Is this a problem with the O'ist metaphysics?


Recommended Posts

Leonard Peikoff states in Objectivism: the Philosophy of Ayn Rand that the metaphysically given is absolute. He then goes on to say that the metaphysically given is that which MUST be, as well as that which man did NOT choose. He contrasts this group of facts with those which he calls "man-made" facts, and describes this latter group of facts as being the opposite and mutually exculsive group to that group which he called "the metaphysically given".... I wonder then what would be the metaphycal status to Peikoff (to use an example similar to one which he uses in the above-mentioned book) of a desert which men had NOT CHOSEN to irrigate but which certain men had the CAPACITY to choose to irrigate if they so wished (meaning they had the neccessary knowledge, etc...). This type of fact COULD have been otherwise (someone COULD have chosen for the dessert to be irrigated), and yet it is not a type of man-made fact. However, to rehash and cap off my argument, --as "the metaphysically given" and "the man-made" are described by Peikoff in the above ways (including their being mutually exclusive)-- it should be impossible, I would think, for Peikoff to believe in the existence of this "third" type of fact.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 3 weeks later...

Chaim:

~ Sounds like you're thinking of the Necessary-Contingent analysis of 'facts.' Once LP said "must", well, that's the 'Necessary' side, right?

~ Re your scenario, one 'given' is: the desert's there; ergo we have the 'metaphysically given.' The other is: the lack of men choosing to do something with it which they otherwise 'could' (ergo, 'Contingent'?) do. It's a fact that they chose NOT to do something there, but, there is no 'man-made' consequence.

~ The lack of any 'choice' being applied results in no NEW 'fact' (man-made or whatever) being created (and distinguishable) in anything anymore than, say, a desert that no one discovered yet, though they 'could' have earlier had they chosen to explore the area back when.

~ How's that sound?

LLAP

J:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Addendum:

~ One can say that the choice/decision to do nothing is itself a fact of course, but, on its own, it's a 'man-made' fact, as the choice/decision to do something (irrigate, whatever) would be; the latter's consequence would be an additional 'man-made' one.

LLAP

J:D

Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now