Rebirth of Reason

Stephen Boydstun

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Premium Articles

"Vegetative Robots and Value"
"The 'With-Measurement' Program"

"Rights, Games, and Self-Realization"

Intro, Part I, Part II, Part III

Premium Posts
Foundations of Ethics #15, #17, #20

Implied Axioms #207, #230
Who Needs Philosophy #14
Locke and Essence #3
Evolution of the Objective #39
Objectivism and the Correspondence Theory #0
Mind and Representation #4, #6
Concepts #1, #11
Concept Formation #0
Corruption of Measurement #11
Physics and Philosophy #54
Scope of Volition #31, #38
Objectivism and Existentialism #7, #11
Self-Interest #13
Objectivist and Libertarian Politics #36
Definition of Objectivism #12, #24
Whether Objectivist #17

My academic backgrounds are in physics, philosophy, and engineering. My engineering work was building locomotives, then I switched to nuclear power electrical generation. Engineering rounded out the understanding of the physical world I had from physics. Now all those backgrounds, and long study of philosophy, too, are put into my project of writing my own philosophy.

I created, financed, and edited Objectivity, a hardcopy "journal of metaphysics, epistemology, and theory of value informed by modern science" (1990-98). All†issues of†Objectivity are now freely available online for readers and researchers.

Visit www.objectivity-archive.com

On the romantic side, my husband's name is Walter. We have been together†since 1996. He has two sons and one grandson. It is wonderful to have a family.

http://forum.objectivismonline.com/index.php?/forum/119-books-to-mind-Ė-stephen-boydstun/ ------WebKitFormBoundaryUdAjQ0G5SiFyyCE5--

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November 26, 2005
Vegetative Robots and Value
by Stephen Boydstun
Sanctions: 9Sanctions: 9 Sanction this ArticleEditMark as your favorite article
Thought experiments are notorious for pre-packing the point to be demonstrated into the setup to be contemplated. In an essay in The Philosophic Thought of Ayn Rand (1984), Charles King raised just that sort of objection to Randís robot gedanken: "if the robot neither knows nor cares [what happens to things around it], the example seems uninteresting." I do not agree that the robot gedanken is without interest if the robot is devoid of thought and feeling. I will here extend Randís gedanken in such a way that it can inform the concept of purely vegetative value. (Read more...)
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