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Objectivist Academic Center (OAC)

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I was wondering if anyone here has applied and been accepted to the OAC core program.

I was hoping to learn more about it (what books are covered, how interesting/useful you found the program, etc)

and of course.. how you made it fit into a regular college + work schedule. :)

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I finished the OAC undergrad program in 2008, and have been in the grad program since then. From what I hear, the program is currently going under major revisions. I believe they are keeping UPAR, the Undergraduate seminar on the Philosophy of Ayn Rand. That's a year long course that covers OPAR in great detail, and also uses many of AR's essays as a supplement. As it was in 2004, in addition to 3 hour long weekly seminars there were two papers and two one hour one-on-one consultations about the papers the with professor. At the time it was Onkar Ghate, and I think it still is.

The program I took included two writing/communicating courses and a logic class. I learned more about writing from those classes than I have from anywhere else. There was also a year long class on Understanding Objectivism and Objectivism Through Induction. This class consisted in listening to lectures and doing frequent writing assignments, along with periodic seminars with Onkar. The classes in this paragraph are the ones that are under heaviest revision, from what I've heard.

If you plan to be some sort of intellectual or academic, OAC is a must. Understanding Objectivism is hard and a lot of work. Getting to the level of understanding required to be an intellectual is probably impossible without some kind of expert guidance. If that's your goal, you'd have to figure a way to make it work some how. The time commitment is equivalent to a college course. Weekly seminars and readings, papers, etc.

If you have more specific questions I'd be happy to answer them.

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If you plan to be some sort of intellectual or academic, OAC is a must. Understanding Objectivism is hard and a lot of work. Getting to the level of understanding required to be an intellectual is probably impossible without some kind of expert guidance. If that's your goal, you'd have to figure a way to make it work some how. The time commitment is equivalent to a college course. Weekly seminars and readings, papers, etc.

Nope, this is just wrong. If you want to be an Objectivist philosopher or academic, then yeah I would say that this is pretty much a must. But if you want to be an intellectual in some other field, I see no reason to beleive that one *has* to do this course to succedd and do very well. I think that if you look you will find a lot of intellectuals that are also Objectivists have not done this course. Yet many oif them have a good to excellent grasp of Objectivism and are reasonably successfull within their feilds.

Having said that, if they had done the course : Who knows if they would be doing even better or by how much. It is definitely a helpful course to take , if it s a realistic option.

Edited by Prometheus98876
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Thanks for all the useful information. I know it's only for students in college, so I wanted to get the scoop before applying. I'm in a technical major, but I've always loved reading and writing about philosophy. I took the "best" philosophy class at my uni, "Religion, Ecology, & The Self" and was completely disappointed.. in a nutshell, the prof taught that technology was destroying the planet and that we have to take drastic measures to save it. This included destroying technology and living in small communes.. all to let the planet "heal herself." Eeek.

Anyways, I wanted to take a true philosophy course, since I think OAC is probably the only place that offers college-level classes about Objectivism. I'm just a little nervous to apply since I've only gone through about half the readings on the application page. :blink:

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For sure, it is pretty much essential if you want a really , really deep academic understanding of Objectivism. Granted, I guess if you got like everything from the Ayn Rand Bookstore or something and studied your ass off, you might be able to replace the OAC in terms of learning much the same stuff. I seriously doubt that this is feasible and I suspect you would have to be very, very intelligent.

If you are a philosophy major, I guess it could be about as useful too. I bet a really deep understanding of Objectivism makes one a much better philosophy major :D

Note I have not been to the OAC ( as of yet ). Maybe one day I will attend? But I do know others that have, and they have all loved it. So yeah if you are interested and can fit it in : *Highly* suggested in general, if you have a lot of academic interest in such things.

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I think that if you look you will find a lot of intellectuals that are also Objectivists have not done this course. Yet many oif them have a good to excellent grasp of Objectivism and are reasonably successfull within their feilds.

I'm not sure who you have in mind here, but I'll bet that most or all of them went through earlier programs run by Leonard Peikoff or Harry Binswanger. I know of no Objectivist intellectuals doing good work who haven't gone through such programs.

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I'm not sure who you have in mind here, but I'll bet that most or all of them went through earlier programs run by Leonard Peikoff or Harry Binswanger. I know of no Objectivist intellectuals doing good work who haven't gone through such programs.

Some of them did , I grant you t his. But I am not talking about just "Objectivist intellectuals", assuming you mean people that specialize in academic study of Objectivism. If this is who you were talking about ( which did not seem that clear?), then there is less to argue about.

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For sure, it is pretty much essential if you want a really , really deep academic understanding of Objectivism. Granted, I guess if you got like everything from the Ayn Rand Bookstore or something and studied your ass off, you might be able to replace the OAC in terms of learning much the same stuff. I seriously doubt that this is feasible and I suspect you would have to be very, very intelligent.

If you are a philosophy major, I guess it could be about as useful too. I bet a really deep understanding of Objectivism makes one a much better philosophy major :D

Note I have not been to the OAC ( as of yet ). Maybe one day I will attend? But I do know others that have, and they have all loved it. So yeah if you are interested and can fit it in : *Highly* suggested in general, if you have a lot of academic interest in such things.

Well it's hard to say you're an Objectivist without knowing the ins and outs of it! I don't think you can get all that from just reading AR's books without studying/discussing them and how they apply to RL situations. I think more of a formal philosophy training would be beneficial to everyone.. just not most of the stuff they teach in college philosophy courses.

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Well it's hard to say you're an Objectivist without knowing the ins and outs of it! I don't think you can get all that from just reading AR's books without studying/discussing them and how they apply to RL situations. I think more of a formal philosophy training would be beneficial to everyone.. just not most of the stuff they teach in college philosophy courses.

So your contention is that only those that go to the OAC ( or some equivalent ) should be calling themselves Objectivists?

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From what I can tell about OAC, while the teaching of Objectivism is nice, you'll get the most benefit if you intend to be a writer, especially an academic writer. Aside from that, if you can get lots of more "formal" education by purchasing ARI lectures, reading a lot of books, or searching for discussion groups. I debated between doing OAC or not a while back, and decided not to because of cost, and because I prefer teaching myself.

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So your contention is that only those that go to the OAC ( or some equivalent ) should be calling themselves Objectivists?

Oh no, not at all. I just know that it would be hard for me to call myself an Objectivist without having more experience writing/reading its literature & learning how to apply it in daily situations/discussions.

I'm not sure how many 'Objectivists' have actually gone through formal Objectivist philosophy courses/programs. I just found out about the OAC a short while ago, so I'm not sure how long it's been around. Besides that, I know Peikoff also does lectures.. but I'm not sure if there are any other "formal" Objectivist courses. I agree though, I think these are really neat opportunities that should be taken advantage of.

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