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Nate T.

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Everything posted by Nate T.

  1. Thanks for the responses, everyone. First of all, Betsy, I really like the idea that memory is a type of perceptual function. In that sense, would it be correct to state that a denial of the validity of memory would be, in effect, a denial of the validity of sense perception, which is concept stealing? David, your guess is right-- I'll try to quote things directly next time, but I didn't have the book with me. I remember something else in Peikoff's paper about the Analytic/Synthetic dichotomy that might be relevant here, something about a strict adherent of the Analytic/Synthetic dichotomy who calls into question the validity of memory in order to attack concepts; quote to come later. In any case, I like your "branch" example of how one would come to form the concept of "Memory", but I was more addressing the fact that we seem to rely upon memory to form concepts. I guess the questions that I'm asking (of everyone) are: is having a valid memory a necessary condition for forming concepts? If so, does this make "Memory" a concept which is implicit in all others (like "existence" or "consciousness"), or does it give "Memory" some other special status?
  2. Something I've been thinking about for a while: I've just finished a fairly thorough reading of IOE, and nowhere in it does Rand seriously address the concept of memory and how it fits into the development of Objectivist Epistemology. The only part I can think of (off the top of my head) is in the workshops where Rand mentions that if a collection of referents forming the meaning of some concept were to disappear somehow, that the referents of the concept would still exist as memories. In any case, holding a chain of reasoning in your mind requires a working memory. As such, I'm pretty sure that we can dismiss attacking one's memory as a stolen concept fallacy. Does this show that we need to hold memory as axiomatic? If so, does this affect the development of Epistemology in some way? Also, since I haven't read very much of Rand's formal philosophy, I'm not sure if she addresses this elsewhere. If she does, can someone please point me to a source?
  3. Hi Stephen, I certainly don't object to a definition of a "beginnning of time" in a technical sense, but as you mention, the term is being thrown around far too cavalierly, and can create misunderstandings of the "The Big bang Theory proves that God exists" type. I'm in my last year at Knox College, but right now I'm studying abroad. I'm enjoying my education immensely; there are so many interesting classes and not nearly enough time. Mostly I'm interested in Analysis, but I've recently become interested in studying convex polygons as well.
  4. The 'it' in this phrase is supposed to refer to the beginning of time. Sorry for any confusion.
  5. Hello, Mr. Speicher Of course, I did not mean to imply that the idea of Big Bang as creation ex nihilo was not historically relevant, nor that it isn't held widely, nor that most cosmological theories incorporate the idea in one way or another. I'm just wondering whether these theories are justified in speaking of a "beginning of time", or whether it can be usefully described by any theory which is grounded in experimental verification. Also, it was always my understanding that a "beginning of time" is a self-contradiction, an instance of concept-stealing. Is this correct?
  6. Hi, jedymastyr, Thanks for the sources! Well, I figured that I'd better learn the stuff in order, and everything I've heard says that Metaphysics and Epistemology comes first. Nope, I haven't heard about any of this-- and I'll be sure to check it out!
  7. Hello, erandror, Thanks, glad to be here! I've read most of the fiction (AS, FH, WTL, Anthem), and have gone through the second edition of IOE in detail-- I think I have a pretty good understanding of it. As such, I think I have Metaphysics and Epistemology down. I know the rough theory behind Ayn Rand's Ethics and Politics (from the Galt speech and secondhand sources), but I'm far from understanding any of it. I know just about nothing of her Esthetics. I agree with you that reading Rand's original texts is the best thing to do-- in retrospect I didn't understand Objectivist Metaphysics and Epistemology at all until I picked up and read IOE carefully. I'm studying abroad right now, and one of the first things that I'm going to do when I get back to the States is to buy VOS and CUI. Any recommendations about what I can do in the meantime?
  8. Hello, Mr. Speicher, I've read some of your posts, and you seem to know much more about physics in general than I do at this point. That being said, I was under the impression that the Big Bang model made no prediction of a literal "Big bang", since the theory breaks down. Therefore it would be erroneous to state that the Big bang model posits creation ex nihilo, since the theory itself does not address the "moment of creation," as it were. Moreover, I assumed that physicists refer to the "Big Bang" as an ideal event, not one which can be described through formal theory. Are these views false? If not, isn't it then disingenuous for cosmologists to state as fact things like 'the universe was created from nothing in a big bang?'
  9. Hello everyone! I'm a math major in Illinois, was raised christian, and found out about Objectivism a few years ago. Since then, I've come to realize that it's by far the most correct philosophy that I've ever seen-- it filled in and explained many "gut reactions" that I've always held implicitly but never named. I'm pretty familiar with and understand IOE pretty well, but I haven't read any of Rand's Ethics/Politics first hand. However, what I've seen from secondary sources I agree with completely. I've been lurking here for a little while, and a post in the Metaphysics/Epistemology section really caught my eye, so I posted there. I'm really excited to be a member here-- it looks like a great place to come to deepen one's understanding of philosophy.
  10. You shouldn't infer this. In fact, I am an atheist, and I believe that the universe does have a purpose, only not to a mysterious God, but to me. See above. I've done it quite easily. How's that? Purpose to whom? I use everything that exists around me for the purpose of living my life and flourishing. I don't find that illogical. Why? Where is this fact coming from? The Big Bang hypothesis, taken literally, states that at one point in time, everything in the universe was very, very close together and very hot. I'm not sure how you get the existence of God from that. Why does mass have to "come from" anywhere? Who said anything about the universe being "created" in a "bang"? Yep. Except the implicit assumption about everything needing a creator, of course. Why can't I claim that man's purpose is to glorify the Martians orbiting Earth right now, whether you believe in their existence or not? Well, that certainly isn't my goal. My goal is to live my life the best that I can.
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