KyaryPamyu Posted February 23 Report Share Posted February 23 (edited) Today, I'd like to introduce the notion of a 'Vacationing Objectivist'. Definition: Quote A person who holds doubts about the essentials of Ayn Rand's philosophical system, but does not currently have a definitive refutation or replacement for said essentials. Thus, a V.O cannot call himself/herself an Objectivist, but can nevertheless continue to admire Objectivism and the work of Objectivist intellectuals and institutes. He/she can also entertain the possibility of 'returning to the club' one day, after clearing all doubts. As a V.O myself, here's a small sample of my doubts, mostly targeting the O'ist metaphysics. (This thread is the evil brother of another thread of mine, where I attempt to defend realism.) ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ §1. Mind-independence is not claim-independence Do I have stray thoughts, or not? The answer can be true and false, because that fact is independent of any human claims. Therefore, 'claim-independent truth' is not the same as 'mind-independent truth'. §2. Nothing can be deduced from the 'externality' of facts Facts are 'external' to human claims. Fair enough. Let's move on to the next step. The Hyperuranion is external to human claims. Er... what the frick is 'the Hyperuranion'? Precisely. Deducing a so-called 'physical realm' from the externality of facts is as arbitrary as deducing the Hyperuranion. §3. The mind is permanently related to itself To conclude whether a claim is true or false, my mind must look 'outward', at reality. I start with the proposition 'I have stray thoughts', so I look outward at... wait, 'outward'? Yes, because 'outward' and 'inward' reveal an important fact: the mind is inherently a self-relation. §4. "All of your examples are about introspection, not extrospection". Glad you noticed. Actually, all of my examples are about the inner-sense, rather than the outer-sense. The so-called 'outer' sense is still a sense, which makes 'intro-' and 'extro-' a matter of semantics. I deliberately use introspective examples in order to prevent the knee-jerk equivocation between 'outer-sense' and 'outer-realm'. §5. Mental states can represent themselves I'm engrossed in thoughts about yogurt; that's a first person perspective. I snap out of it, and see myself being engrossed in useless thoughts about yogurt; that's a third person perspective on my previous mental state. The latter (M2) is a mental representation of the former (M1). §6. Doesn't M2 exist independently of M1? The same way a physical banana exists independently of the visual percept of a banana. No, and this reveals the unity of 'percept' and 'object'. Does that unity make logical sense? No. Does it happen anyway? Yup. A man will deny he has a nose if logic and/or some dictionary tells him otherwise. §7. If M2 represents M1, where does M1 come from? Let M1 stand for 'the percept of a banana'. To find out where this image comes from, you have two options: either accept it as given, and move on to doing something more fun; or: speculate about its provenance (or lack thereof). Speculation is more of a spiritually fulfilling pastime, rather than a necessity; the practical side of life remains the same, whether you know M1's provenance or not. §8. "We grasp physical objects through our senses, not our senses through a second group of senses." Pure speculation. Plus, it's not about a group of senses grasping a secondary group of senses; it's about the unity of percept and object. More precisely, 'percept' and 'object' are two perspectives on the exact same thing. §9. "Why does experience cohere? If I exit the room and return, all objects are exactly where I left them". Because experience coheres. The only positive claim we can make is that we experience coherence, but not the source of this coherence. We can speculate about its source, but that's about it. §10. "Value implies 'to whom' and 'for what'." No, it implies only a 'for what'. For the task of sending a banana to Mars, a spaceship is good. §11. "But, who benefits from that interplanetary delivery?" In that example, nobody. §12. "Does that mean that morality is not a thing anymore?" No. It means that a pleasant, amazing life is an intrinsic value. That's right: a good life has no utility, so let's scrape the 'for what', shall we? And a pleasant life is pleasant, period (even if you happen to hate it); so let's scrape the 'for whom' as well. Does epistemology support 'intrinsicism'? Nah. Nevertheless, is a good life, good without qualification? You bet. So a 'good' thing is not good merely because it's useful; it's good only if its usefulness pertains to some intrinsic good, i.e., for life. Edited February 23 by KyaryPamyu Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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