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Very good discussion.

There's an area Jordan brought up that I believe needs to be thought about more in O-Land: story.

(Those who know me are surprised, huh? :) )

It's too late to go into this, but briefly, there are narrative patterns that have evolved and there are narrative projections we make into the future by choice and imagination. Some are innate and some are chosen. That is a point that often gets lost with Jordan and it wasn't very clear here. 

And looked at from that lens, all values are stories (most often mini-stories, but stories nonetheless). The very act of tracking or describing a causal relationship is a story. In fact, story precedes concept formation and underpins it. There are other elements (math, for instance), but without story, concepts don't exist.

Anyway, enough of that. It's too easy to write about what they didn't talk about. :) 

As to the discussion, I loved seeing ARI open up like this. They will seriously undermine the obnoxious dogma that is part of their public image if they keep going down this path. I hope they do.

Jordan was able to use words like "responsibility" without getting kneejerk reactions. And he was more-or-less brought around to the Objectivist concept of reason, although the discussion needed to go further for him to fully grok that "contextual knowledge" is what Rand means by reason. There was a whole lot of back-and-forth like that, where people talked rationally and didn't preach.

I didn't expect to be as impressed with Greg Salmieri as I was, but I was. He really did make an effort to understand what others were trying to say before commenting on what they did say. I need to look into him more. Yaron Brook was more closed and stuck to the jargon and traditional ways Rand said things, but even he impressed me with his attempts to grok what was being discussed--and, oddly enough, his humility in acknowledging his inferior intellectual standing and understanding in psychology and philosophy in relation to Jordan and Greg.

Jordan seemed a bit defensive when he started, then warmed up as he want along. I don't think he warmed up because of the topic, though. I think he was responding to the respect he was being afforded.

Talk about good vibes. That's a term, good vibes, I have never used for an ARI talk before. But there were plenty to go around.

David Rubin was a perfect moderator. I can't think of a single thing to criticize. Hell, he even made the subdued ARI crowd act crazy for a moment. :) 

I highly recommend this video. If this panel discussion is any indication, something new in O-Land is starting to happen, something very good, and I am pleased to see it.

Michael

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I've gone halfway only, and just heard Jordan bring up "embodied reason" (as opposed to what he thinks of as "Enlightenment reason") which makes me think he doesn't know Objectivist epistemology well, or cater to it at all. If there is one way quite nicely to explain O'ist theory: senses to percepts to concept , it's "embodied" reason. Seems to me Peterson is stuck in regarding reason as a form of rationalism (a priori 'reason'). Might there be some Kantian-Jungian roots, here? He also stresses his pet topic, IQ determinism, an important debate to be had, but IQ isn't primary to O'ism, well eclipsed by volition. For that alone, one can see he would be lauded by the intelligentsia at large.

What they all agreed on is "responsibility" of citizens in a country, although preferred would be the more accurate "self-responsibility". But of course. The bulk of a nation are not Objectivists nor rational egoists - nor are going to become so. Given this, self-responsibility is the broad basis for freedom, individual rights and the success of capitalism, the value of which everybody, of all moral codes, can understand, while many if not all, such as altruists/socialists will agree with.

I suppose it is now acceptable "tolerationism" for ARI Objectivists to convene with other thinkers...! No longer, I must assume, is it forbidden to speak to (gasp!) libertarians that Kelley was once slated for. Perhaps some practicality is setting in - Rubin and Peterson have huge followings, I gather, and to ARI it makes "outreach" sense to engage with such disparate thinkers publicly. (Right, so long as Objectivism's identity isn't compromised). Therefore, a bit ironic and very sad that Brook and the rest have not been consistent, in not beginning engagement with "fraudulent" David Kelley.

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2 hours ago, anthony said:

Seems to me Peterson is stuck in regarding reason as a form of rationalism (a priori 'reason').

Tony,

That is the form of reason largely promoted during The Enlightenment.

Peterson's "embodied reason" is much closer to Objectivist view.

:) 

btw - I think you make an error in using the term "IQ determinism." That's like saying "height determinism" for short people. :) Mentally deficient people do exist and their deficiencies can be measured up to a point. IQ is merely one of the standards of measurement that has been developed, a largely successful one at that in measuring facility in overall general capabilities.

Peterson's ideas and Objectivism are much closer than they appear on the surface. Once you start seeing the similarities down at the fundamental level, you can't unsee them. This is where I believe Salmieri is at. Not so much Brook, who claimed categorically it is impossible to start with different premises and arrive at the same place. To me, his belief makes sense if one restricts the premises to jargon and thinks only linearly. But then that's a fundamental error. If you look past the jargon and the kneejerks about God, you can easily see Peterson's foundation in reality. I go so far as to claim what Peterson calls God, Objectivists call reality.

Michael

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Michael, As far as I know the Enlightenment, and the first major opening to individual liberty and reason, was predominantly a cause of the Naturalist-Empirical thinkers, combatting previous dominance by religion-supernaturalism. (I've noticed that Stephen Hicks makes a persuasive argument that Kant, for one, was actually a counter-Enlightenment philosopher. Peterson will know that because in a video he's interviewed Hicks on postmodernism at length and evidently picked his brains. Peterson is a quick learner, but I haven't ever heard him crediting O'ist sources yet).

Yes, my point was that Peterson raised "embodied reason" (from someone else) while apparently unversed in how familiar it may already be to Objectivists. He used this to counter Salmieri's concept of reason, if I recall right, which led me to believe that he believed O'ism is synonymous with rationalism.

I will have to see the rest to make up my mind.

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3 hours ago, anthony said:

(I've noticed that Stephen Hicks makes a persuasive argument that Kant, for one, was actually a counter-Enlightenment philosopher. Peterson will know that because in a video he's interviewed Hicks on postmodernism at length and evidently picked his brains.

http://www.stephenhicks.org/2017/08/19/jordan-peterson-and-stephen-hicks-discuss-postmodernism/

The topic of Kant is introduced just after a wind-up about Enlightenment and counter-Englightenment, skeptical traditions, and Hicks' having related an Objectivist position in re perception. Starting at around 11:22 ...

Edited by william.scherk

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6 hours ago, anthony said:

As far as I know the Enlightenment, and the first major opening to individual liberty and reason, was predominantly a cause of the Naturalist-Empirical thinkers, combatting previous dominance by religion-supernaturalism.

Tony,

Which Enlightenment philosophers have you read? 

Ayn Rand?

:evil:  :) 

And which philosophers do you call Enlightenment philosophers? Only the British, Scottish and American ones--and only a select few of those? There were other places like France and Germany around during that time and they had philosophers, too. :) 

Once you start digging, you might find that the image of philosophy during the Enlightenment is not the same as the one promoted in O-Land. Kant, to everyone outside our subcommunity, was an Enlightenment philosopher. One of the most famous Enlightenment philosophers is Jean-Jacques Rousseau. How about enlightening a Noble Savage or two? (You can find all kinds aspirants to that state on college campuses these days. :) )

Or how about this?

One of my favorite Enlightenment philosophers is Marquis de Sade. :) And he actually is one. An Enlightenment philosopher. Really. How do you square that with your version? 

The trick our folks do is to focus on a few philosophers of the Enlightenment era (mostly British and American) and trace the results of their thinking to later social benefits and other thinkers, then say this was only possible due to "The Enlightenment," then gush over it all, then eventually call the whole shebang "The Enlightenment." 

But the Enlightenment wasn't only that.

If you look at the Enlightenment more as an age of people working through ideas so that all could think for themselves about fundamental issues rather than accept the authority of others, especially the Catholic Church, you might start to see rationalism in a different light than you do now. Incidentally, that "think for oneself" idea to define the Enlightenment is fundamentally a Kantian observation. The issue is not "The Enlightenment" versus rationalism. The issue is that rationalism developed as part of the Enlightenment, as did empiricism and a few other isms.

Read and learn, my friend:

Enlightenment

I just read that article myself in order to not suggest you do something I am unwilling to do. It is from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy and will take about an hour to read. If you do, you will get a pretty good basic understanding of Enlightenment contexts and issues.

That view is the way Jordan Peterson understands the rationalistic version of reason promoted by many Enlightenment philosophers, not the O-Land view of erasing and reassigning what doesn't fit in a battle of good against evil--and I don't mean that as a quip.

This--good versus evil--was Rand's favorite form of framing things. It often led her to make mistakes, but it had the virtue of clarity. Sometimes she had to come up with her own jargon and/or meanings of common terms to fit a particular good-evil frame she devised, which is OK, but the downside is she had to leave out a lot and oversimplify some parts of issues that got distorted when oversimplified. (This is the mistake you are making with "The Enlightenment.")

I'm not talking against Rand, though. I find her framing useful as a quick and easy starting point to dig into complex topics without making a total fool of myself or becoming overwhelmed and lost in the complexities. In fact, her framing is great for that. I highly recommend it. But then I accrete further knowledge within and around her frame. As I go along, I no longer take her frame to be the be-all and end-all of the topic. In some issues, as I have studied, I have found myself landing outside her frame altogether, but that's only sporadically.

So read more and enlighten thyself...

:) 

Michael

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I saw this panel discussion in person. About 24 hours later the CEO of ARI said that there were already 130,000 views of it on You Tube. I may comment on it later.

 

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17 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Tony,

Which Enlightenment philosophers have you read? 

Ayn Rand?

:evil:  :) 

And which philosophers do you call Enlightenment philosophers? Only the British, Scottish and American ones--and only a select few of those? There were other places like France and Germany around during that time and they had philosophers, too. :) 

 

So read more and enlighten thyself...

:) 

Michael

 

MSK, :) I am constantly amazed by what you think I know and don't know, and should be educated in. Thanks. I do okay, I assure you. In passing for some, but more closely with others and quite deeply for a few, I have read something or know a little of all those English and Continental philosophers. (One or two, only by name).

There is the distinction between being a dedicated academic and professional philosopher (with the time and intellectual capability) studying comparative philosophy, meta-philosophy or whatever it's called (and good for them) -- and dedicating oneself to a single philosophy to live by, a tool and a methodology for the good life. While of course, keeping interested in the thinkers/academics' works. 

You must have observed that all other philosophies, empirical and rationalist, are totally theory-loaded: didactic, dogmatic , commanding, categorical, etc. The philosopher hands down his lofty ideas brewed in his head and expects men to suck them up, wholesale, regurgitating them when required, as words from the master.

1. Practicality: it must be with huge difficulty that anyone can carry out the ideas in action, consistently. Think of Kant's tortuous complexity (and his ethics...);

2. Process: it is extremely hard to follow many philosophers' reasoning, by which they came by the theories. Especially when as often, there's not any logical, causal continuum to do so. 

Objectivism I maintain is one of a kind.

1.It is tightly theoretical and functional - indeed, *has* to be put to work on and in reality in order to be tried and tested, and apprehended further (by relating back to the theoretical). Not to mention, the major purpose in action of furthering one's knowledge and goals.

2. Also, if he wants it to be fully effective, the thinker-actor will find it necessary to "re-create" (so to speak) the philosophy conceptually, for himself from scratch, and the continuity flows logically. One's errors - always of identification and/or judgment - reveal themselves in the process.

(And some call Objectivism dogmatic...)

----

I quote regularly on OL from Stanford as an impartial source - this was quite a good roundup of philosophies you linked.

Did any specific philosopher overall add to the Enlightenment or detract from it? These philosophers, rationalist and empiricist together, were prone to compromises, self-contradictions, dichotomies - all attempting to resolve the major philosophical differences of the time. Reason and Faith... etc. etc. (I think Locke and Newton are on another entirely level to most).

A few samples from the link to show just some compromising, contradictions etc.:

A)"...Descartes' famous dualism of mind and body, that mind and body are two distinct substances, each with its own essence..."

B)"According to Kant's Copernican Revolution in epistemology addressed to this problem, objects must conform themselves to human knowledge rather than knowledge to objects". [What can be said to that, from the master himself?]

C)"David Hume famously expresses the fallacy of deriving a prescriptive statement (that one ought to perform some action) from a description of how things stand in relation to each other in nature". [ Yes, Hume's "eliminativism" of the self, the valuing subject, will certainly do away with the need of an "ought from an is", doing away with man's values in facts in reality, the fact of his existence and the fact of his nature].

D)"...human freedom is the highest end for human beings..." [Jean-Jacques Rousseau ]

Yet - how do these following quotes I've seen correspond with Rousseau's ideal of 'freedom' : 

"A citizen should render to the state all the services he can as soon as the sovereign demands them". J-J R

"Whoever refuses to obey the general will will be forced to do so by the entire body; this means merely that he will be forced to be free". [J-J R]

Nuff said----

 

 

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17 hours ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Tony,

Which Enlightenment philosophers have you read? 

Ayn Rand?

 

52 minutes ago, anthony said:

MSK, :) I am constantly amazed by what you think I know and don't know, and should be educated in. Thanks. I do fine, I assure you. In passing for some, but more closely with others and quite deeply for a few, I have read something or know a little of all those philosophers. (One or two, only by name).

There is the distinction between being a dedicated academic and professional philosopher (with time and intellectual capability) -- and dedicating oneself to a philosophy to live by, a tool and a methodology for the good life. While of course, keeping interested in thinkers/academics' works. 

You must have noticed that all other philosophies, empirical and rationalist, are totally theory-loaded: didactic, dogmatic , commanding, etc. The philosopher hands down his lofty ideas brewed in his head and expects men to suck them up, wholesale, regurgitating them when required, as words from the master.

1. Practicality: it must be with huge difficulty that anyone can carry out the ideas in action, consistently. Think of Kant's tortuous complexity (and his ethics...);

2. Process: it is extremely hard to follow many philosophers' reasoning, by which they came by the theories. Especially when as often, there's not any logical, causal continuum to do so. 

Objectivism I maintain is one of a kind.

1.It is tightly theoretical and functional - indeed, *has* to be put to work on and in reality in order to be tried and tested, and apprehended further (by relating back to the theoretical). Not to mention, the major purpose in action of furthering one's knowledge and goals.

2. Also, if he wants it to be fully effective, the thinker-actor will find it necessary to "re-create" (so to speak) the philosophy conceptually, for himself from scratch, and the continuity flows logically. One's errors - always of identification and/or judgment - reveal themselves in the process.

(And some call Objectivism dogmatic...)

----

I quote regularly on OL from Stanford as an impartial source - this was quite a good roundup of philosophies you linked.

Did any specific philosopher overall add to the Enlightenment or detract from it? These philosophers, rationalist and empiricist together, were prone to compromises, self-contradictions, dichotomies - all attempting to resolve the major philosophical differences of the time. Reason and Faith... etc. etc. (I think Locke and Newton are on another entirely level to most).

A few samples from the link to show just some compromising, contradictions etc.:

A)"...Descartes' famous dualism of mind and body, that mind and body are two distinct substances, each with its own essence..."

B)"According to Kant's Copernican Revolution in epistemology addressed to this problem, objects must conform themselves to human knowledge rather than knowledge to objects". [What can be said to that, from the master himself?]

C)"David Hume famously expresses the fallacy of deriving a prescriptive statement (that one ought to perform some action) from a description of how things stand in relation to each other in nature". [ Yes, Hume's "eliminativism" of the self, the valuing subject, will certainly do away with the need of an "ought from an is", doing away with man's values in facts in reality, the fact of his existence and the fact of his nature].

D)"...human freedom is the highest end for human beings..." [Jean-Jacques Rousseau ]

Yet - how do these following quotes I've seen correspond with Rousseau's ideal of 'freedom' : 

"A citizen should render to the state all the services he can as soon as the sovereign demands them". J-J R

"Whoever refuses to obey the general will will be forced to do so by the entire body; this means merely that he will be forced to be free". [J-J R]

Nuff said----

 

 

Translation: Yes, only Ayn Rand.

And the rest Tony has read only enough selectively chosen snippets intentionally stripped of context to obey Rand and confirm her opinions which were arrived at via reading selectively chose snippets intentionally stripped of context.

J

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2 hours ago, Jonathan said:

 

Translation: Yes, only Ayn Rand.

And the rest Tony has read only enough selectively chosen snippets intentionally stripped of context to obey Rand and confirm her opinions which were arrived at via reading selectively chose snippets intentionally stripped of context.

J

Well, if anyone is an expert at stripping context, you are J.

But context is actually a subjective concept anyway, depending on an infinite number of facts and previous happenings, and selected by whom?

By you, of course, the Context-Culler-in-General.

A bright future awaits you when you become an unrestricted free agent and the "New" ARI makes you an offer.

 

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