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Post 0

Saturday, January 18 - 9:46pmSanction this postReply
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If Joe decides that my decision to moderate in his absence was unjustified... so be it. I can delete posts, but I can't explicitly change which forums a person can post on.

Know that a certain someone's posts will have content briefly until I check back here and delete them... unless the post is within the Dissent forum.
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores on 1/18, 9:46pm)


Post 1

Saturday, January 18 - 11:52pmSanction this postReply
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Eva,

What do you know? I just upgraded my permissions. Welcome to Dissent and Moderation. Here's a special message made for people like you:

This site is for Objectivists. You may continue to post on the Dissent board only.


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Post 2

Sunday, January 19 - 8:44amSanction this postReply
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Dean,

I think you acted personally and not within the guidelines of RoR.

I don't know if Eva was a progressive pretending to be a libertarian, or she really thinks she is a libertarian, but is simply confused in a number of areas. Remember, she has two parents that are both full time academics, and she is in her fourth year at a university - she hasn't had the time, the experience or exposure to sort out the differences. There are a number of members here who once were socialists, Christians, and who knows what before sorting out the fundamentals.

You are the only person who was calling for her to be moderated. And you did not tell her that you were a moderator and then give her a warning. And you deleted the posts of yours that would have told the rest of us what was going on at the time you decided to moderate her.

I think you should reverse your actions and back off for a while and let Joe decide on this. In all of the actions like this that I've seen in the past, there were always far, far worse behavior leading up to the moderating, AND there was a growing group of members who were calling for moderation, and there were warnings. None of that was present this time. And the members don't even know what was being said since you deleted all of the posts. To me, it feels more like a kind of personal censoring than a proper moderator's action.

Post 3

Sunday, January 19 - 8:59amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

Sorry, I should have backed up the posts before deleting them so that they could have been openly judged here on this thread.

Eva's posts were out of scope of the purpose of this website. I'm sure if Joe wants Eva to post here freely he will do something about it. In the mean time, you are free to talk with Eva in the Dissent forum.

Cheers,
Dean

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Post 4

Sunday, January 19 - 7:16pmSanction this postReply
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Dean Michael Gores has PUBLICLY ADMITTED THAT HE IS NOT AN OBJECTIVIST. He has endorsed a Neo-Tech kind of philosophy. That in itself is interesting and worthy of discussion. However, it DISQUALIFIES HIM to pass judgment on the Truly Objectivish beliefs of others.

I agree with Steve that Eva is a fan of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. She read them both and found them compelling. Her questions and answers here on RoR have been about reconciling Ayn Rand's Objectivism with the large body of academic philosophy as it exists today. As noted, as she said, both of her parents are tenured university faculty. I found her many posts interesting, challenging, lively, and thought-provoking ... but then I finished my own BS in 2008 and my MA in 2010 even though my freshman year was 1967. Just sayin' here... if you see those classic blasts from the past and wonder what happened, to RoR, it was this: stomping on people.

I have been online since before the Internet, or before most people knew there was one, so I know that flamboyant exits are only embarrassing when you come back later. That said.... I withdraw my sanction from Rebirth of Reason until Eva Matthews is reinstated with full privileges.



Post 5

Sunday, January 19 - 3:53pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

Thank you for being you--argumentative and fair. I'm circulating this letter on a private basis, as well.

This is what I'm used to both at home and in my college environment, part of which is to push and pull at definitions. What, for example, does libertarianism mean in practice?

I suppose 'trolling' has something to do with 'intent', hence 'sincerity'. That, of course is nothing but low-class bullshit. People should be judged solely upon the truth-content of what they say-- not how they might posture an accepted belief.

So if you and the others enjoy chatting with me, kindly inform the owner to reinstate me in full and. hopefully, to have Gores' behavior publically censured.

Otherwise, of course, I will neither be moderated nor placed into 'dissent'.

Lastly, if I do return, I will have absolutely nothing to  do with any post of gores whatsoever. I therefore urge others to boycott him in the interest of fairness.



Thanks, Eva


Post 6

Sunday, January 19 - 8:48pmSanction this postReply
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From Article Discussions : Too Many Un-American Americans

=== Dean Wrote Post 55 ===

Steve,

It wasn't a firestorm, but a few mean words were exchanged rather than taking the time to debate each detail. I decided I had enough with it and decided to moderate instead of waste my time debating or getting angry.

I deleted my posts following the virtue of "Don't feed the trolls". I deleted Eva's posts that were dissenting.

There are enough forums in the world for socialists and statists to express their viewpoints and debate with individualists. We even have a dedicated sub forum called "Dissent" just for that purpose.

=== Steve Wrote Post 56 ===

Dean,

"I decided I had enough...[and didn't want to] waste my time debating or getting angry."

That's you. I didn't notice that anyone else had had enough. I don't think your emotional state should be the rule that throws another member into Dissent. Joe owns the site, and if he wants to do that, for whatever reason, he's free to. But the rest of us should walk a somewhat different path to ensure we are not stepping on each other's toes.

I don't want your emotions, or your concern about wasting your time to interrupt a thread or insult another member. Not wasting your time is an easy fix - just ignore the people that bug you.

Again, I'd ask that unless Joe rules otherwise, you restore Eva's normal privileges. If there are others who feel that your actions were abrupt, maybe they could chime in. Or, if there are others that agree with your actions, they could chime in. Otherwise, right now, without anyone else speaking up and without Joe, it just isn't right.

=== Sam Wrote Post 57 ===

Sam Erica

I tend to agree with Steve. I found Eva's personality to be very irritating and pompous but I don't think she crossed the line. She obviously hasn't been exposed to enough libertarian/objectivist thought to be able to argue knowledgeably. Maybe this is the only way that she can gain that exposure.
Just giving her the benefit of the doubt.

Sam

Post 7

Sunday, January 19 - 11:35pmSanction this postReply
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MEM,

He has endorsed a Neo-Tech kind of philosophy. Wow that's a smear. AFAIK Neo-Tech's only insight is that there are manipulators and hence you need to think for yourself. Then the author does think for himself, poorly, and goes on all sorts of silly rants to try to sell stuff to you.

has PUBLICLY ADMITTED THAT HE IS NOT AN OBJECTIVIST. Ever consider becoming a sensational news article title maker? In my mind Objectivism is a subset of my philosophy with some contradictions with reality resolved. Here is a brief on my differences. In practicality, I think most would consider me an Objectivist, although clearly I do have philosophical/worldview differences. I don't think there's been any point here where anyone has called me out as being their enemy... no, we are friends. One of the purposes of this website is "to advance the philosophy of Objectivism.". Is there any question on whether my presence here is anything other than this purpose?

However, it DISQUALIFIES HIM to pass judgment on the Truly Objectivish beliefs of others.Invalid. Are you questioning my ability to judge whether something is or is not an Objectivist's position on a matter? Clearly in the case of Eva Matthews, it is obvious that this person is not an Objectivist and is ignorant about Objectivism. This isn't even being debated, its clear.

What is being debated is whether a person who is both ignorant of Objectivism and has a disrespectful and sarcastic attitude should be able to post freely on this website. I say no. Others say yes... because maybe this person will "[one day agree after we debate for a while]". But the purpose of this website is not to debate Objectivist principals with someone who is taking the position of socialists and statists. Its not to evangelize to them. The dissent forum is for that. This website is for us friends to talk about things together for the purpose of improving our lives and bringing about a new Renaissance. See The Rebirth by Joseph Rowlands.

Post 8

Monday, January 20 - 10:32amSanction this postReply
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What is being debated is whether a person who is both ignorant of Objectivism and has a disrespectful and sarcastic attitude should be able to post freely on this website. I say no. Others say yes...
Eva indicated her enthusiasm for Rand's fiction. Remember that we all started ignorant of Objectivism's principles. And that she hasn't yet read any of the non-fiction.

Dean, the most disrespectful post in the threads under question was when you called her "scum" - repeatedly - and as for sarcasm... Give me a break! When did that become a crime and who on this forum hasn't made a sarcastic remark?

She never attacked Objectivism or Rand and her attacks on me weren't much more than heated debate. Nor did I get the opinion that she was here to proselytize for socialism, or was a socialist.

This isn't about a "debate" between you and three other members - this is about the unilateral decision of yours to throw her into Dissent without the consent of the owner, or any consensus of other members.

The rest of us "post freely" (but then we haven't been convicted of making Dean angry or wasting his time - if you'll excuse the sarcasm).

There is NOTHING in the spirit of Objectivism that calls for that kind rejection of differing opinions.
---------
I don't think there's been any point here where anyone has called me out as being their enemy... no, we are friends.
Dean, this Friends and Enemies business is a distinction of your philosophy and not a part of the Objectivist Philosophy - yet you are using it here as part of your justification for what has happened.

And, you didn't just "say no" - you locked her out of freely posting and did so without even a warning. There are now three of us who "say yes."

Unmoderate her and let Joe make any decision he believes is needed in this instance.
------------------

Here are the guiding principles in this... from Joe's article: Principles of an Objectivist Forum:
A forum is a place for people to discuss ideas, learn from each other, explore new thoughts, and enjoy the companionship of like-minded people. An Objectivist forum in particular should be set up to encourage critical thinking and rational discourse. We don’t want blind acceptance of ideas, but an intelligent grasp of the material. We must also remember that Objectivism is not the conventional worldview, and participants will have varying degrees of understanding.

So the first principle that should guide the forum is that it should be open to disagreements. We don’t ban people because they have ideas we disagree with. We don’t hide behind our philosophy, afraid to examine and discuss contradictory views. In fact, there is some benefit to having people around with opposing points of view. By arguing against them, you can learn to refine your own arguments, better integrate your knowledge, and flesh out your understanding.

The benefits from these opposing points of view are not unlimited though, and we shouldn’t pretend that they are. That's the second principle. Non-Objectivists are guests. If someone is making an honest effort to learn and understand Objectivism, they should be encouraged to stay and work it out. But when someone shows up making wild assertions, and is unwilling to discuss them intelligently, then they provide no benefit to the forum. For those people committed to an opposing worldview and unwilling to learn, they provide value only to the extent that people can and want to use them as a debating foil or sounding board. These people are guests who participate by permission, not right. They are expected to be on their best behavior. They are held to a stricter standard and should act appropriately.
[Emphasis mine]


Post 9

Monday, January 20 - 12:20pmSanction this postReply
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Steve,

These people are guests who participate by permission, not right. They are expected to be on their best behavior. They are held to a stricter standard and should act appropriately.
Emphasis mine.

Insulting Fred Bartlett

Insulting Tibor Machan

Insulting Steve Wolfer

Would anyone like to look through Eva's remaining posts for further unprovoked attitude/insults that contradicts "on their best behavior"? Yes... Eva may be doing this out of ignorance, and due to an upbringing where Kant and Krugman are respected... but sorry that behavior just doesn't fly here, particularly from a dissenter. There is no question about it... Eva is a dissenter. Was a guest... and I decided to enforce him to the dissent forum due to disrespectful behavior. Here's the list of Eva's posts. I'm sure you will find more, sorry again that I didn't copy the ones I deleted to this thread. Eva's posts

I assure you I called Eva "socialist scum" after Eva made these insults.
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores on 1/20, 12:28pm)


Post 10

Monday, January 20 - 1:40pmSanction this postReply
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Dean, those posts of Eva's are nothing more than sharp retorts. There is no ugly name calling. No harsh personal attacks. I'd agree she had an attitude that was a bit abrasive for a new comer, but not enough to send her to dissent.

You just now called her a "dissenter" and that is peculiar, because as in my quote of Joe (see above) dissent is welcome, or if you mean she is someone who can only post in "Dissent," well, you did that.

There are a number of people who have posted at RoR for many years, and are respected, that do not have the same negative opinion of Kant. Respecting Kant isn't a reason that you should have, on your own, decided to moderate her.

I'll say it again. I find your moderation of Eva out of line and it feels totalitarian, and almost cult-like in spirit. You should reinstate her privileges and acknowledge that if Joe wants this moderation, he can institute it.

I don't even want to belong to a forum where you get called scum, and then get treated like you are the one that has to be quarantined as if you were the one making the insults. I have no problem with letting a guest know what the rules are and I don't feel so powerless to defend myself or my principles that I need to act like a censor.

DO NOT MODERATE ANYONE ON MY BEHALF. IF I BELIEVE SOMEONE IS BEHAVING BADLY ENOUGH FOR THAT, I'LL SAY SO.

Post 11

Monday, January 20 - 3:39pmSanction this postReply
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This letter has been sent out to several participnnts....

 

I believe that at least two participants are calling gores a hypocrite, and they are correct.

Objectivism is the antithesis of both subject-dependent science and subject dependent-ethics.

 

In this sense, Rand's insistence on scientific object-independency (ie QM) is fairly orthodox.

On the other hand, her constructing of an objective, discoverable ethical system is quite remarkable, resembling that of Dworkin as proposed in 'Hedgehog'.

 

Gores, per citations, accepts neither, giving individuals the freedom to construct thar own, personal compendium of rights and wrongs. So when he begins to childishly scream and yell and call me a bad name for having said that, I'll  look them up--if not beaten to the punch by a kind fellow member.

 

This means that he's either failed to understand Rand, or quite diametrically disagrees. Therefore, gores' claims to objectivist loyalty by virtue of his longetivity is absolutely worthless. Such conduct resembles the talking horse with nothing to say, and was therefore led away to the glue factory.

 

My Randian project is to reconcile her thought with mainstream philosophy--or what passes incorrectly as 'academic'. This isn't 'dissent', because I don't disagree.

 

Rather, what I see is a lexicon-reconcilliation issue that would confront any reader of non-Rand philosophy, regardless of political beliefs. For example, her 'epistemology' as 'thought' means something totally different than the same word outside of her lexicon.

 

That this project might come accross as 'dissent' to the likes of gores is understandable.

He is simply not the person whom you'd give the job of assessing others.

 

As for 'Libertarianism', nothing I've written falls beyond the pale as defined by Wiki. As for the definition given by Rand, libertarianism is positively apostate; therefore, any orthodox objectivist site should ban Libs as if they were admitted 'socialist scum'...which means about half of you, I suppose.

 

now this leads me back to the motives for all this name-calling and banning that he likes to do. He's not as smart as I, nor even was by the time I graduated from high school. He's not as smaart as you, either, but can only get away with banning newbies.

My solution, again, is to boycott gores.

 

Lastly, we have the selfishness  issue, which stands at the heart of Rand's ethics. I write, you respond back , and i write again because of mutual enjoyment. So who, precisely, is self-entitled to prevent this, the enjoyment of others? Obviously a non-Randian!

 

Eva

 


Post 12

Monday, January 20 - 3:27pmSanction this postReply
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I believe that at least two participants are calling gores a hypocrite, and they are correct.
Objectivism is the antithesis of both subject-dependent science and subject dependent-ethics.

In this sense, Rand's insistence on scientific object-independency (ie QM) is fairly orthodox.
On the other hand, her constructing of an objective, discoverable ethical system is quite remarkable, resembling that of Dworkin as proposed in 'Hedgehog'.

Gores, per citations, accepts neither, giving individuals the freedom to construct thar own, personal compendium of rights and wrongs. So when he begins to childishly scream and yell and call me a bad name for having said that, I'll  look them up--if not beaten to the punch by a kind fellow member.

This means that he's either failed to understand Rand, or quite diametrically disagrees. Therefore, gores' claims to objectivist loyalty by virtue of his longetivity is absolutely worthless. Such conduct resembles the talking horse with nothing to say, and was therefore led away to the glue factory.

My Randian project is to reconcile her thought with mainstream philosophy--or what passes incorrectly as 'academic'. This isn't 'dissent', because I don't disagree.

Rather, what I see is a lexicon-reconcilliation issue that would confront any reader of non-Rand philosophy, regardless of political beliefs. For example, her 'epistemology' as 'thought' means something totally different than the same word outside of her lexicon.

That this project might come accross as 'dissent' to the likes of gores is understandable.
He is simply not the person whom you'd give the job of assessing others.

As for 'Libertarianism', nothing I've written falls beyond the pale as defined by Wiki. As for the definition given by Rand, libertarianism is positively apostate; therefore, any orthodox objectivist site should ban Libs as if they were admitted 'socialist scum'...which means about half of you, I suppose.

now this leads me back to the motives for all this name-calling and banning that he likes to do. He's not as smart as I, nor even was by the time I graduated from high school. He's not as smaart as you, either, but can only get away with banning newbies.
My solution, again, is to boycott gores.

Lastly, we have the selfishness  issue, which stands at the heart of Rand's ethics. I write, you respond back , and i write again because of mutual enjoyment. So who, precisely, is self-entitled to prevent this, the enjoyment of others? Obviously a non-Randian!

Eva


Post 13

Monday, January 20 - 6:03pmSanction this postReply
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At this point its is better to just make the point that Eva was NOT engaged in an attack on Rand or Objectivism and is instead attracted to aspects of the philosophy.

I don't think that her posts were insulting to any extreme, but I would have liked much less attitude and more of a discussion that attempted to show the nature of perceived flaws in the arguments others are making, rather than attacks... which can veer too easily into invective.

Someone who is new to a forum is often better served to be like a guest in the house of someone they might like to know better, and existing people should show more hospitality - we do want a stream of new members that are bright, well read, enthusiastic about key elements of Objectivism. (Then with time familiarity will begin its proverbial breeding program :-)
----------------

The study comparing the terminology sounds interesting - the lexicon-reconcilliation. But it would be far better to approach that after a reading of Rand's non-fiction, and then to ask questions to ensure that she has the right grasp of how Rand intended a word to be understood and how it might integrate into other aspects of her philosophy.
----------------

It would also be far better if Dean ignores Eva, and if Eva ignores Dean. It does neither of them any good to natter at each other. Anything, at this point, that she says about him just makes him look justified.
----------------

Rand hated the libertarians who she saw as having stolen many of her ideas, and even wording, but without giving credit, and while either failing to understand or disagreeing with the underlying ethical principles. And, she was certainly right in pointing out that a political system without an explicit and consistent ethical base is not likely to be internally consistent, lasting or supportable. And we have seen absolutely idiotic versions of "libertarianism" sprout like silly weeds(Anarcho-Capitalism Libertarianism, Socialist Libertarianism, Agrarian Libertarianism, etc.)

I call myself a libertarian because I think it is a valid term to describe my political beliefs which are a subset of my Objectivist beliefs. I hope that the day isn't far off where I can say I'm an Objectivist and people will understand what my political principles are - but even today, some people couldn't name the vice-president, much less know what a libertarian is (or should be).


Post 14

Monday, January 20 - 6:37pmSanction this postReply
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I removed the "Moderated" flag, but the "Dissenter" flag still remains. So I think you will be able to see Eva's posts immediately... but they are limited to the dissent forum. Eva could confirm this. I could be wrong about how it works because I didn't test and I didn't write the code nor review the code on this feature.

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Post 15

Monday, January 20 - 11:26pmSanction this postReply
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I've been busy with real life, but I've gotten a few messages about all hell breaking loose. Figured I'd pop in for a bit to comment.

I've run this forum for something like 10 years now, and these decisions are often not easy. First of all, I don't expect people to agree with everything Rand said (I don't). Nor do I expect them to agree with me. There is no demand for uniformity or loyalty. I don't even demand civility, even if it would be nice.

What I do look for is whether a person is adding value to the site. If they're driving people away, or destroying meaningful discussions, I prefer they leave. Even then, people have wildly different views of what is valuable. Some people love arguing with others. And there can be value there. So I try to err on the side of generosity.

I've also learned that no matter how irritating a person is, as soon as they are moderated or restricted to dissent, people suddenly decide the person is a martyr. So there's no pleasing everyone.

I looked at some of Eva's posts last week when both Dean and Eva asks me to do something about the other. I thought they were disrespectful and hostile. I also have a hard time reading them to conclusion. I think they jump around, hitting lots of points, without making a point. Of those, I only really cared about how disrespectful they were. I had considered putting Eva on either moderation or dissent just for that (especially the insulting posts regarding Tibor). People's behaviors rarely get better. But I figured I'd wait and see if the attitude improved, or if the rest of the forum got tired of it all. I've seen mixed results. It seems that on at least one of the threads people played nice. Others were not so great. Still too early to tell.

So I would have left things the way they were for now. I don't entirely disagree with Dean's preference, but I wouldn't have done it that way (and didn't). So for now, I'm removing the dissent restriction.

Eva, I do have to ask you to try harder to be respectful. People have bent over backwards to make you feel welcome and to give you a chance to contribute positively. Take advantage of the opportunity, because that generosity won't last forever.


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Post 16

Tuesday, January 21 - 5:34amSanction this postReply
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Joe,

Thank you for your clarification on the matter. I was starting to fear that something bad happened to you since I heard nothing from you for a stretch.

Others,

By the way: Joe just privately explicitly told me that I shouldn't have deleted Eva's posts, nor applied moderation/dissent. Furthermore he asked me please not to take the initiative to do this again.

Joe,

I concede and apologize for overstepping my bounds on this matter. I vow not to repeat taking initiative in this way again on your website.
(Edited by Dean Michael Gores on 1/21, 5:59am)


Post 17

Tuesday, January 21 - 8:47amSanction this postReply
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Joseph,

Thanks for taking the time to write a long and thoughtful post. Permit me several comments, please:

* It's prima facie absurd to have anyone who uses language such as 'ignorant socialist scum' serving as a moderator.

* I'm not in principle opposed to moderation of either content or form.

    -- Looking back, some of these threads--with or without my participation!-- stray in absurd directions.
    
-- When discussion becomes heated, people write in anger. Someone just might be needed to intervene & cool things down.

So here, what I'm requestiong is a sense of fairness, a level playing field, so to speak, between old-time, self-defined  hard liners and newbies who enter with a more questioning attitude. To this end, I'll be happy to send you my own grocery list of complaints.

* Yes, the real issue is contribution. So if my texts failed to elicit responses, then I'd simply not write another. That's how most sites die, anyway--they just fade into non-participation.

My suspicion, moreover, is that people who practice unreasonable censorship of others are, in essence saying, 'It's better to kill the site than to have dissent which, at any time, might just spin out of control." In this sense, it's not so much that the censored is percieved as a martyr as much as he/she standing as a real, live example of the intent of the self-entitled.

* Lastly, your Machan statement is a bit disturbing. While others whith whom I've taken an 'arrogant' attitude can offer a rebuttal (or was my 'arrogance' a rebuttal against the arrogance of others?), as non-participant, Machan cannot. Kindly, then, demonstrate , and I'll be happy to apologize.

Thanks, Eva


Post 18

Tuesday, January 21 - 9:04amSanction this postReply
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Eva,

You thank Joe for his intervention, but then provide him with a laundry list of complaints about his site, which has been here for more than a decade. Please don't just blast past this short comment at max reading speed... give it some thought.

Age is no guarantor of wisdom, but when you have a large forum, and when many of its members have triple your age, it would seem strange to think that none of them have anything you would want to know - that nothing here would be valuable learning material for a hungry mind.

Start fresh. If you can't let go of these recent, minor conflicts then there will never be any real value for you here.

Find a topic and contribute, or start a thread that you think will interest others, but above all, start by learning what Objectivism is about... then you are in the position to evaluate and criticize.

Post 19

Tuesday, January 21 - 10:01amSanction this postReply
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Steve,

I'm afraid you misunderstood my 'laundry list' usage, or else, since I'm writing in a huge hurry,  I wasn't clear:

Said 'laundry list wasn't a complaint about the site, rather, that the agressive tone has come from all parties.

Moreso--neither physical age nor time on the site entitles one to aggress others-- while not expecting reciprocation.  

Your inference that I refuse to learn from my elders is unfounded. I spend four hours a day listening to lectures by said 'elders'; my issue is that some on this site take a far less liberal attitude towards being challenged than that of my profs.

Lastly, I'm not here to criticise Rand. If this were ever the case, I'd voluntarily remand myself over to 'dissent'.

Rather, to evaluate.

Kindly, in this regard, offer me a followup to Machan's citation that Rand's philosophy of language resembles that of Kripke's--concepts adhere to real entities.

Yet the most I can find from Rand is:

 

 “Concepts and, therefore, language are primarily a tool of cognition—not of communication, as is usually assumed.”

 
Now if this quote does parallel Kripke, 'cognition' would mean 'identification' in the old Aristotelian sense (eidos): Thought plus sensory data gives us a clear picture of what is.

Here, I'll not dwell on the Aristotelian/Rand/Kripke nexus as such. Rather, I'll post to Bacon and induction.

Rather, her use of 'cognition' is confusing for anyone not familiar with the Rand lexicon ( I suppose?). In my field of psychology, 'cognition' means something entirely different, as it does in 'academic' philosophy.

Although they're tweaks here and there between the two disciplines, in neither case does 'cognition' assure fidelity to truth.

Thanks, Eva


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