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Sub-Basement Premises

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Ayn Rand wrote about these in her published journals, albeit briefly from what I have read off the snippet views at amazon.com. I found very interesting thoughts, which basically said that someone can accurately understand objectivism on a conscious level and yet function irrationally by means of holding sub-basement premises, or psycho-epistemological errors.

The one mentioned in her journals was the idea that people can process information based on emotions as a primary of judgment. Their brain therefore remembers information in the same fashion like a rat or any other animal conditioned through emotional response, making logical deductions contingent upon emotional responses and therefore very unclear if not impossible.

The journal appeared to be a letter to Nathaniel Branden, who was of course giving talks on objectivism at the time and possible seeing private patients as a psychologist (I do not have this information and am not sure of when he started his practice). In her journals, Ayn mentions front and back seat driving as sub-basement premises, though she did not define them there from the snippet I read.

I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has read Ayn Rand's published journals or who has information pertaining to this they would like to contribute. I was going to post on the other objectivist forum where Barbara Branden hangs out but it does not look very active.

Oddly enough, I went to the website of Barbara Branden, and found references to front and backseat driving in a book review on her site of her book - so clearly she must have an idea of this.

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Dr. Salmieri (see link in sig) described what he read in the unpublished journals of Ayn Rand where she was using these terms to do some speculative psychology. It wasn't her field and not part of philosophy but it was a useful exercise for a fiction writer generating character sketches.

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