper matter for coercive criminal laws and what must be left to individual conscience and persuasion. But Caplan didn't write that bit, you added it here.
  13. "A culture of liberty" does not equate liberty to a culture, it is a means of distinguishing between cultures on the basis of their ultimate political expression. And yes where and when liberty exists, it is necessarily subsumed under the concept of culture.
  14. You are assuming that only one culture can be compatible with individual rights. Also, see my reply above to 2046 that liberty is the product of culture. It is not the case that any culture is based on individual rights directly. That would be Libertarian thinking, just rationalistically starting with a premise of individual rights as if that didn't need to be proven or integrated without contradiction with the rest of the culture to be viable.
  15. Back on page 4 I offered a multiple choice question: My answer is the second alternative, that liberty is one by-product of social order. The social order is the culture. To put it in terms you may have heard elsewhere, politics is downstream of culture. In formal philosophy politics is hierarchically after ethics, and culture includes the ethics of the individuals whose comprise it. If a culture of liberty is poisoned by elements antithetical to it then the liberty will disappear. Antithetical elements include such examples as the determinism of identity politics, denial of the sovereignty of the individual, acceptance of widespread corruption in public or corporate bureaucracies, denial of objective truth in favor of relative truths and many other things that attack anything that liberty depends upon.
  16. Except my culture is a culture of individual rights, so he's claiming I have no right to my rights.
  17. I am coming around to this viewpoint as well. For the record, I am also in favor of American jurisprudence and legislation concerning public accommodations (that it is not the owners right to refuse service on trains, buses or hotels on the basis of irrational racial prejudice). These are closely related areas and it is consistent to come to the same conclusion with respect to both.
  18. North American Indians, Aztecs, Incas. Native Hawaiians. The Norman invasion of Anglo-Saxon England. The Anglo-Saxon invasion of Celtic England. The Mongol invasion and domination of Han China. The destruction of the previous neanderthal population of the world by modern humans.
  19. In principle it is a matter of being methodical, just like forming the concept of zero when in fact no one can ever perceive directly an absence. Absence requires at least a memory of a prior presence. Absence or zero is hierarchically dependent as a concept on a prior concept of some positive direct and simple presence. The unknown and the unknowable are concepts formed in hindsight based on the fact that things are now known that were once unknown, and projecting that into the future to speculate that more remains to be learned, the still unknown. The unknowable is simply a statement akin to "you can't get there from here", meaning that there is no causal connection or path to travel to get from the present state of knowledge to that unknowable, and that is what makes it unknowable. Judgements about what is unknowable require some prior knowledge of methods of investigation and their limitations; what is unknowable obviously cannot be self-evident.
  20. "It to be itself" is very similar to "A is A". For a thing to be itself does not require any awareness at all. Awareness is secondary to and dependent upon prior existing things.
  21. I want a broader theory of politics than Rand left us without abandoning any of what she did leave us. So yes I'm going correct any perceived weaknesses or missing elements in Hazony's theory by filling with the stronger foundation of Rand's work. The end result won't be Hazony's theory anymore. I suppose it would be mine, based on Rand and Hazony.
  22. This is an empirical approach not an exercise in rationalism. One can observe actual human beings and observe how they speak and act with regard to "responsibilities" and then investigate what those are and what causes them. With enough observations and a diverse sampling one can then engage in measurement omission and getting to an essence of the concept as used by actual human beings. I claim that it is possible to objectively investigate even a relatively high level concept such as responsibility. By Peikoff's principle of two definitions there should be both an objective and a normative definition for the concept.
  23. Hitler isn't a nationalist because he wanted to de facto restore the Holy Roman Empire but with his idiosyncratic racial theory substituting for holiness. Bertrand Russell was strong D in Peikoff's D.I.M. scheme, of course he was an anarchist. The question is to what degree was he an intrinsicist? Intrinsicism is necessary to move from claiming to know a truth to imposing it on others. Stalin and Jefferson indeed both thought they grasped universal truths, but different ones. Jefferson would not approve of compulsion in matters of conscience which makes him better than your ordinary theist who is almost automatically intrinsicist. Jefferson was a deist.
  24. You wrote " Hazony's own "tribe and family" collectivism" and the substance of my reply is against the characterization of family and tribe as collectivism, Hazony's or anyone else's. An empirical description of what actually exists is not a normative theory of what should exist. Collectivism is a normative theory. Hazony's description of the social bonds of family and tribe is empirical. You are certainly entitled to critique it as false in one way or another but you are committing a category error with this attempt.
  25. "Natural rights theory" is exactly the kind of intrinsicism invented to justify the theory of rights when the objective justification is unavailable because objectivity was not yet fully conceptualized. And if one's theory of rights is intrinsically justified then one can impose that value upon the entire world, from the deserts of Arabia to the jungles of Vietnam to the mountains of Afghanistan, and the people there can be expected to welcome their liberation and convert to the program upon being enlightened. Liberalism based upon natural rights theory is now in hindsight obviously false and a failure. Which is not to say that rights are false or forever unjustifiable, just that it does matter how one goes about doing it. Rand showed the way, and it isn't natural it is objective. No, only Rand tried to teach that universals were epistemological. All other versions of universals were metaphysical or extra-dimensional (enabling intrinsic value theory). Perhaps that last sentence makes more sense if you keep that in mind. {edit for addition} So any broad claim held to be universally true was held to be applicable to everyone, even foreigners in distant lands speaking foreign languages and worshipping alien gods. This is just recapitulating Peikoff in regard to how a universal cast as intrinsicism would then justifies using force to coerce people to be good, because if the good is not relative to one's consciousness then understanding and consent have no role to play. This is not offered in a normative sense of theory but as a neutral objective observation of what actually happens in real people around the world and throughout history. That there is such a thing as human nature implies that humans have intrinsic attributes. The affirmation that existence implies identity and definite attributes is Objectivism, not Hazony. Intrinsicism as used in Objectivism refers to the principle of asserting knowledge can exist without knowers or values without valuers. An attempt to identify human nature is necessarily universal to all humans and is going to identify intrinsic attributes, but that doesn't come near to being intrinsicism even if wrong.
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