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Rand, her philosophy and her personal and historic context

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DoxaPar
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Sure. What in particular would you like to know?
I guess I'll need your whole history if I thought it was relevant to the validity of your premises. However, I'm not the one insisting on that notion; you are. To me, your history may or may not be relevant in telling me why your hold the premises you do. However, your history can tell me nothing about the validity of your premises.

Moreover, do you have anything to offer on the subject of the thread?
You began this thread about the general issue of bias etc., not about a specific topic. So, every post I've made has been exactly on topic.

To take your specific example, if Rand's premises on abortion are wrong, fine... analyze and demolish the premises. Speculating on why she thought children were a burden (which was not a major premise, but I'm just giving a fictitious example) tells us nothing about whether they are or not.

If you are more interested in discussing specific examples where Rand was wrong - possibly because of her bias, or for whatever other reason -- that's fine. Let's switch this thread to that.

Edited by softwareNerd
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SoftwareNerd,

I'm glad that we're now saying what we mean and meaning what we say. :-) If you disagree with me that our personal and historical context impacts our beliefs feel free to say so and offer an argument why. I'm not opposed (in fact, I favor it) to being told I may be mistaken.

I started the thread not realizing that there would be people who disagreed with the idea that I believed were pretty much common knowledge - that no one is exempt from cognitive biases (or insight) formed from personal and historical context that may impact their beliefs. I was obviously foolish in believing that this was a common belief. As a result, I didn't expect to invest two pages of threads into defending that proposition.

My question was not on a specific topic of her beliefs but a specific topic about her beliefs. The specificity of the question was about the nature, formation, influencing factors, etc of her beliefs. This is not an uncommon or unspecific question. It is merely the question "why". I think you've failed to see the specificity of what I asked.

My original question was simply, "How has Ayn Rand's historic and personal context affected her beliefs".

I did not expect to hear "they didn't" as an answer to that question.

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I did not expect to hear "they didn't" as an answer to that question.

It really depends what you mean by impact/affect. Earlier, I wanted to distinguish between two different ways experience can have an impact, either as an emotional response, or a reasoned response. Cognitive bias is primarily about the ways people have emotional or non-reasoned beliefs. Which beliefs Rand thought about rationally and which you think were a result of a profound bias I think can only be evaluated based upon strength and validity of arguments. Perhaps in some topics, Rand spoke of other points that could be made (like it's a burden on an individual to have unwanted pregnancies) which aren't essential points. There are a some topics I think Rand didn't question thoroughly and did come to a conclusion based off of some kind of bias, because the arguments are all kinds of bad. But I wouldn't say that all viewpoints held by people are a result of cognitive bias. Not that it's *easy* to take notice if you are being biased.

http://en.wikipedia....ognitive_biases

Edited by Eiuol
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Presumeably, this is an argument that her personal experience with Soviet communism interferes with her willingness or ability to remain objective. Is this your view?

Not really. I meant what I said. I'm curious what factors influenced her. It's the same question that a fan may ask a musician, "What artists influenced your song-writing?".

Edited by DoxaPar
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