cbell97

Members
  • Content count

    52
  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by cbell97

  1. Concepts and language

    That is not what Rand defines as a first-level concept, and therefrom would there be any first-level generalization. Something derived directly from perceptual observation is a percept or somewhat confusingly therein would be contained an (implicit) concept, but it not a concept. There can be so such thing as a generalization directly from perceptual observation -- even if it may seem so to some (as that is a point also made in the book).
  2. Concepts and language

    It is generally taken that since Peikoff's OPAR was sanctioned by Rand that there would be nothing in it with which she would disagree. Refer to Chapter 3 paragraph 2 on "generalization" If a generalization consists of concepts and there are only first-level concepts avaliable (as to a pre-verbal child) then why is it not to be called a first-level generalization?
  3. Concepts and language

    Because I thought the question was in sarcasm or out of ignorance of what "private language" means, I avoided it. I sometimes mistakenly write "first-order" when I mean to write "first-level". The answer was a follow-up on your question posed, and never answered, as to what you sought on HBL on what Harriman meant by first-level concept. It may have been in the context of a "first-level generalization" which Harriman very well defines in his book. I used Harriman's example of the pre-verbal child and the light switch (an event I myself have observed) and the sort of valid generalizations that a child could and would make but these would be first-level generalizations, and not higher-level generalizations from higher-level concepts that come later in cognitive development and not coincidently after acquiring a spoken language. As a side note: I have observed and was, in fact, one who was in a rarely manifested transition phase between the private language and the acquired cultural language in which a close sibling would translate to adults. This happens in the 1y 6mo to 3 yr range. To continue: as Rand, Harriman starts here, in the first level, and with a pre-verbal child, with simple concepts one step up from the perceptual level. What about about that is hard for you to comprehend? Moreover, in a hierarchy of ever-more complex concepts, and in the hindsight of history, the levels may be used in a relative way: one might say "impetus" is the first-level concept to a generalization on a law of inertia because it is the one closest to the perceptual level and "inertia-impetus" hybrid next up and then "intertia". The point made very clear in Harriman's book is that a higher-level generalization would be made from higher-level concepts and not stuck at the lower level of concepts. Again: I ask: how is that hard to comprehend and "self-contradictory". The demonstrated problem of science devoid of induction and stuck in analytical-deduction is that the concepts are not allowed to progress from lower to higher level of complexity but remain fixed often as immutable axioms.
  4. The Logical Leap and criticism

    Cbell is providing valid arguments for a thesis presenting a theory on induction and its manifestation within modern history of Enlightenment science both in contrast to the science that went before and some contemporaneous science such as a-gwt in the Global Warming Hoax, and Cbell also understands that much of the opposition to the GW Hoax was weak and ineffective from scientists who never learnt the principles of inductive logic from their Enlightenment forefathers and left the Hoax to be exposed by only two things: a criminal act as happened in the "climate-gate" email exposure and a persistent change in the weather.
  5. Concepts and language

    Are you still wondering whatever Harriman could mean by "first-order concept" in his book, Logical Leap? I ask because certainly an obstruction in understanding what is a first-order concept would lead to a puzzlement over the Objectivist premises Harriman uses in his book.
  6. The Logical Leap and criticism

    No one has advocated Platonic Forms or metaphysical essences? How did Galileo reject "rationalistic elements"? The answer is to be found in Harriman's book and no where else and is based on a rejection of notion of the idee fixe (from the notion of the universal) in which it is not possible to reach a valid conclusion without a fixed concept of friction that must correspond to truth contained in the universal, but rather that first-(or lower-)level conceptualizations are sufficient to reach valid first-(or lower-)level inductive conclusions. It is clearly argued for in Harriman's book. No re-telling of the history on Galileo's discovery can change that there is no such thing as a concept that corresponds to a universal and thus is the one and only rightful concept to reach a valid generalization.
  7. The Logical Leap and criticism

    Harriman was clear about this. The concept of "friction" is a difficult one of nonlinear dissipative forces that is not fully fleshed out today, and yet Galileo was able to make correct general conclusions through induction. That was the point of the book.
  8. Concepts and language

    [This may be seen as empiricist-behaviourist.] The Objectivist view is to be neither, of course. "Language" in concept-formation in the first-level, as the the child who does so wordlessly (OL), is a metaphor to "language" as a culturally derived means of communication (VL). Concept-formation before the means to communicate has arrived (in VL) and even after a communicative language has been learnt is descriptive of a mental process (OL) in which every concept is to be grasped in specific definition as if a word in a (VL) language, but there is no innate linguistic ability as given by Chomsky nor any arbitrariness to language ability as given by Piaget. Concept-formation by words within a private language (OL) is from the same mental source, which is genetically coded, as the ability to learn a (VL) language but is not the same as the ability to learn a (VL) language and certainly not the (VL) language itself or dependent on the (VL) language itself.
  9. Concepts and language

    To deny a private language and placing the existence of concept-formation solely on spoken languages is to say : "consciousness does not belong to an individual’s existence but rather to his social nature" in one fashion or another. By not tying lower-level concepts to community languages Objectivism is unique in holding fast to the notion of concept-formation without any particular spoken language.
  10. Concepts and language

    CBell certainly is "at odds" with Objective epistemology on the role of language in what he writes here No, Cbell is not "odds" with O'ist epistemology. There are not two different kinds of language, one cognitive (which he deems "conjectured" or "metaphorical") and the other communicative (which he deems to be "unnecessary" for concept formation). Yes, there are two different meanings of the use of the word "language" as Cbell took pains to explain. It's not hard to imagine, and sometimes observe, what happens when someone tries to think, in whole or in part, without words It was not hard for Rand to imagine, for she said just that. ITOE 2. paragraph 7ff. CBell began by making the assertion . . . that a child does not have the same kind of understanding as an adult . . . Cbell began by quoting Rand in ITOE in Chapter 2. on concept formation paragraph 7ff in which Rand asserts a child who has no knowledge of words grasps a concept wordlessly. . . . apparently also intended to mean that the concepts themselves are different between a child and an adult . . . Yes, the concept of a light switch is different between a toddler and an electrician. That is called Objectivist contextual epistemology. He was arguing that first-level concepts do not require language . . . Cbell was arguing that first-level concepts do not require a spoken language and that is particularly what makes them first-level concepts. Reading the book by David Harriman, The Logical Leap helps those who already have a good understanding of this topic and may provide the rudiments to any understanding to the those who do not know of or about Objectivist epistemology. but any explicit identification or formulation of knowledge is in terms of language (i.e., some particular language, whatever language we understand, such as English Rand said the nature of the process of the grasping of a concept at first-level (i.e. as if by a child who is without a spoken language, such as English) is done wordlessly. <<Let us now examine the process of forming the simplest concept, the concept of a single attribute . . . if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following . . . The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. >> There is no context in which these words can be placed where Rand means that " any explicit identification or formulation of knowledge is in terms of language (i.e., some particular language, whatever language we understand, such as English)"
  11. Concepts and language

    The expression "concept formation requires the use of words" standing alone is meaningless. That is why Rand seven paragraphs into her exposition of concept formation explains that "word" in a "language" is certainly not the same "word" as in a spoken language in early development of a child's mind and less certainly implies that the process itself is not as a function of the mind spoken-language dependent. Understanding Rand sometimes requires a broad range of understanding in the sciences and philosophy that perhaps she naively expected of her students as a given. One not even knowing what a private language is a lamentable sign of a poor education in the sciences.
  12. Concepts and language

    She is examining the process by which a child forms a concept and not what a concept is. - Yes, worldessly, non-verbally. concept "length." - The concept itself is denoted and retained by a word: "length." - The child has no knowledge of the word "length" if the process were identified in words . . . - but it is not to the child who has no knowledge of the word "length" She is here discussing if the process of concept-formation is identified in words - That is done wordlessly And how is the process by indentification done by identification in words - wordlessly ? That is what makes Rand a genius. And others, who may not have read David Harriman's Book, The Logical Leap or, likely, do not claim that the issue of the "private language" is relevant to this discussion or, certainly, do not know what a private language is, will claim contradiction or confusion in Rand's words leading him or her to misunderstand what a first-order concept is. Moreover, understanding what logical (or empirical) positivists from Comte to his intellectual heirs in today's post-modernists, as outlined in David Harriman's book, The Logical Leap mean when they say words are needed to designate concepts might just say: "I have never seen anyone else claim that first-level concepts do not, or do not require, a word to designate them" and not know what positivists mean when they say: "words designate concepts" is not what Rand means.
  13. Concepts and language

    Ayn Rand claimed that a child, who has no vocabulary, can grasp a concept wordlessly. This cite is a view on how this may be done, and how those po-mo philosophers who deny the existence of what is called "private language" are collectivists who claim (like Rand) concepts are grasped in definition but (unlike Rand) that the words in definition must be of a collective consciousness or other social means (as in social construction) from which the child's spoken language develops. Unless one grasps the difference, one is hopelessly lost and miserable at understanding epistemology and flailing about through personal attacks as pseudo-intellectuals do.
  14. Concepts and language

    Now you are moving in the right direction, but perhaps without your knowing it. Please read the cite on "Private language".
  15. Concepts and language

    Did you read it?
  16. Concepts and language

    Casta . "Private Language Problem." Encyclopedia of Philosophy. 2006. HighBeam Research. (November 23, 2010).http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1G2-3446801647.html
  17. Concepts and language

    Every word we use (with the exception of proper names) is a symbol that denotes a concept, i.e., that stands for an unlimited number of concretes of a certain kind. The child does not think in such words . So Ayn Rand is saying that a child does not need such words to form concepts. At no time does Rand say in effect: "that a child does not describe his own thought processes to himself in words." She says: "the child does not think in such words" whereby "a symbol denotes a concepts" as he would have no knowledge of such symbols.
  18. Concepts and language

    I disagree that a word [*] is necessary to grasp a concept at the first-level of undertanding (i.e., at the lowest level of complexity, though still valid) . This notion is contrary to what Rand says 8 paragraphs into her essay on concept-formaion as I have cited and quoted. [*] "word" = A unit of language that native speakers can identify.
  19. Concepts and language

    ITOE 2. pargraphs 7 and 8: <<Let us now examine the process of forming the simplest concept, the concept of a single attribute (chronologically, this is not the first concept that a child would grasp; but it is the simplest one epistemologically)—for instance, the concept "length." If a child considers a match, a pencil and a stick, he observes that length is the attribute they have in common, but their specific lengths differ. The difference is one of measurement. In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity." <<The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>>
  20. Concepts and language

    ITOE 2. paragraph 8 Rand wrote: <<The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly.>> What did Rand mean by "does not think" ; "the process" ; "performs" and, most important, "worldlessly"? You previously also stated that first-level concepts as such do not require words -- for anyone What may be properly inferred from what I said, in the example given in David Harriman's book, Logical Leap, of a toddler flipping on and off a light switch, is that a toddler can make a good first-level generalization without having developed a speaking language. How is this done? By percepts alone? Have you read David Harriman's book? He explains the example in more detail than I have done. paragraph 7 <<And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept 'length' . . ." >> What did Rand mean when she said the (language-less) child "having grasped the concept "length" . . . and then[i/] states in the next pargraph, as I have quoted, the child performs this wordlessly ?
  21. Concepts and language

    I meant to say "percepts" ["A percept is a group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain of a living organism."] which is different than "concepts of perceptual entities"
  22. Concepts and language

    In that language precedes communication, it is true that is what Rand posits, and is not at odds with what I said. In that the "English language" (as a means of communication between two people) can only come after "language" as an internal tool of cognition is also not at odds with what I have said. One may have "language" as an internal tool of cognition [though this is conjectural from cognitive science] while also not knowing a single word of "English language" and that is also not at odds with what I have said, for otherwise one is saying that "English language" is necessary for concept-formation which is what is inferred from what you said and is certainly at odds with what Rand said in that a pre-verbal child can form concepts without a communicative (e.g., English) language --"wordlessly" as Rand said -- that is necessary for communication. There are two different meanings for "language" here: one, certain, as in a language of communication and certainly unnecesary for concept-formation and the other, conjectural or perhaps only metaphorical, as from cognitive science which is not verbal.
  23. Concepts and language

    concept-formation requires a word designating every concept For the philosopher in his philosophy, sure, but not for a human as a generality and clearly not for a pre-verbal child. Are you really saying that a child cannot conceptualize without language? What did Rand mean when she wrote: << In order to form the concept "length," the child's mind retains the attribute and omits its particular measurements. Or, more precisely, if the process were identified in words, it would consist of the following: "Length must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity. I shall identify as 'length' that attribute of any existent possessing it which can be quantitatively related to a unit of length, without specifying the quantity." << The child does not think in such words (he has, as yet, no knowledge of words), but that is the nature of the process which his mind performs wordlessly. And that is the principle which his mind follows, when, having grasped the concept "length" by observing the three objects, he uses it to identify the attribute of length in a piece of string, a ribbon, a belt, a corridor or a street.>> Rand does not say anything about "perceptual" literally in the midst of a discussion on concept-formation. She says "in order to form the concept 'length' the child . . . " The child cannot identify the process in words. That is what I say a philosopher would do, not as what happens to concept-formation as a generality. Otherwise, one degenerates into logical positivism or linguistic analysis[*]. On that, see in the Appendix ITOE Abstraction from Abstractions between Rand and Prof C. [*] And why do you think such "linguists" like Noam Chomsky could not be more anti-Objectivist in their thinking?
  24. The Logical Leap and criticism

    You are right in the sense that it is not mere hairsplitting for one to insist that science in its epistemological journey must in any way conform to Platonic Forms or Aristotelean Essences, and that any theory not conforming the perfect concept [sic] ab initio is ipso facto wrong and/or over-simplifying. Moreover, simplifying Newton's journey from impetus to intertia to a hybrid as holding to a "bad concept" is not mere hairsplitting but wrong and misses the point of inductive discovery and keeps at least one foot in the grave of the discredited notion of the hypothesis of the axiomatic truth to which all conclusions must conform.