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Everything posted by KyaryPamyu

  1. I found some references to this principle in The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. I think Rand's novels are much more satisfying if you can tie everything to the abstract principles she was concretizing, but it can be tricky to discover them if you don't learn the abstract theory first. A quote about Hank Rearden: "He had moved toward his goal, sweeping aside everything that did not pertain to it in the world and in himself. His dedication to his work was like one of the fires he dealt with, a fire that burned every lesser element, every impurity out of the white stream of a single metal. He was incapable of halfway concerns." and a quote from The Fountainhead: "Nothing can be reasonable or beautiful unless it's made by one central idea, and the idea sets every detail. A building is alive, like a man. Its integrity is to follow its own truth, its one single theme, and to serve its own single purpose. A man doesn't borrow pieces of his body. A building doesn't borrow hunks of its soul. Its maker gives it the soul and every wall, window and stairway to express it."
  2. softwareNerd, You make a very good point about distinguishing direct integration from compatibility-adjustment. It's uncertain to me wheter Rand meant integration in the true sense, or a mixture of complementarity and direct integration, or merely establishing "the hierarchy, the relative imortance, of your values" in relation to the CPL. In my mind, it seems as if Rand is refering to both integration and complementarity. Peikoff, in OPAR, seems to agree with this view of integration: A central purpose is the long-range goal that constitutes the primary claimant on a man’s time, energy, and resources. All his other goals, however worthwhile, are secondary and must be integrated to this purpose. The others are to be pursued only when such pursuit complements the primary, rather than detracting from it. I personaly find that assesing the relationship between my CPL and my other values can lead to better mental organization and makes my life feel like an integrated whole. For example, I can see cricket not merely as a fun activity, but as a way of recharging my creative batteries for when I get back to my work projects. I also agree that being an artist or physicist need not drive one's choices of movies and art, but I think it's useful to consciously do so, from the perspective of integration or complementarity. If you carefully choose what you consume, you can deliberately turn your art consumption into a source of creative ideas, career inspiration, a renewed sense of life. Since I covered the idea of consciously relating your goals to your CPL, I want to cover another aspect: people's passions or "life themes" can unconsciously affect their choices in surprizing ways. This being said, I want to cover what you said about love. I've found, through personal observation, that the like-attracts-like maxim holds true more often than not. It goes beyond mere common interests - many lovers have similar careers and music tastes, they look strangely alike (also applies to dogs and their owners), they even like to 'mirror' eachother's movements. I don't doubt that, once in a while, a physicist will kick it off with a painter, but I think it's (statistically) less likely than the cases where both lovers share at least a marginal interest and technical knowledge of their lover's craft. It has to do with a feeling of rapport and connection. It's not mandatory, but better. So is conscious integration of every single thing you do crucial? I still can't say. It does make choices a lot clearer though. Edit: I realized that "complementary to" is not the same thing as "compatible with". I have analysed Peikoff's statement, and my current understanding of it is this: Everything you do must somehow be complementary to your central purpose. How something complements your CPL is up to you to figure out. If you see sports as mental rest, art as emotional fuel for achieving your goals, and love as two people sharing the same values and inspiring eachoter, then I guess they're complementary and integrated to the CPL, not merely separate-yet-compatible. KyaryPamyu
  3. For those interested, Kelley covers this in a sub-chapter of his Logical Structure of Objectivism (page 166). His interpretation is as follows: Because one’s basic purpose is the maintenance of one’s life, and productive work is the principal means of achieving that end, one’s productive work deserves a high priority among one’s various purposes. Both Ayn Rand and Leonard Peikoff have emphasized this point by arguing that productive work is the sole, “central value” upon which all others depend. (bolded words mine) He then claims that the concept of a CPL is flawed and that it's based on faulty logic. This is a core tenet of Objectivism, so it surprises me that there are different interpretations among Objectivists. My take on it is different from Kelley's. Yes, the goal of all human action is furthering one's life (the emotional concommitent being happiness). However, Life and Happiness are extremely abstract terms. They open up an infinite amount of choices, but they don't provide any standard of discriminating between them, according to your own unique interests and individual characteristics. What is their hierarchy of importance? Which movies or books should you choose? Love is also closely tied to our values. When we choose a romantic partner, "virtue" is obviously not enough to fall in love with them - otherwise we couldn't take any pick. For Rand, a creative purpose wasn't only a means of 'material production, it was the primary way in which people enjoy their ultimate value (life). If your central purpose isn't financially fruitful (e.g. poetry), Objectivists often point out that you can pick a side-job to support your passion. Doing something you love is superior to making a lot of money but spending most of your days doing stuff you hate. Rand seems to see the central purpose as an objective guide to choice. Our time on earth is limited, and context-less whim and instinct are not objective, "scientific" approaches to making the right choices. A central productive purpose is a filter that: serves to integrate all the other concerns of a man’s life. It establishes the hierarchy, the relative importance, of his values, it saves him from pointless inner conflicts, it permits him to enjoy life on a wide scale and to carry that enjoyment into any area open to his mind; (Ayn Rand's Playboy interview) A central purpose can give you a much-needed clarity of choice in every field, including romance and leisure activities. If you're a pianist, will you connect better with a physicist or with an artist? What will you even talk to them about if you don't have a mission in life? Will you choose the movies you watch on whim, or according to the purpose you have chosen for yourself? You'll obviously want to watch artsy movies, read books that deal with creativity or music or art. You'll seek leisure activities that aren't dangerous for your hands. You'll pick clothes that fit your identity. In short, all of your choices will follow a central, concrete standard that eliminates confusion and prevents you from making bad/time-wasting choices, or from miscalculating the priority of your chosen values. This is my guess on Rand's meaning. Either way, before following any Objectivist tennet we must actually understand it first. Otherwise, we'll just follow stuff as dogma, without understanding what we're doing.
  4. epistemologue, To me, Rand and Laughlin seem to provide contradictory accounts. Here's what Ayn Rand said on this matter. The first quote is from The Objectivist Ethics, the other ones are from Atlas Shrugged (author page and Galt's speech). and: and: Laughlin, on the other hand, states that happiness (the ultimate value) is like a tent, supported mainly by your central purpose, but also separately by relationships and leisure - the other tent poles. He integrates examples to each of the three categories of values (work, relationships, leisure), then he further integrates those to the ultimate purpose (happiness). On the other hand, Rand seems to insist that love and leisure are part of the CPL, that your life should follow a single theme, the same way a a Roark building or Rand novel does.
  5. This is a puzzling one for me. According to Ayn Rand, your chosen central life purpose (career) is your highest value; every other value you might have is integrated to this central purpose, their hierarchy and importance is decided relative to the central life purpose. As I understand, a central purpose is something that you love to do and that you can turn into a life-long carrer that satisfies your need of continued growth, achievement, challenges, problem solving, earning a feeling of self-efficacity and mastery over life and existence (self esteem). Time is limited, and being a jack-of-all-trades would prevent us from rising very far in either of our endeavors. But is love and sex a standalone value, or is it also integrated to work? Peikoff and Rand repeatedly stated that achievement and romantic love are the topmost values, and that removing either of them can make life not worth living. If the integration thing still holds for love, then love is integrated as: an expression of the self-esteem you gain from your achievements - two people sharing the same values, connecting deeply over them, celebrating their achievements in various forms including sexual pleasure. As far as leisure goes, it seems obvious. Tennis, reading, hiking, parties, movies, socializing etc. are great, but only if they're seen as a form of rest and recreation from work. Taken standalone they're not wholesome sources of satisfaction, unless you turn them into life-long careers. From this perspective, integrating love and leisure to work (the central purpose) makes sense. However, I've read an article on this matter where the author claims that his top values (work, socializing and leisure) are separate, and integration occurs within each of them (see his first comment in the comment section). For example, he states that work only integrates the sub-steps and goals required for work. Leisure, taken separately, integrates his hobbies (reading, walking, bycicling). Also, this specific issue has been criticized by Kelley in the Logical Structure of Objectivism book. He says that work as the sole integrating value doesn't make sense, but in the framework presented above it kind of does. So what's the catch? I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. Cheers, KyaryPamyu
  6. Which one of these two do you think is the best introduction to Ayn Rand's ideas as a whole? Is it worth reading The Objectivist Ethics if you read Galt's Speech?
  7. The quote goes along the lines of: "Time is the currency which you use to pay for your happiness on earth". Does anybody happen to know the exact quote?
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