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Given that there are limits to the rationality of chimpanzees, wolves, dogs, etc., does it not logically follow that there are limits to the rationality of homo sapiens?

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Within the last week I saw a news report that scientists have, for the first time, observed chimpanzees in the wild applying insects in a medicinal manner to wounds on fellow injured chimpanzees. For many years, scientists have observed chimpanzees creating tools with twigs to extract ants from tiny spaces, in order to eat the ants.

So, animal species other than human beings, especially those close to humans in evolutionary terms, use reason to solve problems and attain goals, just like human beings.

But we can also readily see the limits to the rationality of chimpanzees, dogs, wolves, rats, and so on. In many ways, and sometime to their ruin and destruction, these lower animals follow animal passions, drives, programming, and instincts. 

Does it not logically follow that there are similar limits to the rationality of human beings?

Yet, ancient thinkers such as Socrates, Aristotle, and Aquinas assumed that humans were capable of completely and totally guiding their lives by rationality, and likewise assumed that entire human societies could be organized and conducted rationally. The ancient thinkers taught that, in human beings, passions and irrational impulses, instincts, lusts, desires (whatever they may be called) could be overcome by the combination of Free Will, Knowledge, and Rationality. 

But why would the human animal have this capacity for complete and total rational self-control, when none of the other animals on the earth have this capacity?

One book (on the subject of Existentialism) I found online described the ancient view in this manner:

The way of Christian ethics was described by St. Thomas Aquinas as "the movement of the rational creature toward God" (motus rationalis creaturae in Deum). And, as the action of every creature flows from its "being" (operari sequitur esse) the action of man, the rational creature, must correspond to his rational nature which as such has the capacity of knowing the hierarchical order of Being. In trying to conform his existence to his essence (or nature), man may expect to realize the meaning of his life in the created universe: in obedient reverence for the order of Being, for his own self, and for God, the Creator of all essences and existences, in whose Being essence and existence are self-identical or one.

Could we not say that the ancient thinkers were guilty of hubris in assuming that the human animal (and only the human animal) had the capacity for complete and total rational self-control?

Isn't this the very hubris that the ancient Greek tragic plays, such as those by Sophocles and Aeschylus) were aiming to show (and in fact did show) to ancient audiences with works such as "Oedipus Rex"? To use a term from Aristotle's Poetics, Isn't excess faith in human rationality the ultimate "Hamartia" (tragic flaw; miscalculation)? (That was, I believe, the view of Nietzsche concerning the ancient Greek tragic plays, though I don't regard his opinions as having any weight, given the poor manner in which he conducted his own life.)

It is easy to recognize how present-day Theists (Christians; Muslims; etc.) might imbue human beings with special powers that they don't actually have, since Theists have a theory of the supernatural creation and the supernatural sustaining of many magical powers and dynamics. Theists in general reject any parts of Evolutionary Biology, Psychology, Neurology, or the other sciences that conflict with their Theistic systems of thought. And the ancient Greco-Roman-Medieval thinkers, being hundreds of years before the discovery of the theory of biological evolution, were deprived of the benefits of such modern scientific knowledge.

Therefore, should we not conclude that the ancient Greco-Roman-Medieval thinkers were in error in thinking that the human animal (and only the human animal) had the capacity for complete and total rational self-control?

Should we not conclude that if Aristotle could come back from the dead and read Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man" that he would quickly disavow (or massively revise) his own books such as "Nicomachean Ethics," "Politics," "Metaphysics," and so on?

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4 hours ago, The Laws of Biology said:

Does it not logically follow that there are similar limits to the rationality of human beings?

 

4 hours ago, The Laws of Biology said:

But why would the human animal have this capacity for complete and total rational self-control, when none of the other animals on the earth have this capacity?

The differences between the mental abilities of humans and the mental abilities of other animals are great enough that we should be very cautious about drawing conclusions about either based on the other.

4 hours ago, The Laws of Biology said:

Could we not say that the ancient thinkers were guilty of hubris in assuming that the human animal (and only the human animal) had the capacity for complete and total rational self-control?

Isn't this the very hubris that the ancient Greek tragic plays, such as those by Sophocles and Aeschylus) were aiming to show (and in fact did show) to ancient audiences with works such as "Oedipus Rex"?

Hubris refers to putting oneself on the level of the gods.  In fact, there are no gods.  Thus the concept either is nonsense or involves believing in something that is not real.  Either way, I don't think it applies here.

 

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Of course we have limits. What Ayn Rand referred to as "the crow epistemology" is an example of a limit -- you can only keep so many things in mind at a time. You can see | as one, || as two, ||| as three, but you'd have to count |||||||||||| because otherwise they just blur together.

However, we can abstract over abstractions, and that sets us apart from the animals, even monkeys. Once you can abstract over abstractions, you can get to discoveries like those of Newton and Einstein (and Rand herself in her own field).

Also, you seem to be referring to the reason-emotion dichotomy, which is related to the mind-body dichotomy. Christianity (and Plato) held that Man consists of an animal side (body) and a spiritual side (mind / soul) and that these sides are necessarily in opposition (which is not true). They would have put reason on the spiritual side and emotion (which all animals have) on the animal side. Aristotle probably followed Plato on this point, at least a little. The discovery of evolution did not come until much later, and merely provided a new way to describe this same dichotomy (reason being relatively new on the evolutionary scene, whereas emotion is much older).

Ayn Rand found that reason is a volitional faculty. You have to choose whether to use it. If you choose not to use it then your mind "falls back" on emotions, but there is no way to validate those emotions, and they are not enough by themselves to allow a human being to live a successful life. (For animals, emotions and instincts are enough, but just barely -- they only need to breed more than they die.) For humans, trying to live without reason leads to failure and then to the emotions that come with that. Reason, on the other hand, can be validated (and must be, because reasoning errors are possible). Valid reasoning will lead to success and the emotions that come with that.

I don't think it's possible (or "hubris") to "rely on reason too much." The only way to correct an error in reasoning is through reason.

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18 minutes ago, necrovore said:

I don't think it's possible (or "hubris") to "rely on reason too much." The only way to correct an error in reasoning is through reason.

I think the present-day, post-Darwin era of the sciences of Biology and Psychology reveal something that the ancient thinkers (Socrates, Aristotle, Aquinas) fundamentally disbelieved: That all reason is in the service of unreason.

What I mean by that is that all reason functions merely as a tool in striving to satisfy animal impulses (these might also be called instincts, drives, libido, the Id, passions, or biological/genetic programming).

By contrast, the aforementioned ancient thinkers thought that the whole universe, from God down to the stars, planets, humans and worms, was utterly and completely rational, and that the human mind had the capacity to totally and completely guide human conduct by rational means toward rational goals. The ethics, politics, metaphysics, and epistemology of those ancient thinkers are suffused with this conception of things. 

But is this conception of things still tenable in the post-Darwin age of modern science? I don't see how.

And so, to perpetuate this ancient view of things in the modern age seems like "hubris" to me. I.e., a throwback to a time before Copernicus showed that Aristotle was wrong about the earth being the literal center of the universe with all the stars and planets and the sun orbiting around it, and before Darwin showed that Aristotle was wrong about the human mind being purely and wholly rational like the mind of God. 

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Quote

What I mean by that is that all reason functions merely as a tool in striving to satisfy animal impulses (these might also be called instincts, drives, libido, the Id, passions, or biological/genetic programming).

This looks like the mind-body dichotomy again, but in a different form. The ancient idea was that reason is a "spiritual" phenomenon which should not be "sullied" by connections to "the flesh." The modern, more "materialist" take would be what you are describing, that there is no spiritual phenomenon at all, that there is nothing but the flesh and that what we think is "reason" is actually nothing more than a phenomenon of the flesh and therefore subservient to it.

Ayn Rand does not believe in the mind-body dichotomy. A man is an integrated being, and reason is the faculty that a man uses for living his life. Reason means applying logic (the art of non-contradictory identification) to reality, but reality of necessity includes the nature of a person's own body and its needs. (For example, you have to eat food and not poison, and reason is the most effective tool people have to identify what is food and how to find or produce it, and how to identify poison so that it can be avoided.)

It is possible to deliberately put reason in the service of unreason, but that would be a lower level of evil than mere unreason. Criminals do that when they plot to rob a bank or to enslave a population. It is possible (but not sustainable over the long term) for men to prey on other men.

The life proper to man is to deal with reality directly (rather than relying on victims to do it), and to deal with other people only as traders, offering value for value.

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1 hour ago, necrovore said:

The life proper to man is to deal with reality directly (rather than relying on victims to do it), and to deal with other people only as traders, offering value for value.

I like and appreciate the practical ethical philosophy that Ayn Rand gave the world.

It is a million times better than the philosophy of Socialism or the philosophy of Fascism.

I think hundreds of thousands of lost, confused, or discouraged souls have been restored to a productive, purposeful, active, sensible life due to being influenced by the writing of Ayn Rand. 

But the Aristotelian metaphysics and epistemology that Ayn Rand used to justify her ethics seems to me, in light of Darwin and other modern science, to be indefensible. 

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1 hour ago, necrovore said:

This looks like the mind-body dichotomy again, but in a different form.

Perhaps. I know that the mind-body dichotomy has a long history in Western Philosophy. I don't think about it much. Maybe I should.

But to me, the mind-body dichotomy is really only or mainly an issue within theological philosophy. I try to steer clear of theological issues and concerns.

I know that Aristotle is not generally thought of as a theologian. But I've seen many recent academic philosophers writing about the "theology of Aristotle."

I think God is integral to all Aristotelian philosophy, even if just implicitly. 

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19 hours ago, The Laws of Biology said:

thought that the whole universe, from God down to the stars, planets, humans and worms, was utterly and completely rational,

What does this even mean?

19 hours ago, The Laws of Biology said:

Darwin showed that Aristotle was wrong about the human mind being purely and wholly rational like the mind of God

What does this mean?

 

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20 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

What does this mean?

Some light may be shed on this by the fact that Aristotle's philosophy teaches that the planets (e.g., Mars, Venus, Saturn, etc.) and the stars all have souls and desires and are moved to move in perfect circles by their love of God and their desire to be like God. This is expressed succinctly in this excerpt from the Britannica encyclopedia:

Although the revolving heavens, for Aristotle, lack the possibility of substantial change, they possess potentiality, because each heavenly body has the power to move elsewhere in its diurnal round. Since these bodies are in motion, they need a mover, and this is a motionless mover. Such a mover could not act as an efficient cause, because that would involve a change in itself, but it can act as a final cause—an object of love—because being loved does not involve any change in the beloved. The stars and planets seek to imitate the perfection of the unmoved mover by moving about the Earth in a circle, the most perfect of shapes. For this to be the case, of course, the heavenly bodies must have souls capable of feeling love for the unmoved mover. “On such a principle,” Aristotle says, “depend the heavens and the world of nature.”

Ultimately, Aristotle sees everything as having a soul--rocks, trees, water, worms, horses, human beings, and all are always being moved, in their own way, in everything they do, by love for God.

Even the unethical things that human beings do are, according to Aristotle, misguided expressions of love (excess love, insufficient love, or perversions of love).

This is the grand, cosmic rational order of the universe, according to the philosophy of Aristotle. I believe this is especially covered in Aristotle's books "On The Heavens," "Metaphysics," and "On the Soul." 

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17 minutes ago, The Laws of Biology said:

Some light may be shed on this by the fact that Aristotle's philosophy teaches that the planets (e.g., Mars, Venus, Saturn, etc.) and the stars all have souls and desires and are moved to move in perfect circles by their love of God and their desire to be like God. This is expressed succinctly in this excerpt from the Britannica encyclopedia:

Although the revolving heavens, for Aristotle, lack the possibility of substantial change, they possess potentiality, because each heavenly body has the power to move elsewhere in its diurnal round. Since these bodies are in motion, they need a mover, and this is a motionless mover. Such a mover could not act as an efficient cause, because that would involve a change in itself, but it can act as a final cause—an object of love—because being loved does not involve any change in the beloved. The stars and planets seek to imitate the perfection of the unmoved mover by moving about the Earth in a circle, the most perfect of shapes. For this to be the case, of course, the heavenly bodies must have souls capable of feeling love for the unmoved mover. “On such a principle,” Aristotle says, “depend the heavens and the world of nature.”

Ultimately, Aristotle sees everything as having a soul--rocks, trees, water, worms, horses, human beings, and all are always being moved, in their own way, in everything they do, by love for God.

Even the unethical things that human beings do are, according to Aristotle, misguided expressions of love (excess love, insufficient love, or perversions of love).

This is the grand, cosmic rational order of the universe, according to the philosophy of Aristotle. I believe this is especially covered in Aristotle's books "On The Heavens," "Metaphysics," and "On the Soul." 

What does all this prescientific gobbledygook about everything having a soul and being motivated by love for "God" have to do with Ayn Rand's philosophy?

 

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

What does all this prescientific gobbledygook about everything having a soul and being motivated by love for "God" have to do with Ayn Rand's philosophy?

Ayn Rand quotations on the philosophy of Aristotle:

The only philosophical debt I can acknowledge is to Aristotle

If there is a philosophical Atlas who carries the whole of Western civilization on his shoulders, it is Aristotle.

Aristotle’s philosophy was the intellect’s Declaration of Independence. Aristotle, the father of logic, should be given the title of the world’s first intellectual, in the purest and noblest sense of that word. 

To this day everything that makes us civilized beings, every rational value that we possess—including the birth of science, the industrial revolution, the creation of the United States, even the structure of our language—is the result of Aristotle’s influence.

The nature of your actions—and of your ambition—will be different, according to which set of answers you come to accept. These answers are the province of metaphysics—the study of existence as such or, in Aristotle’s words, of “being qua being”—the basic branch of philosophy.

Ayn Rand's Objectivism is a form of Aristotelianism.

I believe that is an objectively correct categorization or classification. This has been recognized by many professional university-based philosophers who are experts in the philosophy of Aristotle. 

Ayn Rand said many times that she built her philosophy on the foundation laid by Aristotle, much as Bill Gates developed his first Windows operating system on the basis on earlier, similar microcomputer operating system developed by another man.

Nearly all the philosophical terminology and concepts that Ayn Rand uses are taken directly from the writings of Aristotle. 

So, I believe that any study of the philosophy of Ayn Rand is enhanced by also studying the original "source code," so to speak, i.e., the philosophy of Aristotle.

Ayn Rand made some changes in the philosophy of Aristotle. But, when a software engineer alters computer code, sometimes remnants or vestiges of the earlier code remain, sometimes without the intention of the revisor. In human DNA, there are genes that appear to serve no function, but, may have served a function in our ancestor species, and this "junk DNA" is thought by some people to do things that are important but not presently understood or recognized. 

Some people theorize that there are vestiges of Aristotle's "prescientific gobbledygook" present in all the currently living and influential forms of Aristotelianism, even if these vestiges are not expressed in an explicit or conscious manner. 

 

Edited by The Laws of Biology
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Ayn Rand did not give a blanket endorsement of everything in Aristotle and acknowledged that Aristotle made errors.

Where do you find any trace in Ayn Rand of that business about everything having a soul and being motivated by love for "God"?

18 minutes ago, The Laws of Biology said:

Some people theorize that there are vestiges of Aristotle's "prescientific gobbledygook" present in all the currently living and influential forms of Aristotelianism, even if these vestiges are not expressed in an explicit manner. 

What people, and why should we believe them? 

On what grounds do they so theorize?

What is your or their definition of "forms of Aristotelianism"?

 

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12 minutes ago, Doug Morris said:

Ayn Rand did not give a blanket endorsement of everything in Aristotle and acknowledged that Aristotle made errors.

Where do you find any trace in Ayn Rand of that business about everything having a soul and being motivated by love for "God"?

What people, and why should we believe them? 

On what grounds do they so theorize?

What is your or their definition of "forms of Aristotelianism"?

 

All those are good and interesting questions, in my opinion. I will just offer some very brief comments, and then try to return to these issues at a later time.

I have, from time to time, felt that I detected hints of an unconscious or implicit God dynamic within the system of thought in Ayn Rand's Objectivism. Not the Christian God. But maybe the God of Aristotle or the God the ancient Stoics. The figure of God has a way of popping up in systems of thought, despite intentions to the contrary. Some scientists speculate that "God" has evolved as a way of thinking in the human brain, and so it hard to escape. That's all I'll say for now about this.

In general, I find great value, for purposes of understanding, in properly classifying and categorizing things.

This is what scientists have done with the Periodic Table of Elements for chemistry and physics, and with taxonomy ("tree of life") for biology.

There are several online, free encyclopedias that have articles on "Aristotelianism." These describe the essential characteristics of Aristotelianism.

I think all the forms of Aristotelianism are practically identical in terms of Metaphysics and Epistemology, and this all goes back to Aristotle as the founder of that structure of thought.

Even the division of philosophy, into Metaphysics, Epistemology, Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics is a division invented by Aristotle. Philosophers from some opposing systems do not accept that division at all, and they view it as leading to philosophical error.

Once you settle on certain conclusions of Metaphysics and Epistemology, then everything else in a system flows logically from that. 

For some other current thinkers who espouse modern forms of Aristotelianism, I would recommend (as examples) Professor J. Budziszewski, Professor Nathan Schlueter, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, Professor Larry Arnhart (he writes a blog titled "Darwinian Conservativism"), and Joey Breslin (he writes fiction and philosophy on a blog titled JoeyBreslinWrites.com).

I have found it surprising to see and learn how prominent are various forms of Aristotelianism within intellectual circles in the present-day USA, especially among Conservatives, Libertarians, conservative Roman Catholics, and certain Evangelicals who tend to steer away from Biblical fundamentalism. 

We truly seem to be living in a period of Aristotelianism Revival.

I view Ayn Rand's Objectivism as a form of Aristotelianism, and so I interpret the popularity of Ayn Rand's Objectivism as being a part of the general Aristotelianism revival. 

All the various forms of Aristotelianism appear to be categorically different from systems of thought built and based on philosophers such as: Marx, Kant, Hegel, Heidegger, Sartre, and Nietzsche.

In general, it seems to me that Aristotelianism has been recognized by many as an effective tool in the cultural and political war against the various forms of Leftism (secularism, collectivism, Marxism, Democratic Socialism, Progressive liberalism, nihilism, skepticism, modern cynicism, Utopianism, etc.) and certain forms of Rightism (fascism, Nazism, populism, etc.)

All this has driven me to strive to learn more about Aristotle's system of thought. And, I am looking at it as a system, a composite whole, like a mechanical clock or other machine that needs all of its parts in order to work at all. 

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Excerpted from Galt's Speech:
Centuries ago, the man who was—no matter what his errors—the greatest of your philosophers, has stated the formula defining the concept of existence and the rule of all knowledge: A is A. A thing is itself. You have never grasped the meaning of his statement. I am here to complete it: Existence is Identity, Consciousness is Identification.
Miss Rand owing a philosophical debt to Aristotle, and Objectivism being essentially Aristotelean after the fashions of the portions you've extracted of his for consideration, seems quite the leap.
Edited by dream_weaver
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The religionists always asserted that consciousness was supernatural, and that ideas were supernatural. The root of this assertion is Platonism. Aristotle (and a lot of his later students, including Thomas Aquinas) sort of inherited it without challenge. Objectivism asserts that it is an error.

An idea is definitely a different kind of thing than a physical object. You can hold a solid object in your hand, or a gas in a tank, but only a mind can hold an idea. However, an idea is still a kind of thing and ideas have a nature. Consciousness is also a kind of thing with a nature, even though its nature is different from that of any physical object or substance.

Materialists assume that the religionists are correct about consciousness and ideas being supernatural, and then reject the supernatural. The result is a philosophy that denies the axiom of consciousness.

Objectivism denies the supernatural but asserts that consciousness is natural. This is more than saying consciousness is axiomatic (which it also is).

Objectivist epistemology is defined under the premise that consciousness has a nature and that a proper epistemology has to work with that nature instead of against it.

It is possible to discover the nature of consciousness through introspection. It is also possible to "compare notes" with other people (such as reading a scientist's account of how he became aware of some new scientific discovery).

Although it's possible to ask questions about how consciousness arises in a brain, I think such questions are scientific rather than philosophical. The answers wouldn't invalidate anything, in much the same way that your knowledge about a table is not invalidated merely because you learn that the table is made of molecules.

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On 2/25/2022 at 12:42 PM, The Laws of Biology said:

Ultimately, Aristotle sees everything as having a soul--rocks, trees, water, worms, horses, human beings, and all are always being moved, in their own way, in everything they do, by love for God.

This is a completely inaccurate portrayal of Aristotle. The soul is something like life force, and only living things have one. Rocks and water do not have souls. He even criticized those ideas directly, and wrote arguments why love is not a cause of change and movement. Certainly love for God has nothing to do with it. In the passage you quoted, I said elsewhere that I think he was speaking metaphorically when he said that heavenly bodies move based on their love of the unmoved mover. In fact, he does say that the unmoved mover causes movement in the metaphorical sense that a lover is affected by the loved, even if the loved doesn't react. Besides the unmoved mover is not God, it isn't really even sentient.

 

On 2/25/2022 at 12:42 PM, The Laws of Biology said:

Even the unethical things that human beings do are, according to Aristotle, misguided expressions of love (excess love, insufficient love, or perversions of love).

No, they are from lack of self-control leading one to give into excesses that are directly harmful.

On 2/24/2022 at 3:25 PM, Doug Morris said:

What does this mean?

For your own knowledge, Aristotle never did claim that the human mind is like God. To be more specific, he explicitly thought that human thought was not divine, but the human mind is closer to the divine than any other living thing. What he means by divine is not necessarily a mind of God, but something of the highest good and closer to contemplative intellect. But then we have to take in mind that humans are, well, human; we have practical concerns and active concerns about the world around us, and must think about those things to have a good life. These are the so-called limits of human reason.

My point here is that Aristotle thought about the potential for irrationality in all people, and was driven by a biological view of existence. 

 

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7 hours ago, necrovore said:

The religionists always asserted that consciousness was supernatural, and that ideas were supernatural. The root of this assertion is Platonism. Aristotle (and a lot of his later students, including Thomas Aquinas) sort of inherited it without challenge. Objectivism asserts that it is an error.

This is not right either. Plato and Aristotle did not even have a concept of "consciousness." What they did have was idea or form, which, in Plato, is separate from matter and which Aristotle did not fail to challenge repeatedly in several places. Neither was soul something supernatural, as Eiuol explained above. The closest thing is intellectual mind (nous), but that is not consciousness, but something more like intuitive grasp of first principles.

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On 2/24/2022 at 2:54 AM, The Laws of Biology said:

Psychology reveal something that the ancient thinkers (Socrates, Aristotle, Aquinas) fundamentally disbelieved: That all reason is in the service of unreason.

By contrast, the aforementioned ancient thinkers thought that the whole universe, from God down to the stars, planets, humans and worms, was utterly and completely rational, and that the human mind had the capacity to totally and completely guide human conduct by rational means toward rational goals.

Reason is a method of drawing conclusions, or some animal's ability for it. Rationality is choosing based on conclusions reached that way. Biological needs, or star clusters, are not instances of 'unreason', but natural facts. Different class. But yes, reason is a tool in the service of biology; Rand would fully agree.

The nature of the universe is such that life can arise within it. So it can be said that, through us, the universe is 'expressing its nature', achieving all that it can. But that's a weird way of putting it, because what would be the alternative? You are what you are; it's impossible to go against your own characteristics, to move from being you to not being you.

Those philosophers were right in saying that we want to develop the most we can, but that is a consequence of our nature, not the other way around.

We possess reason, which enables us to calculate our future and solve problems related to our quality of life. Naturally, we don't want to waste this opportunity. But are we fully capable of guiding ourselves by reason, 100% - no exceptions? Absolutely. Not always because we like it, but because the alternatives are much more inconvenient than simply giving things the requisite thought. Reluctantly, we aknowledge that what we are oblivious to can bite our backs, and we proceed to think.

This tradeoff is context-dependent, because humans are not invincible. Fatigue, stress, overwhelm and other things can erode our reasoning ability. The rational thing to do in such cases is to rest and temporarily halt making more decisions. This is one example of being guided by reason - you take the best course related to the goal (life).

If despite our seriousness we make mistakes along the way, that's not irrationality, but our natural limits.

It's definitely worth it to guide our lives and society rationally. Because in the case of fulfilling our needs, some strategies fail and some succeed. And we want to be on the winning side. The human species is definitely equiped for it, moreso if people combine their brainpower. Just look around.

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I think the difference in kind is that human rationality has the capacity to come to conclusions. Other animals have consciousness in the ability to discriminate and identify but it doesn’t seem there is anything to point to that shows the ability to abstract.

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Posted (edited)
On 2/25/2022 at 4:00 PM, dream_weaver said:

Miss Rand owing a philosophical debt to Aristotle, and Objectivism being essentially Aristotelean after the fashions of the portions you've extracted of his for consideration, seems quite the leap.

I think Ayn Rand herself acknowledged that her system was a form of Philosophy (Western Philosophy).

After all, she wrote a book titled "Philosophy: Who Needs It?"

Now, if Ayn Rand can acknowledge that her Philosophy of Objectivism is one philosophy existing in a world of other existing philosophies, and sharing enough in common with those other philosophies that they can all correctly be called by the category title of "Philosophy," then why couldn't someone in the present time take notice of all that Objectivism shares in common with original Aristotelianism and also with later forms of Aristotelianism (e.g., Thomism), and give the opinion that Objectivism is not only a form of Philosophy (Western Philosophy), but is also a form of the smaller logical sub-category of Aristotelianism?

That seems logical and reasonable to me. Isn't it appropriate to engage in logical, taxonomic, and hierarchical classification? Didn't Aristotle do that and recommend that, as a way to understand the world?

If this approach is not sound, why isn't it?

I mean, if it is not logical and reasonable to locate Objectivism in its logical place in the universe of philosophy, exactly and precisely why isn't it?

Should we say instead that Aristotle's system of philosophy was an early, embryonic form of Objectivism?

Edited by The Laws of Biology
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Aristotle, Aquinas, and Alissa. A triple-A rating not to be confused with the AAA® insurance company ratings. Miss Rand also penned "Introduction To Objectivist Epistemology" where integrations by essentials are advocated over aprocess of integrating by inessentials or nonessentials.

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14 hours ago, The Laws of Biology said:

why couldn't someone in the present time take notice of all that Objectivism shares in common with original Aristotelianism and also with later forms of Aristotelianism (e.g., Thomism), and give the opinion that Objectivism is not only a form of Philosophy (Western Philosophy), but is also a form of the smaller logical sub-category of Aristotelianism?

There is a certain sense in which Objectivism is a form of Aristotelianism.

There is a certain sense in which Christianity is a form of Judaism.

There is a certain sense in which Einstein's Theory of Relativity is a form of Newtonianism.  I understand Einstein himself considered his work to be carrying on the tradition of Newton.

But in each case there are important differences that we must consider if we are to understand the systems involved.

On 2/25/2022 at 5:00 PM, dream_weaver said:

Miss Rand owing a philosophical debt to Aristotle, and Objectivism being essentially Aristotelean after the fashions of the portions you've extracted of his for consideration, seems quite the leap.

(Emphasis added.)

Please note that it was not just the use of the label Aristotelianism that dream_weaver was calling quite the leap.

Your leap becomes even wilder in light of this:

On 2/26/2022 at 5:16 PM, Eiuol said:
On 2/25/2022 at 12:42 PM, The Laws of Biology said:

Ultimately, Aristotle sees everything as having a soul--rocks, trees, water, worms, horses, human beings, and all are always being moved, in their own way, in everything they do, by love for God.

This is a completely inaccurate portrayal of Aristotle. The soul is something like life force, and only living things have one. Rocks and water do not have souls. He even criticized those ideas directly, and wrote arguments why love is not a cause of change and movement. Certainly love for God has nothing to do with it. In the passage you quoted, I said elsewhere that I think he was speaking metaphorically when he said that heavenly bodies move based on their love of the unmoved mover. In fact, he does say that the unmoved mover causes movement in the metaphorical sense that a lover is affected by the loved, even if the loved doesn't react. Besides the unmoved mover is not God, it isn't really even sentient.

Also, you have not yet tried to answer my question:

On 2/25/2022 at 2:10 PM, Doug Morris said:

Where do you find any trace in Ayn Rand of that business about everything having a soul and being motivated by love for "God"?

 

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2 hours ago, Doug Morris said:

There is a certain sense in which Objectivism is a form of Aristotelianism.

There is a certain sense in which Christianity is a form of Judaism.

There is a certain sense in which Einstein's Theory of Relativity is a form of Newtonianism.  I understand Einstein himself considered his work to be carrying on the tradition of Newton.

But in each case there are important differences that we must consider if we are to understand the systems involved.

(Emphasis added.)

Please note that it was not just the use of the label Aristotelianism that dream_weaver was calling quite the leap.

Your leap becomes even wilder in light of this:

Also, you have not yet tried to answer my question:

 

I speculate that adherents to Objectivism would rather that Objectivism not be classified and placed in a taxonomy of Western philosophy because adherents of Objectivism view Objectivism as "sui generis," as being in a class by itself, as being the one and only true philosophy, as the "final philosophy," with all other philosophies being defective, incomplete, irrelevant, and destructive.

I suppose that is the issue at stake, as I see it. 

I see great value in studying and applying Objectivism.

Objectivism is one of the great and important systems within Western Philosophy. 

Objectivism helps present-day people avoid being seduced by systems like Marxism and Fascism. 

I would like to see leaders such as Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Donald Trump, Steve Bannon, Pope Francis, the Dalia Lama, and Vladimir Putin study Objectivism in a thorough and fulsome way. 

Objectivism has focused my mind on the crucial conflict between ethical Egoism and ethical Altruism.

I see great value in examining how Egoism and Altruism play out in terms of phenomenon like self-esteem, self-reliance, personal initiative, resentment, romantic love, child rearing, enjoyment of living, business success and failure, general societal economic and political well-being, tyranny vs. liberty, war and peace, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, anthropogenic changes to the global biosphere, and so on. 

Objectivism is true philosophy.

Reading Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff is a true joy, and always rewarding.

But, to me, the idea of there ever being a "final philosophy" is anathema to the very idea of philosophy, humanity, and liberty. 

Ayn Rand wrote and spoke about various errors of Aristotle, errors that she says that she corrected in her system of philosophy.

I do acknowledge that Ayn Rand's system, while being largely built on the "chassis" of Aristotelianism, does contain many innovations that are not found in Aristotle's original system or in other later forms of Aristotelianism.

Ayn Rand was a brilliant, creative, innovative thinker. 

But Ayn Rand, as I understand it, never permitted her students to even consider the possibility that there might be errors in her system of philosophy that would need to be corrected by future or contemporary philosophers.

This, as I understand it, is why Leonard Peikoff, Ayn Rand's designated philosophical heir, has declared that Objectivism is a "closed system."

I personally, at the present time, see no way to justify the view that philosophy was an open system from the time of ancient Greece up until 1982, and then became a closed system forever after that time. 

And so, while I study Objectivism for the aim of learning more about reality and for correcting my misunderstandings and misperceptions, and while I even think every American student in high school and college would benefit from a study of Objectivism, given that Objectivism is one of the great and important systems within Western Philosophy, I also believe that I and others will benefit the most from learning the entire history of Western Philosophy, and leaning to identify the various "schools" and "traditions" within that history and seeing how they relate and connect and compare and contrast.

And I think we all benefit from not ruling out that future progress in Philosophy is still possible, probably needed, and even likely. 

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23 minutes ago, The Laws of Biology said:

And I think we all benefit from not ruling out that future progress in Philosophy is still possible, probably needed, and even likely. 

Nobody is questioning this.  What we are questioning is your suggestion that Objectivism is tainted with certain prescientific gobbledygook.

 

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