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  3. Real time reports on Ayn Rand study-group

    SCHEDULE START WEEK - Monday, 29th June, 2015. END WEEK - Monday, 2nd August, 2015. Week 1 YEARS IN RUSSIA Monday, 29th June - Sunday, 5th July - Russia in Turmoil - Philosophical Studies (Pg 217-222) Week 2 INITIAL YEARS IN AMERICA, TILL THE PUBLICATION OF "THE FOUNTAINHEAD" Monday, 6th July - Sunday, 12th July - America – Free to write - An ideal man, a man of reason (Pg 222-228) Week 3 FROM RECEPTION OF "THE FOUNTAINHEAD", TO THE RECEPTION OF "ATLAS SHRUGGED" Monday, 13th July - Sunday, 19th July - (Contd..) An ideal man, a man of reason - The final novel (Pg 228-233) Week 4 NON FICTION WRITINGS AND INTELLECTUAL ACTIVISM (PART 1) (Works other than Epistemology) Monday, 20th July - Sunday, 26th July - Changing vehicles - A Philosopher's provisional summary - Opening and Closing channels - Branch Books (Pg 233-241) Week 5 NON FICTION WRITINGS AND INTELLECTUAL ACTIVISM (PART 2) (Mainly work related to Epistemology) Monday, 27th July - Sunday, 2nd August - A Definition of Reason - Shifting Gears - Reason as Integration (Pg 241-245) Week 6 REVIEW, SUMMARY, AND FUTURE STUDIES Monday, 29th June, 2015. I have framed 48 Questions which I will split across 5 weeks. Participants can answer all or some of those questions. Of course, participants are free to study by summarizing, outlining, or chewing sections of their choice from the text under study for that week.
  4. Real time reports on Ayn Rand study-group

    The main study-group is just 1 week away.... Continuing preparatory studies, today I posted final set of preparatory questions. These also will be answered later this week. Originals are posted here :- THE POWER AND THE GLORY ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Questions Q1. What information does “Acknowledgments” here give about the nature of book? Q2. What role did various other individuals play in this book? Q3. Who reviewed the Ayn Rand chapter?
  5. Real time reports on Ayn Rand study-group

    Today I posted answers to questions I had posted on Tuesday, 16th june as part preparatory. Sharing sample here. All answers can be viewed in the link. --------------------------------- Q7. In current context, why does the writer think its necessary to define key terms like reason? Ans: The term like reason refers to idea. However, if we look at the history of that idea, we see that its terms have changed from logos, to ratio, to raison etc. And more importantly, the debater's interpretation of the idea varies. However, there has to be one meaning in reality that should be used as a standard. Then the position of debaters can be compared against this standard. This method of comparison thus offers continuity across debaters of same idea. And thus the definition acts as a standard, making it easier to abstract relevant elements in position. ---------------------------------
  6. Trailer can be viewed here **************************SPOILER ALERT******************* "Tanu Weds Manu returns" starts with the separation of Indian couple in London, Tanu and Manu. Cause of separation can easily be inferred to as the overly dominating nature of Tanu. On return to India, Tanu starts flirting with her ex-boyfriends and new neighbor, while still getting information on what Manu is upto. When she realizes that Manu is marrying her lookalike Kusum, she tries to mock her. On failing, she insists on attending the marriage. Finally, at the last moment Kusum realizes that Manu is not prepared to marry her, and on being asked Manu decides to return to Tanu. I was profoundly impacted by this movie. Director Anand Rai is turning out to be the Dostovesky of Bollywood. Comparing Romantic literature Dostovesky was part of(completely different from Yash Chopra type romantic movies), to Naturalism. What stands out is that in Romanticism every aspect of art product is extremely relevant to the overall product. In naturalist movie "Bhag Milkha Bhag" for example, or "Paan Singh Tomar", there were many events which made little or no contribution to the overall pursuit of characters' goals. In fact in both cases, the goals got changed in the middle of story. In "Tanu Weds Manu returns" however, the goals of main characters are clear from the beginning to the end, even though most of the realization comes once the movie is over. And every scene and dialog is directed to present that pursuit. So from Tanu's flirtations with multiple men, to Manu's passive commitment to Kusum, to Kusum's contextually rational acts to direct Manu into a healthy romantic relationship. The goals are clear from the start. Tanu wants to dominate men to the extreme, and therefore wants someone who can be torn apart emotionally and still wants to remain with her. Manu wants a healthy relationship which is also emotionally gratifying. Kusum wants a life where she can assert her independence and yet live joyously with her family or romantic partner. BUT there is a sub-category in Romanticism. There are rational goals and there are irrational goals. What ought to be right path can be asserted by showing characters pursuing right goals and succeeding. This was positive Romanticism of Victor Hugo, Ayn Rand, and reluctantly pursued but still positive Romanticism of Nanthaniel Howthorne in "The Scarlet Letter". In the declining years of Enlightenment however, Dostovesky became the king of negative Romanticism. Here what is right was indirectly demonstrated when main characters pursued wrong goals and failed. "Crime and Punishment" is the most vibrant story I can think of in this regard. Further, for Dostovesky whenever there was conflict between reason and emotion, emotion was given primacy. And here too Manu finally returns to Tanu, giving primacy to wrong emotions over right reasons. So when we look at the goals of three main characters, only one goal is achieved, that of Tanu. And of the three goals, this is the one which is an irrational goal. The achievement of this goal is at the cost of Manu's and Kusum's goals, and requires their approval. True, here the connection between goals and means is not direct. The irrational goal pursuit almost fails, but for the sanction of victims. And pursuit of rational goals fail, because of the weakness of one pursuing. The final takeway is that if you give primacy to wrong emotions over right reasons, like Manu you will end up accepting misery - again. Finally, I would highlight a scene of this movie, which I think is philosophically most significant scene in Bollywood to date. The one where Tanu encounters Kusum. She mocks her dressing sense, her personality. And she mocks Manu for sacrificing her for lady worth a dime. The answer she gets from Kusum is a perfect rebuttal. Her independence is questioned by presenting her dependence on father before, and husband later. She is told in no uncertain terms, that given her behavior, she does not deserve even iota of what she got. The dependence of Tanu is contrasted from independence of Kusum. Latter is a self-made national level athlete, and honestly earns for her family. The effect of this rebuttal, like any moral stand by a person of integrity against intimidating enemy, it shatters Tanu to the core. Till now manipulating and conniving Tanu is emotionally broken. True, she continues the tactics to attract Manu, but the confidence is all but gone. And she realizes that final outcome rests on the character weakness of Manu. As an important sidenote, the movie and its interpretations are suffering from a major distortion. People are taking this to be an example of normal marital discord, and accepting compromise as a good solution. Nothing can be further away from truth. All marital arguments cannot be clubbed as being of same type. I think we should broadly classify three types of marital problems. One where both sides rationally evaluate options and conclude that there are irreconcilable priorities. An example of this can be husband-wife having different view of own and other's career, and hoping that other will make way for me to succeed. Then there are other types of fights, where too both have rationally evaluated, but one makes an error in judgment. An example of this can be a situation where the two are trying to evaluate their spending needs, and one suggestion proposes to sacrifice things that are necessary for them in life for luxurious or comforting items. And then there are situations like we have in the movie. Here only motivation for the spouse is to break the soul of her other half. Twisting words and narratives to distort reality, and extract disproportional guilt for actions. If this is the motivation and attitude, then no compromise can save except genuine change of heart. And given the cultural atmosphere we live in today, rarely are tools available for such change in late adoloscence. Finally to conclude, I think the movie, though imperfect, is step in the right direction. Connected movies of Romanticism have power to motivate like few other art works can. We should learn virtues of Integrity, Independence, from the character of Kusum in "Tanu Weds Manu returns". And learn to give primacy to right reasons over badly understood emotions.
  7. Real time reports on Ayn Rand study-group

    Continuing preparatory studies, today I posted second set of questions. These also will be answered later this week. Originals are posted here :- INTRODUCTION TO “THE POWER AND THE GLORY” (PART 2) Questions Q7. In current context, why does the writer think its necessary to define key terms like reason? Q8. Briefly explain reason, as it is described here? Q9. Briefly explain faith, as it is described here? Q10. How does structure of philosophy help writer and reader? Q11. Summarize each branch of philosophy with brief description? Q12. How can studying references at later point of time be useful? What is the nature of these references?
  8. Real time reports on Ayn Rand study-group

    Today I posted answers to questions I had posted on Tuesday, 9th june as part preparatory. Sharing sample here. All answers can be viewed in the link. ---------------------------------------------- Q6. What is the theme of this book? Ans: The theme is to understand how success is achieved in dissemination of ideas. That is through commitment to develop the position on ideas, and through persistent effort to advance these ideas. That is, the power of debaters is in understanding the ideas, and glory lies in disseminating these ideas. ----------------------------------------------
  9. Real time reports on Ayn Rand study-group

    Also today I posted questions from Introduction of the book http://forum.objecti...363#entry336226 ------------------------------------------ INTRODUCTION TO “THE POWER AND THE GLORY” (PART 1) Questions Q1. Which non-fiction category book belongs to? What is it about? ( Just give key terms and their importance. Further details can be deferred to A4. on scope ) Q2. Who are the intended audience, and what can they expect in this book? Q3. What is the purpose of this book? Q4. What is the scope of this book? Q5. What was the procedure employed by the writer to write this book? Q6. What is the theme of this book? ------------------------------------------
  10. Real time reports on Ayn Rand study-group

    Study-Group starts on June 29. Till then I am publishing some preparatory material in advertisement thread. I have published Ayn Rand's timeline here - http://forum.objecti...363#entry336226 Further I plan to study Introduction and Acknowledgments from the book in Q&A form.
  11. Purpose of this thread is to describe what is happening in Ayn Rand study group we announced here - The updates will be real time, that is within day or two of event happening.
  12. Can scientific theories be certain?

    Existence is an axiomatic concept, i. e., is self evident, per Ayn Rand. Thi s, throughout space and time, to infinity. One cannot reasonably expect it to come into being sometime in the pasts nor to go out of existence some time in the future, nor expect it to cease being someplace "out there" or have come into being some time in the past. "Existence exists.", again to quote Ayn Rand. So, what will we find in those far off places? Strange looking people with strange looking faces? Most assuradly so, for in thore far off brews, There's an infinite amount of what ever you choose. Jim Wright
  13. Hi Everyone, On June 25th Andrew Bernstein will be giving a talk in Toronto titled "The Case for Ending Drug Prohibition". Event details can be found here: When: Thursday, June 25th - 7:30pm to 10pm Where: Room 116 - 200 College Street Wallberg Building - University of Toronto Admission: Free (Donations Welcome)
  14. Libertarian-Socialism

  15. Libertarian-Socialism

    A post on a philosophy forum advocated this new philosophy that sounded like communities in the style of convents or other groups with a specific value system that is agreed on and is held above general human identity of individual striving for values. I tried to define these two concepts and discuss why they were incompatible, but somewhat similar in their lack of recognition of the reality of human identity. I now learn that this combination has been used as a title for a relatively recent trend that seems to stem from basic anarchism desire. I'm starting to study it and would like comments from others who know of it but also know Objectivism. It is clearly a politico/ethical concept without a metaphysical/epistemological foundation from what I've read so far, but is there any academic material linking what seems to be a wish for human identity to a solid basis in metaphysics or epistemology? It seems curious. Thanks, Jack
  16. Bruckner 9th/ Vienna/ Bernstein I think Bernstein is the only conductor I've ever seen suspended in midair as he's leading an orchestra. (Christa Ludwig once said that LB taught her to see the joy in music.)
  17. The Poetry Of Brian Faulkner

    The Secret Petals At end of day, in dark'ning hours, When winds are still and closed are flowers, I sit outside beside the tree And hear the song you sing to me. Yet it is not for me you sing, But for yourself, just practicing; You don't know I am here at all, Within the dark, behind the wall. Behind the wall, beside the tree, Upon a bench I sit for me, And take in true the best of you To carry it the whole night through. For in my sleep your voice I dream; I seem to float on your pure stream; And when I wake in bright'ning hours I'm overjoyed from hearing flowers. Sing on, sing on, perfect your tone; Make each phrase yours, and yours alone. I'll interrupt you not at all, Beside low tree, behind dark wall. Behind the wall, within the night, I'll guard your spirit's singing light, Let no one trespass while I'm here, Let no one mar the bars I hear. So right, and so complete, so free, So beautiful, I all but see The rosy bud that spreads apart The secret petals of your art. Sing on, song on, one minute more! This hour goes so fast before! Yet I am happy, having heard Such beauty in each soaring word. ____________________________________ Brian Faulkner
  18. The Poetry Of Brian Faulkner

    Joy Ascending The start of Spring is starting, Each leaf from bud departing; The rain is pelting the snow that's melting, Sweet grasses seek the sky! The heart of life is beating In lips of love repeating, "I'm out of lonely now you're my only; Let's kiss cold pain goodbye!" And up through all things growing, And in our knowledge knowing, Is joy awaking for joyous taking, And we'll not let it die! Sheer ecstasy is cleaner Than dear things near blown greener And birds out-winging with all their singing For our love making fly! In joy of joy ascending With triumph never ending, Our love is blessing our joy's caressing And we'll not let it die! ___________________________________ Brian Faulkner
  19. Who want's to make a new Forum with me?

    I join the groups that interest me because of the topic and/or the people who belong to it. Once you join Facebook, "friend" me and check out the groups I belong to. If any suit your fancy, join them.
  20. Who want's to make a new Forum with me?

    Betsy - what do you find are the active Facebook groups? Thanks, Joss
  21. Apples are not apples.

    Yup, I see your point and it's the category of premise I thought I might get by asking the question here. Thank you.
  22. Apples are not apples.

    That is a pretty good theoretical answer to what you assumed was being asked, but I would approach the statement differently. The statement strikes me as odd and the first thing I would do would ask the person who said it "Whatever do you mean? What are you referring to? Why did you bring this up?"
  23. I was asked to comment on this statement, and used it as an excuse to educate: Apples are not apples. Then asked to answer true, false, neither, or both. I wanted my answer to be judged by Objectivists. Assuming you are not physically indicating an item when you make the statement, that the statement stands alone - apple is a word that stands for a concept that is represented by the word. The concept includes all the characteristics of the existents it subsumes, that is, all apples in existence and all the apples in the past, present, and future. The concept exists in human cognition and its reality exists in every apple you discover. A valid concept is a cognitive and contextual step in the hierarchy of human knowledge. A valid definition of apple tries to summarize apple attributes into two groups - the idea that links all apples as a class and the idea that differentiates that class from all other similar things in existence in the context of current knowledge and no further by human speculation. When we get the total characterization and the definition correct, the discovery of a new apple as new knowledge, still fits the definition and the word - showing the hierarchical nature of human knowledge. Based on the above and in the context of the original question, you are asking to judge the statement "A is non-A." It's plural and there is a logic trick in the sense of the statement using the "not." But it's still the same, "a thing is not itself." So the answer is the statement is false. Thanks for any time you spend on this. Jack

    STUDY GROUP ON "AYN RAND" CHAPTER FROM "THE POWER AND THE GLORY" BY BURGESS LAUGHLIN PURPOSE OF STUDY-GROUPS Organised self-study, that is the ability to think and communicate in a structured manner, is an important part of almost all professions. Successful action requires thought that efficiently organizes facts, infers conclusions based on valid principles, and facilitates implementable guidelines for success. By regularly participating in study-groups, people can develop discipline it takes to excel in life. PURPOSE OF THIS STUDY-GROUP In past two centuries Western thought has witnessed greatest intellectual decline in the history of mankind. The ideas that led to science of Newton, technology of Edison, and politics that ended centuries of feudalism have been discredited. The decline has impacted education, government, corporate and medical institutions, news media, movies, and mental well-being of mankind in general. The ideas of Ayn Rand promise not just resurrection of ideas that make good things possible, but also build them further. And this study group will introduce you to ideas of Ayn Rand in most concise way possible. Whether its her life, her fiction works, non-fiction, or her activism; everything will be available for you to grasp. So to improve your thought process, please check the link that gives details of study-group. SPECIFICS OF THE STUDY GROUP The study can involve writing summary, writing outline, detailed analysis or synthesis of select section(informally referred as chewing), or answering few / some / all of the questions I will post in the forum. Depending on the type of study, individual needs to spend 10 minutes to 1 hour per day. He can also complete his study in advance, and post on corresponding week. The study-group will be from "chapter 8" on "Ayn Rand" in the book "The Power and The Glory" by Burgess Laughlin. It starts on 29th June, 2015. Please note that participation is not possible without the membership of forum. REMEMBERING BURGESS August 29 last year Burgess passed away. 4th July, 2015 marks his 71st birthday. Burgess, as some of you might know was the non-fiction writer. He specialized in "History of Intellectuals", writing selective biographies of various intellectuals. Emphasis being on the development and dissemination of their ideas. He was also passionate about study-groups, and dedicated to the cause. Leaving behind treasure of various targetted discussions. Of course, he was an Objectivist, an activist for reason using rational discourse. Therefore, the study-group starts on birthweek of Burgess. HOW TO PARTICIPATE In the following thread, please post your intent to participate after sign up. The final study group will take place in a separate thread. Only those who volunteer here by posting intent will be allowed to post there. Posting the intent can be as simple as writing "I will participate". But from the perspective of overall objective of study-groups, which involves trading of ideas, I think it would be good if the volunteers post their motivations and personal objectives of joining. Further, it would be better if the volunteer gives his intellectual, academic and professional history. Here is a link to the forum where final study group will take place. http://forum.objecti...p?showforum=121 Looking forward to an engaging study-group where we improve our thinking, understanding and knowledge.
  25. Potential Revelation

    Perhaps you missed it because, depending on the cognitive context, consciousness can be regarded as an entity with attributes. For instance, you could compare the consciousness of a cat with that of a human being and note that human consciousness has the attribute of being conceptual and feline consciousness does not. In other contexts, consciousness can be regarded as an attribute (or action) of a living entity. A clue as to what the cognitive context may be is how you are using the word "consciousness" in a sentence. If you're using it as a noun -- "Existence is primary and is the object of consciousness." -- it is probably as an entity. If you are using it as an adjective -- "Animals are conscious living entities." -- it is probably as an attribute.
  26. Potential Revelation

    If consciousness is an identity, not an entity - this supports all the Objectivist arguments against the dichotomies of brain/body, body/soul, and even primacy of existence/consciousness. Did I just miss this over so many years of self-study?
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