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the tortured one

general essay on Objectivism

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Nietzsche thought Kant, for example in Critique of Pure Reason, gave an incomplete view of the self. Nietzsche, and supposedly Goethe, had a view of the self that did not let reason, unrealistically separate from feelings and senses and will, negate life and reality and all the other things that reason might posit without senses. In other words, Kant had an incomplete view of the "self" that lead him to error. To put it in Objectivist terms, reason is free will and it depends on the senses.

So, Nietzsche was an advocate of a complete self. He presented his ideal, complete, perfect man in Thus Spake Zarathustra. I'm pretty sure the presentation of a character like Zarathustra as a philosophical ethical example, similar in style to the bible, inspired Rand to write about Roark. Her view of the ideal (perfect) man as being complete, rather than a flawless and omnipotent self willing character, was at least echoing Nietzsche in the ways discussed above.

Thus, Nietzsche-->Zarathustra--> Ayn Rand-->Roark

and also Nietzsche:Zarathustra, as Ayn Rand: Roark

I guess I should have been clearer.

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... So, Nietzsche was an advocate of a complete self.  He presented his ideal, complete, perfect man in Thus Spake Zarathustra.  I'm pretty sure the presentation of a character like Zarathustra as a philosophical ethical example, similar in style to the bible, inspired Rand to write about Roark.  Her view of the ideal (perfect) man as being complete, rather than a flawless and omnipotent self willing character, was at least echoing Nietzsche in the ways discussed above.

What you say here is not at all correct. I could answer in my own words, but Peikoff already provided an excellent answer to your claim:

"AR's first notes reveal an influence of Nietzsche, in the form of droplets of subjectivism, and of the idea that the heroes among men are innately great, as against the inherently corrupt masses, who deserve only bitterness and domination from their superiors. None of this is stated as a connected position, but such ideas do show up here and there.

"It is instructive to watch these droplets—every one of them—evaporate without residue, as AR's own principles emerge into the sunshine of explicit statement; it is a perfect example of science (reason) functioning as a self-corrective. After she comes to define 'reason,' subjectivism vanishes; after her analysis of individual rights, 'domination' is gone; fter she grasps the nature of volition, she says no more about 'innate' stature.

"By her early thirties, AR had thought herself out of every Nietzschean element. With The Fountainhead, the only trace left is in the characters of Dominique and Wynand, whose bitterness about the world Roark proves to be a cardinal error. After The Fountainhead, Nietzsche is not even an error to be refuted; there is nothing but pure Ayn Rand." (Leonard Peikoff, foreward to The Journals of Ayn Rand.)

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(Dr.?) Speicher, what relavence do your quotations have to what I wrote?

"Her view of the ideal (perfect) man as being complete, rather than a flawless and omnipotent self willing character, was at least echoing Nietzsche in the ways discussed above. "

Where did I imply that Ayn Rand was a Nietzschean or a subjectivist?

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Based on my understanding of Nietszche, Zarathustra was not Nietzsche's "ideal man." Zarathustra foretold of "the overman," but he did not say "I am the overman." Zarathustra was supposed to pave the way for the overman. Thus Nietzsche did not present the ideal man in Zarathustra, but merely spoke of him, and left it fairly unclear exactly what an ideal man would be like.

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what relavence do your quotations have to what I wrote?

I offered the quotes to counter your claim that Nietzsche's Zarathustra "inspired Rand to write about Roark" as well as your claim that she was "at least echoing Nietzsche." Any "inspiration" that Ayn Rand had from Nietzsche was gone by the time she wrote The Fountainhead, and Miss Rand's voice was her own, not an echo of Nietzsche.

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"Her view of the ideal (perfect) man as being complete, rather than a flawless and omnipotent self willing character, was at least echoing Nietzsche in the ways discussed above. "

Where did I imply that Ayn Rand was a Nietzschean or a subjectivist?

Speaking for myself alone, I don't know whether you meant to imply it, but I inferred it from your choice of the word "echo." If, in the world of acoustics, A causes sound B, and sound C follows as an echo, then A caused C. Your wording says -- regardless of what you intended -- that Nietzsche caused Roark to be what he is.

Furthermore, a demeaning connotation of "echo" is that it -- meaning Ayn Rand's Howard Roark -- is an attenuation of his supposed predecessor.

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Speaking for myself alone, I don't know whether you meant to imply it, but I inferred it from your choice of the word "echo." If, in the world of acoustics, A causes sound B, and sound C follows as an echo, then A caused C. Your wording says -- regardless of what you intended -- that Nietzsche caused Roark to be what he is.

Furthermore, a demeaning connotation of "echo" is that it -- meaning Ayn Rand's Howard Roark -- is an attenuation of his supposed predecessor.

And that's all true if the sentence stopped at echo, but I wrote "...echoing Nietzsche in the ways discussed above." Here are the ways I meant:

1. not her specific view of the self, but more generally that her view of self was about completeness involving reason, senses, will, and feelings, like Nietzsche's, and as opposed to a catholic or platonic flawless ideal.

2. the presentation of philosophy through fiction, especially with a lonely hero who laughs out loud, experiences joy at living, walks in the sunlight

That is what I meant and I have to say that is pretty much what I wrote, nothing more. I think Objectivism is completely different from Nietzche because Rand discovered and named the axioms at the beginning knowledge where Nietzsche inappropriately spoke of "metaphysical faith" in the "god of truth." I wasn't disputing this or the originality of any part of Rand's philosphy that she brilliantly wrought from that discovery, or that she observed and thought through on the road to that discovery.

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Unskinned, I know what you're trying to say. Suppose I read Kant, "I have decided to limit reason in order to make room for faith", and am inspired, in opposition, to make my life's motto to limit (eliminate) faith in order to leave maximum room for reason. In a situation like that it wouldn't be wrong to say that Kant played a positive role in my development, though it was due to nothing he did himself.

Just be careful when explaining things like that, because there are plenty of people who are a.) careless in issues of such very fine differences, or b.) actually obscure the truth about themselves and truly are inspired by Kant himself. So, keeping in mind what kind of person is most likely to make the arguments you're making, make a precise clarification about how these people differ from you (or you from them), and you'll have no one jumping to conclusions about you, and therefore jumping on you. :D

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So, Nietzsche was an advocate of a complete self.  He presented his ideal, complete, perfect man in Thus Spake Zarathustra.  I'm pretty sure the presentation of a character like Zarathustra as a philosophical ethical example, similar in style to the bible, inspired Rand to write about Roark.  Her view of the ideal (perfect) man as being complete, rather than a flawless and omnipotent self willing character, was at least echoing Nietzsche in the ways discussed above. 

Thus,  Nietzsche-->Zarathustra--> Ayn Rand-->Roark

and also Nietzsche:Zarathustra, as Ayn Rand: Roark

I guess I should have been clearer.

Nietzsche does not intend Zarathustra as the ideal. Zarathustra is a forerunner of the Uebermensch, perhaps a prophet of the Uebermensch, but he is not an Uebermensch.

Also the similarity of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" to the Bible only exists in an abysmal English translation by Cotton. The German is as different from biblical German as can be. Kaufmann's English translation is better.

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Nietzsche does not intend Zarathustra as the ideal.  Zarathustra is a forerunner of the Uebermensch, perhaps a prophet of the Uebermensch, but he is not an Uebermensch.

Also the similarity of "Thus Spoke Zarathustra" to the Bible only exists in an abysmal English translation by Cotton.  The German is as different from biblical German as can be.  Kaufmann's English translation is better.

Other than calling it Thus Spake Zarathustra, Kaufmann is the translation I am quoting from. I was not making a comparison to the Bible in language, however. I am making a comparison in the communication of philosophy, and especially ethics, through story telling.

You're right, Zarathustra is prophet of the ideal, not the ubermensch. That's a significant error on my part. Still, he is an example of how men who are not "golden pups," using Plato's language, can act correctly. In a way, he is as much of an ideal as any man alive at the time could have. Certainly Thus Spake Zarathustra could be described as a "presentation of the ideal." He himself is not the ideal, but I still think the comparison holds.

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