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  • Posted by $ MikeMarotta 3 years, 7 months ago
    Nice interpretation. Thanks. It was interesting to read your processing of Ayn Rand's ideas. I am on my third copy of ITOE. There's a lot in there to think about. I have never been happy with the "robot analogy" school. We know enough about human perception to just talk about humans. (That applies to other philosophical arguments, also.).

    Speaking of humans, behavioral researchers sent teams to meet distant peoples in order to test so-called "human nature." Their problem was their belief that university psychology laboratories just test university students (and sometimes their children) and from that attempt to claim that some behaviors - sharing, for instance - are "natural" to humans.

    Among their findings with ten so-called "primitive" tribes was that our common optical illusions do not work with everyone. They are learned, not natural.

    That fact must be integrated into the Objectivist theory of epistemology.

    See "The weirdest people in the world?" by Joseph Henrich, Steven J. Heine, and Ara Norenzayan, in BEHAVIORAL AND BRAIN SCIENCES (2010) 33, 61–135.
    (Summary here: )
    (Full paper here: )

    Just a note, though, while the authors attempt to portray an objective view of their work, of course, it is easy to find their collectivist assumptions. I look beyond that. The fact that we, the Western Educated Industrialized Rational and Democratic (WEIRD) people are so far advanced is specifically because of these differences that we developed. It is important to understand and appreciate those differences. It remains that optical illusions are not "natural" and hypothetical robots are not necessary.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 years, 7 months ago
    I liked this article. I sort of have an intuitive sense of it from my awareness of how expectations can affect observations in engineering. This is explains the philosophy behind how I know just seeing is not sufficient for believing.
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