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Dingbat

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Hi, I decided I needed a good Objectivist forum to help develop my Objectivist knowledge.

I’ve only read a few of Ayn Rand’s stuff, namely Atlas Shrugged, some of the essays in Capitalism, some of the essays in Virtue of Selfishness, Anthem, and We the Living. I don’t feel the need to have to read every single thing, and I have known people who equate the number of Ayn Rand’s books read with the self-justification of being an Objectivist, which is ridiculous. Personally, and maybe I am wrong and I hope there are those who will correct me, I think one could get a general, but good, grasp of Objectivist reasoning by reading only a few of the essays in Virtue of Selfishness, namely ‘The Objectivist Ethics.’

Because there are more issues than what has already been covered by Objectivist literature, and because there will continue to be more as time goes on, it’s insufficient to just give people the Objective answers without showing them how to think Objectively in the first place. What’s most important is acquiring the rationalism which is a pertinent theme in her works. Once you acquire this, you can face any novel situation in the world with this rational mental-outlook.

Since I’ve only read a very limited amount of Objectivist literature, and since it has been a long while since I’ve read that stuff, I admit I’m not an expert. Likewise, I don’t consider myself a strict Objectivist since my ideals are mixed with many other sources and experiences outside of Objectivist literature. I hope, with my general understanding, that I don’t frustrate anybody if I start spouting any pseudo-Objectivistic ideologies (e.g. I don’t see the wrong in Objectivists supporting the Libertarian party but I understand this is a widely debated topic and against the rules so I’ll spare everyone the madness!). Anyways, If I do make any silly mistakes, you’re welcome to correct me :) .

Kind regards!

Edited by Dingbat

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Hey Dingbat,

Welcome to the forum. I hope you find much here that is of value to you.

Apart from her newsletter articles and lectures, Rand never really put her philosophy down in non-fiction book form. The exception is "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" (ITOE), which she titled with the word "introduction" and (I think) referred to as a monograph. Dr. Peikoff's book, "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand" (OPAR) was the first non-fictional book that put the whole thing together.

How much Objectivist material one reads depends on one's purpose.

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Welcome to the forum!

"The Objectivist Ethics" only covers ... well ... ethics.

There are five branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and aesthetics.

I would think that OPAR would be pretty good for a foundation. You could also read the more specialized books on the other branches if you are so inclined. (epistemology: ITOE, ethics: "The Virtue of Selfishness", politics: "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal", aesthetics: "The Romantic Manifesto")

You might also replace the word "rationalism" above with "rationality" in the future. Look in the Wiki to learn why:

http://wiki.objectivismonline.net/wiki/Main_Page

There is a good introductory video here:

http://www.aynrandnovels.com/ARIdeas.php?p...me=intro_course

Also, don't be afraid to ask why certain things aren't compatible with Objectivism, but try the search button first!

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Hi, I decided I needed a good Objectivist forum to help develop my Objectivist knowledge.

Welcome.

I’ve only read a few of Ayn Rand’s stuff, namely Atlas Shrugged, some of the essays in Capitalism, some of the essays in Virtue of Selfishness, Anthem, and We the Living. I don’t feel the need to have to read every single thing, and I have known people who equate the number of Ayn Rand’s books read with the self-justification of being an Objectivist, which is ridiculous. Personally, and maybe I am wrong and I hope there are those who will correct me, I think one could get a general, but good, grasp of Objectivist reasoning by reading only a few of the essays in Virtue of Selfishness, namely ‘The Objectivist Ethics.’

I would suggest reading Atlas Shrugged if you hadn't already done so. However, you should also read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, and The Ayn Rand Lexicon. That is all I can think of. Does anyone else have any others to add to that?

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Welcome to the forum.

I am intrigued by your self-deprecating username. When I opened this thread, the first thing I read was softwareNerd's post beginning with "Hey Dingbat". I contemplated what kind of fool managed to aggravated softwareNerd so much with a single, introductory post, causing our good administrator to became uncharacteristically condescending! ;)

However, you should also read Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, and The Ayn Rand Lexicon.

Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology is more specialized. I would not feel obligated to make that your next choice in furthering your understanding of Objectivism unless if the epistemological issues are of a primary interest to you.

The Ayn Rand Lexicon is a quick, handy reference. It is not something that you read.

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff is a book well worth reading if you really want to obtain a more sound comprehension of Objectivism after reading some of Ms. Rand's novels and many of her essays. There is no better way to further one's understanding at that point.

Dingbat, what particular aspects of Ayn Rand's philosophy have attracted you? What are some of your other intellectual interests? Perhaps we can offer some more specific recommendations tailored for you.

Edited by DarkWaters

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Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology is more specialized. I would not feel obligated to make that your next choice in furthering your understanding of Objectivism unless if the epistemological issues are of a primary interest to you.

I am aware of it being specialised. I was advising books for him to read if he wanted to know as much about about Objectivism as he could.

The Ayn Rand Lexicon is a quick, handy reference. It is not something that you read.

You have to read the things you look up so, "It is not something that you read," is extremely incorrect.

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Thanks for the replies all.

It’s true that most of my readings are straight from Ayn Rand so I really do need to update my understanding with current stuff. So I really appreciate the suggestions and I’ll definitely look into them. I’ll definitely check out Dr. Peikoff’s ‘OPAR’ and the lexicon seems like a handy thing to have as well.

Nate, I’ll try not to mix up rationalism and rationality in the future lol, thanks for pointing that out.

Darkwaters, I am more interested in attaining the Objectivist rationality, which I suppose is epistemology, but I’m not sure. I’m thinking in terms of the way of reasoning which is fundamental to Objectivism, the kind of thinking that Ayn Rand, Peikoff, Brandon, and Keller had which enabled them to work out all of those ideas, whether they are metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, political, or aesthetical.

I’m not that interested with much beyond this fundamental, Objectivist rationality maybe because I am more worried about acquiring the correct mental-outlook. I feel that once I do, everything will fall into place relatively straightforwardly (possibly an oversimplification?). For example, to me, it doesn’t make sense to convince somebody that capitalism is the best social system without convincing somebody of the way Objectivism assigns value first.

The only thing I am interested in beyond this fundamental level is Objectivist ethics because I don’t know how one can live with other human beings without some moral system. So I guess you can say that my interests in Objectivism are very basic and pragmatic, sort of the layman’s Objectivism, just the essentials to make it through the world without delusion, Objectivism 101. I am not too interested in these ‘higher-order’ subjects such as economics, science, or politics, although that may change once I feel confident in my reasoning abilities. I believe I can survive without knowing too much about economics, science, and politics or I can at least learn about any of them on my own if the need arises, but ethics is something which everyone should know with good understanding as soon as possible. Thus, learning Objectivist ethics presupposes that one knows how to think with Objectivist rationality.

My intellectual interests can include almost anything, although I am most interested in arts, philosophy, or humanities in general, but I can appreciate the sciences and social sciences. I couldn’t care less for business though ;). It’s just not me. But one thing in particular, I am interested in topics related to Feminism. Is Feminism considered a blasphemy in the face of Objectivism?

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Hi!

I’m not that interested with much beyond this fundamental, Objectivist rationality maybe because I am more worried about acquiring the correct mental-outlook. I feel that once I do, everything will fall into place relatively straightforwardly (possibly an oversimplification?).

Understanding Objectivist Philosophy will help you out significantly in you're life. However, because there is no mystical deity to deal out success to everyone that is virtuous I wouldn't say that "everything will fall into place".. you still have to face situations where you have a shortage of factual knowledge (e.g. you can't automatically be a great Engineer, although you now have the method to learn Engineering) and the rather significant issue of having to deal with other men who may or may not be rational.

The only thing I am interested in beyond this fundamental level is Objectivist ethics because I don’t know how one can live with other human beings without some moral system.

You definitely need Philosophy to deal with others. Dealing with other people involves the branch of "politics" more than "ethics." If you were alone on a desert island you would still need ethics, but would have no need of politics. Its a fine distinction but you'll figure it out.

So I guess you can say that my interests in Objectivism are very basic and pragmatic, sort of the layman’s Objectivism, just the essentials to make it through the world without delusion, Objectivism 101.

You should definitely read "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand."

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