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About Jamwhite

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  • Birthday 11/29/1977

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  1. The Argument From Age

    The fallacy is known as "argument from authority".
  2. Metaphysical vs. Existential

    That is an excellent answer -- it clears up, to me, why such she added it -- thank you. Do you believe that this distinction (existential vs. metaphysical) is unique to consciousness, or would you say that it applies to entities as well? For instance, I build a house for my son out of legos. Later he comes in an destroys it. Existentially, the house no longer exists, but metaphysically, the components still remain nothing fundamentally changed.
  3. Metaphysical vs. Existential

    I suspect that "existential" as used there is closely allied to "practically speaking of existence," while "[m]etaphysically" is used more as a "consequence of the nature of things." ←
  4. I pulled this quote from the Ayn Rand CDRom. It is listed as "About the Author" in Atlas Shrugged, but it is quoted as a direct quote from Ayn Rand.
  5. From "Objectivist Ethics" in Virtue of Selfishness, What is difference between existential and metaphysical in this context?
  6. Pleasure and pain

    Thanks, I will read the review tonight.
  7. Pleasure and pain

    Is “value” in the quote above to be taken in the sense of every “is” implies an “ought”? That is -- the wind blowing produces a feeling. The feeling can change in different context -- it could be cold, cooling, relaxing. But there is always an automatic feeling. Just as when I see my son I get a feeling, an emotional response, that is happiness. So it seems that it is best to think of “to feel” as the broad category of “emotion”. An interesting side-note on this is that “to feel” is a verb, while “emotion” is a noun. In English, feeling is an action, and an emotion is something. The only time it seems that confusion is possible is when you use them as adjectives: feeling, and emotional.
  8. Pleasure and pain

    Let me see if I restate what you said. What you mean above as a feeling is a biological response by my body to another physical stimulus (external if it is the wind is against my face, internal if it is my stomach growls). An emotion is a physical response to my values. The starting point for emotions is feelings, but as man grows in mental complexity, he grows in emotional complexity. That seems just fine, but I am curious why you use those terms? I did a quick search and it seems that Ayn Rand does not use feeling in that way. From “Abstraction from Abstraction” in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (bold mine): Is this not feeling used as you use emotion in your statement? It is not my intention to play semantic games. I just want to make sure that I am not misreading Miss Rand if I can help it.
  9. Limits of property rights

    I have a friend who I often discuss ideas with. In one discussion on property rights, he pointed out an interesting issue. In response to conflicts of men's interests and property rights, he says that he has a problem with his neighbors who he shares a thin wall with. Both neighbors own their condos, and when one of them listens to music, the other can hear it. Neither neighbor cares much for the other so they will listen to music to the maximum volume that the law allows (there is a noise law to control this). My friend's points on this are: property right laws are somewhat fluid because sound waves transfer across property lines so laws governing these, while within a range, can vary, and that because you can interrupt people with sounds, sights, and such on their property that they do not care for, property rights are a cause of conflict between men. (For example: one wants to study while the other wants to be fueled by his music.) I am thinking about this particular puzzle, but I am not an expert on politics, so I thought that I would solicit ideas.
  10. Pleasure and pain

    I have a question that I believe is rooted in the nature of the relationship between philosophy and psychology. All quotes below are from Virtue of Selfishness. In “Objectivist Ethics”, Miss Rand writes: When I eat sugar, I feel pleasure. If I eat too much at once, then I get sick, but generally I can take it in small amounts daily. I could drink a coke everyday for example. However, I will gain weight if I do this. Now eventually I will feel pain related to this weight as a sign that something is wrong but not for sometime. When I work out, I feel pain. Recently I have started weight training and so I have felt intense pain that stayed in my muscles for days even though I was doing something healthy for my body. Branden seems to indicate in the passage that my evaluation of pleasure and pain is somehow innate. There seems to be some ambiguity in my understanding of emotions because I thought that man programmed his emotions through his choices. But it seems that this is a mixed bag because some emotions (pleasure or enjoyment) are innate, while others are programmed. Further, in my examples above, it seems to me that pleasure and pain do not automatically indicate what is good for our lives and what is not. When you look at a railroad and see it converge further out, you have to go over there to see that it really does not. Pleasure/pain seems to follow this same model of giving you unbiased data, but requiring you to still rationally analyze it. But if that is the case, how can pleasure create efficacy?
  11. In the essay "The 'Conflicts' of Men's Interests" in The Virtue of Selfishness, in the discussion of "Context" on page 59, Miss Rand says: As I understand this passage, it shows a similarity between the metaphysical, and the man-made in a social setting. Just as a man is responsible for himself when no one else is around to help him, so too is he responsible for himself when others are around; the difference in a society being trade. The remainder of the passage explains and limits what trading is. Trading is exchanging values and not attempting fraud. What I am not so clear on is: First, why is a man implicitly relying on another's rationality? Second, how does my work depend indirectly on another's evaluation? What if some irrational people like whatever I have to sell for irrational reasons? For example, say I make a new method of air dropping food, but because I am a bad businessman this new method is more expensive than other less expensive methods that are equally good. If people or the government buy my method, they are not doing so for a rational reason (at least none that I am aware of). About the second question, the only way that I can understand Miss Rand's point is that it is indirectly my own effort because I give others something of objective value to evaluate. But this does not seem to fully explain the writing. Can you please help me to clarify what this passage means? Thank you.