Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Sword of Apollo

  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

  • Days Won


Sword of Apollo last won the day on September 25 2017

Sword of Apollo had the most liked content!

Previous Fields

  • Country
    United States
  • State (US/Canadian)
    Not Specified
  • Relationship status
    No Answer
  • Real Name
  • Copyright

Recent Profile Visitors

2537 profile views

Sword of Apollo's Achievements


Novice (2/7)



  1. People have to learn to handle their subconscious premises, and they can make innocent mistakes about it. Thus it doesn't follow that someone with an unbreached rationality will be perfectly integrated in his psychology. Conversely, it doesn't follow that someone who feels an out-of-context desire has been irrational somewhere. The long-term ideal of the rational man is to achieve perfect integration between conscious and subconscious, and this needs to be striven for. But its lack at any given time is not a sure sign of irrationality, and it doesn't defeat the virtue of actions based on explicit moral principle. Ayn Rand agreed with me: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/psychologizing.html#order_4 In Atlas Shrugged, Rand also had her supremely ideal man, John Galt, relate an instance in which he experienced an out-of-context desire while observing Hank Rearden. That he felt that desire did not make him immoral. A consequence of the view that you ascribe to Rand would be that psychology is an illegitimate profession: It would just be a sanction of irrationality: a cover that allows the irrational to pretend that they're rational. Any rational man would have his psychology completely figured out and integrated, with no conflicts. (The most we might say a psychologist would be useful for would be to hear about the patient's emotional conflicts and then condemn him for his bad premises. The psychologist would merely act as a form of punishment for a perpetrator of irrationality. But then this wouldn't require any specialized training, only philosophical education.)
  2. To see the contrast between virtue ethicists and Objectivism on the nature of virtue as a character trait versus a principle of action, note how I say in the essay: This points to Aristotle's distinction between the virtuous man and the merely "continent" man. A virtuous man, according to Aristotle, not only acts rightly, he does so naturally. His whole psychology must be harmonized with right action. He has no temptation to do wrong, and no emotional responses that conflict with what he should do. If he did, he wouldn't be virtuous, but merely "continent." Ayn Rand doesn't hold this. She says that, so long as a man acts on the proper principle, he is to that extent virtuous. Whether he's conflicted about his action is irrelevant to the virtue of the action. As far as I'm aware, modern virtue ethicists follow Aristotle on this issue. They see virtue as fundamentally a character trait, not a principle of action that an emotionally conflicted agent can follow. They don't identify each virtue with the recognition of certain facts about reality and fundamental human nature. The other issue that divides Rand from the virtue ethicists is the fundamentality of virtue. Virtue ethicists hold virtues as irreducible, explaining eudaimonia in terms of virtues (as at least one of the components.) This makes their concept of eudaimonia moralized, (value-laden) and it means that they beg the question about what virtues are. Where the virtues come from is rationally inexplicable. Rand grounds her morality--including the moral virtues--in the concept of "life," and life is not moralized or value-laden. A key passage from the essay: Hence the conclusion that Objectivist Ethical Egoism is not a form of virtue ethics: Virtue ethics is not merely a concern with virtues or character traits. Other moral theories, like utilitarianism and deontological theories can also have concerns for virtues and character traits. What defines and differentiates virtue ethics from other ethical approaches is that it regards character traits ("virtues") as the fundamental guidelines of moral behavior, not to be explained in any deeper terms, nor judged by any deeper standard.
  3. The Objectivist ethics doesn't fit into any of the standard categories of normative ethics that mainstream academic philosophy uses: It's neither deontological, nor consequentialist, nor a virtue ethics. (Of the three, I'd say it's closest to being a consequentialism. But it's still not one.) In differentiating other ethical theories from consequentialism, it's common to confuse consequentialism--which is a very broad category of ethical theories--with some variant of utilitarianism, and I see that confusion in this thread as well. While utilitarianism is the most popular form of consequentialism, there is such a thing as an "egoist" consequentialism. This would at least purport to be a theory where moral action benefits the agent and where self-sacrifice would never be called for. It is not as easy and obvious how one would differentiate the Objectivist ethics from egoist consequentialism, as from utilitarianism. The Objectivist ethics is also not a virtue ethical theory, since virtue ethics takes virtues to be, fundamentally, character traits that are the most basic explanation of morality. In other words, a virtue ethics takes "virtuous" character traits as irreducible primaries, and all moral actions and goals to be properly explained in terms of them. In contrast, the Objectivist ethics takes virtues to be, fundamentally, principles of action. It also understands virtues to be such, because they lead to values. I discuss the three main categories of normative ethics in academia and how Objectivist Ethical Egoism relates to them in more depth in this essay: Ethical Theories Summarized & Explained: Consequentialism, Deontology, Virtue Ethics, and Objectivist Ethical Egoism.
  4. As you can see, I had to edit the living daylights out of it to fit under the word limit. I still got third place. The prize was a small selection of Rand books.
  5. I have put a lot of effort into this blog over the last few years: Objectivism for Intellectuals | Exploring the depths of Ayn Rand's revolutionary philosophy. I always strive toward intellectual rigor and creating an understanding of principles' contexts in the reader. Sometimes this means that the writing doesn't flow as smoothly as it might if I were to write in a more casual style. But I hope that intelligent and thoughtful people will appreciate the rigor and perhaps gain some insight from it.
  6. When I conceived these, I did take some inspiration from the treatment that the Bible gets. But the Bible doesn't deserve the lavish treatments its editions get. I wanted to see the justice of the books that deserve that treatment far more, getting it. But I also purposely avoided making the covers overly ornate. I wanted the editions to be rich and beautiful, but also elegant. But I no longer think of the Bible when I look at these renderings. The Bible doesn't belong in the world where these books can look like this. So please leave behind the baggage of our current culture, and its dogma-skepticism dichotomy. Lavishing attention on the appearance of a book does not imply dogmatic adherence to the content.
  7. Finally got my art images of Ayn Rand's novels done and posted a link in Productivity. : )

  8. Ayn Rand's novels as they might be and ought to be presented, (at least in my opinion): These original renderings of Ayn Rand's novels in rich, elegant binding. The exteriors of Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, Anthem and We The Living are shown in formal black and embellished with thematic, metallic details. To download high resolution sets of these images, click here: Ayn Rand Novels -- Art Renderings
  9. Alex Epstein's environmental debate will be LiveStreamed today (Mon.) at 4:00 Pacific, 7:00 Eastern.

  10. You seem to assume that every topic any Objectivist intellectual discusses has to be geared toward either a ) activism to spread Objectivism, or b ) new and profound generalizations. Why can't someone's purpose be, say, helping people who already live by the principles apply them to everyday life? Could people never find value in this, considering that the only reason the principles exist is so that they can be applied?
  11. Tomorrow (10/16) is the last day to help fund Alex Epstein's environmental debate. http://www.indiegogo.com/mckibbenvsepstein

  12. As of 10-15-12, tomorrow is the last day to donate to fund the publication of this landmark debate. Alex Epstein has requested $35,000 and has gotten about $19,000. If you value his message, please give what you can. (The third link in the post above.)
  • Create New...