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Everything posted by ELS

  1. An Ageless Universe

    The two are seperate points, requiring seperate analyses: "temporal" and "spatial" require very different concepts referring to a relationship that is not so superficially obvious.
  2. An Ageless Universe

    You've got a good mind, Alex. I, too, take what Ayn Rand observed, and then proceed to question. She, as you probably already know, would not have it any other way. She was absolute about the independence of one's mind. The beautiful part is that by such independence, truth eventually comes out in the logic of the arguments.
  3. An Ageless Universe

    Again, I will - point for point. Judging from just your criticisms here, I may even find that I've misinterpreted your positions, in which case I apologize in advance. As you say, to be continued...
  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. 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)
  6. 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)
  7. 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
  8. No problem. I'm right behind you. In fact, I may even be ahead of you! ELS
  9. 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
  10. 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
  11. 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
  12. Life Line

    Speaks for itself. Comments welcome. Life Line In measured beats the heart keeps track, Of moments more than cardiac. Accompanied by a rhythm sure, A life rolls on its linear tour. Each step along the one-way route, The sign-posts read - or cast in doubt, By choices to observe or not, And question always "why?" or "what?" A life moves on from here to there, Each choice selecting where to where, Each moment offers two roads to take, The destination - our own to make. Looking back along that line we see, A life in vivid colors lived. Yet black and white beneath the hues, Where choices meant to gain or lose, We saw and grasped what had to be, For us to live a life completely. No tears for life lived to its best, For lines that traveled straight and true, From soft, sweet dawn to setting sun, For hours and minutes lived fully through. We always chose the sunlit path, The road lit bright as glorious dawn, Which showed us reason’s light and life, And beckoned us to follow on. The line, the life, near at its end, With one last act to seal the goal: Happy at having lived _this_ life, A beaming smile to sum the soul. Ed Scheiderer
  13. 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
  14. 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
  15. 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?
  16. The One and the Many

    Thank you. Glad it made a difference. ELS
  17. 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
  18. Exactly! Thank you, Stephen. ELS
  19. 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
  20. The really interesting question is: how -- and of what -- is that bridge built? Why are the three Aristotelian logical Laws, and only those three, the essential "Laws"? What are the objective relationships between the logical Laws of Identity, Contradiction and Excluded Middle? Is the context a hierarchical relationship pertaining to cognition from philosophic fundamentals, i.e., The Law of Identity applied to cognition, resulting in the other two laws as principles which are essential derivatives? Is the Law of Contradiction essentially a principle for detecting error; the Law of Excluded Middle esentially a principle for preventing error? Thus, establishing a context for eliminating any possibility of error? In effect, establishing human cognition as close to the Law of Identity as metaphysically possible? All assuming an objective conceptual theory -- such as Ayn Rand's? (I believe I already know the answers, but I would be interested in the ideas of others) ELS
  21. Summer Storm

    Summer Storm A summer afternoon in August: Its soggy, burning air, Lies heavy on the scorching dust, A blanket wet to wear. Beyond the trees, dark clouds roil up, To hide the sun and sky. Below, the earth lies waiting, paused, For something from on high All muggy heat and harsh light vanished, By thunder clap and breezes banished, Then torrents falling, walls of water, Flooding over earth's hot skin, To wash away the searing heat, And cool the air again. But quickly as the clouds roll off, And sky and sun return, The summer afternoon resumes: The air begins to burn.
  22. Rationalism

    Some home-school and private institution Objectivist teachers are doing just what you advocate right now. I'm sure you'll find stories on this forum and elsewhere of teachers spreading a perspective (Objectivism) counter to rationalism.
  23. Rationalism

    Thanks, Loki. I did mean the history of philosophy. ( I should have just gone to bed last night! )
  24. Rationalism

    Thanks Paul; you're correct. I should have said having a grasp of the nature of consciousness ( e.g., that it's volitional) rather than having a valid concept per se.
  25. Rationalism

    Not historically, Stephen. The long Rationalistic road from the Thales to Ayn Rand involves more than just the issue of "loose thinking" and "proper introspection". "Introspection" presumes a valid concept of consciousness, which Ayn Rand finally identified. Then you can proceed to define a method based upon the facts about that consciousness, including any criteria for introspection. A rationalist, without any proper grasp of what his consciousness is , without any inductive theory of concepts, or of epistemological volition , will resort to what he has cognitively available to him: his percepts, and their "given" quality -- which he will then (erroneously) apply to all his cognitive contents.