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Found 13 results

  1. I have been trying to think of something useful that might come out of the impending election debacle, and realized that it can be a useful self-education experience. So I thought I would share. The superficial question is, of courser, who should I vote for in the presidential race? There are five actions that aren’t utterly beneath consideration: Trump, Biden, Jorgensen, not voting, and write-in (Leonard Peikoff). My specific answer is less interesting, what is more important is how I arrive at the answer. An important contextual fact is that Washington is a deep blue state and there is
  2. Introduction: By "epiphenomenonal" I do not mean those perfectly valid descriptions appropriate to the context of physics and biology to articulate those phenomena which can be termed non-primary insofar as their effects are correlated with some relevant primary effects, but are not suspected to be their cause (see: Epiphenomenon subsections "Medicine" and "Electromagnetism"). Instead I mean the usage common to materialist theories of mind, i.e. the doctrine that consciousness exists, but is fundamentally acausal in the physical sense (as though there could exist some rupture between phys
  3. This should probably be in Laboratory section, but I haven't found a way to post there, so I am posting to the next most related forum, which is one concerned with epistemology and metaphysics. I've recently been fascinated by David Kelley's philosophy of mind described in Diana Mertz Hsieh's "Mind in Objectivism: A Survey of Objectivist Commentary on Philosophy of Mind" (2003). Here is an excerpt: The idea of upward and downward causation in terms of brain-consciousness interface is really interesting and, I think, can be applied to a deeper understanding of epistemology. It would be
  4. In the recently published "A Companion to Ayn Rand", in chapter 12, Gregory Salmieri takes on the task, and successfully so, of exploring and summarizing (with clarity and accuracy) Rand's Objectivist Epistemology. At page 293 Dr. Salmieri discusses "Rand's rule of fundamentality" and her concept of "essential characteristics" and the related concept of an existent's "kind": "The "essential characteristic" is the one "without which the units would not be the kind of existents they are" (42). Rand reinterprets this traditional Aristotelian idea in light of her view that concept
  5. On the next episode of Philosophy in Action Radio, I will answer questions on the good in American culture, romance between an atheist and a believer, the limits of humor, and more. This episode of internet radio airs on Sunday morning, 30 December 2012, at 8 PT / 9 MT / 10 CT / 11 ET in our live studio. If you miss that live broadcast, you can listen to the podcast later. This week's questions are: Question 1: The Good in American Culture: How is American culture better today better than people think? I've heard lots of depressing claims about the abysmal state of American culture lat
  6. As of late, most conversations about politics have led me to believe there is something severely wrong in the way people think about politics. Most conversations involve two or more people who have spent hours and hours reading material that argues for their narrative or policy. These websites, books, and documentaries present facts and arguments that support their ideas. After having read the material of various groups I have found that a lot of this propaganda is actually very convincing. What I mean by this is not that they are right, but that I could imagine myself writing a character in a
  7. What is value? Value is an abstract concept. A value as such is a place within a particular hierarchy. To value something is to judge where within a particular hierarchy a particular thing is. Ayn Rand asserted that a value is that which one acts to gain or keep however she confuses “value” here with a few other concepts. Her confusion is innocent however ironic. I say it is ironic because it was she who discovered precisely how to define a concept. “When in doubt about the meaning or the definition of a concept, the best method of clarification is to look for its referents-i.e., to ask
  8. The Rationally Selfish Webcast has a new name and new web site: Philosophy in Action! (The web site won't be available until the morning of the webcast.) Here's this week's announcement. I hope to see you on Sunday morning! — DMH In my live "Philosophy in Action" Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on the morality of working for a minister, giving away unhealthy food, voting for horrible politicians, celebrating holidays, and more. Please join us for this hour of lively discussion, where we'll apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous, happy, and free l
  9. Virtually everyone today considers himself to be rational. Reason was discovered and invented by the Greeks 2600 years ago, and few serious thinkers -- historically and currently -- reject reason to any considerable degree. But just because essentially everybody fancies himself to possess rational beliefs, and to manifest rational behaviors, doesn't make it so. Irrationality is rife throughout human society, culture, history, and philosophy. A person isn't rational if he holds a profound or wide-ranging skepticism about the power of the human mind to comprehend reality, or to generate a me
  10. Where does epistemology end and where does metaphysics start? Also what counts as philosophy of science and what does not, and what can be used to define the scientific method or science and what not? that would be all ty
  11. Can you name some that you've tried and have had actual success with them? I wouldn't say caffeine actually accelerates concept-formation per se; I would argue that it simply speeds up the thinking that has already been done in the past (remembering something, performing some mental operation etc.). Besides caffeine, the only other thing that I could really call a nootropic (and one that actually did help with my learning), and which can be the first entry of this list, is: 1. Creatine 2. Care to add any of your own?
  12. What is the Epistemological ground for believing the universal validity of the basic laws of logic (Identity, Non-Contradiction, Excluded Middle). How does one properly validate that "A is A", universally? Can one know that it is true universally or is it only possible to know it about that which one has perceived? If it is only possible to know it concerning that which has been perceived, then how can one know that "contradictions do not exist"? I do not question the validity of logic. However, the ground upon which one validates an idea is crucially important and it seems that Objectivis
  13. On Objectivity -- The Method of Thought By Thomas M. Miovas, Jr. 04/06/2012 I just finished re-reading the chapter in “Objectivism: The philosophy of Ayn Rand” by Leonard Peikoff on “Objectivity” and this essay concerns that topic in a shortened form. Dr. Peikoff says that objectivity at root is a relationship between man’s mind and existence with regard to knowledge, neither coming only from reality (intrinsicism) nor coming only from man’s consciousness (subjectivism) – it is a relationship between the facts and consciousness necessitated by the fact that man has no automatic fo
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