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Monday
June 3, 2013
Commentary
Does New Knowledge Invalidate Old Knowledge?
by Joseph Rowlands
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One of the more interesting epistemological arguments made by Objectivists is that new knowledge does not invalidate old knowledge. When you learn that a chair is made of individual atoms, it does not negate your previous knowledge about the chair. You would still understand that it is furniture, designed for people ... (Read more...)
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Tuesday
May 28, 2013
War for Men's Minds
Barbaric Conduct in London
by Tibor R. Machan
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The apparent murderer in London declared on a video that "The only reasons we killed this man ... is because Muslims are dying daily," he said in video aired by CNN affiliate ITN. (Read more...)
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Thursday
May 23, 2013
Commentary
Causation in a Complex System
by Joseph Rowlands
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What is the right way to analyze a complex system? A complex system can have many variables with complex interactions, leading to complex effects that have many different attributes. Some examples of complex systems are economies, biological systems, climate, and child development. Each has an enormous number of fac... (Read more...)
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Saturday
May 18, 2013
Commentary
Back to Basics Please
by Tibor R. Machan
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The idea that occurs to me when confronted with the mess is that those who have even the mildest concern for rhyme and reason should press the Obama people on one central topic: Do the rights of individuals concern this government in the slightest? (Read more...)
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Sunday
May 12, 2013
Commentary
Selfish Altruism
by Joseph Rowlands
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There is an inconsistency among people who support altruism. They can't quite decide whether altruism should be practiced because it benefits them or in spite of the fact that it benefits them. (Read more...)
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Tuesday
May 7, 2013
Commentary
More Environmentalist Confusions
by Tibor R. Machan
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The New York Observer reported in its April 15, 2013, issue (B 1) that Leonardo DiCaprio is teaming up with Christie’s in New York City, to hold a “major philanthropic auction.” I am not interested in the details, which appear to me a kind of kiss up to fellow celebrities on the political/cultural Left. But the following statement from the actor is quite instructive: (Read more...)
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Thursday
May 2, 2013
Commentary
Economic Power and Intervention
by Joseph Rowlands
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A common view of economic relationships is that a person isn't really free if they have no real choice in a decision. When the stakes are high and the options are limited, a person will have to take the most attractive option. He has no choice. And if he has no choice, it really isn't freedom. Even though no coerci... (Read more...)
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Saturday
April 27, 2013
Intellectual Ammunition
No Difference in Ideology & Values
by Tibor R. Machan
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When you consider what is the difference between the ideology of North Korea and that of the U. S. A., it is difficult to say. In practical terms, of course, the U.S.A. is still largely individualistic but our leaders, especially President Obama, embrace a rhetoric that stresses togetherness, “everyone being in the same boat,” etc. In short, America’s current administration has an ideology that is very close to what guides the North Korean communist government. (Read more...)
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Monday
April 22, 2013
Commentary
Variants of Consequentialism
by Joseph Rowlands
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Consequentialism describes moral systems that focus judgment on the consequences of actions. (Read more...)
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Thursday
April 18, 2013
Methodology
The Corruption of Individual Rights
by Tibor R. Machan
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Whenever a good idea surfaces, there will surely be many who will try to hitch their wagon to it filled with corrupt versions that aim to serve numerous purposes having little to do with the original good idea. One example is the idea of individual natural human rights. (Read more...)
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Sunday
April 14, 2013
Commentary
Capitalism Is Moral
by Barry A. Liebling
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Steven Pearlstein, a Washington Post columnist, recently published "Is Capitalism Moral?" where he answers, "not so much." His argument depends upon altruist-collectivist assumptions. An understanding of rational egoism reveals that Mr Pearlstein is mistaken, and capitalism is the only moral system. (Read more...)
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Wednesday
April 10, 2013
Commentary
Different Views of Integrity
by Joseph Rowlands
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A person shows integrity when they stick with their judgment even under pressure. As a virtue, this is a useful and admirable quality. It's useful because it's not enough to be rational, to be thoroughly honest, to weigh your choices careful and to determine your best course of action. None of that matters if you do... (Read more...)
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Saturday
April 6, 2013
Commentary
Objectivism as a Strong Undercurrent
by Michael E. Marotta
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According to the Ayn Rand Institute April 7, 2008, total sales of Ayn Rand’s works was “over 25 million.”  I believe that actual sales are much greater. Message boards for Objectivists and fans of Ayn Rand often carry debates, recommendations, and condemnations about new works such as Lord of the Rings and The Watchmen.  That, too, suggests more missing numbers.  (Read more...)
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Tuesday
April 2, 2013
War for Men's Minds
Revisiting Our Basic Rights
by Tibor R. Machan
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Professor Lynn Hunt’s recently published book on rights, titled Inventing Human Rights, is filled with a great deal of very useful important information about the emergence of the idea of basic human, individual rights, but it also perpetuates, perhaps entirely unconsciously, a very serious and hazardous error. (Read more...)
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Wednesday
March 27, 2013
Commentary
Disconfirming Evidence
by Joseph Rowlands
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Years ago in school I learned about an important method in science. Since then, I've mentioned it to a few people and they told me that they were never actually taught it in school. The lesson went something like this: A guy is given a set of numbers. The numbers given are 4, 6, 8, 12, and 14. He is told that... (Read more...)
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Saturday
March 23, 2013
Commentary
A Prècis on Libertarianism and Capitalism
by Tibor R. Machan
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What is primarily prohibited in a libertarian society is involuntary servitude. (Read more...)
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Tuesday
March 19, 2013
Objectivism
Beauty, Goodness, Life
by Stephen Boydstun
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Literary Arts American Heritage Dictionary defines art as “the conscious production or arrangement of sounds, colors, forms, movements, or other elements in a manner that affects the sense of beauty; specifically, the production of the beautiful in a graphic or plastic medium.” The types after the semicolon are ... (Read more...)
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Friday
March 15, 2013
War for Men's Minds
Self-Referential Paternalist Foibles
by Tibor R. Machan
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At the foundation of this paternalism lies the belief that many of us ordinary blokes need some pushing around so we conduct ourselves properly, sensibly, prudently, wisely--in short, virtuously. Never mind that virtuous conduct needs to be freely chosen for it to amount to something praiseworthy. (Read more...)
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Monday
March 11, 2013
Commentary
Towards a Moral Science
by Joseph Rowlands
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Philosophy, properly understood, does not lend itself to the methods of science.  It deals with fundamental assumptions and understandings about the world.  It provides a mental framework for understanding and evaluating.  Philosophical premises are not as easily refuted as a scientific theory.  Science can make predic... (Read more...)
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Friday
March 8, 2013
Commentary
Theism, Atheism, and Communication -- From the perspective of an "atheist."
by Ed Thompson
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Some analysis of my attempt to communicate a personal position to someone who displayed curiosity about it. Possible lessons here. (Read more...)
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Monday
March 4, 2013
Commentary
Sad State of the Union
by Tibor R. Machan
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President Obama delivered a state of the union address that made no secret of his essentially statist political-economic philosophy. Apart from the details, the major message was that Americans must become part of a herd whether they actually want to involuntarily serving the country. Even the conservative commentator, Charles Krauthammer, characterized Mr. Obama's viewpoint without reference to its coercive nature. That is how ingrained statism is in America now. (Read more...)
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Friday
March 1, 2013
Commentary
Qualitative Predictions
by Joseph Rowlands
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All too often people think about predictions as being quantitative.  A physics problem might ask you to predict how far a bullet will fly given an initial velocity and position.  Economic forecasters will try to predict the change in inflation, or unemployment, or the trade surplus.  Engineers will make predictions abo... (Read more...)
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Sunday
February 24, 2013
Commentary
Reflections on Victor Hugo's Les Miserables
by Edward W. Younkins
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This essay is not a review of Tom Hooper’s recently released film of the tremendously popular 1980s stage musical. However, the release of this film has given me the occasion to read and to reflect upon the original text of Victor Hugo’s 1862 classic, Les Misérables, a mosaic of social indictment, history, social philo... (Read more...)
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Wednesday
February 20, 2013
Commentary
The Republicans’ Achilles Heel
by Tibor R. Machan
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In a recent Wall Street Journal essay, “Generational Theft Needs to be Arrested,” three men advanced some suggestions to Republicans. Their main focus was the need for Republicans to address what they, following others who have chimed in on the topic, have criticized as current members of the public robbing future members of their resources by means of various welfare statist policies, specifically accumulating massive debts that those in the future have no opportunity to vote on, to argue against, and to oppose. (Read more...)
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Saturday
February 16, 2013
Commentary
The Boundary of Philosophy and Science
by Joseph Rowlands
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The history of science begins with a new way of thinking about knowledge.  Before the development of science, it was viewed as appropriate for philosophers to make statements about the nature of the world.  They might speculate that everything is made of fire, earth, water and air.  They might claim that heavier object... (Read more...)
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