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Atlas51184

What Peikoff courses have you studied?

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Which Peikoff courses have you studied?  

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  1. 1. Which Peikoff courses have you studied?

    • Understanding Objectivism
      8
    • Objectivism Through Induction
      8
    • Adanced Seminars on OPAR I&II
      1
    • History of Philosophy I&II
      3
    • The Art of Thinking
      4
    • Objective Communication
      3
    • I've heard all of them
      1
    • I haven't heard any of them
      14


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I'm writing something about studying and understanding Objectivism. If you'll give me two seconds of your time, answering the poll would help me to get a rough estimate of what percentage of Objectivists are familiar with these courses. If you're feeling very generous, I'm interested in the following follow up questions.

(1) If you've listened to more than one, which did you find most helpful in better understanding Objectivism? Why?

(2) If you've intentionally neglected one of them, which one and why?

(3) If you haven't listened to any of them, why not?

(4) If you've listened to one or more, did you just listen, or did you study it? Meaning did you take detailed notes, do the homework, relisten to segments you found confusing, etc.

(5) How important do you think these courses are to fully understanding Objectivism?

Thanks.

Edited by Atlas51184

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(3) If you haven't listened to any of them, why not? I'm a cheap bastard, I am a visual person, reading is faster than listening, reading is better suited for close study. It frustrates me that Peikoff hasn't released transcript versions of some of his course that are now 20+ years old.

(4) If you've listened to one or more, did you just listen, or did you study it? Meaning did you take detailed notes, do the homework, relisten to segments you found confusing, etc.

Slowly working through Art of Thinking now. It is a royal pain in the ass to study an audio file.

(5) How important do you think these courses are to fully understanding Objectivism? Critical to get to "fully". I think I got 90% of the way there without them, but my self-evaluation is subjective.

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Just UO for me. I studied the material, not just listened, including multiple listens to selected material and extensive notes. I didn't always fully complete the homework, but I did at least think it over for a bit before continuing.

Cost is definitely a factor. I also prefer book format, but not so much that I won't buy the courses. I'm hoping I get the opportunity to borrow some of the lectures. My next listen is probably Advanced Seminars on OPAR. I'm interested in most of the major lecture courses, though.

I think they are critical for my understanding of Objectivism, but some (but probably not many) may be able to get along without them.

Edited by Nate

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I'm writing something about studying and understanding Objectivism. If you'll give me two seconds of your time, answering the poll would help me to get a rough estimate of what percentage of Objectivists are familiar with these courses. If you're feeling very generous, I'm interested in the following follow up questions.

(1) If you've listened to more than one, which did you find most helpful in better understanding Objectivism? Why?

(2) If you've intentionally neglected one of them, which one and why?

(3) If you haven't listened to any of them, why not?

(4) If you've listened to one or more, did you just listen, or did you study it? Meaning did you take detailed notes, do the homework, relisten to segments you found confusing, etc.

(5) How important do you think these courses are to fully understanding Objectivism?

Thanks.

(1) Among those listed, Understanding Objectivism was the most helpful to me, as it takes special consideration for accounting for methods of thinking that we may or may not be aware of, but that can and do affect how we integrate Objectivism as such. Objectivism Through Induction follows as a close second.

(4) I listen to lectures while biking to school or the library (as well as while I'm at the library), which means I listen to them in short, 15 minute to 30 minute bursts. I basically complete one lecture a day, as I take about two trips (two times back and forth) a day. This gives me adequate time to think about each new idea presented in the lecture, connecting the ideas both to (a) what I've already listened to as well as (which is really just a part of) (b ) what is already part of my personal context. For those lectures that contained homework (like Objectivism Through Induction), I'd either have a mental idea already of how I would complete the tasks, or I would complete the section at the library if it was more complex.

(5) I think they are crucial to fully understand Objectivism. Reading the novels and the non-fiction can only take you so far--not everyone can make every connection or identify every principle (not only is it not an automatic or obvious process, it takes a lot of time!). Some will excel at a faster pace than others, but those who have the benefit of the lectures will avoid the numerous pitfalls that are actually very common among any discipline or study. If your validation for Capitalism is something like

"Man lives by his rational faculty, the initiation of force negates the rational faculty, therefore man needs a system that restricts the initiation of force and protects individual rights, which is Capitalism,"

then you still have a ways to go. The lectures are probably the best source for straightening out this kind of Rationalistic deduction.

I've noticed that a lot of people knock the lectures not just for their price, but because it's easier to read a book. In my opinion, and I believe Peikoff makes this point in one of the lectures, if you merely transcribed the lectures, there would be diminishment. They would have to be specially written and edited for a book/pamphlet/what have you, which actually might be a good suggestion. Also, for those that need more of a 'visual' element while they are studying these lectures, the handouts that were given at the past conferences for the various lectures can be found here:

http://www.aynrandbookstore2.com/supplements.asp

For those that find the prices restrictive, your best bet is to find the nearest college campus club, as they can borrow these lectures from the ARI (not too long ago they were getting rid of their stock of lectures on tape, and I know many of the campus clubs out there received many of these as well, so your nearest campus club might already have copies).

Edited by West

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Thanks to everyone who took the time to respond. If there is interest, I'll post something more about why I'm asking the question. Until then, here is (6).

(6) If you have not heard Understanding Objectivism or Objectivism Through Induction, are you familiar with the concepts "rationalism" and "empiricism"* as used by Objectivism? If so, from where?

*Objectivism uses "rationalism" and "empiricism" to refer to false methods of thinking. You might be familiar with rationalism and empiricism from the history of philosophy, Leibniz being a rationalist, Hume an empiricist. I'm not interested in this second use of the terms.

Thanks again!

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If there is interest, I'll post something more about why I'm asking the question.
I know I'm curious.

(6) If you have not heard Understanding Objectivism or Objectivism Through Induction, are you familiar with the concepts "rationalism" and "empiricism"* as used by Objectivism? If so, from where?
Aren't those terms discussed in some detail in UO as well? I might be mixing it up with some other lecture.

UO is definitely one of my favorites, and one I recommend most. I think it ought to be edited, produced in text form.

(Aside: Next step would be to build a donation fund that could buy the rights to the text version and put it on the web. UO identifies a few reasons some people do not stick with Objectivism. Using ARI's analogy of the "funnel", I think of this as the "leaky funnel". There are holes all over the place from which people are dropping out. If those holes are plugged, the neck of the funnel will see a wider flow. UO blocks some big hole, and the right ones: i.e. the ones that might stump people who are well-meaning, etc.)

Edited by softwareNerd

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(1) "If you've listened to more than one, which did you find most helpful in better understanding Objectivism? Why?"

Objectivism Through Induction. Why? Because it taught me how to induce the principles of Objectivism and therefore also how to properly understand and prove the philosophy. In addition, since I have now based my understanding on Objectivism on my own observations, I have a new conviction of its truth, a conviction I do not think that you can establish without induction. I learned a thing or two about Objectivism which I did not know before. It convinced me of the power of induction which, in turn, have encouraged me to actively induce as much as possible.

(4) "If you've listened to one or more, did you just listen, or did you study it? Meaning did you take detailed notes, do the homework, relisten to segments you found confusing, etc."

I studied them thoroughly. I made a lot of notes. I have me about 33 pages of very detailed notes on Objectivism Through Induction. I have also about 28 pages of very detailed notes on The Art of Thinking. (Unfortunately I only have them in Swedish.) I have done all the home work. And I have relistened several lectures, several times. And I am currently, actively, working on automatizing everything I have learned from the latter lecture. I am also writing down a plan for how I will go about to induce the essentials of Objectivism on my own.

(5) "How important do you think these courses are to fully understanding Objectivism?"

I think they are very important. I think that OTI is extremely valuable if you truly want to understand Objectivism and learn how to validate it properly. I have learned more from these lectures than I have done for several years on my own. I suspect that UO is very valuable for the exact same reason.

I honestly do not think that you are seriously interested in Objectivism if you do not want to listen to the major lectures of Dr Leonard Peikoff. They will not only help you understand Objectivism much better, they will also help you integrate it to your own life, your own thinking and thereby it will help you become a better person and thinker.

I intend to listen to all of them, even some of the lectures that you have not mentioned, as soon as I can afford to do it.

Yes, they are costly but in my opinion they are worth it. You have to think of it as an investment for life. In a sense you will learn more from these lectures than you ever will at a college. Would it be good if they were less expensive? Yes. Would it have been better if they were available in text format? Maybe. I, however, do not mind the audio format at all. In fact, I actually prefer it because I love listening to Dr Leonard Peikoff lecturing. He is, in my opinion, without a doubt one of the best lecturers ever.

My suggestion to those who have a hard time listening to lectures, is that the first time you listen to them, you should only concentrate on understanding. Let it sink in until the next time you listen on them. Then the next time you listen on them, you take notes. Since you now know, roughly, what he is going to say, it should be easy to take down good and detailed notes.

Edited by knast

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