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dream_weaver

Being Objective about Objectivism

12 posts in this topic

Greg Salmieri brings up an interesting point on his 2016 presentation "Being Objective about Objectivism". It takes some people a long time to agree with Objectivism. The case in point he used was Dagny, after listening to Galt's speech—why didn't she just quit then and go to the valley?

"Consider the reasons which make us certain that we are right," said Hugh Akston, "but not the fact that we are certain. If you are not convinced, ignore our certainty. Don't be tempted to substitute our judgment for your own."

In his lecture he also admonishes Dr. Peikoff's course "Objectivism Thru Induction" as providing a pattern for an individual interested in validating the principles of Objectivism.

Whether "Atlas Shrugged" or "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand" the information provided in both present a "whole" that can seem right to the uninitiated in philosophical tenants. As Salmieri puts it, her radical philosophy challenges the entire history of philosophy, not just an isolated point here and there.

"The battle of the philosophers is a battle for man's mind." This is from the Ayn Rand Letter, Vol. III, No. 8, Jan. 14, 1974. She goes on to say "If you do not understand their theories, you are vulnerable to the worst among them."

If by vulnerable she means to simply succumb to bad philosophy, I disagree. If she means to be ineffectual in taking a stand against bad philosophy, then she is more true to the mark, albeit those holding bad philosophy are not necessarily moved by a good philosophic counterpoints. At this point, those who seek justified beliefs as contrasted against mere opinion need only learn to differentiation between the two.

 

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I really don't agree with this characterization of Rand or her philosophy as "radical". Objectivism is true, and for that reason it is naturally intuitive, common sensical, and normal.

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8 hours ago, dream_weaver said:

In his lecture he also admonishes Dr. Peikoff's course "Objectivism Thru Induction" as providing a pattern for an individual interested in validating the principles of Objectivism.

"admonishes" doesn't seem to fit the context of your post.

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In Salmieri's lecture he also advocates Dr. Peikoff's course.

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14 hours ago, epistemologue said:

I really don't agree with this characterization of Rand or her philosophy as "radical". Objectivism is true, and for that reason it is naturally intuitive, common sensical, and normal.

"Radical" would be with regard to others philosophies. As you come to understand Objectivism is true, it is a naturally intuitive, plain common sense, and normal approach. Everyone should want to abolish public schools in favor of privatized education, as well as roads, sewage etc. To those that cannot imagine the world in such a state, these are radical suggestions.

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56 minutes ago, dream_weaver said:

"Radical" would be with regard to others philosophies. As you come to understand Objectivism is true, it is a naturally intuitive, plain common sense, and normal approach. Everyone should want to abolish public schools in favor of privatized education, as well as roads, sewage etc. To those that cannot imagine the world in such a state, these are radical suggestions.

Privatization doesn't "abolish" the schools or roads. You're talking like you want to burn the buildings down and rebuild something new. That's not Objectivism. Objectivism is not "radical".

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2 hours ago, JASKN said:

To dream_weaver's point, when just 3% of the US population identifies as atheist, by Oxford's definition Objectivism is radical, or "characterized by departure from tradition; innovative or progressive."

Objectivism is definitely radical, but I don't think atheism is. Americans don't identify as atheists because "atheist" is a loaded term. A better way to poll for what percentage of the country is atheist is simply to ask "Do you believe in God? Yes/No". Everyone who picks no is an atheist.

And, once you ask the question that way, the percentage goes up to about 25%. And rising every year.

Edited by Nicky

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I think Objectivism is radical in its framing of morality outside of a religious context and its idea of selfish morality. That 3% strikes me as accurate. I guess atheism isn't radical if your expectations are higher for the timeframe of humanity, but religion is still everywhere, and so atheism could still be called radical.

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I could be wildly mis-remembering, but didn't Rand once describe her views as radical?

In any event, I've never seen the term as a pejorative. When applied to Objectivism/Rand, I see it as meaning that these get to the very root of things. And they do.

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Your "get to the very root of things", Tyler, is quite apt.

The New Intellectuals must assume the task of building a new culture on a new moral foundation, which, for once, will not be the culture of Attila and the Witch Doctor, but the culture of the Producer. They will have to be radicals in the literal and reputable sense of the word: "radical" means "fundamental." The representatives of intellectual orthodoxy, conventionality and status quo, the Babbitts of today, are the collectivists. Let those who do care about the future, those willing to crusade for a perfect society, realize that the new radicals are the fighters for capitalism.

Salmieri used it in the sense of not being part of the mainstream.

Two other usages that came to mind were "free-radicals" in chemistry and "radicals" from mathematics. From chemistry, it is an uncharged molecule being highly reactive (and short-lived) in a chemical reaction, while in math it refers to the nth root in a equation (square, or otherwise). Etymologically, philosophy and math have historically deeper roots than the political/chemistry adaptation. The way Rand introduces the term here, bridges that gap nicely.

Edited by dream_weaver

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