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Free Thinker

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    For anyone serious enough to even consider studying the Organon -- a collection of very difficult treatises by Aristotle -- I would recommend, as a first step, Dr. Peikoff's course, Introduction to Logic. I suggest studying half a lecture per week, for 20 weeks. [...]

    Sounds good. Thanks for your post.

  2. I didn't like it. The music set the tone - and it made the FH to seem like it is, I dunno, like a story about "the architect next door". The FH is a dramatic and powerful story, and that music did NOT match that at all. The shots of the buildings were okay, but Keira Knightly?!?!?! No way! She does not have the presence necessary to play any part in that movie.

  3. I am a long-term student of history. I am not a logician -- not even close. I have made one reading through Joseph's Introduction to Logic, and then reread some sections as needed. However, I have referred to it with particular questions many times. Its index can serve as a glossary of sorts.


    Excellent advice, thank you.

    My purpose in reading the book is not for any professional reasons, but rather to understand the science of logic; and even more generally than that, how the mind can reach truth. A secondary purpose would, perhaps, be - I am simply interested in reading a challenging book.

  4. I'm in my appartment, which is located in the US, which is a part of North America, which then lies on Earth, which is situated in the Solar System, which is part of the Milky Way, which is one of great many galaxies in our Universe....How does one grasp this, without going crazy?

    If by universe you mean the totality of existence, then the answer is that it did not have a "beginning ". Time, as a type of measurement, cannot apply to the universe as a whole - ie. time exists in the universe, the universe does not exist in time. Therefore, the universe is eternal (eternal meaning exists outside of time).

    I haven't read it in a while, so I couldn't tell you if I still think it very helpful, but here is an article on this topic. Also, and if you are interested enough to spend some money, here is an article by Ron Pisaturo. I bought his philosophy of math articles, and am enjoying those, so this probably is good too.

  5. Hi all. I am a, well, poor college student, and I don't have the money to pay for any of the lectures I want to get from the ARB. I was thinking maybe of trying to get it from someone on this forum. Perhaps we could start a lecture service, where we can send each other lectures that we have in our collection. I am personally looking for anything by Peikoff or Binswanger (to borrow from someone or to buy), but in particular:


    "The DIM Hypothesis"

    "Unity in Epistemology and Ethics"

    "Understanding Objectivism"


    "Consciousness as Identification"

    "The Metaphysics of Consciousness"

    But again, "beggers can't be choosers". Please let me know!!

    (And yes, I know about getting lectures by starting a club...)

  6. Rules:

    1. If an argument is given that cannot be refuted, the other must conceed the point.

    2. Debaters must agree to continue until one is convinced of the others correctness.

    I will attempt to show that Objectivist views are not all constructive and that a subtly different view of things that incorporates some other philosophy is a much better approach.

    This I'd like to see.

  7. I have a hypothesis that the Judaeo-Christian morality has a lot to do with the kind of misintegration of Objectivism that's so common at the beginning. Not the concretes (altruism), but the principle behind it (intrincisism). The traditional Christian morality has gotten so entrenched in Western culture that morality, to most people, means: a dogma of rules restricting action. Even for those who weren't raised Christian, it's in the culture.

    I would agree that intrincism is probably the most important (bad) idea people leave Christianity with, but I think the "concretes" (not scare quotes) are still substantial.

  8. Because once I've fully integrated it, I'd be the completely moral man. I think its going to take me a long time to be perfect to the extent that I'm that consistent.

    To throw my two cents in:

    I think that what "Matthew J" means is that for him it will take a while. Integration of a philosophy, and the difficulty in both understanding it and applying it to one's life, can be a very difficult task. The difficulty lies in the mental state that a finds himself is in. For instance, a person (such as myself) who has been taught Christianity from childhood holds subconsiously (i.e. has integrated) a lot of bad ideas (e.g. altruism, faith, etc); and it takes that much longer to get rid of them. There is nothing inherent in O'ism which would take it a long time to digest - as it is concievable for someone to have read AR once and have an easy time digesting it (e.g. a person raised by an O'ist family).

  9. Gee- thanks!

    I am not familiar with what you are referring to - "Ayn Rand Answers" is on my "to do" list. However, the term "student of Objectivism" dates back to when Ayn Rand was still alive. My understanding is that, at that time, it was not appropriate for people other than Ayn Rand and anyone she designated as being expert in her philosophy to call themselves Objectivists because Objectivism was her philosophy and she was still in the process of publishing it and always had the option to make elaborations, new formulations, new identifications, etc. at any time. Therefore, all one could be is a student of her philosophy unless Ayn Rand alone regarded the person as being expert in it.


    You're welcome!

    Another great post. I would agree with the majority of what you are saying. As Peikoff pointed out in "Fact and Value", Objectivism is restricted to everything that AR ever wrote on the subject. So to me, to say "I am an Objectivist" is a huge thing - it means (techincally) you are in complete agreement with everything that AR ever wrote on Objectivism. I think, then, that "student of O'sim" is a much more accurate term for the majority of us.

    Additionally, to say "I am an O'st" may imply to a non - O'st listener (given the above proviso) that you are an authority on her writings, which may or may not be the case. To speak from experience though, I think many people attach "O'ist" to things (including it's position on things, to people, etc.) when they mean "in basic agreement" or "generally consistent" with.

  10. It becomes ugly when, after a lengthy period of renouncing the things (like Chinese food) they once genuinely valued in the name of "Objectivism" and after making an ass out of themselves and often alienating themselves from former friends and family members, their inner worm finally rebels and they end up blaming Ayn Rand and Objectivism. It never occurs to them to examine whether they had anything even remotely approximating a grasp of the philosophy to begin with. These are the people who go around crying the loudest that Objectivism is some sort of "cult" and that Objectivists are nothing more than mind-numbed "Randrioids." Objectivism isn't and Objectivists aren't - but they were and thus their bitterness. For them, the only alternative to cultishness that they can identify with is cynicism.

    Excellent post.

    Where did Ayn Rand explain the bit about "student of Objectivism"?

    I can try and find it for you. I believe it was in "Ayn Rand Answers", where she becomes indignant (and rightly so) concerning a question which misrepresented her views (the origin of the misrepresetation being a student, if I remember correctly). If anyone knows what I am talking about, please go ahead and post!

  11. I've suggested it to him, but he's kind of reluctant. He's one of the few people left alive who is scared by computers. He only uses email and word processors because he has to for work...he doesn't use AOL or anything.

    I lot of people on this forum are like that. They have a bastardized version of what they think Objectivism is, and then they talk to others about O'ism from that perspective (which is why AR wrote that people should call themselves "students of O'ism", versus speaking on behalf of O'ism). It really is destructive - both to O'ism and themselves (To be fair, when I first read AR, I acted like that as well).

    O'ism is a complicated system of ideas - it can't be learned piecemeal or in a short amount of time. It takes years of dedicated study to fully integrate it.

  12. Ninety-Three wasn't my fav Hugo book, but it's good nonetheless. IMO

    Toilers of the Sea > Les Miserables > The Man Who Laughs > Ninety-Three

    It's been too long since I read Hunchback, so I'm not considering that. And I think there is a book or two of his that I haven't seen yet...

    Oh, there are tons. "Hans of Iceland", "History of a Crime"...in fact:

    Published during Hugo's lifetime

    Nouvelles Odes (1824)

    Bug-Jargal (1826)

    Odes et Ballades (1826)

    Cromwell (1827)

    Les Orientales (1829)

    Le Dernier jour d'un condamné (1829)

    Hernani (1830)

    Marion Delorme (1831)

    Les Feuilles d'automne (Autumn Leaves) (1831)

    Le roi s'amuse (1832)

    Lucrèce Borgia Lucrezia Borgia (1833)

    Marie Tudor (1833)

    Étude sur Mirabeau (1834)

    Littérature et philosophie mêlées (1834)

    Claude Gueux (1834)

    Angelo (1835)

    Les Chants du crépuscule (1835)

    Les Voix intérieures (1837)

    Ruy Blas (1838)

    Les Rayons et les ombres (1840)

    Le Rhin (1842)

    Les Burgraves (1843)

    Napoléon le Petit (1852)

    Les Châtiments (1853)

    Lettres à Louis Bonaparte (1855)

    Les Contemplations (1856)

    La Légende des siècles (1859)

    Les Misérables (1862), (on which the very successful musical of the same name is based)

    William Shakespeare (essay) (1864)

    Les Chansons des rues et des bois (1865)

    Les Travailleurs de la Mer (1866), (Toilers of the Sea)

    Paris-Guide (1867)

    L'Homme qui rit (1869), (The Man Who Laughs)

    L'Année terrible (1872)

    Quatre-vingt-treize (Ninety-Three) (1874)

    Mes Fils (1874)

    Actes et paroles — Avant l'exil (1875)

    Actes et paroles - Pendant l'exil (1875)

    Actes et paroles - Depuis l'exil (1876)

    La Légende des Siècles 2e série (1877)

    L'Art d'être grand-père (1877)

    Le Pape (1878)

    Religions et religion (1880)

    L'Âne (1880)

    Les Quatres vents de l'esprit (1881)

    Torquemada (1882)

    La Légende des siècles Tome III (1883)

    L'Archipel de la Manche (1883)


    Published posthumously

    Théâtre en liberté (1886)

    La fin de Satan (1886)

    Choses vues - 1re série (1887)

    Toute la lyre (1888)

    Alpes et Pyrénées (1890)

    Dieu (1891)

    France et Belgique (1892)

    Toute la lyre - nouvelle série (1893)

    Correspondances - Tome I (1896)

    Correspondances - Tome II (1898)

    Les années funestes (1898)

    Choses vues - 2e série (1900)

    Post-scriptum de ma vie (1901)

    Dernière Gerbe (1902)

    Mille francs de récompense (1934)

    Océan. Tas de pierres (1942)

    Pierres (1951)


  13. So, I stopped reading 93 (the Lowell Blair translation) a while ago just because I wasn't enjoying it. Well, about a week ago I acquired a set of his books, but with a different translation (Nelson and Sons). I was understandably skeptical, but as I began reading, I was sucked in. It was like I was reading an entirely new book. The scene with the cannon still wasn't convincing ( :P ) , but damn, it was powerful. I will post a sample from each translation to illustrate this. If you are new to Hugo, try and find this translation. It is absolutely stunning.

  14. I don't want to see any movie where one guy kisses (or anything else) another whether or not it has cowboys, shepards, or any other profession in it.

    Why is Hollywood trying to make everybody gay? Alexander the Great--let's make him gay; Abraham Lincoln on the History Channel--let's start rumors that he was gay; Cowboy's that probably removed some Indians from "their land"--gay.

    It's the lefts way of attempting to destroy the value of history's heros.

    Whoa...I don't think homosexuality makes a person any less (potentially) heroic or noble. All it describes is one's sexual preferences.

    How can you make that connection?

    They have a complete lack of moral worth. Just by the act of choosing to be "gay" they are destoying their life as a proper man (or woman) should live it.

    That is just plain bogus. Where is your evidence for this assertion? Since when does one's achievements base themselves on one's sexual orientation? How is virtue contingent on staunch heterosexuality?

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