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That's one thing that I really love about Objectivist gurus like Peikoff, and guru-wannabes like Comrade Sonia. In their minds, their having studied Objectivism apparently somehow makes them experts in every field, and, despite having no education or training in the relevant fields, and despite their very public histories of being the absolute worst human beings in the world at "human relationships," and despite not really having anything that would actually qualify as a "career" in the real world, they're completely confident in believing that others should be flocking to them for advice on such subjects, and even paying for the advice!

Well, here is a treat for you, from the dawn of time, a skimped-out-on-visuals regurge of a radio interview with Mary Ann Sures: "What Is Art?" . . . Jonathan, part one of four!

Onward, Objectivism, to the technological advances of the splendid 20th Century!

Thanks, Bill. That's just deliciously pitiful.

Heh. Did you know that Rand is the only philosopher who has ever defined art?! I didn't know it! In fact, I was pretty sure that I had seen dozens of philolophers' definitions of art, but I must be mistaken because Sures says that Rand was the only one (at about 5:02 into the clip), so it must be true!!!

Absolutely pathetic.

J

This whole thing about objective vs. subjective art is simple, yet severely misunderstood. And it goes back very, very far in human history.

I always liked how Gurdjieff talked about it. Here: Gurdjieff on Objective Art

Extract:

“The difference between objective art and subjective art is that

in objective art the artist really does ‘create,’ that is he makes what he intended, he puts into his work whatever ideas and feelings he wants to put into it. And the action of this work upon men is absolutely definite; they will, of course each according to his own level, receive the same ideas and the same feelings that the artist wanted to transmit to them. There can be nothing accidental either in the creation or in the impressions of objective art.

In subjective art everything is accidental. The artist, as I have already said, does not create; with him ‘it creates itself.’ This means that he is in the power of ideas, thoughts, and moods which he himself does not understand and over which he has no control whatever. They rule him and they express themselves in one form or another. And when they have accidentally taken this or that form, this form just as accidentally produces on man this or that action according to his mood, tastes, habits, the nature of the hypnosis under which he lives, and so on.”

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Well, I tried again with the sound off. When he put up "Esthetics" as the fifth branch of philosophy, I killed the video. Why not also chemistry, physics, psychology and sociology, among others from your college catalog?

Brant,

Why not a branch called human nature?

After all, philosophy is supposed to be for humans...

Michael

Academically everybody is fighting for their own turf and will not tolerate a rejiggering of their own spaces. There is much too much specialization in the liberal arts and not enough integrated thinking across these disciplines. "Human nature" is the right idea, but the term itself doesn't have enough oomph or gravitas. It can't compete with sociology, psychology, philosophy, language arts (or what-have-you), anthropology, etc. The best term is still the old term: liberal arts, which even encompasses some science.

--Brant

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Well, I tried again with the sound off. When he put up "Esthetics" as the fifth branch of philosophy, I killed the video. Why not also chemistry, physics, psychology and sociology, among others from your college catalog?

Aesthetics has always been a branch of philosophy, where the other disciplines that you listed have not.

Also, quite a lot of Objectivism is based in aesthetics -- whenever you encounter a claim made by Rand or other Objectivists which includes no supporting evidence from history or the sciences, I think you'll discover that it's quite often a claim based on little more than an aesthetic point of view.

Add to that the fact that Rand was primarily an artist who created her art by following her aesthetic "sense of life" rather than any scientific research she had done on the nature of man. Her aesthetic approach was her greatest strength. Without her aesthetic presentations (her novels), Objectivism wouldn't have attracted much attention, if any. Aesthetics has always been the tail that wags the Objectivist dog, so it's always kind of odd to me to hear Objectivists downplaying its importance as a branch of philosophy.

Why not a branch called human nature?

I agree here. Meta-Anthropology is clearly more important than aesthetics; Objectivist arguments re. aesthetics are derived from a series of meta-anthropological positions.

One could argue that aesthetics is what you're calling "Meta-Anthropology," or what MSK called "Human Nature." Aesthetics is the study of, or critical reflection on, art, culture and nature.

Pope Lenny is a self-aggrandizing fool so his little webpages don't particularly interest me whatsoever.

I've been told by people over at OO that Peikoff is an intellectual master who is deserving of the utmost respect. If he were to announce tomorrow that, say, rape is an Objectivist virtue, there are Objectivists who would say that we should sit at his feet, beg him to explain, accept his explanation as the Truth, and then try to understand our errors in thinking which led to our disagreeing with him.

J

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Well, I tried again with the sound off. When he put up "Esthetics" as the fifth branch of philosophy, I killed the video. Why not also chemistry, physics, psychology and sociology, among others from your college catalog?

Brant,

Why not a branch called human nature?

After all, philosophy is supposed to be for humans...

Michael

Academically everybody is fighting for their own turf and will not tolerate a rejiggering of their own spaces. There is much too much specialization in the liberal arts and not enough integrated thinking across these disciplines. "Human nature" is the right idea, but the term itself doesn't have enough oomph or gravitas. It can't compete with sociology, psychology, philosophy, language arts (or what-have-you), anthropology, etc. The best term is still the old term: liberal arts, which even encompasses some science.

--Brant

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqnz4KJX5KU

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Thanks, Bill. That's just deliciously pitiful.

Not all of his 36 Youtube videos are mere audio + photo. Some have the Dour Doctor young and fresh and vibrant, sounding just like (pre voice-training) Preston Manning, wearing an abundance of what we used to call Hockey Hair. Here's fifteen minutes of delight, from the last century, with a stunning 28 views:

You speak in jest but you are on to something. The hockey hair, the nearly simultaneous voice training - has anyone ever seen Manning and Peikoff together? All of North America Should Be Told.Separated At Birth at the very least, I suspect.

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You speak in jest but you are on to something. The hockey hair, the nearly simultaneous voice training - has anyone ever seen Manning and Peikoff together? All of North America Should Be Told.Separated At Birth at the very least, I suspect.

There was a time when I was certain that Peikoff was choosing his hair styles based on villains from movies and television programs. For example, in the late 80s and early 90s, I thought he was basing his look on the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then in the late 90s and early 00s (as seen here), I suspected that he was going for the Star Trek Cardassian look (sort of "keeping up with the Cardassians," as it were...hmmm...DIM Cardassian?) These days it appears that he's kind of drifting back to the Child Catcher look.

J

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You speak in jest but you are on to something. The hockey hair, the nearly simultaneous voice training - has anyone ever seen Manning and Peikoff together? All of North America Should Be Told.Separated At Birth at the very least, I suspect.

There was a time when I was certain that Peikoff was choosing his hair styles based on villains from movies and television programs. For example, in the late 80s and early 90s, I thought he was basing his look on the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then in the late 90s and early 00s (as seen here), I suspected that he was going for the Star Trek Cardassian look (sort of "keeping up with the Cardassians," as it were...hmmm...DIM Cardassian?) These days it appears that he's kind of drifting back to the Child Catcher look.

J

What a merry sprite he looks in your link. Peter Pan Ph.D.

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You speak in jest but you are on to something. The hockey hair, the nearly simultaneous voice training - has anyone ever seen Manning and Peikoff together? All of North America Should Be Told.Separated At Birth at the very least, I suspect.

There was a time when I was certain that Peikoff was choosing his hair styles based on villains from movies and television programs. For example, in the late 80s and early 90s, I thought he was basing his look on the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then in the late 90s and early 00s (as seen here), I suspected that he was going for the Star Trek Cardassian look (sort of "keeping up with the Cardassians," as it were...hmmm...DIM Cardassian?) These days it appears that he's kind of drifting back to the Child Catcher look.

J

What a merry sprite he looks in your link. Peter Pan Ph.D.

More like a merry spite...

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You speak in jest but you are on to something. The hockey hair, the nearly simultaneous voice training - has anyone ever seen Manning and Peikoff together? All of North America Should Be Told.Separated At Birth at the very least, I suspect.

There was a time when I was certain that Peikoff was choosing his hair styles based on villains from movies and television programs. For example, in the late 80s and early 90s, I thought he was basing his look on the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, and then in the late 90s and early 00s (as seen here), I suspected that he was going for the Star Trek Cardassian look (sort of "keeping up with the Cardassians," as it were...hmmm...DIM Cardassian?) These days it appears that he's kind of drifting back to the Child Catcher look.

J

What a merry sprite he looks in your link. Peter Pan Ph.D.

More like a merry spite...

I understand that merry spite is the only form of jollity allowed by Ortho Objectivism.

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Academically everybody is fighting for their own turf and will not tolerate a rejiggering of their own spaces. There is much too much specialization in the liberal arts and not enough integrated thinking across these disciplines. "Human nature" is the right idea, but the term itself doesn't have enough oomph or gravitas. It can't compete with sociology, psychology, philosophy, language arts (or what-have-you), anthropology, etc. The best term is still the old term: liberal arts, which even encompasses some science.

Brant,

And who says philosophy has to be defined by academics?

I first ran across this when I Googled "branches of philosophy" years ago. I got a gaggle of different fields, with human nature being one of them. (Heh. Getting a gaggle from Google was a struggle... :) )

Now if you Google that term, you get a preponderance of Rand's 5 branches.

Was she an academic?

My main point, however, is that Rand's division--like many of her ideas--is very good and insightful, but does not cover the whole enchilada. And to make things interesting, she (and the more dogmatic followers) usually say she does.

I have often called this a problem of scope.

Michael

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And who says philosophy has to be defined by academics?

Well, if you made a little list . . . rolleyes.gif Actually, that's a great idea! That way, if you adhere to it, you are almost assured of not inviting assholes to your cocktail parties.

I'm starting to really like this idea--that would've avoided me a lot of trouble this year.

rde

OK, Peikoff, fork over the ball cream.

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Also, quite a lot of Objectivism is based in aesthetics -- whenever you encounter a claim made by Rand or other Objectivists which includes no supporting evidence from history or the sciences, I think you'll discover that it's quite often a claim based on little more than an aesthetic point of view.

Add to that the fact that Rand was primarily an artist who created her art by following her aesthetic "sense of life" rather than any scientific research she had done on the nature of man. Her aesthetic approach was her greatest strength. Without her aesthetic presentations (her novels), Objectivism wouldn't have attracted much attention, if any. Aesthetics has always been the tail that wags the Objectivist dog, so it's always kind of odd to me to hear Objectivists downplaying its importance as a branch of philosophy.

J

Very true, I think.

To take it slightly further, Objectivism ITSELF, was an artistic creation, induced by Rand, with her deductions (most of them truly accurate) taking place after the fact. Easy: you begin with an aesthetic view of Man and the Universe, and the rest follows. Anyone could have done it. :D

I believe this is self-evident in her novels and essays, alike - poetry in her philosphical prose, and ideology in her literature.

(It is wryly amusing for me to read Greg Nyquist's essays at ARCHN repeatedly asking "But how could she possibly know?!!"

She was a brilliantly inductive artist, man - she just KNEW.)

Tony

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Here’s a surprising and reasonable clip from this week’s podcast. But one can’t help sniggering at this admission that his writing has at times been “enabled by chemical means”. Now, which chemical was at work when he wrote his denunciations of McCaskey? Inquiring minds want to know.

http://www.peikoff.com/2011/08/15/can-the-use-of-drugs-such-as-benzedrine-or-caffeine-ever-be-morally-sanctioned-for-example-in-the-pursuit-of-extremely-mentally-taxing-work-requiring-a-high-degree-of-long-term-mental-focus/

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Very true, I think.

To take it slightly further, Objectivism ITSELF, was an artistic creation, induced by Rand, with her deductions (most of them truly accurate) taking place after the fact. Easy: you begin with an aesthetic view of Man and the Universe, and the rest follows. Anyone could have done it. :D

I do wonder how much different philosophy would be if philosophers were to make it a standard practice in their profession to flesh out their ideas by using art, as Rand did, to simulate their "ideal man" in a world as it "ought to be." Even for philosophers who don't have a passion for artistic creation, putting their ideas into the form of a novel could be seen as a sort of "shakedown cruise," and would fulfill what Kant called people's "natural need" for "something that the senses can hold on to, some confirmation from experience or the like " to supplement their reasoning, which Rand later echoed in her comments on the importance of art as a model-builder.

What worlds would have philosophers envisioned, and in what ways would their art have shown us in which ways we've both understood and misunderstood their philosophies?

J

Edited by Jonathan
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Very true, I think.

To take it slightly further, Objectivism ITSELF, was an artistic creation, induced by Rand, with her deductions (most of them truly accurate) taking place after the fact. Easy: you begin with an aesthetic view of Man and the Universe, and the rest follows. Anyone could have done it. :D

I do wonder how much different philosophy would be if philosophers were to make it a standard practice in their profession to flesh out their ideas by using art, as Rand did, to simulate their "ideal man" in a world as it "ought to be." Even for philosophers who don't have a passion for artistic creation, putting their ideas into the form of a novel could be seen as a sort of "shakedown cruise," and would fulfill what Kant called people's "natural need" for "something that the senses can hold on to, some confirmation from experience or the like," which Rand later echoed in her comments on the importance of art as a model-builder.

What worlds would have philosophers envisioned, and in what ways would their art have shown us in which ways we've both understood and misunderstood their philosophies?

J

Bingo! Thank you for your insiteful insightful comment.

--Brant

nail on the head

Edited by Brant Gaede
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Very true, I think.

To take it slightly further, Objectivism ITSELF, was an artistic creation, induced by Rand, with her deductions (most of them truly accurate) taking place after the fact. Easy: you begin with an aesthetic view of Man and the Universe, and the rest follows. Anyone could have done it. :D

I do wonder how much different philosophy would be if philosophers were to make it a standard practice in their profession to flesh out their ideas by using art, as Rand did, to simulate their "ideal man" in a world as it "ought to be." Even for philosophers who don't have a passion for artistic creation, putting their ideas into the form of a novel could be seen as a sort of "shakedown cruise," and would fulfill what Kant called people's "natural need" for "something that the senses can hold on to, some confirmation from experience or the like " to supplement their reasoning, which Rand later echoed in her comments on the importance of art as a model-builder.

What worlds would have philosophers envisioned, and in what ways would their art have shown us in which ways we've both understood and misunderstood their philosophies?

J

Per your last question, let me go reread my copy of Ominous Parallels and get back to you.

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Here's a surprising and reasonable clip from this week's podcast. But one can't help sniggering at this admission that his writing has at times been "enabled by chemical means". Now, which chemical was at work when he wrote his denunciations of McCaskey? Inquiring minds want to know.

http://www.peikoff.c...m-mental-focus/

Hmmm. Now that thar is sumthin' boy.

Like he's being all Bad Boy saying that. Jesus, read Hemingway, read Henry Miller, read me. Like this is a big deal? Fuck's sake. What was it? Ether? Viagra? Warm glass of gin with a human hair in it? Over the counter sinus pills? Mouthwash? Sterno?

You write through sobriety, you write through insobriety, you write, write write (or in his case, jabber audio, I guess).

At this point it would probably be better if he got back on the stem. Shit, I start having flashbacks just listening to his audio. It puts you right in bat country. It is so godamn creepy I can barely take it. I cranked it through my main playback system (about 300w rms) and let me tell you--if I had had any downers around, I would have taken them. Or at least a pair of shooting headphones.

How can you tell the difference? What, did he smoke a half a joint like twenty years ago?

If there was still good acid around, and he scuba dived, we could coat it a la Castro. But the thing is, you wouldn't necessarily know the damn difference.

And what's up with this Dear Abby hockey, anyway? Going to LP for ADVICE ON PERSONAL RELATIONSHIPS? <---for instance. WTF?

I take care of almost all things by going straight to my lovely, smart wife. If there is something outside of her field (rare) I have like 3 main dudes I go to. The last #^%& walking dick I would ever, and I mean ever go to is a decrepit, conceited bastard like this guy. WTF? I would rather fix my problems by sliding down a razor blade into a pool of iodine. You know what he reminds me of? Ever see this? L. Ron Bumquist, or whatever:

Douche.

rde

Gravitas, for fuck's sake.

Edited by Rich Engle
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Very true, I think.

To take it slightly further, Objectivism ITSELF, was an artistic creation, induced by Rand, with her deductions (most of them truly accurate) taking place after the fact. Easy: you begin with an aesthetic view of Man and the Universe, and the rest follows. Anyone could have done it. :D

I do wonder how much different philosophy would be if philosophers were to make it a standard practice in their profession to flesh out their ideas by using art, as Rand did, to simulate their "ideal man" in a world as it "ought to be." Even for philosophers who don't have a passion for artistic creation, putting their ideas into the form of a novel could be seen as a sort of "shakedown cruise," and would fulfill what Kant called people's "natural need" for "something that the senses can hold on to, some confirmation from experience or the like " to supplement their reasoning, which Rand later echoed in her comments on the importance of art as a model-builder.

What worlds would have philosophers envisioned, and in what ways would their art have shown us in which ways we've both understood and misunderstood their philosophies?

J

Well said - sometimes it takes an artist to get it...!

Still, though, you are focusing on the worthiness of 'art as vehicle' for philosophy; I'd be interested more in thoughts on Rand's conception of an entire philosophy through art.

Tony

Edited by whYNOT
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Still, though, you are focusing on the worthiness of 'art as vehicle' for philosophy; I'd be interested more in thoughts on Rand's conception of an entire philosophy through art.

]

I wouldn't.

rde

Eew.

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Still, though, you are focusing on the worthiness of 'art as vehicle' for philosophy; I'd be interested more in thoughts on Rand's conception of an entire philosophy through art.

]

I wouldn't.

rde

Eew.

Oh yes. Those of a delicate disposition are warned to stay back.

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Still, though, you are focusing on the worthiness of 'art as vehicle' for philosophy...

I'd say that I'm focusing on art not as a vehicle for philosophy, but as a perspective or mindset that coincides with proper, traditionally structured philosophy.

I'd be interested more in thoughts on Rand's conception of an entire philosophy through art.

I like Rand's approach. I'd say that I identify with it because my style of thinking probably has many similarities to hers. I think the same is probably true of most people who love her novels and take a strong interest in her ideas. I think there's great value in starting from her intuitive starting point, and then questioning and exploring things further, where ever your nose takes you, but there's also the danger of rationalizing one's intuitive biases, and I think Rand sometimes did that. In other words, where other philosophers could've benefited from supplementing their philosophy with art, I think there are areas in which Rand could have benefited from a more structured, scholarly approach. I think she was sometimes a little too certain. Which isn't to say that I necessarily think that she will ultimately be shown to be wrong about things, but that many of her positions don't have any support -- they must be treated as tentative or speculative knowledge rather than as the absolute truth that she portrayed them to be.

Overall, though, I think Rand did a pretty good job of balancing both mindsets -- she model-built and reasoned, where other philosophers have only reasoned.

J

Edited by Jonathan
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I like Rand's approach. I'd say that I identify with it because my style of thinking probably has many similarities to hers.

Overall, though, I think Rand did a pretty job of balancing both mindsets -- she model-built and reasoned, where other philosophers have only reasoned.

J

Agreed. I think you'd be familiar with artistic "pre-visualization" - the capability to picture and hold an image-concept in mind, prior to its concrete realization. With Rand I think it was her idealized vision of Man - providing a template for her subsequent reasoning.

In a way, it was an inductive leap into the unknown,(as any artist is intimate with) and fraught with risk of failure. A metaphysical gamble, but her vast reasoning power backed her up, and pulled her through. (imo)

Nobody can fault her for courage.

It's not so relevant that she got anything wrong, but that she got so much breath-takingly right, using this 'technique'.

Tony

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Agreed. I think you'd be familiar with artistic "pre-visualization" - the capability to picture and hold an image-concept in mind, prior to its concrete realization. With Rand I think it was her idealized vision of Man - providing a template for her subsequent reasoning.

In a way, it was an inductive leap into the unknown,(as any artist is intimate with) and fraught with risk of failure. A metaphysical gamble, but her vast reasoning power backed her up, and pulled her through. (imo)

Nobody can fault her for courage.

It's not so relevant that she got anything wrong, but that she got so much breath-takingly right, using this 'technique'.

Yeah, when I look at Rand's style of thinking, it's surprising to me that she placed so much emphasis on reason and logic rather than the value of intuitive imagination -- or what she called her "stomach feelings."

J

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Yeah, when I look at Rand's style of thinking, it's surprising to me that she placed so much emphasis on reason and logic rather than the value of intuitive imagination -- or what she called her "stomach feelings."

J

"Don't do it how I did it 'cos you'll f*** up" - maybe.

A lot of the time too, she would be right.

<_<

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