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  1. Today
  2. I'm not aware of any looter making claims about anything at all. I've heard people making up justifications that connected to protesting, just as I've heard people making up narratives that the looters have an underlying leftist motive. But more or less, the connection isn't strong at all. The majority of looters maybe people who don't give a damn about politics, or property, or anything at all really. No motive other than opportunism. I am sure that some are anti-capitalists who want to destroy the constant private property, and some are part of a lynch mob, so nothing is really cohesive. Overall though, not in reference to anything or anyone in particular, I wish there was someone articulate and coordinated and principled in their approach as MLK. Such a person is an antidote to a mob mentality, and even preventive. Plus he brought about meaningful change. I think it's important to remember ETs point earlier, that many people are operating on emotion, even nonviolent protesters. Some sense of calm is necessary in order to bring about any principled change, or to get anyone to listen. In a way, that's the point of nonviolent protest. It's not that violence is inherently wrong, but that violence often pulls people away from rationality even if somehow the violence were justified.
  3. I’m talking about ideas such as whites being more intelligent than blacks, blacks being more prone to violence, whites shouldn’t intermingle with blacks etc. Do you think that would be more helpful for some individuals if BLM came up with intellectual arguments against Richard Spencer and those like him? Most of the time BLM are targeting people who have no evidence of being racist. However, people like Richard Spencer are openly racist — if they can get him to do an about face like all the other people they’ve targeted, that would be a great victory. If they can get that material into colleges it’ll end racism and feeling of inferiority for sure. The saying, Black is beautiful doesn’t do sh** they need arguments about self responsibility and how it doesn’t matter what the next man does, it doesn’t even matter that much about what you look like, who cares what other people think , and you do have a chance to succeed in America if you find a way to work hard.
  4. In older days there'd be a lynch mob to take a (suspected) culprit out of custody before trial and string him up. The mentality hasn't changed much: "someone" must suffer for an injustice. Who else are easily accessible but shopkeepers and their properties? Added bonus, for many violent rioters the store is a symbol of capitalism. "Repressive Capitalism", that is, to those of Leftist conviction.
  5. Ah, always encompassing, d_w. I can''t help it The topic implicitly carries the subject of race, not so? That there relates to other places I know of, and my experiences of racism as a white in Africa. Racism on both sides, that is. On top of it all, "the narrative" everywhere around the world today in light of the killing and subsequent riots on social media is: "America equates with racism". A big lie. Those who hate/envy the USA are top among them. If you know the distinction, America HAS a problem with "racialism". Highlighting any incident or act by whites as 'racist'.
  6. By topic, are you particularizing this thread, or more broadly, encompassing the "world conversation" on the matter, if you will?
  7. This lady represents the spirit of America as we know it to be. https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=2ahUKEwjio_-QqOjpAhXResAKHRDfC24Q6F56BAgFEAI&url=https%3A%2F%2Ftwitter.com%2Fmichellemalkin%3Fref_src%3Dtwsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor&usg=AOvVaw2dyJraOveKafuG04cOosOo
  8. Has anyone answered to the initiation of force by un-peaceful "protestors"? Or does everyone consider that *morally* justified? I.e. retaliatory, or some such nonsense? Simple precept: One doesn't take the law into one's own hands. Or - the govt. holds the monopoly on retaliatory force. Yes, I am in South Africa, and I urge you not to let America turn into another South Africa. None of American blacks would put up with this country for a second. Americans are sacrificing the good in the name of The Narrative, Social Justice and - feelings. The good isn't "the perfect". And that's the intrinsicism I hear from Objectivists: We aren't perfect therefore we were never good. Woe is me. Everything on this topic is tacitly about "White guilt" for the racial injustices/colonizing/slavery of the European past. That's a clear path to surrendering what you have, what many lazily take for granted, until Socialism replaces it. Then it's farewell to the individualism and liberty you have. Assumed that you read Rand's essay, "Racism" : "Racism is the lowest, most crudely primitive form of collectivism". (Etc.) Then astute O'ists should know that it cuts two ways. Just as collectivism-racism presumes that one's virtues (etc.) are inherited from one's ancestors, the corollary of that is that one's vices (etc.) are also gained through your 'blood line". BOTH are collectivist/racist. Whites who humbly take a knee for their forefathers' (supposed and actual) injustices to previous blacks are as much promoting racism. And self-aggrandizingly so. That goes too for the present: the cop who horribly abused another man, they (mystically and collectively) accept the guilt and atonement on his behalf. There's not much between a supremacist by race and a self-negator by race. Only which form the sacrifice comes in.
  9. At Let Grow, Tracy Tomasso urges parents to stop flagellating themselves and shaming others for letting their kids have "screen time." Image by Annie Spratt, via Unsplash, license. Broadly dismissing kids' screen time as "bad" fails to recognize the utility these devices have become and the acceptable offline pastimes they've replaced. We wouldn't think to demand our children spend less time reading, or looking at photo albums, or finding out what frogs eat. Rather than condemning screens outright, we ought to be having a more nuanced dialogue. Let's look at the things our children are doing with them... [bold added]Indeed. Back in Baltimore, my wife worked long hours (especially when she was on call) and had a long commute. I had little choice but to lean harder on screen devices than I really wanted to. But I never became too worried about it. For one thing, I noticed that the kids didn't just passively stare at them forever: They'd get bored or interested in something else eventually. For another, I noticed they'd learn things from them. Many kids' shows are educational, and I'd hear my vocal son shouting out answers all the time, back then. (And no, I wasn't telling him what to watch or do.) In fact, that continues now. For a recent example out of many: My son was listening to a simplified explanation of DNA on YouTube the other day. (He searches for and learns about things he's curious about this way all the time.) In fact, my main "worry" with him is of having my thunder stolen, as happened during our recent visit with my in-laws, who have a place on a beach. A prop plane flew overhead, reminding me of the Wright Brothers, so I pointed it out to my son as an example of what most planes used to be like. Then, I attempted to tell him about the Wright Brothers, and how people would laugh at them because they thought the idea that heavier-than-air machines could fly was stupid. "I already know about that," he said. "Really? How?" I watched a show about them on YouTube. For a brief instant, I felt wistful, but that quickly passed, and I smiled a little at the thought: It's really neat that my son is so curious and is learning about things like this on his own. Sure, he watches his share of what I might dismiss as junk, but I see many of the lessons of Steven Johnson's Wonderland here: Play and the pursuit of delight are crucially important to human development (and on many scales at that). Most people would cheer the educational content, but I wouldn't stop there. I think that includes some of the "junk:" I often see him honing his aesthetic judgement and his sense of humor with some of that. I sure am glad we had these devices when I was alone most evenings with my very young children, and I'm glad we have them now. Dare I say it? Screen time can actually be good for children. -- CAVLink to Original
  10. Who Were the Sons of Liberty? The appeared on the scene prior to December 1765, with the tea party to be 8 years way. A pattern that does not appear to be present in the George Floyd protests: The Sons didn’t stop there. After Parliament passed the Townshend Acts in 1767, which imposed import duties on goods such as china and glass, Adams organized a boycott to keep British goods out of Massachusetts altogether. According to Adams biographer Dennis Fradin, the Sons enforced the boycott by sending boys to smash the windows and smear excrement on the walls of local shops that didn’t comply. If that didn’t work, the proprietor faced the risk of being kidnapped and tarred and feathered, a painful, humiliating torture that could leave lasting scars. [Bold emphasis mine] An element that appears to be missing from Ms Kelly Carter Jackson writing for The Atlantic is the admiration of the underlying principle behind the violence. Arguably, calling for a boycott is fine, while implementing a multi-tiered strategy to 'encourage' compliance does have its issues. (argumentum ad consequentium? - Not in a pragmatic sense.) In contrast, an internet acquaintance posted a photo take of graffiti "For Floyd" was spray painted on the sidewalk in red near the Apple store where its glass door and other windows were broken.
  11. While this particular reference may not be part of why Narragansette was chosen for the name of the judge that went on strike in Atlas Shrugged, it is more synergistic than most of the other references provided from this particular jumping point.
  12. Yesterday
  13. He wasn't killed by cops, and he was very specific about his civil disobedience, and very much against any loss of property or violent action. So I don't see why you bring up his name in relation to those people, or the connection you're trying to make between his protests and the hodgepodge here. It isn't difficult to condemn both property loss and the far worse examples of murder or manslaughter. I'm not sure if WhyNot is overgeneralizing to say that all protests related to this have looting involved. If he is, that's wrong. But he would be right to suggest that the looting and rioting didn't lead justice to prevail. That's not what it takes to be heard, because it doesn't work, but some form of protest can. You're from South Africa, you wouldn't know daily life either. It really isn't that far off with my experience with cops in the US that they are often callous and don't have much regard for how their actions affect other people. If you only mean to say that being killed by the police isn't daily life, it doesn't matter. Voluntary manslaughter and murder should not occur ever with the people who are supposed to prevent it (and why any law enforcement should be held to a higher standard than a civilian). Not all police of course, but probably most of them in the US.
  14. December 16, 1773: “The Secret Plan” While this doesn't fully address the question of how the Boston Tea Party was perceived by those seeing it in the news without prior knowledge of the planning that went into it. Many choose to remain anonymous, providing a subtle clue of some unspecified concern. They had 18 days in which the plan was laid. @whYNOT, 'arguementum ad consequentiam' was returned on a fallacy inquiry using 'arguementum ad historiuam' as the search term.
  15. Whatever the case may be, it is YOU who must decide between GOOD individuals and EVIL ones and between the INNOCENT and the GUILTY ... otherwise you condemn yourself to the very blindness (lumping one in all or all in one) which you profess to abhor... and which is the root of all racism and prejudice.
  16. Mr. Kaepernik bravely decided to risk it all with a peaceful protest but he was ridiculed and loss his job. Yes there was loss of property but what about the loss of George Floyd's life? What about the life that was loss before George Floyd? What about Trayvon Martin? what about Emmett Till? What about Sandra Bland? What about Michael Brown? What about Sandra bland? What about Martin Luther King? I can go on and on. Doesn't their life matter? Also, if policemen can have a "few bad apples" why can't protesters? I had doubts about justice because an arrest wasn't made until the protests. Police officers need to think twice before they use excessive force and a conviction will be a step in the right direction on that front. If this is what it takes for people to hear their cry then so be it. #MICDROP
  17. In the Malice Green incident, the news reports reminded the residents of Detroit and surrounding communities of the riots of the 60's, and suggested if Nevers and Budzyn weren't held criminally culpable, blood in the streets would be inevitable. In the Michael Brown incident, Darren Wilson was being charged at when he shot. By the time the coroner's report was released, the rioting had already commenced. Riots and threat of riots is a heck of a game plan for constructively building a rational, individual rights-respecting society.
  18. What -- worked? Did you have the slightest doubt that the US justice system would prevail? I didn't, not for a moment. Therefore you're saying that any time anyone wants justice they need to go on a rampage, burn and pillage? And I thought Objectivists opposed Initiation of force. What "change"? The change you might get to see there you will not like, believe me. Civil unrest. General fear and anarchy. Not rule of law - rule of mob. Then along will comes a socialist state to save the day. The "march", as you euphemistically put, it had a false causation. One individual's vile actions do not necessitate further acts, often vile too. And the cop's act is not representative of daily life and all policemen in the USA (unless CNN has got hold of you), a false induction.
  19. Complain all you want... It Worked! This is why they march! Their voice is what brings about change. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/03/3-more-cops-charged-in-george-floyd-death-other-officers-murder-charge-upgraded.html
  20. David J. Jilk discussed the category entity in his paper “What Are Entities?” (2003). His paper takes into account aspects of what Rand, Peikoff, Kelley, and Ray & Radcliffe (which Merlin linked in the preceding post) had written on this Randian conception. The Ray and Radcliffe paper addresses aspects of Rand’s conception that Rand did not write up and publish. Rand expressed these aspects in informal oral discussion (1969–71) that is transcribed in the Appendix added to the reissue (1990) of Rand’s monograph “Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology” (1966–67). On importance of conceiving mind as an entity, see Roger Bissell’s paper “Mind, Introspection, and ‘The Objective’” (2008). Entity is also an ontological category in my own metaphysics related to Rand’s. My category Entity is moderately broader than Rand’s, and this is an ontological broadening, not anything from consideration of variety in perspectives possible to consciousness. My category Entity is set out in my paper presently under review at JARS. In my root post of this thread “Entity and Ousia” I treated only Rand’s category entity in relation to Aristotle’s ousia. So the treatment I have made here concerns purely the Objectivist philosophy, nothing of my own related one. In connection with my Rand/Aristotle study here, compare in the future whatever comes to be written in a book in progress comparing Rand and Aristotle in the series Ayn Rand Society Philosophical Studies. Drawing from the remarks of Rand in the ITOE appendix, Jason G. Rheins conveys the following within his “Objectivist Metaphysics” (2016). I imagine, however, there remains the necessary-condition rule for the Objectivist category entity, parallel Aristotle on ousia, that entity does not stand in an inherence relation to any other category, whereas all the other categories stand in an inherence relation to entity. See also Gotthelf 2000, 39–40, 45. Note, incidentally, Rand's remarks about animal consciousness rising to the level of percepts, therefore to awareness of some entities in “The Objectivist Ethics.”
  21. Argumentum ad historiam? This is not "resistance" to oppression, not proper self-defense, not proper protest; it's vengeance by the mob. Especially that innocent third parties are affected.
  22. How Did George Floyd Die? Here’s What We Know A private autopsy commissioned by the family concluded that his death was a homicide, brought about by compression of his neck and back by Minneapolis police officers. The 8 minute video referenced is a compilation.
  23. Yesterday, I learned of two separate pieces -- one by a layman at Quillette and another by two epidemiologists at The New York Times -- that focus on the phenomenon of "superspreading events" in the current pandemic. In the words of the second of these, "20 percent of Covid-19 cases accounted for 80 percent of transmissions." Might a closer look at these events help individuals better evaluate their risks or evade the virus -- and help government officials make better policy choices in the future? Yes and yes. Both pieces draw essentially the same conclusions regarding how best to avoid infection, but what I like about the Quillette piece is that it takes the time to explain why this is happening. In part, it is due to the primary mode of transmission being droplets, which author Jonathan Kay reviews at the beginning of his piece, and which he determined to be important in part as follows: ... I have chosen to exclude SSEs [super spreading events--ed] that center on hospitals and old-age homes, despite the fact that in many countries (including Canada, where I live), these comprise the main spawning ground for COVID-19. This is because the purpose of this exercise is to gain information about the relative effects of three broad modes of COVID-19 transmission -- large droplets transmitted ballistically, persistent concentrations of tiny airborne droplets, and contaminated surfaces. In hospitals and old-age homes, all three of these mechanisms are almost invariably at play -- as these tend to be shared spaces full of commonly touched surfaces and close interpersonal contact among residents and staff. And so such SSEs serve to inflate the size of the database without providing assistance in isolating variables. The same principle is true of COVID-19 transmission within households (and possibly prisons), which is why I have excluded intra-household clusters as well. [bold added]After further explanation and analysis, Kay notes:[T]he truly remarkable trend that jumped off my spreadsheet has nothing to do with the sort of people involved in these SSEs, but rather the extraordinarily narrow range of underlying activities. And I believe it is on this point that a close study of SSEs, even one based on such a biased and incomplete data set as the one I've assembled in my lay capacity, can help us...The activities are, in my opinion, narrower than Kay's explanation would lead me to believe: For example, he notes a lack of super-spreading events at theaters. Nevertheless, I think his general reasoning is sound and dovetails with the more scientific research summary provided by the Times. That said, it is the Times piece which provides language that can better help us remember and implement the advice. It very helpfully notes how the Japanese -- who got their epidemic well under control without lockdowns -- conceptualize the behaviors and situations that lead to SSEs: Confined and crowded and close, oh my! (Image by Jake Weirick, via Unsplash, license.) It stands to reason, too, that a highly contagious person is more likely to spread the infection in a crowd (at a wedding, in a bar, during a sporting event) than in a small group (within their household), and when contact is extensive or repeated. Transmission is more likely during gatherings indoors than outdoors. Simply ventilating a room can help. We believe that with the South Korean call-center cluster, the essential factor of transmission was the extent of time spent in a crowded office area. Also consider this counterexample: Japan. The government recently lifted a state of emergency after controlling its epidemic without having put in place any stringent social distancing measures or even doing much testing. Instead, it relied on largely voluntary measures encouraging people to stay at home and advice to avoid overcrowding in public venues. In essence, Japan adopted an anti-superspreading strategy. The approach was targeted at limiting what some researchers from Tohoku University have called the "three Cs": closed spaces, crowds and close contacts. [links omitted, bold added]The last sentence of this paragraph is my take-home, and I hope public officials begin basing policy on this proven and freedom-preserving strategy going forward. -- CAVLink to Original
  24. The Double Standard of the American Riot Law enforcement has always required the ability to use force. Resistance to improper force is indeed justified. Discriminating just usage is equally important. Did the Boston Tea Party appear reactionary or proactionary as it leaped into the headlines of the times? The argument packages elements together in a way that enrolls others, but boogieman in the background emerges in contrast to the longing for rights and freedom being denied 'somehow' to verdict concluded as selective information is 'tried' in the media.
  25. Last week
  26. Edges, Entities and Existence This essay, which contains a lot about Ayn Rand's ideas about entities, was presented at The Objectivist Center's (now The Atlas Society) Advanced Seminar in 2000. There is nothing about Aristotle's substance (ousia). It's long.
  27. Entity and Ousia Contrasting Roark with many other people, Mallory remarks to Dominique of those others: “At the end there’s nothing left, nothing unreversed or unbetrayed; as if there had never been any entity, only a succession of adjectives fading in and out on an unformed mass” (GW V, 485). Consider in Rand’s full metaphysics the finer structure in her conception of the law of identity: "Whatever you choose to consider, be it an object, an attribute, or an action, the law of identity remains the same. A leaf cannot be a stone at the same time, it cannot be all red and all green at the same time, it cannot freeze and burn at the same time. A is A (AS 1016). Rand clearly intended here, in Galt’s Speech, that what is proposed for objects is to be generalized to entities. Every entity is of some kinds that are exclusive relative to other kinds of entity. Rand used the term entity in the paragraph preceding the object examples of leaf and stone. That is, she uses entity in the initial statement of her law of identity: “To exist is to be something, . . . it is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes” (AS 1016). On that page, it is clear that she takes for entities not only what are ordinarily called objects such as leaf, stone, or table, but micro-objects such as living cells and atoms, and super-objects such as solar system and universe. Now we have a modest problem. If we say “to exist is to be an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes,” we seem to say that attributes are either entities or are not existents. Consider for attributes “the shape of a pebble or the structure of the solar system” (AS 1016). To avoid the patent falsehood that the shape of a pebble does not exist, shall we say that not only the pebble is an entity, but its shape is an entity? Rand reaches a resolution by a refinement in her metaphysics nine years after her first presentation. In 1966 she writes “Entities are the only primary existents. (Attributes cannot exist by themselves, they are merely the characteristics of entities; motions are motions of entities; relationships are relationships among entities)” (ITOE 15). In Rand’s view then, we have that to exist is either (i) to be an entity consisting of particularities and specific attributes and a specific nature or (ii) to be some specific character in the nature of entities or among an entity’s particularities. Philosophers often use the term entity to mean any item whatever. That is one customary usage and perfectly all right. Rand decided to take entity into her technical vocabulary as something more restricted. She went on to name some fundamental categories that cannot exist without connection to entities: action, attributes, and relationships.[1] As with Aristotle’s substance (ousia), where there is any other category, there is entity to which it belongs.[2] Though Rand held entities to be “the only primary existents,” she did not suppose entities could ever exist without their incidents of action, attributes, and relationships. To trim away, in thought, all the internal traits of an existent as well as all its external relations should in right thought leave no existent. Out of step with Aristotle, Rand did not maintain there is such a thing as an entity that is a what, yet is without any specification by other categories of existents.[3] Entities have relations to other entities, but not the belonging-relation (inherence) had to entities by the categories not entity. The entity that is the sofa is in a region of the living room and it is in a force-relation with the floor. But it is not in anything in the way its shape and mass and stability and flammability are in it. Though she held actions, attributes, and relations to be incapable of existing without the entities of which they are incidents, Rand did not import to entity Aristotle’s concept of substance as somehow imparting existence from itself to the other fundamental categories. In Rand’s view, all of those categories have some instances in concrete existents. Actions, attributes, and relationships are not entities in Rand’s sense. To qualify as an entity, I say and think Rand could have been brought around to say, an entity has to do more than be able to stand as the subject of predication (or as the argument of a propositional function). Running or oscillation can be the subjects of predicates, but they can do so as actions, not entities. Fraction and containment can be the subjects of predicates, but they can do so as relations, not entities. Twill and vesicular quality can be subjects of predicates, but they can do so as attributes, not entities. Rand’s entity as primary existence parallels to some extent Aristotle’s ousia as primary being. Entity as subject of attributes, actions, and relationships parallels Aristotle’s ousia.[4] Substance has been the most common translation of Aristotle’s ousia, when used as the fundamental form of being. Joseph Owens argues that the traditional translation of Aristotle’s ousia is poorly conveyed by substance and is better expressed by entity.[5] Joe Sachs argues for the more Heideggerean translation thingness for ousia.[6] In whatever English translation, Aristotle’s full conception of ousia in his Metaphysics is far from Rand’s conception of entity. Entity does not stand as of-something. In that respect, it is like Aristotle’s ousia. Unlike his ousia in Metaphysics, entity as such is never the essence of something. Also contra Aristotle’s being that is ousia, the existents that are entity can have parts that are entity. Furthermore, as noticed earlier, unlike the accidents of Aristotle’s ousia in Metaphysics, the existence of incidents does not derive from the existence of entity.[7] Existents of the incidents are coordinate with existence of entities, not derivative from nor secondary to existence of entities. In contrast with Aristotle, Rand’s entity, primary form of existence, is only of this whole of existence, our spatial-temporal world, with both its actualities and its potentials, and our understanding over it. That is the all-encompassing reality. Contraction of being to existence includes a denial that there are metaphysical perfections and denial that there is such a thing as unqualified being. Such perfections, and unqualified stuff, when added together with existence per se constitute Aristotle’s being. Aristotle has Rand’s entities as occasions of ousia, at least prima facie, and these he calls natural ousia.[8] Aristotle’s primary ousia, fundamental form of being, I should add, is always an individual, a this something, though not always a concrete.[9] “Substance is on the one hand, matter, on the other hand, form, that is, activity” (Metaph. 1043a27–28).[10] Shape, such as shape of a bronze statue, is not all Aristotle means here by form (mophê). That which explains the coming to be of the statue from unshaped bronze is here included as form; then too, form is here determining principle of which the bronze constitutes this statue rather than any other being. Bronze of itself is determinate matter, but as matter of this statue, it is this form’s matter in consideration of its potential to be another form’s matter. For Aristotle explanation of substance requires both matter and form. Like most all moderns, Rand and Peikoff reject Aristotle’s fundamental form/matter division of all beings.[11] Aristotle had ousia not only primary in account of the kinds of being, but prior in time to them.[12] In the shift from being to existence as most fundamental and in the shift from ousia to entity as most fundamental category of existence, we do not conceive of entity as temporally prior to attributes and relations. For the move from being to existence as most fundamental is move to existence already with identity. If existence is identity and most fundamentally concrete, then entity is identity and most fundamentally concrete. Let us say further that entity is identity, essential and inessential. Essential identity of an entity is identity without which the entity would not be the kind it is.[13] To say that entity is essential identity might seem close to Aristotle’s view that ousia and its essence are one.[14] Rand’s principle existence is identity has greater scope than Aristotle’s ousia is its essence. For her existence is identity has comprehensive scope: it spans not only entity and its essential attributes, but its entire suite of attributes, as well as its standings in actions and relations. For Aristotle capturing what is a specific ousia—where ousia is the primary form of being and the subject of attributes and alterations—requires formulating its definitions such that the essence expressed in the predicate (definiens) has a uniquely right necessary tie and has explanatory tie with the subject (definiendum). Without that essential trait, the ousia defined could not be the kind of ousia it is. Furthermore, if no such trait can be found, the subject is not an ousia, a what-it-is, but a depending quantity, quality, relation, time, location, configuration, possession, doing, or undergoing.[15] In Rand’s modern metaphysics, capturing best what is a specific entity requires formulating its definiens such that it has a right, necessary, and explanatory tie with the subject entity. The unity of essential characteristics with existence of the entity to which they belong are not absolute in the way Aristotle’s specific essence belongs to specific ousia. His is an ascription right independently of context of knowledge. Rand’s theory of essential characteristics for definitions allows for evolution as our knowledge context grows.[16] Furthermore, unlike Aristotle’s theory, the unity of the essential in definitions of existents is just as tight where those existents are attributes, actions, or other relations as when the existent being defined is an entity. The essence of Newtonian force is expressed in its definiens, with specific mathematical defining formula relating certain physical quantities. Special relativity recasts that fundamental defining equation of force, the old equation imbedded in a more elaborate one taking newly learned factors into the account of force.[17] Contrary Aristotle, existents not substance and not entity can have essential characteristics, and these are a function not only of what is so, but of what it is we know of what is so. Although Rand made essential characteristics dependent on context of knowledge, these characteristics are real, the dependencies (such as causal or mathematical) other characteristics have upon them are real, and the explanatory character of essential characteristics vis-à-vis other characteristics is objective. Additional likeness and difference in the metaphysics of Rand and Aristotle are the following. In the metaphysics of Aristotle, when we grasp the essence of ousia, we become that essence; such an assimilator is what is a mind.[18] In Rand’s metaphysics, our grasp of an essence is an identification of an identity; such an identifier of identity is what is a mind, although essence is not the only identity of the existent determining mind, and as mentioned, entity is not the only category in which there are essential aspects. Furthermore, unlike the metaphysics of Rand and other moderns, the metaphysics of Aristotle has it that essence is only in kinds of ousia (kinds of substance/entity) such as the kind man. The essence of man—rational animal—exhausts the kind man. Aristotle recognizes, naturally, that the individual man is more in particulars and specifics, more than the essence and ousia. Rand has it rather that the kind is only a class of individuals, each with all their identity, and essential characteristic(s) of the class concern causal and other explanatory relations, identities that are categories not only the category entity. Rather than her loose and overlapping categories of action, attribute, and relation, Rand could have conceived of them as mutually exclusive categories by confining attributes to traits not essentially in relation to other things and by confining relations to features not monadic and not action. It would remain, however, for her selection of fundamental categories that electric current, for example, could be (a) an attribute of an active conducting wire, manifest by shock or by resistance heating of the wire, and (b) a flow of electrons within the wire and (c) a source of the magnetic field around the wire. Assignment to a Randian category, unlike an Aristotelian one, should, I think, remain dependent on the physical situation under consideration. In the present example: (a) attribute, (b) action, (c) entity. In Rand’s fully developed theoretical philosophy, as I mentioned, essential characteristics, though factual, are functions of the human context of knowledge.[19] If we extend functional dependence of essential characteristic to context of consideration, then multiple highest genera of an existent is not problematic, unlike the circumstance for Aristotle with his metaphysically absolute essences, ever the same whatever our level of knowledge and context of consideration. Notes [1] AS 1016; ITOE 7, appx. 264–79. [2] ITOE appx. 157, 264; Aristotle, Cat. 2b3–6; Metaph. 1028a10–30. Aristotle maintained two sorts of substance, primary and secondary. The former would be an individual such as the individual man Parmenides; the latter would be the species or genus of such an individual. Rand’s entity is always only a concrete individual. [3] Aristotle, Metaph. 1028a30–b3. See further, Pasnau 2011, 99–102. [4] ITOE 15; Aristotle, Cat. 2a14–19; Cael. 298a26–b3; Metaph. 1028a10–b7. [5] Owens 1978, 137–54; see also Gotthelf 2012, 8n11. What is traditionally translated as being in Aristotle, is sometimes translated as existence; Barnes 1995, 72–77. Here again, we must not let that dull us to the differences between Aristotle and Rand on the concept in play. [6] Sachs 1999, xxxvi–xxxix. [7] Aristotle, Metaph. 1045b27–33; Lewis 2013, 13–15, 91. [8] Cael. 298a26–b3; Metaph. 1017b10–15, 1028b9–32, 1040b5–10, 1042a7–11. [9] Cat. 3b10–23; Metaph. 1028a12, 25–30. [10] A. Kossman, translator. [11] ITOE appx. 286. Koslicki 2018 offers a modern defense of Aristotle’s hylomorphism. [12] Aristotle, Metaph. 1028a32–33. [13] Top. 101b37; Metaph. 1025b11, 1029b14–16 ; ITOE 42, 45, 52. [14] Metaph. 1031a28–1032a5; see also Top. 135a9–12; further, Witt 1989 [15] Cat. 1b25–2a; Top. 103b20–25; Metaph. 1028b1–3. [16] ITOE 40–52. [17] What force is in our contemporary physics is also informed by the setting of force in relation to Hamiltonian mechanics, a more general classical mechanics having natural joins with quantum mechanics. Newton’s gravitational force, whose definition requires its fundamental equation, is also recast by situating it in the deeper successful theory that is general relativity. [18] Aristotle, De An. 429a10–430a26. [19] ITOE 43–47, 52. References Aristotle c.348–322. B.C. The Complete Works of Aristotle. J. Barnes, editor (1984). Princeton: Princeton University Press. Barnes, J. 1995. Metaphysics. In The Cambridge Companion to Aristotle. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Gotthelf, A. 2012. Teleology, First Principles, and Scientific Method in Aristotle’s Biology. New York: Oxford University Press. Koslicki, K. 2018. Form, Matter, Substance. New York: Oxford University Press. Owens, J. 1978 [1951]. The Doctrine of Being in the Aristotelian Metaphysics. 3rd ed. Toronto: Pontifical Institute of Medieval Studies. Pasnau, R. 2011. Metaphysical Themes 1274–1671. New York: Oxford University Press. Rand, A. 1943. The Fountainhead. Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill. ——. 1957. Atlas Shrugged. New York: Random House. ——. 1966–67. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. In Rand 1990. ——. 1990. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Expanded 2nd ed. H. Binswanger and L. Peikoff, editors. New York: Meridian. Sachs, J., translator, 1999. Aristotle’s Metaphysics. Santa Fe: Green Lion Press. Witt, C. 1989. Substance and Essence in Aristotle. Ithaca: Cornell University Press.
  28. Thanks for clarifying that up for me. The coverage in Detroit provided by Mark Scott at the time on the Malice Green case explored in depth the aftermath for Officer's Budzyn and Nevers. Malice Green had underlying health issues that contributed to his death with his encounter with the officers that fateful night. This, in particular, was the why the link to the coroner's advance notice reminded me of this and spawned this thread. The video referenced earlier in the thread is an excerpt of what took place, and came across initially as if the officer was taunting him to get up while his knee was in place, but the officers report mentioned George's initial objection to getting into the police vehicle.
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