Betsy Speicher

Response To Charges Against THE FORUM

13 posts in this topic

This thread is only for responses to charges and criticisms made against THE FORUM and its principals and members. Discussion of whether these criticisms are warranted, true, fair, etc. is on-topic here.

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Mercury wrote:

Who comes to mind?

QUOTE(Leonard Peikoff @ Fact and Value)

a dogmatist, cursing or praising people blindly, in obedience, as he thought, to his new-found "authorities."

Nobody I know.

It is clear to me that I am not cutting through the bias. That concludes my participation on this topic.

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Because the original thread has been closed, I don't know how to properly transfer quotes. I think the following information is relevant to the thread however.

Who is Quinn Wyndham-Price

Quinn Wyndham Price is a graduate student in philosophy at an undisclosed location.

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It is clear to me that I am not cutting through the bias.

I would guess then that your opinion is well formulated and the rest of us that are in disagreement with you have not formulated a rational, adequate opinion. Sophia by you using the term bias, you have indirectly called someone, and maybe me as I disagree with you, prejudice. But, do not worry as I can handle those statements although I do not agree with them.

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I am sorry to see Sophia leave the discussion, but I understand why she is doing so. There comes a point...

I do want to comment further, however, on what she wrote because I don't want there to be any misunderstanding about my position regarding Ms. Hsieh's change of mind about Objectivism.

In response to my post #357, Sophia wrote (in post #361):

Diana has had the integrity to admit to a fundamental error in her approach to Objectivism and had corrected it YEARS ago.

I have no doubt about Ms. Hsieh's change of mind. I admired her integrity at the time and read everything she wrote concerning her thinking that led to it. I was a daily reader and sometime commenter at Noodlefood. I did not question her philosophy, I questioned her method of evaluating others:

What I said in my post #357 (not a complete quote) was:

I cannot speak for Stephen, of course, but I too nodded my head when I read what he wrote, not because I think that Ms. Hsieh still thinks those at TOC are correct in their philosophy, but because of her method when evaluating other with whom she disagreed...(Emphasis added).

I know from my own experience that one does not simply wipe out what one has integrated over a long period of time by understanding one's mistake. The subconscious does not work like that, which is why a person can find that they have an inappropriate emotional response to something. The integrations one has made using the mistake must be rooted out one at a time, as they appear. To do that, however, one must recognize the instance of the mistaken view or idea, which isn't always obvious.

I'm not going to go any further with this because the line between discussing something like this in the abstract and psychologizing about an actual person is fine indeed. I am neither a psychologist nor a mind-reader and I don't pretend to know what motivates her. I will only say that as I observe her actions, it strikes me that perhaps she has not rooted out certain habits formed over 10 years in young adulthood. Saying that does not mean that I think she is dishonest in her change of thinking about Objectivism, nor that I'm impugning her integrity where it involves her leaving TOC. Thus I refute the charge of bias against her.

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Mercury wrote:

Who comes to mind?

QUOTE(Leonard Peikoff @ Fact and Value)

a dogmatist, cursing or praising people blindly, in obedience, as he thought, to his new-found "authorities."

Nobody I know.

It is clear to me that I am not cutting through the bias. That concludes my participation on this topic.

Bias is a charge which speaks to my motivation not my method. The facts of the case support my conclusions: there is evidence of outrageous behavior on Hsieh's part; and nobody's wishes, feelings or hopes can change that.

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Bias is a charge which speaks to my motivation not my method. The facts of the case support my conclusions: there is evidence of outrageous behavior on Hsieh's part; and nobody's wishes, feelings or hopes can change that.
Ms. Hsieh has indeed engaged in unjust behavior. Justice is rationality in the evaluation of men. Ms. Hsieh continues to level very serious charges against this forum, its founders, and its members. She continues to make and spread quite serious evaluations of them all. However, leveling such charges alone is not unjust (for that does not identify whether those charges - those evaluations - are true, false, or arbitrary). It is the methodology by which those charges have been made and spread which makes them unjust. To my knowledge, when requested, Ms. Hsieh has refused to provide evidence of her continuing and expanding claims. She considers the evidence 'obvious' and thus "undebatable." Making such assertions and refusing to support them is extremely irrational. Making and spreading such evaluations of other men by such irrational means is what makes her behavior unjust.

However, the question is - does such unjust behavior warrant speculation as to Ms. Hsieh's personality, motives, psychology, etc on this forum, such as the following:

My opinion is that in Hsieh's case, the change has occurred in the other direction: from subjectivist to intrinsicist. She used to be TOC, i.e., essentially libertarian; now, she "overcompensates" in her new role as chief dogmatist for the "real" Objectivists. Read Dr. Peikoff's words again, which I quote below. Who comes to mind?
a dogmatist, cursing or praising people blindly, in obedience, as he thought, to his new-found "authorities."
This "speaks to [her] motivation, not [her] method." This is speculation as to WHY Ms. Hsieh has engaged in her unjust behavior. It is speculation about her, personally, and her motivations. As you rightly suggest, speculation as to your motives are out of place in this discussion. I would say the same holds true, for the same reasons, for Ms. Hsieh. One could speculate all day as to why Ms. Hsieh continues to employ an irrational methodology in these instances. However, as you say, that would not change the nature of her behavior. As such, except to inflame or excite, what purpose is served by such speculation into yours or anyone else's motives here? One of the benefits of this forum is that it is heavily moderated in order to avoid accusations about other people and their motives.

I agree with oldsalt's post. "I am neither a psychologist nor a mind-reader and I don't pretend to know what motivates her." If this discussion is going to engage in continued speculation about Ms. Hsieh and her motives, rather than the methodology she continues to employ, then I too will take my leave of it.

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Bias is a charge which speaks to my motivation not my method. The facts of the case support my conclusions: there is evidence of outrageous behavior on Hsieh's part; and nobody's wishes, feelings or hopes can change that.
Ms. Hsieh has indeed engaged in unjust behavior. Justice is rationality in the evaluation of men. Ms. Hsieh continues to level very serious charges against this forum, its founders, and its members. She continues to make and spread quite serious evaluations of them all. However, leveling such charges alone is not unjust (for that does not identify whether those charges - those evaluations - are true, false, or arbitrary). It is the methodology by which those charges have been made and spread which makes them unjust. To my knowledge, when requested, Ms. Hsieh has refused to provide evidence of her continuing and expanding claims. She considers the evidence 'obvious' and thus "undebatable." Making such assertions and refusing to support them is extremely irrational. Making and spreading such evaluations of other men by such irrational means is what makes her behavior unjust.

However, the question is - does such unjust behavior warrant speculation as to Ms. Hsieh's personality, motives, psychology, etc on this forum, such as the following:

My opinion is that in Hsieh's case, the change has occurred in the other direction: from subjectivist to intrinsicist. She used to be TOC, i.e., essentially libertarian; now, she "overcompensates" in her new role as chief dogmatist for the "real" Objectivists. Read Dr. Peikoff's words again, which I quote below. Who comes to mind?
a dogmatist, cursing or praising people blindly, in obedience, as he thought, to his new-found "authorities."
This "speaks to [her] motivation, not [her] method." This is speculation as to WHY Ms. Hsieh has engaged in her unjust behavior. It is speculation about her, personally, and her motivations. As you rightly suggest, speculation as to your motives are out of place in this discussion. I would say the same holds true, for the same reasons, for Ms. Hsieh. One could speculate all day as to why Ms. Hsieh continues to employ an irrational methodology in these instances. However, as you say, that would not change the nature of her behavior. As such, except to inflame or excite, what purpose is served by such speculation into yours or anyone else's motives here? One of the benefits of this forum is that it is heavily moderated in order to avoid accusations about other people and their motives.

I agree with oldsalt's post. "I am neither a psychologist nor a mind-reader and I don't pretend to know what motivates her." If this discussion is going to engage in continued speculation about Ms. Hsieh and her motives, rather than the methodology she continues to employ, then I too will take my leave of it.

My analysis would be mind-reading were subjectivism and intrinsicism not philosophical concepts; but they are. As such, there is nothing to suggest mind-reading.

Mind-reading or psychologizing would occur if I were to say: Hsieh's behavior stems from the need to increase her blog traffic and/or to exaggerate her import.

Yes, motivation stems from the premises one holds, but method - however premised - is open to criticism, being philosophical - and thus, demonstrable (by her words and actions). There are, in our present knowledge, three main ways in which a consciousness may function: subjectivism, intrinsicism, and Objectivism.

It is obvious that whatever Hsieh's method, in this context, it is obviously not Objectivist (as you yourself have so copiously alluded to above). So, what is her method? It can be only subjectivist or intrinsicist.

In that vein, I offered my opinion, which I consider valid. Some may say her approach is subjectivist. Either evaluation would be valid, even if one may be wrong.

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...method - however premised - is open to criticism, being philosophical - and thus, demonstrable (by her words and actions). ... It is obvious that whatever Hsieh's method, in this context, it is obviously not Objectivist (as you yourself have so copiously alluded to above). So, what is her method? It can be only subjectivist or intrinsicist.

In that vein, I offered my opinion, which I consider valid. Some may say her approach is subjectivist. Either evaluation would be valid, even if one may be wrong.

Indicating someone is an overcompensating chief dogmatist behaving in blind obedience to new-found authorities is much more than the mere identification of a wrong methodology. And I will not be a party to it.

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...method - however premised - is open to criticism, being philosophical - and thus, demonstrable (by her words and actions). ... It is obvious that whatever Hsieh's method, in this context, it is obviously not Objectivist (as you yourself have so copiously alluded to above). So, what is her method? It can be only subjectivist or intrinsicist.

In that vein, I offered my opinion, which I consider valid. Some may say her approach is subjectivist. Either evaluation would be valid, even if one may be wrong.

Indicating someone is an overcompensating chief dogmatist behaving in blind obedience to new-found authorities is much more than the mere identification of a wrong methodology. And I will not be a party to it.

Do you agree with Dr. Peikoff's approach to the "toleration" mentality in Fact and Value?

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Do you agree with Dr. Peikoff's approach to the "toleration" mentality in Fact and Value?
My appraisal of Dr. P's arguments does not manufacture facts I do not possess about Ms. Hsieh.

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Do you agree with Dr. Peikoff's approach to the "toleration" mentality in Fact and Value?
My appraisal of Dr. P's arguments does not manufacture facts I do not possess about Ms. Hsieh.

I have no problem with that view, so long as you reserve your moral indignation for actual injustice not probable instances.

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I have no problem with that view, so long as you reserve your moral indignation for actual injustice not probable instances.
Given the context of this discussion, I am at a loss to identify what the second half of your statement might be referencing here.

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