ValueChaser

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About ValueChaser

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  • Birthday 01/07/1976

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  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Suburban Chicago
  • Interests
    Writing; Objectivist epistemology, meta-ethics, and ethics; personal trivia associated with the history of Objectivism; working out on the elliptical machine; cooking new dishes; decorating.

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  • Full Name
    John C. Paschalis
  • Description
    I'm a "P.h.D.": "Professor Hibernating in my Dreams"
  • Articles
    A Phenomenological Examination of the Perception of the Differentia as Presented in Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology by John C. Paschalis
  • Favorite Music, Artworks, Movies, Shows, etc.
    Movies: Babel, Rendition, Mission Impossible 1 and 3, the Rocky movies
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    I am an uncommitted gay male.
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    looking for male
  1. what are a paloexistenlaist??

    a survalist that did read sarte?

    sombody that read kirkegaard and watch bill o realy on fox news?sombody that read dovstyti and atlas shrugged and live as a backpacker `?

  2. So is every Democratic President before Obama a socialist to you?
  3. This is a good question. Could you give examples from which we may induct ahypothesis? My first thought is that the attainment of consistent happiness, with nary a contradictory emotion, is the emotional leitmotif of human survival according to Ayn Rand. But like plants and animals, we are dependant on the material surrounding us for successful survival and therefore human virtue alone will not guarantee that everyone be happy in every respect. Perhaps they are angry because they cannot apply Rand's ideal in practice-- due to what they have to work with and cannot change. Or, perhaps they are angry because they cannot apply the ideal in practice--because they are undergoing problems in the task of survival, yet are not making the most of what they can work with, which to do so would bring consistent happiness to them. But this is speculation without concrete examples to work with! --John (welcoming myself back
  4. is neo-Objectivist,paleoexistentialist

  5. The surgeon Dr. Thomas Hendricks is one of the (admittedly minor) heroes in AS. Why not more like him in her fiction? I want her to show how social workers and releif workers and soup kitchen directors can be heroic. But as she allegedly said in the Playboy interview: "Charity is not a major vitue" (or she said something to that effect).
  6. If little else, I do have a way with words, don't I?
  7. Public option: redistribution of productive citizens' taxes. Ergo, immoral because it infringes on the right to privately initiated production. Iraq war in 2003=distribution of soldiers to overthrow theocracy that was [<]x1,000,000 threatening to us than Iran=unnecessary death of American soldiers. Ergo, immoral because it infringes on the right to exist as a breathing organism. Iraq war in 2003-2010: redistribution of egoistic military strategy from using full resources to decimate Hussein's army and the later insurgents, the latter being less a threat than Iran (but a threat nonetheless) in favor of protecting non-combatant Iraqi's=planned death of American soldiers. See: Altruism. Euphemism: Compassionate Conservatism in the international arena. Ergo, immoral because it infringes on the right to exist as a breathing organism. I wonder who came up with THAT idea. . .
  8. Bob: NOBODY'S PERFECT. By this I mean: Nobody in the modern world perfectly manifests the totatility of their aims. Sincerement, John
  9. ValueChaser

    Happy Purim!

    I did check your link, and discovered that someone else wrote what I thought were your original words. It's no problem for me at this time. I know it was not done intentionally. It would be helpful to me if you could place punctuation marks, or use the inbuilt quotation format, to separate your words from those of other writers. But now, I have no quarrel with you. You may find the quotes I posted from Camille Paglia to be interesting. She would seem to agree with the principles of this new feminist movement you refer to. I myself am in basic agreement of these principles, but to what extent does this new movement regard the aforementioned differences as natural? Are common psychological differences between men and women "natural", or are they "chosen", or are they natural "inclinations" that are easily broken? (Interesting questions.) Camille Paglia (just now I posted some quotes by her in the Quotes Forum) would not ask this last question. She is a biological determinist when it comes to what nature gives us regarding sexual impulse and spiritual gender styles, yet in male homosexuality, and male art, she thinks the man can properly defy and surmount nature, so the determinism can be overcome by men. But she is less liberated in this way when it comes to women. Regards, John
  10. The following quotes have been selected from this link: http://www.theabsolute.net/misogyny/paglia.html Quotes that I have found important and/or intriguing have been formatted in bold by myself.--John (a.k.a ValueChaser) "The last western society to worship female powers was Minoan Crete. And significantly, that fell and did not rise again." - SP, p8 "Metaphorically, every vagina has secret teeth, for the male exits as less than when he entered." - SP, p13 "Man is sexually compartmentalized." - SP, p19 "Dionysus was identified with liquids - blood, sap, milk, wine. The Dionysian is nature's chthonian fluidity." - SP, p30 "If civilization had been left in female hands, we would still be living in grass huts." - SP, p38 "The male orientation of classical Athens was inseparable from its genius. Athens became great not despite but because of its misogyny." - SP, p100 "Apollo is the western eye victorious." - SP, p104 "Visionary idealism is a male art form. The lesbian aesthete does not exist. But if there were one, she would have learned from the perverse male mind." - SP, p117 "The beautiful boy is without motive force or deed; hence he is not a hero. Because of his emotional detachment, he is not a heroine. He occupies an ideal space between male and female, effect and affect. . . . He is, I suggested, a secular saint." - SP, p121 "With the Hellenistic tilt towards women, prefigured by Euripides, the beautiful boy slides toward the feminine, a symptom of decadence." - SP, p123 "What is Mona Lisa thinking? Nothing, of course." . . . "Walter Pater is to call her a 'vampire' . . ." - SP, p154 "Western greatness is unwise, mad, inhuman." - SP, p172 "Serial or sex murder, like fetishism, is a perversion of male intelligence. It is a criminal abstraction, masculine in its deranged egotism and orderliness. It is the asocial equivalent of philosophy, mathematics, and music. There is no female Mozart because there is no female Jack the Ripper." - SP, p247 "Woman's flirtatious arts of self-concealment mean man's approach must take the form of rape." - SP, p276 "Reviewing the sexual personae of his collected works, we discover Wordsworth's radical exclusion of one human type: the adult man of active virility. His poems are filled with children, women, old men, and animals. But a stone in the road arouses more fellow-feeling in Wordsworth than does a masculine man. . . . Wordsworth's emotion is never invested in figures of active virility, unless that virility is qualified by suffering or feminine feeling or unless it is seen through the distancing perspective of memory. Since femaleness suffuses the created world, the pure male is cast out. He has no right to life." - SP, p304/306 "Charisma is the radiance produced by the interaction of male and female elements in a gifted personality. The charismatic woman has a masculine force and severity. The charismatic man has an entrancing female beauty. Both are hot and cold, glowing with presexual self-love." - SP, p521 "Wilde's epigrams, which so obstruct the quickness of Restoration repartee, acquire their substantiveness from Enlightenment generalization. It is his intellectual power of generalization that gives Wilde's writing its permanent distinction. A modern play in the Wildean manner, Noel Cowards 'Private Lives' (1930), has only one true Wildean line: 'Certain women should be struck regularly, like gongs.' And even this generalization vulgarizes Wilde, in whom contemplativeness is never distorted by action." - SP, p545 "In The Importance of Being Earnest, the failed poet created a magnificent new poetry, one that even he did not recognize. Wilde's play, after Spenser's 'Faerie Queene' and Shelley's 'Epipsychidion', is the most dazzling burst of Apollonian poetry in English literature. It was made possible by a hermaphroditic transformation, the strangest I have ever studied. The desirable male body was efficacious for Wilde by its fixing of visible limits. Ordinarily, the epicene is synonymous with effeminacy. But the epicene made Wilde more masculine by giving him the aggressive power of Apollonian delimitation, which I found everywhere in the language, manners, and the aristocratic social order of 'The Importance of Being Earnest'. The epicene gave Wilde the discipline of conceptual form that he most lacked as a sentimental lyricist. When, through his own self-thwartings, he was forced by tomblike imprisonment to abandon the amoral Greek worship of the visible world, his sentimentality returned, flooding back into the empathic 'De Profundis' and bringing woman with it." - SP, p571 "Emily Dickinson is the female Sade, and her poems are the prison dreams of a self-incarcerated, sadmomasochistic imaginist. When she is rescued from American Studies departments and juxtaposed with Dante and Baudelaire, her barbarities and diabolical acts of will become glaringly apparent. Dickinson inherits through Blake the rape cycle of 'The Faerie Queene'. Blake and Spenser are her allies in helping pagan Coleridge defeat Protestant Wordsworth." - SP, p624 "Women have been discouraged from genres such as sculpture that require studio training or expensive materials. But in philosophy, mathematics, and poetry, the only materials are pen and paper. Male conspiracy cannot explain all female failures. I am convinced that, even without restrictions, there still would have been no female Pascal, Milton, or Kant. Genius is not checked by social obstacles: it will overcome. Men's egotism, so disgusting in the talentless, is the source of their greatness as a sex. . . . Even now, with all vocations open, I marvel at the rarity of the woman driven by artistic or intellectual obsession, that self-mutilating derangement of social relationship which, in its alternate forms of crime and ideation, is the disgrace and glory of the human species." - SP, p653 "Sappho is a great poet because she is a lesbian, which gives her erotic access to the Muse. Sappho and the homosexual-tending Emily Dickinson stand alone above women poets, because poetry's mystical energies are ruled by a hierach requiring the sexual subordination of her petitioners. Women have achieved more as novelists than as poets because the social novel operates outside the ancient marriage of myth and eroticism." - SP, p672 The webmaster extracted the following quotes from Paglia's book Vamps and Tramps.--ValueChaser Patriarchy, routinely blamed for everything, produced the birth control pill, which did more to free comtemporary women than feminism itself. (p38) Much violence against women originates in emotional territory that they already command. By midlife and early old age, as the hormones of both genders change, women are in total, despotic control of their marriages. (p46) The situation has gotten so out of hand that, in 1993, in one of the first British cases, a plumber was fired for continuing to use the traditional term "ballcock" for the toilet flotation unit, instead of the new politically correct term, sanitized of sexual suggestiveness. This is insane. We are back to the Victorian era, when table legs had to be draped lest they put the thought of ladies' legs into someone's dirty mind. (p50) Campus speech codes, that folly of the navel-gazing left, have increased the appeal of the right. Ideas must confront ideas. When hurt feelings and bruised egos are more important than the unfettered life of the mind, the universities have committed suicide. (p51) Woman's sexuality is disruptive of the dully mechanical workaday world, in which efficiency means uniformity. The problems of woman's entrance into the career system spring from more than male chauvinism. She brings nature into the social realm, which may be too small to contain it. (p52) The prostitute has come to symbolize for me the ultimate liberated woman, who lives on the edge and whose sexuality belongs to no one. (p58) Men, gay or straight, can get beauty and lewdness into one image. Women are forever softening, censoring, politicizing. (p65) Lesbians, said a lesbian friend wearily to me, are "program heads": "They need the structure. They have all the answers." Hence lesbians' omnipresence in the social-welfare industry. Rejecting the father's competitive system, they substitute another that they imagine is based on female "caring" and "compassion" but is, in dismal effect, repressive, totalitarian, and hostile to art and dissent. The same friend memorably said to me long ago that lesbianism is caused by either "too much tit or not enough." (p85) All of us emerge from the body of a mystical female giant. Boys are swamped in the female realm. Note how mothers take male children into the women's toilets: the boys are officially neuter and still part of the mother's body. To progress to manhood, boys must leave the women's world behind. In tribal cultures, men may kidnap a boy, slash his body with knives, throw him into a pit, or abandon him in the woods, cruel rites of passage still evident in the brutal, sometimes homicidal hazing of modern fraternities, which flourishes despite every effort to ban it. (p85) Because boys lack a biological marker like menstruation, to be man is to be not female. Contemporary feminism called this "misogyny," but it was wrong. Masculine identity is embattled and fragile. In the absence of opportunity for heroic physical action, as in the modern office world, women's goodwill is crucial for preserving the male ego, which requires, alas, daily maintenance. It is in the best interests of the human race, and of women themselves, for men to be strong. (p85) Middle-class men, neutered by office life and daunted by feminist rhetoric, are shrinking. Lesbianism is increasing, since anxious, unmasculine men have little to offer. Women are simply more interesting to them. Male homosexuality is increasing, because masculinity is in crisis and because maternal consciousness, severed from the support network of the extended family, has become a psychotic system, forcing the young to struggle for life against clinging personal fantasy. (p90) A pagan education would sharpen the mind, steel the will, and seduce the senses. Our philosophy should be both contemplative and pugilistic, admitting aggression (as Christianity does not) as central to our mythology. The beasts of passion must be confronted, and the laws of nature understood. Conflict cannot be avoided, but perhaps it can be confined to a mental theater. (p94) Is there intellectual life in America? At present, the answer is no. Since the decline of the great era of literary journalism, when Edmund Wilson, the Algonquin wits, and the politically engaged 'Partisan Review' writers were active, America has lacked a general literate culture hospitable to ideas. (p97) The two deepest thinkers on sex in the twentieth century are Sigmund Freud and D.H. Lawrence. Their reputations as radical liberators were so universally acknowledged that brooding images of Freud and Lawrence in poster form adorned the walls of students in the Sixties. Yet the voluminous and complex works of both men were swept away by the current women's movement, when it burst out in the late Sixties and consolidated its ideology in the Seventies. Whatever their motives, the first feminist theorists acted as vandals and Bolsheviks. The damage they did to culture has in the long run damaged the cause of feminism. (p328)
  11. Indeed "empathic benevolence" is hard to be self-described in such Objectivist terms! Consider the following "comfortable" Objectivist phrase from The Fountainhead; the quote is relevant to your post because it is an obfuscated way of saying who the object of self-interested action should not be: "I think that the cardinal evil is placing your interests in other men." (I am quoting now from memory) What? So a surgeon who takes pleasure in achieving a satisfactory level of health of his patients is evil? He does not get his hands wet in stone and geometry in order to build buildings like the architect; he does not deal in metals and metallurgy in order to create a new metal like Hank Reardon: he literally judges his self-esteem by how "good" he can make the health of a person who is not himself! Of course, the surgeon is not evil. His interest in helping the patient is not that the patient will go on to live a happy life after he leaves the hospital; his interest is not the patient's self-interest in becoming healthy as a result of the surgery (to vindicate the quote). Rather, the surgeon's interest in helping the patient is that the former has an interest in repairing human health, which he regards as a wonderful sight, and the achievement of which he finds inspiring. He merely has a passion for observing the proper internal workings of the body, no matter whose the body. Internal parts of the body and normal biology are to him what metal and metallurgy are to Rearden. Psychologists may be seen as self-interested in the same way. I am fairly sure that the context of Rand's quote did not imply that surgeons and psychologists are evil in this way; surely the context was a defense of first-handedness in any profession. But this conclusive statement could have surely been worded better. One question worth examining is why Rand did not portray doctors, nurses, psychologists, psychiatrists as heroic figures in her novels. And is being a social worker, or a relief worker for victims of natural disaster (provided that their work is privately funded) so bad, assuming that the workers like health? As to releif workers, what is so wrong with seeing the mass preservation of human life? I don't think anything is wrong with either occupations, provided the workers are motivated by his distanced vision of the successful workings of mind and body, and not the recipient's vision of or happiness in his self-interest. Thank you for an easy-to-read post Christopher; it condensed a complicated challenge to literal Objectivist theory into enjoyable and straightforward language, as if it was the content of a discussion over coffee at a bookstore cafe. [The follow up posts which I read (those on the first few pages) were great too!] Sincerely, John
  12. ValueChaser

    Happy Purim!

    I take what you say in very good faith. In that case, the feminists who are interpreting her as anti-male are taking too much liberty in their factual interpretation. It is one thing to invent her unknown motivation. It is another to praise that very same motivation (anti-masculinity) which moves her or anyone else.
  13. ValueChaser

    Happy Purim!

    Do the feminists have it wrong when they equate "disobeying his order" with a self-admitted dismissal of "attraction-as-asset"? I don't know that part of the Bible, and the only quotes Selene provides are from feminist commentators. If she was motivated to defy a view of herself as a sexual object, and as jeffrysmith suggests, refused the "order" to display her "beauty", then the one and only virtuous thing about her refusal to follow the order to display her beauty, was that it was an order. But Esther is the one who asserted her personal values by trading the "objectifiable" (to borrow that dumb feminist-politico phrase) aspect of herself (her body) for her own risky self-defense, and succeeded. She is the hero cause she acted in her own self-defense, albeit riskily. And she did it through an act of trade. Vashti may praiseworthy because she "made a statement" against institutionalized authority, but to praise her at the expense of a hero whose actions caused life to be protected from killers, and who did so through an act of trade at that, is indeed wrong. The fems want to stress the "on the part of men" in the phrase "authoritarianism on the part of men," when addressing Vashti's heroism. Come on! Just what we have come to expect from them. --John
  14. Christopher, I believe I misunderstood you in my comment. I thought you were saying that certain wavelengthsof color should be disregarded when measuring color, because they are not useful in identifying percepts of color; to which I had been thinking that this way is effective if identifying colors in the spectrum of visible light, but not if identifying invisible light, such as "ultraviolet." I was thinking, after my reply, that only imperceptible light such as "ultraviolet"--light that need not be known when identifying the category of light per se--is indeed useless "noise" when differentiating "blue" from other colors within the visible spectrum, for obvious reasons. But, I continued in my thoughts, we need to invoke the spectrum of invisible wavelengths of light in order to differentiate, say, "blue" from "ultraviolet," leading me to conclude that in that case, imperceptible light is NOT useless "noise". Now I realize I misunderstood what you meant by useless "noise." You are saying, I gather, that the various shades of a color such as blue, are useless when identifying "blueness", since the multitude of shades does not need to be invoked in order to arrive at "blueness" per se. Yours in thinking "noisily," John
  15. So let me get your understanding of "two omissions" straight, Stephen. Rand's theory of concept-formation, at the stage when we are "releasing" (which I am understanding as synonomous with "omitting") the particular identities that are not part of the similar units (in two or more entities) under mental isolation, not only are those irrelevant (to the concept) identity-attributes omitted, but also "some particular measure value along a specific dimension"? For example, "fluffy coat" and "threadbare coat" are isolated according to the "distinguishing characteristic" (Rand's term) of "cloth that fits the torso in order to retain body heat", in order to form the concept of "coat"; the identity of the coats as respectively "fluffy" and "threadbare" are released, AS WELL AS the respective manner of classifying the coats, i.e. the standard of thickness, i.e. the "measure value according to a specific dimension." Given that the fit of the cloth and its thermostatic purpose was used to form the concept of coat, the conceptualizer of the coat has no recourse from then on to form the concept of coat by releasing another irrelevant identy-attribute, such as "thickness" of the coat? Does this approximate the "second omission" you are referring to? Sincerely, John