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Eiuol

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Eiuol last won the day on July 12

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About Eiuol

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  • Birthday 05/01/1989

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  • Experience with Objectivism
    Rand related: All major works. (Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Virtue of Selfishness, Atlas Shrugged, etc)

    Peikoff related: OPAR and three lecture series (Objectivism Through Induction, Understanding Objectivism, Unity in Ethics and Epistemology)

    Tara Smith related: Most things, including Viable Values and Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics.

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  1. I think many people overestimate what hardwired is supposed to mean, not to mention that there is a huge deal of disagreement about "innateness". It is heavily debated. As I explained to you before, that's a description of the bottom-up process. What you are criticizing is a pop science book, for (over)simplifying what can go on in the human mind. The author fails to describe how the feared thing is represented in the mind. He might believe the representation is innate, he might believe the representation comes about from learning. He might believe some combination of the two. Either way, the process he describes isn't wrong. Worst case, it's an incomplete explanation. What you quoted describes an automatic response. That would be something like a formal cause. If you ask how the response became automatic, you would get a very different answer. That would be something like an efficient cause. Getting back to the debate again, between innate and learned, I think as scientists learn more, it becomes clear that emotion-based representations of something as feared are in large part learned. You can take a look at this: https://www.childstudycenter-rutgers.com/research Quote Damasio for your definitions of his terms, not the interpretation of someone else. * I think this all connects to consciousness and self because this gets out how your self includes all of your mental life, even the parts that are habituated and automatized.
  2. I found some more information from the editor of the book: https://aynrandfromtheleft.wordpress.com/2020/07/ Most of it seems like really dense literary analysis with plenty of psychoanalytic methods.
  3. Yeah, I think that would make more sense when talking about consciousness, especially when we come to realize through more research that the brain isn't simply divided into a primitive brain and an advanced brain (it's not like the reptile amygdala can do as much as the human amygdala). On the other hand, top-down can reflect signals being sent literally from the top from your cortex on down, as would happen if you decide to wiggle your toe.
  4. The passage you quoted sounds like he was describing a bottom up process, where stimuli are gradually processed by afferent neurons in the nerve signals are sent to your spinal cord, up the brainstem, then spread out to the cerebellum and the rest of your brain. This isn't controversial, and very easy to observe by any neuroscientist when they look at neurons directly. By the sound of it, what he terms emotion is bottom up. As I recall, Damasio makes a distinction between feelings and emotions. It doesn't say anything about top-down processes, which undoubtedly exist, where signals are sent the opposite direction, through efferent neurons at the very end. Any cognitive psychologist like Damasio believes in top-down processes. You would be right if he was claiming that all brain processing is bottom up. That would be the thinking of a radical behaviorist probably, who effectively thinks everything is the result of bottom-up processing.
  5. They would be misinterpreting him. Damasio means that emotions precede reason in terms of neural development, and psychological development beginning as an infant. This isn't an epistemological claim about how one ought to think, as if we must depend upon emotions as a means to knowledge before we begin reasoning. Although a system of reasoning requires a system of emotions in terms of how the brain functions, it doesn't follow that emotions are of primary importance (and Damasio doesn't say that emotions are primary). The link you gave shows this basically. I don't think he's making any deeper claim than "emotions should not be ignored!". As a psychologist I disagree with some of his theory on the level of details, but his general idea is good.
  6. Depends on if the memories are recoverable. The idea about the entire history of conscious activity is that that entire history is connected. If you literally had no memory whatsoever of your past (knowing English, remembering how to ride a bike, knowing the fact Ayn Rand is from Russia, remembering your favorite book when you were five years old, how to read, etc.) and none of these things were recoverable (as could happen from a stroke that destroys part of your brain), you would not be yourself anymore. On the other hand, if those memories are recoverable (because the brain damage is not severe enough), you would still be yourself. I agree that there would still be a self after the irrecoverable and traumatic amnesia, but I will add that it is not the same self. It would be separate and distinct. A new history would begin once you woke up from whatever caused the memory loss. Same continuous history of conscious activity, so still the same self. Focusing on the history of a particular consciousness avoids the issues of having to ask if a new mental state is a completely new self. You don't ask if the Nile River is still the same Nile River as one hour ago, and in the same way, you don't ask if your stream of consciousness now is still the same stream of consciousness as one hour ago. Notice that you are talking about essentialism, or perhaps something like a substance. Is there a permanent "I"ness underlying your memories and your values? If we say that consciousness and self are activities, rather than an entity or a substance, then we have to say that there is no permanent "I"ness.
  7. I'm not sure this was covered yet. I think of consciousness as specifically general awareness with mental states. A process, as was mentioned before. Self in this context would be the entire history of that conscious activity. Memories of your life, history of mental states, cognitive development, things like that. A self would be more complex, because it requires directed thinking. A relatively simple consciousness like a beetle can be vaguely aware of things like the presence of food, but it doesn't direct its thinking in terms of values or memories.
  8. Those are fine, except Hurd. I'm not saying I have members though, and even if I did, I don't think resources would bring me closer to my goal of discussing social issues directly and wanting to implement changes on individual and local levels. When I say mental health by the way, I should have been more clear. I was thinking more about the effects of mental illness in terms of sociology and different views about mental illness out there in society. I wasn't thinking about mental health in terms of treatment. Treatment is connected, but not a focus or main interest.
  9. I'm not sure that this would be hypocrisy actually. This might sound like a nitpick, but bear with me and you'll see where I'm going. It isn't hypocritical to hold beliefs now that are inconsistent with prior beliefs. If someone underestimated the danger of viruses before, it makes sense that they wouldn't even have suggested wearing masks during the flu season. It would simply take a virus like covid to realize the dangers of illnesses for them to realize they were underestimating. Unfortunately, I think people often over correct so they may take the realization to an extreme and start seeing everything is more dangerous than before. Or they over correct the other direction, thinking that if covid isn't the end of the world, it must mean that the increased "danger" just reflects that viruses are actually less dangerous than previously believed. "We're all gonna die anyway, and you can dive so many things, so what difference does it make?" What I'm getting at is that hypocrisy isn't the issue here. To be sure, I've seen altruist arguments about different kinds of responses to covid, in either direction. The simple kind of altruism were you just say that there is a context-less duty to protect people. What I see is more a hazy obedience to some authority, and going along with it despite any hesitations and personal disagreement. That might be obedience to a vague authority that says if there is a problem in the world, governments must tackle it. Obedience to statism. It might be obedience to the idea that losing the status quo is equivalent to losing one's community, a kind of obedience to tradition. In either case, obedience is a hidden altruism because you can't see it on the surface. To resolve any conflict obedience produces (and when the stakes are high like with covid, I would be surprised if no one felt any conflict whatsoever), the easiest thing to do would be over correct in the way that I mentioned before. A more difficult thing to do is break away from any authority that tries to prescribe how to think and evaluate things individually. It probably isn't helpful to say, but the fact is I just move on. At least in the US, my freedom of movement is pretty good, but on the other hand, some businesses have closed that I will really miss and I think would have been okay if there were no mandates on how to run food businesses. It's unfair, but there is enough I still can do in life and in my community that I don't feel completely trapped.
  10. I don't know where you got that idea. I implied he leans libertarian. I even said the video is close to what I think.
  11. I don't believe this to be true, or at least it doesn't sound like you've taken enough time to understand why these things are an issue especially in the US. The reason I say that is because you didn't engage with what to replace their ideas with. You didn't engage with what I said about self empowerment, you didn't even engage about Malcolm X. As I was getting at earlier, to reach someone, you want them to be in a position to listen carefully. BLM might talk about race in an inappropriate or collectivistic way, but that doesn't mean there are no racial issues whatsoever. BLM might talk about policing being inherently racially biased and specifically targeting black people, but that doesn't mean that there are no police abuse issues that should be dealt with. BLM might talk about removing any kind of statue of anyone even remotely connected to slavery, but that doesn't mean there isn't some real issue about symbolism in the US (there is nothing honorable about a Confederate statue nor do they stand for values of the country). At the very least, you could develop specific antiracist arguments directed at the most vehement racist and that way you are at least dealing with race issues. I mean, I agree with this, I'm saying that it's important to start specifying what exactly to do. When you say: I think you are lost in the same idealistic clouds. That's my point. What would you do to change someone's mind? So I offered Malcolm X as a thinker that's important, a sort of transitionary thinker that even the people most stuck in an identity politics state of mind can begin to relate to what you're saying.
  12. One thing I would like more understanding and discussion about is applying Objectivist frames of thinking to more social issues where the government is not involved in any way, distinct from the usual discussion about what the government is doing but should not do. Related to that is that I am growing more interested in actively persuading people to think about various issues differently, talking about how to establish meaningful change for individual lives (mental health is a big topic to me). I'm not sure where to find other people with a similar activist frame of mind. Other than to create something myself, of course. If I don't find anything helpful for my goals, I will create something. Another interest is wanting a lot more about building on Oist epistemology and thinking about that, but my academic pursuits in psychology and philosophy fulfill that pretty well. The meaningful discussion I want about this involves the application of epistemology to psychological theory.
  13. I just told you that I don't want to talk about it, and then you talk about it. Do you have anything to say about changing minds like the point of the OP in relation to what I posted, or do you only want to complain about BLM?
  14. I agree there is a lot more to say, that what I wrote about that point isn't satisfactory for this thread especially. I'm referring to what Amy Peikoff says about it; I'm not claiming that a right to privacy is itself some special right. I'm thinking of it as some subordinate right, as in a specific application of rights in regard to privacy. In other words, using a drone to snoop on someone would violate rights to the extent that you are physically interfering with a person and how they choose to live their life. The controversy time referring to is the fact that I sea there is a very wide disagreement of what people would consider to be violations of rights when privacy is involved, at least among Objectivist-minded thinkers. The same is true of intellectual property.
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