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Is Praxeology compatible with Objectivism?

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Objectivist epistemology and a priori 'knowledge' are opposites.

You seem to be reacting against the words themselves, rather than their intended meaning in this context. Objectivism certainly does contain a priori knowledge, by Mises' definition of the term.

If we qualify a concept or a proposition as a priori, we want to say: first, that the negation of what it asserts is unthinkable for the human mind and appears to it as nonsense; secondly, that this a priori concept or proposition is necessarily implied in our mental approach to all the problems concerned, i.e., in our thinking and acting concerning these problems.

http://www.mises.org/ufofes/ch1~3.asp

Isnt this essentially the same argument that Rand and others have used to justify both logic and free-will ("you assert it when you try to deny it")?

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RedCap... I don't know much about Mises, but, based on that quote, neither does he.

is necessarily implied in our mental approach to all the problems concerned, i.e., in our thinking and acting concerning these problems.

Not only does Rand apply this for freewill, but Peikoff does in OPAR regarding the axoims...

The mere, recognition of which is an implication of their existance.

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The objectivist axioms do not rest upon a priori 'knowledge' - ie knowledge not based on or derived from experience or fact. 

Objectivist axioms are ostensible.  A priori 'knowledge' is, at best, rationalistic.

I dont really care what you read that Kant or whoever said about the a priori, we are talking about Mises' definition, not anyone elses. Identical terms can mean different things when used by different people - for instance the use of the word 'selfish' in Ayn Rand's work is probably going to be different from the use of the word in Christian writings.

Is any aspect of Objectivism described by the following quote, which gives Mises' definition of what he calls the a priori:

If we qualify a concept or a proposition as a priori, we want to say: first, that the negation of what it asserts is unthinkable for the human mind and appears to it as nonsense; secondly, that this a priori concept or proposition is necessarily implied in our mental approach to all the problems concerned, i.e., in our thinking and acting concerning these problems.

The a priori categories are the mental equipment by dint of which man is able to think and to experience and thus to acquire knowledge. Their truth or validity cannot be proved or refuted as can those of a posteriori propositions, because they are precisely the instrument that enables us to distinguish what is true or valid from what is not.

yes or no?

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However, if he is saying that praxeology consists of axioms--what are these axioms? Free will is an axiom--but even more important for economics is the fact that man lives by reason. Is this supposed to be an axiom--or a priori--also? If so, that is a horrible error.

Here is an article that explains further. It mentions Kant though, so theres a risk that some people might automatically reject it due to it containing naughty words, rather than actually thinking about what these words mean in the context they are used.

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No where does Mises indicate he is using a non-standard definition of the term. Since it is a VERY well known and established concept in philosophy, not only would he have to provide the new defintion, he would have to explain how it differs from the standard definition AND he would have to provide some logical reason why he uses this new, non-standard definition (as AR did when explaining her correction of the term 'selfishness') in place of the old one. None of this was done. As such, there is NO basis to claim Mises was making this switch. It is simply an arbitrary assertion.

Furthermore, there is no evidence that Mises was using 'a priori' and 'axiom' as interchangable concepts. He was certainly well aware of the concept axiom, as it has been around since the time of Aristotle. So that claim needs to be supported.

HOWEVER - let us assume for the moment that this assertion is true. Let us assume that Mises did simply mean 'axiom' when he said 'a priori'. Even given that, my statement still stands. Why? Because mises validation for identifying an 'axiomatic' (read 'a priori') concept is NOT ostensible. It does NOT reference reality as the source of validation. It references man's MIND as the validation - as he explicitly states in his 'first' and 'second' identifications of what qualify as 'a priori' knowledge.

In other words, as I put it in my previous post:

Objectivism's axioms are ostensible - they are validated via reference to the facts of reality.

Praxeology's "a priori concepts and propositions" are rationalistic - they are validated by reference to man's mind.

Read what Rand has written about Rationalism. And read about what she has specifically said about ' priori' knowledge, as well as what is ACTUALLY the Objectivist validations for its axioms.

You SHOULD find I am correct after such readings.

-

Oh and additionally, on the linked page it states:

"Praxeology is the study of those aspects of human action that can be grasped a priori; in other words, it is concerned with the conceptual analysis and logical implications of preference, choice, means-end schemes, and so forth."

In other words, Praxeology studies human actions - it studies what we identify as ETHICS. Objectivism's axioms are METAPHYSICAL. And it is ONLY those three one can state are ostensible. They are the foundation upon which ALL else rests. In other words, NOTHING in Objectivist ethics - nothing about human action - is known 'a priori'.

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And it is ONLY those three one can state are ostensible. They are the foundation upon which ALL else rests. In other words, NOTHING in Objectivist ethics - nothing about human action - is known 'a priori'. 
I absoultly agree with this statement, and never intended to imply otherwise.

Furthermore, I have, in the past, read Rand's statements regarding 'a priori' and never said anything which can be reasonably confused as an attempt to refute them.

The only thing I even recongnised as debateable, was Mises' usage of the concept 'a priori,'

secondly, that this a priori concept or proposition is necessarily implied in our mental approach to all the problems concerned, i.e., in our thinking and acting concerning these problems.

Based on this quote, and only this quote, Mises seems to think that 'a priori' refers only to concepts that are proved (in reality) by the consideration of them. For instance, the consideration of the concept of awareness, implys awareness.

As such, there is NO basis to claim Mises was making this switch. It is simply an arbitrary assertion.

This above Mises quote is my basis, and my only basis for making this claim. If it is not an acceptable basis, explain why not. But do not simply state that there is no basis when I hand you a quote.

Once again, I know little about Mises, and therefore suspect that I am wrong here. But I am waiting on a reason why.

And as for Mises approach to changing the term 'a priori,' if this is what he did, I don't think he did it well.

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...as well as what is ACTUALLY the Objectivist validations for its axioms.
I suppose you must mean something contrary to this?:

An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it.

Compare to the Mises quote:

this a priori concept or proposition is necessarily implied in our mental approach to all the problems concerned, i.e., in our thinking and acting concerning these problems.

Both seem to translate to this: If one must use a concept in any attempt to consider or disprove it, it is an axiom (or as Mises seems to call it an 'a priori' concept).

If there is a difference between the statements, point it out.

And note that Ayn Rands use of the term, "they must accept it," implies that they are doing so in their mind. So the term "mental" in Mises' quote does not constitute a difference.

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Since my attempts to respond to the first post have disappeared not once but TWICE into the ether, I will respond to the second post first and see what happens.

I suppose you must mean something contrary to this?:

No I do NOT mean something contrary to that. You have MISSED my ENTIRE POINT (as I have tried to UNSUCCESSFULLY indicate). That is one of the aspects of WHAT an axiom DOES. It is NEITHER the DEFINITION of an axiom NOR what *I* was referencing - the VALIDATION of an axiom.

GET IT?

If you DO, then do I need to bother correcting the rest of the second post and also the one just prior to it? Or do the errors become apparent, once you understand what I was ACTUALLY saying? Because I *can* disect the errors in the rest of 2, and reveal the errors in 1 if need be.

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Could you explain what you mean by the validation of an axiom please? I'm not sure I'm completely following you. Obviously axioms cant be 'proven' (since thats why they are axioms), and the only other thing I can think of is if you're saying "they are true because they work", which smacks of Pragmatism.

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RedCap: I have come past a quote that pulls all of this together and clears up all of my questions:

Nothing is self-evident except the material of sensory perception. 

The sensory perception part of this pretty much covers all the reasons why my previous posts were incorrect.

Though since all my posts were in the form of questions, it is hardly necessary to use THIS KIND OF writing. If that was just for emphasis, you should consider italics. Caps make you seem angry.

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Hehe - everyone makes that complaint at first until they get used to my writing style. I use caps the same way others use bold. And I use * * as italics. I do this because rying to format bold and italic distract my train of though and makes it difficult for me to be as succinct as possible.

As to your quote, it is a good one. I was trying to indicate something similar.

I will explain more later. Right now my prain is a bit pickled. Im taking meds for something I am suffering through, and it is making it hard to concentrate on anything. I will follow up though.

In the meantime, since you now have an idea of why the two are not compatible, perhaps you could address poohat's question.

Ps - though I don't really care that much, my nic is rAdcap, not rEdcap (never knew why so many people would say reddcap - untul I saw a bbc series entitled Redcap, which depicts a woman in the man's world of military police investigations. Think Prime Suspect meets JAG or NCIS.)

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poohat: As RadCap said previously, the validation is metaphysical. As an example:

I see something. This fact requires:

Existence - I see something.

Conciousness - I see something. i.e. I am aware of something.

Identity - I see something.

Hows that RadCap?

I can't believe I read that wrong... I thought it was intended as an oxymoron: "Red"--"Cap"

And you do know that you can hit alt-I for italics and alt-B for bold, right? (That is ctrl-I/ctrl-B in most word processers).

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Ps - though I don't really care that much, my nic is rAdcap, not rEdcap (never knew why so many people would say reddcap....)
Red and Cap are actual words; once past the initial stages of learning to read, I started to recognize words without picking them apart letter by letter and mentally compensated for any errors in spelling or grammar that may pop up.

And you do know that you can hit alt-I for italics and alt-B for bold, right?

Wow - I never bothered to look at the Code Buttons bar; I just hand-coded all my tags. And also, I prefer my tags lower-case, whether bracketed or angle-bracketed.

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poohat:  As RadCap said previously, the validation is metaphysical.  As an example: 

I see something.  This fact requires:

      Existence - I see something.

      Conciousness - I see something.  i.e. I am aware of something.

      Identity - I see something.

Hows that RadCap?

I can't believe I read that wrong... I thought it was intended as an oxymoron: "Red"--"Cap"

And you do know that you can hit alt-I for italics and alt-B for bold, right?  (That is ctrl-I/ctrl-B in most word processers).

That's not a validation, its an application. Saying that you see something already presupposes your axioms, so you cant really use it to validate them otherwise youre making a circular argument.

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Saying that you see something already presupposes your axioms, so you cant really use it to validate them otherwise youre making a circular argument.

Saying anything will necessarily presuppose your axioms, and that is exactly what makes them valid: you can't deny them without presupposing them.

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