Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum


  • Posts

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About RationalEgoist

  • Birthday June 5

Profile Information

  • Gender

Recent Profile Visitors

297 profile views

RationalEgoist's Achievements


Novice (2/7)



  1. Right, it's true that she didn't. I was merely using libertarian lingo, but perhaps you understood this. I do think the term "non-aggression axiom" is used somewhere in her writings, although I could be mistaken here. I suppose the anarchist could say something like "Well, she did oppose initiatory force on moral grounds regardless of whether she explicitly advocated the non-aggression principle or not. By using force to shut down my private police force, the government is initiating force against me". Let me know your thoughts on this if you deem it to be worthy of a response. Great point. I don't believe exercising extrajudicial force by whim is a right we possess. I think I'm struggling to formulate a complete argument to back this up though. Perhaps I need to return to Rand's own writings on this issue.
  2. In a country where the sole purpose of the government is to retaliate against those who have initiated the use of force, the government must necessarily bar the entrance of competitors in the realm of force. Even though it's true that one wouldn't necessarily be forced to pay for the services provided by the government, the fact that an individual is forcibly prevented from starting their own police agency is a violation of the non-aggression principle. For this reason, there arises a contradiction in the way that the Objectivist ethics are implemented politically since the claim is that initiatory force is immoral.
  3. Right, this part I understood. Although, I suppose a layman could say "That's art" while not having an explicitly defined theory of what actually qualifies as art. I agree that it's interesting, and I find myself in agreement with several parts of her aesthetic theory. Would Rand say that not being in at least fundamental agreement with her theory of art disqualifies you from calling yourself an Objectivist? To be completely sincere with you, aesthetics is the one hurdle I haven't quite been able to get past, hence this thread. I understand that my main priority in life shouldn't lie in whether or not I choose to call myself an Objectivist, but I'd still like answer in regards to this.
  4. "A work of art is a specific entity which possesses a specific nature. If it does not, it is not a work of art. If it is merely a material object, it belongs to some category of material objects—and if it does not belong to any particular category, it belongs to the one reserved for such phenomena: junk." (The Romantic Manifesto, p. 76) Could someone explain to me why Rand's definition of art is what encapsulates what the "specific nature" of a work of art is? In other words, why did she conclude that her particular definition was the right one?
  5. I'm not well-versed enough in art to provide you with a specific example of this, but I won't weasel out from the valid point you're making here. In fact, I've thought of it myself, although perhaps not as explicitly as you put it in the very last sentence of your post. You could certainly imagine an artist portraying evil according to their own metaphysical value-judgments (as Rand did in her novels with characters like Ellsworth Toohey or James Taggart) without saying that this is what man should aspire to be. I suppose one would just hope that the artist clarifies their intentions, so that there isn't any confusion among those who consume their art.
  6. I'm still conflicted, so I would really appreciate any input that anyone else may have in regards to the point that myself and @intrinsicist discussed, namely whether or not "according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments" means what an artist himself values or the values that the artist wanted to show through a particular work of art.
  7. Certainly. I mean, this is exactly what I've used as my main argument against Rand's definition. Now, if it actually turns out that it's compatible with the definition (as you say it is), then I'd be delighted. I remember listening to an episode of The Leonard Peikoff Show called "What is Art?" and his guest was Mary Ann Sures. When she was asked whether or not it was possible for an artist to essentially negate one's own value judgments while creating a work of art, she answered in the negative. This is what made me think that my own views were incompatible with the Objectivist definition of art. Besides that, I think it was actually a good episode. It's still on YouTube.
  8. Would you say that's a widely accepted interpretation of Rand's definition? I was always under the impression that "according to an artist's metaphysical value judgments" implicitly implied that what the artist decides to re-create in their art corresponds to their own personal judgments. I'm struggling to word this properly, so I suggest we skip it.
  9. I completely agree, and I think that would be more naturalistic. What I'm arguing is that what an artist may decide to re-create in their art could be based upon metaphysical value judgments other than their own. I would say it's plausible to think that the same thing could also apply to an artist who creates their art more spontaneously.
  10. I think this is exactly what I was looking for as it really strikes at what I had pointed out myself. This isn't a very philosophical term, but I do feel much more comfortable defining art as "a selective re-creation of reality according to metaphysical value-judgments". I'll read some more from that thread. At first glance it seems like I could find plenty of other gems.
  11. Thank you. So, if I understood this correctly (and do let me know if I went astray), it's the equivalent of saying that just because man's rational faculty is his distinguishing characteristic, it doesn't mean that any individual man who is acting irrationally ceases to be a man. I would say this is true. Now I'm just trying to apply this same thinking to the definition of art. I'm finding it somewhat difficult, but I actually happen to be reading Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology at the moment, so I'll definitely bear this in mind once I get to the "Definitions" chapter of the book.
  12. It wasn't until I began grasping Objectivism that I really developed an interest in other forms of art outside of music, and having read (and returned to) The Romantic Manifesto I thought it was very stimulating as a whole. However, I can't accept Rand's definition of art, which is that "Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value-judgments". I would say that it certainly can be that (and it might even be true in general), but why is it that it necessarily has to follow as an absolute? Perhaps someone could explain it to me? If I somehow happened to miss the explanation in The Romantic Manifesto, then I'd gladly re-read that part of the book.
  • Create New...