Objectivism as Religion


PalePower

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 68
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Dear me. Again, as with my response to Shayne in regard to the epistemology question he'd asked (Peikoff/Rand on "contextual certainty"), I signed on because earlier I'd noticed some comments to which I felt obliged to respond. In this case, those were comments anti-William James. I haven't yet read through the subsequent exchange.

So...re William James:

I wonder if any of those expressing opinions regarding his merits have read his massive two-volume Principles of Psychology. As a good friend of mine, basically an O'ist, and someone who's very informed about the history of psychology, has said: "James was a wretched philosopher but an excellent psychologist." There are respects in which the whole 20th century of psychology never improved on James. Sorry, I haven't time for explicating. But I did want to provide at least one remark pointing attention to "the total picture" re William James.

Ellen

___

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, there's a lot that has gone by in 24 hours.

First off, Shayne, the reason I said that you likely wouldn't learn James (something I still think you haven't done, and that's fine) is not because you don't have the smarts to do so, but simply because you would not choose to do so. And I'm fine with that.

As to you knowing James, that's up to you as to how you advertise yourself, but I do doubt it, because it's just not that easy, and your orientation tends to make me think otherwise. Perhaps I am wrong; you are savant in James.

But that's not really the issue. The issue I see as one held by more than myself involves you being snippish and tart during discussion. Whenever (if ever) one chooses to engage you (in the spirit of dialogue and ideas and such), you are ever so hard to like and enjoy, despite your considerable talents. You are mean when you write, and I am not. Most people here are not. I used to be. You, sir, are sour. Between that and your nearly-endless paranoia--everything anyone writes, you somehow seem to believe there is an insult couched within.

Eventually, that actually happens.

Until you get over that, I am now through with you, and I am sure that means little matter to you. Just know it, though. I have no idea on earth why you would spend cycles doing nothing but being peckish, paranoid, and mean, during your discourses. It is a painful exercise, on both ends.

So we are done now. It just isn't fruitful for either of us. I do wish you well, despite the fact that you vex me so with your tiger-style. Someday, maybe, you will value discourse so much as to execute better manners.

rde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, there's a lot that has gone by in 24 hours.

First off, Shayne, the reason I said that you likely wouldn't learn James (something I still think you haven't done, and that's fine) is not because you don't have the smarts to do so, but simply because you would not choose to do so. And I'm fine with that.

As to you knowing James, that's up to you as to how you advertise yourself, but I do doubt it, because it's just not that easy, and your orientation tends to make me think otherwise. Perhaps I am wrong; you are savant in James.

But that's not really the issue. The issue I see as one held by more than myself involves you being snippish and tart during discussion. Whenever (if ever) one chooses to engage you (in the spirit of dialogue and ideas and such), you are ever so hard to like and enjoy, despite your considerable talents. You are mean when you write, and I am not. Most people here are not. I used to be. You, sir, are sour. Between that and your nearly-endless paranoia--everything anyone writes, you somehow seem to believe there is an insult couched within.

Eventually, that actually happens.

Until you get over that, I am now through with you, and I am sure that means little matter to you. Just know it, though. I have no idea on earth why you would spend cycles doing nothing but being peckish, paranoid, and mean, during your discourses. It is a painful exercise, on both ends.

So we are done now. It just isn't fruitful for either of us. I do wish you well, despite the fact that you vex me so with your tiger-style. Someday, maybe, you will value discourse so much as to execute better manners.

rde

Rich,

When you say "endless paranoia"--you're really talking about me, aren't you--aren't you?! :ermm:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Victor...

Yes! You are the Target of Choice! Be afraid, be very afraid! <---cheesey vampire voice applied.

I'm sure you keep turning around, to see if you're still there.

rde

I'm watching you, buddy. But worse yet, you're watching yourself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a good friend of mine, basically an O'ist, and someone who's very informed about the history of psychology, has said: "James was a wretched philosopher but an excellent psychologist."

I find that entirely plausible. I have read enough of his philosophy to know I don't care to read more, but I've not read his psychology. And I still think that quote of his on religion is garbage regardless of what he may have written on anything elsewhere. Which was the topic at hand until Rich took off in this direction.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I boil Rich's statements down, I see that he still has not owned up to his illogic. Rather than take responsibility for his own errors, he's blaming me for being such a meanie. Which is just a confirmation: those weren't honest errors. If they were, then his first order of business would have been to fess up, and then to hammer on me if he still felt it was appropriate (and he'd have earned a lot of respect from me if he'd done that). It's ironic that he calls me paranoid--while he simultaneously demonstrates that reason is not high on his list of priorities.

I think this isn't the first time Rich has promised to not interact with me. It would be nice if it were true, but I don't expect it to last.

Edit: It didn't last long enough for me to hit the post button, evidently.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Make no mistake, I am done with you.

There, you should find this soothing, if anything. Have your people call my people, maybe we'll do lunch someday, Shayne.

rde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Michael: Regarding your comments in defense of Paul, I find it plausible that all of that is true. I never intended to make a sweeping claim about him as such. I only note that he swoops in on occassion to take pot shots and then refuses to engage regarding the appropriateness of his comments--he tends to like to criticize but then not want to have his criticisms criticized. That's hypocritical. That I am often the target of his swooping in, I have adopted a certain stance toward him that I think is justified. It's not set in stone.

Regarding Rich, I think he simply does not care to make any kind of rational sense--but this is just the status quo in America nowadays. I don't think he's the "devil" either and it's not like I have any contempt for him peronsally. I do have a lot of contempt for illogic, and for when people refuse to fess up. It's not personal. But I think this not caring one iota about true and false, right and wrong, gets to the heart of why the world is messed up.

You have some other good thoughts that I'll have to get back to answering later.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a good friend of mine, basically an O'ist, and someone who's very informed about the history of psychology, has said: "James was a wretched philosopher but an excellent psychologist."

I find that entirely plausible. I have read enough of his philosophy to know I don't care to read more, but I've not read his psychology. And I still think that quote of his on religion is garbage regardless of what he may have written on anything elsewhere. Which was the topic at hand until Rich took off in this direction.

I'm with you there. Anything else is really immaterial. We are discussing how Objectivism fits under that quote. Either it doesn't fit because things aren't seen or it does fit because everything fits under that definition. What was said in his psychology, which seems to be rather respected, or his less respected works around here does not apply to this quote except for maybe as an aid in interpreting it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Make no mistake, I am done with you.

There, you should find this soothing, if anything. Have your people call my people, maybe we'll do lunch someday, Shayne.

rde

"Why can't we all just get along?" Rodney King

"Why can't we just bang-a-gong?" T-Rex

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't seen a bit of prowess here as far as discussing William James' actual work; only unsubstantiated opinions.

I have not really seen one thing that shows that who is writing about him actually spent any real time with his work. Mostly, what I see is ancedotal, on a good day.

I have seen this happen with Joseph Campbells's work, too.

I read Rand, I read James. I want to see someone that read both like I, and is willing to talk about it without pulling blades.

Until then, it's really just conjecture, isn't it?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Here, allow me to reinforce my point. Let's start with a simple discussion point. Keep it simple, stupid, so to say... A basic James quote:

"The art of being wise is knowing what to overlook." --William James, Principles of Psychology

I think I got that one right. Any takers?

rde

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You say you have good will. I'd like to believe that.

Shayne,

I think you and I have finally made contact. Let's put the bullshit behind us and start again. For me to believe you have good will, I have to find a way of understanding your behaviour in a way that is consistent with a position of good will. I think I am beginning to see it. I'm beginning to glimpse Shayne's World.

I still think our primary psychological and epistemological orientations are different from one another. You are primarily analytical. I am primarily dialectical. While this might tend to give us different "talents," these orientations are not mutually exclusive. Just as I can shift my orientation to an analytical focus, I'm sure you can shift yours to a more dialectical one when you judge it to be required. Some of our difficulties stem from our polarizing on these orientations.

I have chosen not to spend much time on OL in analytical mode. My purposes on OL are more creative than analytical. I build dynamic models of existence in my imagination based on the information before me and apply these models as a lens for interpreting my observations. While this approach is not that of logic, it is not "illogical." I call it causal reasoning because the dynamics of my models are guided by principles of identity and causality that I have constructed. I see three basic modes of reasoning: logical, mathematical, and causal. So I would say I have been using principles and reason. Just not the type you are accustomed to.

I want to respond to your recent posts to me in detail. I'm going to try to clean off the rust from my analytical apparatus and give you the kind of response that fits your analytical orientation better. I am becoming very concerned about occupying space and attention in a thread that was started for another purpose, so I will start a new thread when I post my response.

Thanks,

Paul

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think you and I have finally made contact. Let's put the bullshit behind us and start again. For me to believe you have good will, I have to find a way of understanding your behaviour in a way that is consistent with a position of good will. I think I am beginning to see it. I'm beginning to glimpse Shayne's World.

Thanks Paul. A new thread sounds good. I definitely appreciate your "bent"--I'm a methodologist too. Epistemology is my favorite subject. I do disagree with your characterization of me as "analytical" as opposed to creative though. I don't think there's a dichotomy here. I'm an engineer, I have to be both. But we can take that up in your other thread. I look forward to discussing methodology.

Shayne

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.