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Rand and Kant Being Friends

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On 10/25/2022 at 4:50 PM, KyaryPamyu said:

The 'main thesis' is that Kantianism and Objectivism share some points of affinity, despite being grounded in quite incompatible premises. This affinity is not restricted to any topic in particular.

And if you want to make a very general point that there are some points of affinity, then your main thesis really is centered around the way that you think Oists get Kant wrong, and fixing that. This seems partially motivated by interest in German philosophers, in the sense that you want to share the value and insight you have found from reading them. All of these things are fine. 

If you really want to dive into philosophical thought here, and really mine the value from these philosophers, you should consider more about the technical terms that you use to explain your thoughts to yourself and others. Otherwise, just don't use the technical terms - if you need the technical terms, then you aren't presenting in language that a layperson can understand. I'm saying this because what you write is interesting, but I was disappointed because you didn't engage 2046 on what you called academic technicalities. 

 

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21 minutes ago, necrovore said:

What I'm describing is a specific way of reading Kant and other philosophers, and it is itself a product of the Objectivist epistemology.

Nothing wrong with that. In fact, this is one of the most valuable things one could learn from Objectivism. 

However, if a method is good, it doesn't follow that its application is free from error. Humans are fallible, after all. In The Art of Thinking, Peikoff gives a lecture about how to extract the essentials of a philosophy, movie, book and such. As a demonstration, he uses the method on Kant's philosophy - and gets it wrong. Although the essential premise he identifies is indeed bogus ('consciousness has identity = consciousness is invalid), he's wrong in attributing it to Kant. If you're curious why, check out this resource.

28 minutes ago, necrovore said:

That's one reason why students of other philosophies might find it surprising; they might not be thinking in that way (in terms of essentials, or "essentials as defined by Objectivism" as they might put it).

Students aside, (most) professionals do indeed think in terms of essentials. This is why their papers have such a 'premium' feel to them - that quality and clarity is the result of many years of trial and error.

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2 minutes ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Nothing wrong with that. In fact, this is one of the most valuable things one could learn from Objectivism. 

However, if a method is good, it doesn't follow that its application is free from error.

Yes, that is true in general.

However, this sounds like a possible case of Kant not realizing the full implications of his own ideas, and leaving that to his successors to work out...

I also wanted to add something else: sometimes a philosopher with some large-scale mistakes nevertheless has a good idea.

The philosopher may justify it incorrectly but that doesn't mean no correct justification exists.

The philosopher may also justify it correctly but "undermine" that justification in another piece of writing, like correctly proving that something is true in one paper, and in another, disputing the idea that anything can be proved.

It can be interesting and worthwhile to find good ideas and then, if necessary, work out the proper justification. However, sometimes doing so is a lot of work...

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19 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

if you need the technical terms, then you aren't presenting in language that a layperson can understand

I agree, which is why I exclude 98% of all such terms, including: apperception, real activity, limiting activity, ideal-realism, criticism and the like. Simply explaining those is fine for a layman-style presentation. A notable exception is the part about starting points: dogmatism vs. idealism, and you saw where that went.

21 minutes ago, Eiuol said:

I'm saying this because what you write is interesting, but I was disappointed because you didn't engage 2046 on what you called academic technicalities. 

Thanks, and I'm glad you find it interesting. If you find some things to be lacking, then this is Schelling's most covered book in the english-language literature.

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28 minutes ago, KyaryPamyu said:

Students aside, (most) professionals do indeed think in terms of essentials. This is why their papers have such a 'premium' feel to them - that quality and clarity is the result of many years of trial and error.

It is possible for some professionals to integrate things "only up to a certain point," which is still integration and can still be valuable as far as it goes. Such professionals make genuinely impressive identifications while simultaneously "missing the big picture."

One of the big things about Rand was that she insisted in going all-in on integration. Essentials can form a hierarchy and she thought the broadest possible ones were the most important.

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1 hour ago, Doug Morris said:

What is the definition of "ontology" here?

 

Hey hey no technical jargon here you elitist!

By the way, since this was a point under contention in this thread, I'd like to post ARs comments on this, from a letter to John Hospers:

Quote

You write: “sometimes they (the teachers) seem to be concerned with minor or trivial points, especially when they employ technical language, as they must do to make progress in their particular field of knowledge.” You imply that this is what I would oppose. Far from it: I hold that no point is minor or trivial, in any field of knowledge—I hold that philosophers, above all, must be as meticulously precise as it is possible to be, and I am in favor of the most rigorous “hairsplitting,” where necessary—I hold that philosophy should be more precise than the strictest legal document, because much more is at stake—and I am in favor of the most technical language, to achieve such precision. But: I hold that minor or trivial points cannot be studied ahead of their major or basic antecedents—I hold that precision in the discussion of consequences is worthless, if it starts in midstream and leaves in a state of undefined, unidentified fogginess those matters which are known to be the causes of such consequences—and I hold that technical language is subject to the same rule as layman language, or slang, or anything that is to be defined as language, namely: that it must refer to reality and must denote something specific; if it does not, it is not language, but inarticulate sounds.

 

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  • 4 weeks later...

On Walsh on Rand on Kant – Between Metaphysics and Science

That 2010 paper of mine can be read at the site linked above. 

I have completed the new intense paper on the paper of George Walsh and the comments on Walsh by Fred Miller at the 1992 session of the Ayn Rand Society. My 2010 paper was not bad and is one slice through the Walsh presentation of Kant's philosophy and Walsh's criticisms of Rand's understanding and representation of Kant in metaphysics and epistemology. My new paper is entirely different from the 2010 one in the new one's treatment of Walsh's paper, Rand's misunderstandings, and the real clashes between Kant and Rand. Plus the new paper treats Miller's comments on Walsh, which the old paper did not. I expect my new paper to be accepted for publication, and if that is so, I'll link to it here when that issue of the journal comes out.

Walsh & Miller copy.jpg

Edited by Boydstun
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