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Severinian

Exposed to indifferent eyes

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"Sometimes, he was asked to show his sketches; he extended them across a desk, feeling a contraction of shame in the muscles of his hand; it was like having the clothes torn off his body, and the shame was not that his body was exposed, but that it was exposed to indifferent eyes."

What do you make of this line? Why should being exposed naked to indifferent eyes matter to a rational person? If he or she had self-esteem, it shouldn't matter that some people won't see beauty in it. Just like you wouldn't feel ashamed if an animal saw you naked. I have a feeling that the answer to this explains why Objectivism is also against nude photography, which I've never quite understood.

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I have never heard any reputable source claim Objectivism as such is "against nude photography" nor am I familiar with any principle of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, or politics which could form the basis for any opposition to nude photography.

 

If the statue of David is a 3d analogue of "nude photography" then as far as aesthetics goes, Objectivism would recognize a nude photograph as art if it qualifies as art.

 

 

 

As for the line from the book, although out of context, I get the impression that the sketcher is a child, to whom full understanding of a rational philosophy such as Objectivism would be out of reach and only after many years, maturity, and study would such be possible. 

 

Of course it doesn't matter (so much) once you have the self-esteem... clearly at this point in time, the person does not have the self-esteem. 

 

Of course if the others are people he values and wants to share his joy with and have an experience of some sort of rapport, synergy, etc., it will still be a disappointment even if the person has fully developed self-esteem.... a disappointment that a potential to share in a pleasant experience is lost.

Edited by StrictlyLogical

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Pretty sure that the idea being conveyed is that sharing something personal when the person looking doesn't care feels shameful to someone who cares about exchanging value.

jacassidy2 likes this

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What do you make of this line? 

I think the "shame" here is about the feeling of the actor extending his arm, and thus "contributing" -- in that sense -- to the scene. 

 

The main point being made is not about shame though, but about indifference. 

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It was Howard Roark, so I doubt it's due to a lack of self-esteem. 

Regarding nude art, I must have remembered wrongly what Peikoff said in this answer, I guess he's talking about the act of masturbating here: 

http://www.peikoff.com/2014/03/24/i-am-dating-a-girl-that-is-an-internet-cam-girl-meaning-she-strips-and-masturbates-via-web-chat-for-money-i-like-the-fact-that-she-fakes-having-a-good-time-with-other-men-but-is-really-attracted-on/

Still, I don't understand why Roark, as a rational man, should feel ashamed, why should he care whether irrational people can't appreciate his work any more than if a dog didn't? 

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...I guess he's talking about the act of masturbating ...

The question and the answer are not about masturbating. It's about sex for money.

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Still, I don't understand why Roark, as a rational man, should feel ashamed, why should he care whether irrational people can't appreciate his work any more than if a dog didn't? 

Most likely because he was actually handing out examples of his sketches and plans to people who didn't really care. Imagine sharing a painting you took hours to create and are proud of, but the other person just shrugs - or worse, pretends to care. A self-respecting artist shouldn't take the time to share values if the other person sees it as a nonvalue.

dream_weaver likes this

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