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patrik 7-2321

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  1. Objectivism is all about definitions. A word as commonly used by Ayn Rand as "characteristic" surely can´t be without definition. Because if that was the case, the philosophy would collapse like a house of cards. And I don´t think that is likely.
  2. Since the search-function is now back: I could find this thread called Properties and Characteristics In there Grames defines "characteristic" as a Dynamic and relational attribute. I can add that I take "relational" to mean something that exists because of a relationship between entities. (Definition from "thefreedictionary.com" Relational(adj): Of or arising from kinship) And "dynamic" is something that changes. (Definition from "thefreedictionary.com" Dynamic(adj): Of or relating to energy or to objects in motion) So in other words a characteristic is an attribute which exists because of; and changes according to; a relationship. Thoughts on this?
  3. Hi gripple I think JMeganSnow just wanted you to explain why you think of yourself as an Objectivist. So why are you an Objectivist? Generally the definition of an Objectivist is a person who understands the fundamentals of the philosophy and practice them.
  4. The first chapter left me with no less than 11 questions: Go ahead if you think you know the answer. Why is it enough to observe only one causal process to conceptualize it, when to conceptualize a normal concept takes two or more units? I was expecting him to say you need two or more causal processes. Why this difference? What is a causal connection? How would you define it? Are ALL generalizations (All S is P) statements of causal connection? (pg. 21) Even the ones that generalize about a specific thing´s color for, example “All swans are white”? To deny a conclusion that follows necessarily from deduction is to deny a generalization, he says. (pg. 31) Does that mean you are denying a premise, or a new “product” of the deduction? To deny a conclusion that follows necessarily from induction is to deny all your knowledge. (pg. 31) How can the conclusion follow necessarily? (There should have been a concrete example of this) How can you deny all your knowledge by denying the conclusion? Is the generalization ”All swans are white” properly or improperly made in the example? (pg. 8) Is it disproven or not when a black swan appears? At page 18 the book seems to say sometimes you need certain generalizations to reach or be able to form certain concepts, is that true? “New instances are conceptualized i.e., placed under the appropriate concept, as and when they are encountered” This seems to say that to conceptualize (to induce) is to place new instances under an appropriate concept, which is just like Ayn Rand´s description of deduction in ITOE (pg. 28): “The process of subsuming new instances under a known concept is, in essence, a process of deduction.” Why do I think I´m looking at a contradiction here? (Which I hope I´m not) Are all first-level generalizations really built from first-level concepts? Do they have to be? Why? (pg. 19) Did he miss underlining (or italicalizing) two actions on the bottom of page 23, or did he have some kind of point in only doing it to the other two? Why can´t induction be reduced to the formalism of symbols, and what does that mean? (pg. 35)
  5. No Mindy that´s a correct quote. You said: We do! Wolves and Men are different kinds of animals. That´s how we know they are different in our context. Thought experiment: You could say we know they´re different because one has fur and the other doesn´t. But that´s to ignore the fact that we identify these things in an adult context, and a distinction based on fur is not sufficient to separate the two. (Ever heard about a disease some people have that makes them covered in fur? (Hypertrichosis), or ever heard about animals having a disease that makes them lose their fur (Alopecia)? Does that change the essential nature of the animal?) The essential difference between men and wolves is that one has a very special conciousness while the other doesn´t. Other things differ too, but that is the most essential differece which serves to separate them even in the broadest context, so that you can identify them when and if you see them, despite for example diseases. We differentiate them on the basis of their conciousness. And conciousness presupposes that they are both animals. This I don´t really kow the answer to but my guess is that it´s correct. Because how would you otherwise come up with the concept "man"? There would then have to be some other thing with rationality to differentiate from. No, men are differentiated from animals because they themselves are animals with an additional very unique distinguishing characteristic. (I just wanted to add that of course we start out by recognizing that men and wolves are different because of fur and shape and so on. And then later we build on that distinction between them when we find even more differences. So no, we don´t know from the beginning that wolves and men are different because they are both animals - but we do so now. context!)
  6. I found something useful: Page 15 ITOE: "Attributes cannot exist by themselves, they are merely the characteristics of entities; ..." So if you were to define "attribute" the genus would be "characteristic". A connection between the two at least.
  7. I´ve read the first chapter and I really like it so far. The introductions were great and the first chapter I´m still chewing on but it has really "expanded" my mind as to what is possible in thinking really. I think this book will be really valuable for my education overall. I´ll post more about it as I go on. What´s your opinion on the book, does it live up to your expectations? How? Does it have any flaws or anything you disagree with? Talk about it!
  8. Oh. Right-click n download. Well it was, cool.
  9. This concept appears everywhere in Objectivist litterature but I can´t find a definition for it from any Objectivists. So could you help me understand it better? I understand what an attribute is. It´s an entity viewed from a certain perspective. It´s an existent which can´t exist by itself but as an aspect of an entity. Now this is pretty much the working definition I´ve been using when reading the word "characteristic" but I´m starting to realize it´s used for a reason, i.e it isn´t a precise synonym for "attribute", so what does it mean?
  10. I thought the answer to this was a little unclear. The robot can act to gain and/or keep things since it can move around. But does that mean that it can pursue values? No. Because values have to be acted on to be attained by living things, thereby they are values, and the robot is not a living thing. There I think your full answer is.
  11. Ok thanks for the advice all of you. I have a better idea of what a concept is now. I'm interested in this. Would an example of a bad concept be like Peikoff's encirclist-example in OPAR? It is properly a concept, but it's a bad concept, because it's integrated by non-essentials(?). I don't quite understand what is meant by a 'non-essential' btw. if someone wants to explain that. The explanations avaliable are quite vague on that point. I personally don't think the term "encirclist" that LP describes is TOTALLY crazy, I wonder why I don't and he does... And a new question: I don't understand the comparison between concept-formation and algebra that appears in both OPAR and ITOE. It is said to be "more than a mere comparison" but I can't see how it is. An algebraic equation represents a quantitative a relationship between variables. A concept represents entities of a certain kind. Where's the grandiose connection here?
  12. Let me put it this way then. (Btw. I'm not interested in any physiological aspects of concepts at this point) How do you know that what you are dealing with, when you use words, are concepts the way Rand saw them and not just a random hash of memories and emotions? I just want to know whether I'm understanding her correctly. Up until now I've been reading ITOE thinking that I "kinda know" what she meant by "Mental Integration" and "Blending of units" but now I want to get it more precisely. Now I think of it like this: The product of concept-formation is a "mental state" (From the appendix, ITOE), a phenomenon of conciousness, or simply something that you are aware of in your mind as a unit of some sort. And that something is what we use words to represent. It is like giving a name to a similarity itself, after having seen it in two or more units. So forming a concept is like giving a name to a similarity, a certain regognition that you've made (of quantitative differences within a range, with measurements omitted), and retaining and using that recognition by means of a word and definition. So it can also be said to be like storing, in your memory, similarities which you've obvserved in reality. So a concept is like a stored past observation(s). The product of concept-formation must thus be a type of stored observation which you can access in your memory and handle like a unit, and apply to reality (and to introspection) properly whenever that type of observation is made again. Do you veterans agree here or do you see some fatal flaw in my description of what a concept is?
  13. No not all the way. I'm essentially asking: what is that product and how do I locate it? (Or see/identify/become aware of it.)
  14. "the integration is the resulting sum" But what is that? That's what I'm asking.
  15. "A concept is a mental integration of two or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s), with their particular measurements omitted." -ITOE A concept thus is a mental integration. But what does Ayn Rand mean here by mental integration? If we take mental integration here to mean the process by which you integrate existents into concepts (the verb) then that makes a concept a process. But, as she says later in the Appendix: a concept is not a process. So, simply, this is my confusion (based on what what people have been telling me in the chat): Concept = Mental Integration = A Process But Concept =/= A Process What's the solution? There has to be some meaning to the word "integration", as a noun, in the definition of what a concept is in ITOE. What is that meaning? What is a mental integration?
  16. Always the same sad story with these discussions. They start by asking some fundamental question, then people realize that there is confusion because noone understands the basic physics concepts, then the dubject is dropped and it turns into a contest of algebra skills.
  17. Looks like I'm off to Greece for about a week's vacation. Any suggestions on what to see or do there? What would you do?
  18. www.rsdnation.com (A site full of dating advice for men. Has philosophic discussions, and most regulars on the forum has read Ayn Rand's novels. There are some Objectivists there.) Maybe half of it is completely bizarre but there are some gems here and there to get fom it.
  19. I can't really answer your main question but I listened to your channel and I think you're quite good. The next step for you I think would be to buy (for example) Pro Tools with an Mbox and fool around with it every day and continue making more and more professional sounding music. Until you can put it up on the internet, and just show it as much as possible. Take this guy for example. Probably a guy who just started off at home recording stuff and has become quite talanted: http://www.youtube.com/user/NxSGMusic He's making music in some form of program systematically and marketing himself a bit. He's showing he's creative by adding pictures and stuff. I think that's the kind of route you could go to get "discovered" eventually if that's what you want.
  20. Your discussion doesn't make much sense to me. I'll tell you what I have so far: I think we can at least establish that a force exists as an action, and the cause of that action is the entity which acts and exerts the force. This has to be so since causality is a corollary of identity, remember? And I quote OPAR, page 16: So in reality a force is an action nessecarily inseparable from the nature of a specific entity, that causes another entity to accelerate. If you don't think this is the case, you would have to say forces are something other than actions. Now since causality is a corollary of identity the entity has to be the cause. You who argue that forces cause, aren't you arguing for floating actions, bypassing entites? I think it's like this; observing a force is to apply a conceptual perspective. In reality you only see things move and influence each other. A force itself is just an abstracted action that in reality is an entity looked at from a certain perspective. For example: An animal and a human looks at a person jump up and down once. They would see the same thing but the human would agree to having seen "a jump", while the animal would just have seen the person doing something. We can abstract actions, so isn't that what we're doing with the concept force? We can see things influence the movement of other things, and abstract the act of influence itself. Therefore I conclude: A force is an external cause of an entity's acceleration. And in reality that cause has to be another entity. (Remember that the concept force is needed in order to define the concept mass, so you can't really argue that forces exist as momentum changes, because momentum change involves mass, which builds on force, which makes your definition circular) Forces are influences that cause acceleration, influences are actions, actions are what entities do and do not exist by themselves, therefore in reality entities cause acceleration and not forces. However it is a useful conceptual tool to sometimes speak of forces as if they were "floating actions" when working out the machanics of a system. You can add to this; the fact that all forces exist as pairs, and the above is still true. Did I nail it there?
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