Concepts and Their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on by Allan Gotthelf, James G. Lennox

By Allan Gotthelf, James G. Lennox

The thinker and novelist Ayn Rand (1905–1982) is a cultural phenomenon. Her books have offered greater than twenty-eight million copies, and numerous participants converse of her writings as having considerably encouraged their lives. regardless of her recognition, Rand’s philosophy of Objectivism has acquired little severe cognizance from educational philosophers.

Concepts and Their function in Knowledge bargains scholarly research of key parts of Ayn Rand’s appreciably new method of epistemology. The 4 essays, via members in detail accustomed to this quarter of her paintings, talk about Rand’s thought of concepts—including its new account of abstraction and essence—and its relevant position in her epistemology; how that view results in a particular perception of the justification of data; her realist account of perceptual wisdom and its position within the acquisition of data; and eventually, the results of that conception for realizing the expansion of clinical wisdom. the quantity concludes with serious remark at the essays by way of distinctive philosophers with differing philosophical viewpoints and the author’s responses to these commentaries.

This is the second one ebook released in Ayn Rand Society Philosophical experiences, which used to be constructed along with the Ayn Rand Society to provide a fuller scholarly realizing of this hugely unique and influential philosopher. The Ayn Rand Society, an affiliated staff of the yank Philosophical organization, japanese department, seeks to foster scholarly learn by means of philosophers of the philosophical notion and writings of Ayn Rand. 

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51. Nor is a causally prior distinguishing characteristic any sort of deep identity running through the concept’s referents: it too typically varies within a range. ) 52. Fodor et al. 1999, among others, insist that any theory that identifies concepts with definitions must fail because there are no definitions of that type, or at least very few. So, it is important to underscore two things that may be clear already: first, Rand does not identify concepts with their definitions, and second, Rand’s definitions are not “analytic” definitions of the sort Fodor and colleagues denigrate.

25. 7 [in Selby-Bigge and Nidditch 1978, 20]). AYN RAND’S THEORY OF CONCEPTS ■ 19 lars. If Hume were right about the nature of the “ideas” with which we think, Rand maintains, algebra would be impossible,26 not to mention the endless discoveries of science and technology from which our lives benefit in so many ways. In the title essay of FTNI, Rand remarks, “If it were possible for an animal to describe the content of his consciousness, the result would be a transcript of Hume’s philosophy. Hume’s conclusions would be the conclusions of a consciousness limited to the perceptual level of awareness, passively reacting to the experience of immediate concretes, with no capacity to form abstractions, to integrate perceptions into concepts” (FTNI 26).

But we can easily see that an attempt to form a new concept (with a single word) for each such a grouping would clutter our consciousness and stultify our thinking (or those so-called concepts would fall out of use). We spoke at the beginning of this chapter of the role of concepts both in organizing our knowledge and in facilitating its expansion. Forming a concept every time we notice a similarity would do neither. What else, then, is involved in proper concept-formation, and what normative principles should guide our conceptual faculty in deciding what integrations to make and what concepts to form?

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