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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 31 ]  
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Salt Creek - 18 October 2007 08:15 PM
eucaryote - 18 October 2007 07:17 PM

The whole idea of inside and outside our “selves” is very questionable biologically speaking, after all no living thing evolved alone. Moreover the particular blob of protoplasm that makes up ourselves today is a different blob tomorrow. Even more importantly, it’s difficult to tell where “we” (ourselves) end and the balance of the biotic world “begins”.

No living thing evolves alone. You tempt me to change my signature line. We could trade, but I’m a cat person.

Well Salty, I’ll take that as a compliment, especially coming from feline point of view.
Truly though, not only has no species evolved alone, we have all very much evolved together. I think that Ayn Rand had a very shallow, 19th century understanding of the world, especially the biological world.

I refer anyone following this and interested in the “molecules of emotion” to Dr. Candace Pert, http://www.candacepert.com

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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:08 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 32 ]  
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I should have just exposed your lie about Objectivism and the mind-body dichotomy, and left it at that. Now I’m involved in a philosophical “discussion” where irrelevancies are thrown out as if they are deep insights.

What Rand said our emotions are not tools of cognition, what she meant was that we could not conclude that something is true just because we feel that it is.

I am perfectly aware of the role of emotions in thinking. The example that comes to mind if autism. These children have a serious disconnect from their emotions, one result of which is that they either have little motivation to focus their minds, or no way to decide what is important to think about. The savants seem to concentrate all their thinking capacity on whatever task of manipulating symbols falls before them.

Yes, emotions do play an important role in thinking, but what we have to be carefull of is not to put them in the central role. That should be reserved for sense data and logic. So if you insist that the natural world has some intrinsic value, or that capitalism is inherently evil, you had better have some empirical evidence to back it up, not just feel that its true.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 33 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 10:06 PM

I think that Ayn Rand had a very shallow, 19th century understanding of the world, especially the biological world.

You only say that because you have a very shallow understanding of her philosophy, as you keep proving every time you mention her.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 34 ]  
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Well, thanks to you, Saul, I think I understand it pretty well. I follow all your links and read every word. Ironically, what you don’t like is my objective view of objectivism. I think I know it well enough to call bullshit on nebulous reasoning, especially that uninformed by contemporary science, especially biological science. It is true that Rand was necessarily ignorant of much relevant, contemporary science. The import of much of this science may have been much better anticipated by philosophers like Muir.

Since you so dislike the conservation ethic of Muir and Adams, founded to the extent that you claim on “emotional reasoning”, what would an objectivist conservation ethic look like? Or is that just a contradiction in terms?
Enlighten us.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 35 ]  
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Emotions are not a tool of cognition.

Ayn Rand’s economic philosophy, as properly diluted by Greenspan and Clinton, certainly ended up solving certain problems for the U.S. at least during a particular period of time, but you’ve got to be a very off-key humorist or simply brainwashed to imagine that the statement, “emotions are not a tool of cognition” makes any sense whatsoever in human relations and, in particular, family relations. Ayn Rand made an utter mess of her own personal/family life by way of her presumably inherent inability to make sense of emotional impact, so what does that fact tell you, Saul? It tells me, among other things, that most people are not capable of expertise in fields they lack connection with. Duh. Such a difficulty unfortunately didn’t interfere with Ayn’s self-confidence as an overly prolific philosopher of human nature, perhaps because no one in her family and circle of friends had the guts to speak frankly with her . . . or maybe it was the overriding fact that she was obscenely intolerant of anyone who saw things even remotely different from the way she did, i.e., if you admitted any appreciation of Beethoven’s more romantic (odd-numbered, more or less) symphonies, she’d order you to leave her presence immediately. At least that’s how it’s been reported.

Saul, are you able to see our hero’s faults? Yes, Ayn Rand is a hero of mine too, but only as she fits that label, which is extremely limited. Stop the apologetics and do some honest apologizing for Goddard’s sake.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:49 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 36 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 18 October 2007 10:08 PM

What Rand said our emotions are not tools of cognition, what she meant was that we could not conclude that something is true just because we feel that it is.

Seeing something to be true is no more reliable than feeling it. Seeing and hearing and smelling and touching and feeling and thinking are all the same. It’s all cognition. One should no more trust one’s vision or hearing than one’s feelings. In science we use instruments to determine the “truth”, and the truth turns out to be a detailed thing that we don’t have sensory apparatus to appreciate. Only instruments can be objective in the sense that Rand promoted.

Again, scientific data does not complete an ethical consideration.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:52 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 37 ]  
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homunculus - 18 October 2007 10:40 PM

Saul, are you able to see our hero’s faults? Yes, Ayn Rand is a hero of mine too, but only as she fits that label, which is extremely limited. Stop the apologetics and do some honest apologizing for Goddard’s sake.

I do know and to a certain degree understand Rand’s faults. I have read the memoirs of both the Brandens and agree with most of their criticisms. Also, like them, I still agree with the fundamental basics of her philosophy.

And my personal philosophy, which is an extension of Objectivism (meaning takes Objectivism as its fundamntal base), is more complex than anything I can explain on this forum. When discussing it with people who don’t know it, and especially those who disagree, I have to begin with the most fundamental basics. If people here can’t even understand those simple basics, of course the whole philosophy ends up seeming simplistic. There is much more to it than I can possible begin to explain here. Especially since people like eucaryote interpret every little thing I say out of context and in the most irrational way they know how.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:55 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 38 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 10:49 PM
SaulDeOhio - 18 October 2007 10:08 PM

What Rand said our emotions are not tools of cognition, what she meant was that we could not conclude that something is true just because we feel that it is.

Seeing something to be true is no more reliable than feeling it. Seeing and hearing and smelling and touching and feeling and thinking are all the same. It’s all cognition. One should no more trust one’s vision or hearing than one’s feelings. In science we use instruments to determine the “truth”, and the truth turns out to be a detailed thing that we don’t have sensory apparatus to appreciate. Only instruments can be objective in the sense that Rand promoted.

And how exactly do you find out what the instruments are saying, if not by reading the data with your eyes? This reminds me of a hoax someone submitted to a peer-reviewed journal, claiming that empirical evidence was no longer needed in science because we can build and program computers to do our experiments for us. He intended it as a joke, but it got accepted and taken seriously.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 06:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 39 ]  
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homunculus - 18 October 2007 10:40 PM

Stop the apologetics and do some honest apologizing for Goddard’s sake.

Hey homunculus,

Could I ask a dumb question? I was surprised to learn that defenders of a POV were called “apologists” and even take on the distinction. I don’t get it. Isn’t apologizing the same as admitting that one has no basis for one’s POV? What is the difference between apologizing and apologetics?
Honestly asked.
Thanks.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 07:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 40 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 18 October 2007 10:52 PM

And my personal philosophy, which is an extension of Objectivism (meaning takes Objectivism as its fundamntal base), is more complex than anything I can explain on this forum. When discussing it with people who don’t know it, and especially those who disagree, I have to begin with the most fundamental basics. If people here can’t even understand those simple basics, of course the whole philosophy ends up seeming simplistic.

Can’t deal with a little critical peer review? It’s only rational to realize the limitations of one’s own perceptions and one’s own measurements and do a “reality check” against the perceptions and measurements of others.

It’s the religionist who must insist that her perceptions cannot be checked and that critics simply lack the capacity to understand. This all sounds like Rand’s personality.

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Posted: 18 October 2007 07:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 41 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 10:57 PM
homunculus - 18 October 2007 10:40 PM

Stop the apologetics and do some honest apologizing for Goddard’s sake.

Hey homunculus,

Could I ask a dumb question? I was surprised to learn that defenders of a POV were called “apologists” and even take on the distinction. I don’t get it. Isn’t apologizing the same as admitting that one has no basis for one’s POV? What is the difference between apologizing and apologetics?
Honestly asked.
Thanks.

Eucaryote, all I can say is that I’m no Salt Creek. It was a weak attempt at rhetorical cleverness.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 18 October 2007 07:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 42 ]  
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homunculus - 18 October 2007 11:10 PM

Eucaryote, all I can say is that I’m no Salt Creek. It was a weak attempt at rhetorical cleverness.

Well you were enforcing a distinction that you were trying to make. There is a great deal of “common-sensical-ness” to objectivism and libertarian POV that we all relate to. There may be some useful distinction there. A balance of perception…

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Posted: 18 October 2007 07:24 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 43 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 11:18 PM
homunculus - 18 October 2007 11:10 PM

Eucaryote, all I can say is that I’m no Salt Creek. It was a weak attempt at rhetorical cleverness.

Well you were enforcing a distinction that you were trying to make. There is a great deal of “common-sensical-ness” to objectivism and libertarian POV that we all relate to. There may be some useful distinction there. A balance of perception…

Amen to balance.

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Philosophy may in no way interfere with the actual use of language; it can in the end only describe it. For it cannot give it any foundations either. It leaves everything as it is.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

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Posted: 18 October 2007 07:40 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 44 ]  
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SaulDeOhio - 18 October 2007 10:08 PM

So if you insist that the natural world has some intrinsic value…......... you had better have some empirical evidence to back it up, not just feel that its true.

As I’ve noted, feelings do constitute, “empirical evidence”. (empiricism is experience, to be distinguished from measurement from instrumentation and evaluation, especially mathematical, statistical evaluation).
I suggest that the “intrinsic value of the natural world” is inherent in our experience. Were it not for the natural world, this experience would not be possible. Everything about humans is natural, including their empirical experience, and their co-evolution with the balance of the “natural” world.
I don’t think you will get many takers for the idea that the natural world has no intrinsic value.

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Posted: 19 October 2007 02:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 45 ]  
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eucaryote - 18 October 2007 11:09 PM

Can’t deal with a little critical peer review?

I’d LOVE some peer review. Only you are nowhere close to being my peer.

It’s only rational to realize the limitations of one’s own perceptions and one’s own measurements and do a “reality check” against the perceptions and measurements of others.

You say that as if I don’t know.

It’s the religionist who must insist that her perceptions cannot be checked and that critics simply lack the capacity to understand. This all sounds like Rand’s personality.

Sounds like projection on your part.

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“The three great rights are so bound together as to be essentially one right. To give a man his life, but deny him his liberty, is to take from him all that makes his life worth living. To give him his liberty, but take from him the property which is the fruit and badge of his liberty, is to still leave him a slave.”

- George Sutherland, Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court, 1921.

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