Washington Metro Objectivism Discussion (WMOD)

                 Wednesday, September 18, 2000   

           "What Can Objectivism Learn from Science?"

                      By David Saum

Some Objectivists have attacked the idea that science can "set the terms" for
philosophy because philosophy deals with more fundamental issues than
science.  In one sense this view is true, since science cannot discover
new facts that invalidate axiomatic concepts like causation. But in another
sense this view may be false, since science has hundreds of years of experience
in applying objective methods with much more progress than philosophy.

David Saum's speculative presentation will survey the scientific method and
attempt to discern if similar methods could be developed for Objectivism.
Topics to be discussed include:

1. Scientific conclusions are always considered to be open to further
modification if new data or analysis is discovered.  What impact does
this have on an objective philosophic idea of certainty?

2. Is there a philosophic analog to the conservation principles of

3. Is there a philosophic analog of science's use of mathematics?

4. Scientific symmetry principles identify those laws that are invariant
with respect to some operation.  For instance, Newton's laws of motion are
unchanged if the bodies involved are in uniform motion.  Is there an
analog in objective philosophy?

5. What is required for philosophy to exhibit the continuous progress
that has characterized science for hundreds of years?

6. Scientists appear to be united by a method, and not by allegiance to
a system of ideas.  Should objective philosophy do the same?

7. There is only one objective science.  Can there be more
than one system of objective philosophy?

David Saum is a physicist and entrepreneur working on 
problems related to building airtightness, ventilation and 
indoor air quality. He holds several patents and has
published many scientific papers. David is the founder of
WMOD and he has been studying Objectivism since the 1960s.
His primary interests related to Objectivism are objectivity,
objective method, and the intellectual history of the 17th
and 18th centuries. 

              PREVIOUS MEETING

There was no September meeting. Thanks again to Michelle Fram-Cohen
for her Saturday, August 26, 2000 talk on "Aristotle's and Nietzsche's
Influence on Rand - Irreconcilable Conflict?"

Please join WMOD on Wednesday, October 18.  Anyone who is
interested in rational discussion of Ayn Rand's ideas is welcome.
There will be a $2 charge for the talk if you are not having 
dinner. Note that our meeting location is Metro accessible.  You can
either join us for drinks at 6:30 or for dinner at 7 PM or for
the talk at 8:15 PM at the Hunan Palace in Rosslyn, VA
just across the Key Bridge from Georgetown.  The street address is
1812 North Moore Street.  If you come by Metro, get off at the
Rosslyn Metro Exit and the Hunan Palace is only a few feet away.
Take the street exit on N. Moore Street (across street from Roy
Rogers/Burger King), go out of Metro and take a left, and the
Palace is a few feet down N. Moore Street.  If you drive, there is
a parking garage (Allstate) next door to the Palace that is free
after 6:00 PM.  Due to construction you may have to go down the
ramp to the underground level.  There will be a $15 fixed price
dinner (including tax and tip), or you can order from the menu. 
Please RSVP to WMOD at (703) 820-7696 before noon on Saturday
10/18 so that we can tell the restaurant how many tables to set
up and how many to expect for dinner.  For more information,
call the Hunan Palace at (703) 528-8188, or call David Saum
at (703) 820-7696 (W) or (703) 671-5119 (H).  

                  FUTURE MEETINGS

WMOD meetings are generally held on the third Wednesday of each
month.  We are always looking for new stimulating meeting topics
related to Objectivism.  Please contact WMOD if you have
suggestions for meeting topics and locations, or if you can
volunteer some time to arrange meetings.


        The Objectivist Center (formerly IOS) events
The Objectivist Center's annual fall conference will be held
this year in New York City, on October 14 and 15, 2000.
The theme is: "Individualism: The Once and Future Reign
of an Ideal"  For complete conference program, see  

         GMU Objectivist Club Events
10/12/00 * "Today's Health Care Crisis" a live lecture
given by Andrew Lewis

        Cato Institute Events

        Free-Market.Net Calendar

       Future of Freedom Foundation Events
       Institute for Humane Studies

       The Daily Objectivist
(please let WMOD know about other events that we should list) 
               WMOD Contact Information

The WMOD newsletter is $10/yr, this email newsletter is free.
  Dave Saum
  PO Box 8007
  Falls Church, VA 22041
    Email: DSaum at infiltec.com
    Phone: (703) 820-7696
    Fax: (703) 671-9350
    Web: http://www.infiltec.com/wmod.htm

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