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Art in Education Lecture by Ayn Rand

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Oh wow. I've only read Anthem, Atlas, and OPAR so far. Seems the more Oist stuff I read/hear, the more I'm surprised that there's still more to it that I had no inkling about.

I know the basics of Oism via the above-mentioned books, especially OPAR. Yet... I'm still unmotivated. I have no fire or burning passion for anything anymore. I think she's really onto something here, especially with what she said at the end.

I've got at least the beginnings of the 'engine' and 'direction' philosophy provides. But little to no 'fire' to propel myself forward.

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It's probably important to note that philosophy in itself is not enough to motivate anyone. I mean, unless your goal is to become a philosophy teacher or a writer. Even then, you'd need some motivation coming from wanting to write, or wanting to teach. I applied to volunteer at a hospital (I'm going to be a surgeon). I am very excited and it was refreshing seeing the ideal environment I'd like to be in in person - sort of a concrete version of my abstractions. In addition, I found this quote.

Collect much information, put aside what is doubtful,

repeat cautiousy the rest; then you

will seldom say something wrong. Make many observations,

leave aside what is suspect, apply cautiously the rest;

then you will seldom have cause for regret. With few mistakes

in what you say and few regrets for what you do, your career is made.


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This talk (and its subsequently published essay version) contains one of my all-time favorite quotations from AR:

"Apart from its many other evils, conventional morality is not concerned with the formation of a child's character. It does not teach or show him what kind of man he ought to be and why; it is concerned only with imposing a set of rules upon him — concrete, arbitrary, contradictory and, more often than not, incomprehensible rules, which are mainly prohibitions and duties. A child whose only notion of morality (i.e., of values) consists of such matters as: 'Wash your ears!' — 'Don't be rude to Aunt Rosalie!' — 'Do your homework!' — 'Help papa to mow the lawn (or mama to wash the dishes)!' — faces the alternative of: either a passively amoral resignation, leading to a future of hopeless cynicism, or a blind rebellion. Observe that the more intelligent and independent a child, the more unruly he is in regard to such commandments. But, in either case, the child grows up with nothing but resentment and fear or contempt for the concept of morality which, to him, is only 'a phantom scarecrow made of duty, of boredom, of punishment, of pain . . . a scarecrow standing in a barren field, waving a stick to chase away [his] pleasures.' (Atlas Shrugged)" — AR, Art and Moral Treason, Romantic Manifesto p. 145

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