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BaalChatzaf

Measurement Omission?

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[by killing off all but one.

--Brant

Good point, but I was referring to Micheals statement that a species exists before a member of the species. I can't imagine it, it makes no sense to me whatsoever. 'Species' can't have any meaning without representative members. How could we ever define a species without having some member organisms to examine?

I'm pretty sure that one species emerging from another produces many firsts through mutations some of whom finally get together. Something like that. Anyway, I don't think Michael said what you are saying he said.

--Brant

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Harking back to measurement omission itself, one of the problems I have with that theory is that a true sentence could state, in its predicate, just the measurement that was omitted in forming the concept of the subject. For example, Rand tells us that the particular length of a pencil is an omitted measurement. A true sentence such as, "This pencil is four inches long," would then be synthetic!

Whatever way one classifies what is "omitted" in forming a concept, it is possible to form true sentences that predicate precisely an omitted "measurement," and thus fail to be analytic on LP's A/S dichotomy discussion.

My solution to this is to recognize the distinction between abstract conceptual meaning and reference, which is the accomplishment of a concept plus grammar. So, while "pencil" omits the measurement of length, "This pencil..." includes it through referring to the entire thing, including all its traits, even unknown ones, etc.

No matter how abstract the concept in a reference is, e.g., "This object is four inches long," the reference is to the whole of the thing referred to. Since it is to the complete thing, in all details, anything the predicate states of it, if true, is part of the reference.

Notice we could contrast, "This pencil is a pencil," with "This object is a pencil." In both cases, being a pencil is equally "contained" in the subject of the sentence, because the subject of both sentences is the same. The subject of both sentences is the four-inch-long pencil. The subject concept of one is "pencil," and of the other is "object," but the import, the meaning, of both subjects is the same. The concepts are different, but the references are the same.

Thus, I would say that it is not concepts that mean everything about the things they refer to, including the yet-to-be discovered, as Rand has it, but that grammatical references imply every such trait, etc. The meaning of a concept is not at all the same epistemological thing as the meaning of a subject (or object) of a sentence, i.e., a reference. (Here it is unavoidable to seque into the third point I wanted, originally, to make.)

The third point is that it is a mistake to describe conceptual meaning as determinate. At the risk of giving details already well known by the reader, I'll point out that "abstract" means a part taken away from the whole (or, left behind, whichever way you take your coffee.) "General" means pertaining to multiple particulars. They don't mean the same thing. Confusing the two is widespread. The opposite of "abstract" is "determinate." "Determinate" means including every specific detail about the referents. Rand's description of conceptual meaning, paraphrased above, has it that concepts are determinate. Of course, that can't be true. A determinate account has no generality. Generality is only achieved by abstraction.

I imagine Rand was confusing referential meaning with conceptual meaning. It is fundamental to human epistemology that we refer through abstractions, and the two are very intimately connected. I very strongly believe that this distinction is needed in Objectivist epistemology. (There are other ways in which the distiniction is theoretically useful.)

--Mindy

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[by killing off all but one.

--Brant

Good point, but I was referring to Micheals statement that a species exists before a member of the species. I can't imagine it, it makes no sense to me whatsoever. 'Species' can't have any meaning without representative members. How could we ever define a species without having some member organisms to examine?

I'm pretty sure that one species emerging from another produces many firsts through mutations some of whom finally get together. Something like that. Anyway, I don't think Michael said what you are saying he said.

--Brant

Brant,

You are right. I have stated clearly several times that top-down occurs as one side of bottom up, and this means that you cannot have a human species without humans, but you cannot have humans without a human species.

It's all part of the same thing, so one cannot have occurred without the other.

Michael

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[by killing off all but one.

--Brant

Good point, but I was referring to Micheals statement that a species exists before a member of the species. I can't imagine it, it makes no sense to me whatsoever. 'Species' can't have any meaning without representative members. How could we ever define a species without having some member organisms to examine?

I'm pretty sure that one species emerging from another produces many firsts through mutations some of whom finally get together. Something like that. Anyway, I don't think Michael said what you are saying he said.

--Brant

Brant,

You are right. I have stated clearly several times that top-down occurs as one side of bottom up, and this means that you cannot have a human species without humans, but you cannot have humans without a human species.

It's all part of the same thing, so one cannot have occurred without the other.

Michael

In that case the species is in the human. But the human, not the species, acts, is predominant.

--Brant

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It's all part of the same thing, so one cannot have occurred without the other.

Which is why I made the chicken-egg analogy but then you said the species came first.

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In that case the species is in the human. But the human, not the species, acts, is predominant.

Brant,

There is no predominant. One cannot exist without the other. Here is the acid test:

Eliminate the human race. Will there be any individual humans left? No.

Eliminate all individual humans. Will there be a human race left? No.

Michael

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Which is why I made the chicken-egg analogy but then you said the species came first.

GS,

Where?

I mentioned that I, Michael, would not have existed without there first existing a human race. One of the characteristics of the race is that new members are born all the time. It was there before I was.

Michael

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In that case the species is in the human. But the human, not the species, acts, is predominant.

Brant,

There is no predominant. One cannot exist without the other. Here is the acid test:

Eliminate the human race. Will there be any individual humans left? No.

Eliminate all individual humans. Will there be a human race left? No.

Michael

You are still simply conflating epistemological and metaphysical realities. The former is always subordinate to the later. You naturally insist on being a bull in my china shop so I'm closing up (re this discusion). It's too painful to watch you in action.

--Brant

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In that case the species is in the human. But the human, not the species, acts, is predominant.

Brant,

There is no predominant. One cannot exist without the other. Here is the acid test:

Eliminate the human race. Will there be any individual humans left? No.

Eliminate all individual humans. Will there be a human race left? No.

Michael

You are still simply conflating epistemological and metaphysical realities. The former is always subordinate to the later. You naturally insist on being a bull in my china shop so I'm closing up (re this discusion). It's too painful to watch you in action.

--Brant

It seems to me you are both right, however unlikely that sounds. Brant is being "Humeistic" in recognizing the truth that only individual humans exist, have existed, or ever will exist as regards the human species. The species is nothing but those individuals. That's his "metaphysical" point. The fact that those same individuals may be referred to as a species is "epistemological." There are two epistemological terms, "man" and "species" for one "metaphysical" fact: all the past, present, and future individual homo sapiens.

Michael, on the other hand, is stating the glaringly simple and obvious fact that he himself is a mid-stream particular in the life of the species, and that the species thus pre-dates him, and thus existed when he, himself, didn't.

Brant thinks Michael is saying the species can exist even if no particular man does, but Michael isn't saying that. Michael thinks Brant is denying (or missing) the fact that the species existed before he, MSK, did. I'm sure Brant doesn't disagree with that.

I don't mean to be patronizing, but: You don't disagree.

--Mindy

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You are still simply conflating epistemological and metaphysical realities.

Brant,

That's an interesting opinion, but that's all it is. I am not conflating anything.

I disagree with you because I have no idea what your methodology is. (That might be the source of your pain.)

Mine is observation, concept formation and logic, not only of humans but also of metaphysics and epistemology.

Michael

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In that case the species is in the human. But the human, not the species, acts, is predominant.

Brant,

There is no predominant. One cannot exist without the other. Here is the acid test:

Eliminate the human race. Will there be any individual humans left? No.

Eliminate all individual humans. Will there be a human race left? No.

Michael

You are still simply conflating epistemological and metaphysical realities. The former is always subordinate to the later. You naturally insist on being a bull in my china shop so I'm closing up (re this discusion). It's too painful to watch you in action.

--Brant

It seems to me you are both right, however unlikely that sounds. Brant is being "Humeistic" in recognizing the truth that only individual humans exist, have existed, or ever will exist as regards the human species. The species is nothing but those individuals. That's his "metaphysical" point. The fact that those same individuals may be referred to as a species is "epistemological." There are two epistemological terms, "man" and "species" for one "metaphysical" fact: all the past, present, and future individual homo sapiens.

Michael, on the other hand, is stating the glaringly simple and obvious fact that he himself is a mid-stream particular in the life of the species, and that the species thus pre-dates him, and thus existed when he, himself, didn't.

Brant thinks Michael is saying the species can exist even if no particular man does, but Michael isn't saying that. Michael thinks Brant is denying (or missing) the fact that the species existed before he, MSK, did. I'm sure Brant doesn't disagree with that.

I don't mean to be patronizing, but: You don't disagree.

--Mindy

Well, I don't think Michael is saying the species can exist without any species' members. The metaphysical axiom that existence exists is primary even though the epistemological one is also an axiom. That is, you can remove conceptual consciousness from reality and there will still be reality, but you cannot remove reality from conceptual consciousness without removing both. I object to any traducement of this to me obvious simplicity. Maybe I'm wrong about this little proposition. If so, let's discuss it in the simplest way possible.

--Brant

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Brant,

How about this one?

Do you think the mind has stopped evolving?

Michael, I don't think anything living has stopped evolving, but some things evolve much, much faster than other things. Sharks, for instance, are comparatively unchanged over several hundred million years. The mind doesn't evolve, of course, it just is, but the (physiologic) brain does. I know there is enough room inside the skull for IQ genius, my Father was one (189) although I am not, so why not many more IQ geniuses? I couldn't understand in school why I was so much smarter than the general conglomeration of dumb asses around me. Their brains were just as big. For the things I was dumb in it simply seemed to be a matter of lack of interest. That is why I am interested in brain enhancing drugs and the like. Today I understand that most people aren't smarter than they are because they don't have to be to be ditch diggers and truck drivers and soldiers and such and those people are needed! I once was two out of those three myself. I think it's so important for goys to have Jewish mothers who insist they get their education that Jews should rent out their mothers to Christian families.

Regardless, one reason humans aren't smarter is they can't get bigger brains through the birth canal. I am not looking forward to women with wider hips so people can be smarter, so it's going to be C-sections and humans will probably lose their ability to have natural births. Then we will really learn how useless brains are for species survival, especially when we are all university professors sitting around bullshitting each other!

What I think is that humans will self-evolve by modifying their brains. If you and I were to go to sleep and wake up in a thousand years the evolved humans would probably consider us moronic curiousities.

Now, in regard to the alligator brain in which the fight or flight thing takes over from our normal, cognitive state resulting in such things as road rage: I don't see any value in evolving away from that for it is too generally valuable for survival. For somethings, of course, it is not so good. I went completely irrational last month, for instance, when a woman cut into line in front of me at the McDonalds' drive thru. In disgust I just left with smoke coming out of my ears. Driving home I asked myself, what if it had been a 250-pound football player? Would I have gotten quite so mad that way? No. I was programmed to go to war with a weaker foe, not a more powerful one. (I've never hit a woman, but once one hit me.)

I know I've really not answered your question, Michael, that I totally went off in digression-land. I'll try tomorrow.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Brant,

How about this one?

Do you think the mind has stopped evolving?

Michael, I don't think anything living has stopped evolving, but some things evolve much, much faster than other things. Sharks, for instance, are comparatively unchanged over several hundred million years. The mind doesn't evolve, of course, it just is, but the (physiologic) brain does. I know there is enough room inside the skull for IQ genius, my Father was one (189) although I am not, so why not many more IQ geniuses? I couldn't understand in school why I was so much smarter than the general conglomeration of dumb asses around me. Their brains were just as big. For the things I was dumb in it simply seemed to be a matter of lack of interest. That is why I am interested in brain enhancing drugs and the like. Today I understand that most people aren't smarter than they are because they don't have to be to be ditch diggers and truck drivers and soldiers and such and those people are needed! I once was two out of those three myself. I think it's so important for goys to have Jewish mothers who insist they get their education that Jews should rent out their mothers to Christian families.

Regardless, one reason humans aren't smarter is they can't get bigger brains through the birth canal. I am not looking forward to women with wider hips so people can be smarter, so it's going to be C-sections and humans will probably lose their ability to have natural births. Then we will really learn how useless brains are for species survival, especially when we are all university professors sitting around bullshitting each other!

What I think is that humans will self-evolve by modifying their brains. If you and I were to go to sleep and wake up in a thousand years the evolved humans would probably consider us moronic curiousities.

Now, in regard to the alligator brain in which the fight or flight thing takes over from our normal, cognitive state resulting in such things as road rage: I don't see any value in evolving away from that for it is too generally valuable for survival. For somethings, of course, it is not so good. I went completely irrational last month, for instance, when a woman cut into line in front of me at the McDonalds' drive thru. In disgust I just left with smoke coming out of my ears. Driving home I asked myself, what if it had been a 250-pound football player? Would I have gotten quite so mad that way? No. I was programmed to go to war with a weaker foe, not a more powerful one. (I've never hit a woman, but once one hit me.)

I know I've really not answered your question, Michael, that I totally went off in digression-land. I'll try tomorrow.

--Brant

How about this--the brain will evolve very little or not at all, because there is no advantage to having other than a conceptual faculty. The personal mind is an exemplar of evolution, except we call it development. Culture, especially in the form of technology, is "inherited" by all. The technological advantages that extend life are available to all, and commerce, that is, civilization, changes the facts about survival of the genetically fittest. So, we're it. This is essentially the form mankind will have forever. Would anyone be unhappy if that were true?

--Mindy

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Hey guys, if your are going to toss around the term "evolution" you had better settle on the meaning of the term. Evolution as a generic term means change or development according to the nature of the thing that is changing.

In the realm of evolutionary biology the term evolution pertains to speciation, the change in the genetic make of of interbreeding populations of living things.

In this sense, one cannot say minds evolve, since minds are not interbreeding populations. Minds may grow, minds may develop and minds may adapt to conditions but minds do NOT evolve in the sense that the term is used in evolutionary biology.

Judging from the posts I have seen, you guys have a very dim notion of what evolutionary biology is about. Reader Ernst Mayr's book -What is Evolution- and you might learn something.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Mindy,

That's quite an affirmation. I wonder where you got your knowledge from.

I personally believe use will lead to new developments, especially in processing information. We are already a remote control generation here in the USA and more affluent nations. This is impacting greatly the way young people learn (both positively and negatively). We are also seeing an unpleasant evolutionary development with an increasing number of autistic (and similar) people.

New trends are happening, some disturbing and some promising.

Michael

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We are also seeing an unpleasant evolutionary development with an increasing number of autistic (and similar) people.

To be fair, not everyone sees an increase in autism, let alone a fresh change in gene frequencies that would suggest a dire new development in the human genome.

Generally speaking, we presently don't see an increasing number of autistic people, just an increased number of diagnoses. Moreover, can it be shown that there are three things: 1) an actual proportionate increase, + 2) that the cause of the increase is due to a heritable genetic mutation, + 3) the mutation is liable to become fixed in the genome? Together, these elements would imply something fairly alarming. No one has yet demonstrated that these elements pertain to autism.

Look at other examples, this time ones that to my eyes are indeed evolutionary developments, and indeed unpleasant: AIDS/HIV, SARS, Avian flu . . .

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Eliminate the human race. Will there be any individual humans left? No.

Eliminate all individual humans. Will there be a human race left? No.

What do you mean by 'the human race'? Isn't it the set of all humans? So if we eliminate all humans there will be no more humans left? I have to wonder what your point is.

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Mindy,

That's quite an affirmation. I wonder where you got your knowledge from.

I personally believe use will lead to new developments, especially in processing information. We are already a remote control generation here in the USA and more affluent nations. This is impacting greatly the way young people learn (both positively and negatively). We are also seeing an unpleasant evolutionary development with an increasing number of autistic (and similar) people.

New trends are happening, some disturbing and some promising.

Michael

I did say, "What if..." but it is simple to note that when organisms achieve conceptual knowledge, and therefore linguistic communication, and with the advent of trade and specialization, everyone benefits from the products of the brightest, and from the collected intellectual advances of the past...

It took one man to invent anesthesia, but everyone benefits from it. That means the intellectual advantages of all are shared by all. That tends to divorce the individual from his own, inherited traits. So survival value of high IQ isn't limited to the genetic individual possessing it. It doesn't tend to correlate with number of offspring, which is necessary for evolution. That's my thinking on it. I was using "evolve" in the biological sense, I guess you aren't.

=Mindy

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..but it is simple to note that when organisms achieve conceptual knowledge, and therefore linguistic communication, and with the advent of trade and specialization, everyone benefits from the products of the brightest, and from the collected intellectual advances of the past...

Korzybski calls this 'time-binding' and uses this unique ability to differentiate man from animal, he defines man as the time-binding class of life.

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