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Fill in the blanks for the best Objectivist books in the following categories:

Ontology: __________

Epistemology: __________

Axiology: __________

Physics: __________

Psychology: __________

Biology: __________

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I'm going to say that anything from Ayn Rand would probably work for the best Objectivist books in any category since she's the preeminent author on those subjects.

As for the other categories, there are seminal works in most of them that were not written by Objectivists and are just as valid as anything an Objectivist might write. For example, I don't even know what an Objectivist mathematics tract would look like. There might be a mathematical work written by an Objectivist, but it would be remiss to act as if Objectivism had some singular contribution to make to the subject beyond laying down a rational foundation for all knowledge.

If you're looking for the seminal works that I've mentioned, then I think we could have an interesting discussion. Especially if you further specialize your categories since mathematics is an immense topic as are the other ones.

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Well, here's what I've compiled so far:

Ontology

"Philosophy" by Ayn Rand

(The Nature of Consciousness) by Harry Binswanger

Epistemology

"Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" by Ayn Rand

"An Introduction to Logic" by H.W.B. Joseph

Axiology

"The Virtue of Selfishness" by Ayn Rand

"Capitalism" by Ayn Rand

Physics

"Induction in Physics and Philosophy" by Leonard Peikoff

"The Anti-Copernican Revolution" by David Harriman

Psychology

"The Psychology of Self-Esteem" by Nathaniel Branden

"The DIM Hypothesis" by Leonard Peikoff

Biology

"The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts" by Harry Binswanger

"Biology" by Neil A. Campbell

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That's a decent list. To the epistemology part, I'd add "The Evidence of The Senses" by Kelley for a focus on the validity of sense perception -- it's good, if you can deal with his academic style. (I know a lot of Objectivists get turned off by it.) For mathematics, there isn't much, but you can check out some of Ron Pisaturo's stuff. (Binswanger's tape set on philosophy of science has some interesting stuff about geometry, too.)

I'd also add Tara Smith's "Viable Values" as a good addition to The Virtue of Selfishness; it answers a lot of difficult questions in metaphysics. Again, it's more academic than a lot of Objectivist work, so if you're not accustomed to that style you should expect to spend some time on it.

For physics, David Harriman is the man -- so I'm told anyway. I haven't actually listened to any of his lectures. Objectivescience.com has some articles on physics, and some Objectivists find Lewis Little's "Theory of Elemental Waves" to be a coherent answer to many problems in physics. (I don't know enough to evaluate it.)

If you're going to read one Branden book, I'd say go with the early stuff; he's just been rehashing the same ideas for the last 30 or so years, and they've been watered down to some degree. The best one I've read is "Psychology of Self-Esteem."

Lastly, George Reisman's tome "Capitalism" is totally awesome, and it's now available online for free. Check it out at www.capitalism.net. (He also has an *enormous* list of study questions on there, which is always handy if you really want to retain what you read.)

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Also, is there any way I can crack this print lock?  I'm not trying to exploit the book, I'd just prefer flipping through a hard copy over scrolling through a soft one.

Did you perhaps misread the title?

The front page of his site makes it quite clear that the free book is intentionally crippled so that you would buy either the CD-ROM version for $39.95 or the hardcover version for $66.50. I think the book is worth either price. If it's not worth it to you, then you will have to abide by his wishes and read it at your computer.

Property rights are a bitch, huh?

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Did you perhaps misread the title?

The front page of his site makes it quite clear that the free book is intentionally crippled so that you would buy either the CD-ROM version for $39.95 or the hardcover version for $66.50. I think the book is worth either price. If it's not worth it to you, then you will have to abide by his wishes and read it at your computer.

Property rights are a bitch, huh?

My mistake. It just seems silly that I have the entire text to read in front of me and I can't print it. I'll eventually buy the hard copy though.

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What about "The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts" by Binswanger? Any good? Better than Smith's "Viable Values?"

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Smith's book deals with meta-ethics quite broadly, while Binswanger's deals more particularly with the validation of teleological concepts and gets quite a bit into biology and the philosophical nature of life. It's almost meta-meta-ethics. :confused: Actually, in a way Binswanger's work is the broader one, since teleology subsumes not only human action (and therefore ethics) but all goal-directed action, i.e., all life.

Both are good, but I must say that I enjoyed reading Binswanger's more--I think his style is better. Plus, Smith references Binswanger and draws on his work in part in defending her own--so it is probably a good idea to read Binswanger's first, because that way you'll understand Smith's better when you read hers.

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Does anyone know when the following books will be published?:

(A book on the nature of consciousness) by Harry Binswanger

"Induction in Physics and Philosophy" by Leonard Peikoff

"The Anti-Copernican Revolution" by David Harriman

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It puzzles me as to why Andrew Bernstein advertises books on his site that are non-existent (The Capitalist Manifesto: The Historic, Economic and Philosophic  Case for Laissez-Faire, Objectivism in One Lesson) as far as I know..

Buzz is an important factor in selling books. When Peikoff ever finishes his induction book, it will sell comparatively well because he's gotten people to ask him about it at every opportunity for the last five or more years. Well, that and his name recognition. Bernstein doesn't have Peikoff's cachet, so he's got to stir up some anticipation.

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