Would Ayn Rand have voted for Trump?


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That's amazing. How can I find that on my own? The last time I tried to officially enter, a scrip came up that I was banned, and the official guidelines posted were older guidelines that mentioned David Kelley by name, if I remember correctly.   

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Korben, And I say yes. More importantly, though, I think I said it better above: "...  I sincerely believe Rand would have gushed over Trump, not as a Randian hero, but as a Mr. Produc

It would depend on Rand's mood at the time. She could go either way. She always sided with the one against the many, whenever she viewed a situation in that light, so, if she focused on the left going

It's been implied several times and sometimes overt.  Trump builds honestly/his businesses are honest---so he doesn't sacrifice others.  Trump's character is such that he isn't a self-sacrificer.  Tru

William and anyone else? I went to OL (oops I meant OO) and couldn't do much. When I used your link I could.

I tried once again to log on and this came up.

Banned

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Warned by softwareNerd, April 28, 2011

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1 hour ago, Nobody Ever Said This broke through the fourth wall and said:

"Would Ayn Rand have voted for Putin?"

Would Ayn Rand celebrate with the Russians in the aftermath of the secret meeting and controversial press conference?

Julia Davis: Propaganda Gold: Russia Revels in Summit Victory

JD-ARTICLE-COVER-PUTIN-NOTES-2-825x510.p

Spoiler

It was perhaps the most explosive exchange in an incendiary press conference: Russian President Vladimir Putin appearing to frankly admit to a motive for, and maybe even to the act of, meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, despite repeatedly denying Russian interference in American politics during the rest of his appearance with Donald Trump in Finland on Monday.

But the exchange doesn’t appear in full in the White House’s live-stream or transcript of the press conference, and it’s missing entirely from the Kremlin’s transcript of the event. The White House did not immediately provide an explanation for the discrepancy.

Understanding what Putin said depends on what you watch or where you look. If you watch the video of the news conference provided by the Russian government, or by news outlets such as PBS and the Associated Press, you will hear the Reuters reporter Jeff Mason ask a bombshell of a question: “President Putin, did you want President Trump to win the election and did you direct any of your officials to help him do that?”

Putin then responds with a bombshell of an answer, according to the English translation of his remarks that was broadcast during the press conference: “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. Because he talked about bringing the U.S.-Russia relationship back to normal.”

But recordings of the exchange were muddled for two reasons. First, the English translation of Putin’s previous response was concluding as Mason began to speak. Second, the microphone seemed to pick up Mason’s question halfway through—making the latter half of it easier to hear. (Mason told me that he had held on to the microphone even though an official had tried to pull it away so that he could ask Putin a follow-up question. “I don’t know if they turned the sound off during the time when each of the presidents were speaking, or if it got flipped on and off. I certainly didn’t touch anything.”)

Technical difficulties aside, there’s further ambiguity. It’s unclear whether Putin said “Yes, I did” in reference to the question of whether he wanted Trump to win the 2016 presidential race, or in response to the question about whether he directed Russian officials to help Trump win. “You could interpret that to mean he’s answering ‘yes’ to both,” Mason told me, but “looking at it critically, he spent a good chunk of that press conference, just like President Trump did, denying any collusion. So I think it’s likely that when he said ‘Yes, I did,’ that he was just responding to the first part of my question and perhaps didn’t hear the second part.”

But if you watch the White House live-stream of the press conference or look at the transcript published by the White House, the first half of Mason’s question is not there. Without it, the meaning of the exchange is substantially different.

Compare this transcript, of what actually happened, to the White House’s version.

 

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1 hour ago, Peter said:

William and anyone else? I went to OL (oops I meant OO) and couldn't do much. When I used your link I could.

I tried once again to log on and this came up.

Banned

You do not have permission to view this site.

Warnings

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Warning

Warned by softwareNerd, April 28, 2011

Um, first of all, why do you want to go to OO so badly? It's practically dead, and it's just a bunch of dumb kids who are itching to moderate or ban people (there have been a few exceptions over the years, but generally, the site consists of unexceptional Rand followers looking for opportunities to be tattle tales and hall monitors). They're mostly what Ellen use to call church school goodie goodies.

Second, is there something of value that you believe you've left behind there in your posts? If so, stop trying to log into your banned account. Visit the site without logging in, or by establishing a new account. Repeating the same actions and expecting a different result...

Thirdly, are you trying to rescue private messages from their site? If so you're probably screwed, unless you feel like groveling and doing whatever penance the bitter children demand. Is it worth it?

J

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3 hours ago, Jonathan said:

Um, first of all, why do you want to go to OO so badly? It's practically dead, and it's just a bunch of dumb kids who are itching to moderate or ban people (there have been a few exceptions over the years, but generally, the site consists of unexceptional Rand followers looking for opportunities to be tattle tales and hall monitors).

I thought that kind of thing was all in the past.  Years past.  You're right that there's less activity.  But here's something recent I saw there that I think you'll enjoy watching.  Leonard shows off his art collection.  I think a lot of forum activity has migrated to Facebook, where everyone gets to be their own moderator.  And that's more attractive to the kind of people we like to avoid, leaving behind a better ratio of worthwhile contributors.

Alas, Knucky is still active as ever (over at OO). 

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The Russians have rattled off a few details of so-called verbal agreements from the private conclave (they are sort of trying to take credit for the US-Israel-Jordan-UK-Canada-Germany-Netherlands 'extraction' of White Helmets and family from Syria** under the header military cooperation and humanitarian efforts).  This inspires curiosity, or if you are of a different bent, crazed spy traitors.  If not in the Fake News blob, in the blob of formers and currents with a smattering of knowhow:  Ie, 'is the Special Collection Service' actually doing what is speculated they will be doing?

The unstated assumption may be that the 'secret' talks are being better explained by the Kremlin and its media ... and that the White House is either uninformed or in concealment mode.  Can't be, right?

______________

** the gist of this is Canada and the US said, "the Syrians will take the White Helmets into detention. They are viewed as traitors and worse, valuable propaganda assets for Syria's opponents. They will be tortured and in many cases only emerge from detention dead. Let's get as many as we can outta there."

So, Canada said they'd be ready to take the bulk of them (including families) in three months. Jordan said, they ain't coming across our sealed Syrian border, but if you all want to get them to us the backdoor way, okay. So the USA said hey Israel, can you supervise the transfer of these people from the demilitarized zone (adjoining Golan) to Jordan?  Israel said, sure, we will gain propaganda points. And the Netherlands and the Canadians and the Germans added additional guarantees to accept these people as refugees, and the 'forward reach' of the Israeli operation was kicked into gear on the ground: Syrian White Helmets HEY! get your ass and your family's asses to the Golan-Quneitra. The Israeli freaking army is going to supervise your transit to Jordan and ultimately, to a Western democracy most likely Canada. This is it.

There is a titanic struggle cough going on in some hard-ass corners of The Left blob.  The Glenn Greenwald Party and the slightly less cynical but equally as woke Other Guys who don't follow the Line.

The White Helmets are propaganda assets, so it is just a hop, skip, and a jump to call them Terror Toys, Imperialist Thugs, and other lovely loaded barges full of bullshit from Syria Sarin Hoax False-Flag Putin-toady wing.

Would Ayn Rand want to marry Trump or Putin?  Would she want to know what happened in that meeting before deciding?  Couldn't she do what she once did, and have both?

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Jonathan wrote, “(there have been a few exceptions over the years, but generally, the site consists of unexceptional Rand followers looking for opportunities to be tattle tales and hall monitors)

Well said and very convincing. I assume most of the people who visit there AND are on OL will bring up their topics here. What I found of value, were a few posts that explore errors in o’ism or things that could be added to the philosophy. Peter

One excerpt.

Correcting the nonaggression "principle" By Invictus2017, November 23, 2017 in Political Philosophy On objectivism online Invictus2018 posted November 23, 2017

Correcting the nonaggression "principle." I was working on an essay about immigration, and realized that I had to first deal with an error in Objectivism. So here is what I ran into. (All quotes are from Rand.) "The basic political principle of the Objectivist ethics is: no man may initiate the use of physical force against others." ("The Objectivist Ethics".) And, "In a civilized society, force may be used only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use." ("The Nature of Government".)

These statements are false. To explain why, I need to go back to first (political) principles . . . .

 . . . . So what to make of the "nonaggression principle" I started out with? It must be taken as a mere approximation, to be clarified later. (It's not really germane here, but I should note that Rand's critique of libertarianism — that it takes the nonaggression principle as an axiom when it is anything but — misses the real problem, which is that the nonaggression principle is simply false.) So what is it an approximation to?

. . . . Consider, however, what would happen if people could arbitrarily deprive the government of facts it needs to make proper use of "force". Its procedures would then necessarily lack the objectivity that a government must have, and would therefore be inconsistent with the rights of the governed. It follows then that no person may arbitrarily deprive the government of the information it needs to properly employ "force", that doing so is in itself a violation of the rights of the governed.

Note here that, under Rand's formulation, a refusal to respond to a subpoena would have to be classified as indirect force, but it is anything but obvious that such a refusal is any kind of force, or even that it violates anyone's rights. It was this conclusion that led me to rethink the formulation of the nature of force. Under my formulation, such a refusal is clearly "violative force" because it is demonstrably inconsistent with the requirements of life in society, just as much as non-defensive physical force, fraud, etc., is . . . .

DavidOdden Posted December 27, 2017

This thread has covered a lot of ground, which unfortunately makes it a bit incoherent. I suggest focusing on a specific issue of substance that is repeatedly raised, having to do with the government’s use of force to enforce proper law. I would set aside questions about social contracts, fraud, breach of contract, the nature of force and its relationship to consent, and inalienability of rights; I would also set aside the titular question of NAP qua primary principle in Objectivism (there is no denying that it is the fundamental principle of libertarianism). The issue requiring focus is this paraphrase of what Rand has said: “force in society may only be used in response to the initiation of physical force and only against the person who initiates the force”. Some version of this is said in nearly a dozen points in Rand’s writing, for example “Men have the right to use physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use” (The Objectivist Ethics). She is consistent in saying “against those”. The question is, what are the practical consequences of this principle?

In connection with a crime involving the police and courts, there are at least 8 ways in which force is actually used in response to the initiation of force. Assume that the act is a theft, and the police are not witnesses to the act.

Questioning: The police may stop and detain a person because they have a reasonable suspicion that he committed a crime.

Arrest: The police may take a person into custody because they have evidence that he probably he committed a crime.

Appearance: A person will be required to appear in court, and be identified as the criminal actor.

Search: A person’s property may be searched and seized, and used as evidence pertaining to whether he committed the crime.

Testimony: A person may be compelled to appear in court and testify as to relevant knowledge.

Truth: A person who testifies will be forced to tell the truth (perjury is a crime, punishable by imprisonment).

Jury service: A person (not the accused: having no relationship to the case) will be compelled to serve on a panel of jurors who decide facts and determine guilt.

Courtroom conduct: A person who testifies or argues on either side of the question will be compelled to follow the lawful instructions of the judge.

The issue, as I see it, is whether any of these 8 forms of force would be prohibited under the principles of Objectivism. If all of these forms of force were prohibited, protection of rights by the government (thus, man’s survival qua man) would not be possible, and since Objectivism is all about man’s survival, there would be something amiss . . . . 

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15 minutes ago, Peter said:

Well said and very convincing.

Thanks.

15 minutes ago, Peter said:

I assume most of the people who visit there AND are on OL will bring up their topics here. What I found of value, were a few posts...

Yeah, I've found value there, too. I've had many good discussions at OO with good, intelligent people. The problem, though, was always the pest moderators sticking their noses in and impeding good discussions. Basically, it was the dumbest kids wanting to be in control, and being very angry about it.

J

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Me, Mama, Papa, Mimaw -- and the starving URL in the woods.

1 hour ago, Peter said:

Correcting the nonaggression "principle" By Invictus2017, November 23, 2017 in Political Philosophy On objectivism online Invictus2018 posted November 23, 2017

Peter, please reconsider the habit of not including URLs in your references to off-site material available 'live.'  Here above you have almost included the URL.  For your edification, a couple of images that picture two ways of copying the URL or 'web site link' ... including one for the Edge browser. I put it in a special hidden area, because everyone except Tony and you are able to do this consistently.

  1. Please include a URL or 'web site link' when you copy material from another website. 
  2. If you don't know how ...
Spoiler

URL4PeterTaylor.png

URL4PeterTaylor2.png

Look what you managed here -- including a URL within when citing David Odden!

1 hour ago, Peter said:

 http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/topic/30959-correcting-the-nonaggression-principle/&do=findComment&comment=353697

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20 hours ago, 9thdoctor said:

But here's something recent I saw there that I think you'll enjoy watching.  Leonard shows off his art collection...

Ugh. Lenny is writing short stories. He’s enjoying it, or would be, but he has decided to chain himself to Rand’s theories of artistic creativity, and therefore is having great difficulty forcibly injecting philosophy and overtly signaled meanings as she requires. How does one do it within the brief span of a short story, Lenny asks. And the person whom he's decided to ask is his daughter, whom he taught long ago to follow Ayn's Rules.

The real answer, Lenny, is to free yourself from Rand, get some artistic independence, and be a real man. Grow a pair. You’re retired, and at the end of your life, a life spent serving your master. Dobby is a free elf now! Live for yourself for once! Fuck her art rules.

Uh, I hope that I never have to read what he comes up with. I hope that the stories are buried with him.
J

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1 hour ago, Jonathan said:

Ugh. Lenny is writing short stories. He’s enjoying it, or would be, but he has decided to chain himself to Rand’s theories of artistic creativity, and therefore is having great difficulty forcibly injecting philosophy and overtly signaled meanings as she requires. How does one do it within the brief span of a short story, Lenny asks. And the person whom he's decided to ask is his daughter, whom he taught long ago to follow Ayn's Rules.

The real answer, Lenny, is to free yourself from Rand, get some artistic independence, and be a real man. Grow a pair. You’re retired, and at the end of your life, a life spent serving your master. Dobby is a free elf now! Live for yourself for once! Fuck her art rules.

Uh, I hope that I never have to read what he comes up with. I hope that the stories are buried with him.
J

Well. Aesop could do it, but as the saying goes, I have read Aesop and Peikoff ain't no Aesop.. 

(Kira is no Mickey Spillane, either). Very formulaic and quite dull.).

But good on LP for trying and good advice from J.

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9th Doctor wrote: But here's something recent I saw there that I think you'll enjoy watching.  Leonard shows off his art collection...

Barbara posted the following to Atlantis and to SOLO. I took a look at SOLO today, and it seemed better than it used to. I saw Zan(ovich?) there. It is located in New Zealand so you see local stuff, and unlike the deep state site OO, it takes donations, which means it probably IS a truer little o, objectivist site. Peter    

From: BBfromM To: atlantis Subject: ATL: In case anyone thought I was exaggerating. . . Date: Sun, 2 Sep 2001 21:37:23 EDT. This is from Harry Binswanger's announcement of his discussion group, The Harry Binswanger List.

Philosophic issues: The HBL is primarily for Objectivists. Full agreement with Objectivism is not required, but certain people are excluded--see the Loyalty Oath below. You need not sign or return it. If you join the list, that indicates your agreement with its provisions.

The HBL Loyalty Oath

I have created this list for those who are deeply and sincerely interested in Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism and its application to cultural-political issues. It is understood that Objectivism is limited to the philosophic principles expounded by Ayn Rand in the writings published during her lifetime plus those articles by other authors that she published in her own periodicals (e.g., The Objectivist) or included in her anthologies. Applications, implications, developments, and extensions of Objectivism--though they are to be encouraged and will be discussed on my list--are not, even if entirely valid, part of Objectivism. (Objectivism does not exhaust the field of rational philosophic identifications.) I do not make full agreement with Objectivism a condition of joining my list. However, I do exclude anyone who is sanctioning or supporting the enemies of Ayn Rand and Objectivism. "Enemies" include: "libertarians," moral agnostics or "tolerationists," anarchists, and those whom Ayn Rand condemned or who have written books or articles attacking Ayn Rand. I do not wish to publicize the myriad of anti-Objectivist individuals and organizations by giving names, so if you have questions about any such, email me privately and I will be glad to discuss it with you. If you bristle at the very idea of a "loyalty oath" and declaring certain ideological movements and individuals as "enemies," then my list is probably not for you. To join my list while concealing your sanction or support of these enemies, would be to commit a fraud. Again, if you have any questions on this policy, please let me know. Barbara

From The Atlas Society in 2003. I just gave them a hundred. Peter

Banner: As far as actors and actresses whom she liked…

NB: Well, she adored Greta Garbo, and she would have loved for Greta Garbo to play Dominique [in the film version of The Fountainhead]. According to what Ayn told me, Greta Garbo declined, and for what to me was the most odd reason I ever heard: she didn't think that Gary Cooper [who played Howard Roark] would have been a suitable lover for her. I gather Garbo wasn't a fan of Gary Cooper. But that's merely what Ayn was told by somebody; I have no knowledge as to whether that was true.

Banner: How about for Dagny?

NB: Well, she used to say, "the young Katherine Hepburn in physical appearance"—that's how she saw Dagny.

From: "Ben Lipstein" To: atlantis Subject: Re: ATL: The sinking of the Good Ship Leonard (was A word on Larry) Date: Sat, 08 Sep 2001 14:39:20 -0400

I thought your post was one of the few intelligent things I have read on this rather disappointing list. Not important if we agree. What it is important is that you speak with great insight and intelligence.

George Smith said. "Peikoff lacks the originality and personality of Ayn Rand, so his efforts to sustain the charismatic wing of the Objectivist movement have become increasingly strained and artificial, and liable to break apart at the seams. Thus, whereas Rand's charisma at least played a useful role (to some degree) in the early stages of the movement, Peikoff's second-hand "charisma" has no good consequences whatsoever, but is merely silly and destructive."

Very well said. If I am reading you right, you are saying Peikoff alienates the very people Rand attracted, the superior intellect of independent mind. Exactly my sentiments. The sinking ship sinks further. Andrew Taranto points out that the opposition often uses Peikoff as the generalized scapegoat for all of OB's ills, and I would agree. Objectivism is still filled with worshippers, people too ready to live off Rand.

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22 minutes ago, caroljane said:

Well. Aesop could do it, but as the saying goes, I have read Aesop and Peikoff ain't no Aesop.. 

(Kira is no Mickey Spillane, either). Very formulaic and quite dull.).

But good on LP for trying and good advice from J.

It's painful to see LP wanting to enjoy writing, but being stopped in his tracks by the ghost of his master. I really can't say that I've ever liked much about the man, but I wish that he could free himself and enjoy artistic creation.

J

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8 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

It's painful to see LP wanting to enjoy writing, but being stopped in his tracks by the ghost of his master. I really can't say that I've ever liked much about the man, but I wish that he could free himself and enjoy artistic creation.

J

Especially as. if I remember correctly, Rand's teachings on writing fiction were quite practical and capable of customizing - and she acknowledged that all creators find their own technical path to expressing their artistic personae.

It seems to be that LP put the chains of adamant on himself, to adhere to her slightest word on the subject  of the path to productivity, for fear of  getting. lost.

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27 minutes ago, caroljane said:

Especially as. if I remember correctly, Rand's teachings on writing fiction were quite practical and capable of customizing - and she acknowledged that all creators find their own technical path to expressing their artistic personae.

It seems to be that LP put the chains of adamant on himself, to adhere to her slightest word on the subject  of the path to productivity, for fear of  getting. lost.

I think you hit it there with the getting lost bit.

J

P.S. And Lenny has apparently forgotten that he had praised Ayn's husband for not allowing her any input into his art. It was a testamentto Frank's strength and independence, even in the presence of fierce lioness Ayn! Poor Lenny. Always the beta or omega. 

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13 minutes ago, Jonathan said:

I think you hit it there with the getting lost bit.

J

P.S. And Lenny has apparently forgotten that he had praised Ayn's husband for not allowing her any input into his art. It was a testamentto Frank's strength and independence, even in the presence of fierce lioness Ayn! Poor Lenny. Always the beta or omega. 

They together were alpha and omega,completing each other as  so many couples do, until death - and in their case beyond, because of all the human facets of their story we stay fascinated by.

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12 minutes ago, Michael Stuart Kelly said:

Jonathan,

Since when have I had any sense?

:) 

It this short story thing real or just banter?

If it's real, does anyone have a link?

Michael

No link. In the video above that 9thDoc posted, Lenny talks about writing short stories and submitting them to publications for consideration, their rejections of his stories, and his interest in analyzing the rejection notes and what they say about those who wrote them. It seems that he enjoys writing, until Ayn's Ghost inevitably appears and weighs him down with her burdens. He wants to frolic in the aesthetic meadows, but the Ghost imposes strict discipline on naughty Lenny, catches him by his ear, hauls him to the stagnant metaphysics and ethics chambers, douses his joy, and makes writing "difficult."

Hmmm. Dear Lenny, consider a way out: You've spent your life is loyal service to the master. You've absorbed her ideas and ideals, and so much so that they should've been second nature decades ago, no? They're in your blood. They should flow from you automatically, emotively, even without the need for conscious thought, right? So, let them. Freely romp in the meadows, and when you've finished, find your own meaning of the art that you've created, much in the same way that you do with Michelangelo's Dying Slave (or, in your view, Michelangelo's Orgasm Boy). Surely the explanation that you've relied on your fully-integrated and officially Objectively sanctioned, acceptable, perfectly valid emotions would satisfy the Ghost, no?

J

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Two possible mistakes by President Trump are the tariffs and the subsidies to farmers who are hurt by the tariffs. A local soybean farmer was interviewed on Salisbury, Maryland’s, WBOC and he was against the tariffs but he would take the handout for business reasons. He looked a bit uncomfortable when he said it. If I were a farmer I cannot deny I would do the same.

I hope the tariffs are retaliatory tariffs as the Prez insists, and part of a larger, strategic plan. One of his recent tweets did say something like ‘wouldn’t it be great if all tariffs were gone?’ There are people on the left, the right, and his supporters who are counting his mistakes, personal and political. He may be a bit like Rand’s billionaire character, Midas Mulligan. He is still at 41 percent approval which is quite high for a midterm ranking, I think. I didn't look close to the Rasmussen Poll but if 41 percent approve, then 15 percent may have no opinion, some are "luke warm or cool" and the rest are full of hatred and booing, which would be a minority.  Peter

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Whipsaw? From Wikipedia. They had an ad for money the last time I looked. I will stop reposting HUGE amounts after this Michael.

The quote: Whipsaw is a 1935 American crime drama film directed by Sam Wood and starring Myrna Loy and Spencer Tracy. Written by Howard Emmett Rogers, based on a story by James Edward Grant, the film is about a government agent working undercover traveling across the country with an unsuspecting woman, hoping she will lead him to her gang of jewel thieves.

An intuition about why Peikoff would actually have a poster of the movie? I have a hunch, but hunches don’t count. Here are some old letters about intuition. Peter

From: Michael Hardy To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Intuition Date: Sun, 20 May 2001 17:23:07 -0400 (EDT)

Mike Rael stated in his post of 5/17/01 that: Rand herself was about as intuitive as they come.

John Kimball <kimball@ncia.net> objected (5/18): The Random House College Dictionary defines intuition as the:  '1. direct perception of truth, fact, etc., independent of any  reasoning process; immediate apprehension ..'  This appears to fly in the face of  Rand's basic epistemology as I could not find  no reference to the concept of intuition in any of the major works by Rand. This seems to be an unwarranted assumption on the part of Mr. Rael. I would appreciate having the references that would justify this conclusion.

The word "intuition" appears to admit several definitions, one of which was endorsed by Leonard Peikoff in an article in the 1985 volume of “The NewScholasticism,” titled "Aristotle's Intuitive Induction."  Peikoff explained that the way in which we become aware of the truth of logical axioms cannot be by logical deduction   --- that would clearly be circular reasoning --- but is a rational cognitive process that involves coming to understand the concepts involved and what the proposition says, and that that process is called "intuitive induction."

"

Intuition" also means something like "emotional without feeling", which needs to be explained more long windedly less mysteriously to be understood.  Recall Peikoff in his 12-lecture basic course saying an emotion results from a super-rapid subconscious evaluation of something as good or bad.  At one point in that course he tersely mentioned that a similar super-rapid subconscious process could result in a conscious hunch, whose justification is not conscious.  That is also called "intuition."  Perhaps Mike Rael had that in mind. Mike Hardy

From: Jackie Goreham To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: My stay at the hospital...what happened Date: Mon, 21 May 2001 14:23:52 -0700 (PDT): I would have to say that I agree that Objectivism and intuition do not mix, that there is some evidence that what Rand lived and what she wrote had a slight disconnect in this area.  After all, this was a woman who described love at first sight with her husband and also described it in her main characters (Roark and Francon and Taggart and Galt).  In fact it is kind of a running joke that objectivists just 'know' who each other are in a crowd by their 'way' of looking.

I think it is important, if somewhat difficult, to separate Objectivism the philosophical system from Rand, the woman.  The philosophy allows for no contradictions, but we know the person lived some.

As for the topic at hand, I know only one objectivist and that's my boyfriend. I have never met another in person.  If I were to make all people I know pass a philosophical test I would be a very lonely person indeed.  There is value to be found in relationships with people who think differently than I do. Jackie Goreham

From: Jeff Lindon To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Intuition Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 09:04:08 -0400 (EDT)

I agree with Kurt's distinction (5/19) between senses of "intuition", and have often thought that the term takes unfair abuse. Along the lines Kurt suggests, I think of an intuition (in its secularized sense) as a conscious awareness of pre-verbal subconscious processes. Depending on a person's psycho-epistemology, those processes will be predominantly rational or irrational. Granted that intuition is *not* a  means of knowing, I do wonder whether it's a necessary stage one goes through (even if only briefly) when grappling with large, difficult problems.

Suppose that after thinking about a complex problem for a while, you can think of several different ways of proceeding, but you're not sure which is best. How do you decide -- not which is best, but which to *investigate* first? Well, your subconscious is munching on lots of things, and the only conscious awareness you have of those calculations is a "sense" or "feel". Let's say you sense that one approach to solving the problem will prove to be the best. If pressed on the issue, you may have a hard time giving concrete reasons for your sense, precisely because you don't understand the problem. But you have to decide how to proceed *somehow*, and the fact is that if you've cultivated a rational psycho-epistemology, your subconscious will generally do a good job in these kinds of "preliminary evaluations". Sometimes it takes the conscious mind a lot of (necessary) effort to see just *how* good our intuitions actually are.

Consider artistic creation as an example. Rand argued in her fiction writing lectures that it would be not only counterproductive but literally impossible for an artist *consciously* to justify each choice he makes while creating a work. The only workable method is to rely on your subconscious while writing and then *edit later* using your conscious judgment. Hopefully (and with practice, over time), your subconscious judgments come to embody your conscious principles fairly consistently. But the conscious mind is always the final arbiter. (My experience as a composer confirms the value of this method.)

(I would add here that I am not convinced that one could always verbalize *all* the reasons one had a particular intuition. Also, in my own experience, if my conscious mind contradicts my intuition, there is very often something that my conscious mind is missing. Again, that feeling does not constitute *proof* that the conscious mind is wrong, but if one knows that one has a predominantly rational psycho-epistemology, then such intuitions should set off warning bells.)

I reconcile Rand's attacks on intuition with the position she takes elsewhere by supposing that she would suggest a word other than "intuition" for what I have been describing. That makes the term a little bit like "faith", which I've discovered that many people use simply to mean "confidence". But whereas the alternative between "confidence" and "faith" is obvious, I can't think of a better alternative to "intuition" off-hand. -Jeffrey Lindon

From: Matthew Ferrara To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Intuition as second-order epistemological integration Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 10:31:19 +0000

Just to weigh-in on the intuition-question: I do not think that intuition is counter-Objectivism in any way; in fact, from what I can tell from Rand's writings, she's not entirely counter-intuitive (in both meanings of that phrase): Note that some of her characters like Rearden and even Cherryl (Taggart's wife) take long journeys toward knowledge by identifying, clarifying, and reflecting upon a "peripheral sense" or what we could call "gut feeling" that something in their experience was not "quite right." They then proceed to investigate their surroundings and then come to clear, rational knowledge that the people around them are acting in an irrational manner, guided by their feelings. Many times in Atlas, Rand refers to a character's sensation of something on the "edge" of their cognition that is fleeting, but re- occurs often enough to induce them to further pursue clarification. In fact, in a sense, Rearden's character is this very journey from sense-perception of "something is wrong" to "explicit knowledge" that his premises were wrong.

I think it is too easy to simply "reject" intuition because it is often equated with feelings, which are also often "rejected" by Objectivist thinkers in an off- hand manner. Rather, I think that intuition has to be put in its proper position in the epistemological hierarchy. Many great scientific discoveries have come from what we would call an "intuitive" notion of an hypothesis or experiment, which led to the discovery of a result that then was clarified "backwards" so to speak to a more full, explicit knowledge. Thinkers like Suzanne Langer or Polanyi (The Tacit Dimension) have excellent discussions on this "metacommunicative"  or not-yet-expressed dimension of human thought.

It is important, from the standpoint of Objectivism, to make sure that intuition is not considered a "primary" tool to knowledge and not used as the sole basis to guide one's overall actions or life; but like emotions, intuition is a second-order activity of the rational mind.

It may help to start from a definition: I think intuition can be considered just like Rand's concept of emotions: Both are indicators or feedback-mechanisms (positive and negative) of one's thought processes. Intuitions are often "not-yet-clarified" or emerging recognitions of facts of reality. In some ways, they may be recognitions of fact that have happened faster than linguistic or fully-logical expression has occurred - although such description later emerges.

Intuition in this sense would not be the same as "revelation"  or mere "gut-impulse" that religious or psychologies of noumenal-worlds/minds would have us believe (always refreshing to bash Kant this early in the morning! grin!). And while it may not be a "rigorous" tool of knowledge like "pure logic" it still may play a valid function in cognition, so long as it remains a "stage" of knowledge and not the final or determining aspect of it. Good morning! Matthew Ferrara

 

From: Brian Gordon <briangordon To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Intuition Date: Tue, 22 May 2001 09:07:16 -0700

All, Intuition is indeed a fascinating topic, as we all use it, yet it seems at first glance to run counter to objectivism. In fact, Nathaniel Branden has pointed out that sometimes one's intuition is correct while one's reason is not.

 

I think that intuition is an unconscious conclusion one has reached – the criteria and decision-making process are unconscious. This does not mean that some reasoning has not taken place, simply that one is unaware of it. I once took an excellent course entitled "The Skilled Facilitator's Workshop", in which the participants' goal was to learn to facilitate group meetings effectively and to improve the group's ability to function. This involved pointing out inappropriate behaviors, areas of conflict, and so on, and oftentimes I (and others) would pick up on things intuitively rather than explicitly. When I asked the instructor about this, his point was this: Whatever you have noticed intuitively, there is evidence for, and you must  bring that evidence into your consciousness. You cannot present your intuitive beliefs to anyone, because then they lack any facts to deal with. It was a great workshop! Very objectivist, now that I look back on it. Brian Gordon

From: Ming shan To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Intuition Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 22:28:18

Merlin Jetton wrote (5/22): I wish to second Kurt Keefner's remarks (5/19) about "secular" intuition.

I wish to third them; I have not seen as much common sense brought to the discussion about intuition in a long time.  He definitely based his remarks on careful observation.

>Indeed, this form of intuition is a requirement for being a skilled, or more skilled, mathematician. Here, of course, it is hardly a mere, mystical feeling. Consider the mathematician in search of a solution to a problem, which might be a path to a proof. By analogy, this intuition is the ability to see the glimpses of light down a possible path before the path is more fully lit through fuller exploration and work.

OK, that's great, but what about the mathematician who had it the most, in abundance, Srinivasa Ramanujan?  This guy filled notebook after notebook after notebook with incredibly complex and deep theorems and  formulae of Number Theory, but he rigorously proved not one of them.  He had a power of insight that is rare, even among mathematicians.  He could see clearly what the solution would be to something, and he did not need to prove it, because he already knew it was right.  Some mathematicians these days are busy going through his notebooks and rigorously proving the entries he put down;  so far, it's all panning out.  That's how good the guy was at this type of insight.

My point is this: surely R's power of insight does not really come from "reason."  The proof is that the man barely had a high schooler's understanding of trigonometry. What we are calling intuition here strikes me as very much the same thing that Spinoza called "the third kind of knowledge."  But he said that it only arises from "the second kind," which is reason.  But if it only arises from it, then (1) it is surely different from it, and not the same thing, and (2) it is superior to reason. Mingshan

From: Mike Rael To: objectivism Subject: Re: OWL: Intuition as second-order epistemological integration Date: Thu, 24 May 2001 08:48:52 -0700 (PDT)

Good morning yourself, Matthew:) I really appreciate the way you fleshed out my original post on this subject, though I doubt you had the intention of doing that :)  I don't have the energy or patience to check through Atlas, for example, to bolster up my position about intuition. I just know what I know.

I really have no criticism at all. You point out that Rand's characters use intuition (true). You mention that intuition is a stage of knowledge only (true). You say that intuition is part of the creative process (true). You infer that reason is the final arbiter of knowledge (true).

About my only disagreement is that intuition is not simply the unconscious filling-in of holes in logic that have been derived at superspeed. Ain't nuthin' wrong with gut impulses, Matt. Sometimes, for whatever reason, gut impulses are right while our "rationally derived" reason is wrong! That's why some women going down the bridal path need to heed it when they get a strong inner feeling that they shouldn't be there--despite all the "logic" that insists they are in the right place! best always, Mike

From: James H Cunningham To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Intuition Date: Fri, 25 May 2001 23:42:28 -0400

Ming Shan wrote (5/24): "[the 'third kind of knowledge' - intuition, as in the case of Srinivasa Ramanujan] is superior to reason."

A

nd how? Surely I could not begin to understand - let alone create - such intricate mathematical theorems without relying on a conscious reasoning process; indeed, to decide what I shall eat for dinner takes enough thought on its own, and I have not enough leisure for those high pursuits.  Are you saying that Ramanujan's intuition is superior to my reason, when I cannot even decide my diet without some mental plodding-out?

When I was a child I was forced to put two and two together - when I eat food that tastes bad, I dislike putting it my mouth; and when I dislike putting something in my mouth I should not eat it - but now it is intuitive that I not eat food that I dislike; still I went through conscious reasoning at some point, so I should hardly think that my intuition is contrary to and higher than reason.  It is simply something that followed.

And why is what you describe above intuition, in the non-reasoning sense? Ramanujan was equipped with a mind more able to grasp complex truths than mine or yours, and quickly; that he needed think less does not mean that he needed not _think_ at all; why not consider that his 'reasoning ability' was sufficiently inborn that no real effort was required to prove to himself that he _was_ correct?  It is not necessary for me to 'think' to add simple sums, and I am rarely asked to prove my answers afterward; why is it so much to think that a man of a much greater mind can handle greater thoughts, without striking the call of superiority to reason?

Anyone who theorizes must do so before proving any theories he puts forth. If Ramanujan had proven his own work, would you consider it less intuition and more reason? James H Cunningham

From: "Ming shan" To: atlantis Subject: ATL: James on intuition Date: Tue, 29 May 2001 08:18:49

>James:

> >Ming Shan wrote (5/24): "[the 'third kind of knowledge' - intuition, as in the case of  Srinivasa Ramanujan] is superior to reason."

> >And how? And why is what you describe above intuition, in the non-reasoning sense?

> >Ramanujan was equipped with a mind more able to grasp complex truths than mine or yours, and quickly; that he needed think less does not mean that he needed not _think_ at all;

>Mingshan: Well, I never said nor implied that the man was not *thinking*; that depends on your definition of the word. why not consider that his 'reasoning ability' was sufficiently inborn that no real effort was required to prove to himself that he _was_ correct?

>That was exactly my point;  the problem, though, was the relationship between that "inborn ability" and "reason." It is not necessary for me to 'think' to add simple sums, and I am rarely asked to prove my answers afterward;

>That's fine, but you're not a mathematician.  No one is asked to prove anything when it's just "simple sums," but mathematicians are required to prove what they claim.  That's an integral part of mathematics.

> >why is it so much to think that a man of a much greater mind can handle greater thoughts, without striking the call of superiority to reason?

>Because of a simple fact that you're neglecting in R's case: he had only the skimpiest of education in any kind of "formal" mathematics. 

>Something like "reason" was not necessary in his case therefore.  My full statement was My point is this:  surely R's power of insight does not really come from "reason."  The proof is that the man barely had a high schooler's understanding of trigonometry.

>Also because, it's not the thoughts we are debating about, but the way those thoughts occurred.

> >Anyone who theorizes must do so before proving any theories he  puts forth. If Ramanujan had proven his own work, would you consider it less intuition and more reason?

>No, simply because, again, it's not the thoughts or their proof that's interesting, but *how* those thoughts occurred in the first place. And in R's case, he had so many occurring to him that were deep and  important. Love, >Mingshan

From: Roger Bissell To: objectivism Subject: OWL: What is Intuition? Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 01:52:12 EDT

The recent discussion of the nature of intuition has been quite interesting, and I would like to suggest another way of looking at intuition in re thinking. As against the idea some suggest that intuition is relatively more unconscious and thinking relative more conscious, I think it's more helpful to see them both as different kinds of conscious cognitive processes. In support of this, here are some ideas I have gleaned recently from a non-Objectivist thinker, along with some personality-type-related thoughts stimulated by his ideas...

Howard Margolis in PATTERNS, THINKING, AND COGNITION (U. of Chicago Press, 1987) claimed that cognitive activity tends to be either a combination of broad focus with loose "scan control," which he labeled "intuitive" -- or a combination of narrow focus with tight "scan control," which he labeled "analytical," which is reasonably synonymous with "thinking." Since induction would seem as though it should work better in the former case (intuitive preference), while deduction would seem as though it should work better in the latter (thinking preference). I find this approach very persuasive.

However, I want to suggest another way of looking at it. I think that what Margolis is describing as "intuition" by loose focus, broad scan control is actually ~extraverted~ intuition (intuition directed toward the "outer world," which is the kind of intuition that is used by introverted thinkers, who are not nearly so analytical as their extraverted thinking brethren (and sistern...?). And the form of intuition used by extraverted thinkers may not even be recognized as such by them -- focused as they are on assessing the external world and how it can be changed, improved, corrected, etc. – but their intuition almost surely has a tighter focus and narrower scan control (since internal or "introverted" and thus not ranging around in the environment, but instead in their own internal store of ideas) than the kind used by introverted thinkers. In compensation, though, the thinking of TJs (extraverted thinkers) is easier to apply in flexible, broad fashion to assessing and planning things in the world than the thinking of TPs (introverted thinkers).

In other words, I think Margolis' model is somewhat oversimplified, but helpful in aiming us in the right direction. His suggestion that a stronger preference for intuition would make one's thinking relatively fuzzier is an interesting hypothesis, but the type results I have seen do not bear this out. My wife has a stronger intuitive preference than thinking, but she is a very precise thinker--and I have a stronger preference for thinking than for intuition, but I am a much fuzzier thinker than her. So go figure! Perhaps we are the exception to the rule, but I think the answer lies elsewhere. I am very precise and focused in my inductive, model-building process, but this is not usually regarded as thinking, but rather intuition. My wife is very precise and focused in her deductive, analytical process, but her strong inner vision, being more in the "tacit" dimension, is overlooked by those who see only her logical thinking process.

I encourage others to read Margolis' work, but discussion of the above is welcome, in any case. Best regards, Roger Bissell (INTP)

From: Jackie Goreham To: objectivism Subject: OWL: Re: Intuition as second-order epistemological integration Date: Mon, 4 Jun 2001 13:16:58 -0700 (PDT)

Mike, I don't know to whom you are referring, but eliminating emotion is Vulcan, not Objectivist.  I repeat that if there is a disconnect between your emotions and your thoughts then you have made an error somewhere. There should be no disconnect. Emotions tell us nothing other than that we are having an emotion.  We must use reason to identify its cause. It might be a tip off that something is wrong, sure, why not.  Like a symptom... But our emotions are not "right" or "wrong" really.  It's just that they either do or do not fit the context.  They are only right or wrong based on our thoughts: reason. Jackie Goreham

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