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Inherent Essence

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(MIKE) MichaleHansonBryan

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How mutch of Aristotle's Philosophy influenced Ayn Rand?
Did Ayn Rand believe that Humans have a fixed Essence and also Virtue Theory?
I got this Information from a video by Crash Course called Aristotle and Virtue Theory.
You may already know this, but Aristotle believed that...
1. Humans had a fixed human nature, or essence (witch is essentially meaning in life) and we flourish when we adhir by that nature. 
2. Everything has a function and a thing is Good when it fulfills its function to the fullest extent. 
3.The function of a human is that we are animals that need grow, be heathy, and fertile. 4. But we are also "The Rational and Social Animal" so our funtion includes reason and getting along with our pact.
5. Man should be Virtuous, knowing what to do at the Right time and place.
6. Virtue is the Midpoint between two extreams, and it is best learned by copying someone Virtuous.
7. And our motivation for being Virtuous should be to achieve Eudaimonia, the pinical of being human.
For these 7 Points, what is the Objectivist responce?
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1. Rand is somewhat close to this. Rand does consider man, and indeed all things, to have a nature, that is, in order to be something, it is to be something specific. Humans have both generic features and specific ones. However this is different from an essence. Aristotle was a realist, that essences exist in entities, whereas Rand is more of a conceptualist, that essences are a kind of mental categorization of the aspects of entities. Rand often says that essences are epistemological, not metaphysical.

2. Yes, but again, only good or bad pertaining to some sort of standard of measurement as examined from a human perspective, it is not literally a part of the entity as Aristotle holds.

3. and 4. Yes, more or less. Rand and Aristotle would both consider what is the primary characteristic, the one most responsible for all others to be logikon (rationality.)

5. Yes, but virtue is more than just knowing what to do at the right place and time. One can accidentally do the right thing at the right time, but this isn't virtue for A or R. Virtue is the cultivation of ones character by repeated practice and decision making.

6. This is one major divergence between R and A. Rand did not hold to the doctrine of the Golden Mean, since she believed it to be groundless. Aristotle believed one found out virtue by observation of the wise men of the day. Rand believed in radical independent thought, that someone can't be virtuous for you unless you saw yourself "first hand" the reasons why, and in her novels it's often the supposed wise men of the day that are fools.

7. Yes, although it technically isn't our motivation, achieving eudaimonia or human flourishing is our ultimate end, but our motivation is the concrete values that fill our lives.

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