Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Great Description of Objectivist Metaphysics

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

6 minutes ago, Economic Freedom said:

I said nothing about "measurement."

If you are able to distinguish between a perfect and an imperfect circle, it means you can measure the imperfect circle's closeness to a standard of perfection.

100 points on a test is a perfect score, a video game can be finished with a perfect score, and so on. You can't measure perfection without a standard.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

12 minutes ago, KyaryPamyu said:

It's not the whole story.

No, but that story is not too different from claiming, "It's magic!!", which seems to be the position of the members of the Santa Fe Institute (Stuart Kaufmann, et al.). "Things just magically become different when enough elements are brought together!" OK. "Brought together" by chance? Or by intentional design? And to claim (as the Wiki summary does) that "Life is an emergent property of chemistry" misses the salient point that life relies on a *code* embedded within the chemistry, and which cannot be derived simply by studying the chemistry. No study of thermo takes you from chemistry to the genetic code. It's a bit like saying, "If we study metallurgy really thoroughly, we'll understand how metallic things self-assembled to 'locks' and 'keys.'" No. "Locks" and "Keys" are ideas that someone thought up and invented; then instantiated in material that seemed suitable for portability, durability, reproducibility, etc. As far as the idea of a lock and the idea of a key are concerned, they can be concretized in any suitable material: stone, plastic, even chains of amino acids (enzymes are proteins that function by means of a "lock-and-key" mechanism; the enzyme is the key and its substrate is the lock).

The Santa Fe Institute has its adherents -- those who put their faith in somewhat hazy hypotheses such as "self-organization" and "spontaneous order" -- which are relevant in fields dealing with entities that are alive and conscious (economics, for example; see the works of Hayek and Mises) -- but in the non-living, non-coded-chemistry world of simple chemical elements? Sounds more like faith than science.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

10 minutes ago, KyaryPamyu said:

If you are able to distinguish between a perfect and an imperfect circle, it means you can measure the imperfect circle's closeness to a standard of perfection.

100 points on a test is a perfect score, a video game can be finished with a perfect score, and so on. You can't measure perfection without a standard.

> You can't measure perfection without a standard.

Indeed. That's why the idea of "perfection" doesn't rely on measurement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

35 minutes ago, Boydstun said:

Greg, there are places where a "perfect" that cannot be achieved is sensible, warranted, and useful. That would be in talk such as a "perfect refrigerator" as a limit that the second law of thermodynamics holds as out of reach in our devices. The unreachable perfections that EF refers to are without such backing as in thermo, but are merely from the philosophy-of-mathematics armchairs of Plato, Leibniz, . . . .

>The unreachable perfections that EF refers to are without such backing as in thermo, but are merely from the philosophy-of-mathematics armchairs of Plato, Leibniz

Funny! Euclid reached them thousands of years ago. What do you think his "Elements" is based on?

Don't know about Plato's contribution (if any) to mathematics. I know that he insisted on students in his Academy studying geometry so that they would better understand the idea of "Formal Proof" and "Logical Demonstration". He believed an education in geometry was a necessary prerequisite for the study of ethics, since in his view the latter would also depend on formal proof and logical demonstration.

As for Leibniz, he is considered by historians as the co-founder (along with Newton) of calculus. In fact, it's mainly the notation of Leibniz that we use today in differential calculus (dy/dx as the "First Derivative" vs. Newton's terminology of "First Fluxion").

Link to comment
Share on other sites

41 minutes ago, Economic Freedom said:

That's why the idea of "perfection" doesn't rely on measurement.

If I understand you correctly: perfection does not rely on measurement, because perfection is what is being measured.

If this is the case, then no, The ability to judge closeness or deviation from a set criteria precedes any instance of doing it, it is a mental faculty which is there whether it's being currently used or not.

Concepts of consciousness (measurement, perception, intensity of thought) are derived ostensively from observing those faculties in action.

The mind is part of reality. So is my ability to measure perfection. So is my thinking of a blue elephant, even if there is no actual blue elephant out there to match that concept.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, KyaryPamyu said:

If you are able to distinguish between a perfect and an imperfect circle, it means you can measure the imperfect circle's closeness to a standard of perfection.

100 points on a test is a perfect score, a video game can be finished with a perfect score, and so on. You can't measure perfection without a standard.

>If you are able to distinguish between a perfect and an imperfect circle, it means you can measure the imperfect circle's closeness to a standard of perfection.

I can distinguish precisely between a perfect circle and an imperfect one without seeing, imagining, or measuring them. A "perfect circle" is one in which all points on its circumference are equidistant from its center. An "imperfect circle" is one in which NOT all points on its circumference are equidistant from its center.

I don't have to perceive anything to distinguish between the two. I just have to know the meaning of the adverb "not".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

>That is false, unwarranted, and insulting. Here is independent thinking and learning.

Give me one example of a thought on this board that contradicts Objectivism or any of the "inerrant" scriptural texts of Miss Rand. I haven't found any so far.

If all statements are simply in agreement with Objectivist Scripture and statements by Objectivist authorities like Peikoff, Brook, and Kelley, then they can scarcely be said to be "independent".

Link to comment
Share on other sites

59 minutes ago, Economic Freedom said:

>The unreachable perfections that EF refers to are without such backing as in thermo, but are merely from the philosophy-of-mathematics armchairs of Plato, Leibniz

Funny! Euclid reached them thousands of years ago. What do you think his "Elements" is based on?

Don't know about Plato's contribution (if any) to mathematics. I know that he insisted on students in his Academy studying geometry so that they would better understand the idea of "Formal Proof" and "Logical Demonstration". He believed an education in geometry was a necessary prerequisite for the study of ethics, since in his view the latter would also depend on formal proof and logical demonstration.

As for Leibniz, he is considered by historians as the co-founder (along with Newton) of calculus. In fact, it's mainly the notation of Leibniz that we use today in differential calculus (dy/dx as the "First Derivative" vs. Newton's terminology of "First Fluxion").

Euclid did not remark the Plato-view you espouse that there are no perfect straight lines available to the senses, only to the intellect.

Plato did not contribute to mathematics; lots of philosophers study mathematicians and develope a philosopohy of matrhematics. Descartes was one philosopher who contributed to geometry and had (also Pascal) the breakthrough of representing curves by algebraic equations. Plato was correct to set geometry as a pre-req for philosophy, at least for what we would call epistemology. Empiricist accounts of geometric knowledge have been failures by and large, in my estimation. On mathematical knowledge on an empiricists basis, the best I know is Philip Kitcher's book

Link to comment
Share on other sites

@Economic Freedom

You're not the first to hold the stance you are posturing with, nor will you be the last. If you are unable to find what you're searching for here, perhaps there are more fertile fields to plow elsewhere. 

Has anyone prevented you from positing your position and making your inquiries? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

28 minutes ago, Economic Freedom said:

>That is false, unwarranted, and insulting. Here is independent thinking and learning.

Give me one example of a thought on this board that contradicts Objectivism or any of the "inerrant" scriptural texts of Miss Rand. I haven't found any so far.

. . .

Keep looking: 123

Edited by Boydstun
Link to comment
Share on other sites

>You're not the first to hold the stance you are posturing with, nor will you be the last.

I'm relieved to hear it! You mean to tell me that others have actually posted to this board and dared to contradict the teachings of Ayn Rand as recited verbatim by the long-time members here? Good grief, that's outright blasphemy!

>If you are unable to find what you're searching for here, perhaps there are more fertile fields to plow elsewhere. 

By "fertile fields", you mean boards that encourage independent, critical thought? There probably are. Thank you for stating the obvious. Now, are you "posturing the stance" that this board brooks no contradiction of Ayn Rand or the Scriptural Texts of Objectivism? If so, say so. I assumed this board was all about "reason" and "truth". Please inform me if I'm wrong about that.

>Has anyone prevented you from positing your position and making your inquiries?

Have I claimed that anyone has prevented me from "positing my position" and making my inquiries? I don't think so . . .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Economic Freedom said:

It's a commonplace in the field of experimental psychology -- specifically, the psychology of perception -- that percepts exist in the mind only.

Percepts themselves are not out there in the world, and no one did claim that percepts are something placed from the outside into your brain. The Oist is really that our percepts are some kind of presentation of the world as it is, and that our minds are not constructing reality itself as we see it. Sometimes experimental psychology goes heavy on representationalism, but to say that percepts exist in the mind is trivial. 

Anyway, you are a reductionist, so I know saying that won't really change your mind about much. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 hours ago, Economic Freedom said:

By "fertile fields", you mean boards that encourage independent, critical thought? There probably are. Thank you for stating the obvious. Now, are you "posturing the stance" that this board brooks no contradiction of Ayn Rand or the Scriptural Texts of Objectivism? If so, say so. I assumed this board was all about "reason" and "truth". Please inform me if I'm wrong about that.

It seems you've already reached your verdict. It is your mind that needs to process the data of your senses. It would be silly and, I would venture to say, an insult to tell you what you can and ought conclude for yourself as to whether you conclusions are in alignment with the facts of the final arbiter (i.e., reality). My apologies for resorting to paraphrasing Miss Rand to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Keep looking: 123

4

On 1/25/2021 at 10:06 AM, Boydstun said:

. . .

Even were Rand successful in deriving a social virtue such as justice purely from self-interest, is it the case that the only alternatives in helping are the specifics in duty-help v. esteem-help v. their mixture? Is brotherly love, close or remote, reducible to rational self-love? That rational self-love is good, I do not question. That brotherly love is reducible to rational animality, I do not question, only what is this rational animal that is you and me.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Some good non-fiction philosophical resources on friendship:

Friendship – A Philosophical Reader (1993) edited by Neera Kapur Badhwar.

Ancient and Medieval Concepts of Friendship (2014) edited by Suzanne Stern-Gillet and Gary M. Gurtler.

Aquinas on Friendship (2007) by Daniel Schwartz.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

It seems you've already reached your verdict. It is your mind that needs to process the data of your senses. It would be silly and, I would venture to say, an insult to tell you what you can and ought conclude for yourself as to whether you conclusions are in alignment with the facts of the final arbiter (i.e., reality). My apologies for resorting to paraphrasing Miss Rand to you.

>It seems you've already reached your verdict.

You're a mind-reader? I merely asked a question.

>It is your mind that needs to process the data of your senses.

Psychology and neuroscience have established that the only things given to the mind by the senses are sensations, not "data". Sensations are not data. The data are created from the sensations by the participation of the mind. Percepts exist in the mind, not "out there" in reality. Only particles and empty space exist objectively, apart from mind. Sorry, but that's what science has established.

An Objectivist can always fall back on Peikoff's old snipe, i.e., "Philosophy has veto power over science." That probably explains why so few Fundamentalist Objectivists become scientists: the philosophy itself (as espoused by its Fundamentalists) is anti-science. Being pro-capitalist, of course, entails Objectivists admiring the fruits of scientific research, such as technology (John Galt's motor vs. Robert Stadler's theoretical research). But if the result of some scientific research contradicts a tenet of Objectivism, the Fundamentalist jettisons the science and retains the philosophy, thus exercising the "veto power" Peikoff claimed for philosophy. Other kinds of Fundamentalists claim the same veto power for their respective religions.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Economic Freedom said:

The integration of various stimuli into a whole known as a "percept" is done by an act of thought -- it's entirely mental.

You seem to be conflating two processes.  There is the automatic functioning of the senses that organizes sensations into perceptions; this precedes thought.  There is thought, a mental process that starts with the perceptions provided by the senses.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 minutes ago, Economic Freedom said:

Psychology and neuroscience have established that the only things given to the mind by the senses are sensations, not "data".

You are defining "senses" narrowly to include only the workings of the sense organs, and maybe not even all of that.  Epistemologically, the senses include the entire process, some of which probably takes place in the brain, by which perceptions are presented to consciousness.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 minutes ago, Economic Freedom said:

You're a mind-reader? I merely asked a question.

No. I'm just evaluating the questions being asked, reading the responses you've been given, and how you've responded to them. Carry on, for now.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Economic Freedom said:

The data are created from the sensations by the participation of the mind. Percepts exist in the mind, not "out there" in reality.

It isn't clear what you mean by data, since the only thing meant by sense data here is whatever it is that your senses provide. Sense data does not mean percept. But the data are created? This is very vague, because you could mean something like percepts are formed by mental processes, or you might mean something like the mind invents something which is then mixed with the sensation. You speak with the same imprecision as the same statements you are criticizing. No one said that a percept exists out there, I already explained that to you. 

1 hour ago, Economic Freedom said:

Sorry, but that's what science has established.

Science has not established what you said, what you said is simplification of science. Much of what is it is in some way contested, the only thing established being very broad statements which are amenable to many different underlying philosophical viewpoints. 

1 hour ago, Economic Freedom said:

An Objectivist can always fall back on Peikoff's old snipe, i.e., "Philosophy has veto power over science."

I'm not sure if that is an exact quote, but the idea is that philosophy is fundamental. You seem to be espousing scientism, which plenty of philosophers find to be naïve. If you think we are all fundamentalists here, I don't know why you bother.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

You are defining "senses" narrowly to include only the workings of the sense organs, and maybe not even all of that.  Epistemologically, the senses include the entire process, some of which probably takes place in the brain, by which perceptions are presented to consciousness.

 

>You are defining "senses" narrowly to include only the workings of the sense organs, and maybe not even all of that.  Epistemologically, the senses include the entire process, some of which probably takes place in the brain, by which perceptions are presented to consciousness.

LOL! Nice save!

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

You seem to be conflating two processes.  There is the automatic functioning of the senses that organizes sensations into perceptions; this precedes thought.  There is thought, a mental process that starts with the perceptions provided by the senses.

 

>this precedes thought. 

No. Percepts are results of thoughts. The only thing preceding thought is sensation, which is strictly physico-chemical. And yes, that has been established by scientific investigation. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

1 hour ago, Economic Freedom said:

>this precedes thought. 

No. Percepts are results of thoughts. The only thing preceding thought is sensation, which is strictly physico-chemical. And yes, that has been established by scientific investigation. 

No. Get with science today. (And anyway, you should know from three decades ago that the processing of the elements of pre-attentive visual perception will be delivered as scene with object and background in twol-tenths of a second, faster than than a thought by far.)

Conscious Mind – Resonant Brain – How Each Brain Makes a Mind (Oxford 2021)

Stephen Grossberg

Open at chapter 11, then jump back for steps.

Chapter 11  "How We See the World in Depth – From 3D Vision to How 2D Pictures Induce 3D Percepts"

 

Edited by Boydstun
Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Boydstun said:

Euclid did not remark the Plato-view you espouse that there are no perfect straight lines available to the senses, only to the intellect.

Plato did not contribute to mathematics; lots of philosophers study mathematicians and develope a philosopohy of matrhematics. Descartes was one philosopher who contributed to geometry and had (also Pascal) the breakthrough of representing curves by algebraic equations. Plato was correct to set geometry as a pre-req for philosophy, at least for what we would call epistemology. Empiricist accounts of geometric knowledge have been failures by and large, in my estimation. On mathematical knowledge on an empiricists basis, the best I know is Philip Kitcher's book

Where I wrote Pascal, it should be Fermat.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...