Search the Community
Showing results for tags 'Epistemology'.
Confirming the new status of the Ayn Rand Society of the American Philosophical Association as a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Leonard Peikoff Institute, a new blog ("Check Your Premises") has been launched, with turns by reliable junior affiliates of the Institute, such as Ben Bayer and Greg Salmieri. There is value in some of the posts, if only to clarify what the official line is today, and what the official line regarding defenses of the official line might be. So Greg Salmieri's entry and the accompanying comments http://www.checkyourpremises.org/2016/03/15/the-meaninglessness-of-arbitrary-propositions/ have proven most informative. In his Ayn Rand Companion chapter on epistemology, Salmieri hewed closely to Rand's theory of concepts. This could be defended on the grounds that the book is an Ayn Rand companion, not a Leonard Peikoff companion, so the chapter should confine itself to issues about which Rand herself published. But of course an ARIan philosopher is still required to subscribe to Peikoff's doctrine of the arbitrary assertion, to treat it as indispensable, and to be prepared to defend it. So now the obligation is being made good on. Much should be of interest to participants here. For instance, Donald J. Trump gets Salmieri's nomination as a serial generator of arbitrary assertions (which, in turn, implies that most of Mr. Trump's functioning, in any walk of life, is wholly noncognitive, and the product of "arbitrary internal monologues"). Here's another item. In a response to a comment, Salmieri writes: This reads to me like a reaffirmation of Peikovian proof, tracking relentlessly from one truth to the next. And, like Peikovian proof, it doesn't seem to allow for the method of hypothesis (even in highly restricted ways) as part of "normal cognition," because in testing a hypothesis, one generally comes up with a proposition without already having on hand all of the evidence necessary to show that is true (or false), one then looks for further evidence (sometimes, for scads of further evidence), and occasionally one has to try to figure out what the evidence might be like before going in search of it. It also doesn't seem to allow for modus tollens or reductio ab absurdum. Perhaps BaalChatzaf, Roger Bissell, or M. Guyau will have some ideas here. Of possible further interest is the fact that Salmieri is responding to Chris Cathcart. On the one hand, Cathcart gives an excellent example of a proposition some have claimed was asserted arbitrarily, but anyone else has for many years thought is true: "Rand and Branden had a romantic affair." Salmieri refuses to consider the example, complaining that it's hurtful to him and all. With the step-aside, he gets to avoid defending various things that Peter Schwartz, Leonard Peikoff, and Jim Valiant have said about that proposition. On the other hand, Cathcart refers to a certain article of mine as proof that someone "has a hobby-horse." He then proceeds to guess its contents, admitting in the process that he hasn't read the article. Salmieri could use Cathcart's statements about my article as examples of arbitrary assertions. I doubt he will. Robert Campbell PS. If Mr. Cathcart wants to read my article—I recall that he reached the second word, "Peikovian," in the title, underwent a dreadful attack of Peikovian paralysis, and could go no further, but this had to be 7 or 8 years ago—he is welcome to contact me (we academics are never hard to find) and request a copy.
Ayn Rand has the best moral philosophy ever invented. Karl Popper has the most important breakthrough in epistemology. Most Objectivists seem to think that Popper and Rand are incompatible, and Popper is an enemy of reason. They have not understood him. These lists are intended to help explain my motivation for integrating Rand and Popper, and also to help highlight many similarities they already have. Points Popperian epistemology and Objectivist epistemology have in common. In Popperian epistemology I include additions and improvements by David Deutsch and myself: - opposition to subjectivism and relativism - fallibilism - says that objective knowledge is attainable (in practice by fallible humans) - realism: says reality is objective - connected to reality: we have to observe reality, keep our ideas connected to reality - asserts there is objective truth - attention to context ("problem situation" or sometimes "problem" is the common Popperian term meaning context. E.g. a Popperian will ask "What is the problem this is addressing?" and be asking about context.) - pro-science - opposition to positivism - opposition to the language analysis school of philosophy - say that most professional philosophers are rather crap - opposition to both skeptical and authoritarian schools of epistemology - keeps our concepts "open-end[ed]" (ITOE). That means: possible to improve in the future as we learn more. - says that there are objective moral truths - does not seek a "frozen, arrested state of knowledge" (ITOE) - written clearly and understandably, unlike much philosophy - says epistemology is useful and valuable to real people; it matters to life; it's practical - you can't force an idea on someone. they can choose to accept it or not - you can't implant an idea in someone. you can't pour it in, stick it in with surgery, make them absorb it, etc. they get to think, interpret, choose. - free will - people are not born with some unchangeable nature and innate ideas. we can be self-made men. we can learn, change, improve, progress - emphasis on active use of one's mind, active learning - no inherent conflicts due to objective truth - understanding of unconscious and inexplicit ideas - if two ideas contradict, at least one is false - integration of epistemology with morality, politics, and more - rejection of authority - full rejection of idealism, solipsism - strong emphasis on clarity - rejection of limits on human minds - reject probabilistic approaches to epistemology - looks at man as rational and capable - value of critical thinking including self-criticism Strengths of Objectivist epistemology: - stolen concept - package deal - check your premises - ideas about integrating all one's knowledge and removing all contradictions - measurement omission and concept formation ideas both worthwhile, though flawed - good criticisms of many opponents of reason - good understanding of essentials vs non-essentials, e.g. for definitions - idea about automating some thinking - good explanation of what objectivity is - Judge, and be prepared to be judged Strengths of Popperian epistemology: - evolution creates knowledge - conjectures and refutations method - piecemeal, incremental method. value of every little improvement - identification of, and solution to, justificationism - addresses induction - conjectural, fallible, objective knowledge - idea that we progress from misconception to better misconception - myth of the framework - value of culture clash - emphasis on bold highly-criticizable claims, sticking your neck out to learn more - no shame in mistakes - value of criticism. criticism is a gift - understanding of rationality as being about error correction - unimportance of starting points. you can start anywhere, improve from there - criticism of definitions - criticism of foundations, bases - criticism of essentialism - criticism of manifest truth (and self-evidence, obviousness, etc) - static and dynamic memes - structural epistemology - coercion and common preferences - understanding of conflict and symmetry - applications to parenting, education, relationships - understanding of tradition - explanation of value of external criticism (if everyone has some blind spots, but some people have different blind spots then each other, then it's productive to share criticism with each other. a little like comparative advantage) - emphasis on critical method, criticism (ideas stand unless refuted) - let our ideas die in our stead Some of you are now wondering about details. I know. But it's so much! Let's do it like this: if you are interested in one of the topics, ask about it and I can elaborate. If you would preference a reference to existing material on the topic, that's fine too.
This test has been designed to assess your comprehension of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (ITOE) [Expanded Second Edition, April 1990]. Questions have been formed from the Introduction, Chapters 1-8, and the Summary. It is not intended to be an open book test. There are 100 questions – each is worth 1 point. This test can be taken by students before and after reading ITOE (as a pre and/or post-test). Only reading Ayn Rand’s fictional work will not be sufficient preparation to excel on this test. This assessment can help students of Objectivism and study-group organizers determine the ideal study materials and is not intended to evaluate one’s agreement with Objectivism. Test Score Range: 0-60: Minimal understanding (Low) – Basic study needed 61-69: Moderate understanding (Low-Mid) – Basic study needed 70-80: Good understanding (Intermediate) – Basic study review needed 81-90: Competent (High-Mid) – Proceed to more technical studies 91-100: Advanced (High) - Proceed to more technical studies In order to receive your test score, you will be asked to provide your name and email address. Your test score will be emailed to you. Your name and email address will be added to our general contact mailing list. Your name and test scores will not be published. All marketing emails sent from The Culture of Reason Center include the option to unsubscribe. Click here to be taken to the test Like this Test? Please Make a Donation to The Culture of Reason Center Constructive feedback is welcome Email: email@example.com