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Discovering psycho-epistemology through questions

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LoBagola
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I've been coming up with questions to ask myself and other's; the purpose is to discover what I and my friends believe, what implicit philosophical premises we hold and hopefully find lots of contradictions we can fix. Feel free to add or share insight.

 

So far I've copied a few from Rand's lexicon

 

Is the universe intelligible to man, or unintelligible and unknowable?
 
Can man find happiness on earth, or is he doomed to frustration and despair? 
 
Does man have the  power of choice, the power to choose his goals and to achieve them, the power to direct the course of his life—or is he the helpless plaything of forces beyond his control, which determine his fate?
 
Is man, by nature, to be valued as good, or to be despised as evil? 
 
 
If anyone is interested to add - i'd like that. I'll keep doing so myself as I find questions which yield the most insightful responses (from myself and others).
Edited by LoBagola
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I understand where they're coming from, but they're close to false alternatives and might put people on the defensive. Maybe it's just the wording, but "valued as good, or despised as evil" is much less appealing than, "left to his own devises, is man mostly evil or good?"

 

That said, I have a few that I really enjoy (they're also slightly more open ended):

 

What, in a few words, is art? / What is the definition of a work of art?

 

What is the purpose of government?

 

Would you really enjoy eternal life? (If there were a heaven, would you actually enjoy it?)

 

Hmm, I'll need to think of some more. Cool list! :)

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The second entry here will be clarifying I think:

 

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/psycho-epistemology.html

 

Asking oneself (relevant) questions is brilliant, it is the essence or at least the impetus of thinking, and it is a vastly under-appreciated tool of introspection.  Consciously pursue a policy of asking yourself questions and you will develop an ever more active mind.

 

I think Harry Binswanger's courses on P-E (available very inexpensively at the ARI estore) would be a great place to start with generating questions to illuminate one's own P-E.  Some general questions to ask at any time can be created of course but the real meat of understanding how you operate will come from knowing enough to ask yourself relevant questions in the moment, i.e. just after a moment of uncertainty, just after giving an answer, just after waving an issue aside, when trying to understand something new, when faced with a contradiction, etc.  "How did I arrive at that?"  "What was my initial reaction to that?"  "What was I doing?"  "What were the first connections I made to that idea?  Why those?"  

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