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My little brother is going to start high school next year in the Internation Baccalaureate (IB) program. A course in Philosophy is required, in which he will be taught Platonic epistemology. Im worried that with his teachers telling him things that are so blatently irrational that his thinking will become corrupt. And, frankly, I will disown him if he becomes a little Ellsworth Toohey.

If anyone has any information, tactics or links that would be helpful, please let me know.

THANK YOU

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I think you should let your brother make his own choices. Let him decide what's ration or not with his own mind. I don't recall Roarke ever go around preaching about what is or isn't rational or correct (although it might not be fair since he's supposed to be the ideal man and apparently have everything figured out without ever needing to actually consider it).

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A friend has a kid in a school that does the IB program. He spoke to the English teacher about ARI's book program, and she seemed interested. Meanwhile, he convinced a teacher at the school that "Night of January 16th" is an ideal play for a high-school (because of simplicity of a single stage, chance for audience participation, etc.), and they staged it.

Meanwhile, give your brother your AR book collection and be available to answer questions.

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I agree with Moebius. Let your brother take the class. If he possesses any value for independent thinking, he will question what he is being taught himself. If the teacher's answers satisfy his questions, then you may want to advise him to read other philosophers. You could give him "The Fountainhead," which could get him thinking in the right direction.

Of course, you have to treat your brother as an individual. Brainwashing him in Objectivism will do him no better than being brainwashed in Plato. He has to essentially figure it out himself.

Edited by Mimpy

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First of all, he's only fourteen. He's not intellectually mature enough to survive the barrage if indoctrination inherent in that course. He's relatively intelligent but easily swayed by authority figures. All I wanted to know was what would be some good websites that explain Objectivist positions in a pithy manner. Some of you said, "let him make his own decisions", however that is impossible when you only have a portion of the relevant information.

This is a website that explains what the course is:

www.teaching-point.net/ibtok.html

www.wikipedia.org/wiki/theory_of_knowledge

Edited by charlie

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First of all, he's only fourteen. He's not intellectually mature enough to survive the barrage if indoctrination inherent in that course.

I think I'm safe saying that, with a few very lucky exceptions, everyone here was subjected to a similar barrage of indoctrination in almost every area of his life at the age of 14 (and throughout his education). The fact is, that is the state of our education system. Nevertheless, the majority of us has broken free of the indoctrination. I think your "intellectually mature" argument needs some revision.

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I wouldn't be so quick to dismiss Charlie's concerns.

Here is the ARI's intro page to Objectivism.

The best solution to your problem is to teach him some of the basics before the Comprachicos get to him, and then have him call you after every class to discuss it.

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The best way to overcome "Platonic brainwashing" is using Plato: have your brother read Plato's Parmenides. Plato is painted as an evil person by a lot of Objectivists, but he was really his own best critic.

I honestly think I gained tremendously and had the groundwork laid for my study of Aristotle and Ayn Rand by studying Plato first. Plato identifies all the key topics in Philosophy, prepares students for the frustration that comes from seeing various Philosophers contradicting each other, and supports Philosophy as a science. He proposes the Forms as a solution to essences and builds a complete Philosophical system based on them, then he goes on to refute the Forms in Parmenides. It's really an incomplete reading of Plato's works that caused so much disaster throughout history, since Plato's final message is "I was wrong."

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