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What is the role of ontology in Oism?

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They want the reward without the effort?

On the chemistry side of this, in the logical leap, Harriman touched on aspects of the validation - distinguishing mixtures, from compounds, from elements by continuing to break the material down by electrolysis or other methods. That which could not be broken down further, additionally having uniform properties of hardness, melting and boiling points, were key factors in declaring that material meeting criterion A is element A, criterion B is element B, etc. This serves as the initial basis we distinguished copper from lead from iron etc. While this does not yet get to an atom of copper, lead or iron, etc, it identifies the first step of differentiating materials in this context.

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There is no Objectivist ontology. Metaphysics as a whole is a short subject in Objectivism, so it hardly seems worthwhile to single out this specialty with its own name. From Wikipedia: Ontology

It's not meant to be a logical argument, but merely a re-statement of Objectivist epistemology/metaphysics from a different angle. It's anchored around the premise that all thought, i.e. all proposit

Ontology in Objectivism and the distinction between primary and extended senses of the word entity are discussed in the thread Existents and Entities (only 4 pages)   There is also a kind of taxonom

Buddha, you are missing the entire point of measurement ommission and unit economy. Concept formation involves differentiation AND integration.

No, I don't take the position that differentiation and integration are not at work. Or that we can't learn a great deal about any one (or all three) of the "unidentified" objects. I'm only re-stating the Objectivist position that no characteristic of an object has any more "metaphysical" significance than any other characteristic. All characteristics are equal -- except in a given propositional (epistemic) context. This relates back to the original post's comment on the lack of Ontological literature in Objectivism.

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Toward the end of page 34 in OPAR:

The concept of "matter," by contrast, is not an axiomatic concept and does require a definition, which it does not yet have; it requires an analytical definition that will integrate the facts of energy, particle theory, and more. To provide such a definition is not, however, the task of philosophy, which makes no specialized study of matter, but of physics. As far as philosophic usage is concerned, "matter" denotes merely the objects of extrospection or, more precisely, that of which all such objects are made. In this usage, the concept of "matter," like that of "consciousness," can be specified only ostensively.

 

Considering such phenomenon as "fire" and "rainbow", "matter" is delegated to physics for a comprehensive explaination. Matter is involved in both fire and rainbows as well as every other object consciousness is aware of. As to "What is it?", - Objectivism outlines the process of identification as a guide to man in that endevour. In this way, the layman can be guided in understanding the physicist. In this regard, philosophy has "veto-power" in validating that the proper formation of concepts in the specialized studies has been followed.

Edited: Added.

Edited by dream_weaver
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The application is well delimited on page 266 of ITOE2.

It isn't by means of observing what happens to separated parts that you decide whether something is a part or an attribute. If it can be separated for a split second it is a part, it is not an attribute. An attribute is that which cannot be physically separated. Now, what is an entity? It is a sum of characteristics. There is no such thing as an entity without its characteristics, and, for that very reason, there is no such thing as a characteristic without an entity.

 

The ontological division point would be "part." The parts of an atom can be considered as entities consisting of the respective characteristics of the electron and of the proton. The more complicated application would be to a "rainbow", Like "fire" we are observing a process. We can recognize the parts involved in the process, but the concepts are not based on "entity" in the Aristotilean sense. These, however, relate with the relationship between "entity" and "first-level" than to their ontological status.

Edited by dream_weaver
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I am referring mostly to others application. However, while "sum of its characteristics" is true, it is not a definition. Much likee saying "it is what it is" doesn't tell you what something is. Also one can say consciousness has"characteristics" without implying it is an entity in the sense here. There's more to be said but not now.

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Minarchist:

I agree with plasmatic; this is a flaw in objectivism. It is not a major flaw.

Rand implied all sorts of ontology over the years although little of such was ever made explicit.

But i can see which disputes this very thing has caused.

Stand by.

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Plasmatic:

There is no metaphysical boundary between one entity and another; it's epistemological.

Define the boundary between a cloud and the rest of the atmosphere.

See what i mean?

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You're correct though; this entire endeavor is about properly defining what an entity is.

Because objectivist ontology IS "entity" and that's the real question here.

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New Buddha: your take on "identity" is fascinating. I'll have to consider that a while.

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I've only been skimming the quantum conversation but im beginning to see why rand avoided it like the plague.

I think wavefunctions are a reification. A wavefunction is an attribute of a subatomic entity; not the entity itself.

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Free will doesn't exist, by itself; it's a differentiated attribute of "consciousness" which is an attribute of conscious entities.

Solipsism really, really isn't worth my time. Stolen concept and intellectual honesty epistemologically show that solipsism is necessarily false ontologically.

Stand by again.

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1: i think therefore i exist (a)

2: i remember therefore my memories exist (a)

-these memories exist (a) is a state of continual expansion; what i EXPERIENCE (meaning of a) is always new

3: sometimes i EXPERIENCE something similar to my memories and sometimes different, but never exactly identical

C: IF i know what remains constant over time THEN i can extrapolate my future experiences

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Sofar existence (a) merely means experience; WHAT i think about/remember/see/imagine.

Mental entities.

However, to predict FUTURE EXPERIENCES requires us to differentiate between experienced aspects which are (1) recurring and (2) unique.

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1: the future will resemble the past [if you dispute this then please get help, you poor bastard]

-recurring aspects are more likely to repeat in the future; converse for opposite

2: This pattern is contextual; more similar experiences are more likely to share additional aspects [for instance, if it hurts to punch yourself in the face, it will likely continue to hurt when tried in the future]

C: The best way to predict recurring EXPERIENCED ATTRIBUTES (a) is by ORGANIZING them based on their PROBABILITY OF COINCIDENCE

-ie CORRESPONDENCE

-let each group of corresponding attributes be named "entity"

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Existence is not binary; it is gradient between completely necessary and completely coincidental.

Ideally coincidental experiences are hallucinations, which have no chance of recurrence.

If someone sees Gandhi riding a gryphon while on acid, while they may trip out again, they'll never see THAT again.

Ideally necessary existents would be electrons, which are NEVER actually seen, but are the best way to predict electric shock.

Future experiences are the standard of measurement (accurate predictions) and for this purpose attributes are grouped into entities according to certain probablistic strengths; specifically "existential states".

B-) Objectivist ontology.

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Peikoff once said that no alternative universe is possible or imaginable (ie this one is necessary).

I think that this statement and all of its implications would cover everything oism has to say about existence.

Edited by Harrison Danneskjold
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Probability has nothing to do with the outcome of an event.  If you have 4 variables that interact, you will always get the same outcome - unless another variable is added, or one of the four changes.  The degree to which observations will appear simillar is determined by your pre-established unit of measure.  If you conduct an experiment and continually receive an outcome which differs outside the boundry of your unit of measure, they you have not properly identified all the variables.  This is why fields such as medicial research, with internal feedbacks, are so difficult.

Edited by New Buddha
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New Buddha: im not sure i follow. Are you saying that there is no metaphysical probability; the future is predetermined?

I only call the strengths of correlated attributes "probablistic" because of their epistemological formation process; not to say they truly are random.

The ultimate goal is to arrive at 100% probability.

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Niether a cloud or the atmosphere are entities in the primary sense though( like a pile of sand in ITOE). If there were no metaphysical boundaries, multiplicity would be impossible, kinds non-existent, difference impossible etc.

Edit:

Grab a strange womans ass and when she slaps you, just explain: "you and I are one the space between you and me is an illusion, that boundary is only in our minds! Im really grabbing my own ass"..... ;)

Edited by Plasmatic
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Harrison, I'm saying that things behave according to their nature and not randomly or with out causation.  However, we as the observer must establish the unit of measure to determine the quantifiable simillarity or disimilarity of our observations.

 

Take as an example the difference in baseball between a foul ball and a hit.  They are both the result of contact between a bat and a ball, but they are very different things when measured against the established rules of baseball.  There is also a difference when you hit a ball to left field and when you hit one to right field.  They are both hits, but differ from one another if your standard of measure is which part of the field they land.  Two hits, both to left field, will also differ if only by a few feet.  If they both land in the same square inch of turf, they still differ because they happened at different times.

 

Every observation is the outcome of unalterable causation, never to be repeated.  However, every observation is either unique or similar when measured against a standard established by the Observer.

Edited by New Buddha
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Plasmatic:

There is a difference between one object and another, but these differences are epistemological (ironically the same point New Buddha is making).

I got a kick out of the example given.

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New Buddha: i agree.

No two events are perfectly identical OR perfectly different; their exact relation has to be measured according to a certain standard.

I don't think this conflicts with my attempt at objectivisms ontology.

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Plasmatic:

A strange woman's ass is part of her body and not yours- unless you're cojoined twins.

Borderline cases don't invalidate these distinctions but they do demonstrate their epistemological nature.

Magicians earn their livings by cutting people in half and pulling rabbits out of hats. If these things were metaphysically defined then their magick would be real.

The very concept of "trick" proves my point.

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These distinctions do have metaphysical bases but none are universal (such as locality); we have to acknowledge the epistemological nature of context.

Speed of light aside, nothing in the entire universe is truly distinct or isolated.

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HD said:

"A strange woman's ass is part of her body and not yours- unless you're cojoined twins."

You just conceded my point. She is a particular entity and so are you and me.

I dont really know how the rest of your comments relate. The metaphysical fact of multiplicity is nothing like an illusion or magic trick.

Quote anything from Oist literature that you think could be construed as claiming that physical boundaries are epistemological, the distinctness of particulars is conceptual etc.

Edited by Plasmatic
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Quote anything from Oist literature that you think could be construed as claiming that physical boundaries are epistemological, the distinctness of particulars is conceptual etc.

 

From the expanded second edition of IOE, page 269:

 

 

It's the same as inbuilt furniture in a room, like a desk which is built into the room, it doesn't become entity-less by being attached to the wall; it's still a separate entity, only it's attached to the wall.

[Prof. F: So is a built-in closet an entity?]

Yes, certainly. Because you distinguish it from the room, it's not the room.

But let me give you the arch-example of this type of consideration. What about a square inch of ground? Is that an entity or not? You can, from an epistemological viewpoint, regard any part of an entity as a separate entity in that context. And a square inch of ground would be just that. The entity would be the whole ground; you delimit it and examine one square inch of it. In the context of your examination, it's a specific entity, that particular inch, even though metaphysically, in reality, it's part of many, many other inches like it.

 

The concept of "entity" is an issue of the context in which you define your terms. So that an entity has to be a material object, but what you regard as an entity in any given statement or inquiry depends on your definitions. You can regard part of an entity as a separate entity.

 

More good material surrounds this.

 

Physical boundaries are ambiguous; reality is not. Distance is real; geometry, including boundaries, makes distance easier to understand. Metaphysically every grain of sand in the desert is distinct; epistemologically we use larger entities.

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HD said:

"A strange woman's ass is part of her body and not yours- unless you're cojoined twins."

You just conceded my point. She is a particular entity and so are you and me.

I dont really know how the rest of your comments relate. The metaphysical fact of multiplicity is nothing like an illusion or magic trick.

Quote anything from Oist literature that you think could be construed as claiming that physical boundaries are epistemological, the distinctness of particulars is conceptual etc.

 

Plasmatic,

You seem to be equating "Epistemological" with "Subjective".

Edited by New Buddha
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Buddah, the "in an epistemelogical sense", is there to distinquish that context from entity in a PRIMARY, metaphysical sense. "Material object" refers to the primary sense, which must exist in order to even make sense of the need to qualify your definitions of a derivative sense. Incidentally, this becomes more absurd when one reads ALL of the things said about "entitiy" which give this context.

Edit: LOL! Buddah you forgot to read down a little farther:

"never dropping the context that they are vital organs of a total entity which is a human being"

"You can view part of an entity as an entity without dropping the context"....

Edited by Plasmatic
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