anthony

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    tony garland

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    A. GARLAND
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    My all-time quote: "Man is a being of self-made soul."
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  1. "Emotions are tools of cognition."

    I did reply to the lobotomizing scenario. I said more or less, it precisely and elegantly plays into Rand's insights. Since, remove the pleasure-pain "mechanism", there can't exist value. Choices? Cognition? Survival? Life-value? Never. There will be all the same dullness... For more, I just remembered Rand's "indestructible robot" - in her writing about value. It can't feel and is immortal, therefore cannot experience values, while man can and does. I must add, that Rand obviously wanted it to be understood, that ~alignment~ of reason-values-emotions is the goal - and such is attainable. She would have named that integration, probably. Absolutely then, there should not be denial (self-repression, contradictions, and so on) of emotionality. IF, one is rational and has rational values.
  2. "Emotions are tools of cognition."

    "If emotions are not tools of cognition, what are they?" Nutshell: Signals of values. (which can equally mean, of one's dis-values also). Enright's essay would be appetizing. Is it available in full, William?
  3. "Emotions are tools of cognition."

    William - Jerry put the case very well, I thought.
  4. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    By tools of *cognition*, surely Rand must mean: perception, integration, differentiation, evaluation, and concept creation. In other words, the entire gamut of reason. But if at one of the stages, an emotion (fear, hatred, etc. - or say, racial prejudice) is allowed by the thinker to cast any influence on his cognition, without doubt his outcomes - in evaluation and of conceptual knowledge - will be badly flawed. That has to be inarguable. Next step he will then act, emotionally and destructively, based on his 'emotional judgment' (evaluation) and false conclusions. "Man is born with an emotional mechanism, just as he is born with a cognitive mechanism; but, at birth, both are "tabula rasa". It is man's cognitive faculty, his mind, that determines the *content* of both. Man's emotional mechanism is like an electronic computer, which his mind has to program--and the programming consists of the values his mind chooses. But since the work of man's mind is not automatic, his values, like all his premises, are the product either of his thinking or of his evasions. ...Emotions are produced by man's premises, held consciously or subconsciously, explicitly or implicitly [...]" VoS (Profound, AR's value--emotion connection....): "The programming consists of the values his mind chooses". I quoted this excerpt, in light of the 'lobotomy of emotional centers' argument. I think Rand would strongly cite those experiments! Because what was surgically severed from his brain resulting in the paralysis of the patient's decision-making ability, is in fact his "emotional mechanism" -- without which the "programming" of his values CAN'T take place. No evaluation, no ability to choose values - psychotic indecision. If one can't feel pain and pleasure, all emotions are gone and "value" becomes null and void.
  5. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    Michael, Where's the disagreement? I don't follow. The act of a writer's mind 'imaging' an object or person or episode into literature, I said WAS introspection. "Indirectly" - from reality, ultimately - and "processed" by the author's mind and personal values. And your purpose and aim as an author, is for your reader to reverse the process, from your words, back into the same imagery you 'saw' as closely as possible, all-dependent on your skill with language and his. He too, then will introspect and provide his own mind's imagery, to the word-concepts. Writers are not actually thinking about thinking, they are inwardly "seeing", I believe. What we call "previsualization", in photography.
  6. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    Yes, novel writing and art as a whole, are highly introspective ... imagery drawn from one's consciousness - but still and always, of referents in reality. "Derived from one's awareness of the external world". The novelist re-arranges components of life to suit himself, in his own image (of what is existence, or what it could be). He is literally playing God. My simple explanation of creativity, imagination. Not "her main focus"- well, no, of course. There are plenty bigger fish to fry. But she is also mighty insistent on one knowing and reviewing one's internal state, and does a great service to rationality by removing all the mystique and mystical nonsense from emotions. Why not, when they too, are existents with causality and can be objectively known. Rand's value->emotion connection is profound. Nathaniel Branden went further. I recall one chapter, about guilt, in HtS (and he also pointed out emotional repression within Objectivism he'd observed at NBI). If there is a least favorite topic in O'ist circles, it is emotionality, I've noticed. It's as if, because they aren't "tools of cognition", one's emotions should be shunned. I can't get it. How does anyone not enjoy and appreciate the signals his emotional element sends - and, not want to understand himself (or others, especially others' emotionalist behavior we are surrounded by)? This is all to do with man's consciousness, finally, and its nature.
  7. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    Galt’s Speech, For the New Intellectual, 124 Consciousness is the faculty of awareness—the faculty of perceiving that which exists. Awareness is not a passive state, but an active process. On the lower levels of awareness, a complex neurological process is required to enable man to experience a sensation and to integrate sensations into percepts; that process is automatic and non-volitional: man is aware of its results, but not of the process itself. On the higher, conceptual level, the process is psychological, conscious and volitional. In either case, awareness is achieved and maintained by continuous action. Directly or indirectly, every phenomenon of consciousness is derived from one’s awareness of the external world. Some object, i.e., some content, is involved in every state of awareness. Extrospection is a process of cognition directed outward—a process of apprehending some existent(s) of the external world. Introspection is a process of cognition directed inward—a process of apprehending one’s own psychological actions in regard to some existent(s) of the external world, such actions as thinking, feeling, reminiscing, etc. It is only in relation to the external world that the various actions of a consciousness can be experienced, grasped, defined or communicated. Awareness is awareness of something. A content-less state of consciousness is a contradiction in terms. “Concepts of Consciousness,” Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 37 Michael, The excerpt is I think useful, here. What should be highlighted is "action" and "content". And, "directly or indirectly". "Awareness is achieved and maintained by continuous *action*". And: "Some object, i.e., some *content*, is involved in every state of awareness". (There is ongoing cross-over between the two. Induction--deduction: Action creates content, while content instigates further action - as I view this). AR says that ~both~ actions, extrospective and introspective, are cognition; while she isolates for introspective (inward) cognition - "one's own psychological actions...such as thinking, feeling, reminiscing, etc." The solid foundation, we know, is -- Identification. Taken from there, I think we have: a). Direct awareness, action applied to the external world. What? How? ("do I know"). Perception, differentiation, integration, evaluation and concept formation; and b). Indirect awareness, of the content prior and present in one's mind perceived also from the external world (by actions of thoughts, emotions, and memories). I believe it's clear, that here Rand's ultimate end is an integration of "psychological" actions, e.g., emotions. What? Why? ("do I feel").
  8. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    This takes us into how a total philosophy is created. And another topic. My "impression" is not so limited, I'm simply applying this specific topic to what Rand -directly- writes about introspection - emotions - not what one can take as implicit of her method. The direction of this debate was turning away from important emotions, to a general discussion on thought . For the bulk of it, I can only surmize meta-philosophy necessitates vast induction and deduction - perception, integration and conceptualizing and, of course - introspection, even 'intuitionism'. Within a comprehensive metaphysical vision. All the tools and methods we need to understand it went into making it.
  9. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    Well, that's so for many. Don't go to (or clean up) the musty attics and damp basements which may stink up the house.
  10. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    "In the field of introspection, the two guiding questions are "What do I feel?" and "Why do I feel it?""
  11. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    Introspection ¶ Extrospection is a process of cognition directed outward—a process of apprehending some existent(s) of the external world. Introspection is a process of cognition directed inward—a process of apprehending one’s own psychological actions in regard to some existent(s) of the external world, such actions as thinking, feeling, reminiscing, etc. It is only in relation to the external world that the various actions of a consciousness can be experienced, grasped, defined or communicated. “Concepts of Consciousness,” Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, 29 ¶ A major source of men’s earned guilt in regard to philosophy—as well as in regard to their own minds and lives—is failure of introspection. Specifically, it is the failure to identify the nature and causes of their emotions. An emotion as such tells you nothing about reality, beyond the fact that something makes you feel something. Without a ruthlessly honest commitment to introspection—to the conceptual identification of your inner states—you will not discover what you feel, what arouses the feeling, and whether your feeling is an appropriate response to the facts of reality, or a mistaken response, or a vicious illusion produced by years of self-deception. The men who scorn or dread introspection take their inner states for granted, as an irreducible and irresistible primary, and let their emotions determine their actions. This means that they choose to act without knowing the context (reality), the causes (motives), and the consequences (goals) of their actions. The field of extrospection is based on two cardinal questions: “What do I know?” and “How do I know it?” In the field of introspection, the two guiding questions are: “What do I feel?” and “Why do I feel it?” “Philosophical Detection,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 17
  12. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    Michael, I'm on board with "thinking about your own thinking as you think", and I like how you put it. Certainly. Except I'm disinclined to call this the totality of introspection. I am more inclined to consider meta-cognition a crucial component of cognition - than a distinct category. It's the thinking about the *process* of thought, rather than the *content* of a mind, re: reality. Like we do, when contrasting other forms of epistemology with our own. Or- simply - why do I-did I think in this manner? It's a large part and parcel of reasoning, as with checking one's premises. If given all our attention, I think that weighted approach to introspection can divert the debate from something important. And I also did wonder for a while why Rand's -almost complete - explanation of introspection was the search of one's emotional state. As I recall she mentioned introspection of thought only once, in passing. I think now she was right to place emphasis here, on the emotional *state*. In my raw summation (of what I know you've seen her write): Emotions aren't mysterious phenomena that strike one unpredictably. (Everybody should know this from experience--with a little introspection). Emotions are responses - to *something*, in reality - therefore possessing objective causation and identity). Further, one self-automates his own specific feeling-responses (from pleasure to pain, in a myriad of sub-types) -- by one's consciously deliberated value system. Emotion is an instant - at times, I think, a delayed and/or sustained - indicator of threats or boons to one's values, again, reacting to that perceived existent. Overall: If one is to be objective about emotions it requires one to regularly query: "what was" such an emotion, "what" caused it, and is it aligned (or out of kilter) with my purported values (or disvalues)? And thereby, take ownership (N. Branden) of one's emotions. (As one does with all acts of consciousness and physical actions).
  13. Charlottesville Unite the Right Rally Madness

    Molyneux, interesting.
  14. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    Can't -or- won't, introspect, make up your mind.
  15. The Epistemology of Intimidation by Hatred

    Huh? Thought reading?