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Everything posted by Mikee

  1. on the subject of empathy, would this comment hold true: "Empathy is among the innate moral instincts. The moral instincts are fine-tuned in response to the moral social orders in which we participate."
  2. Mikee

    Animal rights

    Is there a distinction to be made between animal rights amd animal welfare?
  3. Mikee

    Animal rights

    Gott address the marginal humans argument. I think diana heish tackled this topic in a document of hers
  4. My understanding of all this is that ‘Humean’ cause means that while empirical observation is sensible, the attachment of cause lies within the imagination. To be ‘Humean’ is to indulge in factors that guide our processes in assigning cause. How does this contrast with Rand's or even Aristotle's view of causation.
  5. http://www.amazon.com/Straitjacket-Society-Insiders-Irreverent-Bureaucratic/dp/4770018487/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1389702114&sr=1-1&keywords=straitjacket+society
  6. What are your thoughts on Robert Nozick's formulation of JTB. person X knows that p if all of the following conditions are satisfied: (i) p is true. (ii) X believes that p. (iii) If p were not true, X would not believe that p. (iv) If p were true, X would believe that p. I think the problems with subjectivism that David highlighted earlier still stand, no?
  7. I had this thrown at me the other day: "Perhaps the biggest failing of Objectivism, shoehorning consciousness as axiomatic prevents any interesting questions being asked or answered about this uniquely human phenomenon."
  8. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=shDNaFhPiJY
  9. Does anything in this quote negate the concept of Tabula Rasa: "Before we became conscious, we operated on a previous mode of decision-making. Artifacts from this previous and long-superseded mode of decision-making are still with us, and explain many quirks and tendencies of humans. The yearning for authorization is a human quirk not found in any of the other animals. The universal appeal of the god-idea, our susceptibility to hypnosis and schizophrenia, the need for reminders of the admonishments of our elders in the form of gravestones, all hints of how our minds operated before the slate, before consciousness. The slate was not born like Venus. Tabula Rasa is an empty slate. What about as babies before we know any words to write on the slate? What about as earlier hominids before our minds had the capacity for a slate? There was then a mode of thinking & learning. This mode has left traces, artifacts, on our tendencies today. Yes, we are born without knowledge, defining "knowledge" as those verbal constructs able to be manipulated on the slate, with analogs to reality. But like all animals we are born with the mental ability to learn, communicate, think, form percepts & concepts, etc., all without the slate. Further, because introspective consciousness depends on the manipulation of of these verbal analogs on the slate, we are not born conscious. We must "learn" consciousness, after we are taught enough language to fill our mental slate. Only then can we invent an analog world based upon language, the heart of consciousness - spatialization, volition, verbal concepts, fantasies, morality."
  10. hasn't essentialism been debunked by the likes of Popper et. al
  11. Much of the history of the interactions between English and then Americans with the Indians was shaped by the differing institutions and cultures of the different Indian tribes.
  12. interesting post Dante. Her other book on virtues didn't receive a good review on TOS
  13. I think Hume started all that 'how do you justify induction' approach to induction. Presumably he discovered that induction is just circular.
  14. Explanations is such a broad term. Feyman did book-keeping.mayne thats what he is referring to.
  15. Louie, could you post that explanantion?
  16. I think what Eioul is talking about is some sort of 'language organ' an idea which I believe has been criticised here: http://zompist.com/langorg.htm There is also Michael Tomasello’s paper on Chomsky’s Universal Grammar: http://www.psych.yorku.ca/gigi/documents/Tomasello_2004.pdf This paragraph is especially worth quoting: “I think it is important that the oddness of the UG hypothesis about language acquisition be emphasized; it has basically no parallels in hypotheses about how children acquire competence in other cognitive domains. For example, such skills as music and mathematics are, like language, unique to humans and universal among human groups, with some variations. But no one has to date proposed anything like UniversalMusic or UniversalMathematics, and no one has as yet proposed any parameters of these abilities to explain cross-cultural diversity (e.g., +/- variables, which some cultures use, as in algebra, and some do not—or certain tonal patterns in music). It is not that psychologists think that these skills have no important biological bases—they assuredly do—it is just that proposing an innate UM does not seem to be a testable hypothesis, it has no interesting empirical consequences beyond those generated by positing biological bases in general, and so overall it does not help us in any way to get closer to the phylogenetic and ontogenetic origins of these interesting cognitive skills.” This is a very nice counter-statement to the Chomskyan claim that the uniqueness of language to humans among species but its universality among humans shows its special biologically innate status. Michael Tomasello also has a book called Constructing a Language: http://www.amazon.com/Constructing-Language-Usage-Based-Theory-Acquisition/dp/0674017641/ref=wl_it_dp_o_pC_S_nC?ie=UTF8&colid=SU5HDKSQ7RHT&coliid=I164YROZMUQ8OE
  17. so the emphasis on evolved moral traditions or customs would fall under the interpretations and/or practise of morality.
  18. Morality, in the Aristotelian tradition is seen as the art of promoting, as well as the experience of, the health of the psyche. (And thus morality is fundamentally self-oriented.) Others, within different traditions define morality instead as the rules of social interaction and cooperation and will talk about evolved moral traditions. If morality is indeed a system of values, as opposed to rules (even though some moralities highlight rules at the expense of values.) what is the relationship between these two ideas? or in other worlds is morality multifaceted?
  19. I've had this claim about Rand's philosophy levelled at me in a discussion: "Rand's philosophy is specifically pre-Darwinian. The human perceptual wetware already constitutes an innate theory about the world. The human body itself can be seen as a conjecture about its environment. And this is all consistent with the observation that toddlers invariably exhibit an innate sense of fair play. They do this long before they could have had the sorts of perceptions and conceptions imagined by Randian Objectivists. Any adequate philosophy is going to have to explain this." When I asked for evidence for his claim about toddlers he cited this study: http://healthland.time.com/2012/02/20/even-babies-can-recognize-whats-fair/ Now it's my understanding that Rand's epistemology was a blank state one and that Chomsky has argued that there must be thousands of innate elements of meaning, thousands of categories that cannot be learned from the evidence of the senses and instead must be inborn. But this is because his theories are a response to the stripped-down epistemology of the British empiricists as handled by the Anglo-American analytic approaches of the 20th century, which on their own terms can be shown not to succeed at explaining human knowledge. I think the charge of pre-Darwinism is explained with this paragraph: "First of all, Chomsky, Gardner, and others of similar ideologies believe that infants are born with a significant prewired knowledge of how languages work and how they do not work. Views within this group vary slightly, but they all hold to this basic tenet and cite ample evidence in defense of this view. These proponents of the innateness of linguistic ability also believe that the genetic basis for language came about as the result of Darwinian evolution and by an extension of the "survival of the fittest" argument. Again, individual views vary slightly, but all supporters of this school of thought see language as a product of Darwinian evolution." How would you respond to something like this claim?
  20. this is a good article on the subject: http://mostlyfree.blogspot.ca/2013/08/an-individualist-case-for-considering.html
  21. Just out of curiosity, would this comment be consistent with or fall under the theory-ladenness of perception that Kelley discusses in his book: "Knowledge can't begin with perception because observation requires knowledge to be effective. What do you observe and what not? You have to think first to answer that question before you make useful, selective observations.There are vast numbers of things to observe, patterns to find, perspectives to consider, and so on. How is one to choose? Whatever the answer, that we need to start there, not with perception."
  22. hmmm. how is the sensualist theory of perception different from the one Kelley is advocating for?
  23. Some relevant quotes: "In other words, Kant saw with perfect clarity that the history of science had refuted the Baconian myth that we must begin with observations in order to derive our theories from them. And Kant also realized very clearly that behind this historical fact lay a logical fact; that there were logical reasons why this kind of thing did not occur in the history of science: that it was logically impossible to derive theories from observations" (Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, P. 256) "Kant also showed that what holds for Newtonian Theory must hold for everyday experience, though not, perhaps, quite to the same extent: that everyday experience, too goes far beyond all observation. Everyday experience too must interpret observation; for without theoretical interpretation, observation reminds blind-uninformative. Everyday experience constantly operates with abstract ideas, such as that of cause and effect, and so it cannot be derived from observations" (Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, P. 257) "And we can now see the whole riddle of experience- the paradox of the empirical sciences as discovered by Kant: Newton's dynamics goes essentially beyond all observations. It is universal, exact; it arose historically out of myths; and we can show by purely logical means that it is not derivable from observation-statements." (Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, P. 257) "My third point- the contention that it is logically impossible to derive Newton's theory from observations- follows immediately from Hume's critique of the validity of inductive inferences, as pointed out by Kant." (Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge, P. 256)
  24. Correcting a mistake.... known to you by what means?
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