Kant, where is thy sting?
"One of the good guys" re: Rich
"Objectivism impairs the flexibility required to grapple with modern science and mathematics"
re: what? A is not A?
"No great philosophers will ever be heirs to the Randian tradition." re: what? All the great philosophers that are heirs to the Kantian tradition?
If "corrections" and "flexibility" are the answer, why are we in such trouble? Certainly 2000+ years ought to be enough time to "correct" and "flexible" our way to the truth contained in Aristotle.
And how about YOU? To what tradition do your comments, gripes, complaints, compartmentalizations and sense of life add anything? Are you the great philosopher so many of the people on this thread are waiting for? Ayn Rand had the courage to claim that the only philosopher in whose tradition she was willing to stand was Aristotle's, but she did not call her philosophy "Aristotilianism" Why? She could have, given the sort of argument I've seen here. But she didn't. Why?
I have suggested that it is because she was taking a stand as an independent thinker with her own independent thoughts and ideas that she didn't want to have confused with anyone else's. She could have ridden on the coattails of the Aristotelian tradition, claiming that her insights were the logical extensions of things that Aristotle said. But it is precisely that that would have marked her forever as a second level philosopher. She wanted to claim her own ground. And she wanted those that followed her -- whatever the size of their contribution -- to stand on theirs. Anyone that wants to "correct" Objectivism (which, btw, is not the same as being objective, Ed. Aristotle was objective, most scientists are objective; that doesn't make them Objectivists) and still call it Objectivism is engaging in a contradiction in terms, the only motive for which is to gain an unearned audience.
Peikoff, in my judgment has earned the right to ARI's audience. 30+ years of study with the source of Objectivism trumps 18 years and a very visible denunciation any day. And David's claims to being the true voice of Objectivism are becoming more questionable with every year that passes. Were he to come up with a theory of propositions that was true and consistent with Objectivism as I understand it, I would welcome the truth, of course, but deny it a place in the Objectivist canon (I trust that "the set of true propositions is larger than the set of Objectivist propositions" is a proposition that we can all agree to. I hold a simple, easy to understand and implement criterion for "Objectivist canon" -- Ayn Rand said it or endorsed it. Objectivism is not everything she said or endorsed, but it is only what she said and endorsed).
One of the fundamental principles for my judgement about Peikoff is that Peikoff does not start with the premise that it is possible to "correct" Objectivism AND STILL CALL THE RESULT OBJECTIVISM. I am convinced that were he to come across a philosophical doctrine of Ayn Rand's with which he disagreed he would say so, and he would take the position that he supported most of Objectivism but could no longer claim to be an Objectivist. Many, if not most, of the people on this site seem to believe that it would be OK for him to fool us all, and continue to wrap himself in the "Objectivist" flag while disagreeing with it. Or are we talking a real double standard here.
Philosophy is not one of the special sciences, in which it is possible to wrap oneself in the flag of "science" and continue to disagree about the proper significance of the recent studies of the brains of liers. In this context, it is not possible to wrap oneself, I believe, in the flag of Objectivism while believing that this study demonstrates anything affecting Objectivism's theory of free will (there is, I believe, the chicken/egg problem that is relevant here -- but that's a story I have no desire to get involved in here.)
A philosophy, particularly one that claims to have an integrated view of the entire range of issues with which philosophy deals, is either true or false. A mistake in any one aspect affects the whole structure, and the first thing to go, if any of its propositions is false, is its claim to be a system. ("'A is A' is false" implies "'Objectivism is a philosophical system' is false") So, if you honestly believe that there is a mistake in Objectivism, it is time to reject the system, rather than cling to the empty hope that everyone is going to agree with you and adopt YOUR NEW SYSTEM OR MISH-MASH in the name of Objectivism.
To exercise that vain hope is to want to have one's cake and eat it too. Objectivism holds that A is A and it can't be done.
What allows for the belief that one can have one's Objectivist cake and eat it too? To put it simple: the belief that Sense of Life is enough. If your sense of life drew you to Ayn Rand that's enough to entitle you to call yourself an Objectivist. I have piano students that believe the same thing about being a musician. It ain't so. You can't just "feel an emotional response to music" and call yourself a musician. There are things you have to know, principles you have to accept, daily application that you have to perform. And choosing the right teacher -- one who teaches those things, principles and practices -- is crucial.
In my musical training I chose a tradition that started with a revolutionary teacher -- Tobias Matthay -- and continued with a straight line to the teacher I had at Maryland University: Stewart Gordon. I continue the tradition, since I believe that it has a unique handle on the truth with respect to the problems involved in playing the piano.
Likewise, in my philosophy, I choose the tradition that started with a revolutionary teacher -- Ayn Rand -- and continues in an unbroken line of teaching and endorsement (a kind of certification in Objectivism) to Leonard Peikoff and those trained at ARI.
A cult? An authoritarian enemy of the truth? Bull tacky. I know better.
If you are not convinced, that's too bad, we aren't likely to be friends. I take the same position with regard to you as that taken by Galt with respect to Dagny when she was not convinced that she needed to go on strike. She was free to act on her own judgement, but that did not change the fact that she was wrong and that as long as she made that choice she would be Galt's enemy.
That's it for this thread, for me.
PS David should call his theory "A theory of propositions" by David Kelley and promote it as the truth without referencing Objectivism, just as Peikoff calls his work "The DIM Hypothesis; the Epistemological Mechanics by which Philosophy Shapes Society" by Leonard Peikoff and promotes it as "of significant value" without referencing Objectivism (i.e. he doesn't make any claim that this is an extension of, correction of, or part of the philosophy of Objectivism; he simply makes his case, you be the judge. Once again, Objectivism doesn't rise or fall on anything that Peikoff says, and I say, that's a good thing. Don't you agree?
(Edited by Tom Rowland on 10/03, 11:11am)