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Primacy of Nature Over Reason

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Steve-n
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Yet, the programming of instant reactions occurred at a specific time. What about situations occurring prior to that programming? Man does not have a programmed-by-reason response to all split-second situations he may find himself in.

Situations that occur prior to the programing, you are usually a child and are saved by the reason of your parents, otherwise they would most likely die.

No contradiction. The decider and the doer are the human being. The human being has free will. And all the choices he makes will be according to his nature. No entity exists apart from the flesh and blood human being that can either have free will or lack it, that can obey/disobey its nature. No ghost in the machine.

I never said there was a ghost in the machine. My holding that I have a "self" in no way requires that the "self" is a separate entity from a human. It is a conceptual distinction.

You have a powerful story. Others who have been suicidal and made full recoveries have never heard of the Fountainhead. The capacity for change was in your nature, the Fountainhead served as a catalyst.

Don't patronize me. The Fountainhead is not the only thing out there that is based on a reasonable system. There are other things out there that rest on a rational framework. I should have rephrased that statement, you are right, the Fountainhead was a catalyst, but Objectivism is what saved me.

The law of identity states A is A. Let's say A is Adam. Adam is Adam. He has a certain nature. He can only act according to it. If he acted otherwise, he would not be Adam.

exactly.....he would be dead.

I'm glad you find conceptual understanding fulfilling. I prefer the taste of an orange to the concept of delicious.

I thought there is no you, then what is preferring?

I enjoy sharing my perspective.

What enjoys sharing?

If you see that your reasoning mind is part of nature then it is obvious that nature has been taking care of you all along. Reasoning is just one of the ways.

Reason exists within nature, nature is a distinctive existent within existence. Reason is the best way of taking care of life. Our "life" would not exist if not for reason.

I can see now that this thing on the computer keeps jumping from a metaphysical context to an epistemological one. Therefore there is nothing more to be said. It must just be a virus on my computer cause its trying to tell me it doesn't exist.

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Alright, Lisa or anyone else. Since I'm supposedly evasive, unclear and missing the key points, let's make this real simple. If you are actually seeking clarification, then please state what are the "stumping propositions" that I've ignored. Please list them all in a single post (you can copy&paste) and I can address them one by one. Cannot be anymore clear than that.

You've even misunderstood the things you did address. You seem to think nature = reality and reason = consciousness, thus you're trying to argue why primacy of consciousness is wrong (which it is, but you reveal a misunderstanding of many other things in your arguments). It's too much work to go through your many many subtle misunderstandings which end up as a tangled mess. There is no use arguing if you require a more solid foundation of thought in the first place. I don't intend to respond to you if you answer this, I just don't know why this thread won't die.

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Situations that occur prior to the programing, you are usually a child and are saved by the reason of your parents, otherwise they would most likely die.

A significant amount of learning occurs before the development of the reasoning mind. And even after the reasoning mind is developed, most "programming" of an individual is subconscious.

I never said there was a ghost in the machine. My holding that I have a "self" in no way requires that the "self" is a separate entity from a human. It is a conceptual distinction.

Your posts imply the perspective of a ghost in the machine, even if you never said the directly. For man to be able to act against his nature as you claim to have done, then there is must be a part of himself that exists apart from his nature.

Don't patronize me. The Fountainhead is not the only thing out there that is based on a reasonable system. There are other things out there that rest on a rational framework. I should have rephrased that statement, you are right, the Fountainhead was a catalyst, but Objectivism is what saved me.

Was not patronizing you.

exactly.....he would be dead.

He could never act against his nature. As I've explained.

I thought there is no you, then what is preferring?

What enjoys sharing?

I have preferences. I exist as an individual. I the human being exist. I have never said otherwise. What I was negating was the "ghost in the machine" which your posts are written from the perspective of.

Reason exists within nature, nature is a distinctive existent within existence. Reason is the best way of taking care of life. Our "life" would not exist if not for reason.

A lot is occurring outside your reason to keep you alive and take care of your life.

I can see now that this thing on the computer keeps jumping from a metaphysical context to an epistemological one. Therefore there is nothing more to be said. It must just be a virus on my computer cause its trying to tell me it doesn't exist.

I reply as I see fit. It is not I who don't exist it is you. I exist as I take myself to be a human being. You write from the perspective of a ghost in the machine.

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You've even misunderstood the things you did address. You seem to think nature = reality and reason = consciousness, thus you're trying to argue why primacy of consciousness is wrong (which it is, but you reveal a misunderstanding of many other things in your arguments). It's too much work to go through your many many subtle misunderstandings which end up as a tangled mess. There is no use arguing if you require a more solid foundation of thought in the first place. I don't intend to respond to you if you answer this, I just don't know why this thread won't die.

Because I have disagreements with objectivism, I must have misunderstood everything. Damn, you guys love the home court advantage. Yes, I do use nature and reality synonymously. I've explained why. But no I do not think consciousness is limited to reason, and I've explained that in this thread as well. You make an assertion but it is too much work to back it up. Perhaps I should just believe you on faith? That was, of course, a rhetorical question as you have stated you have no intention to reply.

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I don't see why four pages was even necessary to make this clear.

Reason is the human's means of evaluating and understanding nature. Nature, being the collection of all things in reality, does not evaluate or understand anything. What is there for nature to take primacy over when it comes to reason? Nothing. Even vice versa, there is nothing.

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I don't see why four pages was even necessary to make this clear.

Reason is the human's means of evaluating and understanding nature. Nature, being the collection of all things in reality, does not evaluate or understand anything. What is there for nature to take primacy over when it comes to reason? Nothing. Even vice versa, there is nothing.

Nature being the collection of all things includes human beings who reason. Reason being only one of the the tools in nature's enormous toolbox is what makes nature have primacy.

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Nature being the collection of all things includes human beings who reason. Reason being only one of the the tools in nature's enormous toolbox is what makes nature have primacy.

As phibetakappa said:

"stating "nature has primacy over reason" misuses the term "primacy."

I don't know what context you think an invalid statement put "reason" in.

Is there someone some where arguing that "reason has primacy over nature" and you don't like it so you're trying to argue the opposite?

Because the statement "reason has primacy over nature" is just as absurd and invalid."

I'm not saying you misunderstand because you disagree with Objectivism, it's just you don't demonstrate enough understanding of Objectivism or even the words you use to make any arguments.

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As phibetakappa said:

"stating "nature has primacy over reason" misuses the term "primacy."

I don't know what context you think an invalid statement put "reason" in.

Is there someone some where arguing that "reason has primacy over nature" and you don't like it so you're trying to argue the opposite?

Because the statement "reason has primacy over nature" is just as absurd and invalid."

I'm not saying you misunderstand because you disagree with Objectivism, it's just you don't demonstrate enough understanding of Objectivism or even the words you use to make any arguments.

Primacy is defined as the state of being first or foremost. Nature is first and foremost to reason. That is how I am using it. My only arguments are in response to other people's arguments/criticisms. Even if they are not trying to argue that reason has primacy over nature, clearly they are disagreeing with points I've made in the thread.

I agree with a lot of objectivism. Rand's arguments against initiatory force are excellent. Her positions on the sovereignty of the individual, the morality of capitalism, dealing with others as traders, exposing altruism are all great. I suppose I must understand these aspects of objectivism because I agree, and the parts I disagree with I just don't understand or "demonstrate enough understanding of." How convenient.

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I agree with a lot of objectivism. Rand's arguments against initiatory force are excellent. Her positions on the sovereignty of the individual, the morality of capitalism, dealing with others as traders, exposing altruism are all great.

You agreeing with some things Rand said has no logical correlation to whether you're right or wrong on this subject. It certainly doesn't make me all of a sudden put reason aside, and just take your word for it that she must've been wrong on this one thing.

I suppose I must understand these aspects of objectivism because I agree, and the parts I disagree with I just don't understand or "demonstrate enough understanding of." How convenient.

What exactly are you objecting to, that people are refusing to consider your mind at least the equal of their own, when it comes to passing judgment on something? If that's it, I can tell you that I do find it very convenient that I don't need your agreement to know something is true, and that I can confidently dismiss you as someone who doesn't understand the basics of Objectivism simply by reading your OP.

Or are you actually suggesting that you expressing agreement on other issues is proof that you understand Objectivism, and are a qualified judge of its validity? Sorry, agreement is dime a dozen, and it rarely comes with understanding.

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You agreeing with some things Rand said has no logical correlation to whether you're right or wrong on this subject. It certainly doesn't make me all of a sudden put reason aside, and just take your word for it that she must've been wrong on this one thing.

I agree.

What exactly are you objecting to, that people are refusing to consider your mind at least the equal of their own, when it comes to passing judgment on something? If that's it, I can tell you that I do find it very convenient that I don't need your agreement to know something is true, and that I can confidently dismiss you as someone who doesn't understand the basics of Objectivism simply by reading your OP.

Or are you actually suggesting that you expressing agreement on other issues is proof that you understand Objectivism, and are a qualified judge of its validity? Sorry, agreement is dime a dozen, and it rarely comes with understanding.

Only when I disagree with Rand is the suggestion made that I do not understand her. Its an evasion of actually proving wrong anything I've said.

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Only when I disagree with Rand is the suggestion made that I do not understand her.

What's an example of a substantive argument you made in favor of an Objectivist position, that caused people to say you understand Objectivism? Or are you just assuming that I'm thinking "he said initiation of force is bad, therefor he must understand Objectivism"? Trust me, I'm not making that leap, I doubt many do.

Its an evasion of actually proving wrong anything I've said.

If you check the forum rules, you'll find that this isn't the prove Steve wrong corner of the Internet, it's the discuss Objectivism corner. When you raise an issue, people are allowed to answer you as they see fit, within the rules, they're certainly not restricted to proving whatever you feel like saying wrong, to your satisfaction.

Plus, you said that Reason cannot answers questions about man's existence, in the OP. If that's true, then what and how is anyone supposed to prove or disprove about man and his existence? As far as I'm concerned, you rejected the validity of any proofs right then and there.

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Nature being the collection of all things includes human beings who reason. Reason being only one of the the tools in nature's enormous toolbox is what makes nature have primacy.

So what if it includes humans? If I have a box of marbles, mentos, nails, and poison, are all of those things edible because one part of them is edible? No, and I should hope you wouldn't attempt to test that fact.

For that matter, nature doesn't even -exist-. It's a conceptual term referring to this collection of all things. You cannot see a clear example in reality of "nature". You can see INSTANCES of it, such as a tree or a human or a hammer, but those things are not -nature-.

Edited by Iudicious
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Steve is treating "nature" as an metaphysical entity. It is an epistemelogical concept, the units of which are all existents. Nature cannot do anything. Steve has used the concept as though it is a proper name.

Furthermore, he's using it as if "nature" has volition--and possibly as though it chooses us rational hominids to act through.

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Furthermore, he's using it as if "nature" has volition--and possibly as though it chooses us rational hominids to act through.

Nature does have volition. This cannot be argued with reason, its something you are either aware of or not. Naturally, human beings are much more in tune with nature, but the dominant culture of our time, has disconnected us from our source.

And good points Jake. No one can prove my understanding of nature wrong as it does not come through reason.

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Nature does have volition. This cannot be argued with reason, its something you are either aware of or not. Naturally, human beings are much more in tune with nature, but the dominant culture of our time, has disconnected us from our source.

And good points Jake. No one can prove my understanding of nature wrong as it does not come through reason.

"Nature does have volition"

Prove it.

"This cannot be argued with reason, its something you are either aware of or not."

Really? How can you prove this? After all, you need reason to prove something... and since this mystical idea is beyond reason, I don't see how you expect any of us to believe that.

"No one can prove my understanding of nature wrong as it does not come through reason."

I'd disagree. The fact that it -isn't- reasonable proves that it is wrong. That method which establishes the correctness of an idea is reason, and at its base reason is established on the axiom that A is A. Reason works - and if your idea is not reasonable, then your idea is that which doesn't work.

Edited by Iudicious
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Nature does have volition. This cannot be argued with reason, its something you are either aware of or not. Naturally, human beings are much more in tune with nature, but the dominant culture of our time, has disconnected us from our source.

I was going to ask you what an example of an argument "without reason" is, but you would be making an argument while stealing the concept reason. Your second statement is nonsense. If man is a part of nature, then he cannot "disconnect" from it. Of course Im aware you are equivocating back and forth from using nature as the sum of all existents, to "nature" as a volitional entity.

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No one can prove my understanding of nature wrong as it does not come through reason.

If no one can prove you wrong how can you prove yourself right? Last I checked you aren't a metaphysical being (i.e. God) who has some superior powers in comparison to the rest of the human race. Although Heidegger seems to believe such is the case for himself apparently.

Edited by Lisa Brincks
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Where have I heard this type of argument before?Ah, yes,

"No-one can disprove the existence of God, because the certainty of his existence comes through faith, which exists outside of reason."

Got any more of that snakeskin oil you're peddling?

My understanding of nature is experiential, not from faith. I agree to believe anything on faith is a mistake. One should always seek verification of anything they believe.

Most people are not attune to nature, therefore anything said by those who can easily sound like something being said on faith or belief.

Edited by Steve-n
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I was going to ask you what an example of an argument "without reason" is, but you would be making an argument while stealing the concept reason. Your second statement is nonsense. If man is a part of nature, then he cannot "disconnect" from it. Of course Im aware you are equivocating back and forth from using nature as the sum of all existents, to "nature" as a volitional entity.

Yes, man cannot actually disconnect from nature, but he can have that artificial experience. If man believes "I think, therefore I am," his experience will be one of disconnection from his body and therefore nature. Man must BE before he can think or anything else. Awareness of beingness prior to thought leads to an authentic experience of being one's body. The body is nature. We can never reconnect to nature, we just need to get rid of the false beliefs that cause the illusory disconnection.

And yes, I use the term nature to refer to both the sum of all existents and a volitional entity. Using distinct terms is not appropriate for my intended communication.

Reason is not always required to prove something. If you are arguing that earth is yellow and you have tinted glasses on then I don't need to use reason to prove you wrong. I can simply remove your shades.

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Steve-n, I think this is a worthwhile discussion and I would like to be a part of it. With all due respect, it seems to have gotten a little muddled on both sides of the conversation and I've had a tough time following it. I am hoping that you can clarify your premises for me, so that I may better understand your point.

When you say that nature has primacy over reason, in what regard do you mean "primacy"? Do you mean that nature exists independently of reason, but reason does not exist independent of nature? Does "primacy" in this sense mean that knowledge is discovered by applying reason outwardly towards nature, as opposed to applying reason inwardly towards itself? If this is what you mean, then I agree- and so does Objectivism. This is not what is being put forward in the article you originally quoted though.

If this is not what you are saying, then what is the relationship that you are using "primacy" to describe, and what specifically does it describe about this relationship?

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Consciousness is not limited to the conceptual.

You're better than that. Back up your opinion.

KendallJ, it is true that consciousness is not limited to the conceptual. Consciousness is the faculty of perceiving that which exists. A newborn child is able to perceive existence without conceptualizing anything, i.e; he can perceive three apples before he can understand the concept of "three". Conceptualization is not necessary to consciousness.

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