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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

    Objectivist values and the personal.

    By Akilah,
    Very simply, the three cardinal values are reason, purpose, and self-esteem. Which I presume are ranked in that order as well. My question is, how does one integrate his own values with the three cardinal values and remain consistent? Exempli gratia, 'health', or 'wealth' and so on.

    "Egoism and Others" by Merlin Jetton

    By Boydstun,
    ***** Split from Objectivism in Academia ***** The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies is in its eighteenth year of publication (Penn State University Press). It issues twice a year, July and December. I have all its issues, hardcopy, from its beginning. I’ve mentioned elsewhere on Objectivism Online an extensive review, in the July 2018 issue, of Harry Binswanger’s book How We Know. I notice also in this issue a paper “Egoism and Others” by Merlin Jetton, a long-time friend of mine. In his contribution “Egoism and Others,” Jetton draws Rand’s ethical egoism as an extreme position, polar opposite the extreme altruistic ethics of Comte. That sketch seems right. But Jetton writes “Contra Rand, one can benefit others without self-sacrifice” (85). I don’t think that statement in itself is an exact representation of Rand. She characterizes voluntary productive, romantic, and esthetic relationships as benefitting both self and others. Jetton later tempers that statement on Rand, thankfully, in his addressing for example her ambitious essay “The Conflict of Mens’ Interests.” Jetton conveys altruism as taking various forms. Rand’s notion of altruism, he correctly takes as entailing self-sacrifice. He maintains that Rand disdained altruism in any form and that this stance “may actually detract from a person’s self-interest” (85). “Rand advocated self-interest all the time and typically treated acting for the interest of others as equivalent to self-sacrifice” (86). Correct. Jetton concurs with Rand’s stance that one should not live for the sake of another. Contra Rand, he writes: “Acting for the sake of another is sometimes the rational thing to do” (87). I concur, and I concur that this is contra Rand (notwithstanding denials or fogging of this ascription to Rand by some sympathizers with Rand’s egoism). Jetton observes that among our choices of action, there are ones “you might agree that anyone similarly disposed would have in such circumstances” (87). He dips into a work by Charles Larmore, a former professor of mine, in filling out this idea. From the reflective plane of regarding ourselves as responding to reasons and binding ourselves to reasons, Jetton goes on to gauge the morality of benefitting others in business, familial, fiduciary, governmental, and charitable relationships, marking up Rand’s pertinent words all along the way. An additional basic frame of Rand’s ethical egoism I think would be worth examining in future examinations and assessments along the lines of Jetton’s present study is her proposition “Life is an end in itself.” This is a basic frame not only for her ethical egoism, but for her case for universal individual rights. And the latter, with their justification, could have fertile ramifications for treatment of others, even going beyond scope of the law.

    What exactly is "full validation" of an idea in Objectivism?

    patrik 7-2321
    By patrik 7-2321,
    In Objectivism, a "proof" of an idea is reduction. One thereby goes backwards "down" through the steps necessary to reach the abstract idea, which can be a proposition or a concept, through the necessarily prior ideas, until one reaches the most basic kinds of observations on which the idea depends. The prime example of this would be the Objectivist proof of the principle of egoism. It is normally proved by reducing the concept "value" down to its necessary prerequisites, which are entities acting to achieve goals in face of the fundamental alternative of life or death. However, according to Objectivism as I understand it, this kind of reduction-based proof is not enough for a person to be justified in claiming certain knowledge that an idea is true. It is for instance said in How We Know that "full validation" of an idea, as it is called, requires at first reduction but then also non-contradictory integration into one's total knowledge (I think OPAR says this too, for instance at the bottom of page 138 and in other places where proof is discussed, but perhaps not as explicitly). So, one aquires certain knowledge of an idea after a "full validation" has been performed, which necessarily involves reduction and integration with the rest of one's knowledge. But where does induction fit into this picture? Peikoff's course Objectivism Through Induction (OTI) makes a really big deal out of the idea that real understanding and validation of an idea is based on induction. He repeatedly uses the term "inductive proof" (which btw. seems to run contrary to the definition of proof given in OPAR as essentially "reduction". What would "inductive reduction" be?). "Inductive proof" or derivation is the only way to fully validate an idea he basically says - this presupposing a reduction to begin with. What I end up with is that "full validation" of an idea requires reduction and integration, the integration being based on induction - when I combine the works of OPAR, HWK, and OTI (and more). However why isn't this explicitly stated in either OPAR or HWK, that induction has this crucial role in the integration-part of "full validation" of an idea, if indeed this is the case? Why does this role of induction only show up kind of obscurely in OTI if it is so crucially important as it is claimed in that course? "Mere" integration of an idea "into the sum of one's knowledge" to me implies a sort of inward-looking, assuming that the content of one's mind is the test of an idea rather than the content of reality, and for that reason the focus on "induction" as in the OTI course appeals to me, because there one is taught to integrate data from direct observation. It sounds more objective to me. But I'm confused. What is "full validation"? What essential steps do you have to go through to reach certain knowledge of a given proposition?

    Objectivism: The Infinite, Causation, and the Universe

    By StrictlyLogical,
    What is the Objectivist position on the following observations: 1. No thing can come from Nothing. 2. There was no prior time during which there was Nothing and from which (after which) came or arose all of existence. 3. The Universe is and always was, it had no beginning. 4.  At every moment the chain of events in causation prior to that moment are the cause of what IS at that moment. 5.  At no moment was there an absence of causation for what WAS at that moment, nor an absence of prior events and existents which constitute the causes of that causation. 6.  The chain of causative events of the past are to be grasped as extending indefinitely into the past. 7.  A chain of causative events extending indefinitely into the past implies an uncountable number of past events exceeding any finite number, since any finite number of events into the past constitutes a causal chain extending only definitely (finitely) into the past.   In order to avoid a conclusion that something came from nothing, entities came from no entities, or that time came from no time etc., or that at one time there was not past and no causation; one must embrace a universe which has "forever" existed and has undergone an infinity of causal events in the past.   This infinite accounting of events, is vaguely reminiscent of an infinite causal regress, the flawed argument of creation:  universe was created by God 1 from nothing, God 1 was created by God 2 perhaps as part of another higher universe, from nothing; ... God X and his universe were created by God X+1 from nothing... in an infinite regress.  The main difference between an infinite accounting and an infinite regress is that the causality of disparate events of an everlasting universe, although they are constantly and always "giving birth" to a metaphysically changed universe from what it was a moment ago, the universe has NOT come into existence from nothing nor is it a different universe, nor something of a categorical different order, and there is no "hierarchically separated" structure of creation as would be implied by a nested series of God creations of the infinite regress.   What is the Objectivist position on the above, and (notwithstanding my above ruminations) why IS an infinite "regress" worse than an infinite causal chain?

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