Guyau

Let Your Mouse Do the Walking

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For some years now I have accessed by the internet the catalogues of libraries in my community to see if those libraries had a particular book or journal article I needed to read. I just noticed today that for books there is now a way to turn the search around: Instead of going to the catalogues of libraries in a widening circle of proximity from your home, you can enter the name of the book and learn what are the libraries closest to you that have that book.

Go to Google Books and search for the book Fooled by Randomness. In the left margin is a link ‘Find in a library’. Click on that. A page for that book will appear at the site WorldCat. Scroll down. They list for you some libraries with the book in your community or nearest your community.

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Go to Google Books and search for the book Fooled by Randomness. In the left margin is a link ‘Find in a library’. Click on that. A page for that book will appear at the site WorldCat. Scroll down. They list for you some libraries with the book in your community or nearest your community.

Thanks for posting this, Stephen, but you skipped a step per my experience. The search yields a list of hits. The last line of each hit includes 'About this book'. Click on that to get the page that has ‘Find in a library’ in the left margin.

I also found the list of libraries to be incomplete. A community college near me with a large library has Fooled by Randomness, but this college was not in the list. Also, a large university library near me has Fooled by Randomness, but this university was not in the list.

Edited by Merlin Jetton

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Stephen and Merlin:

Thank you so much.

Great little tool to use.

My political rule is electrons move faster than feet!

Adam

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Fallacy Files is a handy and reliable source for learning the logical fallacies and for confirming which fallacies are in play in an argument one is analyzing.

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Fallacy Files is a handy and reliable source for learning the logical fallacies and for confirming which fallacies are in play in an argument one is analyzing.

Is it Christmas already?

Stephen: Thank you very much. This is a great teaching tool for me to use with folks I instruct.

Adam

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.

Ayn Rand Scholar

Collecting Scholarly Work on Ayn Rand

Sascha Settegast and Ole Martin Moen are the makers of this site.

Edited by Stephen Boydstun

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Fallacy Files is a handy and reliable source for learning the logical fallacies and for confirming which fallacies are in play in an argument one is analyzing.

Some* have trouble with the circumstantial ad hominem fallacy.

One form of the circumstantial ad hominem* is to argue against a claim made by person A by attacking A’s circumstances. If a religionist claims there is a possibility he will not end at his death, it is irrelevant to the truth or falsehood of the position to argue “Of course you would think that, you belong to that wishy-washy Christian denomination down the street.” Similarly, if Socrates claims that the unexamined life is not worth living, it is irrelevant to the truth of the proposition whether he himself led an unexamined life. To argue “Well, Socrates, your life must have been not worth living because you did not examine it” does nothing to show false the claim that the unexamined life is not worth living.

Then too, pointing out that the circumstantial ad hominem fallacy is being employed against a claim does nothing to show the claim is true. Recently I’ve been accused of defending a certain position* taken by Leonard Peikoff (which does not in fact coincide with my own position*) simply because I pointed out that this fallacy was being employed against that position. Such an accusation is also illogical.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS

My interlocutor included within his fallacy the truth that Leonard Peikoff has misunderstood Godel’s Incompleteness results. Such is, for example, Peikoff’s mistaken representation of them in The Ominous Parallels.* On limitative theorems of deduction, see Objectivity V1N2 19–21, V1N5 80–81, 82–83, 91, 100, V2N3 81, V2N4 107–8. Also – a, b.

Another clear error in that book of Peikoff’s was his intellectual alignment of Herder* with Kant. Dr. Peikoff is an intelligent scholar, there is much true and important in that book, and I look forward to his book this fall The DIM Hypothesis, which will enter into a study of mine here. That thread waits in part on my completion of the sub-thread “Contra Intuition and Self-Evidence” within the thread on Peirce, the history up to his time and on up to WWI. That in turn waits on completion of the Attribute portion of the thread “Randian Axioms and Postulates in Metaphysics,” which has raked up issues on the synthetic-analytic distinction, which I will address shortly in the thread “Philosophy of Logic.”

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For some reason I have neglected to list the resource Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy in this thread. Perhaps that omission was because use of that resource was evident already by posters at OL. At any rate, I set the link here for convenience and supplement it with the resource Oxford Bibliographies – Philosophy (scroll down to Articles and Contributors).

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When Mr. Boydstun has actually read my article in the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies (PDF readily available), then he may charge me with committing a circumstantial ad hominem fallacy, or any other kind of fallacy, regarding Leonard Peikoff and the doctrine of the arbitrary assertion.

Since I reject the doctrine under discussion, I will not charge Mr. Boydstun with making an arbitrary assertion.

But I do think that he is being grossly irresponsible, intellectually.

Robert Campbell

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I have been a subscriber to The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies from its inception. I received V10N1 (Fall 2008) fine, which contained Prof. Campbell’s paper. At OL we had discussed some of Campbell’s research on the topic a year before that (a, b, . . .).

Recently, I mentioned:


. . .


Robert,

. . .


It has always seemed natural to me to suppose that Rand learned things from these principals and vice versa. I have not studied Peikoff’s ideas on the arbitrary thoroughly, seen if they are irremediably contradictory or can be pieced together charitably into a consistent whole or are just fine when some error is removed. I have also not thoroughly studied your paper (long paper!) on this and made a comparison with Peikoff’s ideas on the arbitrary assertion in the context of what I know about Rand’s metaphysics and epistemology. I don’t recall just now if you offered a positive theory of your own about the arbitrary, meaningfulness, and assessibility for truth, but if you did, I have yet to absorb and evaluate it.



It would not surprise me if Rand to the end of her life had incomplete and inconsistent views on this issue(s) or on others. Likewise with Peikoff to this day. I’m pretty sure I will be in the same boat on some issue or other at the end of my life. Meanwhile, I have offered my own theory concerning the false, the invalid, and the meaningless (A, B), closely contoured to Rand’s theoretical philosophy as expressed in her writings, in Branden’s Basic, and in Peikoff’s writings. I’m working with a good team, and team of minds they will be by their writings, whether they like it or not, beyond the ends of their lives.



My work in those two peices overlaps some of what you have studied in Objectivism and written up in your essay. I have not studied your essay with a view to see if some of your criticisms of Peikoff also pertain to the course I have taken in these papers. . . .

I don’t think I read Campbell’s paper immediately upon its issue in JARS. It was as I recall within only a few months prior my essay linked in A above, at the end of which I linked the reader to the Campbell essay online for a perspective different than mine. (I referenced also another paper by Campbell [2009 paper on Piaget, not on Rand and her associates] in the measurement-addendum to essay A.)

After Campbell’s #44 at 12:06 p.m. on 22 May, I thought, yes those are two good questions, and I thought I would be delighted to dig into them in his paper, in Objectivist publications, and in the logical positivist forerunner debates. That could work out pretty neatly for my schedule in about three months, I thought, as after completing the Leibniz parts on leaves not being all red and green at the same time (in the Attribute section of “Randian Axioms and Postulates in Metaphysics”), I’ll be jumping directly to what Wittgenstein thought on the issue, then the positivists and analysts who tackled it, right up to the eve of Atlas. With those fellows fresh in mind, I might well be able to return to Campbell’s two questions in an efficient and effective way. Or so I thought. But less than three hours later, Campbell had issued his #46. That was his craft of the circumstantial ad hominem I was plainly referring to in #48 (I quoted #46 and only #46 in my #48). It would not have occurred to me or anyone else who has followed Chris’ journal that such an argument had also been made in Campbell’s paper in JARS. Moreover, as one who had once read Campbell's paper,* I’d have noticed such a vulgarity;* there was no such thing there, and I never said, implied, nor insinuated that there was.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS

* By a vulgarity I mean the circumstantial ad hominem in #46, which would not be in a scholarly paper.

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Mr. Boydstun is just confirming that he has not read my article.

See the thread on the Peikovian Doctrine of the Arbitrary Assertion for the passages in the article that present what Mr. Boydstun persists in slamming as a "circumstantial ad hominem" and a "vulgarity."

Robert Campbell

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The Professor’s speculations about what I have or have not done with respect to reading his paper and about what I do or do not think, his fanciful speculations here, there, etc., are incorrect and very uncharitable.

Compare:

. . .

. . . Nathaniel first met Rand in March 1950.



The two couples became well-acquainted and super-important friends. Nathaniel and Barbara married in January 1953. Shortly after changing his last name to Branden (which did not come from Ben Rand), in the fall of 1954, Nathan and Ayn slipped into falling in love, evidently simultaneously, step in step. That is his perception and recollection (pp. 119–43). He led the dance, the two resisted the steps, but stepped till the words were spoken.



That is my paraphrase of what Branden had reported in My Years with Ayn Rand. But Branden's recollection of what had transpired was not good enough for the speculator:

He has gallantly asserted that it was he who initiated the affair.



Gallantly, but I suspect inaccurately.



Robert Campbell


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PS

Regarding #16 below:

There goes the Professor again, unable to imagine a pretty obvious third possibility that would be somewhat charitable. Now in #16 he even directs his latest poor little inferior, Stephen Boydstun, to shut up. Earlier in the day, the Professor had stressed repeatedly that I am not "a serious philosopher." This he did by repeated modus tollens set up for the conclusion "Mr. Boydstun is not a serious philosopher" to be inferred validly (but with one or the other of the premises false, though asserted true) in each setup. This was in #50 of the pertinent thread in Robert Campbell's Corner. ("Not a serious philosopher" has now been edited out of the setup premises, to the Professor's credit.) What sort of nasty psychological assessment of me does he now spread around in private? as he spread about to me concerning another internet personality years past. I seem to recall some years ago the Professor telling me he was a Unitarian, or perhaps it was only that he believed in God/goodness along those lines. The good news is that the Unitarians I have known personally are really good-hearted folks who do not share the malevolence chronic with the professor.

Yes reader, this PS is an abusive ad hominem, though entirely true where not speculative, in reply to the abusive ad hominem that is #16 (and is false).

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Nathaniel Branden's affair with Ayn Rand was the kind that the older woman tends to be in control of. And the kind that neither the younger man nor the older woman would necessarily want others to think she was in control of. (This is not just my thought about the matter, and it is certainly not original with me.)

Mr. Boydstun either

(1) Did not read my article, in which case he has simply been lying.

(2) Did read my article, did not consider what I was saying about Peikoff and Gödel to be a "circumstantial ad hominem" when he read it, and subsequently changed his mind, for reasons that he might wish to explain. (Particularly since Mr. Boydstun has so recently sworn that he would have been mortally offended, had Chris Sciabarra consented to the publication of such a "circumstantial ad hominem.")

When in a deep hole, as Mr. Boydstun now conspicuously is, the first step toward extrication is to stop digging.

Robert Campbell

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Due, deep respect to our two Cornerers, but as my comment prompted an implication by SB, I would like to expand on it a bit.

Memoirs are selective, and usually balance veritas and considerations of justice and respect due to remembered associates.

In re Rand/Brandens love affair, no doubt exists of mutual love. But male mate selection tells a story. NBs first two wives were very beautiful, mid-twenties (I dont know about later one(s?).

If your idol, mentor and de facto employer, wants you sexually, imo you would respond, but probably not make initial advances yourself.

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Good points.

As for wives 3 and 4:

Estelle Devers and Leigh Horton were both very beautiful, early to mid 40s.

Robert Campbell

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Good points.

As for wives 3 and 4:

Estelle Devers and Leigh Horton were both very beautiful, early to mid 40s.

Robert Campbell

Good points.

As for wives 3 and 4:

Estelle Devers and Leigh Horton were both very beautiful, early to mid 40s.

Robert Campbell

I think Leigh was born in 1961. I have yet to meet her. I hope to get to LA this summer and have lunch with all the Brandens. I first saw Estelle--better known as Devers--in 1977 in the Roosevelt Hotel shortly after Patrecia died when Nathaniel was giving a lecture. Later that year, when I knew who she was, I saw her again in NYC and found out she was 44, I was totally in shock in that she looked 15 years younger. She had been writing a letter that went out to Nathaniel's mailing list as she had been his employee. Incredibly smart, she totally mastered his sentence completion technique in the 2-3 subsequent years. It was interesting to see how she complimented Nathaniel using this as each had a different perspective, his more masculine, naturally. In a NYC Intensive he did some work with one of the clients then she continued seemingly more effectively, but if she had been first I'm sure he would have seemed a little more effective. I know who that particular client was, but can't pass that along in respect for her privacy.

I cannot evaluate Devers as a psychotherapist as I've never worked with her and am not one myself. In regard to NB, I take some exception to his general approach in those years, which only means if I were in the business I'd do some things differently especially respecting augmenting self esteem. He had so many people he worked with in the 70s and 80s he couldn't have expanded his time with any of them which means all of them. I'm not talking here about his Intensives, which were only psychotherapy lite, when he would stop and help out somebody. In those years he did individual therapy in a group context. I think two or three groups, each meeting weekly or perhaps semi-weekly, of maybe up to 20. My NYC group was formed in the fall of 1976 and ran for 15-16 months monthly for an entire weekend in a NYC mid-town hotel and had 24-25 clients. I joined in January and stayed a year until it was shut down and NB started his Intensives. The very first was in Washington, DC, in February 1977, which I attended, and went for 3 1/2 days--if I remember right--later shortened by a day. That was a trial Intensive and had maybe 64 people there. I joked with NB that he was opening out of town. Officially the first was in LA in March, then, the tragedy of his wife drowning. He kept working, but it was a year of hell and agony for him to get through. It took that whole year before he could give Devers the time and space each needed with each other. (Note, this was all info NB made public at the time.)

I know NB had worked with about 3500 clients by the mid-1970s. This by his own statement back then which I can't reference any more. I extrapolated from that quite a while ago that he probably worked overall with in excess of 10,000 plus his Intensives over those years he had worked with his groups.

--Brant

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He has gallantly asserted that it was he who initiated the affair.



Gallantly, but I suspect inaccurately.



Robert Campbell


I thought the way it worked was they shared a particular car ride with AR and NB sitting together and BB and FO sitting together. BB perceived that AR and NB had transitioned from Agape to Eros, and confronted NB about it next time they were alone. NB was seemingly oblivious, but now the idea was certainly planted in his head. Next time he met AR one on one, she brought it up, and the rest is history. BB wrote that she long speculated that if she hadn’t confronted NB things may have turned out differently. Perhaps he’d have been just as oblivious when AR brought it up, and no business would have resulted beyond maybe an uncomfortable moment or two in private. I haven’t gone back to reread the material in PAR or JD, I’m just doing this from memory. From this it doesn’t sound like NB took the lead from the outset, though he must have played his part in the dance once these initial steps were taken.

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My NYC group was formed in the fall of 1975, not 76. 16 months of life. The first four in 75, the next 11 in 76--March was skipped as NB had a scheduling conflict--and the last meeting in January 1977. I did all my group work in my first 8 months then sat on my ass for the last 4. Barbara Branden, who was living in NYC for a year or so, came by for one weekend to see what was going on (Sept. 1976). It's okay to say that because she wasn't doing anything nor was his client. Patrecia's sister Leisha came by the previous January, same sort of thing. I understand Patrecia was at the first session in September but I never saw her there or anywhere ever personally. My loss. There was a local therapist-psychologist who came by maybe a few times. I regret not remembering his name. We got along well in a chit-chat sort of way. He said I reminded him of one of his college profs. He was a complete work-a-holic. (I think he was Leon ______________?)

In a strange way NB was someone you had to stand up to. Some of us did for legitimate reasons and some for made up reasons. Standing up for standing up or somehow defying. He wasn't testing us, we were testing him. He was a rock for reference for he always told* us his honest reaction to some relevant something. That was his basic value as a therapist. His most important tool was sentence-completion. I cannot evaluate his overall effectiveness as a therapist back then**--only in respect to myself. He was collecting no data. I have almost all my work on tape which I intend to transcribe and annotate and donate the whole to some university library to be sealed for several decades save, maybe, for a scholar or two with my permission and contractual understanding of use. I do know I was pretty much his ideal client. As he said after our first work, "You had an awfully good beginning." I remember one thing I did when I was upset with another client talking about someone and cancer and I told NB I was upset and he said do you want to work on it and I said I was afraid I'd attack her and he said he was sure I wouldn't and I immediately grasped the necessary context and said "Okay, okay," took a deep breath and started talking like this: "I'm in a hospital room. My step-Mother is dying of cancer. There are tubes from IVs running into her . . . ". That's about what I remember except this went on for two to three or more minutes and is the only work I did I didn't record. When I was done I felt strong and centered with my hands on my knees, but there was a tremendous sense of what I thought was electricity pouring out of my body through my hands. I told NB about it and he asked me if it were pleasurable. I said yes. He did not create an exercise for me or guide me or interject anything. After he told me he wasn't concerned with me attacking the woman he said and did nothing but observe until the end. I guess it was a form of self-hypnosis. It was an instant altered state of consciousness.

--Brant

*verbal and non-verbal

**that he had spectacular results with sentence completion or other techniques doesn't mean there was long-term benefit to the client--or that the client had to actually work in group, some didn't seem to--to be benefited--for as he said at the time what you are now experiencing isn't psychological change: someday, sooner or later, you will realize that there has been psychological change and you'll be able to ID just what then, but not now; it hasn't happened yet

--something else he noted: his clients were psychological geniuses to their own psychology and he was always waiting to be relieved of his own ignorance--he never volunteered what he thought your psychology was and only reluctantly came with some such if asked--the reason is telling people things is not the same as psychotherapy which is use of altered states of consciousness and is not what some psychologists probably do when life-coaching (see Joel Wade)

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Fine biographical articles on medieval authors are at Bartholomew. This is part of the Medieval Thought Project of Stanford University. Click also on the Gazateer and zoom in.

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California Digital Library

Newton’s Principia

Ellen-

Good luck with the Principia. Hopefully they have translated the mathematics into a readable, modern form as well. I've never read it, but I've heard that mathematically it is trying for even physicists. Not that it is inherently difficult, but I don't think the equations are couched in modern forms.

Jody,

The Principia is splendid. If there were a Son of God, it would be Isaac Newton. Principia is thoroughly accessible if one has had highschool geometry and if one has the following guide to Newton's masterpiece:

The Key to Newton's Dynamics

J. Bruce Brackenridge

1995, University of California Press

Stephen

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