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    Objectivism Is The Everyman's Philosophy

    In the universe, what you see is what you get,

    figuring it out for yourself is the way to happiness,

    and each person's independence is respected by all

  • Rand's Philosophy in Her Own Words

    • "Metaphysics: Objective Reality"Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed/Wishing won’t make it so." "The universe exists independent of consciousness"
    • "Epistemology: Reason" "You can’t eat your cake and have it, too." "Thinking is man’s only basic virtue"
    • "Ethics: Self-interest" "Man is an end in himself." "Man must act for his own rational self-interest" "The purpose of morality is to teach you[...] to enjoy yourself and live"
    • "Politics: Capitalism" "Give me liberty or give me death." "If life on earth is [a man's] purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being"
  • Objectivism Online Chat

    Reblogged:Regulation-Induced Drug Shortage Update

    Gus Van Horn blog
    By Gus Van Horn blog,
    Almost exactly two years ago, I ran across Derek Lowe's explanation of the government's role in causing high prices for or shortages of some off-patent drugs. A recent story in the New York Times -- about hospitals manufacturing their own drugs -- reminded me of his explanation of how perverse regulatory incentives were distorting this market. Unsurprisingly, and as I hoped he might, the pharma blogger weighed in soon after the Gray Lady:
    Lowe mentions that eliminating the "logjam" is a high priority of the current head of the FDA, and that is potentially good news in the short term.

    But I cannot agree more with Lowe's last sentence, although I know I would take it much farther than he would. We must ultimately abolish the FDA, devolving whatever legitimate functions it performs either to legitimate governmental agencies or to non-governmental watchdog groups (depending on whether these are the business of the government) and altogether ending its innovation-killing, health-threatening stranglehold on the drug market. The FDA prevents desperate patients from trying new drugs even when they have nothing to lose, slows down or stops the introduction of even less speculative or cutting-edge drugs, and, as we see again here, threatens the availability of familiar drugs.

    -- CAV Link to Original

    Top 10 Life Tips for the Young You

    JASKN
    By JASKN,
    Just move on when it’s boring or when you’re stuck. Change what you can, accept what you can’t. Failures are inherent, but success is very likely over the long haul and makes trying worth it. It’s truly in your power to change things. Try, try again. Don’t take on debt without an honest plan to pay it back. Avoid. Uncontrolled debt is a life sandbag. People don't change unless they want to, and even then it's a process requiring diligence. Love evolves, not necessarily into something worse. The fairytale is only part of the truth. Dwelling on negatives punishes you first and worst. Are things really what they seem? You’d better find out. It’s all about you, really. But, it’s not just you. Worry is a negative default of an idle mind. Take a walk, it's not that serious, someday you'll be dead.
      An advice list will change depending on your target person or audience. These are the top tips 33-year-old me thinks would have most helped 18-year-old me (and up to 33, I guess). Youthful naivety prevents full understanding, and with blissful ignorance, so I tried to phrase it in a way that might have gotten my younger self thinking and thinking back again after some experience, or in a way to which I would have been receptive, especially since I was prone to rationalism. I suppose this list would work without the influence of Rand, but I found Rand right around that age... so, she's baked in by now. I wonder how a list like this might be different 10 years from now, as it won't be geared toward a flailing know-nothing who hasn't established mental habits of systematized truth gathering. Some other tips weren't as important to my younger self without first learning something about the other tips on the list, and they arose naturally afterward based on life experience. Life doesn't seem like a catch-up game anymore. What are your 10?

    Universals

    MisterSwig
    By MisterSwig,
    This thread is devoted to the nature and problem of universals, particularly in relation to the Objectivist theory of concept-formation. What are universals? What is the problem related to them? I'll begin with the Wikipedia entry--to present the issue as neutrally as possible. A universal is something that particular things have in common. This common something can be a kind of thing, a property of a thing, or a relation of a thing. Beyond that, there are theories about the further identification of universals, because it is not obvious how we have knowledge of them or where they even come from. This leads into the essential problem of universals. The problem arises from the fact that we observe similarity, yet every kind, property, or relation of a thing is a unique, particular kind, property, or relation. Thus, how do we get from awareness of particulars to awareness of similarities? From knowledge of specifics to knowledge of universals? The problem begins simply with the recognition of similarity, or commonality. It doesn't begin with an explanation or location for universals. It doesn't say that universals exist in this way or that way, or that they're located in here or over there. But it does acknowledge the existence of particular things which can be similar in some respect. And it also acknowledges a consciousness capable of identifying similarity. Where anyone's theory goes from there is not the problem of universals, but an attempt at solving it. If anyone disagrees so far, please present the problem as you see it. Otherwise, in a day or two, I'll move on and address the argument presented by Intrinsicist elsewhere.

    A Complex Standard of Value

    MisterSwig
    By MisterSwig,
    There has been some great discussion about values lately, and so I'd like to present a brief case for my notion of a complex standard of value. Any feedback or criticism would be appreciated. This is only the beginning of a work in progress. I start with the idea that humans have three basic aspects: the physical, the mental, and the biological.  Also, for each aspect we can hold a separate standard of value. For the physical it's pleasure over pain; for the mental, it's knowledge over ignorance; and for the biological, it's health over sickness. Next, many people seem to believe that man is primarily one of these aspects, while the others are secondary. They argue for what I call a simple standard of value. If man is primarily physical, then his standard of value is pleasure. If he's primarily mental, then his standard is knowledge. And if man is primarily biological, then the standard is health. I call such positions the Simple Man Fallacy. It means taking the standard of value for one aspect of man and applying it to the whole person. I suppose it's an example of the fallacy of composition. I believe it is critical that we form a complex standard of value which integrates the three standards of man's existence: pleasure, knowledge, and health. Rand of course argued for the standard of value being man's life. But there is much confusion over what that means precisely. She said it means: "that which is required for man's survival qua man." And what does that mean? She explained: This is a complex answer that is difficult to digest. For example, how do we figure out which terms, methods, conditions and goals are required for our survival as a rational being? Well, to answer that question, I suggest we consider in equal measure the three basic aspects of our existence: the physical, the mental, and the biological. We should formulate a complex standard of value which integrates our critical needs for pleasure, knowledge, and health.

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