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HaloNoble6
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Would anyone be interested in participating in a study group for Dr. Binswanger's The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts?  I'm reading it for the first time and I'd like to discuss some of the more challenging concepts in this incredibly dense piece.

I will involve myself to the extent that my free time allows. As of late, it has not been very giving.

I have read the book though, and it would be useful to revisit it. However, the subject matter is slightly out of order for me. I am following a particular order of investigation into Objectivism. I am currently delving deeper into Epistemology, as the ITOE discussions indicate. And I have also just ordered HB's "Metaphysics of Consciousness" lectures. Honestly, I expect to spend about a year focusing primarily on Epistemology before moving on.

When I do move on, TBBoTC will be a good place to begin for the next phase of my study.

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Maybe we should discuss putting together an entire program of study groups that will slowly crawl through all of Objectivism, from the ground up. Going from book to book, we could flesh out all our thoughts on record and revisit them as needed in future study groups. What do you think?

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Would anyone be interested in participating in a study group for Dr. Binswanger's The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts?  I'm reading it for the first time and I'd like to discuss some of the more challenging concepts in this incredibly dense piece.

I would love to, and if we get a few more interested people I could set up a sub-forum in the same way I set up the ITOE forum for us to use. Maybe if three or four more people expressed interest? It could compliment the ITOE reading very well.

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Maybe we should discuss putting together an entire program of study groups that will slowly crawl through all of Objectivism, from the ground up.  Going from book to book, we could flesh out all our thoughts on record and revisit them as needed in future study groups.  What do you think?

What order would you put the books in? What about starting fiction reading groups?

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Thinking about it, we could possibly have a study group that builds off of OPAR, supplementing it with the wealth of essays included in Miss Rand's other books, e.g. read the metaphysics chapter in OPAR and supplement it with "The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made" in Philosophy: Who Needs It. We should take a look at with what and where we could supplement OPAR.

As for starting other study groups in general, I think someone should be leading each effort in the sense of keeping track of a general schedule, and I think people should be serious about participating, else the rest of the group suffers from lack of participation. That being said, I'm definitely interested in participating in a TBBoTC study group, if we could get another 2 or 3 I think we'd be fine.

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Maybe we should discuss putting together an entire program of study groups that will slowly crawl through all of Objectivism, from the ground up.  Going from book to book, we could flesh out all our thoughts on record and revisit them as needed in future study groups.  What do you think?

Sign me up!

Only problem is that starting from the ground up might be too basic for some people. I’ve studied OPAR in depth and would like to move on, but others may not have. How can I contribute in a way that benefits both others and me?

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Re: How do advanced students of Objectivism contribute and benefit from this study group

I think the best way to do it is to have a reading schedule for which there is an alloted number of days to discuss any lingering doubts, questions, points of contingency etc. that each group participant might have in a particular section, e.g. have one week to discuss the first chapter in OPAR and then we move on to supplemental material. And so, If you consider certain material in the reading schedule basic, don't waste time reading it, just contribute by keeping track of the issues being discussed and chipping in when you think you've got some answers. As for how you will be able to benefit, as I said earlier, I think it would be a better idea to supplement OPAR with Miss Rand's specialized essays from other books and try to connect them with the basic material in OPAR, that way we'll rise above general and basic issues to more specialized ones that might be of interest to you.

Has anyone ever heard of "mind mapping?" It's this technique some elementary school teachers use to help students to integrate the material they're learning. You start off with a basic concept, write it down in the center of a sheet of paper, and then connect other relevant concepts to it, making sure to briefly write the essential connection between connecting concepts along the respective lines that connect them. You also do this to the non-central concepts, that is, connect other concepts to the concepts you've connected to the central concept, and so on and so forth, until you've got a page full of interconnected concepts. My point is that I think it'd be neat to develop a mind of map of the concepts in Objectivism, as well as a mind map of sections in OPAR and all other essays. I think having this sort of thing will be of great use, since sometimes it's hard to see the forest from the trees.

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Re: How do advanced students of Objectivism contribute and benefit from this study group

I think the best way to do it is to have a reading schedule for which there is an alloted number of days to discuss any lingering doubts, questions, points of contingency etc. that each group participant might have in a particular section, e.g. have one week to discuss the first chapter in OPAR and then we move on to supplemental material.  And so, If you consider certain material in the reading schedule basic, don't waste time reading it, just contribute by keeping track of the issues being discussed and chipping in when you think you've got some answers.  As for how <i>you</i> will be able to benefit, as I said earlier, I think it would be a better idea to supplement OPAR with Miss Rand's specialized essays from other books and try to connect them with the basic material in OPAR, that way we'll rise above general and basic issues to more specialized ones that might be of interest to you.

Has anyone ever heard of "mind mapping?"  It's this technique some elementary school teachers use to help students to integrate the material they're learning.  You start off with a basic concept, write it down in the center of a sheet of paper, and then connect other relevant concepts to it, making sure to briefly write the essential connection between connecting concepts along the respective lines that connect them.  You also do this to the non-central concepts, that is, connect other concepts to the concepts you've connected to the central concept, and so on and so forth, until you've got a page full of interconnected concepts.  My point is that I think it'd be neat to develop a mind of map of the concepts in Objectivism, as well as a mind map of sections in OPAR and all other essays.  I think having this sort of thing will be of great use, since sometimes it's hard to see the forest from the trees.

I like your entire idea, the whole thing. I don't really have anything to add, I just wanted to express my support :).

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Thank you, Bryan. Since I introduced the mind map and OPAR/Comprehensive-Objectivism-Study-Group idea, I suppose I'll take the reigns. Give me a few days and I'll try to put together a preliminary schedule and format, put it up here, take suggestions, finalize it, and then we'll move forward.

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Would anyone be interested in participating in a study group for Dr. Binswanger's The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts?  I'm reading it for the first time and I'd like to discuss some of the more challenging concepts in this incredibly dense piece.

Good book; count me in. :D

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Thank you, Bryan.  Since I introduced the mind map and OPAR/Comprehensive-Objectivism-Study-Group idea, I suppose I'll take the reigns.  Give me a few days and I'll try to put together a preliminary schedule and format, put it up here, take suggestions, finalize it, and then we'll move forward.

Sounds like a plan! :D

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  • 2 weeks later...

Okay, sorry this has taken me so long, but I've been rather busy.

Now, I looked through the literature and compiled a 6-page document of all the contents of most of Ayn Rand's non-fiction books. At first, I thought I would just skim through the titles of these sections and kind of pick and choose which belonged in which sections of OPAR. Then I thought it would be better to start with the list of footnotes Dr. Peikoff uses in his chapters of OPAR. Through this process, I realized how incredibly daunting it is to organizing all of Miss Rand's works into a coherent, interconnected hierarchy. So, I decided I would take it one step at a time, one chapter in OPAR at a time. So, I shall begin with chapter one.

I've found that most of her work is focused on the evaluative branches of philosophy, viz. ethics, politics, and aesthetics. There is a large volume of supplemental material for these respective sections in OPAR.

Plan of Action

Since I thought up this idea, I plan on leading this discussion group, that is until/unless someone with better ideas and more leadership volunteers.

Here's what I suggest: I will propose a specific number of days to read X number of pages. Upon your approval, we will proceed to read through each section/sub-section in each chapter of OPAR. During this process, we will pause to reach for supplemental material upon reaching a footnote that promises to elucidate the present discussion further, or upon reaching a section/passage/concept where any one of us thinks of relevant supplemental material.

At this point in time, I think Dr. P's footnotes are sufficient, but we will be free to digress at will. This will get more daunting as we proceed through the evaluative branches of the philosophy. Here's what I propose for the first chapter in OPAR.

Reality

This chapter in OPAR can be supplemented with a number of sections in IOE, viz. those that discuss "axiom," "entity," and "implicit." Furthermore, this section can also be supplemented by her essay in PWNI: "The Metaphysical Versus the Man-Made."

I counted about 70 pages for reading chapter 1 and the relevant supplemental material. Considering my research/classes/blogging/posting/feeding dogs/Half-life2/living schedule, I propose reading 10 pages a night. I would suggest taking hand-written notes of questions one might have. At any point in this process, one may post questions/comments on the pertinent topic in the message board (we will need someone to establish these subforums, David).

If anyone has anything to add, any comments, please do so. These are my initial thoughts. Are these plans acceptable, and if so, who's on board?

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  • 2 weeks later...
If anyone has anything to add, any comments, please do so.  These are my initial thoughts.  Are these plans acceptable, and if so, who's on board?

Sorry it took me so long to respond, somehow your post slipped under my radar. Your plan sounds good, 10 pages a night sounds like a fair pace, as my schedule is pretty full too. So I'm officially on board.

BTW: I finally got Half-Life 2 last night, amazing game. Visually though, it's no Doom 3 :D.

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  • 9 months later...
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