Roger Bissell

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Everything posted by Roger Bissell

  1. Wow - I just discovered that Amazon's "Look Inside" for my book lets people read 32 pages of main text and 8 pages of front material. That's about 10% of the entire book! Feast your eyes and brains, people (if you can stand to read butchered Kindle format). You get my basic theory about propositions in the free preview. (And a lot more if you buy the book.   )
  2. Wow - I just discovered that Amazon's "Look Inside" for my book lets people read 32 pages of main text and 8 pages of front material. That's about 10% of the entire book! Feast your eyes and brains, people (if you can stand to read butchered Kindle format). You get my basic theory about propositions in the free preview. (And a lot more if you buy the book.   )
  3. Thanks, Michael - and thanks, Brant! It's grounded in the axioms of induction (first-level generalizations from observation) and the axioms of deduction (the laws of logic). I hope that will suffice, because it's the best that I could do. REB
  4. Folks, I have just published my SECOND philosophy book - this one on the theory of propositions and related topics. You can check it out on Amazon.com here: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Your-File-Folder-Propositions/dp/1689839163/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=what's+in+your+file+folder&qid=1568325732&s=books&sr=1-1 This book takes a deep dive into Ayn Rand’s theory of knowledge. It explains why her followers failed to develop a model of the proposition fulfilling the promise of her pioneering work on concepts—and it reveals the essence of propositions and the principles by which t
  5. Folks, I have just published my SECOND philosophy book - this one on the theory of propositions and related topics. You can check it out on Amazon.com here: https://www.amazon.com/Whats-Your-File-Folder-Propositions/dp/1689839163/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=what's+in+your+file+folder&qid=1568325732&s=books&sr=1-1 This book takes a deep dive into Ayn Rand’s theory of knowledge. It explains why her followers failed to develop a model of the proposition fulfilling the promise of her pioneering work on concepts—and it reveals the essence of propositions and the principles by which th
  6. Lexington told us a couple of days ago that our book is now in production and will be released on (or about) June 15 in hardcover and Kindle formats. They say that a paperback version will be released sometime during the winter, probably January 2020. REB
  7. Actually, Anthony was "parroting" Merriam-Webster. LOL. Dang, I hate it when these Objectivists "can't think for themselves" and they use phrases from the dictionary. Double-LOL. Definition of package deal 1: an offer or agreement involving a number of related items or one making acceptance of one item dependent on the acceptance of another 2: the items offered in a package deal NEW! Time Traveler First Known Use: circa 1948
  8. I'm more interested in: what is the cardinal number of the set of talented and productive amateur mathematicians who are adherents to Ayn Rand's philosophy. I'm pretty sure that cardinal number is greater than 1. REB
  9. It was induction based on observation of numerical relations aligned in columns that made certain additional relationships observable. Not all that different from being a medical examiner or forensic scientist: you lay out the data in a helpful way and look for connections. But in induction, you look for *repeated* connections that have a necessary foundation, and then you figure out what that foundation is and express it as a generalization. And then you try to link it to your other knowledge and give a deductive validation of it. But I didn't think the inductive part of my work was all
  10. This is like pointing to quantum mechanics or relativity theory and asking if you can "get" either of them through sense perception. The reply is: how in the world ELSE do you think you can "get" them - or this marvelous display of all the Pythagorean triples? You cannot get abstract conceptual products without lower-level concepts based on sense perception - and you cannot get deductive conclusions without inductively gained information and conclusions on which all deduction is necessarily based. As I stated in my book, "Not that deduction is insignificant. It is the engine of proof, aft
  11. [This comment attaches to the video of Bush.] Agreed, William. Bush didn't mention Antifa by name, but it was clear that his remark about oppressive regimes trying to suppress disagreement could easily be extended to oppressive social movements that attempt to shut down opposing speakers on college campuses. Overall, I thought it was a good statement of principles and list of aspirational goals, but it came off more as a "report" than as a speech, dry and impersonal, at least in the delivery. Bush 43 was never known for his eloquence, anyway, but I still crave the eloquence of a JFK or Reagan.
  12. Well said, Brant. No need to write better. ;-) REB
  13. Wow Roger Bissel knows Douglas. Peter 1 You betcha. I've known both Douglases for over 40 years. I met Douglas Den Uyl in the early 1970s at some of the Equitarian Associates conferences in Wisconsin and Michigan. And I met Douglas Rasmussen in September 1969 when I arrived at the University of Iowa (Iowa City) for graduate school. That same evening I met the young lady who later became my third wife (and we have been happily married now for 27 years). She and I occasionally get together with Douglas Rasmussen and his wife Pam in Omaha, near where we all gr
  14. Nathaniel Branden, The Virtue of Selfishness, chapter 5, "Isn't Everyone Selfish?" (Sep. 1962), pp. 66-67, "Egoism holds that, morally, the beneficiary of an action should be the person who acts..." [Also, Webster's New World Dictionary, 3rd College Edition: "3. Ethics the doctrine that self-interest is the proper goal of all human actions: opposed to altruism.] Ayn Rand, The Virtue of Selfishness, Introduction (Sep. 1964), p. x, paragraph 5: "The choice of the beneficiary of moral values is merely a preliminary or introductory issue in the field of morality. It is not a substitute for mo
  15. Neither Douglas Den Uyl nor Douglas Rasmussen works at Reason. They use reason quite frequently, in both the theoretical and practical varieties, but their official places of employment are Liberty Fund and St. Johns University, respectively. And yes, their book does mention Rand, but they don't spend much time on her ethics or meta-ethics. I personally think that an essay should be written comparing their ethical frameworks. I think it could be very clarifying to people who think that the Objectivist ethics is fundamentally a form of egoism (which it is not, as Rand herself points out,
  16. Only a computer science geek could confuse relative nothingness (the absence of something in particular) with absolute Nothingness. Otherwise, why talk about adding zero, as though zero were some actual quantity, rather than the absence of a quantity? REB
  17. This video is great fun, Ba'al. Thanks for sharing it! I confess that I did not go through any complicated logic in order to discover my method for generating Pythagorean triples. I just made a table showing various values that worked, and eventually I saw some suspicious looking patterns. I generalized from those patterns, tried some more variations, generalized a bit further, then realized I had a method that seemed always to work. Then I realized that I could solve the Pythagorean equation for x (though with difficulty, since it required completing a rather messy, unwieldy square), and
  18. This is a false alternative. Zero is not absolute nothingness. But that doesn't mean it is something. It is the absence of something. Not the absence of anything whatsoever (that would be absolute nothingness), but the absence of something in particular. The phrase "zero apples" does not mean that there is some number of apples, and that number is zero. It means that there are not any apples, that any attempt to count the apples does not produce any results, and by convention, we say that we have "counted zero apples," when in fact we have not counted any apples. All of the so-called "alg
  19. Not only is the Roman numeral system clunky for doing math, it's lame for even making a numbered list. I was labeling some files in a folder recently, and I made the mistake of using Roman numerals, and I kept wondering where the 5th file was. Finally, I saw it way at the bottom of the folder's list, underneath files whose name started with S and T and U. Yikes. Then I realized the first four were only together because the computer interpreted I, II, III, and IV as starting with the *letter* I. Double yikes. Well, all I can say is: thank God and Bill Gates that MS Word's indexing function does
  20. This is not just a special malady afflicting posters to Objectivist Living, but people posting to Objectivist fora in general, and in regard to any book they think they will disagree with. They will mock and criticize when they see certain cue words and phrases, and they will close their eyes and ears and shout "lalalalalala," and not bother to read and understand the arguments. I call it the "James Taggart don't-bother-me Virus." There is no known cure. REB
  21. No, it is more like a bat. If used improperly, it will *produce* foul balls. REB
  22. Fourth and final? 04/03/05, 08/06/10, 12/05/13, 9/12/15, and 12/9/15 also were, and 12/16/20 is yet to come. Those were the dates on the mug. I'm gonna ask for a refund! REB
  23. You Rational Empiricists are all alike - a quick 7 or 8 theorems and you're off with the boys! I just received in the mail today Eli Maor's 2007 book The Pythagorean Theorem: A 4,000 Year History (Princeton University Press). It's a very nice looking book, and I can't wait for bedtime to read it! Last week, I received a mug and tee-shirt celebrating what appears to be the fourth and final Pythagorean Theory Day in the 21st century. It's coming right up on August 15. (08/15/17, which is a Pythagorean triple) (The other three were (03/04/05, 06/08/10, and 05/12/13.) REB P.S
  24. Thanks for alerting me to the typo. It must have been one of our underlings who did it. I'll make the correction in the master file, and it will at least get corrected in the Kindle. I'll see what options CreateSpace gives us for future printings. My favorite Objectivist typo, which is in its 50th year of existence now, is on line 9, page 54 of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. It is very informative to learn that concepts are "produced by man's consciousuess." REB P.S. - Please pass along any further typo's you find. Thanks!