Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum
Sign in to follow this  
Guest Alex

What are "essentials"?

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

Guest Alex

I just started reading about Objectivism and I was hoping someone could help me define what exactly essentials are. I've read Ayn Rand talk about to understand anything you must break it down to it's essentials. Is that the same as premises?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An essential is the basic concept presented in an idea. Learning to think in essentials is a crucial skill because many commonly-accepted concepts (like “capitalism” and “selfishness”) are actually contradictory package-deals that can only be defused by thinking in terms of the essentials of the ideas.

A premise is an underlying idea upon which some higher concept rests. For example, capitalism as a political system is based on the premise that man has individual rights. The recognition of man’s rights is also the essence of capitalism, but not all premises are necessarily essentials. Capitalism also rests on the premises that man’s senses are valid, and an ethics of self-interest, but these are not its essentials.

(These are off the top of my head, so feel free to correct me..)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Essential is a somewhat intuitively defined word, and it means what one would think it means. Take a concrete example, say, gun ownership. A person who thought in essentials would ask what rights were involved, what principles, and what standards. A person who could not think in essentials would quote statistics on hunting and self-defense, and probably talk a lot about "practicality." If one cannot think in essentials, one cannot cull the important, underlying premises that are needed to make a decision from the details that surround it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
A person who could not think in essentials would quote statistics...and probably talk a lot about "practicality."

Gee, that sounds a lot like my father. :D (Sorry, I guess that's an inside personal joke--you just have to know him...although you're lucky if you don't.)

;)

Welcome to the board, NeuroSophy.

Edited by AshRyan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
Sign in to follow this  

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...