Rebirth of Reason

Stephen Boydstun

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View all articles by Stephen Boydstun

Number of Posts: 838
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Premium Articles

"Vegetative Robots and Value"
"The 'With-Measurement' Program"

"Rights, Games, and Self-Realization"

  Intro, Part I, Part II, Part III

Premium Posts
Foundations of Ethics #15, #17, #20

Implied Axioms #207, #230
Who Needs Philosophy #14
Locke and Essence #3
Evolution of the Objective #39
Objectivism and the Correspondence Theory #0
Mind and Representation #4, #6
Concepts #1, #11
Concept Formation #0
Corruption of Measurement #11
Physics and Philosophy #54
Scope of Volition #31, #38
Objectivism and Existentialism #7, #11
Self-Interest #13
Objectivist and Libertarian Politics #36
Definition of Objectivism #12, #24
Whether Objectivist #17


My academic backgrounds are in physics, philosophy, and engineering. My engineering work was building locomotives, then I switched to nuclear power electrical generation. Engineering rounded out the understanding of the physical world I had from physics. Now all those backgrounds, and long study of philosophy, too, are put into my project of writing my own philosophy.

I created, financed, and edited Objectivity, a hardcopy "journal of metaphysics, epistemology, and theory of value informed by modern science" (1990-98). All issues of Objectivity are now freely available online for readers and researchers.

Visit www.objectivity-archive.com

On the romantic side, my husband's name is Walter. We have been together since 1996. He has two sons and one grandson. It is wonderful to have a family.

http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/forum/119-books-to-mind-–-stephen-boydstun/ ------WebKitFormBoundaryUdAjQ0G5SiFyyCE5--

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November 26, 2005
Vegetative Robots and Value
by Stephen Boydstun
Sanctions: 9Sanctions: 9 Sanction this ArticleEditMark as your favorite article
Thought experiments are notorious for pre-packing the point to be demonstrated into the setup to be contemplated. In an essay in The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand (1984), Charles King raised just that sort of objection to Rand’s robot gedanken: "if the robot neither knows nor cares [what happens to things around it], the example seems uninteresting." I do not agree that the robot gedanken is without interest if the robot is devoid of thought and feeling. I will here extend Rand’s gedanken in such a way that it can inform the concept of purely vegetative value. (Read more...)
Discuss this Article (46 messages)

Recent Gallery Items

(News) Asteroid Success
(Quotes) “To be self-sufficient is not to require anything else for one’s definition; it is to be identical with oneself and so to be definite. Thus worth consists in ‘in-itselfness’ and self-hood.” --Raphael Demos in THE PHILOSOPHY OF PLATO (1939)
(Quotes) Whoever espies human beauty can be afflicted by no ill: he feels himself in accord with himself and with the world.
(Quotes) “You concede too much power to the state. It may not demand what it cannot coerce. But what love gives, and spirit, cannot be coerced. Either the state leaves that untouched, or we take its law and nail it to the pillory! By heaven! He who would make the state into a school of mores does no know his sin. The state has always been made into hell because man wanted to make it into his heaven.”
(Books) How We Know


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