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Is Objectivism ACTUALLY Built on Man's Nature?

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Is Objectivism ACTUALLY Built on Man's Nature?

Yes, pretty much, but to be more specific, Objectivism is based on the best of man, not on the aspects we share with animals, like instinct (or its civilized equivalente, mysticism) but reason, the specific human faculty that allows us not only to solve new problems but to find out WHY we want to solve it - adding. (That's Aristotle basically)

Just as every man is armed with reason it is his choice to use it or default on it, and to use it for a good purpose or for a detrimental purpose (such as problem-solving versus rationalization).

Objectivism is based on that which makes us human. But, hah, I wish all human population behaved in a rational way all the time, if that's what you're implying by your "criticism".

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Well, he is implying that

1. he sees himself superior to the majority of people

2. he assumes that other people do not act in their self-interest

3. he believes that this gives him the right to micro-manage their lives, 'for their own good'

None of these points can be proven (well, *maybe* 1-2, but that's very hard to do, and certainly not in connection with 3). The only arbitor can be reality, thus every man ought to be the architect of his own fortune.

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Yup. I'm 21 years old and a former first place winner of "The Fountainhead Essay Contest." I'm a student at Yale University and know several people who placed close behind me also attending Ivy League Universities.

We are all former Objectivists because Objectivism denies that man is a political animal.

I also know several adults (some professors) who subscribed to Randian Oism when they were much younger.

I dispute that you were ever an Objectivist. The essay contests are designed to popularize Rand's novels, not to teach philosophy. What makes an Objectivist first of all is a close study and comprehension of Objectivist epistemology. Without that background you will not comprehend how the statements "man is the rational animal" and "man is a political animal" are not contradictory. Nevertheless, the truth is that Objectivism does not deny the political nature of man.

1) Man is a political animal because he relies on relationships to survive. He evolved out of a tribalistic context. Academia suggests he thus has communal psychological drives which Objectivism dismisses. His drive to have relationships extends beyond capitalism and into the realm of wanting to belong to groups and gain status within those groups.

Those other people man relies on to survive, who do they rely on? And who do those people rely on? Eventually some poor sucker (aka "a fountainhead") has to get off his butt and go kill dinner, or pick fruit for lunch. Primary versus secondary relationships to reality are a theme of The Fountainhead, this should all be familiar territory for you. Man's political nature has no impact at all in determining what must be done (killing, picking) but only in how it is done and how the spoils are divided.

2) Objectivism cannot predicate rights on rationality and also grant them to children or the mentally handicapped. Therefore, I suppose it's OK for me to blow the brains out of my own children. No? Well, to you who intuit that this is wrong (probably on an instinctual level per our human nature), you're going to have to crank out an explanation that doesn't rely on rationality.

Ah, where to begin. Oh of course, epistemology. If you had the benefit of even a single reading of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology you would instantly recognize the fallacy involved in misidentifying children and the mentally handicapped as non-human. Simply, a concept is not equal to its definition. I am not going to cut and paste the whole of ITOE here. If you choose to pursue this issue by studying the Objectivist epistemology you will find yourself rewarded with a systematic and subtle philosophy of methods, not a mere collection of arbitrary position papers and doctrines.

3) Sexual urges are not predicated on egoistical values. They are predicated on communalistic indicators which include: status, looks, fertility, etc. This also suggests that man is a political animal and not merely a rational being.

Rational animal, the sexual nature partakes strongly of the animal nature of mankind. The mind-body dichotomy is a pernicious idea that pops up everywhere, and here you are doing it by positing that man's rational nature and his sexual nature are somehow contradictory to each other. The ideal is to be sexy and smart. I understand how it can be hard to comprehend as a young man in his teens and early twenties that smart is sexy in itself, but when you reach your thirties and forties and are less captive to your hormones you will understand.

Edited by Grames

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Well, he is implying that

1. he sees himself superior to the majority of people

2. he assumes that other people do not act in their self-interest

3. he believes that this gives him the right to micro-manage their lives, 'for their own good'

None of these points can be proven (well, *maybe* 1-2, but that's very hard to do, and certainly not in connection with 3). The only arbitor can be reality, thus every man ought to be the architect of his own fortune.

I am in the 95-th percentile for intelligence, by psychometric standards. That makes me superior to most people in the matter of abstract intelligence and reasoning ability. Even so, this does not give me a warrant for abusing other folks.

Not everyone acts in their best interest all the time. Many of us have moments of error and foolishness. Some more than others. This is no excuse for bad behavior.

Nothing on the planet Earth gives me (or anyone else) a right to micro-manage any life but their own, and that of one's very young children while they are unable to operate autonomously. After a certain point one's children act on their own. They don't need micro-managing from anyone.

And so on and so on.

ruveyn

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Why are you guys answering his "criticisms"? He hasn't even criticized the philosophy. I don't know what he is criticizing except maybe some half-grasped notion from the summary section of Cliffnotes. Ever read some history of philosophy where the author gets everything wrong about a particular philosopher and then goes on to critique it? Well, there may be such out there, but I've not read one.

But it seems Ayn Rand can just be breezed over and anyone can garble out any goop that is supposed to be an actual representation of her philosophy and then others are supposed to answer it.

So your college professors got you thinking differently. I can't say their job was hard, you didn't have any grasp on Objectivism to begin with.

Tell you what. Go back and check every single proposition in your critique and honestly examine it and see if that is what Objectivism in fact says. Every single thing you said was false. Your very opening sentence was false. And the premises of your academics are wrong abstractly, factually and historically.

Get everything wrong and want others to correct it. Talk about ego...sheesh.

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Ever read some history of philosophy where the author gets everything wrong about a particular philosopher and then goes on to critique it? Well, there may be such out there, but I've not read one.

Try the last few chapters of Bertrand Russell's :o

Edited by eriatarka

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1) Man is a political animal because he relies on relationships to survive.

What kind of relationships does man require in order to survive? With which other men?

Objectivism thoroughly addresses, examines and answers these vitally important questions. Have you never heard of the branch of philosophy called "politics"?

His drive to have relationships extends beyond capitalism and into the realm of wanting to belong to groups and gain status within those groups.

Speak for yourself, brother!

Edited by Kevin Delaney

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