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Found 1 result

  1. Confirming the new status of the Ayn Rand Society of the American Philosophical Association as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Leonard Peikoff Institute, a new blog ("Check Your Premises") has been launched, with turns by reliable junior affiliates of the Institute, such as Ben Bayer and Greg Salmieri. There is value in some of the posts, if only to clarify what the official line is today, and what the official line regarding defenses of the official line might be. So Greg Salmieri's entry and the accompanying comments http://www.checkyourpremises.org/2016/03/15/the-meaninglessness-of-arbitrary-propositions/ have proven most informative. In his Ayn Rand Companion chapter on epistemology, Salmieri hewed closely to Rand's theory of concepts. This could be defended on the grounds that the book is an Ayn Rand companion, not a Leonard Peikoff companion, so the chapter should confine itself to issues about which Rand herself published. But of course an ARIan philosopher is still required to subscribe to Peikoff's doctrine of the arbitrary assertion, to treat it as indispensable, and to be prepared to defend it. So now the obligation is being made good on. Much should be of interest to participants here. For instance, Donald J. Trump gets Salmieri's nomination as a serial generator of arbitrary assertions (which, in turn, implies that most of Mr. Trump's functioning, in any walk of life, is wholly noncognitive, and the product of "arbitrary internal monologues"). Here's another item. In a response to a comment, Salmieri writes: This reads to me like a reaffirmation of Peikovian proof, tracking relentlessly from one truth to the next. And, like Peikovian proof, it doesn't seem to allow for the method of hypothesis (even in highly restricted ways) as part of "normal cognition," because in testing a hypothesis, one generally comes up with a proposition without already having on hand all of the evidence necessary to show that is true (or false), one then looks for further evidence (sometimes, for scads of further evidence), and occasionally one has to try to figure out what the evidence might be like before going in search of it. It also doesn't seem to allow for modus tollens or reductio ab absurdum. Perhaps BaalChatzaf, Roger Bissell, or M. Guyau will have some ideas here. Of possible further interest is the fact that Salmieri is responding to Chris Cathcart. On the one hand, Cathcart gives an excellent example of a proposition some have claimed was asserted arbitrarily, but anyone else has for many years thought is true: "Rand and Branden had a romantic affair." Salmieri refuses to consider the example, complaining that it's hurtful to him and all. With the step-aside, he gets to avoid defending various things that Peter Schwartz, Leonard Peikoff, and Jim Valiant have said about that proposition. On the other hand, Cathcart refers to a certain article of mine as proof that someone "has a hobby-horse." He then proceeds to guess its contents, admitting in the process that he hasn't read the article. Salmieri could use Cathcart's statements about my article as examples of arbitrary assertions. I doubt he will. Robert Campbell PS. If Mr. Cathcart wants to read my article—I recall that he reached the second word, "Peikovian," in the title, underwent a dreadful attack of Peikovian paralysis, and could go no further, but this had to be 7 or 8 years ago—he is welcome to contact me (we academics are never hard to find) and request a copy.