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Jacob86
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This does not seem to be the majority Objectivist view.

I really don't know truth be told. I was delayed in responding to this post as I was curious why Objectivists might not consider validation so I reread a few sources and think I have a decent theory. OPAR is very light on the subject and that book is a dominant source quoted on Objectivism these days. OPAR is brief and to the point on axioms being self-evident so I can see why people would skip past explicit validation, especially in light once you grab the essentials it pretty much falls into line easily. OPAR sticks to that then later discusses Causality being validated explicitly while mentioning off handed that it is like axioms in this respect, so unless I missed something that is it. I’m not exactly an expert on OPAR or that period and my contact with Objectivists (until recently) has been limited so I’m sure someone else could offer better insight into this.

Just an aside, I didn’t really think of it since I read OPAR later than most. I accumulated most of my early reading or listening material before it was printed and by then the material was already spread out in the books or the lectures I had. By the time I read the book it was a simple review. Mostly I refer to other books or the Basic Principles of Objectivism lectures, although those original tapes were massacred from my days of driving truck so having the NBI lectures reprinted was wonderful.

This is pure conjecture on my part but considering axioms are self-evident axioms, and OPAR leaves it largely at that, I’m sure this has led many people to consider validation redundant. They simply are. In the context of any of us today we basically do that since there is no separating the fact we acquire the art of thinking at a young age and use it as we encounter new ideas.

Would you agree, then, that perception is not the only ultimate means of validation?

My position is that some ideas can be validated by logical necessity (axioms, etc..) and some by direct observation (perception) and that the former cannot be validated by the latter.

As for “ultimate” means of validation, I’m not sure of what you mean exactly. The way I interpret it the directly observable would have to be the ultimate means of validation since you have to reduce something back to observable facts to ground your knowledge. Logic is the method but observable facts are the base.

I would say that the other axioms can validate Identity or the Laws of Logic. The main reason is that the Laws of Logic are a direct corollary of Identity, and Identity is part of the triad of axioms that are the fundamental building blocks of knowledge. There is no separating them from each other. To see something is to see something.

I would say however that most people today use logic to validate all three since it would be far easier than perception alone. Perception would have taken a long time to accumulate the knowledge through trial and error to properly identify attributes of objects, then move to causal relationships, and eventually identify the laws of logic proper. In fact, it took whatever time (tens of thousands of years) from when man built his first tool until the Greeks wrote down the Laws of Causality. So starting as a blank slate, like man had to at one time, and accumulating the means through perception and experience to form the ability to validate intellectuality would be painfully slow. The long period of ignorance and errors would likely account for the dominance of ancient primitive religions to explain the errors and gaps. But validating logic could be done even if it would have taken a herculean effort. There is simply no reason for anyone today to ignore the wealth of knowledge to try and do so. Considering that a (good) parent is going to help a child along while he grows up it might be impossible since the child will be front loaded with knowledge and the method of thinking to move quickly through the learning experience.

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I really don't know truth be told. I was delayed in responding to this post as I was curious why Objectivists might not consider validation so I reread a few sources and think I have a decent theory. OPAR is very light on the subject and that book is a dominant source quoted on Objectivism these days. OPAR is brief and to the point on axioms being self-evident so I can see why people would skip past explicit validation, especially in light once you grab the essentials it pretty much falls into line easily. OPAR sticks to that then later discusses Causality being validated explicitly while mentioning off handed that it is like axioms in this respect, so unless I missed something that is it. I’m not exactly an expert on OPAR or that period and my contact with Objectivists (until recently) has been limited so I’m sure someone else could offer better insight into this.

Just an aside, I didn’t really think of it since I read OPAR later than most. I accumulated most of my early reading or listening material before it was printed and by then the material was already spread out in the books or the lectures I had. By the time I read the book it was a simple review. Mostly I refer to other books or the Basic Principles of Objectivism lectures, although those original tapes were massacred from my days of driving truck so having the NBI lectures reprinted was wonderful.

This is pure conjecture on my part but considering axioms are self-evident axioms, and OPAR leaves it largely at that, I’m sure this has led many people to consider validation redundant. They simply are. In the context of any of us today we basically do that since there is no separating the fact we acquire the art of thinking at a young age and use it as we encounter new ideas.

As for “ultimate” means of validation, I’m not sure of what you mean exactly. The way I interpret it the directly observable would have to be the ultimate means of validation since you have to reduce something back to observable facts to ground your knowledge. Logic is the method but observable facts are the base.

This is where I think the disconnect is. I'm saying that the method, itself, ALSO requires validation.

So Objectivists say that perception (the directly observable) is the ultimate form of validation and that logic is the process or method used in this validation. Now, take that principle and treat it like any other proposition. Try to validate, by perception, the proposition that "logic is the proper method" for validation. OR, try to validate, by perception, that "perception is the ultimate means of validation".

What I'm saying is that the basic Objectivist Epistemological law violates itself. The first test for any Epistemological law is that it meets it's own criteria (this is where both the empiricists and the rationalists failed).

I would say that the other axioms can validate Identity or the Laws of Logic. The main reason is that the Laws of Logic are a direct corollary of Identity, and Identity is part of the triad of axioms that are the fundamental building blocks of knowledge. There is no separating them from each other. To see something is to see something.

But the reasoning process you went through to formulate that observation (which I completely agree with) ASSUMES the validity of the Law of Identity up front. "To see something (A) is (=) to see something (A)". In this instance, you have not abstracted the law of identity from your perception -- you have applied the law of identity to your perception. There's a difference.

There is no way to abstract the law of identity (or any other UNIVERSAL law) from perception... without already assuming it - which is what Objectivists do without admitting it.

I would say however that most people today use logic to validate all three since it would be far easier than perception alone. Perception would have taken a long time to accumulate the knowledge through trial and error to properly identify attributes of objects, then move to causal relationships, and eventually identify the laws of logic proper. In fact, it took whatever time (tens of thousands of years) from when man built his first tool until the Greeks wrote down the Laws of Causality. So starting as a blank slate, like man had to at one time, and accumulating the means through perception and experience to form the ability to validate intellectuality would be painfully slow. The long period of ignorance and errors would likely account for the dominance of ancient primitive religions to explain the errors and gaps. But validating logic could be done even if it would have taken a herculean effort. There is simply no reason for anyone today to ignore the wealth of knowledge to try and do so. Considering that a (good) parent is going to help a child along while he grows up it might be impossible since the child will be front loaded with knowledge and the method of thinking to move quickly through the learning experience.

Again, there is absolutely no need for trial and error when it comes to VALIDATING the laws of logic or correlaries thereof. Trial and error could and often are useful in the DISCOVERY of them, but to use trial and error in order to VALIDATE them is to assume that it is possible that they are not true: to assume that contradictions are possible-- which would crumble all objectivity.

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Harriman does a nice thumbnail sketch in "The Logical Leap", leading up from page 232 under the heading The Science of Philosophy to the crux on page 236 where he writes:

"Thus Aristotle
induced
his theory of deduction; he examined an enormous range of particular arguments and arrived at generalizations that identified the various types of valid and invalid structures. Then, ascending to an even greater level of abstraction, he asked: What is the common error at the root of all invalid arguments? He found that all such arguments imply a contradiction, i.e., they imply that something is A and non-A at the same time and in the same respect. Thus he grasped (inductively) that the law of noncontradiction is the fundamental principle of valid thought."
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Jacob said:

"Again, there is absolutely no need for trial and error when it comes to VALIDATING the laws of logic or correlaries thereof. Trial and error could and often are useful in the DISCOVERY of them, but to use trial and error in order to VALIDATE them is to assume that it is possible that they are not true: to assume that contradictions are possible-- which would crumble all objectivity. "

I don't see a reason to seperate validation from the process of discovery here. One can be unaware explicitly of the principle of identity and begin precisley the process dream_weaver quotes Harriman as describing above. What would a unvalidated discovery be??

I have personally observed people reject my claims on identity, ponder what the words refer to, introspect and laugh at themselves for rejecting it.

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@ Jacob13

If you’re strictly concerned with validation, which I’m assuming at this point since it was the dominant theme of your last post, I already answered that in the quote from Brandon – Once man grasps Identity he back proofs his knowledge to bring his “house in order” then moves forward. He moves from implicitly gathered knowledge to explicit confirmation. From your early post you seem to be in complete agreement with that statement.

I honestly don’t see the issue.

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