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Boydstun

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  1. Clip from the fine film Love Letters (1945). Writer of screenplay - Ayn Rand. (The popular song of the same title was written that year and was played without the words in that film. In 1962 an adaptation of it recorded by Ketty Lester became a hit. I was 13. I like that recording very much.)
  2. Further Contrast of Quine and Rand/Peikoff – A In the post before the last two in this “Preparation” thread, I conveyed some of Quine’s case against a sharp divide between types of proposition designated by Logical Empiricists as analytic and those designated as synthetic. Additional elements in Quine’s case and comparison with Peikoff’s Objectivist case were conveyed in the thread "Peikoff's Dissertation" in the two posts Conventionalism VII and VIII. In the present post and and at least one following it, I’ll add to the comparison of Quine’s case for no analytic-synthetic bifurcation (N
  3. SL, I understand her to be saying that such power of refrainment that is had by some of the nonhuman animals is not deliberate and is not free. So the problem she sets for herself within the rest of the book is to draft a conception of all those refrainments and to set the human genre of them as alone being deliberate and free refrainments.
  4. “We do not need and should not want to have an openness in the flow of reality that consists in the possibility of our making decisions for which we can imagine no conceivable rationale. We do not therefore need the (incompatibilistically construed) power, in respect to each decision made, to have made the opposite decision. But we do need, if there is to be such a thing as agency at all, the general capacity to organize, order, and direct our lives in such a way that we thereby settle the particular details of what happens in those lives at the time at which we act (or decide to do something—
  5. Merlin, in the Index, under POWER: one-way, two-way. Maybe you can see pp. 155-56? It's looking to be a great book the more I see of it.
  6. I think 2046 has her right. “What I am calling the ‘Challenge from Chance’ has been formulated, over the years, in many different ways. The basic idea is that it is impossible to see how indeterminism could possibly provide us with anything that we might want in the way of freedom, anything that could really amount to control as opposed to an openness in the flow of reality that would constitute merely the injection of chance or randomness into the unfolding of the processes that underlie our activity. . . . “This worry, in one form or another, is present in an enormous number of com
  7. Of related interest: "A Metaphysics for Freedom argues that agency itself-and not merely the special, distinctively human variety of it-is incompatible with determinism. For determinism is threatened just as surely by the existence of powers which can be unproblematically accorded to many sorts of animals, as by the distinctively human powers on which the free will debate has tended to focus. Helen Steward suggests that a tendency to approach the question of free will solely through the issue of moral responsibility has obscured the fact that there is a quite different route to incompati
  8. Kant and the Foundations of Analytic Philosophy - Robert Hanna (Oxford 2001) Robert Hanna (Oxford 2001) From the publisher: “The rise of analytic philosophy decisively marked the end of the hundred-year dominance of Kant’s philosophy in Europe. But Hanna shows that the analytic tradition also emerged from Kant’s philosophy in the sense that its members were able to define and legitimate their ideas only by means of an intensive, extended engagement with, and a partial or complete rejection of, the Critical Philosophy. Hanna’s book therefore comprises both an interpretative study
  9. Let me join to this topic, some fine thoughts from Leonard Peikoff concerning Descartes' method in fundamental philosophy: first six minutes here.
  10. Sebastien, as you know, Rand distinguishes in “What Is Capitalism?” (1965) three contrasting views on what is the nature of value: Value is intrinsic in external things by themselves. Value is subjective, meaning only in the mind. Value is objective, meaning it is a relation between external things and a mind directing a life. In her “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology” (1969–70), Rand distinguishes three contrasting views on what is the nature of concepts: Concepts are perceptions of universals lying in external things intrinsically, lying in things inde
  11. Delighted to hear of your interest, Sebastien. Would surely like to see what you have to say on the Phenomenology.
  12. This is a sidebar, but I'd like to share this fascinating historical resource: Interviews of American Slaves These are interviews, in 1936-38, of formerly enslaved persons. These are elderly people who had been old enough at the time of emancipation to have memories of life under slavery and how things went with freedom. The experiences and the attitudes vary greatly. The transcripts of these interviews often try to capture the exact vocabulary and dialect of the persons interviewed. Some samples: Lizzie McCloud -- Arkansas Louisa Adams -- North Carolina Prince Bee --
  13. Standing on Love
  14. This rail calamity in Canada in 2013 made me remember right off the sequence of employee specifics leading to the fictional crash Rand had crafted.
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