A Refutation of Primitivism

Posted by rbroberg 3 years, 7 months ago to Philosophy
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Anarcho-Primitivism is anti-Objectivist to the fullest extent and anti-life to the extent that human beings are rational. The quandary is that if irrationality is making a comeback, even compounding upon itself as irrationality for the sake of irrationality, then who is to stop this from occurring? Which is to ask: To what extent is my selfishness bound up in lifting up people's minds for their betterment and therefore my own? Let me address these one by one.

Anarcho-Primitivism is the philosophic identification with pre-historic social systems. Hunter gatherer societies are the preference in this school of thought. But it was not a "primitive" man who expressed anarcho-primitivism and devised its tenets. He was instead a literate man. The view that the alteration of the natural world is negative stems from a kind of combination of Parmenides' belief that change is impossible and of Heraclitus' belief that opposites have a common base. The latter can be seen in both Marx and Nietzsche. The importation of these pre-Socratic views is a vivid illustration of how the intellectual world has willingly contributed to and sought out its own demise.

Objectivism teaches that the pinnacle of ancient thought was Aristotle and it is true that his philosophical achievements established the foundation for Rand's successive philosophic system. The enshrinement of reason is no mistake, it is absolutely necessary to expose the various Platonic and pre-Socratic mistakes attributable to modern philosophers. "To expose" and not to assuage because to assuage or placate is to compromise on principles in this context. The task of the intellectual confronted with the specter of these errors, which in this era should rightly be ascribed to their doers as deliberate, is indeed to expose and remove (cut out) irrationality from the appearance of rationality, i.e. to sever the rotten roots rationalism (i.e. rational idealism).

Regarding the last question, the motivation and goal-directed action determine the specific goals of a rational person. With the realization that Objective thought leads to philosophical, intellectual, and scientific growth, our selfish interest out to be a better world. The argument against this is "I cannot benefit beyond my lifespan". He who has perished cannot experience the wonders and miracles of future enlightenment, so to speak. Yet this view of selfishness is completely solipsistic. Do not make the mistake of Bernie Madoff. The view that immediate material reward for work is the proper definition of selfishness is NOT ACCURATE. Howard Roark worked years to perfect his craft and eventually destroyed it in order to claim it. He worked for the sake of his craft and his love of it in the same way that John Galt thought for the sake of life and his love of it. The bridge on the John Galt Line would have lasted well into the next century.

The argument against selfishness is that impermanence reduces life to meaningless robotics of reproduction of death. Since all men are mortal, then selfishness demands there is no reason to care for the world beyond one's own existence. Therefore, altruism - living for the sake of others - is the only recourse because some invisible chain linking the lives of those who sacrificed themselves to others lives on in our place. This is the god of the altruists. Yet it is clear that if each person sacrifices himself to the next, then each of the members of the human race has done so in a circle of self-sacrifice benefitting no entity but the invisible chain or god or whatever else. But this impersonal god then lives on the human sacrifice, which must be a mistake since God is supposed to be merciful and just. It is impossible to conceive of a merciful and just God that also requires every man to sacrifice himself to the interest of others while denying himself the benefit of receiving the good, even from himself!

Im summation, rationalism required supernaturalism in order to maintain the premise that consciousness precedes existence. Modernism required collectivism in order to maintain the premise that altruism trumps selfishness. Thus altruism and primacy of consciousness are corollaries. Both require the defaulting on or stealing of the concept of objective reality. This is ample argument to disprove Marx and therefore also Heraclitus. Parmenides and Heraclitus has opposite views on change and yet each of these views are smuggled into Anarcho-Primitivism. In this way, Anarcho-Primitivism, like most forms of mysticism, is without a coherent, reducible, hierarchical systematization of concepts and must therefore lead to contradictory results. Contradictions cannot exist and reality does exist, therefore, contradictory results are false. It is not a contradiction to work for a better world after we die, so long as it is in one's own rational interest.


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  • Posted by $ AJAshinoff 3 years, 7 months ago
    I'd by lying if I didn't admit that I had to look a few things up. Thank you.

    Interesting read.

    The only rational interest, at least as far as I'm concerned, to achieve anything lasting beyond my lifetime is the lives of my offspring and their continued well being.

    I take great pleasure from my writings and my game production but I'm sure not getting rich off my novels. In time perhaps my writings will amount to something more than a a few dinners out every month but for now I'm content for the personal satisfaction and a good slice or bottle of wine. :)
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    • Posted by tkstone 3 years, 7 months ago
      Rational interest extended to our progeny is to me one of the strongest arguments in favor of selfishness. Sometimes I am sure some of my comments questioning technology and science are perceived as being antiscience, but in actuality it is my cautious nature wanting to be sure there are limited unintended consequences. The older I get the more resistant to change because I have witnessed unintended consequences that created too many "oops". Youthful exuberance and brave adventurers have their place and I appreciate them greatly, but I still maintain that sage wisdom has its place in the arena of thought as well.
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  • Posted by Zenphamy 3 years, 7 months ago
    Well written. The rational interest you reference in your last sentence is in my mind, the love of one man's profession or work and his individual striving and rightful pride in achievement and excellence determined from his own view and done for his own satisfaction and betterment of his own life. My thinking has that definition illustrating the heroic man of Rand's writing,
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
    We got a little sidetracked there with the Greeks... I just wanted to thank you again for launching this discussion. Postmodernists specifically and consciously attack modernism. They are clear about their opposition to "the project of the Enlightenment" as well as neo-liberalism, globalism, and free trade. To them - correctly; they are not idiots, just evil - those are consequences of objectivism as rational-empiricism and the scientific method. The scientific method is perhaps the clearest expression of that "project of the Enlightenment" and postmodernists attempt to debunk science as a "scientistic way to exclude women and minorities."
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  • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
    This is the best example of incoherent writing I have seen in a long time. What on earth is "Rand's successive philosophic system." Successive of what? What language did hunter gatherers speak? The "presocratics" did not rely on supernaturalism they in fact accepted the real world and tried to explain it. I suggest that you take the excellent free course on philosophy offered by the Ayn Rand Institute and read Dr. Peikoff's book on effective communication. Youthful enthusiasm in the face of evil is no substitute for sound scholarship.
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    • Posted by 3 years, 7 months ago
      Let me address the objections one by one.
      Successive of Aristotle.
      I do not understand how answering the question "what language did hunter gatherers speak" is relevant.
      The pre-Socratics did on occasion struggle with mystical supernaturalism pervading their views. Pythagoreanism incorporated ascetic ideals, emphasizing purgation and metempsychosis. I supposed philosopher cat, in her professionalism, does not except Wikipedia as a source of "scholarship"?
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      • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
        Primates which were hunter/gatherers before H. sapiens did not speak at all or have "concepts" therefore they din not have a language.H. sapiens did not have language until shortly before they began farming and domestication of animals between 10,000 and 35,000 years ago.
        I am still having trouble with your sentences, what does "does not except Wikipedia" mean?
        For scholarship after you have found it on Wikipedia try the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. You will be advancing into the world of scholarship when you go to the references at the end of both and actually see where the facts and debates are in time and structure. Try writing and submitting a paper to a journal for some feedback.
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  • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 7 months ago
    Clear and easily understood exposition.
    I would be interested in the actual practice of Objectivism in its relation to meeting a person of unknown philosophy. Since Objectivism has ruled much of my life over many years, I find myself interested in others of the same philosophy, particularly how they act upon meeting strangers, and how they act upon meeting notables.
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    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
      That's interesting... "how they act upon meeting notables." ... Self-esteem is the foundation of social grace. And I mean "grace" in the root sense of "thanks" not just flowing well while you walk.

      In the Valley, when asked what she would say to all those prior heroes were she to meet them in some afterlife paradise, Dagny said, "Thanks." What else can you say? And that is what I say when I meet a notable. Here (and elsewhere in O-land), even when I disagree, I start off by thanking other people for their work.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 3 years, 7 months ago
        I am mostly interested in first impressions. I have encountered certain persons, not particularly Objectivists who, because they know something, that they know the person they encounter does not, their attitude toward them is as a superior to an inferior.
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  • Posted by wiggys 3 years, 7 months ago
    Rationalism required SUPERNATURALISM ; what the hell does that mean?
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    • Posted by 3 years, 7 months ago
      Rationalism is not rationality. Rationalism "deduc[es] [knowledge] exclusively from concepts, which come from inside [...] and are not derived from the perception of physical facts". Now that we understand what rationalism is, I hope it is clearer how religious supernaturalism favors rationalism.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 7 months ago
    My view of why we should care about value we create after we are gone has been that some people just want to do it. This article makes me question if my view is simplistic, with me just shrugging off the question saying de gustibus.

    As far as things that last beyond our life like the Galt Line bridge, the stream of financial benefits could be amortized into a present value and sold into one big payment for the people who invested in the project. In the case of Roark's building, he didn't want money or fame from it. He just liked the building, had it been built according to his plans. I thought he liked it for himself and didn't care what happened to it after he died. I may be wrong about that.

    Similar to amortizing future benefits into our lifetime, if we do something that incurs cost on people in the future, the people incurring them need to pay those amortized costs. Being dead when the effects of the theft are realized or not being able to quantify the costs with absolute certitude does not make the theft moral.
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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
    Thanks for the interesting essay. While it is easy to agree with the intention and premise, much of it is not what I would write on the subject.

    For me, the primary books on ancient Greek philosophy are the Loeb Classic Library dual language editions. In the original Greek, Aristotle's statement of Non-Contradiction is somewhat "blockier" or "chunkier" than we render it today. Our powerful English language is 2500 years more advanced than classical Greek.

    For whatever the ancient philosophers claimed, I look to Diogenes Laertius's Lives. For the pre-Socratics, Hermann Diels's Fragmente der Vorsokratiker was updated and translated into English by Kathleen Freeman. Realize that all we have is fragments. Much ancient writing was lost. To gauge how extensive the Christian revolution was, the emperor Claudius wrote a history of the Etruscan people and apparently knew their language. The language and his multi-volume history are both lost to us. If a book written by the first citizen of Rome did not survive, imagine how much more was lost. Most of what we know about Parmenides, Heraclitus, Thales, et al., is second- or third-hand.

    That said, I found basic truths in much of what remains. Parmenides said that the universe had no creator because something cannot come from nothing. Yes, there are many errors, but we do not condemn Benjamin Franklin for writing about electrical "fluid." It was the model that worked for them at that time. So, too, with the ancient Greeks. As much as we admire Aristotle - mostly because of Ayn Rand - realize that we know only reconstructions of his works. When the successors of Alexander fought over his empire, the Macedonian ruling family seized the books (scrolls) of Aristotle, and buried them for safe-keeping. When they were uncovered, they had been eaten by worms. The texts were riddled, and had to be reconstructed. That is why even the best translations we have such as the set by McKeon that Ayn Rand preferred have all those footnotes about possible alternatives.

    Thanks, also, for taking to task our collective worship of the hunter-gatherer. Many Rand Fans believe that we should return to that condition, if only in some modern way, hunting with machine-made guns and wearing machine-made clothing while stalking deer. The City (civilization) is different from that. (And it is not agriculture, either. Agriculture was invented in the city, not the other way around. See The Economy of Cities by Jane Jacobs.)
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    • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 7 months ago
      I speak Greek and via my wife (a linguist), I would argue that the English language is not an advancement upon Greek at all. To be a good language it should have clear diction (consistency of pronunciation), clear grammar, and rules with a minimum of exceptions. English fails in all three of these regards. English has duplication of sounds, grammar rules that confuse any ESL student, and more exceptions than rules. I would also argue that the proliferation of synonyms, while it is great for poetry, is terrible for legal statutes. In my wife's words, "English is probably the most bastardized language in the world."

      To the contrary, Greek adheres to these basic fundamentals very well. There are words which are similar, but each different word has a distinct connotation: epimainw vs perimainw for example (really wish I could figure out how to get the actual Greek characters in here). The diction is distinct with a minimum of duplication (note: Modern Greek has mushed many of the vowel sounds together into "e" where in the ancient they were distinct) and the grammar rules have a minimum of exceptions - mostly caused by modern slurring.

      Just because something is newer doesn't automatically make it better. (I tell this to my CIO all the freaking time when he asks about updates.) In language, age typically dumbs down a language - not enhances it. For a classic example, simply read several of the Federalist Papers. You don't see correspondence like that today because much of the richness in vocabulary in the English language has been abandoned by simply not being taught.
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      • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
        I recently read Aristotle's "De Anima" and was struck by the contemporary translation of the title as "on the soul" which is the Christian sense of what is it that gives life. Aristotle meant it as "What is that property that gives life to animate things?" "What is that difference between the moment of life and death that makes the difference." He then gives a brilliant observation based description of what he calls "the nutritive naturel of life" that corresponds to what we know of life from contemporary biothermodynamics. Also read Christian Meier's book "Athens" on the struggle to find words when there were none to explain the new ideas of what is a "Polis". and how to govern one. Go Greeks. Also Eric Havelock's "A Preface to Plato" on the Greek struggle to switch from an oral tradition to a written tradition.
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        • Posted by 3 years, 7 months ago
          I assume that Aristotle and Pythagoras ultimately had different concepts of the soul. The latter's apparent belief in metempsychosis appears to suggest a supernatural view.
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          • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
            True. Pythagoras was a mystic who believed that the soul was part of a non-material universe of numbers and the soul was tuned. Our discussion is about Aristotle's search for what is it that gives life to the body which he called psuche and is translated as soul by Christian tradition. Socrates believed in the soul as eternal and when he died he as his soul would go on. Aristotle was empirical and found no evidence for a mystical soul but lots of evidence for something that animates the body giving it motion. We know that cause today as the laws of thermodynamics which rely on thermal differentials to spontaneously cause motion. No mystics allowed in the real world.
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        • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
          De Anima is the Latin title, of course. I know that you know that. I just point out that we have lot of space and time between us and the Greeks.

          See my comments below to you and blarman.
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        • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 7 months ago
          In my study of the Greek language (and my having lived there for two years), the Greeks actually have several words of application. One is psyche - also the root of psychology, etc. It has a distinct spiritual connotation indicating the body as a mere covering for animation by an inner power. The study of psychology - at least according to the Greek roots - is very much a philosophical study as much as modern science labels it a clinical one.

          I would also note that this word psyche predates the Greeks conversion to the Christianity offered by Constantine; it was not a religiously-inspired word. The real question (as you note from De Anima) pondered by Greeks including Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle (in that order chronologically) was how to explain the difference between a "living" person and a "dead" one.

          Polis is similarly an interesting word in Greek because the connotation there is more than just a group of people conducting business, but about a way of life - a philosophy as it were. To truly be a citizen of a city one had to embrace the philosophy and political nature of that city. Americans have a very difficult time understanding that to most other cultures, religion is deeply ingrained in everything they do. It isn't casual: one doesn't simply turn it on for a few hours on Sunday and spend the rest of the week doing whatever one wants. (If you want to see the true extent, try going to Greece and getting anything out of a government office; they're closed 2 days out of every five for religious holidays. You'll laugh, but I'm not kidding.)
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          • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
            B. The Aristotelian term is psuche and is that which gives life to the body. Its not psyche which can be translated as psychology. Aristotle studied thousands of specimens including dissection of species from all over the world. He concluded all living things have psuche with plants having it and animals having also motion and sense. Its biological not mental.
            ALso Arisstotle studied the constitutions of Greek Polis even though we only have the text of Athens. But the Greeks created city government without the words to compare and contrast the various ideas.
            Norway is also a country which has a religious infusion through its culture and politics. Imagine trying to change a Parliament, a King, and GOD. That's why there is pessimism about change. Thanks for the comments. Two days for religious holidays, Greek Orthodox?
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            • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 7 months ago
              My apologies if there was some confusion. We're using the same word, it's just I can't spell it in Greek in the forum (although I'm pretty sure someone here knows how to do it). The letter upsilon (looks like a "u") is pronounced using a long "e" sound but typically transliterated as an English "y".

              "Its not psyche which can be translated as psychology."

              I'll politely disagree based on personal and cultural knowledge (and my Greek dictionary). To the Greeks, they are one and the same word and meaning. It is the English who have put their own spin on the matter and tried to render the study of the soul to a soulless art. There is a wholly different word: nou which is used to specifically refer to the cognitive mind.

              "He concluded ... Its biological not mental."

              Again, I'll disagree (see comment above). What Socrates, Plato and Aristotle - Aristotle being the third generation - all pondered was the force behind the material. And contrary to what modern philosophers like to call it, it was spiritual to them - just not in a Christian religious sort as the word is commonly used now. Biology is the study of the living or living things from a technical standpoint while psychology is much more ephemeral and philosophical (psychological being the appropriate word as philosophy is broken down to be the study of the interaction between people - filos being the word for a friend). The question they pondered over and over again is what caused the true death of an individual? Was there more to it than a simply biological interaction? I would also note that none of the three were atheists according to how we use that word today. Socrates found logical problems with the Greek Pantheon and could only rationalize a single god. For his heresy he was condemned to drink hemlock. Plato argued against the Greek Pantheon in Republic in favor of a singular deity. The Epicureans are really the last of any surviving Greek philosophy but they started to go sideways IMHO. That's kind of where traditional Greek philosophy trails off and is replaced by Constantine's Christianity.

              "Two days for religious holidays, Greek Orthodox?"

              Yup. It would vary from week to week, of course, but I'd average things out to two in five. Easter was the whole week, but every day of the year was some Saint's day with its associated catechism (though catechism is more a Roman Catholic notion).
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              • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
                B
                Let me politely disagree with your sense that the two words are the same. In "Essays on Aristotle's De Anima" there are several entire essays on the importance of how Aristotle used the two words pointing out the difference in ancient Greek and in the context in which the words are used. clearly shows the difference. He believes the soul (psuche) is what animates the body. Not what the brain does. When death occurs the body decays and it cannot be reversed. . Chris Shield translated it and wrote a long commentary also see Lennox and Gothelff on Aristotle's biology. Psyche and Psuche have different referents in reality.
                Wish I spoke Greek.
                I also have a project on Greek sailing and trading as the reason for language formation.
                Best.
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                • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 7 months ago
                  I do still think we are talking about the same word, however. The author you are referring to is using his own anglicized spelling focusing on character representation rather than phonetic interpretation (which is normally how transliteration works). All of the anglicized versions of Greek words beginning phi upsilon (pronounced FEE EEP-si-lawn) are listed as "phy" in our lexicon (the "y" being the preferred transliterated phonetic approximation for the original upsilon which looks like a "u". For phonetic reasons, the English "u" just wouldn't work as a transliterary substitute). Potato/potahto. Another reason I really wish I could just use the Greek spelling and eliminate the ambiguity.

                  "He believes the soul (psuche) is what animates the body."

                  That was precisely what I was arguing as well. You seemed to intimate that it was not a "spiritual" force, however, which runs very contrary to my personal experience with the Greeks' own use of the word and their culture. The rest comes down to who one finds to represent a greater authority: a scholar in an ivory tower or the people themselves. And we don't have to agree on that.
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                  • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 7 months ago
                    Correction. I noticed that I listed phi upsilon above when I should have said psi upsilon. The same rules still apply with the anglicization to words appearing in the English lexicon as "psy" as with the "phy". In Greek, both the "ps" and "ph" sounds are represented by individual characters for which there is no corresponding single character in English.
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                    • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
                      Ayn Rand said that in any case of dispute about a word or concept look to the referent in reality that gives rise to the concept. Aristotle devotes the entire De Anima to defining the term psuche. He discusses all the previous views and then gives his own. The turning point is the concept of "motion" which all agree is given to bodies by its "psuche" not its "psyche". Psyche is mental and is only in animals and especially in humans. But psuche is in all living things hence is what gives life and he stresses that it is life in plants as well as animals. SO if you think "psyche" gives motion to plants then it is the same word, but if that which gives motion to bodies is not psyche then there are as Aristotle wrote two words. See Wilkes on "Psuche versus the mind" and Nussbaum, Shields, Lennox( a good Objectivist and Greek scholar at U Pittsburgh)
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                    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
                      When the Romans met the Greeks, they learned the word "philosophy." They spelled it PHILOSOPHIA. But Latin has a fricative F as in Rufio and Flavius. If they had heard "filosofia" they would have spelled it that was, as modern Italians do.
                      It was said, "P-hilo-so-p-hia."
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                    • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
                      Your modern Greek misguides your understanding of the ancient forms. In modern Greek, the sheep say "vee-vee" (beta-eta, beta-eta), but in ancient Greek they said (as if in English orthography) "bay-bay" as sheep really do.

                      P-s-u-X-eh, not pseeXee.
                      My daughter's name is Selene. Modern Greeks call her as if in English "Se-lee-nee" which is not how the ancients pronounced it.
                      See my comments to philosophercat below (https://www.galtsgulchonline.com/post...)
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                      • Posted by $ blarman 3 years, 7 months ago
                        I am fully aware that in Modern Greek they have conflated nearly all the vowels to be an "ee" sound, including the eta, the iota and the upsilon where in Ancient Greek they all had individual sounds such as "oi". Ancient Greek also had inflection points which have been removed from Modern Greek (partly as a product of the language's near eradication during the Turkish occupation). The Greeks' language has changed over time just like all languages do. My point, however, was on the spelling of the word and its meaning - not the pronunciation. The contention was that since I used a different anglicized spelling that I was referring to a different word than philosophercat. That contention is incorrect and could be cleared up very simply by using the original characters (again if I knew how). Psi upsilon, chi, eta. Feminine noun with standard feminine article.

                        PS - one of my daughters has the middle name Selene. Did you select it from Greek or some other source?
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                • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
                  Nice use of Psuche. I agree. Blarman's knowledge is misguided by modern Greek.
                  I look to The Pronunciation and Reading of Ancient Greek: A Practical Guide by Stephen G. Daitz and The Living Voice of Greek and Latin by the same author.

                  Blarman is wrong about upsilon sounding like our English long-e (ee). It does now. It did not then. U and O were closer back then. And the P and S were separate sounds, enunciated separately.
                  Aphrodite was not "afro-die-tee" but A-p-h-ro-di-te. Psyche was not "pseeXe" but P-s-u-X-e.

                  I agree also that the Greeks were inventing new understandings for which they needed new words. Old words took on subtle shifts, such as ours have and do. "Silly" originally meant "soully" i.e., head in the clouds.
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            • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
              One of my hobbies is numismatics. I write for publication. When I was a collector, I was inspired by a Cosmos episode, "Backbone of the Night." In just five years, I assembled 50 small silvers and some bronzes, worth a day's wages, from the towns and times of philosophers. My set ran from Thales of Miletos to Hypatia of Alexandria.

              On that note... What we call the "Socratic" method, they called the Milesian Way after Aspasia of Miletos, who brought it to Athens and taught it to the guys at symposia.
              See "Bringing Philosophy to Athens" on my blog here http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/20...
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      • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
        We have discussed this before. My best second language is German, which has four cases, and a lot of other grammar. I taught myself classical Greek while working in ancient numismatics. I did my own translations for publications.

        I understand the problems with English. Our vocabulary is more sophisticated by 2500 years. It is a fact: we have more concepts. I do grant that classical Greece was a time of changes when new words were invented.

        See my other comments to you and philosophercat below.
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    • Posted by tkstone 3 years, 7 months ago
      I have ordered "The Economy of Cities" Look forward to more discussion.
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      • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
        Jane Jacobs was one of the few but extraordinary thinkers of the 20th century who started as a socialist anti-war activist and ended as a free market capitalist. She observed that central planning didn't work and reasoned out why. CIties are not forms in space they are economic systems which require "replacement of imports" to grow and prosper. When regulation and "planning" substitute for ecoonmoic freedom stagnation and decay set in and the economic powerhouse of innovation that is a free city collapses. She expanded her ideas in "Cities and the Wealth of Nations" to show that countries depend on free cities (See Venezuela and Caracas) for vibrant economies. She ended, "Dark Age Ahead" with a pessimistic view of the possibility of her compatriots ever grasping her ideas as true. She adopted a Socratic dialogue format as didactic writing wasn't going any where. Ask more!
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        • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
          Jane Jacobs was highly accomplished and admirable in many ways. I like the fact that she worked as an office temporary and went to Columbia University on her own. She gathered so many credits that they attempted to force her into a degree program - which she successfully fought and won.

          See my review here http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/20...
          "Moreover, even when the disasterous flooding of the 12th century created Holland's Zuiderzee, refugees swelled the population of Amsterdam, perhaps tripling it; but rather than starvation, want, and poverty, the city enjoyed prosperity and vibrant trade and commerce."

          And here:
          http://necessaryfacts.blogspot.com/20...
          "We are literally a bourgeois (burgher) society, a nation of cities. That is also the underlying thesis in Jane Jacobs’s The Economy of Cities."
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          • Posted by philosophercat 3 years, 7 months ago
            What I loved as an Architect was she started with the observation that certain places in cities produced happy people. They smiled, chatted, walked and traded in good humor and civility. She studied those places and found they were economically active, diverse, and vibrant. She contrasted that with the collectivist Architecture of Corbu and central planning and saw that unregulated land use of cities produced economic prosperity. She realized this was a universal truth. Freedom of economic choice unleashes the creative spirit of humans. Planners and Architects were being taught the Collective form of cities expressed in the Soviet and CIAM universal apartment block with public square for propaganda parties. I was in Austin and visited a former huge shopping center which had been torn down and replaced with open air shops, trees, apartments over and angled streets. Jane Jacobs won but has never been given the credit she earned by academics. .
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