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Boydstun last won the day on February 22

Boydstun had the most liked content!


About Boydstun

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    Stephen Boydstun
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  1. Interesting questions. I don't know. The four major contractors for SLS are linked here. I would bet this much: the rocketry that NASA is itself managing would be without commercial justification without the government funding for the scientific research the payloads make possible. Private companies also provide the rockets for Defense payloads such as USAF DSX and more secret earth-orbit craft. I don't know and do wonder how much of the money some private companies have for their own space projects is from private investment with hope of (non-governmental sourced) commercial returns and
  2. Hi Merlin, how are you feeling by now?

    I have gathered that the NIF google group has been disbanded. Do you know if they went to some other platform? 

    1. merjet


      My health has recovered for the most part. Having a dry mouth to this degree is no fun and the docs and my dentist say I will have it to some degree for the rest of my life. I lost >20 lbs. I've gained about 8 of it back and would be happy to stay at this weight.

      Activity on the NIF forum goes both down and up. It seems low now but not like a new norm.

    2. Boydstun


      Thanks for health update. Bummer on the irreversible symptom.

      The NIF thing is OK. I just wasn't able to google and find that group at all. I mean it was no longer showing up in a search. But Jim Henderson has now given me the exact address of it, and I've bookmarked it so I can check in there now and then.

    3. EC


      This looks like it was supposed to be a private conversation, but it shows up in "All Activity". Just a heads up that it's posted publicly some how. Not sure who's a mod now that could fix this problem.

  3. (Click on image.) This image displays the title and subsection titles of my paper to be published in The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies this July. I developed the metaphysics debuted in this paper over a period of about five years, working on it in the morning hours of each day, beginning before sunrise. An apt name for the resulting philosophy would be Resonant Existence. The image is a pre-dawn look out back at our place, a look to the east. On my way to coffee, I glance out as I’m saying to myself words from the Rig Veda: “So many days have not yet broken.” To those words, I import t
  4. Well, all right, you guys win. I'll not continue the serious topics I'd intended this thread for. Y'all have buried it, and such hard work is so easily buried, by your easy on-and-on snipping, side-bar trivia, and shallows. It's yours now.
  5. Doug, you can google that exactly. It's not on our subject area. References to CAUSALITY in my old journal Objectivity are a nice reference to have on hand in this thread. I'll use the modern example in that last subsidiary (but start at p. 188) of the entry shortly and bring forth what all Aristotle (d.322 BCE) and perhaps Theophrastus (d. 287 BCE) should say about it from within their framework. Likely also, what Aristotelians like Avicenna (d.1037) and Theodoric of Freiberg (d.1310) and Ockham (d.1347) should say about it. And of course what we moderns should say about all that.
  6. I don't pick up the sarcasm alleged above, and I don't care about it or my failure to pick it up. I appreciate the substantive remarks of 2046 concerning Aristotle's views. I appreciate the citations Merlin gave in Aristotle as well as links and questions entered by others in this thread. I forgot to mention another book I study (meaning, I think greatly helpful) concerning teleology (or "that for the sake of which") that I should have included in the post I quoted in this post: Allan Gotthelf's Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle's Biology (Oxford 2012).
  7. Yes, Binswanger's book The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts is very worthwhile. His treatment of teleology is narrowed to our modern usage of it in living organizations of matter, not the wider span and heritage for metaphysics down from Aristotle. The book I've been studying for some time and continue with at present, concerning Aristotle and intellectual descendants on teleology, is Monte Ransome Johnson's Aristotle on Teleology (Oxford 2005). It is so informative and delicious. He engages, by the way, what Lennox and Gotthelf had written in this area to 2005. A book I've
  8. Rand had it that saying well what a thing is, in its definition, is saying what is its essential nature. What is essential in a thing’s nature is a characteristic of the thing on which the greatest number of its distinctive characteristics depend. That fundamental characteristic is explanatory of the distinct kind of thing a thing is. Rand noted that when it comes to artifacts, such as furniture, the function of the object is part of the thing’s essential nature. It is essential to a life-jacket that it be buoyant and insoluble in water, for example. Those requirements driven by a certain
  9. Professional astronomy of the past led to discovery of mathematics that was useful not only for insight and understanding of astronomical phenomena then being explored, but useful later in other science and technology to this day. Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel (Celestial Mechanics and the Development of Mathematics - begin at five minutes- and applications, e.g., getting to the moon using less fuel, less money)
  10. In her book Matter, Form, Substance (Oxford 2018), Kathrin Koslicki has developed a contemporary defense of the Aristotelian doctrine of hylomorphism.
  11. Tony, this topic should not have been planted in the Metaphysics and Epistemology sector. This planting is hegemony of the political. The Ethics sector and the Politics sector are far more appropriate for location of this topic. Greg, could you relocate this thread out of this sector to one more appropriate, leaving this sector open for its authentic, appropriate topics, rather than its entries in metaphysics and epistemology being smothered and snuffed into invisibility by political topics?
  12. In his dissertation, Leonard Peikoff runs through various ways (compatible with each other) in which an Aristotelian can understand the following syllogism representing particulars in two different ways in its two premises. All A is B. (major) This is an A. (minor) Therefore, this is B. One of those ways is to see the major premise as about form separated from the particulars and to see the minor premise as about form in the matter of a particular. “This apprehension of form in matter which FOLLOWS the apprehension of the separated structure, is to be disting
  13. George Walsh - “If you talk about the glass merely in terms of the macroscopic level, then don’t you need some concept of ‘dispositions’?” Rand - “In what way? How?” Walsh - “Because the glass is not acting now, it’s not breaking into pieces.” Peikoff - “Well, what’s wrong with the Aristotelian concept of ‘potentiality’? An entity has the capacity to act because of its nature.” Walsh - “Well, the reason I was bringing this up was because I thought you rejected the concept of ‘potentiality’.” Rand - “No. . . .” Walsh - “I have memory or a misremembrance of someone
  14. Loujain al-Hathloul Is Released! (previously)
  15. Jonathan, this is a response to only part of your inquiry. I rather think that proceeding according to the principle that reason is the only source of knowledge and only proper guide to action entails contouring one’s hour-by-hour activities by one’s craft of one’s setting. We have deliberately decided not to have a smart phone. We don’t want that continual possibility for distraction, which we see among friends and family, and our stage of life (retirement) does not require we have one. My older sister, age 80, has opted to not introduce a computer into her life. We just write letters or
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