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    Stephen Boydstun

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  1. mmp, Would you rate memory of the observation that I've begun this sentence as true as the observation of its completion? That memory over t1 to t2 as true as the observation at t2? I'd say yes, and various competencies of memory, including semantic memory, are involved in the observation that one is writing a sentence or that one has read a complete sentence. Observation engaged in our everyday reasoned maneuvers, such as getting to the coffee maker, is not so simple as old philosophers cracked it up to be. Scientific observation is even more elaborate and embedded in more elaborate reas
  2. D, I doubt Rand would make any distinction between universe and nature in this context. In her published writing, the idea is expressed most strongly in Atlas in remarks of Ragnar to Dagny in Atlantis, and there her term for the realm is earth. In that work she speaks also of “the man who belonged on earth”, and that sense about the fundamental human condition is at hand as well for Roark of Fountainhead and for the protagonist of Anthem. The chapter I mentioned above in the Blackwell volume mentions the idea of benevolence being a thing about the world, our world, as some theologian
  3. “. . . that one has forgotten how the concept of ‘the arbitrary’ was originated. An arbitrary idea is one accepted by chance, caprice, or whim. It stands in contradistinction to an idea accepted for logical reasons, from which it is intended to be distinguished. The existence of such a concept as an ‘arbitrary idea’ is made possible only by the existence of logically necessary ideas. The former is not a primary.” (73) Also in that same Branden lecture: “Any human statement and any claim to knowledge must refer to something that exists or be derived from something that exists or be based o
  4. Intrinsicist has some good points about “the benevolent universe premise” in Rand’s philosophy. And there are good points upstream in this thread. Additionally, I’d add that Rand rejected the idea of Schopenhauer that will to life is a bondage to ultimate pointless striving and a striving whose main theme is suffering. She rejected his view that the attainments of intellect are occasions of freedom from that bondage. (Her opposition to the metaphysical pessimism of Schopenhauer and his followers extends also to opposition of Existentialism, which was contemporary with her own life.) In di
  5. Brant, do you know when Barbara Branden made that remark? Do you know what year was the refusal to which she was referring? In the book Ayn Rand and the World She Made (2010), the author Anne Heller implies that after grad school (1964), Hook did give Peikoff a recommendation(s) for academic teaching position. Heller writes that Peikoff lost his teaching positions at Hunter, New York University, and Brooklyn and damaged his future prospects because “he couldn’t resist trying to ‘convert’ his students to Rand’s ideas, in spite of warnings.” She reports that in 1987 Hook received a letter f
  6. The Common Good - Irfan
  7. Finding how and why the cells are hexagonal A song about it
  8. Guyau

    My Verses

    This link to The Song has surrounding status of the new philosophy to be unveiled, likely this summer.
  9. The final run of scenarios at Fivethirtyeight (Nov. 3, 2020) are here, at least for now. If I scroll down to the map with the disks for the 100 samples from the 40,000 runs for that day, and run my cursor over the 10 disks for a Trump win, I notice that in each of those 10 maps that pop up, he needed to win Pennsylvania. The one scenario that was a tie 269-269 is a map showing him losing PA, but of course in the case of a tie, the election is decided by the House of Representatives.
  10. Guyau

    My Verses

    Oops! I goofed up the links to audio that were in a blog. But here is another way, via Facebook, to the "One more thing . . ." (which is the poem "Placement"), as well as "Dream to Sleep." Placement Dream to Sleep
  11. Michael: "You left out the dead people subset. As time will show, this subset is huge and they voted Democrat in this election. I'm not gung ho on their right to vote." Here's me and Walter keeping an eye on things at the Old Cemetery here in Lynchburg---Confederate soldiers and all. In this election, Lynchburg voted Democratic for President, and that has not happened since 1948. (In that year, my older sister had favored Dewey, as that guy had a mustache, and she was an eight-year-old fan of Clark Gable.) I'm going downtown in a minute to get some Christian coffee beans---the best roast
  12. From NYT Exit Polls They confirm the usual expectation that poorer and more educated people voted for the Democrat than for the Republican in the 2020 Presidential election. People who have served in the military voted heavily for the Republican. That is only about 17% of the voters. I notice, however, that only 7% of possible voters have served in the military: so this group votes a good deal. People who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender voted heavily for the Democrat. It’s those first two groups that are the preponderance of the population of this American subset. Thi
  13. Guyau


    Casting some doubt on what I claimed we know in the preceding quotation (2013): "What is this? Something man-made and of wood. Not something whose form and strength are determined for some utilitarian purpose so far as I know. It is something pleasing to me, and I’d like to see it in real space and walk around it to get its different views. I’d like to touch it. Any principles of geometry it exhibits would be of a secondary interest. Any neurological findings of why it is pleasing (or not) to us would be of secondary interest. Any imagination-feats along the lines of “It’s like a (fill-in