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What is "Pancritical Rationalism"?

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To sum up the "Argument for:"

No, you don't start building a house from its foundations, you take a brick and you put it somewhere; make sure it doesn't stand anywhere in particular. In fact, make sure it's loose so that we can move it about and change the shape of the house whenever we find it necessary. Did I say "house?" Houses are too solid. And bricks are too hard. Make them out of gum... or jelly. Yes, jelly would be nice. It can be moulded in whatever way we want. And make sure it has no place to stand, but to remain at the same spot all the time. No, no need to make sure, just throw it there somewhere.

More fundamentally, make sure that A is not A, but that A is A. Make sure it is outside existence, but to exist. Make sure we can't comprehend it, but we can live by it.

Hey! Isn't that the hallmark of every dogma? :confused:

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As far as I can tell, there are six peaceful possibilities in how one can interact with this thread, none of them arduous.

1. Ignore it.

Of course, that is the only appropriate response and--as I stated in my first reply--that is exactly what I did in my own mind. Since this is a public forum dedicated to the study of Objectivism, it is appropriate to point out arbitrary objections/assertions for what they are. Sure there are people on this forum who are not "gung-ho Objectivists" but if they are honest, then they registered here in order to learn more about Objectivism, not some crackpot theory that has no relevance to their purpose. If this wasn't a moderated Objectivist study forum, then, of course, I wouldn't have a ground to stand on here. But if this weren't a moderated Objectivist forum, you wouldn't see me here.

Perhaps you are being sincere and you do intend to learn about Objectivism. I'll believe it when I see it. Until then, I'll leave this thread for "Objectivists who would appreciate any ideas coming their way which are coherently adjacent to rationalism, if only to strengthen their own philosophy in the face of challenge."

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What are the essential principles of pancritical rationalism?

How does pancritical rationalism differ from Kant's attempt -- in the Critique of Pure Reason -- to use his "Critical method" to reconcile empiricism and rationalism -- thus "saving" science (while limiting it) and making room for "belief" (faith)?

Why do you consider pancritical rationalism a threat to Objectivism?

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Both cases are thought provoking and worthy of taking a look at. I did a search for PCR in this forum but found no instance of it being discussed. What are your thoughts on it?

Okay, rather than getting bogged down in the question of whether transpancreatic rationalisationology has any detectable relationship to Objectivism, I'll just address this point directly. Given those two links, your claim is false. Neither document is interesting or thought provoking, and neither is worth taking a look at. I had to figure that out by reading the documents, so to spare others (except Bowzer who already piddled away a bunch of his time with :confused:), I'll just let others know that in my opinion, there is no reason to click either link, and even less reason to read what appears on the screen if you do accidentally click on the link. I think that might be the reason why you don't find any discussion of those guys. However, if anyone is interested, here are other essays along those lines.

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Hi source:

No, I don't think that is a good summation, nor is it a good analogy.

William Bartley: “[T]he claim that a rationalist need not commit himself even to argument is no claim that he will not or should not have strong convictions on which he is prepared to act. We can assume or be convinced of the truth of something without being committed to its truth.”

Although not perfect, a more congruent analogy would be something like building a solid foundation according to the best contemporary methods, then building a house on top of it, and living in the house with no worries for a presupposed indefinite amount of time (because we're not afraid of the unknown, right?). While living in the house, years later there is some discovery that helps in building better foundations. Although your house is still sufficient for your short-term needs, you find that the new method for building foundations simply works better for you in the long-run.

[1] House number one worked fine for a while, and there was no reason to assume otherwise.

[2] All while living in house number one, there was also no problem in ever holding latent thoughts that better methods for building foundations would come along in the future.

[3] You move to a house with a better foundation as it is discovered, and then you go back to the first step, plugging in subsequent numbers for "one."

My analogy of foundations of a house to the philosophical axioms wasn't the same in nature as your analogy. I said implicitly "every house has its foundations." You implicitly said "foundations of a house are made of something." I am stating an absolute, you are not. Foundations of a house can clearly be made of something, but also of something else. But the fact remains that each and every one of them has foundations, whether it is a house built on Earth or in Earth's orbit or on the third moon of Jupiter.

While your implicit statement implies the philosophical axioms (identified by AR), it is in no way related to philosophical questions, but rather to scientific/technical questions. The nature of philosophical axioms isn't technical. Axioms state the obvious and irrefutable. They are not arbitrary statements, nor are they a result of something more fundamental than them, because that goes against the definition of an axiom.

An axiom says "existence exists." There is no "research" you can do to find an axiom which is more "fundamental" than this. There is no basis for it, because to do so you must first assume that this is either false or isn't a fundamental, obvious, self-evident truth. In either way, you must ignore the fact that existence exists and try to prove something else about existence. You must step outside of existence, into the realm of non-existence to prove something about existence. That is an absurdity and that is exactly what this "Pancritical Rationalism" suggests. And this in effect is why you are taken so unseriously on the board: because you try to attack and refute the obvious by accepting it, as saying something contrary to the axioms is impossible without accepting them implicitly in the first place.

To finish this, let me just say that you can't reach an axiomatic conclusion. That is a contradiction in terms. Axioms can't be proved and can't be refuted. Try refuting one of the axioms of objectivism and I'll run rings around you (thanks to OPAR). I suggest you read OPAR too. It discusses axioms in chapter 1.

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It shouldn't be a threat to the validity of Objectivism, only perhaps its perceived eternal soundness, that's all.

Objectivism will always remain objectivism. Objectivism is the sum of things said by Ayn Rand. That and nothing more. Whether all of it is true or some of it is false or all of it is false, is another question entirely. Ayn Rand said she's given the tools to correct some of her own ideas if they happen to be wrong. But these ideas - even if they are wrong, will always remain part of Objectivism - because Objectivism is only that which Ayn Rand said it was. No more and no less.

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Instead of being viewed as a time waster, thoughtful Objectivists would probably approach this thread as a wonderful opportunity to knock down a serious threat to their philosophy.

June, you are wasting your valuable time attempting to address these issues here with most of these people. I previously pointed you to Chris Matthew Sciabarra, an academic who can truly do justice to these ideas on a level that they deserve. You can reach Chris through his web site at http://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/ and I am confident that you will find a level of communication with him that you will never find here. Please send him my warmest regards and let him know that I referred you.

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I was once an Objectivist myself...
Many years ago on a computer bulletin board system, I first encountered someone who claimed to be an ex-Objectivist. On the board, she advocated every socialist position. I spent some time thinking about this.

My final conclusion is that the claim is a lie. I believe that this socialist 15 years ago thought she was an Objectivist. But this is "Objectivist" in the sense of having read Rand's books and, without a real understanding of the concepts, dogmatically spewed them at every opportunity.

Inevitably, such people utter things like, "something simply came along and suggested..." I guess it's to be expected that someone who never understands a premise does not ever become certain about it, and is then merely waiting for the next thing to come along and "suggest" something.

No one is in a position to assume that the future judgment of an ObjectivismOnline.net member, given the memetic dynamics of fora, does not entail that he or she will eventually see Oism as an important stepping stone on the path of enlightenment.

Hmm, lessee... :P

This tongue-twister provides an example of many points.

1) "No one is in a position to assume that" -- The hallmark of the modern philosopher is an affect based on the assumption of the third-person voice (preferably passive voice, but I guess this case doesn't rise to the occasion)

2) "memetic dynamics of fora" -- that is absitively CLASSIC my dear Watson! :rolleyes:

3) "that he or she" -- feminist politically-correct tongue-twisting pandering (say THAT 20 times fast!)

4) "Oism as an important stepping stone" -- the affected false humility was designed to cover this one up: Ayn Rand was a mediocre mind who put forth a set of ideas that I am not mature enough to see are just the start. I HAVE GRADUATED FROM OBJECTIVISM TO SOMETHING HIGHER. MWUHAHAHAHA!!

All in one sentence. Truly amazing.

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Many years ago on a computer bulletin board system, I first encountered someone who claimed to be an ex-Objectivist.  On the board, she advocated every socialist position.  I spent some time thinking about this.

My final conclusion is that the claim is a lie.  I believe that this socialist 15 years ago thought she was an Objectivist.  But this is "Objectivist" in the sense of having read Rand's books and, without a real understanding of the concepts, dogmatically spewed them at every opportunity.

If you're implying something like "once an Objectivist, always an Objectivist", I would disagree emphatically. You're forgetting that people have free will. If a person, once focused and rational, chooses to evade reality habitually, they may well end up dropping a good philosophy in favor of a bad one. No amount of Objectivism can eradicate volition.

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As Stephen wisely pointed out, June is wasting her time with people like us since our intellects will never rise to the level required to understand phrases like "the memetics of dynamic fora." I have deleted her thread but collected some of the more interesting replies for keeping.

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As Stephen wisely pointed out, June is wasting her time with people like us since our intellects will never rise to the level required to understand phrases like "the memetics of dynamic fora."

And also, as benevolent Objectivists, we seek to put like-minded people in touch with each other. Since Sciabarra's hermeneutical approach to Ayn Rand deals explicitly with the synchronical and diachronical organic dialectical which transcends false alternatives, I thought it natural that June and Sciabarra should meet. Consider it as being my good deed for the day. ;)

As my wife is so fond of saying, in the long run you get the kind of friends and enemies that you deserve.

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It's unfortunate that we must still think in terms of friends and enemies.

You just don't get it, June. Whether it is the academic swill of a Sciabarra, or your evanescent Transhumanism, these are like an anathema to the rational philosophy of Objectivism. There is no "meeting of the minds" between Objectivism and utter nonsense. When a Sciabarra seeks to appropriate the value of Objectivism while simultaneously distorting its essence, or when you knock on our door and ask for rational discussion about irrational babble, we do not sanction either of you with our value.

Feel free to prance around in your Transhumanist garden all you like, but do not expect rational people to take your hogwash seriously. And, more than that, it is not that you just have some other philosophy about which we can debate, but rather that you destroy the very notion of philosophy with your bizarre spaced-out approach. Sciabarra attempts to destroy Objectivism from within, and you attempt to destroy it from without by bringing it down to the insanity level of your Transhumanist extropic singularity.

If you do not like us negating our enemies, or embracing our friends, then tough.

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Did you want me to give your post some attention?

No, June, it is you who wants attention. You continue to post here despite being told that your "ideas" are a bunch of nonsensical gobbledygook. You would like your extropian, transhumanist, reanimation, posthuman, mind uploading, post-singularity, traversable wormhole, ad infinitum garbage to be given attention, so you post here despite being told that it is all a bunch of crap. We don't bother you in your little transhumanist fantasy world, so why do you keep coming back to our world here, posting your bizarre rubbish? We have absolutely no need of you, so why do you so desperately need us? The answer is simple: You want attention; you want your litter to be treated seriously. You need to be validated outside of that vacuous world of postmodern slop that you live in. You want to be treated as a rational person with differing ideas, rather than as a pathological mystic. Sorry, June, the former world is ours. Yours is the latter. You will not get your validation here, and yet you keep coming back, desperately seeking what you cannot have. The only attention you have garnered is loathing, so why don't you just transport yourself back to Transhumanist Central and mingle with the posthumans and superintelligent machines, and leave us alone. You are not welcome here. We do not like you. Go away. Do not come back.

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Okay, Stephen, I'm leaving now. But I just want to say, it's not about the attention, because if it was, I could have also been a good Objectivist contributor to this forum; thus, increasing my acceptability and attention attainment. It's more like: I don't get a kick in the pants too often, and it is healthy every once in a while. ;)

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