Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Are there any good arguments against Rand?

Rate this topic


Release
 Share

Recommended Posts

  • Replies 103
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Who exactly is this professor, and which of the essays did he write?

Robert Bass

Department of Philosophy

University of North Florida

http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/critics/index.html

Click that and look at the articles on Ethics, he has several others on other topics as well.

This is the straight Objectivism stuff he's written

http://personal.bgsu.edu/~roberth/oism.html

He doesn't have a very nice webpage though...it's rather lame, but he's a Philosophy Professor and has much more college under his belt than most laypeople I meet.

~Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Robert Bass

Department of Philosophy

University of North Florida

http://www.noblesoul.com/orc/critics/index.html

Click that and look at the articles on Ethics, he has several others on other topics as well.

I'm a little confused. If your original goal was to find some serious critique of Objectivism, why are you going to talk with him rather than reading and rebutting his essays?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm a little confused. If your original goal was to find some serious critique of Objectivism, why are you going to talk with him rather than reading and rebutting his essays?

No need to be confused. I still am reading them and rebutting them, but I want to speak to the man who wrote them, he's less than 20 minutes away. It's the only logical step in the situation IMO...if I have a chance to speak to someone on the subject that I was looking to read about, it would just be that much better for me.

Don't worry about anything though, if there is a concern that this person may sway my views I can assure you that that isn't the case. I'm going to use his arguments to reinforce my views if anything.

Consider it a self satisfaction mission..... :P

~Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't worry about anything though, if there is a concern that this person may sway my views I can assure you that that isn't the case. I'm going to use his arguments to reinforce my views if anything.

Why does it matter that he may sway your views? Let him try. As long as you don't renounce all consideration of objectivism, let the most righteous idea win.

The whole point of advocating a philosophy is that it is correct.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why does it matter that he may sway your views? Let him try.  As long as you don't renounce all consideration of objectivism, let the most righteous idea win.

The whole point of advocating a philosophy is that it is correct.

The reason why I said that I'm sure it won't sway my view of Objectivism is because I know it to be correct. If he presents a good argument and not a frivolous one based on lots of hypotheticals and mystics then I may pursue the knowledge necessary to understand his views...but all in all, it'll be a great learning experience.

I sometimes wish I had the time and resources available to get to fulltime college.

~Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I can tell on the Robert Bass article "Egoism, Rights and the Equal-Interests Argument" he uses the argument that for one individual to gain other individuals must suffer. In other words that wealth is static and that when one trades there is always a losing party or parties. Since this a false assumption everything based on that assumption must also be false.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

From what I can tell on the Robert Bass article "Egoism, Rights and the Equal-Interests Argument" he uses the argument that for one individual to gain other individuals must suffer. In other words that wealth is static and that when one trades there is always a losing party or parties. Since this a false assumption everything based on that assumption must also be false.

I've already found many errors and misunderstandings in his essays, and I think I will bring them up to him...I'm going to be very prepared for our encounter.

~Michael

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...
What's the point? Are you looking to raise doubts in your mind? For what end?

Doubts are a normal part of learning and integrating a philosophy into your life. Even after years of study, there will at least be points that stand unclear in your mind. This is true of any philosophy. But questions should properly come from your first-handed grasp of the facts and the application of the facts using your own mind not from what someone else said in a book or a journal.

I did read some "third-party" material when I was first learning Objectivism. But really, it didn't add to my understanding at all. I would recommend focusing on the positive aspects of Objectivism before researching its opponents. This will do a greater benefit to your understanding in the long run.

Isn't one of the purposes of philosophy to discuss and understand someone else's views along with your own? I think to better understand philosophy is is necessary to understand both sides in order to come up with your own. I don't know, maybe I misunderstood your reply.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 Good Arguments Against Rand?

My take:

There are two philosophical "schools" which argue against Objectivism:

1. A priori, as held by Plato and Augustine, among others, and

2. Emmanuel Kant & Co., who I label "nihilism."

As an architect, and a proponent of Objectivism and Capitalism, I strongly favor the Aristotelian approach, which has evolved into modern Objectivism, without modification.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

My take:

There are two philosophical "schools" which argue against Objectivism:

1.  A priori, as held by Plato and Augustine, among others, and

2.  Emmanuel Kant & Co., who I label "nihilism."

As an architect, and a proponent of Objectivism and Capitalism, I strongly favor the Aristotelian approach, which has evolved into modern Objectivism, without modification.

Objectivism rests on three axioms.

Axiom One: Existence exists.

Axiom Two: I am conscious.

Axiom Three: A is A.

The best way to prove Objectivism is to begin by refuting one or more of these. All of Objectivism amounts to a logical body of knowledge based on these, including the Scientific Method. If I were to try to disprove Objectivism as a philosophy, I would try to establish a philosophy based on these axioms. Every time I have seen this attempted, one of three outcomes resulted. Either the philosophy incorporated a contradiction at some point, or the philosophy violated one of these axioms, or the philosophy was Objectivism given another name.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I absolutely 100% agree with your statement on Rand and Objectivism. The only group that continues to fight her Individualism come from the churches. Rand stands for everything the religious right has worked so hard to destroy.

I began to read Rand in the early 60s and all the clouds suddenly disappeared from my brain and the world became clear to me. It also became plain to me what a mess the collectivists had and were making of a once great nation.

America is in deep itshay under this new form of "government by the bible" and I fear we are doomed.

I can only hope that every one of us can promote the philosophy through our children and grandchildren to keep it going.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't one of the purposes of philosophy to discuss and understand someone else's views along with your own? I think to better understand philosophy is is necessary to understand both sides in order to come up with your own.

When you say "purposes of philosophy," to whom are you referring? Whose purpose(s)?

Various individuals can have various purposes in studying philosophy. Any particular individual can have more than one purpose in studying a particular philosophy.

My main purpose in studying Objectivism is to make my life better. It is the only philosophy I have found that is accurate enough to justify continued and close study throughout my life. So far, Objectivism, the philosophy that Ayn Rand created, is my philosophy at its core. Other philosophers, such as Drs. Peikoff and Binswanger can add to that core.

My main purpose, now, in studying other philosophies throughout history is a professional reason. I am fascinated with what philosophers actually did to get their ideas out into society. To understand that, I must know what their ideas were. A side benefit of learning about their philosophies is understanding Objectivism better -- and appreciating Ayn Rand even more. However, the amount of benefit I have gained that way would not alone justify the effort. A more productive approach is to search for the philosophy that overall makes the most sense and -- if it is consistent -- study it intently for decades.

Another alternative, of course, for those who have the intelligence and life-long drive to accomplish it, is to create your own philosophy, from the ground up.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Objectivism rests on three axioms.

Axiom One: Existence exists.

Axiom Two: I am conscious.

Axiom Three: A is A.

The best way to prove Objectivism is to begin by refuting one or more of these. All of Objectivism amounts to a logical body of knowledge based on these, including the Scientific Method.

I am not sure I understand. Are you saying that the scientific method, the method used by scientists in specialized fields such as physics, is part of Objectivism, the philosophy Ayn Rand created?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still havn't found a good argument against Objectivism...

Has anyone at least seen any good publications objecting to Objectivism?

~Michael

I can't say that I've read any attempted refutations to Objectivism but somebody did bring up one issue. They said if everyone is exchanging value for value and if we are to reject charity, then what is to be done about the mentally retarded people without families? Are they to be left to fend for themselves? I suggested that we give them a spot at the zoo and have them dance for nickels but perhaps someone who is more familiar with Objectivism and Ayn Rand's writings might have a better answer to this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't say that I've read any attempted refutations to Objectivism but somebody did bring up one issue.  They said if everyone is exchanging value for value and if we are to reject charity, then what is to be done about the mentally retarded people without families? Are they to be left to fend for themselves? I suggested that we give them a spot at the zoo and have them dance for nickels but perhaps someone who is more familiar with Objectivism and Ayn Rand's writings might have a better answer to this.

The purpose of a free republic's government is to protect individuals' rights. Abandoned or abused children; comatose but friendless adults; the insane who have no friends; and the severely retarded who have no support -- all these are individuals and have rights, but they can't protect themselves. They should become wards of the state until the state finds someone who will volunteer to "adopt" such individuals.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have what I believe is a unique solution to the problem of people who are utterly helpless. Rather than make them wards of the state, which no doubt is actually forcing me to pay for them, why not have the government simply say to tax-exempt charity organizations or churches that they must practice what they preach. That is, if you want tax exempt status, you must take all fiancial responsibility for these helpless individuals. The government could simply have a list of these individuals that they have rounded up, through hospitals, courts, and the streets - and divvy up the responsibility based on the proportion of land holdings or known assets of the various chrurches or organizations that DON'T pay taxes.

I forsee the objection that, in a proper society, there would be no forced taxation anyway, so since there would be nothing special about a church being tax-exempt when everybody is tax exempt, who would have the responsibility of taking care of the helpless then?

My answer is simple: We are not in that beautiful situation yet. Many people are giving half of their income or more to various taxes. Until we are all free of the tax burden, churches and other organizations should, yes, be forced to put their money where their mouths are.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There are no - and never have been any - good arguments against Ayn Rand.

Are there, or have there ever been any "good" arguments against 2+2=4???

It is exactly the same issue.

While I appreciate what I sense your good intentions here to be, the philosophy of Objectivism is not perceptually self-evident as is "2+2=4." For the philosophy there is an enormous amount of material to be thought about and to integrate, leaving room for honest people to form good arguments against inferences. From the vantage point of having spent years learning the philosophy, we may consider such arguments to be wrong, but not to be dismissed as self-evidently wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I suggested that we give them a spot at the zoo and have them dance for nickels but perhaps someone who is more familiar with Objectivism and Ayn Rand's writings might have a better answer to this.
The purpose of a free republic's government is to protect individuals' rights. Abandoned or abused children; comatose but friendless adults; the insane who have no friends; and the severely retarded who have no support -- all these are individuals and have rights, but they can't protect themselves. They should become wards of the state until the state finds someone who will volunteer to "adopt" such individuals.
I have what I believe is a unique solution to the problem of people who are utterly helpless. Rather than make them wards of the state, which no doubt is actually forcing me to pay for them, why not have the government simply say to tax-exempt charity organizations or churches that they must practice what they preach.

In response to the question, “Who will take care of the poor In a totally free society?” Ayn Rand replied, “If you want to help them, no one will stop you.”

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Objectivism rests on three axioms.

Axiom One: Existence exists.

Axiom Two: I am conscious.

Axiom Three: A is A.

The best way to prove Objectivism is to begin by refuting one or more of these. All of Objectivism amounts to a logical body of knowledge based on these, including the Scientific Method.

I am not sure I understand. Are you saying that the scientific method, the method used by scientists in specialized fields such as physics, is part of Objectivism, the philosophy Ayn Rand created?
Yes.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...