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Referring a Book

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Rainer
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I'm taking this philosophy of science course and I have been talking to a theology major--in our latest conversation I explained a very basic overview of Objectivism. Funny thing is that I got the guy to agree with the existence exists pricinple--"a consciousness cannot create reality, not ever, not in a day or 6 days...." I said. His only response was a genuine interest in Objectivism.

So here is the deal, I am going to lend him a nonfiction book, I didn't specify which one. I own pretty much all Objectivist nonfiction, my question is: Which would be the best, most powerful book (given what I've described of the guy)?

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, it isn't a bad book, I've read it twice, but for all the times I recommended the book it comes back to bite me in the ass.

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So here is the deal, I am going to lend him a nonfiction book, I didn't specify which one.  I own pretty much all Objectivist nonfiction, my question is:  Which would be the best, most powerful book (given what I've described of the guy)?

Objectivism:  The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, it isn't a bad book, I've read it twice, but for all the times I recommended the book it comes back to bite me in the ass.

I would recommend Atlas Shrugged, The Ayn Rand Reader or For the New Intellectual. For someone with no prior knowledge of Objectivism, AS would be the most entertaining introduction. The other two are basically compilations of excerpts of Ayn Rand's work that provide a good introduction. The title essay in FNI is an excellent rebuttal to the dominant philosophies throughout human history.

I empathize with your hesitance to recommend OPAR. I too have recommended this to people and they seem to lose interest quickly. It is not a good introduction to the philosophy, but it is very good at bringing everything together after someone has already had some exposure to Objectivism. If you look at the suggested reading from aynrand.org, they only recommend OPAR after reading FH, AS and 22 essays.

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I'd have to say reading Atlas Shrugged first is the best way to go. If you're trying to introduce someone to Objectivism, let them check out Atlas Shrugged with you near by for discussion. I've only been able to get two people with no previous knowledge of Ayn Rand to read Atlas Shrugged. It's simply a great book, and if the reader is ignorant enough to overlook it's philosophical importance they at least won't get bored with the story.

In terms of you being near by for discussion, I think a person's introduction into Objectivism is helped when they can get one on one discussions about the key points within the philosophy at first. Then once they've had a moderate introduction through discussion and the pleasure of reading Atlas Shrugged, it's easy for them to step into the nonfiction realm.

I agree with Bowzer's sentiment towards OPAR, but I think a student should be eased into reading it via other Rand nonfiction works. Follow the Ayn Rand Institute's suggestions.

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That's more like it.

Although I said the same exact thing about a burrito I had the other day.

You can only *really* say that if the burrito had been from Qdoba. But fine. OPAR is an beautiful, elegant work that does well to bring the full Objectivist system into perspective within a single volume--a grand & splendiferous achievement that I'm sure the (metaphorical) Gods smile upon.

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