• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About ELS

  • Rank

Contact Methods

  • Website URL http://
  • ICQ 0

Profile Information

  • Location Rockville, Maryland
  • Interests $ Abstract thought for concrete purposes - Philosophy per se; Objectivism as the best philosophy<br />$ Where are we all going and why? - Intellectual history<br />$ Motivational template for living, sense of life expression - Romantic art, especially light classical music.<br />$ Pure physical enjoyment in mastering the power of the ocean - sport of Surfing.<br />$ Healthy Mediterranean (Southern Californian) life-style - especially Italian & Latin cooking.
  1. Binswanger's Spherical Universe

    My argument is not about identity. It's about the application of physical concepts in a metaphysical context. It's about trying to apply concepts formed about existents, primarily concepts about attributes of physical entities, to the metaphysically fundamental. When Ayn Rand says that her concept of the universe is close to her concept of existence (all that exists), you have to integrate that with her earlier views about the difference between metaphysical and physical concepts. When you do that, you recognize that the concept "universe", while it obviously encompasses all the concepts pertaining to physical entities which we are aware of, it also must - being "all of existence" - integrate that of which we are not aware yet - and may or may not ever be aware. The glory of the axiomatic concepts of Objectivism is that even if one can't know the nature of "all of existence" physically, one can know that nature metaphysically. Whatever exists as "all of existence" must have an identity, as you quote. My only point is that beyond that you need to be extremely careful not to commit the fallacy of composition by applying physical concepts which are the epistemological grasp of that part of the universe we are aware of to all of existence. We can't logically extend our knowledge of the universe beyond the level of our knowledge of what we know of the universe. And since we aren't aware of all that exists, all we can know about the universe is the metaphysically fundamental about it. That Existence - the Universe - exists - and that it has identity. Since everything which is The Universe has identity, the sum must also have identity. In other words,the fallacy of composition cannot apply to metaphysical fundamentals; the axioms apply to "part" and "whole" without exception. If anyone can show me how to logically apply concepts pertaining to physical entities to all that exists, without knowledge of all that exists - and without committing the fallacy of composition - I'm more than willing to learn. Until then, any discussions of physical concepts such as "time", "distance", "size", "boundary", etc. as concepts pertaining to the universe are, I believe, invalid. Ed Scheiderer (els)
  2. Binswanger's Spherical Universe

    Exactly. And that eliminates all physical concepts as applying to "the Universe" per se. Ayn Rand's early journal entry on this shows she was getting clear about the differences between physical and metaphysical concepts. The physical concept of the universe comes from our application of concepts of physical attributes to that which is metaphysical, to existence per se. But the concept "universe" is metaphysical, not to be confused with any physical concepts. An error Ayn Rand warned us about. Edward Lewis Scheiderer (els)
  3. Binswanger's Spherical Universe

    "Perhaps" what, Stephen? Best if I go to Harry's points and try and answer them. Harry's responses to Alex indicate what might be problems in his (Alex's) formulations, but I'm not sure some of HB's points are accurate. Which is not to say that Alex is completely correct either. ELS
  4. Binswanger's Spherical Universe

    Stephen's (and HB's) observations are key to understanding the epistemological nature of the problem of scale in the reference points of a constantly changing universe. Any measurement system has a definite scale - a specific range beyond which it cannot be applied. Whatever the standard of measurement, the range is decided objectively by how well and long the standard can be applied, i.e., at what point the measurement process ceases to to be valid. Any standard of measurement ceases to be epistemologically valid when it doesn't cover the range of what it purports to measure. Add continuously (eternally) changing reference points outside the range, beyond the scale of any existing measurements, or the measurement system, and you have the problem of universal measurement. It's the problem of reduction to the perceptual level given a range of measurement whose reference points are continuously changing. The existents are not as fixed as on the (local) perceptual level. And as you expand the measurement into continuously changing existents - i.e., reference points - you lose all referents - and all reference. To lose, on a given scale, for a specific range, all referents - and all reference points - is the problem. For details, I'll soon answer Harry Binswanger's observations - and perhaps, indirectly, Alex S's observations. ELS(Edward L. Scheiderer)
  5. No problem. I'm right behind you. In fact, I may even be ahead of you! ELS
  6. Right. And I believe, if memory serves, exactly that point is made by Ayn Rand on the tape from her epistemology seminar (where they are all discussing new knowledge about blood types, RH factors, etc.). ELS
  7. No question. My only point, however ineptly expressed, was that you have to constantly look for any evidence which could revise your previous knowledge. Paul's point, I think (he can correct me) was that if you discovered "revolutionary" evidence which negated your previous conclusions, you would have to re-think that evidence, and come to other conclusions. And that that would have epistemological ramifications. It would mean your previous knowledge was NOT actual "knowledge"; i.e., you didn't have the full facts, and therefore your conclusions, and all of the processing (the integration of the premises) based on what you had was, in fact, incorrect. Paul is correct outside of the given context: outside what you know, when you know it -- outside the facts that you are cognitively proccessing when you process them. Of course, there is no other possibilty -- you can't know ahead of knowing what facts are to be discovered which would make a difference in your reasoning -- you have to think with and act upon what you know now, not later with increased knowledge. I don't regard it as a problem when you consider the epistemological alternatives: logic? faith? skepticism? feelings? nothing? What method do you choose to act in reality with? But it constantly comes up in epistemological discussions, particularly Objectivist discussion. ELS
  8. Life Line

    Thank you, Carolyn. It expesses what I began with -- and what I expect to eventually end with. The quoted AR signature line is me. Which , of course, is why I selected it. ELS
  9. BeyondFleece.com

    LOL. Like an "Ivory Snow" soap commercial he may have seen on T.V. That's the beauty of California; you can enjoy the beach in the summer, and go to the snow in the mountains in the winter. I love California! ELS
  10. Of course not. Knowledge is both contextual -- and grows with the evidence available. You see that your prior conclusion is in error (e.g., "All Swans are white" -- except for the Australian swan, which is black), and you revise your reasoning accordingly. Logical reasoning is only a guarantee of accuracy given the factual evidence; which means all the evidence -- without any contradictory evidence. The "factual evidence" determines one's logical reasoning because it is what The Law of Identity refers to! What else can you think or act with? If you discover evidence contradictory to your reasoning, you must integrate it with your previous knowledge. Whatever revision is required, will still require the use of the Laws of Logic. That is the gist of my post: logical reasoning per the Law of Identity and it's corrolaries, Non-Contradiction and Excluded Middle, given the factual evidence available, is the only epistemological recourse there is -- unless you want to introduce a new principle to cognition. But before you do, understand that I mean the full range of logical principles contained within Logic, which simply apply the essential principles to specific cognitive contexts. They deal with "specific error" both evidential and conceptual. ELS
  11. The One and the Many

    Thank you. Glad it made a difference. ELS
  12. The One and the Many They watch him walk with wondering eyes, Who is this man so tall and proud? Why does he never seem to see those others all around him? He caters not to anyone, nor panders to their lies, Who is this man outside the crowd? Why is he ruthless to the plea of others who surround him? What gives him gift to look beyond, To view the world outside those minds. To know without consulting others, What is, or isn’t reality? How can he live without the bond, To act without a link which binds To know without consulting others, What is, or not morality? Why will he not submit his soul to common paw, and light relief, To simple thought, and quick belief; To crying, pleading, threats and force, Who is this man -- what is his source?! All those others know their place, They function well among the rest, But he does not; he stands alone, Yet pain is absent from his face! How can this be? What is it in his soul, Which lets him live just for himself, Where others have no role? How can he live outside of others, And feel no alienation; No sense of being left on earth, in virtual isolation? And still we watch him walk the earth, With wondering eyes, no answers ready, Who is this man so tall and proud, Who is this one among the many?
  13. My only claim to "omniscience" is in grasping and accepting that (1) existence exists, and (2) that existence is identity. That's as close as I (or you, or anyone else) will ever get to "omniscience". The only thing that should affect my future conclusions are the facts in evidence. If I have made an error in logic, I am sure you and others on this forum will point any of them out (as you have already done; and, incidently, for which I thank you, and anyone else in advance! ) ELS
  14. Exactly! Thank you, Stephen. ELS
  15. Of course it does; you can't formulate a valid theory of concepts without valid logical reasoning. But it's a reciprocal process. Ayn Rand's valid logic led her to a valid conceptual theory -- which leads to a re-evaluation and re-formulation of the errors of past logical theory. ELS