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Post 180

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 1:31pmSanction this postReply
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Roger,

Scientists generally are not interested in showing off as a priority, but deal with reality instead. When I read them using terms like "Law of Gravity," I understand that they are not only talking about two different things, they are comfortable with it.

In the following statement, you are very clear that the phrase "Laws of Logic" means two very different things.
The Laws of Logic state how thought must proceed to be valid -- and they also state how reality must be (i.e., how reality is).
I have no problem with that, so long as "law" the concept is understood as identifying an aspect of that which exists and "law" the fact is merely one aspect of an all-inclusive metaphysical state (existence) where it is intertwined with and not separable from all the rest (as a fact).

Thus "Law of Gravity" the concept reflects "Law of Gravity" the attribute, or one small part of existence, which I call a fact, but ultimately is existence.

I do appreciate you trying to keep me honest as it makes me think. In essentials, we agree and that is what makes disagreement so pleasurable. There are no word games, merely an interest in arriving at a common understanding of the truth. This sharpens both the concepts and the words.

Word games, however, start when a concept, which exists to "mentally" separate an aspect of reality in order to focus on it and ultimately allow human beings to use it or alter it, is used interchangeably with metaphysical status, which is not separable or divisible. Existence (fact) is complete and indivisible and is for all time in all places.

Let me try to state that in plain language. A concept is a mental tag for one part of everything. Not everythings. Just everything. Everything can be divided mentally (including reality) but there is only one factual state of being and nothing can be cut off from it.

Gravity, for example, cannot exist as a fact outside of reality. As a concept, logic can be twisted so that it can imagined as such. That is because the concept mentally separates the ontologically inseparable.

Then if you state that existence reflects logic and not the other way around, you can arrive at proposing a metaphysical "fact" of gravity and simultaneously belittle the need for existence first. Then, voila! Great philosophers like Aristotle and Rand, who stressed the existence axiom, can be belittled as not being important and new "geniuses" can show off. Or whatever else such misguided souls seek.

Ah, the rancid smell of horseshit...

Michael




Post 181

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 2:34pmSanction this postReply
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"I'm still trying to find the person who, as Linz claims, is not posting under his real name on this thread."

That's me I guess? My initials stand for ''invented name'' as I said elsewhere.

I'm curious what Barnes and Next Level's short answer would be to my last post - I really don't see what could be said in reply. Of course I know they have a reply --- but I am wondering what it would be. This would help me grasp their position.




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Post 182

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 5:06pmSanction this postReply
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I N Rand
>I'm curious what Barnes and Next Level's short answer would be to my last post - I really don't see what could be said in reply.

IN Rand, my short answer is exactly the same as the short answer in several of my earlier posts: that "Existence exists" is as acceptable to the radical subjectivist as it is to the idealist (eg Stephen's citation of Bradley's reaction 100 years ago) as it is to the Critical Rationalist as it is to Uncle Tom Cobbly and Parmenides and all.

So you're right - there is little that can be said in reply, other than *yawn*. But you are welcome to consider such bland remarks as brilliant philosophic breakthroughs if you wish.

Now, 'bout time you answered *my* original question, with no ducking:

Who is I N Rand?

Not that I want to create any fraternal friction of course....;-)

- Daniel



Post 183

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 5:12pmSanction this postReply
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Quack.

(--Prefer to be anon.)

P.S. - And thanks DB, that WAS instructive, in ways you couldn't understand. I am such a genius! - but then, with my name, how could I not be??

In accrodance with my latest poem,

Emulate Lintz,
Eliminate hints,

--I'll simply say right out that, ''Laj is Next Level.'' See, Laj, your world did not come crasing down. You're safe --- no one seems to care.

(Edited by I. N. Rand on 9/02, 5:23pm)




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Post 184

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 5:19pmSanction this postReply
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Against my better judgement I enter this pseuds' playground a second time. I find it inconceivable that Daniel could be so confused as to say the following, but giving him the benefit of the doubt & assuming he's posting in good faith, I'll address it. Daniel says:

______________________

Merlin cited Rand

"If logic has nothing to do with reality, it means that the Law of Identity is inapplicable to reality. If so, then: a. things are not what they are; b. things can be and not be at the same time, in the same respect, i.e. reality is made up of contradictions. If so, by what means did anyone discover it?"

Thanks Merlin,

I agree this does seem to contradict what Linz and MSK are maintaining ie:.

Linz wrote Post 157:

"There's no need for lengthy treatises here. Logic is not intrinsic to reality. Logic is the human method, the epistemological tool, by which we grasp reality. It is not a reality-intrinsic, metaphysical entity. Reality is not 'logical'—it simply is."

But then, what Linz has written here does not even seem to sit with what he has written elsewhere:

http://solohq.com/Articles/Perigo/Logic_Has_Nothing_To_Do_With_Reality_Yeah,_Right.shtml

"As Robert Nola from this university's Philosophy Department once put it to me, 'Logic has nothing to do with reality.'...these views in their own ways, of course, represent subjectivism, to which Objectivism is diametrically opposed.... "


________________________________

Saying logic is not intrinsic to reality is in no way the same as saying logic has nothing to do with reality. Au contraire. Logic is "the art of non-contradictory identification." Of what? Of reality (contrary to Nola). It presupposes an identifying agent—us. Reality is not an agent of identification; reality is what the agent identifies ... by the process, the method, that is logic. You cannot say an epistemological method is intrinsic to the metaphysical reality to which it is applied!

Logic takes its cue from reality (contrary to Nola) to be sure, in that, for instance, we observe something cannot be something else simultaneously & in the same respect, but that doesn't mean reality is exercising logic; we create the discipline of logic in identifying the impossibility of contradictions, drawing out its implications & stating it all in formal terms. This is the opposite of the subjectivism of the Nola type that says reality has nothing to do with any of it & that we just make it all up. His argument, quite explicitly, was that the rules of logic were independent of reality & that any silly word game of the type beloved of pseuds constituted logic as long as it observed the forms of logic.

Daniel, the answer to intrinsicism is not subjectivism—it's objectivity, which rejects both. Objectivity is an interactive thing—the human mind interacting with all the rest of reality. Logic is objectivity's tool. Logic is possible only to a conceptually conscious being—man. To say it's inherent in all of reality is in effect to argue for a conceptually conscious super-man: God. Phil Donahue was quickly slapped down by Rand when he tried something similar on in one of his interviews. Putting the case for a god, he asked her if she wasn't impressed by all the "order" in the universe? Her answer was something like, No! There's no such thing as an "orderly" universe in the sense that if the universe were DISorderly it couldn't exist.

The universe simply is. Logic is our way of making sense of it.

Linz






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Post 185

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 5:51pmSanction this postReply
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Forget it, LP, they cannot get fine distinctions like O'ism makes. Truth doesn't concern them, only, ''breakthroughs''. Primacy of consciousness stuff - like MSK says.



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Post 186

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 6:38pmSanction this postReply
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Linz,

Perfectly brilliant post.

But get the stable maintenance crew ready. The cordial "good faith" posture of the poster you addressed was merely bait - I've been at this a bit longer and recognize the signs.

To quote myself:

Then, voila! Great philosophers like Aristotle and Rand, who stressed the existence axiom, can be belittled as not being important and new "geniuses" can show off. Or whatever else such misguided souls seek.
To quote the person you are addressing (commenting on "existence exists" in a very recent post, a bit after mine):
So you're right - there is little that can be said in reply, other than *yawn*. But you are welcome to consider such bland remarks as brilliant philosophic breakthroughs if you wish.
To quote myself again from the same post as before:
Ah, the rancid smell of horseshit...
Good luck to you on this one. (I foresee a deluge of name-dropping because of your Nola comments, and the "but you said" type accusations, without an attempt to ever understand what you said in your article, but maybe not since I am mentioning them as ploys beforehand.)

Michael


PS - I am beginning to get a glimmer of an extremely strong candidate for your second Boring Old Fart of the Month Award.

Now I get to sit back and watch the show.  //;-)




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Post 187

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 7:37pmSanction this postReply
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Sorry, MSK—ain't gonna be no show 'cos I ain't playin'! :-) No time to waste on pseuds & "horse-shitters." I entered the pseuds' playground extremely reluctantly, just in case Daniel was genuinely confused (& in case anyone else might have been too); ain't gonna hang round for no "show!" :-)

Linz



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Post 188

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 7:43pmSanction this postReply
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Linz-
You've got a knack for cleaning it up concisely.  I don't envy you the job, but thanks for doing it.  We can't just let it pile up.  MSK puts forth a valiant effort at this as well.  Sanctions to you both.  As for myself, I just burn incense to mask the odor, but hopefully I'm learning the trade.




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Post 189

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 9:27pmSanction this postReply
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Again, let's not get carried away.

The questions that have not yet been answered by all the lovers of high-sounding denunciation are the following: apart from MSK with his penchant for radical misinterpretation and imputing motives onto others without strong evidence, who has said or written that
1) logic has nothing to do with reality?
2) saying that reality is logical implies that you must subscribe to the primacy of consciousness?
3) saying that reality is logical implies that God created it?

You see, no one argued for any of these things.  But given the way the discussion has gone, you'd think that someone went out of his way to defend one or more of the above. 

What has happened is that MSK, upon misinterpreting a statement of mine, applied a radical subjectivist motive to it, and ran away with that motive.  Note that I repeatedly disclaimed the precise interpretation that MSK gave to my statement and asked MSK to back up his interpretation.  To paraphrase MSK, I got a pile of horseshit.

Of course, given the way things have gone so far, I feel more than thoroughly vindicated - at least two individuals who could (but may not) identify themselves as Objectivists have shown that my statement did not require a subjectivist interpretation.

The original statement I made implied the following - working within a paradigm that defines reality as being external to the knower (yes, the knower can be defined as being a part of reality if you so desire, for all those people looking for evidence of "the primacy of consciousness", but that leaves no distinction to be made):

1) Reality is part of the cause of our thoughts -therefore, our thoughts are dependent upon reality. Example: I see the computer screen because the computer screen exists and influences my thoughts.
2) While reality is a part of the cause of our thoughts, it is possible for a variety of reasons to arrive at false judgments - such reasons include bad thinking on the part of the knower, a bad perspective from which to view an object/issue etc.  Example: I may believe that I've typed a coherent post with perfect spellings until I've used my spell checker.
3) Therefore, in a specific, logical sense, more so if causality is logical relation, our thoughts are independent of reality. Example: whether or not I think I've typed a post without misspellings, the misspellings are what they are.(again, given the example of mispellings, there are other related issues that Searle discusses in his excellent book, The Construction of Social Reality, but I digress.)  Of course, this sense in which my thoughts are independent of reality is what is meant by realism, but it needs to be carefully stated to avoid the problems that arise if you combine both the claims that
a) your thoughts and their truth-values are caused (at least in part) by reality and that
b) your thoughts and their truth-values are independent of reality.

But in an attempt to pin his wild interpretation of an easily understood and fairly well explicated statement to me, MSK went as far as claiming that an earlier statement of mine implied a "primacy of consciousness" position.

Did it really? At this point, I've come to the conclusion that anything I write will imply a "primacy of consciousness" position to MSK.

Laj

(Edited by Abolaji Ogunshola on 9/02, 9:31pm)




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Post 190

Friday, September 2, 2005 - 10:33pmSanction this postReply
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On criticizing philosophers:

I do not see why criticizing philosophers is such a big deal.  I'm as big a critic as anyone else of Cartesian Dualism as an answer to the Mind-Body problem.  However, I think that Descartes was/is no doubt a great philosopher.  If believing a philosopher was wrong about this or that makes them less great, then there are no great philosophers. Greatness in philosophy is measured at least in part by popularity and Ayn Rand was a great philosopher.  I disagree with her many of her positions, especially those positions that fall within the realm of empirical science.  I also get worked up when I read her bottom-line interpretations of complex issues, interpretations which I feel might sometimes mislead the reader who doesn't have a strong understanding of what qualifies as testable knowledge and what doesn't. However, these criticisms could also be levelled at other philosophers.

I subscribe to the primacy of existence position.  I agree with what Robert Bass wrote about it:

"A fourth interpretation takes 'EE' to assert what Objectivists have elsewhere called 'the primacy of existence,' namely, the thesis that any occasion of consciousness or awareness must be awareness of something that is or depends upon the existence of something independent of that very act of awareness.

I think that the primacy of existence is both true and important (not self-evident), but its main failing is that it is not a plausible interpretation of the words, 'existence exists.'" (Emphasis mine - Laj)

That is Brendan's position.  I agree with it, and I don't think that the position is worth deep debate.  The only reason why debating this issue might be profitable is that some of the hidden assumptions that some Objectivists attach to words, "existence exists", get revealed. 

However, anyone who is a serious student of philosophy and thinks that the primacy of existence is a self-evident position should pick up a good book on epistemology (other than the Objectivist one) and read it.  A relatively simple one is Bonjour's "Epistemology", which is written at an introductory level but doesn't duck the hard questions.  The book also attacks some positions that I agree with.

Laj. 




Post 191

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 1:29amSanction this postReply
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Jordan: “Don’t be rude to me. I've been patient and cordial with you. But we’re not getting anywhere. If I don’t soon see what your problem is, I’ll leave you be…”

My apologies. You’re right. We’re getting nowhere. In fact, we’re back to where we began. I’ll take a rain check for the time being. Good to talk to you.

Brendan




Post 192

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 1:30amSanction this postReply
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Michael: “What do you think "all encompassing" means if not many things? Getting back to the problem, "one" and "many" are concepts anyway. They both refer to parts of the fact of ‘is’.”

And your point is? Of course “one” and “many” are concepts. So is “fact” (although I’m not sure what a “fact of is” could be), as well as “all encompassing”, “reality” “universe” “something” “one gigantic humongous thing”.

All these synonyms for the concept Existence are themselves concepts, which merely confirms my original point, that the concept Existence is theory-laden. In which case it’s not a rock-bottom foundational concept, therefore not an axiom.

But I know you won’t accept that. That’s fine. We disagree.

Brendan




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Post 193

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 3:32pmSanction this postReply
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Linz writes:
>I find it inconceivable that Daniel could be so confused as to say the following, but giving him the benefit of the doubt & assuming he's posting in good faith...

Clearly it was not just me, but well informed Objectivists such as Merlin Jetton and Roger Bissell arched their eyebrows over MSK's convolutions. Further, Merlin seemed to think both MSK *and* you needed some urgent remedial Rand on that basis. So the author must take some responsibility for confusing his readers, no?

Good to see you attempt to clear things up here.

Linz:
>Logic takes its cue from reality (contrary to Nola) to be sure, in that, for instance, we observe something cannot be something else simultaneously & in the same respect, but that doesn't mean reality is exercising logic;...To say it's inherent in all of reality is in effect to argue for a conceptually conscious super-man: God

All well and good, but this is a rather odd line of argument to suddenly be attacking, for as far as I can see, *no-one on this thread was defending it*!

Merlin, Laj, Roger, Jon, Brendan - can you confirm if you think that reality "exercises" logic, like a kind of "conceptually conscious super-man"? Skimming back through the thread I can see no sign of *any* promoters of this idea. In fact, I think you'll find that all of us agree that logic "takes its cue" from reality. From my position, for example, Popper would say it as a product of human consciousness interacting with the physical world. Or as Linz would say, "...Objectivity is an interactive thing—the human mind interacting with all the rest of reality..."

I find it inconceivable that Linz could be so confused as to think such absurd arguments were being made by those of us- including the Objectivists - who queried his and MSK's posts on the subject. But I shall return him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is posting in good faith.

Linz continues:
>Daniel, the answer to intrinsicism is not subjectivism—it's objectivity, which rejects both.

Well, this is the same problem again. Linz seems to be - rhetorically at least - attributing a subjectivist argument to me. Actually it's what I've been *criticising* about MSK's witterings - that he is an "Accidental Subjectivist". So this is another misfire on Linz's part.

Linz:
>The universe simply is. Logic is our way of making sense of it.

Well this sounds agreeable enough to me, given the above. However, if you are going to write...

>Reality is not "logical"—it simply is.

...on the back of MSK's semi-comprehensible ravings, don't be suprised if a few people take it the wrong way.

- Daniel
(Edited by Daniel Barnes
on 9/03, 3:34pm)




Post 194

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 4:20pmSanction this postReply
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Jody writes:
>Linz...you've got a knack for cleaning it up concisely. I don't envy you the job, but thanks for doing it. We can't just let it pile up. MSK puts forth a valiant effort at this as well. Sanctions to you both. As for myself, I just burn incense to mask the odor, but hopefully I'm learning the trade.

Hopefully, Jody, you'll see that Linz seems to arguing against a position no-one holds in the first place - in fact that there is broad agreement on. He just didn't make himself very clear (and of course MSK is entirely at sea, but that's another story....)

You are right, however, in that there is a lot of complete horseshit talked in epistemology, and it needs to be detected and weeded out. Fortunately I believe with the help of Karl Popper and his Critical Rationalism we have the tools to do this. With this, and a bit of original thinking on my part, I am doing some fundamental epistemological work that will hopefully correct the errors of most other philosophical systems.

For example, I have recently been considering the epistemological status of *colour*. From my perspective I believe most philosophers have got something as simple as this entirely wrong. What should be distinguished -and what I distinguish clearly in my proposed CR based system - as 'colour' is that quality of any thing that exists which actually *has* that quality to start with. In turn, this can then be related via quantity to an elementary structural constituent of colour. But - and this is an important consideration - naturally there is no *particular amount* of that quality that needs to be present for these considerations to be met.

Naturally, you can then apply the same method to other existential attributes, such as size for example. So you can see it is really quite simple to identify these kind of things, and there is really no need for much of the argy-bargy that goes on in philosophic circles.

- Daniel







Post 195

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 5:12pmSanction this postReply
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Daniel,

Your short philosophical discourse on "color" leaves me bewildered. I'm not quite sure what to make of it, but that's probably in part because I don't understand it.

Maybe you could make it the subject of another thread and explain what problems your new approach solves? One of the problems I find with epistemological discourses is that they often try to solve problems that often don't exist. What these epistemological discourses should do more often is clarify why certain approaches work, usually through a compare and contrast procedure. Of course, it would also help if you explained which philosophers were guilty of making the errors you spoke of.

Laj.



Post 196

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 5:52pmSanction this postReply
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A 'color' thread like that would probably be clarifying re differences between C.R. and A.R., since there look to be, at 1st blush, points of similarity. I say - go for it!



Post 197

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 8:54pmSanction this postReply
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Man observes that *nature* does not allow of a contradiction, and resolves that he will not allow his consciousness to entertain one, either.

Anyone who cares to insist that this is what they’ve been saying all along… good for you. Glad we're in the same primacy-of-nature-club.

Jon
(Edited by Jon Letendre
on 9/03, 9:19pm)




Post 198

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 8:57pmSanction this postReply
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Brendan,

I want to translate a phrase of yours for other readers who might be wowed:
... the concept Existence is theory-laden.
Folks, what this means is that you need a brain to think and that Brandan finds this fact to be a critical shortcoming.

(Only a conceptual brain can deal with a theory.)

Do I smell primacy-of-consciousness horseshit over the horizon?

Michael



Post 199

Saturday, September 3, 2005 - 10:30pmSanction this postReply
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Jon:
>Anyone who cares to insist that this is what they’ve been saying all along… good for you. Glad we're in the same primacy-of-nature-club.

But what will poor old MSK have to talk about now!?

Because his legendary Macarena is really just a One-Note Samba...;-)

- Daniel



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