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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

    Ayn Rand: Her Life, Her Philosophy

    Boydstun
    By Boydstun,
    . Who Is Ayn Rand? Ayn Rand in Her Own Words

    Reblogged:Celebrating 4th of July

    Practice Good Theory Blog
    By Practice Good Theory Blog,
    A couple of years ago, I was in a small mid-western resort town on July 4th and thousands of tourists (mostly from elsewhere in the state) had turned out to see the fireworks. Trucks streamed in from all the nearby little towns and farms. The atmosphere was festive. There was benevolence all around. The red-white-and blue was respected, not as a symbol of something above us on an altar, but as a symbol of who we are. Not on a pedestal to be saluted -- though that too -- but, in casual clothing, in funny head-dress, in flashing lights to be worn for the evening.

    All around was a feeling of family and of sharing a value. Very few cops in sight, and yet the thousands self-organizing in very orderly ways. If you asked those people, in that moment, if freedom was their top value, if the individual is important, if we should recognize the individual's right to his own life and happiness...you'd probably find lots of agreement. It's all good, but it is mostly emotional.

    As you peel away and understand the intellectual roots, contradictions appear. I won't say the emotions are unfounded, that there is no "there there". When Hollywood makes a movie of a maverick going up against the world and winning, huge audiences love the theme. It is who they are: sometimes, on some topics, and in some emotional states.

    Nationalism is dangerous when it goes beyond a general benevolent celebration of sharing good values like freedom and individualism. It usually does, and we have a good person like Robert E. Lee rejecting Lincoln's attempt to get him to lead a Union Army, even though he could "anticipate no greater calamity for the country than dissolution" and thought  "secession is nothing but revolution". Why? For "honor" -- which really translates to honoring a convention where you are loyal to your home state.

    Throw in ideas about the role of government in helping people in all sorts of situations. Thrown in ideas about inequality being caused by oppression. And faulty ideas about economics. And suspicions about bankers running the world. Add back the occasional cheering of the maverick who defies authority; but also add back the desire to control other people's behavior: if they're gay, or marrying someone of another race, or smoking pot, or even having a beer when they're 20 years and 11 months!

    That is the contradiction that is America.

    Still, you should feel free to choose what emotions you wish to invest in symbols like the flag. You do not have to salute a flag and think you're saluting a tortured contradiction that is eating itself from the inside out :) .  You can salute it for the right reasons, or for what you think it once stood for.

    Here's Frederick Douglas, speaking on the occasion, about a decade before the civil war: "This Fourth July is yours, not mine. You may rejoice, I must mourn." It's worth reading, particularly if your first reaction is to dismiss it. Was he wrong? Was he right for his time and not for ours? Or, does his admonition still stand?

    "Should we celebrate 4th of July?" I don't think that's the right question. I think that -- right from Day 1 -- there were people who should have been celebrating it. Not just Americans.And, not all Americans.

    I think the question should not be addressed to a group, but to each individual: "Can you celebrate July 4th without hypocrisy?" I think this is the greal lesson from Douglas's speech.

    And, each individual may honestly answer "yes", even if the rest of the world cannot. Link to Original

    The DIM Hypothesis - by Leonard Peikoff

    softwareNerd
    By softwareNerd,
    Amazon says it is to be released on Sept 4, 2012.

    Newton & Leibniz : Hume & Kant

    New Buddha
    By New Buddha,
    From The Worlds of Hume and Kant: [ brackets are my added words ] {.... indicates breaks in text} Just how the capacities of Understanding, Reason and Judgment are involved in the activities of knowing, willing and feeling and in what ways they are related to the realms of Nature and Freedom is exactly what Kant's philosophy is all about. {....} If the world we know is partly a function of our minds [innate structures], then the structures of our experience [in the mind] must reflect the nature of the contributions we make of it. Kant held with the rationalistic tradition that knowledge, to be knowledge, must be certain and beyond doubt. Further, he believed that we possess such certain knowledge in the form of Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics, sciences that tell us something about the world. {....} It was generally supposed that scientists were able to arrive at such principles because they experimented and observed in order to discover relationships between things. It was, of course, the analysis of David Hume that flatly denied that any amount of observations could ever establish for us matter of fact knowledge of any such relationships at all. While Hume tended to relegate all knowledge of matters of fact to the limbo of custom and habit, Kant read Hume's skepticism as the result of our misunderstanding the nature of experience as the source of knowledge. If Euclidean geometry and Newtonian physics constitutes real knowledge, and if conceiving of experience through perceptual observation alone makes this knowledge impossible [per Hume] to explain, then so much the worse for that conception of experience. If the certainty of our knowledge of the experienced world cannot be found in perception [observations via telescopes, measurements, etc.], then the only other source available is the [innate structures] mind for which it is an experience.   Now, in the early 1700's there were a series of correspondences between Newton and Leibniz (via an intermediary, Samuel Clarke) regarding the fact that orbits are not precise, per the inverse square law, as demonstrated in Newton's Principia – and that over time, the instability of the observed orbits would continue to grow until the entire system would fall apart. Newton took the position that God would have to step-in every now and then [providence] and correct the orbits to keep them stable. From Science and Religion in Seventeenth Century England : In a famous jibe the German philosopher Leibniz charged that Newton pictured God as a bumbling watchmaker, so unskillful that His piece had to be cleaned and repaired from time to time. A major point of discussion not just between Newton and Leibniz but among most scientists in the 17th and 18th Century was the role, if any, of God's active, ongoing participation (providence) in maintaining the “Laws of Nature”. The specific differences between Newton and Leibniz regarding causation, mass, vacuum, space and time, force, energy, gravity, etc. are historically interesting (and Leibniz did have an influence on Einstein's Relativity) but they aren't really necessary to understanding what Kant was trying to do by establishing his Categories of Understanding as an a priori, mental structure into which observations were “fitted”.  Think of a "round" percept fitting into a "square" hole of a concept. More to follow:

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