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Sean O'Connor

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About Sean O'Connor

  • Rank
    Junior Member
  • Birthday 03/14/1986

Previous Fields

  • Country
    United States
  • State (US/Canadian)
  • Interested in meeting
    Those most passionate about promoting reason
  • Relationship status
    In a relationship
  • Sexual orientation
  • Real Name
    Sean O'Connor
  • Copyright
  • Biography/Intro
    Greetings, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Sean O'Connor. I am a 26 year old philosopher. I write essays and short stories. "My heroine; my greatest source of inspiration, is the genius novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand. Although she is my heroine I am not a follower of her ideology: Objectivism. I am an Optimist. An Objectivist agrees with every principle Ayn Rand upheld. I do not, as I have discovered a few contradictions in Ayn Rand’s literature. By identifying myself as an Optimist, I mean that I believe, absolutely, in the rational pursuit of ideals- for Optimism, as defined by the New Oxford American Dictionary is: “the doctrine, esp. as set forth by Leibniz, that this world is the best of all possible worlds; the belief that good must ultimately prevail over evil in the universe”. It is essential to add, that speaking morally, and assertively, indeed, good must ultimately prevail over evil, and that is only possible if one believes in the rational pursuit of ideals. The fact that I do not agree with Ayn Rand on every single point does not mean I think less of her. While Aristotle gave philosophy a foundation (that consciousness perceives reality but is not reality as such, the law of non-contradiction, causality, etc) Ayn Rand succinctly organized philosophy as a field of science; into definite branches (metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, and esthetics), each with a fundamental principle (existence exists and thus reality is an objective absolute, we know reality is an objective absolute via our reason, one exists only for one’s own rational self interest, the ideal political system is capitalism, the ideal form of art is to project what could and ought to be). Ayn Rand eloquently applied her principles to events that occurred throughout her lifetime, and via her novels she gave humanity its first glimpse of ideal people (Howard Roark and John Galt) and the ideal society (Galt’s Gulch). Ayn Rand’s philosophical contradictions are very technical but essential to address. She did not consider psychology or economics branches of philosophy however they are. By her own definition- and it is the correct one- philosophy is the field of science that studies existence. Both the study of the navigation of one’s mind and the study of production are fundamentally existential, i.e, they concern how one, as an individual person ought to live/treat one’s life. Strangely Ayn Rand misused the term “philosophy” in certain instances. While Ayn Rand defines “philosophy” as the field of science that studies existence, she confused the term “philosophy” with “ideology” when she said things like “my philosophy, objectivism” or “his philosophy”, or “their philosophy”; she uses the term “philosophy” in such contexts which explicitly refer to a belief system (or belief systems), which is contradictory to the definition “field of science that studies existence” since, if philosophy is a science, one cannot claim to have a version of it. (For more on this I refer you to my essay “A Brief on the Definition of Philosophy for the Purpose of Advancing Freedom and Thriving”) Ayn Rand also misdefines a few other terms. Ayn Rand defines “value” as that which one acts to gain or keep, but this contradicts the more general use of the term value which is a thing’s place within a particular hierarchy. She defines “ virtue” as an action one takes in order to gain or keep a value but the virtues she proposes, such as independence and rationality, are ideals, not virtues, if one refers to the dictionary (satisfying one’s conception of what is perfect; most suitable), popular usage of the term (the best possible) or application of her own theory of concept formation which is “uniting two or more things according to a specific characteristic by a specific definition.” (Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology; p.10)" (from my essay "A Letter to Readers"
  • Experience with Objectivism
    I have read "We The Living", "Anthem", "The Fountainhead", "Atlas Shrugged", "For the New Intellectual", "The Virtue of Selfishness", "Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal", "The Romantic Manifesto", "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology", "Return to the Primitive", "Ayn Rand Answers: The Best of her Q & A", "The Art of Fiction", "The Art of Non-Fiction", and I have read parts from "The Journals of Ayn Rand" and "The Letters of Ayn Rand". I have read all of the articles in "The Objectivist Newsletter". I have also read various essays by Dr. Peikoff and Dr. Branden
  • School or University
    I am a self taught philosopher
  • Occupation
    philosopher, writer

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Profile Information

  • Gender
  • Location
    New Jersey
  • Interests
    Philosophy, ideologies, art, the news, history and biographies, the special sciences, thriving
  1. What is value? Value is an abstract concept. A value as such is a place within a particular hierarchy. To value something is to judge where within a particular hierarchy a particular thing is. Ayn Rand asserted that a value is that which one acts to gain or keep however she confuses “value” here with a few other concepts. Her confusion is innocent however ironic. I say it is ironic because it was she who discovered precisely how to define a concept. “When in doubt about the meaning or the definition of a concept, the best method of clarification is to look for its referents-i.e., to ask
  2. tadmjones, Why do you assert something but refuse to prove it? I am curious- when you make an unsubstantiated statement, what do you expect somebody's response to be? Did you expect me to take your unexplained assertion on faith? Why would you expect that? It is quite disrespectful. Why? Because you talk at people, as if they are supposed to take what you say on faith; you treat them as unworthy of your rationality. This implies that you are the one who needs to check your premises. You also ought to define your terms. What is "existence"? Existence is the state of being. How do you know
  3. Nicky, Thank you for your response and your honesty. I have to say, however, that I was disappointed when I read that you don't care about the definition of philosophy and that you also didn't care to explain why you don't care. So I shall ask you now: why not? If you don't care about the definition of philosophy then you implicitly don't care about clear communication. You furthermore imply that my assertion is "beneath you" , and again, you don't explain why- which Nicky, is by all means an insult. I have no problem with discussing disagreements but I take major issue to insults because i
  4. Ruveyn1, In my last response to you, I asked if you read Leonard Peikoff's essay "The Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy" and you did not answer, which disappoints me. What progress can be made in a discussion when you talk at people (as opposed to "to them"), evade their points, and then make new ones? It is also a bit disrespectful and is not a discussion. Why should I continue to take anything you say seriously and show you respect if I can predict that you are going to evade my responses and change the subject? That would be illogical! Nonetheless, I love defending my assertions and I am s
  5. Eiuol, Regarding the question of the abstractness and/or concreteness of existence there are two separate issues. One is existence as such, and furthermore the axiom "existence exists" and the other is the vast expanse of existence. Existence as such as about as concrete as anything since consciousness itself exists. To try and describe the most basic psychological experience one can have, it more or less would express itself-implicitly of course- as "something exists". I see this computer screen. The fact that it exists is as concrete as anything can be. But then there is a second issue, and
  6. bluecherry, I shall preface this response by submitting a principle for wording a concept: no more than one concept per word. This may seem unnecessary but it would prevent word usage from inevitably succumbing to ambiguity. More specifically, it is logical in the most literal sense, it is strict "non-contradiction", i.e., "this word will never contradict the concept it refers to". Some may argue that giving a word two concepts is not a contradiction but in fact it is because once that word, in use, refers to something other than its first concept, that is by nature, a contradictory instanc
  7. I wrote "In Condemnation Of Apathy" because I realized that nothing bothered me more than the rampant apathy in our culture... posted it on my website (then seanoconnoressays.com and now seanoconnorliterature.com), which I persistently promoted on Facebook. I also recorded a video of myself reading the essay and uploaded it onto youtube and promoted that video on Facebook. And of course, I told people I know about the essay and requested that they give it a read. My point here is: I had something to important to say about the problem of apathy and I presented this statement to many people on
  8. Have you read both Ayn Rand's statement about her break with Dr. Branden, and his statement? The most interesting difference between the two is that, quite out of character on the part of Ayn Rand, she expects us to take on faith, that Dr. Branden wrote her a letter that was "irrational and impossible"- as she does not identify what, within that letter, was "irrational". In Dr. Branden's statement, he explains every assertion. Regarding the moral issue: our guiding moral principle is rational self interest. Was it in Ayn Rand's rational self-interest to have an affair with Dr. Branden, and
  9. "'…If, as a staunch determinist such as Baron Holbach states in his System of Nature, man’s ‘ideas come to him involuntarily’- if man is ‘wise or foolish, reasonable or irrational, without his will being for anything in these various states”- then by what right does he or any other determinist claim his ‘involuntary‘ ideas as knowledge? A determinist can only announce: ‘Destiny forces me to believe’, etc. He cannot claim to know anything.” ('The Contradiction of Determinism" by Nathaniel Branden) I had never realized that knowledge itself implies the fact that humans possess free will. Prio
  10. moralist, That is an excellent point and really provides clarified insight into an ideal thought process. I really like the image that comes with "observe thought" as it implies more than just arbitrary thinking. I had written a previous comment here but omitted it because I wasn't clear. I want to give a better response. In regards to describing types of thoughts, speaking on the most basic level, there are logical thoughts and illogical thoughts- but then beyond that, as we advance our study of thoughts qua entities we can identify all the various types of thoughts, two of which you have
  11. bluecherry, Don't worry about your rough definitions and writing as you are tired. You were nontheless, exceptionally thorough which is quite praise worthy and indicative of how rich you are spiritually. With that being said, I shall get right to our disagreement. I actually want to begin with the definition of science because I can't prove philosophy is a science if I don't define science. Science is the study of the aspects of the universe. I believe I explained in a prior responce, the distinction between the universe and existence. As we know, "existence exists". Existence is the sta
  12. moralist, First of all, I apologize for the typo on your name. You made a profound point here; especially if we are going to have any success in the short term regarding the advancement of freedom in this country since true Christians are capitalists! A true Christian does not even support legislation banning abortion. Instead, the Christian would merely condemn it and insits that people choose not to have abortions because, according to the Bible it is "sinful". I would say we can "condemn religion as a whole" but I don't think we can find religion as a whole "contemptible". "there
  13. And of course the basis of my writing, and my being here is to address basic, as well as complex, philosophical ideas. I have to confess, I felt- and to a slight degree still feel- nervous about communicating on this forum. Not as a matter of insecurity, but rather, precisely because of what you wrote- that people would get offended, then angry, and insulting at the sight of philosophical-ideological ideas that they have no interest in accepting. One of the worst trends in our culture, due to irrationality, lack of understanding the meanings of things, poor value judgements, et cetera, is t
  14. bluecherry, Thank you for your responce, and again, I apologize for the length of time it took me to respond. The delay, like that which makes it difficult for you to concentrate on long texts, is due to current circumstances. So little time is terribly frustrating! There is indeed a lot of literature being presented to us throughout the world and it is certainly essential to be aware of it and be able to judge it. In my own life I am quite overwhelmed in my struggle to read as much as I can. I study objectivist literature, I want to study Dr. Nathaniel Branden's books and Dr. Leonard P
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