Life as the standard


primemover

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1.) Life is a process of self sustaining generating action.

2.) To take action (volitional action) is to make a choice.

3.) A choice implies a value.

4.) Values are necessary for life.

5.) If one chooses to live values ought to support his life.

6.) Therefore - Life should be standard of his choices.

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Are plants making choices? Plants are pursuing values.

Well when humans take action it is to make a choice ( barring automatic functions such as heart beating etc).

Plants take action but they do it automatically so my deduction would not apply.

I'm just trying to solidify in my mind life as the standard. Rightly or wrongly I am trying to look at it deductively. Even though I know Rand hated deductive reasoning I think it does have it's place in conjunction with inductive reasoning.

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You would probably like reading Harry Binswanger's "Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts."

I'll give you one critique: Point 2 is wrong. Most of the actions we take are involuntary (the class of vegetative actions; Binswanger discusses the hierarchy here).

Shayne

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You would probably like reading Harry Binswanger's "Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts."

I'll give you one critique: Point 2 is wrong. Most of the actions we take are involuntary (the class of vegetative actions; Binswanger discusses the hierarchy here).

Shayne

Well yes I agree that there is voluntary and involuntarily action. I had considered that when thinking about point 2. However since we are on the topic of ethics I thought it would be assumed I was speaking about voluntary action only since ethics is about choices and values.

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Well yes I agree that there is voluntary and involuntarily action. I had considered that when thinking about point 2. However since we are on the topic of ethics I thought it would be assumed I was speaking about voluntary action only since ethics is about choices and values.

Since you're using Rand's definition I assumed you intended to address the same topic. Her definition is intended to apply to all life, not just conscious life. Again, Binswanger analyzes her definition intensely in his book.

Shayne

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Well yes I agree that there is voluntary and involuntarily action. I had considered that when thinking about point 2. However since we are on the topic of ethics I thought it would be assumed I was speaking about voluntary action only since ethics is about choices and values.

Since you're using Rand's definition I assumed you intended to address the same topic. Her definition is intended to apply to all life, not just conscious life. Again, Binswanger analyzes her definition intensely in his book.

Shayne

I'm not sure I follow you. Ethics is in regard only to rational entities that have the ability to chose between things. But I will put that book on my "to read" list", thanks.

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I'm not sure I follow you. Ethics is in regard only to rational entities that have the ability to chose between things. But I will put that book on my "to read" list", thanks.

It's true that ethics is only in regard to beings with volition. But Rand's definition of life is much broader than that, it's intended to apply to all living entities not just us.

Perhaps we could be of more help if you specified what your purpose is here. Are you trying to understand why one's life should be the standard in ethics? To prove that that's the case?

Shayne

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I'm not sure I follow you. Ethics is in regard only to rational entities that have the ability to chose between things. But I will put that book on my "to read" list", thanks.

It's true that ethics is only in regard to beings with volition. But Rand's definition of life is much broader than that, it's intended to apply to all living entities not just us.

Perhaps we could be of more help if you specified what your purpose is here. Are you trying to understand why one's life should be the standard in ethics? To prove that that's the case?

Shayne

Yes..like I said above, I am trying to solidify this in my mind. It's my own mental way of "chewing" ( as(Rand would say) ideas. I like the deductive format of reasoning because it helps me see things in a systematic way in my mind. Though I do recognise that induction is how we know of the world and how we can even have the premises we use in deduction to begin with.

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Yes..like I said above, I am trying to solidify this in my mind. It's my own mental way of "chewing" ( as(Rand would say) ideas. I like the deductive format of reasoning because it helps me see things in a systematic way in my mind. Though I do recognise that induction is how we know of the world and how we can even have the premises we use in deduction to begin with.

Your method is sound, at least at a general level (you might be leaning too hard on deduction, I couldn't say without more details). In fact it's part of the inductive process to circle back through deduction like this. To formalize is to finish.

I'll have to get back to you on any other thoughts I might have on your deduction.

Shayne

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