|Glenn, you wrote (and scoffed):|
Have you ever read Ayn Rand's work on her theory of concepts. Your like 180 degrees from Ayn Rand and I guess that's why you had to say "seems to me to be a correct foundation." The quote is a statement of a skeptic that wants to make sure you can't be sure of anything. This couldn't be any farther from anything Ayn Rand wrote in ITOE.I am going to give you some very good advice. I don’t know if you want it or if it will be of any value to you. I am directing myself toward your rational capacity out of a wish to try to get through to what could be a good mind, if it is given half a chance.
My advice. Before you accuse anyone of not having read a work, it would be a really, really good idea to have read it yourself or, if you did read it, to have understood it. When you engage in a discussion and your intent is not the exchange of ideas, but merely scoffing, trying to make clever put-downs and one-upmanship, you better at least have a good grasp of the material under discussion.
When you have such poor comprehension as your posts demonstrate, you put yourself in an extremely ridiculous position. Frankly, you come off as a rather pompous fool. None of that is necessary. But it takes little study, a mind open enough to let the actual ideas seep in, and a desire to discuss ideas instead of being smarmy for your friends to look and laugh at.
Your posts on this thread show that either you did not read the work (the one you accused me of not having read), or you know very little of what it is about. One does not have to go that far in it, either, for the points under discussion. The first few pages will do.
Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Forward to the First Edition (p. 2), presenting the last of four schools of thought on universals – which is the Objectivist one:
4. The "conceptualists," who share the nominalists’ view that abstractions have no actual basis in reality, but who hold that concepts exist in our minds as some sort of ideas, not as images.Ayn Rand, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Chapter 1. Cognition and Measurement (p. 5):
A percept is a group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain of a living organism. It is in the form of percepts that man grasps the evidence of his senses and apprehends reality.One thing stands out. That is that a percept is not the reality it represents. It is merely a mental unit that processes and integrates direct sensory awareness of aspects of reality. After a percept is formed, it then is used as a building block for concepts. (Also, other concepts are used as building blocks).
I normally hate to repeat a quote already presented in another post on the same thread, but this one is so pertinent that I will give it again. Mr. Dawkins’ statements from the article:
We think that rocks and crystals are solid when in fact they were made up mostly of spaces in between atoms, he argued. What is important about this view is that percepts are not mental images of actual "concept things" in reality (like a "hardness imperative" of crystal, for example), but instead mentally integrated units of aspects of reality captured by sense organs (like the actual hardness of crystal at mid-level size perception).
This, he said, was just the way our brains thought about things in order to help us navigate our "middle sized" world - the medium scale environment - a world in which we cannot see individual atoms.
Mankind’s perception is based on the size of individual human beings and their sense organs, which is why they cannot have direct micro or macro perception.
But man can have both a micro and macro view of reality through the use of concepts, both to further integrate knowledge and to invent extensions of man’s sense organs for more direct perception (microscope and telescope, for example).
When Dawkins said "navigate," "middle sized world," "medium scale environment" and "cannot see individual atoms," he obviously is talking about perception, i.e. percepts, not concepts. When he says, "the way our brains thought about things," he is showing how the concepts that are formed from mid-level size perceptions are vastly influenced by this perspective and a much higher conceptual integration is needed to arrive at micro and macro views.
I did use the phrase "seems to me to be a correct foundation for many, many new discoveries and inventions," and not "is a correct foundation…" simply because I am not that familiar with the rest of Dawkins’ work. But he clearly implies that what is going on in the brain is not the perceived reality itself it is processing, merely a perception of aspects (attributes) of that reality, being that reality exists independently of the perception of any particular living conscious organism. This part of Dawkins’ approach is spot on according to Ayn Rand’s theory of concepts. He just went from another slant and made note of physical size.
Contemplating attempts to biologically or chemically amplify man’s direct perception to include micro and/or macro percepts, and contemplating other possible life forms who have such micro/middle/macro perception are staggering in their implications. This might be our next stage of development.
So you see, if you would just lower you guns, put a lid on your need to play mind games, throw out the smarminess, and principally pay attention to what you read, you would have a much richer intellectual life. You have a good mind. Why not give it a fighting chance to grow?