I see that Daniel Barnes is still doing his dishonest blathering.Here at the ARCHNblog we have become accustomed to being called liars, dishonest etc by boldly anonymous Randians. We are also equally accustomed to said Objectivists drying up and blowing away when challenged to provide proof of our supposed four-flushing malfeasances.
He writes: “On p26, Harriman claims that, using this unique Randian inductive method, from a single observation of paper burning in a fireplace, we can conclude that the statement "Fire burns paper" is "a universal truth".”
Other than Harriman writing "Fire burns paper" on p. 26, Barnes is a liar. Harriman uses "fire burns paper" to describe a child learning this generalization for the first time. He describes it as a “statement of a concrete observation”. He does not say it is a single instance nor present it as a universal truth or “Every S is P”. Children at that age don’t think in terms such as “some”, “every” or “all.” Eventually most children, even ones as stupid as Barnes, will learn there are exceptions, for example, paper that is water-soaked. This is such common knowledge there was no need for Harriman to say so, except to foil a dishonest critic like Barnes.
As I'm traveling and don't have the book handy, I've nonetheless googled it and found the passage I was referring to reproduced over at the Objectivist Living forum:
In utilizing concepts as his cognitive tools, [the first-level inducer] is thereby omitting the measurements of the particular causal connection he perceives. "Fire" relates the yellow-orange flames he perceives to all such, regardless of their varying measurements; the same applies to "paper" and the process of "burning." Hence the first statement of his concrete observation: "Fire burns paper." This statement is simply a conceptualization of the perceived data--which is what makes it a generalization.
Notice that when our first-level inducer identifies a perceived causal connection in words, he does not do it as a description of unique concretes, even though that is all he perceives; he at once states a universal truth.
- David Harriman, p26, The Logical Leap.Readers can compare our Anon's claim with the actual passage themselves. But to me it's obvious not only that what Anon doesn't know about the problem of induction could be written in 6 point type over Fenway Park, but that these "New Intellectuals" seem to lack some basic reading skills.