curi

Objectivist and Popperian Epistemology

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curi    0
Ayn Rand has the best moral philosophy ever invented. Karl Popper has the most important breakthrough in epistemology. Most Objectivists seem to think that Popper and Rand are incompatible, and Popper is an enemy of reason. They have not understood him. These lists are intended to help explain my motivation for integrating Rand and Popper, and also to help highlight many similarities they already have.


Points Popperian epistemology and Objectivist epistemology have in common. In Popperian epistemology I include additions and improvements by David Deutsch and myself:


- opposition to subjectivism and relativism

- fallibilism

- says that objective knowledge is attainable (in practice by fallible humans)

- realism: says reality is objective

- connected to reality: we have to observe reality, keep our ideas connected to reality

- asserts there is objective truth

- attention to context ("problem situation" or sometimes "problem" is the common Popperian term meaning context. E.g. a Popperian will ask "What is the problem this is addressing?" and be asking about context.)

- pro-science

- opposition to positivism

- opposition to the language analysis school of philosophy

- say that most professional philosophers are rather crap

- opposition to both skeptical and authoritarian schools of epistemology

- keeps our concepts "open-end[ed]" (ITOE). That means: possible to improve in the future as we learn more.

- says that there are objective moral truths

- does not seek a "frozen, arrested state of knowledge" (ITOE)

- written clearly and understandably, unlike much philosophy

- says epistemology is useful and valuable to real people; it matters to life; it's practical

- you can't force an idea on someone. they can choose to accept it or not

- you can't implant an idea in someone. you can't pour it in, stick it in with surgery, make them absorb it, etc. they get to think, interpret, choose.

- free will

- people are not born with some unchangeable nature and innate ideas. we can be self-made men. we can learn, change, improve, progress

- emphasis on active use of one's mind, active learning

- no inherent conflicts due to objective truth

- understanding of unconscious and inexplicit ideas

- if two ideas contradict, at least one is false

- integration of epistemology with morality, politics, and more

- rejection of authority

- full rejection of idealism, solipsism

- strong emphasis on clarity

- rejection of limits on human minds

- reject probabilistic approaches to epistemology

- looks at man as rational and capable

- value of critical thinking including self-criticism



Strengths of Objectivist epistemology:

- stolen concept

- package deal

- check your premises

- ideas about integrating all one's knowledge and removing all contradictions

- measurement omission and concept formation ideas both worthwhile, though flawed

- good criticisms of many opponents of reason

- good understanding of essentials vs non-essentials, e.g. for definitions

- idea about automating some thinking

- good explanation of what objectivity is

- Judge, and be prepared to be judged



Strengths of Popperian epistemology:

- evolution creates knowledge

- conjectures and refutations method

- piecemeal, incremental method. value of every little improvement

- identification of, and solution to, justificationism

- addresses induction

- conjectural, fallible, objective knowledge

- idea that we progress from misconception to better misconception

- myth of the framework

- value of culture clash

- emphasis on bold highly-criticizable claims, sticking your neck out to learn more

- no shame in mistakes

- value of criticism. criticism is a gift

- understanding of rationality as being about error correction

- unimportance of starting points. you can start anywhere, improve from there

- criticism of definitions

- criticism of foundations, bases

- criticism of essentialism

- criticism of manifest truth (and self-evidence, obviousness, etc)

- static and dynamic memes

- structural epistemology

- coercion and common preferences

- understanding of conflict and symmetry

- applications to parenting, education, relationships

- understanding of tradition

- explanation of value of external criticism (if everyone has some blind spots, but some people have different blind spots then each other, then it's productive to share criticism with each other. a little like comparative advantage)

- emphasis on critical method, criticism (ideas stand unless refuted)

- let our ideas die in our stead



Some of you are now wondering about details. I know. But it's so much! Let's do it like this: if you are interested in one of the topics, ask about it and I can elaborate. If you would preference a reference to existing material on the topic, that's fine too.

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Cool attribution listings. I'll have to read it later.

*Sigh* Why do I keep making these promises? So many interesting posts, so little time...

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BaalChatzaf    0

Around Princeton University where I have taken a number of physics and math course, Karl Popper is the only philosopher referred to by the physicists with respect and attention. The other philosophers they tend to dismiss as hot air emitters and windbags. Karl Popper gets respect. Back in the day before Popper, the philosopher Einstein respected the most was David Hume. When he was young he always carried a copy of Hume's -Enquiry- around with him.

The tart comments that Richard Feynman made about "the philosophers" is a pretty accurate reflection of the disdain that many physicists have for most philosophers.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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drhougen    0
Ayn Rand has the best moral philosophy ever invented. Karl Popper has the most important breakthrough in epistemology. Most Objectivists seem to think that Popper and Rand are incompatible, and Popper is an enemy of reason. They have not understood him. These lists are intended to help explain my motivation for integrating Rand and Popper, and also to help highlight many similarities they already have.
Points Popperian epistemology and Objectivist epistemology have in common. In Popperian epistemology I include additions and improvements by David Deutsch and myself:
- opposition to subjectivism and relativism
- fallibilism
- says that objective knowledge is attainable (in practice by fallible humans)
- realism: says reality is objective
...

My understanding of Popper is that, although he would like to show that objective knowledge is possible, he ends by saying that all of our theories are just the best approximation we currently have to reality, that they are contingent, that they can be superseded at any time, that certainty is impossible. Clearly, that is in opposition to Objectivism which requires the possibility of certainty.

I don't think either Popper or Rand solved the problem of knowledge (epistemology) --- how do we know things? --- but I can certainly see how the philosophies are incompatible.

Darrell

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BaalChatzaf    0
Ayn Rand has the best moral philosophy ever invented. Karl Popper has the most important breakthrough in epistemology. Most Objectivists seem to think that Popper and Rand are incompatible, and Popper is an enemy of reason. They have not understood him. These lists are intended to help explain my motivation for integrating Rand and Popper, and also to help highlight many similarities they already have.
Points Popperian epistemology and Objectivist epistemology have in common. In Popperian epistemology I include additions and improvements by David Deutsch and myself:
- opposition to subjectivism and relativism
- fallibilism
- says that objective knowledge is attainable (in practice by fallible humans)
- realism: says reality is objective
...

My understanding of Popper is that, although he would like to show that objective knowledge is possible, he ends by saying that all of our theories are just the best approximation we currently have to reality, that they are contingent, that they can be superseded at any time, that certainty is impossible. Clearly, that is in opposition to Objectivism which requires the possibility of certainty.

I don't think either Popper or Rand solved the problem of knowledge (epistemology) --- how do we know things? --- but I can certainly see how the philosophies are incompatible.

Darrell

According to Popper, a single pesky fact that contradicts a prediction, means one of the premises of the theory is false. Basically it is modus tolens and principle of logic first studied by Aristotle.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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curi    0

Darrel,

If I understand you correctly, you are assuming that knowledge has to be infallible in order to qualify as objective knowledge. Popper accepted human ideas are fallible -- but explained that there is nothing wrong with that. Fallibilism is not skepticism.

None of this is "clearly" in opposition to Objectivism. Atlas Shrugged says you don't need infallibility or omniscience to have objective knowledge:

"Do not say that you're afraid to trust your mind because you know so little. Are you safer in surrendering to mystics and discarding the little that you know? Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life. Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority. Accept the fact that you are not omniscient, but playing a zombie will not give you omniscience—that your mind is fallible, but becoming mindless will not make you infallible—that an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error. In place of your dream of an omniscient automaton, accept the fact that any knowledge man acquires is acquired by his own will and effort, and that that is his distinction in the universe, that is his nature, his morality, his glory.

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drhougen    0

According to Popper, a single pesky fact that contradicts a prediction, means one of the premises of the theory is false. Basically it is modus tolens and principle of logic first studied by Aristotle.

Ba'al Chatzaf

I doubt that Popper was the first person to notice that fact though he is famous for his hypothesize and test methodology --- the methodology that most school children are taught. According to his methodology, one devises a hypothesis and if it is supported by the evidence, one conditionally accepts it until some contradictory piece of evidence comes along, at which time one either throws it out or modifies the theory to account for the new piece of evidence and continues in that way ad infinitum.

Darrel,

If I understand you correctly, you are assuming that knowledge has to be infallible in order to qualify as objective knowledge. Popper accepted human ideas are fallible -- but explained that there is nothing wrong with that. Fallibilism is not skepticism.

None of this is "clearly" in opposition to Objectivism. Atlas Shrugged says you don't need infallibility or omniscience to have objective knowledge:

"Do not say that you're afraid to trust your mind because you know so little. Are you safer in surrendering to mystics and discarding the little that you know? Live and act within the limit of your knowledge and keep expanding it to the limit of your life. Redeem your mind from the hockshops of authority. Accept the fact that you are not omniscient, but playing a zombie will not give you omniscience—that your mind is fallible, but becoming mindless will not make you infallible—that an error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error. In place of your dream of an omniscient automaton, accept the fact that any knowledge man acquires is acquired by his own will and effort, and that that is his distinction in the universe, that is his nature, his morality, his glory.

As I'm sure you both know, the purpose of Popper's methodology is to counter the problem of induction as stated by David Hume. The only way to know what will happen in "matters of fact," according to Hume, is by past experience. If we've seen an event happen a certain way in the past, we "foresee", using induction, that it will happen the same way in the future. But, he concludes that because inferences based on past experiences can produce false conclusions that "induction is not rational inference."

Popper attempts to avoid the trap by arguing that as a theory matures and handles more and more cases and numerous attempts at refutation, it is more likely to be correct or nearly correct. However, he offers no proof or even convincing argument to support his conclusion.

Rand attempts to side-step the issue with the introduction of the idea of contextual certainty. But, in practice, there is no way to limit the context to which a scientific proposition applies, so her theory fails.

By the way, I don't agree with your interpretation of that particular passage of Atlas Shrugged, Elliot. When Rand says that "your mind is fallible," I don't think she is referring to fallibilism. She is simply referring to the possibility of making a logical error --- an error which can ultimately be corrected. If anything, Rand might be called an infallibilist. She does, indeed, insist that knowledge must be certain in order to be knowledge and insist that certainty is possible. I think she feels compelled to adopt such a position in order to combat skepticism, the position that both certainty, and therefore knowledge, are impossible. She sees that as the root cause of the rejection of objective morality. How can one say what is right and wrong with any sort of certainty if one cannot say what exists or does not exist or what the laws of nature are with any sort of certainty? So, she sees these difficult epistemological questions eating away at the foundations of her philosophy and attempts to combat the problem by attempting to answer them.

My view is that we clearly possess knowledge, though I'm not sure I can say exactly how, but that fact is sufficient to safely ignore the issue when considering ethics.

Darrell

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BaalChatzaf    0

No finite number of corroborating observations will -prove- a theory with a universally quantified postulate is true. However one pesky contrary fact will prove theory false. Think of the pesky fact as David's sling and the Theory it falsifies as Goliath. One well placed stone and Goliath is dead. No finite set of corroborations will prove a theory true.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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curi    0

According to his methodology, one devises a hypothesis and if it is supported by the evidence

No, Popperian epistemology rejects the possibility of support.

the purpose of Popper's methodology is to counter the problem of induction as stated by David Hume

No, the purpose is to understand epistemology, reality, etc... Dealing with induction was one of Popper's accomplishments, towards that goal.

Popper attempts to avoid the trap by arguing that as a theory matures and handles more and more cases and numerous attempts at refutation, it is more likely to be correct or nearly correct.

No, it does not make it more likely. Popperian epistemology, like Objectivist epistemology, is not probabilistic.

What does it make it? A better idea. Each time we correct some error we improve it. If we know of no errors, then it's the best knowledge we have, and we should use it for now (pending new ideas, new criticisms, etc) This needs no special justification. What else would we use?

When Rand says that "your mind is fallible," I don't think she is referring to fallibilism. She is simply referring to the possibility of making a logical error --- an error which can ultimately be corrected.

What do you think fallibilism means? Fallibilism means error is possible. Rand is agreeing with it. (BTW she says similar things elsewhere.)

insist that certainty is possible

Rand only insists that "contextual" certainty is possible. Contextual certainty is fallible. It accepts the possibility of improving our ideas later, or even rejecting them and replacing them with different ideas.

She sees that as the root cause of the rejection of objective morality.

FYI, Popper does not reject objective morality.

How can one say what is right and wrong with any sort of certainty if one cannot say what exists or does not exist or what the laws of nature are with any sort of certainty?

Because, instead of certainty, what we can have is (fallible) knowledge. This lets us speak of reality. It's not something to arbitrarily ignore.

My view is that we clearly possess knowledge, though I'm not sure I can say exactly how, but that fact is sufficient to safely ignore the issue when considering ethics.

The problem here is a package deal. Don't package together knowledge and "certainty" (infallibility). That is a mistake that basically every philosopher since Aristotle has made, and which Popper corrects.

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Dglgmut    0
Popper attempts to avoid the trap by arguing that as a theory matures and handles more and more cases and numerous attempts at refutation, it is more likely to be correct or nearly correct.

No, it does not make it more likely. Popperian epistemology, like Objectivist epistemology, is not probabilistic.

What does it make it? A better idea. Each time we correct some error we improve it. If we know of no errors, then it's the best knowledge we have, and we should use it for now (pending new ideas, new criticisms, etc) This needs no special justification. What else would we use?

Good post, this part especially because it elucidates Darrell's misunderstanding--though I enjoyed his post too. I also agree that Rand was a fallibilist, which is implied with any theory that holds the possibility for objective knowledge: otherwise we'd always be right.

The difference, as you pointed out, is how knowledge works, rather than facts. Rand looked at what makes a thing a fact, while it seems Popper looked at what makes an idea more or less factual (I am not familiar with Popper yet). A fact is a piece of perfect knowledge, and that's what Rand dealt with. With Rand you can either be right or wrong. It's not a sin to be wrong, but it is a sin not to try to be right--to obtain perfect knowledge.

It's like the problem of forms. You can have an apple, but you can't have the concrete manifestation of the abstract "appleness". You can have knowledge, but you cannot have 100% pure facts... and this caries over to ethics, as Darrell noted in his last post.

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BaalChatzaf    0

According to his methodology, one devises a hypothesis and if it is supported by the evidence

No, Popperian epistemology rejects the possibility of support.

the purpose of Popper's methodology is to counter the problem of induction as stated by David Hume

No, the purpose is to understand epistemology, reality, etc... Dealing with induction was one of Popper's accomplishments, towards that goal.

Popper attempts to avoid the trap by arguing that as a theory matures and handles more and more cases and numerous attempts at refutation, it is more likely to be correct or nearly correct.

No, it does not make it more likely. Popperian epistemology, like Objectivist epistemology, is not probabilistic.

What does it make it? A better idea. Each time we correct some error we improve it. If we know of no errors, then it's the best knowledge we have, and we should use it for now (pending new ideas, new criticisms, etc) This needs no special justification. What else would we use?

When Rand says that "your mind is fallible," I don't think she is referring to fallibilism. She is simply referring to the possibility of making a logical error --- an error which can ultimately be corrected.

What do you think fallibilism means? Fallibilism means error is possible. Rand is agreeing with it. (BTW she says similar things elsewhere.)

insist that certainty is possible

Rand only insists that "contextual" certainty is possible. Contextual certainty is fallible. It accepts the possibility of improving our ideas later, or even rejecting them and replacing them with different ideas.

She sees that as the root cause of the rejection of objective morality.

FYI, Popper does not reject objective morality.

How can one say what is right and wrong with any sort of certainty if one cannot say what exists or does not exist or what the laws of nature are with any sort of certainty?

Because, instead of certainty, what we can have is (fallible) knowledge. This lets us speak of reality. It's not something to arbitrarily ignore.

My view is that we clearly possess knowledge, though I'm not sure I can say exactly how, but that fact is sufficient to safely ignore the issue when considering ethics.

The problem here is a package deal. Don't package together knowledge and "certainty" (infallibility). That is a mistake that basically every philosopher since Aristotle has made, and which Popper corrects.

One can make more than logical errors. One can make errors by identifying a non-fact as a fact. It happens every day of the year. That is why the protocols of physical science require that an experiment be done several, times preferably by independent parties to eliminate the probability of defects in the equipment and to fight off observer bias.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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My view is that we clearly possess knowledge, though I'm not sure I can say exactly how, but that fact is sufficient to safely ignore the issue when considering ethics.

Darrell,

I came to a conclusion long ago that humans are not freaks of nature (to use NB's colorful phrase), but instead made out of the same stuff as the rest of nature. That includes the human mind.

Our abstractions can correctly reflect reality--and we can be certain of it--because our abstracting faculty organizes abstractions in the same manner reality is organized. (There's a lot to talk about on this point, but later.)

Once I adopted that premise, that I belonged to the universe and was not a floating exceptional entity outside it looking in, many obscure things became clear.

I'm always amused by the Popper argument that excuses the "absolutely certain knowledge" about falsification from the rest of uncertain knowledge, which means all the rest of human knowledge.

Why is there this exception?

Because Popper said so, of course. That's the premise when you boil all the verbiage and jargon down.

To kinda back it up, he tries to deduce induction, which fails, of course, then says (and implies) this shows induction doesn't really work as knowledge. Definitions don't exist as knowledge. And on and on. This stuff will always be uncertain. Of this he is certain. Forever and ever amen so long as there is a future (which he takes for granted as certain).

His premise is that he can only control the future by disproving the past in the present.

:)

Time travelers of the philosophical world, unite!

:)

Michael

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curi    0

I'm always amused by the Popper argument that excuses the "absolutely certain knowledge" about falsification from the rest of uncertain knowledge, which means all the rest of human knowledge.

There is no such Popper argument. You are misrepresenting Popper's position. Popper's position is that there is no absolutely certain knowledge. All knowledge is fallible. No exceptions.

Your statement of Popper's position on induction is also incorrect. It's not something a Popperian would recognize as his view or endorse.

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Curi,

I've been around this block before. And I completely disagree with you. In short, you are wrong.

So there.

:smile:

There's plenty of discussions around here arguing the pros and cons, with links to online Popper essays and quotes. And they included Daniel Barnes. You might be interested in looking at them.

Until I migrate this forum software to a platform where we can have a useful search function that goes back to all the years OL existed (long story), I suggest you try the following in a Google search:

Popper site:objectivistliving.com

Michael

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curi    0

So you're unwilling to proceed in a way that it'd be possible for you to change your mind or learn anything. (Such as picking a particular criticism of Popper and saying "this one is right; if you refute it i'll concede stuff and reconsider"). Instead you refuse to take any particular position on the matter and therefore avoid any risk of criticism or learning. That is irrational and closed minded.

I'm aware of pre-existing low quality discussions about Popper and Objectivism in various places. I know how to use google. I was hoping to have a better discussion, with someone knowledgeable or at least open minded. If there are no Objectivists who know what they are talking about and are willing to discuss the matter or provide a reference they stand behind (thus allowing the possibility of criticism), then that speaks very badly about the Objectivist online community.

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Curi,

Bullshit.

You're basically saying if there are no Objectivists who agree with you about Popper, there is no quality thinking in O-Land about these matters.

Do you want discussion or would you prefer awestruck disciples hanging on your pearls of wisdom? in other words, agreement and compliance disguised as discussion?

Get over yourself. You won't find that here.

This is a forum for discussing ideas, not for displaying petty vanity.

It gets messy at times. if you don't like that, well, you don't like that.

Michael

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curi    0

You won't expose anything to criticism. You are refusing to take any risk. I am exposing ideas to potential refutation. You are not.

If you don't wish to discuss it you could stay out of the thread or provide a source (thus taking the risk that your source is refuted).

You will do none of this. You are flaming me, discussing irrationally, and refusing to discuss the actual topic. And even implying a threat to maybe ban me.

Please either discuss the topic or get out of my thread.

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Please either discuss the topic or get out of my thread.

Curi,

Let's start with some house rules.

You don't run things around here.

So cut the crap.

Ever hear of private property? Well, you're on some and it's not yours.

Let's see if you understand that principle before I move on to suggesting you actually read what people have written before criticizing them.

Michael

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curi    0

I understand that this is a forum, and if you want anyone to use it you need some basic quality standards. That means things like staying on topic and not having flamewars. I also understand that you own it and you can act on whim if you choose. I do not understand that ownership justifies irrationality or repeated off-topic flames.

If you expect special treatment in a discussion because you own the forum, think again.

If you're going to proceed in a rational manner, please go ahead. If not, please leave me alone.

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Here's the kind of preaching crap presented as ideas I don't like.

Let's just do the first four statement in the OP:

Ayn Rand has the best moral philosophy ever invented.

This is an opinion, a qualitative evaluation, presented as a fact. Why should anyone believe this? Blank-out. I call it arguing by decree. Rand actually does this at times, but with a difference.

When Rand uses this declarative decree form of rhetoric at the beginning, she generally keeps to statements of her own observations, although she does not call them that. She certainly does not present floating evaluations. For example, here is the first statement of the first chapter of ITOE: "Consciousness, as a state of awareness, is not a passive state, but an active process that consists of two essentials: differentiation and integration."

Note that she did not start with something like, "Consciousness is the best state of awareness."

She identified at that moment. She did not judge. The judgments came later.

This is the correct form, too. Cognitive before normative. You have to correctly identify what you are talking about before you can correctly evaluate it.

Over the years, I have seen a tendency in young Objectivists to ape Rand in the decree declarations at the beginning, but inject their evaluations and pass them off as fact. They use the normative before the cognitive method. They evaluate first, then try to fit the facts to their evaluation.

That actually will work some of the time, but as a form of argument, it's best suited to propaganda and covert manipulation than to a discussion of ideas. (Not that the imitators of Rand practice propaganda--they are simply not good at that stuff at all.)

Qua discussion of ideas, this is a religious urge. Imagine a preacher starting with, "God is great. God loves you more than you will ever know." Then moving on to the sermon.

It's the same kind of thing. Rand, to my knowledge, did not do that. But her apers do.

Karl Popper has the most important breakthrough in epistemology.

This is the same as the beginning. Why should anyone accept this at face value? In my opinion, they shouldn't. Why use this dude's mind when the reader has one of his own?

Preachers don't like it when I pull the covers off their BS like this, but I am a proponent of independent thinking, not arguing by preaching and intimidation.

I'm being a little harsh on this Curi dude right now, but I believe he has a good mind. He just buries it under bullshit. All this aping of Rand's attitudes will keep him away from interacting with intelligent independent minds.

If he is going to transit on the outside of the cult-divide, he is going to have to get used to people disagreeing with him--intelligent people disagreeing with him. That means he doesn't get to call them stupid or poor quality and issue commands right out of the gate. Nor does he get to pass off his opinions as fact without challenge.

If that's what he seeks, there are places on the Internet that would welcome his opening decrees--that is, until another guru wannabe clashes with him. We've seen plenty of that here in O-Land.

The hardest thing for people like this to learn to ask is, "What do you mean?" In other words, they need to learn how to think in the correct order, correctly identify first, then judge. Not judge what they don't know according to an inner storyline and image they got from reading some Rand and then run around trying to back it up with facts they--only at that point--start seeking.

Most Objectivists seem to think that Popper and Rand are incompatible, and Popper is an enemy of reason.

More bullshit. This dude hasn't been around long enough to know what most Objectivists think. Right here on this very forum, I've argued Popper and Rand are compatible in certain respects, and I have not been the only one. But this dude won't even try to look. It's so much easier to mouth off about "most Objectivists."

Checking facts is a good thing. I call this bluster of condemning "most Objectivists" mental laziness, but it's actually a form of getting an emotional high. You feel good when you play master of the universe and condemn what you have never seen. It's a rush. Checking facts is boring.

They have not understood him.

Even more bullshit. This imaginary "they" is nothing more than a floating abstraction dreamed up in the mind of Curi.

It takes some effort to mention who and provide quotes. But not if you are lazy and need your emotional fix to feed your vanity and it's killing you not to get it.

A dude like this might think I am being offensive as hell, but he needs to look at how he approached people he doesn't know. A good principle to follow is if you want respect, you give it.

It's a trade, not a duty to be imposed on others.

(Notice I'm not giving it right now... I'm smelling a preacher seeking a flock, and, man, I sure don't like preachers seeking flocks...)

Michael

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This link goes to page 2 of a search for "Popper" in Daniel Barnes' posts.

(Links to page 1 of a search don't work. They just give you a search screen.)

The results only include 200 posts. I don't know how many total there are of Daniel's posts re Popper.

From the linked material, you can branch out to other people's posts on the linked threads.

http://www.objectivistliving.com/forums/index.php?app=core&module=search&do=search&andor_type=and&sid=857327b00686d755c7ba9c4519da0b7a&search_author=Daniel+Barnes&search_app_filters[forums][sortKey]=date&search_content=content&search_app_filters[forums][noPreview]=0&search_app_filters[forums][pCount]=&search_app_filters[forums][pViews]=&search_app_filters[forums][sortKey]=date&search_app_filters[forums][sortDir]=0&search_term=Popper&search_app=forums&st=25

Ellen

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curi    0

Ellen,



Are you willing to stick your neck out, like Michael was not? Will you say "this post is right" -- and rethink things if it's refuted? Will you assert anything and risk criticism, as I have done?

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caroljane    0

Here's the kind of preaching crap presented as ideas I don't like.

Let's just do the first four statement in the OP:

Ayn Rand has the best moral philosophy ever invented.

This is an opinion, a qualitative evaluation, presented as a fact. Why should anyone believer this? Blank-out. I call it arguing by decree. Rand actually does this at times, but with a difference.

When Rand uses this declarative decree form of rhetoric at the beginning, she generally keeps to statements of her own observations, although she does not call them that. She certainly does not present floating evaluations. For example, here is the first statement of the first chapter of ITOE: "Consciousness, as a state of awareness, is not a passive state, but an active process that consists of two essentials: differentiation and integration."

Note that she did not start with something like, "Consciousness is the best state of awareness."

Is curi a dude or a dudette? Not that it matters.

She identified at that moment. She did not judge. The judgments came later.

This is the correct form, too. Cognitive before normative. You have to correctly identify what you are talking about before you can correctly evaluate it.

Over the years, I have seen a tendency in young Objectivists to ape Rand in the decree declarations at the beginning, but inject their evaluations and pass them off as fact. They use the normative before the cognitive method. They evaluate first, then try to fit the facts to their evaluation.

That actually will work some of the time, but as a form of argument, it's best suited to propaganda and covert manipulation than to a discussion of ideas. (Not that the imitators of Rand practice propaganda--they are simply not good at that stuff at all.)

Qua discussion of ideas, this is a religious urge. Imagine a preacher starting with, "God is great. God loves you more than you will ever know." Then moving on to the sermon.

It's the same kind of thing. Rand, to my knowledge, did not do that. But her apers do.

Karl Popper has the most important breakthrough in epistemology.

This is the same as the beginning. Why should anyone accept this at face value? In my opinion, they shouldn't. Why use this dude's mind when the reader has one of his own?

Preachers don't like it when I pull the covers off their BS like this, but I am a proponent of independent thinking, not arguing by preaching and intimidation.

I'm being a little harsh on this Curi dude right now, but I believe he has a good mind. He just buries it under bullshit. All this aping of Rand's attitudes will keep him away from interacting with intelligent independent minds.

If he is going to transit on the outside of the cult-divide, he is going to have to get used to people disagreeing with him--intelligent people disagreeing with him. That means he doesn't get to call them stupid or poor quality and issue commands right out of the gate. Nor does he get to pass off his opinions as fact without challenge.

If that's what he seeks, there are places on the Internet that would welcome his opening decrees--that is, until another guru wannabe clashes with him. We've seen plenty of that here in O-Land.

The hardest thing for people like this to learn to ask is, "What do you mean?" In other words, they need to learn how to think in the correct order, correctly identify first, then judge. Not judge what they don't know according to an inner storyline and image they got from reading some Rand and then run around trying to back it up with facts they--only at that point--start seeking.

Most Objectivists seem to think that Popper and Rand are incompatible, and Popper is an enemy of reason.

More bullshit. This dude hasn't been around long enough to know what most Objectivists think. Right here on this very forum, I've argued Popper and Rand are compatible in certain respects, and I have not been the only one. But this dude won't even try to look. It's so much easier to mouth off about "most Objectivists."

Checking facts is a good thing. I call this bluster of condemning "most Objectivists" mental laziness, but it's actually a form of getting an emotional high. You feel good when you play master of the universe and condemn what you have never seen. It's a rush. Checking facts is boring.

They have not understood him.

Even more bullshit. This imaginary "they" is nothing more than a floating abstraction dreamed up in the mind of Curi.

It takes some effort to mention who and provide quotes. But not if you are lazy and need your emotional fix to feed your vanity and it's killing you not to get it.

A dude like this might think I am being offensive as hell, but he needs to look at how he approached people he doesn't know. A good principle to follow is if you want respect, you give it.

It's a trade, not a duty to be imposed on others.

(Notice I'm not giving it right now... I'm smelling a preacher seeking a flock, and, man, I sure don't like preachers seeking flocks...)

Michael

Is curi "Elliott Temple" a dude or a dudette? Not that it matters, just Curi-ous.

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