February 1, 2004 -- Some 30 to 40 thousand years ago, human beings began making images in caves like Chauvet-Pont-d'Arc in southern France and in other widely scattered areas of the world. The earliest confirmed musical instrument dates from this period as well, as does a recently found stone sculpture.
Question: What is the significant difference between "a priori concepts" in Kant's terminology and "axiomatic concepts" in the vocabulary of Ayn Rand? In other words, when Kantians say "independent of experience," do they mean that the concept is not derived from experience, or merely that no experience can prove it otherwise (that it's objective)?
September 19, 2012 -- We're very pleased to announce that David Kelley's classic treatise on epistemology, The Evidence of the Senses: A Realist Theory of Perception, is now available on Scribd.com, the world's largest online library.
Question: Relevant Objectivist terms and definitions, as I understand them, are:
EXISTENT: something that exists (and has a physical basis)
UNIT: an existent regarded as a separate member of a group of two or more similar members
CONCEPT: a mental integration of two or more units which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) and united by a specific definition
In this lecture, which was given at the International Society for Individual Liberty's 1991 conference, David Kelley talks about Ayn Rand's contribution to the free-market individualist movement. He says that as Aristotle defined metaphysical individualism, the Austrian economists defined methodological individualism, and John Locke and other Enlightenment philosophers defined political individualism, Ayn Rand defined ethical individualism and cognitive individualism through her philosophy, Objectivism.
Question: In class we are discussing skepticism, and we are trying to make the distinction between the dream state and awake.
I have made the case in class as follows: first "I think therefore I am": the mere fact that we are thinking of these issues implies that we have consciousness. If we have consciousness, then there must be existence in which our consciousness presides. Ergo, existence precedes consciousness.