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Discussion of ITOE

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AndrewSternberg
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I have read Ayn Rand's "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" twice, but I have yet to sit down and study it. I am ready to begin. If you have any suggestions on a methedology for studying this or any other Objectivist work that is ripe with content, such as OPAR, then this thread is a request to share your insights.

My current plan is to read a chapter, then isolate any interesting ideas or puzzling questions that enter my mind. Afterward, I will discuss them on OOForum and/or HBL. Resorting to HBL if the issue is significantly complex and requires the surgical knife of experts. 'Resorting', because the format of this forum is signifcantly more discussion friendly.

I also intend to eventually apply the same method to many of Rand's other works. Is there a different method that should be used for different branches of Philosophy? For those of you who have more experience with this, any advice?

PS: I will start by posting some threads in the comming days for Chapter 1, "Cognition and Measurement".

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This sounds like a fun project, if I can find the time I'll study along with you.

OPAR was the first serious philosophical work I read in depth and I found it helpful to build an outline to keep track of the logical argument. Leonard Peikoff would make a point, then go off in examples, comparing Objectivism to the structure of other philosophies, refuting those philosophies, etc. The trouble was that I'd hit something in a later chapter that depended on understanding something from a previous chapter and get stuck because I couldn't remember the foundation for the earlier information.

So, instead of going back and re-reading everything over and over I just made up a little shorthand logic cheat-sheet. This method works best for me because if I can remember the core arguments I don't have to remember all the conclusions, I can work them out for myself.

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I'm interested in reading along with you guys, too. Any interest in exchanging emails and working out a time schedule per chapter and then discussing here? Perhaps we can get more people in on this too?

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I'm interested in reading along with you guys, too.  Any interest in exchanging emails and working out a time schedule per chapter and then discussing here?  Perhaps we can get more people in on this too?

I could probably commit to one chapter a week; I could probably still participate if you want to go faster but it would be erratic.

My email and AIM screen name are in my profile: feel free to contact me.

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I could probably commit to one chapter a week; I could probably still participate if you want to go faster but it would be erratic.

My email and AIM screen name are in my profile: feel free to contact me.

With full time work and school a chapter a week sounds great to me, and will still require a bit of a stretch. I was thinking that we could structure it so that everyone who wants to read along tries to meet a commitment to complete the chapter of discussion during the week and everyone contributes to conversation on questions, essentializing the chapter, and discussing any confusion over the weekend (that works best for me because I have the most time to post on the weekend and also a lighter work/school load).

Some of the chapters might end up sparking a great deal of conversation so at the end of each weekend the group could determine whether we want to move on to the next chapter or not. This could be really fun and useful, especially since the thread will remain open for others who are reading ITOE to add to. How do you think we should structure the discussion? Just clear up any confusions or should we figure out some kind of study guide questions that we could try to answer independently and then discuss on the forum?

I will contact you later this week when I have time to lay out a more complete idea of what we could accomplish as a reading group. I'm also going to ask Burgess for ideas because I think he'll probably have some good insights for study.

-Elle

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We can aim for a chapter a week, but if that ends up being too fast, so be it. The chapters vary in content and complexity, so a fixed timeline is probobly not all that useful.

Instead, I think we should just read, think, ask, and discuss until everyone wants to move on.

...

I'm also going to ask Burgess for ideas because I think he'll probably have some good insights for study.

My initial questions about methodology were secretly directed at Burgess, but don't tell him. :ninja:

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My initial questions about methodology were secretly directed at Burgess, but don't tell him.  :ninja:

:thumbsup: I think you secret got out. He is very nice and helpful; you could probably just PM him about it.

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You have probobly noticed that I have begun a few threads.

I am using a specific naming convention for these threads to make it easier for moderators to identify them and then group them together later.

Once we are done with Chapter 1, perhaps the moderators can take all topics that are associated with Chapter 1 and either put them in their own directory or merge the threads and somehow mark the beginning and end of any subtopics.

Also, if you are going to ask questions, try to follow the same naming convention:

"ITOE Ch. X; Title of thread, subtitle of thread"

And once we decide to group or merge these threads, the "ITOE Ch. X" portion can be omitted since it will be superfluous.

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Hi,

I'd be very interested to study along with you, that is, if you accept a newbie who just became a patron. Epistemology is my pet subject, though I am not as good at it as I want to be. I can be reached by PM, e-Mail and IM. Do you have a study plan, already?

Fabian

You are certainly welcome to join in.

We do not yet have a study plan beyond what has been said in this thread. Just make sure to read whatever chapter we are discussing and ask questions. We just started so we are on chapter 1.

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I'd be very interested to study along with you, that is, if you accept a newbie who just became a patron. Epistemology is my pet subject, though I am not as good at it as I want to be. I can be reached by PM, e-Mail and IM. Do you have a study plan, already?

Fabian

Of course you'll be accepted! Expanding all of our knowledge on this subject is the reason the idea was put forth! The basic study plan has been outlined earlier in this thread. It's rather loose; we are just going to move through the book chapter by chapter, taking as much time as needed to ensure we all fully grasp the material.

As you can see from the other threads, the discussions have already begun—looks like I need to bust out my thinking cap and dust off my copy of ITOE so I don't get left behind!

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I just had a little case of "open mouth insert foot" so I'm posting this for extra reference:

When you're referring to a named axiom, law, etc. in one of the discussions (e.g. the existence axiom or the law of casualty) please delineate it like that, as the axiom or law or whatever. The name often has a subtly different meaning and if you call the existence axiom simply "existence" there may be some confusion.

If you run into other usage convention problems please post them on this thread so anyone just wandering in on the discussion can read them all together.

On a side note; being a bit ambitious: I would LOVE to study other philosophical works in the same way we're studying ITOE. Ayn Rand had a great term for this process; chewing. A good one to do next may be OPAR (which is, I know, long), then branch into stuff like The Virtue of Selfishness and The Romantic Manifesto, maybe hit a few books by other authors like Viable Values.

We have to do The Aristotle Adventure for Burgess, too. :)

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On a side note; being a bit ambitious: I would LOVE to study other philosophical works in the same way we're studying ITOE.  Ayn Rand had a great term for this process; chewing.  A good one to do next may be OPAR (which is, I know, long), then branch into stuff like The Virtue of Selfishness and The Romantic Manifesto, maybe hit a few books by other authors like Viable Values.

We have to do The Aristotle Adventure for Burgess, too. :lol:

Hey Megan I've been following the discussion and so far so good - I definitely think it would be fun and useful to study other philosophical works this way.

Also, you should watch The Miracle Worker since you are obviously enjoying ITOE so much (and this reccomendation extends to anyone who likes heroes, BTW :thumbsup: ). It's about Helen Keller and, more importantly, her teacher Anne Sullivan. Try to watch the original black and white version of this film if you can, it's much better than the newer version. I was told once that Ayn Rand liked this film because it was the only one she had seen where "the hero has an epistemological victory".

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Hey Megan I've been following the discussion and so far so good - I definitely think it would be fun and useful to study other philosophical works this way. 

Also, you should watch The Miracle Worker since you are obviously enjoying ITOE so much (and this reccomendation extends to anyone who likes heroes, BTW  :thumbsup: ).  It's about Helen Keller and, more importantly, her teacher Anne Sullivan.  Try to watch the original black and white version of this film if you can, it's much better than the newer version.  I was told once that Ayn Rand liked this film because it was the only one she had seen where "the hero has an epistemological victory".

Saw it and read the play version.

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