On Binswanger's Direct Realism

    A recurring theme in Rand's work is that when pseudo-intellectuals claim, with an air of grandeur, that they don't really know what they're talking about, we should take them at face value and ignore their opinions. Philosophers like Peikoff and Binswanger are not, by any stretch of the imagination, pseudo-intellectuals, but when they claim to struggle with rationalism, we should also take them at face value - specially when they propose a review of some of Rand's fundamental ideas. That is just the case with Binswanger's Direct Realism.

    When Rand says that we primarily perceive entities, she means that after early infancy, we automatically integrate sensations into percepts. Those percepts are integrations of sensations that are analogous to the interactions between real entities and one's means of awareness, and therefore the percepts correspond to entities. In Binswanger's terminology, that would be "Indirect Realism", in contrast to the "Direct Realism" he proposes.

    Instead of properly addressing the problem of establishing a logical psycho-epistemic explanation for the validity of the senses, Binswanger simply states that there is no "in-between" - we perceive entities, not sensations integrated into percepts, that correspond to them. This is not Rand, this is Hegel, and it has all of Hegel's problems - namely, intrinscism and rationalism.

    A proper theory of mind will be written when an intellectual is able to expand on Rand's premises, and discover new principles that can be integrated with them. Breathing new life into Hegel will not do anyone any good.

  -  January 10th, 2020