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Found 11 results

  1. Future of Objectivism

    I am genuinely interested to know what your views are on the future of Objectivism. There are different ways you could go about answering this; as long as it is constructive you can answer it how you choose. For some examples, your focus might be the practical application of the philosophy to how you live your life. It might be more to do with expanding the influence of Objectivism. It might be creating a new community. To what extent do you think its possible in your lifetime?
  2. Hi everyone, I'm writing to get some advice or perspective on going back to school to learn philosophy, part time. In the past, I focused learning and reading with topics that were mainly political. It was a long journey and I eventually found Objectivism. I'm no expert, but it helped turn me onto philosophy and I've really enjoyed the process - especially over the last year and a half - as I've really spent more time reading. I've had the time to digest some of Rand's non-fiction, but I've also was able to read other aspects of philosophy (like checking out the reading at MIT open courseware for various courses). It's interesting. I find that my thinking is becoming much sharper. I feel like when I do have a position, that I have a far better argument for it with much better reasoning. Anyway, I'm an electrical engineer and already work in an industry I enjoy. Now philosophy isn't exactly an after-work type of 'career development' course you find at schools. I do happen to have the flexibility to attend a class or two a semester, without issue with work. The cost for a class or two isn't a big deal either. I've asked various groups on the subject whether they think this would be a good move. I've asked a forum on philosophy and well, they were very pro the idea (surprise surprise). I also asked a personal finance forum I talk on, and well, it's the worst idea ever - philosophy is useless and paying for such things is ridiculous. Plus I asked people in my life, which (I assume with reluctant support) suggested that maybe I should just read some books. My reasons for going to school is a class provides deadlines, discussions, perspectives and, in a way, forces me to read/work/write/explain/debate when I probably never would. I know there are certain works I probably wouldn't invest the time in, and even if I did, it could never be in depth like a course would push me into. The reason I wanted to ask OOF is that most people here aren't necessarily philosophical scholars, but there is a respect for philosophy that most people in society don't seem to have. I realize that no one can answer this question for me, but I'm more looking for thoughts on the idea. Thanks in advance.
  3. I have put a lot of effort into this blog over the last few years: Objectivism for Intellectuals | Exploring the depths of Ayn Rand's revolutionary philosophy. I always strive toward intellectual rigor and creating an understanding of principles' contexts in the reader. Sometimes this means that the writing doesn't flow as smoothly as it might if I were to write in a more casual style. But I hope that intelligent and thoughtful people will appreciate the rigor and perhaps gain some insight from it.
  4. Serving God

    According to Heinrich Harrer, friend of the 13th Dalai Lama, and author of Seven Years in Tibet [1953]: "Whether it is Lhasa or Rome -- all are united by one wish: to find God and to serve Him." This is true. But ultimately no person, institution or concept is noble or great enough. Only the Holy Individual is worth finding and serving in all His potential nobility and greatness.
  5. I owe everyone on this forum an apology. I hope you will consider forgiving me for a mistake I made. I failed to fully appreciate the fact that you are all here- or claim to be here- to discuss Objectivism which is quite admirable. I am very happy that this forum exists not only because it is devoted to discussing logical principles, but because also, there is far, far too little discussion of logical principles and philosophy elsewhere in the universe today. (I say Universe because people live on the International Space Station [i.S.S.] and their premises in fact are quite illogical since the context in which the I.S.S. presently exists is illogical; communistic ((you may refer to my essay "On The Official Establishment of U.S. Space Territory" if you want a further explanation of that assertion))) This forum is very valuable and expressing that judgement should have been in my first post, not my sixth! I am sorry. Now, because I failed to explicitly identify my value-judgement of this forum my first post "A Letter To Readers" was presented to you out of context, and it was in fact, an implicit insult to you. I shall explain what I mean by "implicit insult". I wrote "A Letter To Readers" to everyone who reads at present and anyone who ever will in the future. Most readers however are neither Objectivist nor advocates of any particular, fundamental principle of Objectivism. The implicit insult here is that I implied, when I posted "A Letter To Readers" here, that you ought to be regarded as just "anyone who reads" since you absolutely are not! As I said, this is a very valuable forum and thus it should be treated as such. I should have expressed my appreciation for this forum, properly introduced myself to you, and told you what I hoped to achieve here, at which point it would then have been logical to share "A Letter To Readers With You". Again, I am very sorry and I most certainly hope you will forgive me. With that now on record, I would like to formally introduce myself to you. My name is Sean O'Connor. I am a 26 year old philosopher and writer. (I write mostly essays, and on occasion I write a story). I have five priorities as a philosopher: 1) To discover as much as possible about meaning in general and the meaning of essential particulars. 2) To improve and clarify as many definitions as possible 3) To discover as much about the optimal navigation of the mind as possible 4) To present philosophy as a field of science and change the way it is taught, understood, and applied 5) To be one of the best essayists in history I have been writing since I was eight or nine. I have been studying literature (poetry, prose, and philosophical essays) since I was 18. I self published a book of short stories and word collages (that I now condemn) when I was 23. Last April I wrote the first essay I was proud of. It is called "In Condemnation of Apathy". After writing five essays I took a break and kept a study journal. (That didn't last long). I then began blogging and strictly on politics, and considered running for political office. I was not satisfied with the idea of being confined to potlics and experimented with photography and film. That didn't last long however. I then kept a daily philosophical video blog entitled "Thrive!". I didn't like blogging every day as I wanted more time to prepare my thoughts and visions and present them as clearly and thouroughly as possible so I began outling ideas, and taking my time. I wrote two short stories and then I began writing a third however I got an idea for an essay! That idea was unfortunately interuppted when I realized that I needed to find a new room to live in as the lease for the one I am currently living in has expired. Since I was low on cash, and was worried that I might not find a room, I decided to ask readers for help- specifically readership and promotion. (It is true that I said I was "open to donations or sponsorship" but readership matters to me much more than money and the fundamental task of the essay was not to raise money, but rather to discuss the issue of poverty, the relationship between ideology, psychology and circumstances how the relationship between those three concepts relates to our present economic disaster, to promote the ideals of independence, capitalism, responsibility, rationality, to discuss self investment, present my philosophical discoveries, and explain my literature). There are five things I want to achieve on this forum. 1) I want to share my discoveries and ideas with you. 2) I want to help you understand my discoveries and ideas and indeed inspire discussion/debate. (You might think I have contradicted myself somewhere and if you do, that's okay. To quote my hero, Dr. Nathaniel Branden, "I'm open to learning. But let's be clear about what I have said and not said" (I am presently completing an epistle to Dr. Branden which I shall share with you very soon). The only thing I don't tolerate, or entertain is an insult. 3) I want more and more people to appreciate philosophy in general- to think about it, and talk about it. I will, from time to time, promote discussions here on Facebook as part of an effort to achieve this goal. 4) I want to build an audience; I want to get enough people reading and talking about what I have written as to have evidence for an ambitious, virtuous book publisher to know for certain that my literature is marketable. 5) I want to convince you that my assertions and judgements are logical. I shall tell you a little more about myself because learning about someone's personality enhances our idea of him or her; it adds meaning to everything else he or she tells us. I live in East Windsor, New Jersey. I hate living here and for two reasons: the geography does not match my sense of life. (The tropics do) 2)Despite a "Republican" governnor, NJ is heavily Socialist and it is quite depressing. I want to live instead, on the U.S. Virgin Island: St. John- because I love the Caribbean and it is a politically free (or semi-free) American Island. Regarding my education: I have decided to write an essay on it because I take a lot of pride in it so I shall confine myself here to writers and philosophers I have studied (some in greater depth than others) in chronological order, as to provide you with a bit more context; an idea of "where I am coming from" so to speak; an indication, based on my interests and decisions of who I studied, of how I have evolved ideologically and what I have learned. I have studied The Bee Gees (yes I studied them) and other pop-music lyricists (They're not worth naming here) Charles Bukowski, Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs, Paul Simon, Bob Dylan, Jim Morrison, Arthur Rimbaud, Charles Baudelaire, Nietzsche, Hume, William James, John Dewey, Bertrand Russell, Wittgenstein, Bertrand Russell, Schopenhauer, Dostoevsky, Fitzsgerald, Hemmingway, Henry Miller, The Bible, Kant, Napoleon Hill (and other writers on "The Law of Attraction"), James Joyce, Ayn Rand, Aristotle, Leonard Peikoff, Karl Marx, Obama, Hitler, and Nathanial Branden. (my education does extend beyond literature but I shall discuss that in my essay) I am still educating myself. My top hobby is watching movies and television shows. My favorite movies are "Atlas Shrugged Part 2", "Die Another Day" , "Atlas Shrugged Part 1", "Moonraker", "Phenomenon", and "Limitless". My favorite television programs are "Star Trek", "The West Wing" (not for its politics, but for its glimpse inside the West Wing, as I am interested in politics and how the government functions in general) and "The Glenn Beck Program" (despite his metaphysical and epistemological mistakes). My favorite musicians are "Vivaldi" and "Bach". Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for taking the time to read my introduction. I look foreword to having valuable discussions with you and I wish you achieved ideals, Sean O'Connor
  6. Philosophy in Action: Sunday Webcast

    The Rationally Selfish Webcast has a new name and new web site: Philosophy in Action! (The web site won't be available until the morning of the webcast.) Here's this week's announcement. I hope to see you on Sunday morning! — DMH In my live "Philosophy in Action" Webcast on Sunday morning, I'll answer questions on the morality of working for a minister, giving away unhealthy food, voting for horrible politicians, celebrating holidays, and more. Please join us for this hour of lively discussion, where we'll apply rational principles to the challenges of living virtuous, happy, and free lives! What: Live Philosophy in Action Webcast Who: Diana Hsieh (Ph.D, Philosophy) and Greg Perkins When: Sunday, 6 November 2011 at 8 am PT / 9 am MT / 10 am CT / 11 am ET Where: www.PhilosophyInAction.com Here are this week's questions: Question 1: The Morality of Working for a Minister: Is working for a minister giving religion moral sanction? As an atheist, I once worked for an ordained minster who was the owner of a gallery. I became his manager when I made it clear that I was an atheist, but that I was a good framing manager. I don't think I gave him a moral sanction for his irrationality by working for him under those terms. What do you think? Question 2: Giving Away Unhealthy Food: Is it immoral to give away food that you regard as unhealthy? Assuming that one believes (as I do) that candy and sweets are harmful to health (especially in quantity), is it immoral to participate in trick-or-treat by giving children candy when they come to your door? Or, is it immoral to "dispose" of an unwanted gift of, say, a rich chocolate cake by leaving it by the coffee machine at work to be quickly scarfed up by one's co-workers (as an alternative to simply discarding it)? Is the morality of these two cases different because in one case the recipients are children while in the other case they are adults? Question 3: Voting for Horrible Politicians: All the candidates are nearly perfectly horrid, just in different ways. Why should I even bother to vote? Question 4: Celebrating Holidays: What is the value of celebrating holidays? How do you think holidays should or should not be celebrated? Also, what is your favorite holiday and how do you like to celebrate it? After that, we'll do a round of totally impromptu "Rapid Fire Questions."
  7. My co-workers are curious about what philosophy has to do with everyday working, and I even get flack from some of you on this forum for being an applied philosopher, so I wrote the following essay to briefly touch upon the subject: Applied Philosophy in the Workplace Applied Philosophy in the Workplace by Thomas M. Miovas, Jr. 08/19/2012 A co-worker of mine has been bugging me about applied philosophy and what does it have to do with working for a living. He keeps saying, “What does applied philosophy have to do with cutting insulation panels for buildings?” and “What does applied philosophy tell you about how to do your job?” While many people these days can see that electronic equipment (computers and machinery) and mechanical devices are the result of engineering (applied physics), they do not see what philosophy has anything to do with working for a living. My first response would be that the mere fact that you have chosen to work for a living and earning a paycheck is itself an application of philosophy. You could decide to become a welfare bum and live off the State and not do a damned thing in favor of your own life. What makes that difference? It is the philosophy that you accept and live by. Do you consider the ability to earn a living to be a good thing or a nuisance? Do you think others ought to support you, no matter how much you screw up your own life? Do you think those earning more money than you owe you anything from their paycheck, whether you have anything to do with their lives or not? These are all philosophical questions. But more specifically, if you decide to work for a living, rather than being a parasite off the State, applied philosophy is everywhere. If you think about how to do a specific task based upon the specific nature of the job you are doing – i.e. cutting insulation panels, for example – your ability to think that way comes from a philosophy that says that thinking ought to be applied to real physical facts. And this philosophy, historically, came from one philosopher, Aristotle, who lived in Ancient Greece and taught his students how to think about real-world events and practices. Prior to Aristotle, there were practical thinkers (they called it Practical Wisdom), but only because Ancient Athens was geared towards a rational life for the Polis (the City State). Most others around Ancient Greece used rituals and incantations to try to get what they wanted out of life – and I don’t think casting a spell or citing an incantation on those insulation panels will cause it to do anything, let alone cutting them to size and cutting out sections for practical use. And it was Aristotle who formulated the principles of causality (a thing acting the way it does based upon what it is) in many applications in his writings. So, the fact that the Styrofoam of an insulation panel has to be handled a certain way or it will break, or the fact that one must use a powerful saw to cut the panels down to size (due to the steel struts running down their length), all comes from the formulation of philosophers, who taught man how to think in terms of the facts, as opposed to merely fantasizing about having things without taking the facts into account. And this is an application of logic, which methodology did not exist before the philosophers. If you look at a drawing and cut a panel to the right size and shape, this comes about due to applied logic, which says that a panel cannot be five feet long and thirty feet long at the same time and in the same respect. This is Aristotle’s Law of Non-Contradiction. Even issues of morality and justice come up in the workplace. Should a man who does more work and more accurately get paid more than the man who slacks off, expecting others to do his work for him? How to treat others in a social context or at the work place is an issue of justice, which is logic applied to human interactions. And how one treats them depends on the philosophy one has accepted. Should good, accurate, and productive work be encouraged or should it be resented and fought? This goes back to the working man versus the welfare bum. Which type of man should you encourage and which type of man ought you to keep out of your life? These are philosophical issues. In short, philosophy really comes down to mental methodology – of what use are you going to use your own mind for? If you sit around and fantasize all day and don’t get anything done, how can you expect to achieve anything out of life? Should you use your mind for dealing with practical reality or spin things out of thin air that have nothing to do with the facts at hand? These are very broad questions (they cover a lot of ground), and it is the job of the philosopher to answer them so they apply to all areas of life. Without the rational philosopher such as Aristotle, you might know how to do a particular task (if you were taught it), but you wouldn’t know what to do with your own mind and would be like a child wishing for things instead of acting in reality to accomplish your goals.
  8. On Objectivity -- The Method of Thought By Thomas M. Miovas, Jr. 04/06/2012 I just finished re-reading the chapter in “Objectivism: The philosophy of Ayn Rand” by Leonard Peikoff on “Objectivity” and this essay concerns that topic in a shortened form. Dr. Peikoff says that objectivity at root is a relationship between man’s mind and existence with regard to knowledge, neither coming only from reality (intrinsicism) nor coming only from man’s consciousness (subjectivism) – it is a relationship between the facts and consciousness necessitated by the fact that man has no automatic form of knowledge and therefore must volitionally adhere to existence in his thinking in order to be able to comprehend existence, and to live his life in existence. While Dr. Peikoff doesn’t mention it from the following perspective, I think the term “objectivity” comes from the word “object” – as in an entity or a thing one can directly observe (its attributes and its actions); it also comes from the term “objective” as in “taking specific actions to pursue a purpose.” So, at root, to remain objective one must be focused on the facts (entities, objects, things, their attributes, and their actions) in a purposeful manner to obtain knowledge of existence – to think in terms of identity and causality. But because man has no automatic guide in the pursuit of knowledge, and must develop a volitional / free will based methodology, this method must be clearly identified for a man’s mental contents to be based upon reality. The most fundamental component of being objective is to use logic, the art of non-contradictory identification. Contradictions cannot exist in reality, but are only evident in a man’s improper thinking or lack thereof. While Aristotle clearly identified the method and workings of logic (non-contradictory identification of the facts of reality as given by observation), Ayn Rand added two other components to objectivity that were only implicit in Aristotle’s work: context and hierarchy. Thinking in terms of logic implies context, because in order to not be involved in mental contradictions one must take all the facts into account with regard to one’s topic of consideration. For example, if one is thinking about or talking about an apple, it is important to keep in mind that they are edible and grow on trees; whereas if one is thinking or talking about money, it is not edible and does not grow on trees, but is rather a medium of exchange of values in voluntary trade. Thinking in terms of logic regarding all of the relevant facts is a means of remaining consistent with what one already knows, and therefore to avoid contradictions. So keeping the context is a recognition of the fact that reality is one and that everything is relatable to everything else; that to isolate a thought from all others is to belittle this fundamental fact and to create the potential to have contradictions, which would be contrary to the facts of reality – i.e. of thinking that apples are poisonous to man or that money does grow on trees; neither of which would be helpful to one’s living on earth. Hierarchy is a type of context, and refers to the fact that not all knowledge is graspable on the perceptual level. We can see apples on trees or one’s parents giving money to receive groceries, but grasping “farming” or “working for a living” are not immediately graspable or understandable to a young child. In order to reach the stage where someone can understand farming or capitalism requires a long chain of non-contradictory and contextual knowledge building up on previously understood knowledge; this is the role of being hierarchical – of starting with the perceptually self-evident and building up one’s knowledge. For example, a boy can grasp that things can be cut up – like cutting up the apple for a snack – but he cannot grasp that the apple is made of cells, molecules, atoms, and sub-atomic particles until after he has learned to organize his concepts into wider and wider concepts – concepts that are logically dependent on the perceptually self-evident, but not possible to directly point to as he can point to the apple. However, to remain objective, it is necessary to be able to trace the hierarchy of concepts and knowledge down to the perceptually self-evident; a process Dr. Peikoff refers to as "reduction." By using logic, keeping the context, and developing his concepts into wider and wider abstractions, a man can rationally understand any aspect of existence as a single sum of knowledge, a single whole that is his guide to living on earth and enjoying his own life. Note: Thinking in terms of principles is an application of being objective; and so long as one follows the general guidance of objectivity above, one’s principles will be in accordance with existence and will represent a sub-set of one’s knowledge applied to specific cases of the facts.
  9. DerGoG RD AUTO Message -3096: 1, Octobre 10:10(PM) 2077 - CAMBIAN-Dulles International Airport, Maryland, VA Main-Line USC - CAMBIAN - CITY/INTRA-SUBURBAN ‘Border Crust’ Territory. “Mommy, why are we here on Earth?” Pam was fighting her purse for its items. “To go on Holidays honey, I told you five times already.” Her mother then sat on the long imitation black leather Airbench facing toward the inside of the Airport. Rachael faced the outside, pressing her hands against the massive sheet of NeauGlass extending down the long Airhallway full of bustling people. She was looking at where the rows of the last DerGoG Jets would scramble before takeoff. DerGoG was the very last of commercial air flight in North America and the EU. This was the very last day of the very last planes people would pay money for. They’d fallen into a small lottery winning that offered ‘One Last Ride’ on the famous DerGoG line. It originally had been from a friend of theirs that couldn’t make it out of losing his wife to cancer that just happened to fall on that very week. He had given them the tickets, being a long time friend, the all expenses paid vacation courtesy of Bitzeri Inc. “Mommy...” “Yesss.” “Those are planes?” “Yes. The very last of them.” “What mom?” “Never mind sweetie. I just want to go somewhere before next year when...They’re grounding the planes indefinitely, it’s the Economy you know...” Rachael didn’t understand this part. Her mom had said it as if she were talking to herself. “What are those engines out there?” The statement made her mom wince. “Well-ah, sweetheart, you’re right, they’re engines. They make the plane go.” “Monstrous.” Rachael exclaimed. Rachael had been using that word a lot lately. It was her new favorite. She’d heard her father using it about something she could not quite remember. “What’s the plane made of?” “...Ah, well, um, metal I guess Rachael.” Her mom was still gazing at a women’s magazine. “No, I bet it’s CombI-Una material,” said Rachael. The Company Name was already familiar to her at that age. The tone had been endearing and yet...fanatical. “You might just be right, Rach, now I have your Monkey and your Kitty.” Pam leaned over to hand her daughter her two ‘Cutie-Toys.’ “How does it go mom!?” “Oh I don’t know Rachael, can we just concentrate on where we’re going?” Pause. “How far is the sun mommy?” “A million miles away sweetie,” she said dismissively, flicking to the next page. She’d remembered and said it the old way. Miles. Miles away. No. NO! “Light years mom, light years! Then we can start all over again.” In that instant, Pam knew what true Terror could be. Read More at: http://VesperHelioTropic.com
  10. Hello! I am an Artist and Novelist. My book, VESPER HELIOTROPIC, is a dire tour de force of what as a generation we have gone through, carrying many resonating Objectivist themes. Www.VesperHelioTropic.com
  11. Hello all, The first thing I would like to do as a new member is to inform you that I have recently started an objectivism inspired blog that comments on current events in economics, and politics. Please check it out at... http://theindividualistman.blogspot.com/ ... and feel free to share with me any reactions you may have. Thank you. I am a long term Ayn Rand enthusiast and truly believe that Objectivism is the only logical way to optimize the individual's as well as society's success and well being. I am an economist by education and an entrepreneur in life. I have studied most of Rand's works and have read and re-read, a bunch of times, Atlas Shrugged and The Fountain Head. They are my two absolute favorite books ever. My interests in life are: economics, politics, philosophy, health, chess, Italy (the cuisine, the country, the language), and sports. I am pleased to be part of your online society. Kind regards, Sven
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