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"The pursuit of truth is not important." What is the context and meaning of that Ayn Rand quote?

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This quote is from Ayn Rand's book The Romantic Manifesto. I assume the same quote appears in the 1969 issue of the "The Objectivist" newsletter. I don't have handy the book or the newsletter.

On several websites I have found a little bit of the larger context of the quote from the book, which is as follows:

“The pursuit of truth is not important. The pursuit of that truth is important which helps you in reaching your goal that is provided you have one.”

Wikiquote also give the following additional quote from The Romantic Manifesto:

"Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's individual value-judgments."

In light of that, could the quote "pursuit of truth is not important" be another way of saying that art is a "SELECTIVE re-creation of reality"? In other words, maybe Ayn Rand is saying that that the artist/writer ought not strive to depict human reality as it really is in general among the masses, but rather aim to depict and valorize a better world and a better type of individual that arguably can be manifested by at least some exceptional humans via deliberate acts of reason, courage, and free will. But if that's what she is saying with the quote “The pursuit of truth is not important," I still find it odd and strange that Ayn Rand would ever use the term "truth" to mean "reality as it typically is among the masses." I just can't see Ayn Rand using "truth" to refer to the reality experienced by dismal, drab, bland, commonplace, mundane people.

So, what is she talking about? What does she mean "The pursuit of truth is not important?"

What is the context of this quotation in her larger argument?

A part of me wants to ask if Ayn Rand is making a sort of argument from pragmatism, as per the way that William James (1842-1910) and Jordan Peterson justify religious belief?

Ayn Rand’s phraseology sounds, to me, a bit like pragmatism in this part of her quote (already quoted above): “The pursuit of THAT truth is important WHICH HELPS YOU in reaching your GOAL…” I.e., that quote seems to be saying that some belief or conception is to be regarded and treated as “truth” (even if, objectively speaking, it is far from describing real, objective reality) if it helps you carry out the pragmatic objective of reaching your goal.

I don't think she's making an argument from pragmatism, since I have always viewed her as having a metaphysical absolutism that would inherently rule out philosophical pragmatism.

As I understand it, philosophical pragmatism says that, for psychological and sociological purposes, there is no real objective truth, only subjective truth, but that we humans inevitably and necessarily treat subjective truths as objective truths, since "noble lies" (Plato's term) help us survive, thrive, win in competitions, achieve our goals, and attain states of happiness (at least for periods of time). 

Well, thanks in advance for any explanation of Ayn Rand's argument involving this quote, "The pursuit of truth is not important" within The Romantic Manifesto.

Edited by The Laws of Biology
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Are you sure this is an accurate quote? It looks hinky to me. The Romantic Manifesto is a book-length anthology. Do you know which of the collected pieces is supposed to contain it? The Objectivist was a monthly. Do you know which month in 1969? I have all the 1969 issues except July. Tell me which month and I'll check it out.

Edited by Reidy
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It's a fake quote, I see now.

My sincere apologies.

I see that I got this from Goodreads.com and assumed it was an honest, accurate quote, especially since a number of other websites also attributed it to Ayn Rand.

Now, after some further checking, I see that Ayn Rand never wrote this.

I guess this whole question should be deleted, don't you think, since the very title might mislead people.

I would delete it myself right now. But the website won't let, or at least I can't see how to do it.

I hope the moderator will delete this question. Thank you 

Edited by The Laws of Biology
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I’m not sure where to look for a source ,but I think Rand related the idea that the pursuit of knowledge “for knowledge sake” without a conscious plan to integrate that knowledge into efforts to be productive or more productive was immoral.

Perhaps that is what lead to the misquote.

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5 hours ago, tadmjones said:

I’m not sure where to look for a source ,but I think Rand related the idea that the pursuit of knowledge “for knowledge sake” without a conscious plan to integrate that knowledge into efforts to be productive or more productive was immoral.

Perhaps that is what lead to the misquote.

Tad, I think a little closer to the misquote is Rand's thought that the main purpose of art is not to identify existents or to educate (nor to urge moral reforms), but to set up an interesting experience. Art most excellent, additionally gives an interesting experience not simply of how things are, but of how they could and ought to be; and it inspires one in the effort to reach one's distant goals.

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12 hours ago, Eiuol said:

I found it, this is the actual quote, it comes from the Indian director Ram Gopal Varma.

Good job sleuthing! He either wrongly attributes this to Rand, or, he "really meant" that some part of what he said could be related to something that she said. "The pursuit of Truth is not important," (Truth as a floating abstraction, an intrinsic good), "the pursuit of that truth is important which helps you in reaching your goal, provided you know what your goal is". She does not actually say this directly anywhere in her writings, but it is a reasonable characterization of her view of the value of truth in art.

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A few years back on Quora somebody wanted to know what Aristotle meant when he said that the mark of the educated man is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at once. Several people chimed in with what they thought were Aristotelian explanations, but the quote turned out to be from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Crack-Up. (They say that if you read the whole thing, Fitzgerald says that eventually you have to resolve the inconsistency.)

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3 hours ago, Reidy said:

A few years back on Quora somebody wanted to know what Aristotle meant when he said that the mark of the educated man is the ability to hold two contradictory ideas at once. Several people chimed in with what they thought were Aristotelian explanations, but the quote turned out to be from F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Crack-Up. (They say that if you read the whole thing, Fitzgerald says that eventually you have to resolve the inconsistency.)

This brings to my mind quantum mechanics and special relativity.

 

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