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2046

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  1. But there is an important incongruence between the model of reason as calculation (as in, say, Hobbes) and other theories of mental activity. Nobody actually thinks like that. We don't go "I value this person n¹ units, and that thing n² units, therefore I will do x." That attributes a kind of incommensurable quantification of persons, things, actions (what unit would even be measured here?), and attributes to people a kind of calculative reasoning people don't normally perform in day to day activities. Sometimes we do calculate things, but part of what makes being a sociopath deficient in some way is that they are unable to see things in non-binary terms.
  2. But like, what "discovery of true principles" is Hazony responsible for? Is it "there should not be one world government"? Well that's hardly a new discovery or even well-argued for here. Liberal philosophers who argued that states should be rationally created and answerable to tthe people argued for the kind of civic nationalism Eiuol is talking about. Conservative nationalists often historically have been responsible for centralizing power and decreasing the number of states. Liberals in Germany argued against the creation of a pan-German state and for the hundreds of free states and princely states before they were crushed violently by the conservative nationalist Bismarck, who believed there should be one single German state owing precisely to "unchosen obligations" of "clan and tribe." You know, those things that Hazony likes. And so on with American colonists. Ludwig von Mises argued in 1919 (Nation, State, and Econony) against imperialism and for "national self-determination." He applied his argument to the peaceful break up of Austria-Hungary "by freely conducted plebiscite." He replicated this same argument for national self-determination in 1929's Liberalism. Yet Hazony is the first one to discover "we shouldn't have one works government"? Ok boomer. Hazony says Mises supports one world government and is an imperialist. Is that honest, to you? Is that okay, too? Also that's not even how the concept of rights developed. Aristotle gave a completely secular argument for private property in the Politics. The Stoics developed rights out of applying Roman law to the law of foreigners and slaves. Aquinas developed the right of private property and secular government as the human law, while being a subset of divine law, pertains to earthly matters and is discoverable by reason alone. Pufendorf and Grotius developed secular natural rights out of applying international law and the merchant law to individuals. Locke uses divine voluntarism largely as a deus ex machina to provide punishment for his ethical hedonism, but that is not necessary in politics since there is civil punishment. The US founders developed rights out of applying British rights to colonists, and developing Locke and Thomas Reid. In short, no you're wrong on nearly everything.
  3. That argument is ambiguous. It's not at least, as you post it, a straightforward syllogism. 1. Because volition (free will) exists 2. Therefore it is immoral to X The best you could say about that is that there are suppressed premises contained in there that need to be fleshed out. If the argument is something like 1. Volition (free will) means I am not externally forced to choose specific choices. 2. Choosing one's political system is a choice. 3. Since people have volition, 5. it is immoral to impose an alien political system by force. That just doesn't follow, because it commits the fallacy of equivocation between metaphysical freedom and political freedom. Of course you can forcibly impose individual rights on anyone. That just straightforwardly deductively follows from concept of rights itself. If it means they won't voluntarily support the political system because it's being forced on them, well so what? Whether or not someone voluntarily chooses to support something is just different from whether or not I may impose it on them. If it means you can't force someone to be a part of a political association they don't consent to, well that's going to be problematic with your rejection of consent.
  4. Onkar and GSal take on the "dishonest huckster" Hazony on the Enlightenment and political philosophy
  5. Indeed. The premise seems to be predicated on the idea that the people who are being irrational are somehow rivals to the people who are being rational in some unmentioned way over some unmentioned thing, rather than just being ballast. I'm not here making an argument for either view, but just pointing out that no one in this thread has even made an argument for the former over the latter, which was one of the main points of Atlas Shrugged.
  6. Umm what? You do realize that Sowell passage is affirming the same point Rand is making about political philosophers premises leading to certain conclusions?
  7. Well let's hope they don't "behave like Objectivists" because most people running calling themselves that are dumb as hell. But it's not really clear what the question is. There's like 5 or 6 different questions in there. One thing is, it doesn't really follow from "the world is nothing like X, and never has been" to "mankind can never achieve X." That's just bad reasoning. It's not really clear what we're supposed to be inferring here. It's also not really valid to use a premise about how many people are rational or irrational from the armchair. Unless you're just speaking anecdotally, you're going to need some social science research. Industrial societies haven't been around that long. Individualism is still pretty widespread. More people are being lifted out of poverty and ignorance than ever. There was once a time when all "great" countries were monarchies. There was once a time when slavery was widespread in every country. The Soviet Union used to control half of Europe. What got these things to change was, partially, people changing their ideas and seeing what worked and didn't work. I mean if we're going to say everyone is just in principle irrational and can do no other, then no political philosophy is going to be acceptable. Another approach would be to figure out why people believe what they believe, and do the things they do, and try to then account for that, and that's part of what we do in political philosophy and poli sci, economics, etc.: Finding workable solutions to political problems that takes into account what human beings are actually like and what motivates them. But overall, I mean, modern democratic liberalism is pretty good as a political system, if you ask "compared to what" in human history. Markets and peaceful cooperation brought about by liberalism didn't happen by an absolute monistic conception of politics that the Western world overnight suddenly read a single book and then decided to adopt. Liberal institutional arrangements are themselves spontaneous order mechanism that facilitate discovery processes to the things that make human flourishing possible. And things change on the margin, little by little, for the most part. You're not going to beat people over the head with Atlas Shrugged, silly.
  8. Whether it's a defense or a brand-association, what you're saying literally isn't coherent. Adam Smith's "brand" of capitalism has as one of its main planks the principle of free trade. That's literally one of the main points of his book. So it's not clear how name dropping Smith is supposed to to function as a brand-association with Trump, rather than a brand-disassociation. As far as Smith's moral arguments, which specific ones? My guess is you haven't ever read him and don't know what you're talking about. As far as not knowing how Smith would react to hostile tariffs from other nations, we don't have to wonder because he specifically addresses that in 4.II that the principle of revenge or retaliation can be employed to justify tariffs against a foreign country that has employed them against Britain. So again, I don't think you have a clue what you're talking about and haven't cracked the first Adam Smith book, and should probably not try to name drop stuff you haven't read.
  9. Oh Eiuol I'm sure they're fine with all illegal immigrants that don't try to fraudulently get welfare, then, and totally won't all of a sudden manifest some new goalpost to shift to.
  10. Not to mention that one of the main points of Smith's economic work is in free trade and against what he called mercantilism, so it's not exactly clear how name dropping Smith is supposed to work in order to be a defense of Trump.
  11. “We stand for free enterprise!” cried Dr. Ferris...“You don't understand us!” “I'm beginning to.”
  12. You said they're a terrorist organization planning to obtain a bomb to kill people. You don't have to wait for force to be actualized to defend yourself. Why? Because initiation is a process, a concept of continuum. Planning, funding, obtaining, and organizing is all part of initiation of something. Wouldn't it be a bit silly to go "oh this terrorist organization is trying to obtain a bomb and blow people up, but ah damn it, they haven't actually detonated it yet, so we can't do anything. Guess we'll just sit here until there's a crater in NYC"?
  13. Indeed. It is quite typical among some people to see objectivity being associated with the universal, impersonal, or "the view from nowhere." Notice how he characterized the deliberative process as unresolvable until these "fillings" are introduced, then it becomes trivial, by which I take it as being resolved. What exactly would be "reality without fillings" seems a lot like Nagel's "view from nowhere." Daston and Galison (2007) trace objectivity-as-impersonalism to the Kantian turn (although not without seeds already planted in the Scholastic version.) Of course you can't make a decision without the "fillings," all of the particular, personal, contingent things that characterize actual reality. Once you empty reality of that the things that actually make it up, what could end up guiding your thought process? Factors unique to each person is desperately needed for objectivity when trying to give a weighting or balancing between various goods and option. You need to take your circumstances, talents, endowments, interests, beliefs, and histories that descriptively characterize each individual precisely because reasoning about ends is done by real life individually situated people and not detached Cartesian egos or Kantian noumenal selves.
  14. The aforementioned Lexicon entry can certainly give you an idea of where Rand was going with her conception of objectivity. But just reading that isn't likely to help you. Nor is having anyone "just define it" for you. I could give you Ockham's or Duns Scotus' definition, or Descartes' version, or any version and you're not going to understand it. It's just going to be a bunch of words to you. You already have your own beliefs about what "objecivity" means. What you need to be doing is asking yourself to define objecivity, and then asking why you chose to define it that way. What facts did you observe in reality that gave rise to the need for you to have something called "objecivity" in your vocabulary? What is it distinguished from? What reasons did you have for adopting your particular version the way you did? Or did you just pack a bunch of assumptions together? Or did you pick it up from somewhere?
  15. You might really appreciate the Irfan Khawaja chapter in the ARS volume I linked earlier, as well as Khawaja's 2008 PhD dissertation "Foundationalism and the Foundation of Ethics" which defends a thoroughly Randian ethical egoism and engages deeply with Korsgaard in chapters 7, 8, and Appendix B: https://www.academia.edu/1826457/Foundationalism_and_the_Foundations_of_Ethics Edit: Also you can probably just email him, or post a question on his blog or FB, he's pretty responsive to students and much more knowledgeable about Rand than keyboard philosophers on any forums you're going to find.
  16. I'm not sure about that. I think there's a lot to be said for Aristotle's approach, but his approach here as you've lifted from NE isn't addressing the foundation of values question that Rand is asking ("Does man need values at all and why?") Aristotle's NE (not without controversy) is likely lecture notes addressed to young men going into politics, who are supposed to be familiar with the general presuppositions of NE (through conversation and other works.) Asking what kind of thing happiness is and answering various questions about it, including engaging with the endoxa and aporia of the day, is not exactly what Rand is trying to do. She also criticized Aristotle's ethics (not very well if you ask me) as opposed to his overall philosophical approach which she liked. In any event, Rand's approach does not take goal-directed action for granted or presuppose anything about morality's form or content, and she's not trying to achieve some kind of reflective equilibrium about our beliefs about ultimate values, so at least one can say their discussions are just about different things. Criticizing one by adopting the framework of the other just isn't going to be very helpful.
  17. Just echoing Eiuol that this isn't Rand's argument. He asked what Rand's argument was. Also just in the face of it, this is a really bad argument for life because it begs all of the relevant questions to this discussion which is just about why life has this foundational status in ethics.
  18. It is not that you have to be alive to value, you're right that you can't deduce an ethics from that. There are two pieces of work it's supposed to be doing. One, the epistemic part, is establishing the arbitrariness of selecting values apart from the question of why they are needed. The second, the psychological part, the issue of selecting values could not even arise for us if we had nothing at stake in it, that is to say, if our value-selection had no value-significance for us.
  19. What Eioul said. Also I think it's an entirely reasonable task to want to reconstruct, logic book style, what exactly Rand's argument is because Rand's style is to make sweeping statements that require much more explanation that she didn't provide, and that it takes work for a philosopher interested in Rand to build the bridge from her intellectual context to contemporary philosophy. Just recognize that this is as much a metaphilosophical task that a bridge that has to be built, you're not going to read it off of Galt's speech. Rand's attitude sometimes at least comes off as, in effect, "I've written Atlas Shrugged what more could you need?" while in her letters to John Hospers are a little more circumspect. I think to get started with what her premises are one could begin with something like "the biological teleology thesis," "the fundamental alternative thesis," and the "choice to live thesis," combined with something like Aristotelian essentialism gets us close to what she's trying to do. But to what Dreamweaver was saying, each one the those itself can be broken down into three or four sets of related claims, and so you don't really end up with a neat little bullet point format anyway. But it's clear that what she's trying to do is very similar to the projects of Anscombe, Foot, Hursthouse, Annas, and others in virtue ethics. What may interest you is the ARS put out this book particularly Wright and Khawaja's chapters will probably give you better answers than anyone on this forums. Metaethics, Egoism, and Virtue: Studies in Ayn Rand's Normative Theory https://g.co/kgs/uGFnJs Tara Smith at UT Austin also put out a book on Rand's metaethics that is designed to sketch through these claims too: Viable Values: A Study of Life as the Root and Reward of Morality https://g.co/kgs/QSo7Ku And then there is the "Aristotelian Alternative" interpretation taken by Wheeler, Rasmussen, Den Uyl, and others explained also by Long and Badhwar in her Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry that the cogency of Rand's can only be made sense of as a version of teleological eudaimonism: The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand https://g.co/kgs/Le2Kei https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/ayn-rand/#Ethi
  20. Except when she opposed Reagan? But that's not what she said, is it? But like, who cares? Your post is inventing reasons she never gave (her view was the assertion that Nixon stood for Western Civilization and McGovern did not.) That's not even an argument, it's an assertion. That's not objectivity, at least not in demonstrating reasons that would be able to convince someone. Secondly your post is a giant appeal to authority. The fact that Rand supported Nixon doesn't mean Rand supported the Republican party or that one always should, or that even if she said "always vote Republican because they're real patriotic!" why that would be a reason for anyone to do anything, especially if you were inclined to to believe that Rand was wrong about supprting Nixon in the first place?
  21. You understand you look silly because police do have to meet these thresholds and it does not in fact stop them from investigating and solving crimes? We've already argued for why there should be 4A. You're now arguing that whether or not what is in fact a reality could be a reality. As a handhold for you, to get back to reality, I might recommend calling your local police department and talking to a detective or patrolman and asking them how they do their work, or watch something like Homicide Hunter or The First 48 on TV. What you seem like right now is the former Soviet Union commissars that wondered how things can even operate in the west with all that freedom.
  22. Well let's just cut out "agreeing or disagreeing with Objectivism" because that isn't, or shouldn't be, even a question here. The thing is, there are a bunch of people that would move to the US, if they could. Should we restrict them or not? What political realities? Illegal immigrants can't vote. Legal immigrants have to wait 5 years before they can even apply for citizenship, and then they have to wait in line and pass an English and Civics exam. Then the data shows that foreign-born citizens vote less often than native-born citizens. The data also shows the foreign-born poor consume less entitlements than native-born poor. (The US entitlement system mostly is aimed at the elderly and corporations, not the poor anyway, but that's the side point.) So, really, what political reality are you talking about? You guys don't look at facts. There is no data that will convince you because you are convinced on other grounds.
  23. No, it's called thinking in terms of essentials and using what're called principles. For example: Observing people as they walk by versus stopping them. Typing a description into a computer versus opening someone's briefcase. Using binoculars to see across a field versus using an x-ray machine to see inside a bag. Using a dog to smell for explosives as people stand in line versus ordering someone to open up their trunk and getting the dog to track inside. Asking what do these various events have in common what is essential to them, and what differentiates them from each other, while disregarding every other particular detail. Using this method, you reach a single principle designated by the words I chose "passive versus active." Far from ad hoc, it is a conceptual statement that integrates a vast amount of information about all kinds of concrete cases. I have no doubt this eludes you. I have no doubt each of the above events seem disconnected and insular, and it seems totally arbitrary whether to endorse any one set of course of actions or policies from them. It seems unconnected to the principle of individual rights and you can't decide whether any of it meets that principle or not. Let's just have a hearing and we'll have to decide if it's "reasonable" and if we decide it's reasonable to stop every white male over six feet on the East End of London to determine whether they're Jack the Ripper on a Tuesday afternoon, then that's reasonable. That's because you're not thinking in terms of essentials or principles at all. And I'm afraid I have no desire to continue the discussion because I feel I've reached the point where we are just repeating ourselves and it has lost whatever usefulness it had.
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