Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

ewv

Regulars
  • Content Count

    91
  • Joined

  • Last visited

About ewv

  • Rank
    Junior Member

Previous Fields

  • Country
    Not Specified
  • State (US/Canadian)
    Not Specified
  1. It's good to see so much common sense rejection of this fad about a UN plot, but one of its effects is as a distraction diverting attention from the very real problems of assaults on property rights in this country and the actual causes of them. They have already been experienced for decades and are still growing under a similar banner of preservationism, 'sustainability', government controlled 'smart growth', etc. It certainly exists, but to blame this on a UN plot is to reverse cause and effect. The ideology, its legal authority and policitical momentum have come from 'mainstream' viro pr
  2. Nor is that belligerent misrepresentation what I did. I understand that you were using a short-hand when you said "Rationality is in the definition" but you do not understand its role in the formation of the (adult) concept and in the definition. That, not parts of speech, is what the paragraph was about. You misstated that the attribute of reason is included because of "mode of living and means of survival" and had also previously incorrectly stated and claimed to deduce that "The concept of rationality is not necessary to form the concept of man. Therefore it cannot be necessary for ration
  3. Good for you! Keep at it. I realize you have been through it to some extent at least once already. You will get something new out of IOE every time you read it, and going back over it many times and thinking about different aspects in between is a requirement to get the kind of understanding you seek.
  4. "Rationality" is not the distinguishing characteristic in the definition, which is "rational animal", meaning having the faculty of reason. And that attribute is not selected because it is our "mode of living and means of survival" (although that is a true statement), it is selected because it is the kind of consciousness we have that explains what we can do in contrast to all other animals; it is the fundamental characteristic that distinguishes us from them: This attribute is essential for the concept, it is not "additional knowledge". The definition of man is not and there is no requi
  5. [continued] You do not have a choice to include "one unit in a million that does not have that attribute" among undefined "decent candidates". The attributes that are essential characteristics must be possessed by the units to be subsumed by the concept in accordance with the "basic principle of concept-formation". This is not a matter of pragmatically including "some freak cases" as "far more useful". Pragmatists may attempt do that, but it is not in accordance with Objectivist epistemology. There are legitimate means of dealing with borderline or other "freak" or aberrant cases, or t
  6. We do not simply "want" to group "a million units" we happen to "have". Concept formation is not arbitrary set membership of elements like a bag of marbles where you can throw anything else into the bag for any purpose or arbitrarily. The units selected must share commensurable attributes, and be selected for grouping for an objective cognitive purpose in accordance with essential characteristic(s) and following the principle of mental "unit economy". The units referred to by the concept are open-ended: the concept refers to all units that are, ever were, or ever will be in accordance with
  7. The concept of man most certainly does refer to rational animals and only rational animals; As the essential characteristic, "rational", i.e., possessing the faculty of reason, is not "dispensable". (And if rationality were not known as the essential characteristic then the issue of classifying non-rational creatures would not have come up as a "problem" and there would have been no alleged need for a proposed "solution" to change IOE to no longer require the essential characteristic for a so-called "broken" unit.) The chronological process by which one forms concepts and expands his know
  8. The article claims to deal with so-called broken units, not "broken concepts" which prior to this no one had invoked, but in this additional sense there are certainly plenty of "broken concepts" in this thread too -- sometimes, more fundamentally, stolen concepts. If the essential characteristic is missing, then it is missing, and the unit is therefore out of the group at that level of abstraction. You can identify other things in common that you know about the unit regardless of the missing essential characteristic, but making use of it conceptually occurs at a higher level of abs
  9. This will teach you to leave home without the Objectivism Research CD on your laptop! Yes, that discussion is in chapter 5, Definitions, with more on chronological vs. epistemological development in the appendix on the seminars. But it's too much to quote here. You are referring to the "rule of fundamentality", how to pick the "essential distinguishing characteristic" when there is more than one characteristic in common. It is essential in that it makes the rest possible, but that in turn presupposes that all the units have the characteristics to start with -- that too is essential:
  10. Correct, it is not a matter of how often these situations come up. No, if it's a referent then it is, more loosely, "a part of" the concept. They are the same thing. The example you give of the lunatic could be a borderline case. You would have to be more specific. Does he function mentally at all? Is it temporary insanity? Are you specifically referring to the same man across time, or in accordance with his condition within a specific time frame singled out? How you deal with it also depends on the context in which it comes up. A specialized technical theory focused on genet
  11. Contexts aren't true or false, they simply are, and higher levels of abstraction are not degrees of truth or falsehood -- I don't know what any of that was intended to mean. When you have a derivative concept like "broken" it depends on a more basic concept from which you start. There has to be something you are talking about which has changed, broken, etc. or there is nothing to talk about. Without a concept of the normal, the abnormal never comes up. You can conceptualize exceptions, aberrations, etc., and classify them for specific cognitive purposes, but they cannot contradict what y
  12. It sure does in the base concept.
  13. Don't let this degenerate into a discussion of epistemology!!! I responded, before immediately returning to the subject, to this: -- a condescending appeal to something other than any discussion of the content of the article in question, nevertheless revived here. The topic is the article on epistemology. I think that as a fairly recent business school graduate who writes, apparently primarily, political articles, he does have a lot of potential and a promising future, and that his article on "broken units", despite its major errors, indicates that. He is a very good writer and o
  14. Atlas51184's "amounts to" is his own repeated misrepresentation of Stephen's statement, with or without the rest of the context of Stephen's statements that Atlas51184 continues to ignore and which further contradicts Atlas51184's false restatement. Even selectively taken out of context, as he has done here, the statement that 'an entity that lacks the essential characteristic used in forming a concept is not the meaning of that concept' obviously does not mean or imply that a concept is being "equated with its definition". Claiming that it "amounts to that" is a gratuitous restatement with
  15. The context, being your statements, makes it clear that it is you. You are replacing Ayn Rand's explanation of objectivity in concept formation with "broken" as "the key". That is not an elucidation, it is a replacement contradicting her explanation. It is not what she described as essence being contextual. There is no evidence whatsoever that she just "didn't bother to tell us" that she was really invoking "broken units". You can believe anything you want to, but it is not Objectivism and should not be presented as such.
×
×
  • Create New...