Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Love, Values, Virtues

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

In trying to write an essay including these 3 concepts, I'm coming up blank on what the virtue is that acts to keep the values causing the emotional response of love. I know all virtues kind of stem from the ones listed in Galt's speech, but rather than listing all of those, I'm looking for a specific word that encompasses the act of pursuing or continuing a relationship long-distance, and then trying to find ways to be together permanently. Or would the actions taken to that end themselves just be virtuous in trying to keep values that make ones life better and happier?

For more context, the essay is an analysis of Anton Chekov's short story, "The Lady with the Pet Dog".

Edited by Chris.S
Link to comment
Share on other sites

For more context, the essay is an analysis of Anton Chekov's short story, "The Lady with the Pet Dog".

For even more context, here is the story: "The Lady with the Pet Dog"

I would be hard put to justify using these two people as exemplars of any virtue. There is no explanation of why these two are attracted to each other except as escape from bourgeoisie boredom.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, the short stories we've been covering in this course are all very vague with reasons for doing anything, and I suppose that's part of the reason for dissecting and discussing them. I would rather the authors were explicit and direct in what they're trying to tell, but then where would the art be? I'm not trying to say that art has to be vague or incomprehensible, but if say D.H.Lawrence just wrote "capitalism exploits and kills the working class", then it wouldn't be as fun arguing against his retarded symbolism in "The Rocking Horse Winner" with other students. And it would be a much shorter story (not that that's bad). Same idea with Chinua Achebe and his pro-African mystic tribalism.

Back to "The Lady...": it's shown that they're both at the least eager for a better life among other things that aren't told or shown, which their current relationships don't offer. Being with each other offers that for them. And it's shown as genuine from the perspective inside Dmitry's thoughts, and in Anna's inability to handle the secrecy and deception. At the end, they both want to be honest with themselves and the world. I'd say that's a virtue.

Besides that, we had limited topics to choose from, and this one offered me the best chance to practice argumentation from an Objectivist view. And this story and "How I Met My Husband" were the easiest to stomach out of the 15 or so we've covered :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think that normally the answer to the question in your OP would be pride, as that is where all forms of ambitiousness are most at home. But I would be too embarrassed to turn in a paper trying to make that case with respect to this story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 year later...

I had the same question, but I think I found an answer.

The thing with the virtues , rationality, productivity, pride, independence, integrity, honesty, justice are all things that describe how to get from A to B. They are vehicles to the values of reason, purpose, self esteem and ultimately life.

The the problem is that these words are timeless. This meaning that it's not firmly set in the past, present or future.

So then I thought about the branches of philosophy: metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, aesthetics. Then I remembered about aesthetics. Something that continually gets looked over. The romantic realism. That thing which describes what could be or should be. The area where one can use their imagination and draw a line into the future. Namely hope.

Life is a process and therefore a dynamic thing. But we must have purpose to help us get going. This is basically goal setting and with my relationships, I do put down goals that we both strive for. It can be stupid things like projects or lowering the grocery bill, but at least there is something to work for. These days, it's to how we engage in self destructive behavior and how to become financially independent. It's a worthy goal and certainly possible. With that project, the relationship has a purpose, a goal, but it was volitional. We chose to have that for our relationship and so, we're on the same boat with different oars.

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.

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.


  • Recently Browsing   0 members

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