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ScoutsHonor

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PostSubject: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 09 Jul 2012, 2:19 pm

mike lewis wrote:
C1 wrote:

Well, not to defend Rand, but according to Goedel's proof on incompleteness, isn't every logical man made construct inconsistent?

No, Goedel says that either a system is consistent or complete, but cannot be both consistent and complete. If it is complete then it is inconsistent, if it is consistent then it is incomplete.
Quote :
For each consistent formal theory T having the required small amount of number theory, the corresponding Gödel sentence G asserts: "G cannot be proved within the theory T". This interpretation of G leads to the following informal analysis. If G were provable under the axioms and rules of inference of T, then T would have a theorem, G, which effectively contradicts itself, and thus the theory T would be inconsistent. This means that if the theory T is consistent then G cannot be proved within it, and so the theory T is incomplete. Moreover, the claim G makes about its own unprovability is correct. In this sense G is not only unprovable but true, and provability-within-the-theory-T is not the same as truth.

Every logic must by necessity reduce down to axioms or premises, if the premises are true and the logic is sound then the conclusions must be true. Objectivism rests on false premises and then proceeds on unsound logic, therefore it is neither consistent nor complete.

Are you aware that Objectivism is largely derived from Aristotle's philosophy and logic. You may be the first person ever to call into question Aristotle's rationality... Lol


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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 09 Jul 2012, 9:55 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:

Are you aware that Objectivism is largely derived from Aristotle's philosophy and logic. You may be the first person ever to call into question Aristotle's rationality... LOL.

The first would be Ayn Rand. Objectivism is not largely derived from Aristotle, Objectivism only claims it is largely derived from Aristotle's philosophy. Anyone who is familiar with Objectivism and Aristotle knows this. Have you studied much Aristotle?
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Tue 10 Jul 2012, 5:01 pm

mike lewis wrote:
ScoutsHonor wrote:

Are you aware that Objectivism is largely derived from Aristotle's philosophy and logic. You may be the first person ever to call into question Aristotle's rationality... LOL.

The first would be Ayn Rand. Objectivism is not largely derived from Aristotle, Objectivism only claims it is largely derived from Aristotle's philosophy. Anyone who is familiar with Objectivism and Aristotle knows this. Have you studied much Aristotle?

In response to your above^^assertions, please read the following relevant article. I am sure you won't mind that I have cut and pasted my response - Right?

==========
Aristotle: Ayn Rand's Acknowledged Teacher
by Edward W. Younkins

==========


Ayn Rand, whose philosophy is a form of Aristotelianism, had the highest admiration for Aristotle (384-322 B.C.). She intellectually stood on Aristotle’s shoulders as she praised him above all other philosophers. Rand acknowledged Aristotle as a genius and as the only thinker throughout the ages to whom she owed a philosophical debt. According to Rand, Aristotle, the teacher of those who know, is the fountainhead behind every achievement in civilized society including science, technology, progress, freedom, aesthetics (including romantic art) and the birth of America itself. Aristotle’s philosophy has underpinned the achievements of the Renaissance and of all scientific advances and technological progress to this very day. He is the most significant thinker and most successful individual who has ever lived.

Aristotle defended reason, invented logic, focused on reality, and emphasized the importance of life on earth. The importance of reality, reason, and logic in Aristotelian philosophy has enabled science and technology to develop and flourish.

His philosophy of reason embodied a primacy-of-existence approach that states that knowledge of the world commences by looking at and examining what exists. Recognizing the validity of man’s senses, Aristotle taught that men can increase their knowledge by augmenting the evidence of the senses through reason (i.e., through logic and the formulation of abstractions). He explained that conceptualization should be preceded by inductive observation in our efforts to understand the world. Reason is competent to know reality but it is necessary to begin with what exists in the world.

Aristotle teaches that each man’s life has a purpose and that the function of one’s life is to attain that purpose. He explains that the purpose of life is earthly happiness or flourishing that can be achieved via reason and the acquisition of virtue. Articulating an explicit and clear understanding of the end toward which a person’s life aims, Aristotle states that each human being should use his abilities to their fullest potential and should obtain happiness and enjoyment through the exercise of his realized capacities. He contends that human achievements are animated by purpose and autonomy and that people should take pride in being excellent at what they do. According to Aristotle, human beings have a natural desire and capacity to know and understand the truth, to pursue moral excellence, and to instantiate their ideals in the world through action.

Metaphysics and Epistemology



Aristotle espouses the existence of external objective reality. For Aristotle, the existence of the external world and of men’s knowledge of it is self-evident. He contends that the basic reality upon which all else depends is the existence of individual entities. He insists upon an independent existing world of entities or beings and that what exists are individuals with nothing existing separately from them. For Aristotle, the ontologically ultimate is the individual.

The basic laws of being, or first principles of reality, in Aristotle’s metaphysics, are the philosophical axioms or laws of non-contradiction, identity, and excluded middle. According to Aristotle, these presuppositions or assumptions govern, direct, or command scientific explanation.

For Aristotle, causality is a law inherent in being qua being. To be is to be something with a specific nature and to be something with a specific nature is to act according to that nature.

Aristotle heralds the role of reason in a proper human life. He examines the nature of man and his functions and sees that man survives through purposeful conduct which results from the active exercise of his capacity for rational thought. The ability to reason separates man from all other living organisms and supplies him with his unique means of survival and flourishing. It is through purposive, rational conduct that a person can achieve happiness. For Aristotle, a being of conceptual consciousness must focus on reality and must discover the knowledge and actions required if he wants to fully develop as a human person.

Aristotle is a this-worldly metaphysician who avowedly rejects mysticism and skepticism in epistemology. His view is that human nature is specific and definite and that there is some essence apparent in each and every person and object.

An advocate of this-worldly cognition, Aristotle’s theory of concepts was reality-oriented. It follows that Aristotle considered essences to be metaphysical and every entity to be comprised of form, the universalizing factor, and matter, the particularizing factor.

For Aristotle, essences or universals are phenomena intrinsic in reality and that exist in particulars. Rand interprets this to imply that to comprehend essences or universals is at root a passive intuition or receptivity. Aristotle, the naturalistic realist, explains that knowledge begins and arises out of our sense experiences which are valid. It follows that a man can build on the evidence of the senses through reason which includes logic and the formation of abstractions.

Rand finds fault in Aristotle for viewing essences as metaphysical rather than as epistemological which is how she regards them. She opposes Aristotle’s intuitionist view that essences are simply “intellectually seen.” Rand contends that universals or concepts are the epistemological products of a classification process that represents particular types of entities.

Individuals, Communities, and the State



The highest or most general good to which all individuals should aim is to live most fully a life that is proper to man. The proper function of every person is to live happily, successfully, and well. This is done through the active exercise of a man’s distinctive capacity, rationality, as he engages in activities to the degree appropriate to the person in the context of his own particular identity as a human being.

Because man is naturally social, it is good for him to live in a society or polis (i.e., a city-state). Aristotle emphasizes the individuating characteristics of human beings when he proclaims that the goodness of the polis is inextricably related to those who make it up. For Aristotle, social life in a community is a necessary condition for a man’s complete flourishing as a human being.

Aristotle explains that friendship, the mutual admiration between two human beings, is a necessary condition for the attainment of one’s eudaimonia. Because man is a social being, it can be maintained that friendship has an egoistic foundation. It follows that authentic friendship is predicated upon one’s sense of his own moral worth and on his love for and pride in himself. Moral admiration, both of oneself and of the other, is an essential component of Aristotelian friendship. Self-perfection means to fulfill the capacities that make a person fully human, including other-directed capacities such as friendship.

Noting that individuals form communities to secure life’s necessities, Aristotle also emphasizes the importance of active citizen participation in a semi-paternalistic government. Of course, he does view the proper end of government as the promotion of its citizens’ happiness. It follows that the goodness of the polis is directly related to the total self-actualization of the individuals who comprise it.

Aristotle contends that the state exists for the good of the individual. He thus preferred the rule of law over the rule of any of the citizens. This is because men have private interests whereas laws do not. It follows that the “mixed regime” advocated by Aristotle was the beginning of the notion of constitutionalism including the separation of powers and checks and balances. He was the first thinker to divide rulership activities into executive, legislative, and judicial functions. Through his support for a mixed political system, Aristotle was able to avoid and reject both Platonic communism and radical democracy.

Human Flourishing



For Aristotle, an entity that fulfills its proper (i.e., essential) function is one that performs well or excellently. He explains that the nature of a thing is the measure or standard in terms of which we judge whether or not it is functioning appropriately or well. Things are good for Aristotle when they advance their specific or respective ends.

Aristotle bases the understandability of the good in the idea of what is good for the specific entity under consideration. For whatever has a natural function, the good is therefore thought to reside in the function. The natural function of a thing is determined by its natural end. With respect to living things, there are particular ways of being that constitute the perfection of the living thing’s nature.

According to Aristotle, there is an end of all of the actions that we perform which we desire for itself. This is what is known as eudaimonia, flourishing, or happiness, which is desired for its own sake with all other things being desired on its account. Eudaimonia is a property of one’s life when considered as a whole. Flourishing is the highest good of human endeavors and that toward which all actions aim. It is success as a human being. The best life is one of excellent human activity.

For Aristotle, the good is what is good for purposeful, goal-directed entities. He defines the good proper to human beings as the activities in which the life functions specific to human beings are most fully realized. For Aristotle, the good of each species is teleologically immanent to that species. A person’s nature as a human being provides him with guidance with respect to how he should live his life. A fundamental fact of human nature is the existence of individual human beings each with his own rational mind and free will. The use of one’s volitional consciousness is a person’s distinctive capacity and means of survival.

One’s own life is the only life that a person has to live. It follows that, for Aristotle, the “good” is what is objectively good for a particular man. Aristotle’s eudaimonia is formally egoistic in that a person’s normative reason for choosing particular actions stems from the idea that he must pursue his own good or flourishing. Because self-interest is flourishing, the good in human conduct is connected to the self-interest of the acting person. Good means “good for” the individual moral agent. Egoism is an integral part of Aristotle’s ethics.

Ethics, Virtues, and Self-Interest


In his ethical writings, Aristotle endorses egoism, rationality, and the value of life. He insisted that the key idea in ethics is a human individual’s own personal happiness and well-being. Each man is responsible for his own character. According to Aristotle, each person has a natural obligation to achieve, become, and make something of himself, by pursuing his true ends and goals in life. Each person should be concerned with the “best that is within us” and with the most accomplished and self-sufficient success and excellence.

According to Aristotle, the “moral” refers to whatever is related to a person’s character. He taught that the value of virtuous activity resides in realizing a state of eudaimonic character. Such a state must be achieved by a man’s own efforts. A person needs to pursue rational or intelligent efforts in pursuing goods and in otherwise taking control of his own life. Because a man might fail or be thwarted in his efforts, Aristotle explained that a person should be more concerned with his fitness to achieve success than with the existential attainment of the success itself.

Aristotle insists that ethical knowledge is possible and that it is grounded in human nature. Because human beings possess a nature that governs how they act, the perfection or fulfillment of their nature is their end. A human being is ordered to self-perfection and self-perfection is, in essence, human moral development. The goal of a person’s life is to live rationally and to develop both the intellectual and moral virtues. There are attributes central to human nature the development of which leads to human flourishing and a good human life. According to Aristotle, the key characteristics of human nature can be discerned through empirical investigation.

Aristotle teaches that ethical theory is connected to the type of life that is most desirable or most worth living for each and every human being. It follows that human flourishing is always particularized and that there is an inextricable connection between virtue and self-interest. He explains that the virtuous man is constantly using practical wisdom in the pursuit of the good life. A man wants and needs to gain knowledge of virtue in order to become virtuous, good, and happy. The distinction of a good person is to take pleasure in moral action. In other words, human flourishing occurs when a person is concurrently doing what he ought to do and doing what he wants to do. When such ways of being occur through free choice, they are deemed to be choice-worthy and the basis for ethics.

The purpose of ethical inquiry is a practical matter according to Aristotle. He explains that practical wisdom is not only concerned with universals (such as good or value), but also with particulars which became known through experience in the choices and activities of life. He states that it is important to have practical experience with particulars if one is to optimally benefit from philosophical inquiry into ethics. Aristotle thus emphasizes the power of judgment beyond the guidance of general theory. Experience helps to perfect a person’s power of moral judgment. He notes that one’s facticity, including his past choices, and the contingent situation are relevant considerations in determining a correct choice. Proper actions are in the particulars that differ considerably from case to case.

Aristotle did not regard ethics as an exact science. He said that matters of conduct are not found in an exact system, not only in dealing with specific cases of conduct, but also with respect to the general theory of ethics. He explains that a person must both investigate the nature of virtue and learn through experience to discern, consider for himself, and competently judge the particulars of the circumstances of each situation. Aristotle thus emphasizes both the difficulty of devising general principles of moral action and the importance of perception and judgment in practical decisions. One’s practical wisdom is a kind of insight, perception, or sense of what to do.

Aristotle tells us that virtues, as constituents of happiness, are acquired through habituation. He also explains that virtue can be understood as a moral mean between two vices – one of excess and one of deficiency. Such a mean is not scientific or easy to calculate. Aristotle’s moral virtues are desire-regulating character traits which can be found at a mean between extreme vices. For example, courage is the virtuous mean between rashness as a vice of excess and cowardice as a vice of deficiency.

With respect to ethical judgments, Aristotle expounds that a person should not expect more certainty in methods or results than the nature of the subject matter permits. It is obvious then that Aristotle did not regard ethics as an exact science. The Randian explanation of Aristotle’s position on ethical exactness is that it was a consequence of the intrinsicist elements of his epistemology. Because Aristotle considers universals, concepts, or essences as metaphysical rather than as epistemological, it is difficult, if not impossible, for him to explain how one sees or intuits “good,” “value,” “ethical,” and so on when he is confronted with various optional actions or objects.

Ayn Rand’s Aristotelian Philosophy and Sense of Life



As naturalistic realists, Aristotle and Ayn Rand are the philosophical champions of this world. Both appeal to the objective nature of things. They agree that logic is inseparable from reality and knowledge. Affirming reality, reason, and life on earth, they concur that a man can deal with reality, attain values, and live heroically rather than tragically. Men can grasp reality, establish goals, take actions, and achieve values. They view the human person as a noble and potentially heroic being where highest moral purpose is to gain his own happiness on earth. Their shared conception of human life permits a person to maintain a realistic moral vision that has the potential to inspire men to greater and greater heights. Rand follows the Aristotelian idea of eudaimonia as the human entelechy.

Like Aristotle, Rand ascribes to only a few basic axioms: existence exists, existence is identity, and consciousness is identification. Aristotle and Rand agree that all men naturally desire to know, understand, and act on the knowledge acquired. For both, all knowledge is arrived at from sensory perception through the processes of abstraction and conceptualization. They each see rationality as man’s distinctive capacity. Both develop virtues and concrete normative behavior from man’s primary virtue of rationality.

For both Aristotle and Rand, the issue of how a person should live his life precedes the problem of how a community should be organized. Whereas Aristotle sees a social life as a necessary condition for one’s thoroughgoing eudaimonia, Rand emphasizes the benefits accruing to the individual from living in society as being knowledge and trade. Although Rand does not expressly discuss the human need for community in her non-fiction writings, her portrait of Galt’s Gulch in Atlas Shrugged closely approximates Aristotle’s community of accord between good men. Of course, the organization of Galt’s Gulch is along the lines of anarcho-capitalism rather than the minimal state political system of capitalism advocated by Rand or the somewhat paternalistic ideal of Aristotle’s polity.

Viewing human life in terms of personal flourishing, both Aristotle and Rand teach that we should embrace all of our potentialities. Their similar visions of the ideal man hold that he would have a heroic attitude toward life. The ideal man would be both morally and rationally heroic. They both saw pride (or moral ambitiousness according to Rand) as the crown of the virtues.

So, where do Rand and Aristotle most differ? Rand argues that her philosophy diverges from Aristotle’s by considering essences as epistemological and contextual instead of as metaphysical. She envisions Aristotle as a philosophical intuitivist who declared the existence of essences within concretes.

Whatever their differences, it is clear that Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism is within the Aristotelian naturalistic tradition. Rand inherited significant elements of the Aristotelian eudaimonic tradition. Rand, like Aristotle, recognized her task as helping people to know. Because of Rand, we have had a rebirth of Aristotelian philosophy with its emphasis on reason and on man the thinker and doer.


http://rebirthofreason.com/Articles/Younkins/Aristotle_Ayn_Rands_Acknowledged_Teacher.shtml
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mike lewis



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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Tue 10 Jul 2012, 6:24 pm

I'm sorry but that does not work, in order to make your case you will have to provide examples from Aristotle's work and Rand's work and demonstrate, so it can be clearly seen, how they compare and contrast. One article written by a Rand cultist which makes erroneous and unjustifiable claims about Aristotelian philosophy simply isn't worth much in the way of an argument.

"The great-souled man does not run into danger for trifling reasons, and is not a lover of danger, because there are few things he values; but he will face danger in a great cause, and when so doing will be ready to sacrifice his life, since he holds that life is not worth having at every price." - Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Wed 11 Jul 2012, 12:44 am

mike lewis wrote:
I'm sorry but that does not work, in order to make your case you will have to provide examples from Aristotle's work and Rand's work and demonstrate, so it can be clearly seen, how they compare and contrast. One article written by a Rand cultist which makes erroneous and unjustifiable claims about Aristotelian philosophy simply isn't worth much in the way of an argument.

I am sorry also. There is a saying that is applicable here: paraphrasing a familiar truism: "You can lead a man to reason but you can't make him think." I think that is most appropriate for your response to this article, which to any rational, reasonable mind would clearly demonstrate an extreme compatibility of philosophies between these two philosophers. (But, in your case it did/does not. (shrug)

Therefore, I thank you for your input, but think we should just agree to disagree -- there is just no further room for "argument" here, that I can see.

regards.



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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Wed 11 Jul 2012, 1:51 am

ScoutsHonor wrote:
this article, which to any rational, reasonable mind would clearly demonstrate an extreme compatibility of philosophies between these two philosophers.

The article makes unsubstantiated claims while offering no direct evidence to support the argument. That approach does not appeal to either reason or rationality. It is a method of propaganda to equate the illogical, unreasonable, irrational Objectivism of Ayn Rand with a giant of western philosophy.

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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Wed 11 Jul 2012, 1:49 pm

mike lewis wrote:
ScoutsHonor wrote:
this article, which to any rational, reasonable mind would clearly demonstrate an extreme compatibility of philosophies between these two philosophers.

The article makes unsubstantiated claims while offering no direct evidence to support the argument. That approach does not appeal to either reason or rationality. It is a method of propaganda to equate the illogical, unreasonable, irrational Objectivism of Ayn Rand with a giant of western philosophy.


This is an additional absurd unsubstantiated attack upon Ms. Rand -- and it's a sick and unjust tirade.
If you keep posting your malicious, vicious remarks, I will continue to point out that you ARE very vicious.

The absolute illegitimacy of your stance seems more and more obvious the more one reviews the issues
presented here, & that is a benefit. Silver lining, I guess...& perhaps I I should thank you, instead.


P.S. Suggest you look up the meaning of "rational" (same as "reason", y'know) so that you might in the future
hopefully know what the hell you're talking about.


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PostSubject: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Thu 12 Jul 2012, 7:06 am

ScoutsHonor wrote:
This is an additional absurd unsubstantiated attack upon Ms. Rand -- and it's a sick and unjust tirade.
your malicious, vicious remarks, you ARE very vicious.

Now I ask you, is this an apt description of my above "remarks", or a reasonable response to them? I think not.


ScoutsHonor wrote:
The absolute illegitimacy of your stance seems more and more obvious the more one reviews the issues

My stance is there are major disparities between Rand and Aristotle, it is quite legitimate and very thoroughly established.

Two examples:
Randian egoism and Aristotelian Eudaimonism are only superficially similar, one is consesquentialist (Objectivism) while the other is based on virtue ethics(Eudaimonism)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virtue_ethics

Objectivist metaphysics advocate determinism while Aristotle held more to the view of causal indeterminism.
http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?Ver=1&Exp=07-10-2017&FMT=7&DID=744423351&RQT=309&attempt=1&cfc=1

http://udini.proquest.com/view/aristotle-and-determinism-pqid:1663082201/


ScoutsHonor wrote:
look up the meaning of "rational" (same as "reason", y'know) so that you might in the future
hopefully know what the hell you're talking about.

Quote :
Rationality(in philosophy) refers to the conformity of one's beliefs with one's reasons to believe, or with one's actions with one's reasons for action. A rational decision is one that is not just reasoned, but is also optimal for achieving a goal or solving a problem.
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Thu 12 Jul 2012, 12:58 pm

Quote :

My stance is there are major disparities between Rand and Aristotle, it is quite legitimate and very thoroughly established.

If this is so, provide it please. I'd be happy to address it.
I suspect that there is no such established discussion anywhere, however.

-----
Ok, Mike, let us give a *reasoned* debate a spin, shall we? NO ad homs, just honest argument. Those are my terms, should you choose to accept them. Cool


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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Thu 12 Jul 2012, 8:02 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:
Quote :

My stance is there are major disparities between Rand and Aristotle, it is quite legitimate and very thoroughly established.

If this is so, provide it please. I'd be happy to address it.

Then let's begin with determinism.

Objectivist metaphysics advocate determinism while Aristotle held more to the view of causal indeterminism.


Was Aristotle as militant and irrational as objectivists in his view of causal determinism? No. Did Aristotle hold a causal inderminist view of nature? Yes.


“Nor is there any definite cause for an accident, but only chance
(τυχόν), namely an indefinite (ἀόριστον) cause.” - Metaphysics, Book V, 1025a25

“Causes from which chance results might happen are indeterminate;
hence chance is obscure to human reason and is a cause
by accident (συμβεβεκός).” - Metaphysics, Book XI, 1065a33

"It is obvious that there are principles and causes which are generable and destructible apart from the actual processes of generation and destruction; for if this is not true, everything will be of necessity: that is, if there must necessarily be some cause, other than accidental, of that which is generated and destroyed. Will this be, or not? Yes, if this happens; otherwise not." - Metaphysics, Book VI, 1027a29

"Whether a particular thing happens may depend on a series of causes that goes back to some starting-point, which does not go back to something else. This, therefore, will be the starting-point of the fortuitous, and nothing else is the cause of its generation."
Metaphysics Book VI 1027b12-14

ScoutsHonor wrote:
I suspect that there is no such established discussion anywhere, however.

http://proquest.umi.com/pqdlink?Ver=1&Exp=07-10-2017&FMT=7&DID=744423351&RQT=309&attempt=1&cfc=1

http://udini.proquest.com/view/aristotle-and-determinism-pqid:1663082201/


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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Sat 14 Jul 2012, 1:26 am

mike lewis wrote:
ScoutsHonor wrote:
Quote :

My stance is there are major disparities between Rand and Aristotle, it is quite legitimate and very thoroughly established.

If this is so, provide it please. I'd be happy to address it.

Then let's begin with determinism.

Objectivist metaphysics advocate determinism while Aristotle held more to the view of causal indeterminism.


Wow, That is a great departure from the facts...You will of course have to show, with at least one example, that Objectivism advocates Determinism, something I think you will find impossible to do, since Rand was, just as Aristotle, an avowed believer in free will.

However, the stage is yours.....please provide evidence of your claim.
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Sat 14 Jul 2012, 3:24 am

ScoutsHonor wrote:

Wow, That is a great departure from the facts...You will of course have to show, with at least one example, that Objectivism advocates Determinism, something I think you will find impossible to do, since Rand was, just as Aristotle, an avowed believer in free will.

However, the stage is yours.....please provide evidence of your claim.

Quote :
Peikoff uses the example of a helium-filled balloon to clarify the issue: if, under the same set of circumstances, it were possible for a balloon to act in more than one way — if it could rise or fall — then the law of identity would be violated. "Such incompatible outcomes would have to derive from incompatible (contradictory) aspects of the entity's nature. But there are no contradictory aspects. A is A." (Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, 14-15.) Objectivists often make this point in arguing against the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, which states that there are truly random events in the physical world.

“A thing cannot act against its nature, i.e., in contradiction to it’s identity, because A is A and contradictions are impossible. In any given set of circumstances, therefore, there is only one action possible to an entity, the action expressive of it’s identity.” – Leonard Peikoff

“All the countless forms, motions, combinations and dissolutions of elements within the universe, from a floating speck of dust to the formation of a galaxy to the emergence of life, are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved” – Ayn Rand

“Every entity has a nature; … it has certain attributes and no others. Such an entity must act in accordance with its nature. The only alternatives would be for an entity to act apart from its nature or against it; both of those are impossible. … In any given set of circumstances, therefore, there is only one action possible to an entity, the action expressive of its identity. This is the action it will take, the action that is caused and necessitated by its nature.” (Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, 14.) – Leonard Peikoff

You obviously have never read Peikoff or Harriman or anything by Rand aside from her terrible novels. I'm arguing objectivism with a self proclaimed objectivist who hasn't a clue about the philosophy or the criticisms of it. I guess that's the internet for ya.

I won't be wasting any further time on you.
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Sun 15 Jul 2012, 3:05 pm

You have offered evidence of the Law of Identity with your examples above, but

Where is the evidence that:
"Objectivist metaphysics advocate determinism while Aristotle held more to the view of causal indeterminism"
which you claimed you were going to prove???

Your confusion over these fundamental concepts hardly inspires confidence in ANY of your opinions, assertions,
quotations, statements, etc.

Now I won't be wasting any further time with you, either. Just had to correct your egregious errors.

Sheesh.


Last edited by ScoutsHonor on Mon 24 Sep 2012, 11:13 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Sun 15 Jul 2012, 7:30 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:
You have offered evidence of the Law of Identity with your examples above, but

Where is the evidence that:
"[b]Objectivist metaphysics advocate determinism
which you claimed you were going to prove???

Your confusion over these fundamental concepts hardly inspires confidence in ANY of your opinions, assertions,
quotations, statements, etc.

Now I won't be wasting any further time with you, either. Just had to correct your egregious errors.

Sheesh.

Now this has become completely ludicrous.


"As far as metaphysical reality is concerned (omitting human actions from consideration, for the moment), there are no “facts which happen to be but could have been otherwise” as against “facts which must be.” There are only: facts which are. . . . Since things are what they are, since everything that exists possesses a specific identity, nothing in reality can occur causelessly or by chance. The nature of an entity determines what it can do and, in any given set of circumstances, dictates what it will do. The Law of Causality is entailed by the Law of Identity. Entities follow certain laws of action in consequence of their identity, and have no alternative to doing so." - Leonard Peikoff, “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy,”
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 108–109


Strangely enough, Objectivism does equate Identity with Causality(it has been sharply criticized for this), Objectivism explicitly takes the position of hard determinism.


"The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action. All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature . . . . The law of identity does not permit you to have your cake and eat it, too. The law of causality does not permit you to eat your cake before you have it." - Ayn Rand(Galt’s Speech,
For the New Intellectual, 151)

"To grasp the axiom that existence exists, means to grasp the fact that nature, i.e., the universe as a whole, cannot be created or annihilated, that it cannot come into or go out of existence. Whether its basic constituent elements are atoms, or subatomic particles, or some yet undiscovered forms of energy, it is not ruled by a consciousness or by will or by chance, but by the law of identity. All the countless forms, motions, combinations and dissolutions of elements within the universe—from a floating speck of dust to the formation of a galaxy to the emergence of life—are caused and determined by the identities of the elements involved." - Ayn Rand(“The Metaphysical and the Man-Made,”
Philosophy: Who Needs It, 25)

"Since things are what they are, since everything that exists possesses a specific identity, nothing in reality can occur causelessly or by chance." -

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology

Leonard Peikoff “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy,”
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 108

"Choice . . . is not chance. Volition is not an exception to the Law of Causality; it is a type of causation." - Leonard Peikoff “The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy,”
Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 110
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mike lewis



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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Thu 20 Sep 2012, 4:14 am

Quote :
Ayn Rand's Pseudo-Philosophy

David Bentley Hart, writing in First Things, skewers Objectivism:

And, really, what can one say about Objectivism? It isn’t so much a philosophy as what someone who has never actually encountered philosophy imagines a philosophy might look like: good hard axiomatic absolutes, a bluff attitude of intellectual superiority, lots of simple atomic premises supposedly immune to doubt, immense and inflexible conclusions, and plenty of assertions about what is “rational” or “objective” or “real.” Oh, and of course an imposing brand name ending with an “-ism.” Rand was so eerily ignorant of all the interesting problems of ontology, epistemology, or logic that she believed she could construct an irrefutable system around a collection of simple maxims like “existence is identity” and “consciousness is identification,” all gathered from the damp fenlands between vacuous tautology and catastrophic category error. She was simply unaware that there were any genuine philosophical problems that could not be summarily solved by flatly proclaiming that this is objectivity, this is rational, this is scientific, in the peremptory tones of an Obersturmführer drilling his commandoes.

One of the many hilarious things about Rand is her philosophical crankery. I didn't get into this issue in my review about Randism, because the point of the piece was to focus primarily on her political impact, but her fraudulence in this realm is pretty striking. She was a true amateur who insisted on seeing herself as the greatest human being who ever lived because she was almost completely unfamiliar with the entire philosophical canon. A pulp screenwriter who had read a tiny bit of philosophy -- about as much as an average undergrad at a liberal arts college -- she developed wild delusions about her place in intellectual history, delusions that managed to seduce the members of her cult.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/87328/ayn-rands-pseudo-philosophy#
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 24 Sep 2012, 11:19 am

I see you have still failed to grasp why Objectivism's position is NOT one supportive of Determinism. Rolling Eyes

Try harder,



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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 24 Sep 2012, 1:14 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:
Objectivism's position is NOT one supportive of Determinism.

So objectivism is mystical after all.



Actually, Objectivism is just a pseudo-philosophy that is attempting to resolve an ancient problem of metaphysics with semantic games. "Volition isn't an entity, it's an existant", whatever that means, sounds a lot like Scientology to me.

“A man can do what he will, but not will what he wills.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer

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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 24 Sep 2012, 3:11 pm

Quote :
Compatibilism (or soft determinism) is the belief that free will and determinism are compatible ideas, and that it is possible to believe both without being logically inconsistent.

Faced with the standard argument against free will, many compatibilists choose determinism so that their actions are adequately determined by their reasons, motives, and desires. Compatibilists are sometimes accused (by incompatibilists) of actually being Hard Determinists who are motivated by a lack of a coherent, consonant moral belief system.

Compatibilists are sometimes called "soft determinists" pejoratively (William James's term). James accused them of creating a "quagmire of evasion" by stealing the name of freedom to mask their underlying determinism. Immanuel Kant called it a "wretched subterfuge" and "word jugglery." Kant's argument turns on the view that, while all empirical phenomena must result from determining causes, human thought introduces something seemingly not found elsewhere in nature - the ability to conceive of the world in terms of how it ought to be, or how it might otherwise be. For Kant, subjective reasoning is necessarily distinct to how the world is empirically. Because of its capacity to distinguish is from ought, reasoning can 'spontaneously' originate new events without being itself determined by what already exists. It is on this basis that Kant argues against a version of compatibilism whereby, e.g., the actions of the criminal should be comprehended as a blend of determining forces and choice thereby misusing the word 'free'. To take the compatibilist view, Kant proposes, is to deny the distinctly subjective capacity to re-think an intended course of action in terms of what ought to happen. Ted Honderich explains his view that the mistake of Compatibilism is to assert that nothing changes as a consequence of determinism, when clearly we have lost the life-hope of origination.
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 24 Sep 2012, 5:14 pm

mike lewis wrote:
ScoutsHonor wrote:
Objectivism's position is NOT one supportive of Determinism.

So objectivism is mystical after all.


Actually, Objectivism is just a pseudo-philosophy that is attempting to resolve an ancient problem of metaphysics with semantic games. "Volition isn't an entity, it's an existant", whatever that means, sounds a lot like Scientology to me.

“A man can do what he will, but not will what he wills.”
― Arthur Schopenhauer



There *IS NO* problem at all (WHAT 'ancient problem of metaphysics'???) except your own weak perception. I.e., A is A, what is confusing about that? Thence, proceeding from there:- what a thing can do, is dependent on what it is. Also not confusing, I believe.

But somehow from the above you have derived the view that this is a "determinist" position. Well, you are simply overcomplicating a simple and obvious observation. It is not Rand who is confused here......!

Also,your friend Schopenhauer spent a little too much time with the Red Queen IMHO.
Interesting that you think this quoteworthy. More of that 'imponderable wisdom' stuff, no doubt. (Ha)
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 24 Sep 2012, 5:25 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:


There *IS NO* problem at all (WHAT 'ancient problem of metaphysics'???) except your own weak perception. I.e., A is A, what is confusing about that? Thence, proceeding from there:- what a thing can do, is dependent on what it is. Also not confusing, I believe.

But somehow from the above you have derived the view that this is a "determinist" position. Well, you are simply overcomplicating a simple and obvious observation.

Quote :
Ayn Rand's views on causation contradict her views on free will. The reason is very simple: her views on causation are those of a determinist; her views on free will, however, make her a libertarian (as we will see below). And those two positions are, by definition, incompatible. But there is another serious mistake in Rand's theory of causation, one that is even worse because it is more fundamental.

Before proceeding, it might be a good idea to define the terms "determinism" and "libertarianism". Determinism is the view that the future is closed to all but one possibility, or, as Rand might have put it, that "everything in the future is already pre-set and inevitable" (The Ayn Rand Lexicon, 122). Libertarianism is the view that we have free will and that, since free will is incompatible with determinism, determinism is false. This is the standard meaning of libertarianism (see, e.g., Free Will, ed. Robert Kane, 17).

Rand is, in a sense, a determinist because of what she says regarding the relationship between causation and the laws of logic. Rand has the unusual view that the law of causation is a corollary of the law of identity. Thus, for her, it is necessarily true that everything has a cause. Leonard Peikoff explains the point as follows: "Every entity has a nature; ... it has certain attributes and no others. Such an entity must act in accordance with its nature. The only alternatives would be for an entity to act apart from its nature or against it; both of those are impossible. ... In any given set of circumstances, therefore, there is only one action possible to an entity, the action expressive of its identity. This is the action it will take, the action that is caused and necessitated by its nature." (Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, 14.)

Now, some Objectivists believe that Peikoff sometimes misrepresents Rand's views in this book (which was written after Rand's death), but they cannot reasonably claim such a thing regarding the above, for Peikoff made essentially the same point in "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy", an article that was personally approved by Rand:

"As far as metaphysical reality is concerned (omitting human actions from consideration, for the moment), there are no 'facts which happen to be but could have been otherwise'... Since things are what they are, since everything that exists possesses a specific identity, nothing in reality can occur causelessly or by chance. The nature of an entity determines what it can do and, in any given set of circumstances, dictates what it will do." (The Ayn Rand Lexicon, 333.)

The only important difference between the two passages is that in the latter Peikoff specifically points out that this does not apply to human actions. We will return to this below. Apart from human actions, however, Rand believed that every event was determined in the sense that, at any given moment, only one outcome was possible — nothing that happens could have happened otherwise. Peikoff uses the example of a helium-filled balloon to clarify the issue: if, under the same set of circumstances, it were possible for a balloon to act in more than one way — if it could rise or fall — then the law of identity would be violated. "Such incompatible outcomes would have to derive from incompatible (contradictory) aspects of the entity's nature. But there are no contradictory aspects. A is A." (Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, 14-15.) Objectivists often make this point in arguing against the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics, which states that there are truly random events in the physical world.

According to Rand, then, the law of identity implies that everything has a cause, and this in turn implies that, at any given moment, there is only one way that anything can act — only one outcome that is possible. This is causal determinism. A rather bizarre type of causal determinism, since it is based on nothing more than the law of identity, but causal determinism nonetheless.

But Rand also believes in freedom of the will, and believes that it is incompatible with determinism. In other words, she is a libertarian. Again, in Peikoff's Rand-approved words: "Because man has free will, no human choice — and no phenomenon which is a product of human choice — is metaphysically necessary. In regard to any man-made fact, it is valid to claim that man has chosen thus, but it was not inherent in the nature of existence for him to have done so: he could have done otherwise." (The Ayn Rand Lexicon, 180.) So when it comes to any man-made fact, it might not have been. Something else might have been instead. But this obviously contradicts what Peikoff said above regarding there being "in any given set of circumstances... only one action possible to an entity".

Now, as already pointed out, in "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy", Peikoff explicitly leaves human action out of this determinist picture. It might therefore seem that there is no contradiction: the deterministic view applies only to non-human reality. But this will not do — unless Peikoff means that the law of identity does not apply to human beings. Remember that the whole point is that determinism (that is, that only one outcome is possible at any given time) is supposed to be entailed by that law of logic. On Rand's view, then, if a human being is free to either do A or not do A in a given situation, then the human being must not have a specific nature.

Of course, we all know that Rand did not really believe such a thing. She obviously believed that the law of identity applied to human beings as much as to anything else. But that's not my point. My point is that, if we accept what she says about the relationship between identity and causality, and also what she says about human volition, then we should conclude that human beings are exempt from the law of identity. And that is obviously ridiculous.

Objectivism attempts to avoid this contradiction by claiming that, in the case of human beings, acting in accordance with one's nature does not imply that there is only one action possible at each moment. It is part of human nature, according to Rand, to have the ability to choose from among more than one course of action. "The attribute of volition", she says, "does not contradict the fact of identity... [Man] is able to initiate and direct his mental action only in accordance with the nature (the identity) of his consciousness." (Ibid.) Or in Peikoff's words: "The law of identity... tells us only that whatever entities there are, they act in accordance with their nature... The law of causality by itself, therefore, does not affirm or deny the reality of an irreducible choice. It says only this much: if such a choice does exist, then it, too, as a form of action, is performed and necessitated by an entity of a specific nature." (Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand, 68-69.)

But this changes things. Now it no longer is the case that "acting in accordance with a specific nature" implies that there is only one possible way of acting. According to Rand, human beings act in accordance with their nature, and thus in accordance with the law of identity, and yet they are able to choose from among more than one possible course of action. So the law of identity does not, in fact, mean that only one outcome is possible for an entity at any given time.

And in fact, that is exactly right: the original claim was simply wrong. Determinism (whether of human or non-human entities) simply does not follow from the law of identity. To suppose that it does, whether for human beings or for any other entity, is an obvious confusion. But now Rand's view of causation can be seen for what it really is: it means absolutely nothing. All Rand's "law of causation" tells us is that entities act in accordance with their nature. But that tells us nothing about how any given entity must act. It merely says that they act the way that they act.

John Hospers apparently pointed this out to Rand, saying that her claim that an entity must act in accordance with its nature "is guaranteed by the meaning attached to the word 'nature'." (Letters of Ayn Rand, 528.) Judging from her reply, she seems to not have understood the complaint. His point, I take it, was that because her statement is true by definition, it is no more than an empty truism. That every entity always acts in accordance with its nature tells us nothing about how it will in fact act, including whether or not there is more than one possible way for it to act. It does not, for instance, rule out the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics: all one needs to say is that it is in an electron's nature (for example) to behave unpredictably. Nor would it be contradicted by a helium-filled balloon that fell. If a balloon ever acted this way, then that would merely show that such behavior is part of its nature. Or, in other words, no matter how anything acts, it is by definition acting in accordance with its nature.

To sum up: Rand's view that the law of identity implies determinism contradicts her view that human beings have free will. Furthermore, it is simply false that determinism follows from the law of identity.
http://www.kiekeben.com/rand.html

ScoutsHonor wrote:
It is not Rand who is confused here......!

Well, not just Rand anyway, all objectivists are pretty much confused on just about all the major philosophical matters. Incidentally, if man's will is free then there can be no wholly objective reality because the exercise of free will is entirely determined by subjective choice, so much for Objectivism.

Quote :
Ayn Rand's Pseudo-Philosophy

David Bentley Hart, writing in First Things, skewers Objectivism:

And, really, what can one say about Objectivism? It isn’t so much a philosophy as what someone who has never actually encountered philosophy imagines a philosophy might look like: good hard axiomatic absolutes, a bluff attitude of intellectual superiority, lots of simple atomic premises supposedly immune to doubt, immense and inflexible conclusions, and plenty of assertions about what is “rational” or “objective” or “real.” Oh, and of course an imposing brand name ending with an “-ism.” Rand was so eerily ignorant of all the interesting problems of ontology, epistemology, or logic that she believed she could construct an irrefutable system around a collection of simple maxims like “existence is identity” and “consciousness is identification,” all gathered from the damp fenlands between vacuous tautology and catastrophic category error. She was simply unaware that there were any genuine philosophical problems that could not be summarily solved by flatly proclaiming that this is objectivity, this is rational, this is scientific, in the peremptory tones of an Obersturmführer drilling his commandoes.

One of the many hilarious things about Rand is her philosophical crankery. I didn't get into this issue in my review about Randism, because the point of the piece was to focus primarily on her political impact, but her fraudulence in this realm is pretty striking. She was a true amateur who insisted on seeing herself as the greatest human being who ever lived because she was almost completely unfamiliar with the entire philosophical canon. A pulp screenwriter who had read a tiny bit of philosophy -- about as much as an average undergrad at a liberal arts college -- she developed wild delusions about her place in intellectual history, delusions that managed to seduce the members of her cult.

http://www.tnr.com/blog/jonathan-chait/87328/ayn-rands-pseudo-philosophy#

Didn't we already go through this not too long ago?
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 24 Sep 2012, 5:39 pm

ScoutsHonor wrote:

There *IS NO* problem at all (WHAT 'ancient problem of metaphysics'???) except your own weak perception. I.e., A is A, what is confusing about that?

Quote :
The biggest problem that's difficult for people to resolve is how this ability to choose can exist along side of the Law of Identity. If our minds have identity, isn't our choices controlled by that identity? If our minds are a function of our physical brains, and the brains obey the Laws of Physics, can we really say we're making choices? After all, we had to make the choices we made because of who we are.

If man has free will then the law of identity does not hold for man, free will implies that no man at any time is entirely determined so therefore cannot be precisely identified because no man has a fixed or precise identity. If man does possess free will then man can never be identified with the A=A axiom, the closest we could come is 'not quite A = A, approximately, give or take, more or less, but who knows'.
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Mon 24 Sep 2012, 6:42 pm

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Immanuel Kant

THE CRITIQUE OF PRACTICAL REASON Footnote

(1788)

Now, in order to remove in the supposed case the apparent contradiction between freedom and the mechanism of nature in one and the same action, we must remember what was said in the Critique of Pure Reason, or what follows therefrom; viz., that the necessity of nature, which cannot co-exist with the freedom of the subject, appertains only to the attributes of the thing that is subject to time-conditions, consequently only to those of the acting subject as a phenomenon; that therefore in this respect the determining principles of every action of the same reside in what belongs to past time and is no longer in his power (in which must be included his own past actions and the character that these may determine for him in his own eyes as a phenomenon). But the very same subject, being on the other side conscious of himself as a thing in himself, considers his existence also in so far as it is not subject to time-conditions, and regards himself as only determinable by laws which he gives himself through reason; and in this his existence nothing is antecedent to the determination of his will, but every action, and in general every modification of his existence, varying according to his internal sense, even the whole series of his existence as a sensible being is in the consciousness of his supersensible existence nothing but the result, and never to be regarded as the determining principle, of his causality as a noumenon. In this view now the rational being can justly say of every unlawful action that he performs, that he could very well have left it undone; although as appearance it is sufficiently determined in the past, and in this respect is absolutely necessary; for it, with all the past which determines it, belongs to the one single phenomenon of his character which he makes for himself, in consequence of which he imputes the causality of those appearances to himself as a cause independent of sensibility.


With this agree perfectly the judicial sentences of that wonderful faculty in us which we call conscience. A man may use as much art as he likes in order to paint to himself an unlawful act, that he remembers, as an unintentional error, a mere oversight, such as one can never altogether avoid, and therefore as something in which he was carried away by the stream of physical necessity, and thus to make himself out innocent, yet he finds that the advocate who speaks in his favour can by no means silence the accuser within, if only he is conscious that at the time when he did this wrong he was in his senses, that is, in possession of his freedom; and, nevertheless, he accounts for his error from some bad habits, which by gradual neglect of attention he has allowed to grow upon him to such a degree that he can regard his error as its natural consequence, although this cannot protect him from the blame and reproach which he casts upon himself. This is also the ground of repentance for a long past action at every recollection of it; a painful feeling produced by the moral sentiment, and which is practically void in so far as it cannot serve to undo what has been done. (Hence Priestley, as a true and consistent fatalist, declares it absurd, and he deserves to be commended for this candour more than those who, while they maintain the mechanism of the will in fact, and its freedom in words only, yet wish it to be thought that they include it in their system of compromise, although they do not explain the possibility of such moral imputation.) But the pain is quite legitimate, because when the law of our intelligible [supersensible] existence (the moral law) is in question, reason recognizes no distinction of time, and only asks whether the event belongs to me, as my act, and then always morally connects the same feeling with it, whether it has happened just now or long ago. For in reference to the supersensible consciousness of its existence (i.e., freedom) the life of sense is but a single phenomenon, which, inasmuch as it contains merely manifestations of the mental disposition with regard to the moral law (i.e., of the character), must be judged not according to the physical necessity that belongs to it as phenomenon, but according to the absolute spontaneity of freedom. It may therefore be admitted that, if it were possible to have so profound an insight into a man's mental character as shown by internal as well as external actions as to know all its motives, even the smallest, and likewise all the external occasions that can influence them, we could calculate a man's conduct for the future with as great certainty as a lunar or solar eclipse; and nevertheless we may maintain that the man is free. In fact, if we were capable of a further glance, namely, an intellectual intuition of the same subject (which indeed is not granted to us, and instead of it we have only the rational concept), then we should perceive that this whole chain of appearances in regard to all that concerns the moral laws depends on the spontaneity of the subject as a thing in itself, of the determination of which no physical explanation can be given. In default of this intuition, the moral law assures us of this distinction between the relation of our actions as appearance to our sensible nature, and the relation of this sensible nature to the supersensible substratum in us. In this view, which is natural to our reason, though inexplicable, we can also justify some judgements which we passed with all conscientiousness, and which yet at first sight seem quite opposed to all equity. There are cases in which men, even with the same education which has been profitable to others, yet show such early depravity, and so continue to progress in it to years of manhood, that they are thought to be born villains, and their character altogether incapable of improvement; and nevertheless they are judged for what they do or leave undone, they are reproached for their faults as guilty; nay, they themselves (the children) regard these reproaches as well founded, exactly as if in spite of the hopeless natural quality of mind ascribed to them, they remained just as responsible as any other man. This could not happen if we did not suppose that whatever springs from a man's choice (as every action intentionally performed undoubtedly does) has as its foundation a free causality, which from early youth expresses its character in its manifestations (i.e., actions). These, on account of the uniformity of conduct, exhibit a natural connection, which however does not make the vicious quality of the will necessary, but on the contrary, is the consequence of the evil principles voluntarily adopted and unchangeable, which only make it so much the more culpable and deserving of punishment. There still remains a difficulty in the combination of freedom with the mechanism of nature in a being belonging to the world of sense; a difficulty which, even after all the foregoing is admitted, threatens freedom with complete destruction. But with this danger there is also a circumstance that offers hope of an issue still favourable to freedom; namely, that the same difficulty presses much more strongly (in fact as we shall presently see, presses only) on the system that holds the existence determinable in time and space to be the existence of things in themselves; it does not therefore oblige us to give up our capital supposition of the ideality of time as a mere form of sensible intuition, and consequently as a mere manner of representation which is proper to the subject as belonging to the world of sense; and therefore it only requires that this view be reconciled with this idea.

The difficulty is as follows: Even if it is admitted that the supersensible subject can be free with respect to a given action, although, as a subject also belonging to the world of sense, he is under mechanical conditions with respect to the same action, still, as soon as we allow that God as universal first cause is also the cause of the existence of substance (a proposition which can never be given up without at the same time giving up the notion of God as the Being of all beings, and therewith giving up his all sufficiency, on which everything in theology depends), it seems as if we must admit that a man's actions have their determining principle in something which is wholly out of his power- namely, in the causality of a Supreme Being distinct from himself and on whom his own existence and the whole determination of his causality are absolutely dependent. In point of fact, if a man's actions as belonging to his modifications in time were not merely modifications of him as appearance, but as a thing in itself, freedom could not be saved. Man would be a marionette or an automaton, like Vaucanson's, prepared and wound up by the Supreme Artist. Self-consciousness would indeed make him a thinking automaton; but the consciousness of his own spontaneity would be mere delusion if this were mistaken for freedom, and it would deserve this name only in a comparative sense, since, although the proximate determining causes of its motion and a long series of their determining causes are internal, yet the last and highest is found in a foreign hand. Therefore I do not see how those who still insist on regarding time and space as attributes belonging to the existence of things in themselves, can avoid admitting the fatality of actions; or if (like the otherwise acute Mendelssohn) they allow them to be conditions necessarily belonging to the existence of finite and derived beings, but not to that of the infinite Supreme Being, I do not see on what ground they can justify such a distinction, or, indeed, how they can avoid the contradiction that meets them, when they hold that existence in time is an attribute necessarily belonging to finite things in themselves, whereas God is the cause of this existence, but cannot be the cause of time (or space) itself (since this must be presupposed as a necessary a priori condition of the existence of things); and consequently as regards the existence of these things. His causality must be subject to conditions and even to the condition of time; and this would inevitably bring in everything contradictory to the notions of His infinity and independence. On the other hand, it is quite easy for us to draw the distinction between the attribute of the divine existence of being independent on all time-conditions, and that of a being of the world of sense, the distinction being that between the existence of a being in itself and that of a thing in appearance. Hence, if this ideality of time and space is not adopted, nothing remains but Spinozism, in which space and time are essential attributes of the Supreme Being Himself, and the things dependent on Him (ourselves, therefore, included) are not substances, but merely accidents inhering in Him; since, if these things as His effects exist in time only, this being the condition of their existence in themselves, then the actions of these beings must be simply His actions which He performs in some place and time. Thus, Spinozism, in spite of the absurdity of its fundamental idea, argues more consistently than the creation theory can, when beings assumed to be substances, and beings in themselves existing in time, are regarded as effects of a Supreme Cause, and yet as not [belonging] to Him and His action, but as separate substances.

The above-mentioned difficulty is resolved briefly and clearly as follows: If existence in time is a mere sensible mode of representation belonging to thinking beings in the world and consequently does not apply to them as things in themselves, then the creation of these beings is a creation of things in themselves, since the notion of creation does not belong to the sensible form of representation of existence or to causality, but can only be referred to noumena. Consequently, when I say of beings in the world of sense that they are created, I so far regard them as noumena. As it would be a contradiction, therefore, to say that God is a creator of appearances, so also it is a contradiction to say that as creator He is the cause of actions in the world of sense, and therefore as appearances, although He is the cause of the existence of the acting beings (which are noumena). If now it is possible to affirm freedom in spite of the natural mechanism of actions as appearances (by regarding existence in time as something that belongs only to appearances, not to things in themselves), then the circumstance that the acting beings are creatures cannot make the slightest difference, since creation concerns their supersensible and not their sensible existence, and, therefore, cannot be regarded as the determining principle of the appearances. It would be quite different if the beings in the world as things in themselves existed in time, since in that case the creator of substance would be at the same time the author of the whole mechanism of this substance.

Of so great importance is the separation of time (as well as space) from the existence of things in themselves which was effected in the Critique of the Pure Speculative Reason.

It may be said that the solution here proposed involves great difficulty in itself and is scarcely susceptible of a lucid exposition. But is any other solution that has been attempted, or that may be attempted, easier and more intelligible? Rather might we say that the dogmatic teachers of metaphysics have shown more shrewdness than candour in keeping this difficult point out of sight as much as possible, in the hope that if they said nothing about it, probably no one would think of it. If science is to be advanced, all difficulties must be laid open, and we must even search for those that are hidden, for every difficulty calls forth a remedy, which cannot be discovered without science gaining either in extent or in exactness; and thus even obstacles become means of increasing the thoroughness of science. On the other hand, if the difficulties are intentionally concealed, or merely removed by palliatives, then sooner or later they burst out into incurable mischiefs, which bring science to ruin in an absolute scepticism.
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Tue 25 Sep 2012, 11:07 am

mike lewis wrote:
ScoutsHonor wrote:

Are you aware that Objectivism is largely derived from Aristotle's philosophy and logic. You may be the first person ever to call into question Aristotle's rationality... LOL.

The first would be Ayn Rand. Objectivism is not largely derived from Aristotle, Objectivism only claims it is largely derived from Aristotle's philosophy. Anyone who is familiar with Objectivism and Aristotle knows this. Have you studied much Aristotle?


Kindly see The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy and note carefully the **description* of Objectivism*. It seems they don't agree with you.



The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy:
http://www.iep.utm.edu/

pirat


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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Tue 25 Sep 2012, 11:29 am

Can you please provide the link so that others may check into your appeal to authority for themselves?
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PostSubject: Re: Ayn Rand Breakaway Discussion   Tue 25 Sep 2012, 4:49 pm

mike lewis wrote:
Can you please provide the link so that others may check into your appeal to authority for themselves?



The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
http://www.iep.utm.edu/

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