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HOW CAN OBJECTIVISM BECOME A DOMINANT IDEOLOGY?

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MAPPING

FUTURE

OF

OBJECTIVISM

 

HOW CAN OBJECTIVISM BECOME A DOMINANT IDEOLOGY?

 

INTRODUCTION

The article is for long time Objectivists only. I think at this point only long time Objectivists can clearly visualize the logistics for making the ideology mainstream. Philosophy of Kant, Christianity, and Islam being examples of mainstream ideologies. Personally, I have been reading Ayn Rand and Objectivist literature for more than 20 years now.

 

BACKGROUND

Ayn Rand in her title essay of the book For the New Intellectual explained how philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, & Kant came to dominate the Western Civilization. Further, this article by a long time Objectivist highlights the spread of ideas in a structural way.

Basically, there are primary philosophers like Plato, Aristotle, Kant, & Rand. Secondary philosophers like Plotinus, Aquinas, Kierkegaard, & Murray Rothbard (Libertarianism). Tertiary philosophers and intellectuals like Dr. Peikoff, intellectual activists, social reformers, political activists and so on…

 

GENERAL TRAJECTORY OF IDEAS

The Philosophical movement starts with primary philosophers who develop unique Metaphysics & Epistemology, and then derive Ethics, Politics, & Aesthetics from it. Sometimes like Kierkegaard or Murray Rothbard, some aspects of primary philosophy are picked, and secondary philosophy is developed. Tertiary philosophers structure diverse sources of primary or secondary philosophers into a single volume. Intellectuals and philosophers of science make certain implicit ideas explicit, and deep dive into specific subjects like Psychology, Economics, Education, and Sociology. Intellectual Activists and Broadcasters further disseminate ideas until these ideas reach to the man in street.

Examples include Dr. Peikoff as tertiary philosopher, John Rawls the father of DEI as intellectual, Dr. Tara Smith as Objectivist intellectual, and Dr. Yaron Brook as Intellectual Activist and Broadcaster.

Overall, here are the various stages in dissemination of ideas:

1.   Philosophical Stage: Philosophy is created by primary or secondary philosophers, and then structured by tertiary philosophers. Sociologically, whole stage can be classified as Philosophical Movement.

2.   Intellectual Stage: The structured philosophy is applied to sciences as in Induction in Physics by David Harriman, and Biological basis for Teleological Concepts by Dr. Harry Binswanger. Further, the Philosophy is also applied to subjects of Humanities like Judicial Review in an Objective Legal System by Dr. Tara Smith applying Objectivist ideas, or The Interpretation of Dreams by Freud applying Kantian ideas. Sociologically this stage can be classified as Intellectual Movement.

3.   Social Stage: Once Intellectual Stage is fairly established, the philosophical ideas need to move from Ivory Tower to the society at large. Examples include Egalitarianism of John Rawls moving into the policy of Affirmative Action, Libertarianism into Tea Party Movement, or ideas of John Locke adopted by Benjamin Franklin and applied for interpreting day to day news headlines. The sociological form of this stage being Social Movement.

During Medieval Ages sermons in Church to regular folks being example of Christian philosophy acting in social realm.

4.   Political Stage: After social movement, the next stage is Political Movement. Examples include American Revolution, conversion of Roman Emperors to Christianity and so on. Basically, considering high stakes in political decisions, social movement acts as an experimental ground for politics. That is, even though Philosophical Movement defines political principles, applying them at a state, national, or international level still requires creation of sufficient social ground. 

5.   Reinforcement Stage: While philosophical ideas like Objectivism travel through different stages in movement, the application of ideas is not always linear. That is, if the movement has reached social stage for example, it will still face intellectual and sometimes philosophical resistance. For e.g. Kant and his intellectual successors lead to the downfall of Enlightenment ideas, because the Enlightenment ideas were not sufficiently grounded despite reaching mainstream political stage.

Therefore, even after philosophy establishes political stage, movements in other stages also need to remain active. Conversely, if ideology is in lower stage, it may still have a higher stage version also. For example, social and political awareness of Ayn Rand’s fiction can act as a recruitment tool for the New Intellectuals.

 

CURRENT STATE OF OBJECTIVISM

Primary & Tertiary Stage: Ayn Rand wrote on all domains of philosophy in Galt’s Speech, Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, Virtue of Selfishness, Capitalism: An Unknown Ideal, and The Romantic Manifesto. Dr. Peikoff acted as tertiary philosopher to consolidate her ideas in Objectivism: Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

Intellectual Stage: There has also been application in basic sciences through Induction in Physics by David Harriman, and Biological basis of Teleological Concepts by Dr. Harry Binswanger. In humanities we have legal application by Dr. Tara Smith. Dr. Peikoff has himself applied Objectivism to sociology in The DIM Hypothesis.

Current level: I think currently Objectivism needs to focus on Intellectual stage. However, given how deeply entrenched Kantian and Platonic ideas are in intellectual ecosystem, we need reinforcement of philosophical ideas as well. I think the reinforcement stage is working well through Dr. Brook, Don Watkins, Alex Epstein, Dr. Tara Smith, Dr. Peter Schwartz, Ayn Rand Institute,  and some more individuals & organizations.

However, it is difficult for non-intellectuals to consistently apply Objectivism, because many subjects like Economics[1], Psychology, and Management[3] have not been sufficiently investigated from the Objectivist perspective.

 

EXCEPTION TO THE LOGICAL FLOW OF PHILOSOPHICAL IDEAS

Here are some examples where logical flow of philosophical ideas is not beneficial to the spreading of ideology. For irrational ideologies like Islam, it makes sense to go to political stage without spending too much time in Philosophical, Intellectual, or Social stage. Significant discussion risks premature exposure of irrational roots. Therefore, these ideologies focus on reinforcement stage, where social, intellectual, and philosophical enhancements can be done in a controlled environment. Environment in which heretic ideas can be suppressed through political force like the Blasphemy laws.

Ideas like Aristotelian philosophy and Objectivism however need to follow the logical progression of movements.

 

CONCLUSION

The importance of ideas in culture & also day to day activities have been clearly demonstrated by movements from Aristotle, Plato, & Kant in past 2000 years. Objectivism offers unparalleled growth for self and humanity. However, to reach the Atlantis, law of identity needs to be applied in social realm. That is, logical progression of movements needs to be followed.

 

POST SCRIPT

If Objectivism is in Intellectual stage, how can non-intellectuals apply it in their day-to-day lives?

First of all, it needs to be acknowledged that there will be more mistakes, as intellectual foundation is not sufficiently built. One should be prepared to recover and learn from such mistakes.

Secondly, the deviation from mainstream opinion will be severely punished, as other movements like Communism have wider impact.

Thirdly, significant effort is needed by Objectivist individuals to understand ideology of persons & institutions one is dealing with. And sometimes tactical or even strategic retreat is needed to safeguard one’s livelihood in a hostile environment. For example, discussing one’s Objectivist opinions with trusted individuals rather than in public or even private forums.

 

REFERENCES

Lesser known applications of Objectivism

[1] Objective Economics: How Ayn Rand's Philosophy Changes Everything about Economics

Amazon.com: Objective Economics: How Ayn Rand's Philosophy Changes Everything about Economics eBook : Buechner, M. Northrup: Kindle Store

 

[2] Reinventing Management: Organizational Ethics From Objectivism

Reinventing Management: Organizational Ethics From Objectivism - Kindle edition by Gupta, Rohin. Politics & Social Sciences Kindle eBooks @ Amazon.com.

 

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  • 2 weeks later...

"Dr. Peikoff acted as tertiary philosopher to consolidate her ideas in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand."

Rohin, I know it is customary and the official line that Peikoff merely consolidated Rand's ideas in this book stating her philosophy. I for one do not buy it. Peikoff was a significant source of many of the ideas in Rand's philosophy (always conferenced with Rand for concurrence) as set out in his 1976 lecture series "The Philosophy of Objectivism" and in his OPAR. And the same was the case for N. Branden in stating the philosophy in his lecture series "The Basic Principles of Objectivism", which has a more psychological emphasis than the statements of the philosophy by Peikoff. OPAR is the primary systematic statement of the philosophy, and I expect it to retain that standing. Blackwell's Companion to Ayn Rand is an example, I imagine, of pure consolidation of that philosophy (leaving aside a few departures from Rand put forth as Rand in that tome).

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Rohin,

My guess would be that Objectivism will become more mainstream only by borrowed pieces. Portions of Galt's Speech read by Sen. Cruz in a filibuster a few years back is an epitome. Individualism, self-sufficiency, and independence of mind are heritage in America, and that cluster can continue to be revived as a live ideal by its boost from Rand. However, the pervasive allegiances in America to (i) heart-over-mind and (ii) self-sacrifice for others or country as handy and highest moral ideal show no sign of weakening. I'd expect those, as well as appeal to them as justification for expanding government programs, to continue. On the personal-life side, I'd guess that religion, perhaps watered down, will continue in the main. But alongside that, inconsistent as it may be, individuals will continue benefitting from Rand's picture of the goodness of loving oneself and some keys from Rand on how to make that love doable.

Overall, then, I do not expect Objectivism-for-real to become more mainstream. That it will continue benefitting minds and lives—that much—beyond mine is pleasing. If I were a praying man, I'd pray for just that much.

Edited by Boydstun
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Posted (edited)

REFERENCE TO SOME MORE DISCUSSIONS ON THE SUBJECT

  • REDDIT

SAMPLE

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As I explain in the article, currently only Philosophical stage is well established. In order to establish at Intellectual level, books need to be written which apply the Philosophy to subjects of humanities like Psychology, Education, Economics, Management, etc. Further, we need commentaries on these subjects based on the books.

Social Movement besides PR will involve introducing books from Intellectual and Philosophical stage in Universities, Schools, and also public forums like Corporate and Political presentations etc.

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Objectivist Friends Group Australia | Please check my article titled - "***HOW CAN OBJECTIVISM BECOME A DOMINANT IDEOLOGY | Facebook

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Quote

For Objectivism, I would say Philosophical stage started with publication of Atlas Shrugged, and ended with OPAR and Art of Thinking lectures around 1993. Given the 2 generations approximation, Intellectual Phase can be extended up to 2043.

 

Quote
Have been thinking more on the subject in past 1 week. Here are some additional thoughts. Quality and speed for Philosophical phase was much better in Objectivism, because Ayn Rand I think was a bigger Genius than prior philosophers, had ironed out the wrinkles while applying it in fiction, and deeply trained Dr. Peikoff.
As alternate example, even partial development of Kant's ideology by Kirkgaard was after 50 years, and systemization after 100 years.
The quality and speed will be much harder in Intellectual phase of Objectivism, and we should be open to lesser perfectionism than we have come to expect in Philosophical phase. We should be open to more commentary and revisions.
Of course, open advocacy of Altruism and corresponding applications like Communism and Islam still cannot be tolerated.

 

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On 5/16/2024 at 6:43 PM, Boydstun said:

"Dr. Peikoff acted as tertiary philosopher to consolidate her ideas in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand."

Rohin, I know it is customary and the official line that Peikoff merely consolidated Rand's ideas in this book stating her philosophy. I for one do not buy it. Peikoff was a significant source of many of the ideas in Rand's philosophy (always conferenced with Rand for concurrence) as set out in his 1976 lecture series "The Philosophy of Objectivism" and in his OPAR. And the same was the case for N. Branden in stating the philosophy in his lecture series "The Basic Principles of Objectivism", which has a more psychological emphasis than the statements of the philosophy by Peikoff. OPAR is the primary systematic statement of the philosophy, and I expect it to retain that standing. Blackwell's Companion to Ayn Rand is an example, I imagine, of pure consolidation of that philosophy (leaving aside a few departures from Rand put forth as Rand in that tome).

As mentioned in this article, the criteria for philosopher being primary is not completeness or originality of specific philosophical ideas (though Rand's work I think was close to complete). Instead, the philosopher should be original in answering key questions in Metaphysics, Epistemology, and optionally Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics. 

Original ideas of Dr. Peikoff like solving problem of induction will make him prominent Objectivist Intellectual besides Tertiary Philosopher, instead of Primary philosopher. Similar to Mohammad denouncing Idolatry makes him Platonic intellectual, even though Plato himself never advocated the denunciation. Reason for Mohammad being Platonic Intellectual and Intellectual Activist is that he brought implication of Plato's metaphysics to Aesthetics comprehensively. Blasphemy being application of Platonic Politics of Authoritarian Philosopher King.

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On 5/16/2024 at 7:37 PM, Boydstun said:

Rohin,

My guess would be that Objectivism will become more mainstream only by borrowed pieces. Portions of Galt's Speech read by Sen. Cruz in a filibuster a few years back is an epitome. Individualism, self-sufficiency, and independence of mind are heritage in America, and that cluster can continue to be revived as a live ideal by its boost from Rand. However, the pervasive allegiances in America to (i) heart-over-mind and (ii) self-sacrifice for others or country as handy and highest moral ideal show no sign of weakening. I'd expect those, as well as appeal to them as justification for expanding government programs, to continue. On the personal-life side, I'd guess that religion, perhaps watered down, will continue in the main. But alongside that, inconsistent as it may be, individuals will continue benefitting from Rand's picture of the goodness of loving oneself and some keys from Rand on how to make that love doable.

Overall, then, I do not expect Objectivism-for-real to become more mainstream. That it will continue benefitting minds and lives—that much—beyond mine is pleasing. If I were a praying man, I'd pray for just that much.

I think criteria for Philosophy being mainstream is NOT Politician Quoting it. Instead, it should be considered mainstream when its Politics is comprehensively applied in culture. For e.g. even though Aristotle was quoted a lot in Renaissance, he did not really become mainstream until American Revolution discovered and applied Political implication of his Metaphysics and Epistemology.

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6 hours ago, rohintest said:

As mentioned in this article, the criteria for philosopher being primary is not completeness or originality of specific philosophical ideas (though Rand's work I think was close to complete). Instead, the philosopher should be original in answering key questions in Metaphysics, Epistemology, and optionally Ethics, Politics, and Aesthetics. 

Original ideas of Dr. Peikoff like solving problem of induction will make him prominent Objectivist Intellectual besides Tertiary Philosopher, instead of Primary philosopher. . . .

The significant ideas Peikoff planted in Rand were in metaphysics and epistemology. They are disguised as simply Rand. When one reads Rand in her ITOE speaking of such things as logical empiricism and the synthetic-analytic dichotomy, that is surely input from recent Ph.D. Peikoff. She had her ITOE immediately followed in her journal The Objectivist by Peikoff's article "The Synthetic-Analytic Dichotomy." That was his most important original contribution to Objectivism that was out in the open. Rand mentioned that when she had written in GS the portion in which she said she was completing Aristotle (identity and identification), she did not know the full significance of what she had contributed in the history of philosophy. She had learned that significance only later from an associate, she said. Bet a coke it was Peikoff. Ditto for the book on Pragmatism from which she quotes in setting out the problem of universals in the intro to ITOE. When you read the appendix added to ITOE, transcriptions of her epistemology seminar, it is clear there are two "Professors" (B and E) who are on the intellectual dais with Rand (Gotthelf and Peikoff); she relied on them for understanding what others are getting at at times and for history of philosophy. All the while, from his time in grad school to the end of Rand's substantive output (her participation in Peikoff's 1976 lecture series "The Philosophy of Objectivism", Peikoff is raising issues in philosophy (theoretical philosophy, contemporary or classical) that Rand would otherwise know nothing of, and together they hammer out an Objectivist answer. Behind the mask of John Galt is Ayn Rand. Behind the mask of "Ayn Rand's Philosophy" is Ayn Rand and some helpers, most notably Leonard Peikoff.

My point is not that you are incorrect if you buy the standard line on authorship of the philosophy Objectivism. My only point is that that line is implausible. (Independently, Robert Campbell reached the same conclusion.) I don't mean to be vindicating a widely unacknowledged contribution of Peikoff to what is, in the end, an amateur philosophy that addressed a number of standard issues in philosophy; he'd surely not like that. I'm just being realistic about the actual complexity that has been brushed under the rug.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For original or fairly original, for true or approximately true, and for important in this philosophy, I take these.

Edited by Boydstun
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6 hours ago, rohintest said:

I think criteria for Philosophy being mainstream is NOT Politician Quoting it. Instead, it should be considered mainstream when its Politics is comprehensively applied in culture. For e.g. even though Aristotle was quoted a lot in Renaissance, he did not really become mainstream until American Revolution discovered and applied Political implication of his Metaphysics and Epistemology.

I was using the politician quoting merely as one public token. Another political token of the culture knowing something of Rand would be Obama's reference to "the virtue of selfishness" and his reliance on the public's widespread rejection of such a thing. A Sunday school teacher warding the students away from reading Rand would be a token of her becoming mainstream; I just don't have a public example of it.

Protestantism is mainstream without having a politics. There is nothing inherent in Objectivism to take institution of its political philosophy as a necessary condition for rating the philosophy mainstreamed. Philosophy need not be primarily a tool for political aspirations.

Aristotle was not championed by the founders of this country, I should say. 

Objectivism, by the way, is not going to have its Politics comprehensively applied in American culture. What is taken for just under the law changes here, but it is not going to land on Objectivist Politics, entirely coinciding. Not ever, while we are a democratic republic, and when we are not, we are no longer America. One can be successful and happy without the dream of perfect justice being taken for a real possibility. One might continue to march for it only by loving justice, all the same, I imagine.

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Objectivism will eventually become dominant if two things hold:

  • Free speech has to be maintained; otherwise Objectivism will be silenced.
  • The government has to stop subsidizing false points of view so that Objectivism can compete on a level playing field. (Also the government has to do its job as far as not allowing people to initiate force in order to promote their viewpoints or suppress opposing viewpoints.)

The latter I think is the hard one. Ultimately it would require a separation of state and economics.

 

Edited by necrovore
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6 hours ago, necrovore said:

Objectivism will eventually become dominant if two things hold:

  • Free speech has to be maintained; otherwise Objectivism will be silenced.
  • The government has to stop subsidizing false points of view so that Objectivism can compete on a level playing field. (Also the government has to do its job as far as not allowing people to initiate force in order to promote their viewpoints or suppress opposing viewpoints.)

The latter I think is the hard one. Ultimately it would require a separation of state and economics.

 

Or short circuit it all and create our own nation. And yeah, I've heard I believe it was Yaron Brooks objection that governments won't allow even floating nations at sea. The thing is its none of their business how a new nation is created as long as they are rights respecting free nations which a new Objectivist founded nation would be the shining example of.

***Actually I'll go a step further and make it official. I'm founding the Constitutional Republic of Atlantis right this second. I need no person, group, or government's sanction nor approval and it now officially in existence. Let's start building it!***

Edited by EC
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11 hours ago, EC said:

Or short circuit it all and create our own nation.

You'd have to be able to defend it militarily, not only from full-on invasions but also from foreign countries abducting people, or robbing banks, or destabilizing your new country in other ways.

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19 hours ago, Boydstun said:

The significant ideas Peikoff planted in Rand were in metaphysics and epistemology. They are disguised as simply Rand. When one reads Rand in her ITOE speaking of such things as logical empiricism and the synthetic-analytic dichotomy, that is surely input from recent Ph.D. Peikoff. She had her ITOE immediately followed in her journal The Objectivist by Peikoff's article "The Synthetic-Analytic Dichotomy." That was his most important original contribution to Objectivism that was out in the open. Rand mentioned that when she had written in GS the portion in which she said she was completing Aristotle (identity and identification), she did not know the full significance of what she had contributed in the history of philosophy. She had learned that significance only later from an associate, she said. Bet a coke it was Peikoff. Ditto for the book on Pragmatism from which she quotes in setting out the problem of universals in the intro to ITOE. When you read the appendix added to ITOE, transcriptions of her epistemology seminar, it is clear there are two "Professors" (B and E) who are on the intellectual dais with Rand (Gotthelf and Peikoff); she relied on them for understanding what others are getting at at times and for history of philosophy. All the while, from his time in grad school to the end of Rand's substantive output (her participation in Peikoff's 1976 lecture series "The Philosophy of Objectivism", Peikoff is raising issues in philosophy (theoretical philosophy, contemporary or classical) that Rand would otherwise know nothing of, and together they hammer out an Objectivist answer. Behind the mask of John Galt is Ayn Rand. Behind the mask of "Ayn Rand's Philosophy" is Ayn Rand and some helpers, most notably Leonard Peikoff.

My point is not that you are incorrect if you buy the standard line on authorship of the philosophy Objectivism. My only point is that that line is implausible. (Independently, Robert Campbell reached the same conclusion.) I don't mean to be vindicating a widely unacknowledged contribution of Peikoff to what is, in the end, an amateur philosophy that addressed a number of standard issues in philosophy; he'd surely not like that. I'm just being realistic about the actual complexity that has been brushed under the rug.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

For original or fairly original, for true or approximately true, and for important in this philosophy, I take these.

Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy article, while crucial, is not fundamental. It is the application of Concept Formation through  Measurement-Omission(discovered by Rand), applied to Kantian Epistemology.

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17 hours ago, necrovore said:

Objectivism will eventually become dominant if two things hold:

  • Free speech has to be maintained; otherwise Objectivism will be silenced.
  • The government has to stop subsidizing false points of view so that Objectivism can compete on a level playing field. (Also the government has to do its job as far as not allowing people to initiate force in order to promote their viewpoints or suppress opposing viewpoints.)

The latter I think is the hard one. Ultimately it would require a separation of state and economics.

 

Free-Speech is a necessary condition. Elimination of Government Subsidy is good to have, but not fundamental, at least in high income countries. Further however, these two are not sufficient conditions. 
The movements I highlight are needed for Objectivism to become dominant.

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57 minutes ago, rohintest said:

Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy article, while crucial, is not fundamental. It is the application of Concept Formation through  Measurement-Omission(discovered by Rand), applied to Kantian Epistemology.

Where in that Peikoff article did he use Rand's analysis of concepts in terms of measurement-omission? That is, where does Peikoff maintain that the sharp divide of truths between analytic and synthetic is a false divide provided that with the suspension of which particular a particular is when subsumed under a concept is also (Rand's distinctive innovation) a suspension of particular measure value along a dimension(s) common to particulars subsumed under a concept?

The following relation of Peikoff's article and Rand's ITOE does not invoke her account of concepts by measurement omission:

Quote

 

Aristotle is the heavy-weight instigator of the necessary-contingent divide and the essence-accident divide. These doctrines constrained Scholastic theories of universals, concepts, and predication, and facilitated the modern A-S divide.

Peikoff observed that Rand’s conception of the concept of a thing, and her conception of the essential in the concept, rules out an A-S partition of the kinds of conceptual truth in our possession. A thing is all the things that it is (ASD 98). I might add that Rand took a thing’s external relationships as part of what a thing is, a blunt contrast with Plato (ITOE 39). And in Rand’s epistemology, we can have a conception of all that a thing is, including all its external relationships and all its potentials, even though we know our present concept of the thing contains only a portion of that totality of its identity.  

In Rand’s conception of right concepts, they are “classifications of observed existents according to their relationships to other observed existents” (ITOE 47).[5] Furthermore: “Concepts stand for specific kinds of existents, including all the characteristics of these existents, observed and not-yet-observed, known and unknown” (ITOE 65). Objectivist epistemology does not regard the essential and the non-essential characteristics of existents as simply given, as if in an intellectual intuition. Rather, that distinction is based on our context of knowledge of the facts of existents (ITOE 52; ASD 107, 101–103).

“To designate a certain characteristic as ‘essential’ or ‘defining’ is to select, from the total content of the concept, the characteristic that best condenses and differentiates that content in a specific cognitive context. Such a selection [in Objectivist epistemology] presupposes the relationship between the concept and its units [its member elements in reality regarded as substitutable for each other under suspension of their particular measure-values of their shared characteristics]: it presupposes that the concept is an integration of units, and that its content consists of its units, including all their characteristics.” (ASD 103)

 

Quote

Morton White 1952 saw the myth of a sharp divide between the analytic and the synthetic as affiliate of an older mythically sharp division: the Aristotelian division between essential and accidental predication (UD 330). This kinship was also recognized in Peikoff (ASD 95), as I remarked earlier. But Peikoff went further: He observed that essentials of a thing do not exhaust what a thing is. No concepts of a subject are concepts of only what are the essentials in the definition of the subject.*

Quote

 

Wheat threshers can be humans or machines. To reach a measurement-omission analysis of the concept wheat thresher, we would start with a definition of wheat thresher—say, mechanism capable of parting wheat grains from their straw—then look for physical dimensions, such as tensile or torsional strengths of the bindings to be broken, and the relevant strengths of the grains to be preserved. That would be enough for an amply analyzed concept of wheat thresher.

In the case of the concept natural language (which I suppose is the focal concept of language from which various other things called language are tied or analogized), I’d expect its definition to be a functional one, as with wheat thresher, and its functions needing to have their dimensions and appropriate scaling identified to render an amply analyzed concept natural language.

We learn how to translate natural language into its logical skeleton in elementary logic, and there we find logical constants, which I’ve on my list of priors for measurement theory. So some elements of language are definitely in my collection of things that are not appropriate for measurement-omission analysis.*

 

 

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My suggestion is that for Objectivism to become the dominant political ideology, it needs to first become the dominant philosophy. OO provides ample evidence for the dominance of political questions as matters of interest to Objectivists, but political questions strongly tend to tainted with contradiction (mis-)management typified by contemporary US presidential elections. I am not entirely satisfied with the first philosophical stage because the edges of Objectivism are not clearly defined; and in the context of the present question, the dichotomy between primary and secondary philosophers is in my opinion questionable. For example, Aristotle had a theory of propositions, Rand did not: what does that imply for Objectivism? Is Frege’s theory within Aristotle’s framework?

I don’t propose that anything is glaringly amiss in what counts as the foundational principles of Objectivism, but the first-wave applications in Metaphysics and Epistemology, and non-political Ethics, are still quite sparse. The key question which should be answered by university professors is, what Objectivist-influenced works do you incorporate into your syllabus (*crickets*)? Tomorrow’s high school teachers are taught by today’s university professors, who were trained by last decade’s university professors who were of course prepared by high school teachers of generations ago. Part of the problem is indeed a willingness to publicly engage the principles of Objectivism, but the other part of the problem is the stark lack of appropriate course materials. That’s the problem, from the “Objectivism as movement” perspective.

The other perspective is the non-social ground-preparation stage, which is both essential and the hardest to carry out. I am generally speaking of ordinary conversation which evince a lack of reasoning and a reliance on emotion. Some years ago I started to pay attention not to what I thought people were trying to communicate, but how they were trying to communicate it. For example, many political topics are prefaced with unsupported emotional assertions like “We don’t want…” or “You don’t want…”, reducing politics to a simple principle – pander to people’s desires. Versions addressed to “you” are extremely presumptuous and trivial to refute by self-report, “we”-versions have a slight advantage that they include the speaker and it’s hard to refute a person’s report of their own emotions. When stated as “I don’t want…”, you can at least move the conversation off of the agent of wanting and on to the irrelevance of emotion for socio-political questions. An assertion “I don’t want homeless people to have to sleep in the park” can then be countered with a different desire: “I don’t want my taxes to increase” or “I don’t want my land to be confiscated”.

It is vastly easier to just keep quiet and let people talk this way, thereby avoiding social conflict. This enables crippling diseases such as wokeism and the criminalization of “insensitivity” viz. non-conformity to the dominant ideology. I propose that there are two fundamental impediments, both needing to be addressed: course materials, and social interactions. I believe that these are related, in that most people do not have a conscious understanding of the difference between what words and sentences objectively mean, and how people manipulate language to achieve ends. I do not claim that attention in this area will solve all problems, I claim that this particular area of epistemology and psychology is in greatest need of dedicated attention.

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On 5/19/2024 at 6:16 PM, Boydstun said:

Where in that Peikoff article did he use Rand's analysis of concepts in terms of measurement-omission? That is, where does Peikoff maintain that the sharp divide of truths between analytic and synthetic is a false divide provided that with the suspension of which particular a particular is when subsumed under a concept is also (Rand's distinctive innovation) a suspension of particular measure value along a dimension(s) common to particulars subsumed under a concept?

The following relation of Peikoff's article and Rand's ITOE does not invoke her account of concepts by measurement omission:

 

The fundamental idea behind refutation of Analytic-Synthetic dichotomy is the discovery that concept is not only its essence (analytic or necessary part by other philosophers), but all the attributes which are not specified in essence or definition. Rationality for example is the essence of Man, but Concept Man includes distinctive characteristics like bipedalism, speech etc. Some of these characteristics may be derived from rationality, and some might be epistemologically independent, like bipedalism. Some might be common with other animals, like having a skin, though the specific nature of skin might be different and unique.

The idea that Concept is not just its essence, but all attributes, is not possible unless one accepts the process by which essence is derived from Observation and Thought. That process is Measurement Omission. Therefore, even though Measurement Omission may not be explicitly mentioned in refutation Analytic-Synthetic dichotomy, it is implied in the fundamental idea behind the refutation.

Bigger point however is that irrespective of Dr. Peikoff  being tertiary philosopher or not, we need to be clear about the stage Objectivism is in. And it is very important that resources are marshalled, without majorly compromising on the interests of Objectivist adherents, and the ideology is pushed to Intellectual Stage, then Social Stage, then Political Stage, and then Businesses can also start adopting it heavily and consistently in their office culture.

Even if we win short-term battles and debates, long-term and medium-term, time is running out. But good news is we have Internet and ChatGPT like tools, to accelerate the movements. But this cannot be done without some threshold of committed individuals.

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On 5/19/2024 at 9:01 PM, DavidOdden said:

 I am not entirely satisfied with the first philosophical stage because the edges of Objectivism are not clearly defined; and in the context of the present question, the dichotomy between primary and secondary philosophers is in my opinion questionable. For example, Aristotle had a theory of propositions, Rand did not: what does that imply for Objectivism? Is Frege’s theory within Aristotle’s framework?

I don’t propose that anything is glaringly amiss in what counts as the foundational principles of Objectivism, but the first-wave applications in Metaphysics and Epistemology, and non-political Ethics, are still quite sparse. The key question which should be answered by university professors is, what Objectivist-influenced works do you incorporate into your syllabus (*crickets*)? Tomorrow’s high school teachers are taught by today’s university professors, who were trained by last decade’s university professors who were of course prepared by high school teachers of generations ago. Part of the problem is indeed a willingness to publicly engage the principles of Objectivism, but the other part of the problem is the stark lack of appropriate course materials. That’s the problem, from the “Objectivism as movement” perspective.

I agree that there are some questions which should be answered before the philosophical stage can be completed. However, I think most of those are answered, at least in DIM Hypothesis and How We Know. I think the idea of Measurement Inclusion in Dr. Peikoff's and Dr. Harriman's thesis on induction offers something in the lines of formulating and validating propositions. Due to Objectivism's much greater emphasis on Induction, this theory of Propositions is quite different from that of Aristotle.

Remaining ideas like Non-Political ethics are indeed highlighted in the seven Virtues and works of Dr. Tara Smith. Beyond this is Intellectual stage. Work of professors in universities and appropriate course material, which is derived from Objectivism, is also mostly Intellectual stage. The original post highlights some of the intellectual materials which can be used to derive more material based on the overall approach.

Applying the ideas of intellectual stage in schools I think moves to the realm of social stage, and beyond that I will consider it Social Activism (for example ideas being discussed in non-intellectual families and gatherings). 

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Some examples of non-objectivist ideologies and their spread in society to visualize spread of Objectivism better. These are reposted from one of the discussion in WhatsApp Group.

(Reservation is Indian form of affirmative action, but much more rigid and deep)

 

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Removal of reservation requires social movement before political movement. Before social movement there should be intellectual movement, giving psychological, economic, industrial, and cultural arguments for removing reservation.

This intellectual movement can be based on ethics of Ayn Rand, and should start with refutation of John Rawls. It will take at least 100 years. If you think this is long, the intellectual roots of Reservation are almost 200 years old, starting with August Comte and Altruism.

Quote

As a sidenote, intellectual roots of Hindu Nationalism lead by Modi are 125 years old. Path being Vivekananda interpreting Vedas -> RSS based on ideas of Vivekananda -> Jansangh     
-> BJP

 

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What bothers me about this thread is the assumption that Objectivists are people to be ordered around, like an army without a general.

That's not how it works.

If you see an opportunity to help make Objectivism "dominant," and it's legal and moral, then feel free to do it; you will not be stopped.

If you blaze a new path, then others may follow. But you cannot just give orders and expect others to do all the work.

(Unless I am misinterpreting your intention...)

Edited by necrovore
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2 hours ago, necrovore said:

What bothers me about this thread is the assumption that Objectivists are people to be ordered around, like an army without a general.

That's not how it works.

If you see an opportunity to help make Objectivism "dominant," and it's legal and moral, then feel free to do it; you will not be stopped.

If you blaze a new path, then others may follow. But you cannot just give orders and expect others to do all the work.

(Unless I am misinterpreting your intention...)

These days essentially everyone is someone to be ordered around when such a thing should not exist as it's pure evil, un-American, anti-rights, anti-morality, and leads to the fall of civilization. 

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5 hours ago, necrovore said:

What bothers me about this thread is the assumption that Objectivists are people to be ordered around, like an army without a general.

That's not how it works.

If you see an opportunity to help make Objectivism "dominant," and it's legal and moral, then feel free to do it; you will not be stopped.

If you blaze a new path, then others may follow. But you cannot just give orders and expect others to do all the work.

(Unless I am misinterpreting your intention...)

I see it differently. There are often communities in free markets or partly free markets where producers like farmers, scientists, engineers, businessmen, intellectuals, and lawmakers share their ideas. These communities discuss what's happening in their respective fields, improvements in seeds and fertilizers, wage trends, new technologies, and more.

This forum, being a realm of ideas, serves a similar purpose. We are exchanging our experiences and interpretations—what's working in the marketplace of ideas, what has worked in the past, and brainstorming how our available skills and resources can be best utilized.

Based on my personal experience over the past 20 years, I have identified a few gaps in the movement. This is my attempt to organize our community to better identify these gaps and navigate more effectively in the future.

Your input and collaborative effort are crucial for this process. Together, we can leverage our collective knowledge and experiences to make a more significant impact.

Edited by rohintest
After proofreading
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12 hours ago, rohintest said:

Your input and collaborative effort are crucial for this process. Together, we can leverage our collective knowledge and experiences to make a more significant impact.

Perhaps, but first each of us must decide if that is their central purpose in life. Personally, I am not interesting in creating input, I seek to create knowledge. I have virtually no interest in collaborative efforts, although I may work with others in order to create knowledge that I am striving to create – this implies a protracted investigation rather than a few quick sound bites. I have no idea what it means to “leverage” (a noun, not a verb), and I claim that there is no such thing as “collective knowledge”, there is individual knowledge which can be possessed by more than one person (e.g. “the world is round”). I am even less clear on what it would mean to leverage an experience. Timothy McVey and Adolph Hitler had a significant impact, forceful disruption is not a virtue.

The primary purpose of OO is to be a forum for individuals to gain increased knowledge of Objectivism. I suspect that most (honest – there are occasional trolls) participants have a secondary goal of disseminating aspects of Objectivism to others. The idea of Objectivism as a “movement” is a rather recent one (one sanctioned by ARI), which depends on a foundation of Objectivism as a philosophy. Becoming the dominant movement is a variant of a long-standing tradition of conjecturing about what life would be in Objectopia, and those discussions can be useful. Hypothetical thinking is crucial to creating knowledge, it is the application of the transition from possibility to certainty (eliminating conceptual evidence for alternatives).

Brainstorms are like thunderstorms and hailstorms, they are disruptive to their environment. Organizing people and controlling their actions by subconscious propaganda methods (a presumed common goal of leveraging, as judged by some central dictator / mullah) is a common technique especially in the progressive movement. But okay, since by assumption we are in agreement about the philosophical foundations and what needs to be done next is slowly mobilizing the masses, creating an Objectivist Hirjah. We must organize around a single doctrine, the proper relationship between consciousness and existence which is the faculty of reason. Man only communicates effectively by language, the heart of reason is language, therefore we must promulgate reason by proper use of language. Since we are now accept this point, obviously we must each focus efforts on eliminating words like “leverage; input; collaborative; impact; organize”.

I assume there is no disagreement on these points.

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1 hour ago, DavidOdden said:

Perhaps, but first each of us must decide if that is their central purpose in life. Personally, I am not interesting in creating input, I seek to create knowledge. I have virtually no interest in collaborative efforts, although I may work with others in order to create knowledge that I am striving to create – this implies a protracted investigation rather than a few quick sound bites. I have no idea what it means to “leverage” (a noun, not a verb), and I claim that there is no such thing as “collective knowledge”, there is individual knowledge which can be possessed by more than one person (e.g. “the world is round”). I am even less clear on what it would mean to leverage an experience. Timothy McVey and Adolph Hitler had a significant impact, forceful disruption is not a virtue.

The primary purpose of OO is to be a forum for individuals to gain increased knowledge of Objectivism. I suspect that most (honest – there are occasional trolls) participants have a secondary goal of disseminating aspects of Objectivism to others. The idea of Objectivism as a “movement” is a rather recent one (one sanctioned by ARI), which depends on a foundation of Objectivism as a philosophy. Becoming the dominant movement is a variant of a long-standing tradition of conjecturing about what life would be in Objectopia, and those discussions can be useful. Hypothetical thinking is crucial to creating knowledge, it is the application of the transition from possibility to certainty (eliminating conceptual evidence for alternatives).

Brainstorms are like thunderstorms and hailstorms, they are disruptive to their environment. Organizing people and controlling their actions by subconscious propaganda methods (a presumed common goal of leveraging, as judged by some central dictator / mullah) is a common technique especially in the progressive movement. But okay, since by assumption we are in agreement about the philosophical foundations and what needs to be done next is slowly mobilizing the masses, creating an Objectivist Hirjah. We must organize around a single doctrine, the proper relationship between consciousness and existence which is the faculty of reason. Man only communicates effectively by language, the heart of reason is language, therefore we must promulgate reason by proper use of language. Since we are now accept this point, obviously we must each focus efforts on eliminating words like “leverage; input; collaborative; impact; organize”.

I assume there is no disagreement on these points.

These are points that I thought about making, especially regarding the non-existence of collective thought and ideas as these are all aspects of individual minds even when correct ideas are shared between many individuals as in the example you gave above. It's hard to respond to a post as you did because while some of that poster's ideas were on the right track as their is nothing wrong with collaboration between individuals most of what he wrote contained implicit collectivist principles that the poster had absorbed likely in youth and still hasn't identified and fully rooted out of his subconscious assumptions and premises fully. And this is clearly a rational person on the right track with mostly reality based thinking. Now try to do that with people who constantly throw out random out of context floating abstractions and/or  non-reality based thoughts that they have passively and/or actively absorbed via "society" in place of rational thought, evidence, and reality and while actively parroting evil nonsense in a secondhanded manner and that's what proponents of the good such as myself, you, and very few others are up against. 

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As I suggested before, the primary focus should be on individual psychology rather than mass / social psychology. You can’t change society if you can’t change an individual. I recommend re-reading ‘What can one do?’ in PWNI. As Rand argues, one needs to get personally clear on what the proper questions and answers are, so that you can persuade your neighbor. My proposal that we need to collectively concentrate on the relationship between language and reason is – hopefully obviously – tongue in cheek. That is obviously appropriate for me, personally, that is the essence of what I do professionally. But not for John Allison, whose specialization is business and economics.

The answer to the question “what can one do?” is “‘SPEAK’ (provided you know what you are saying”, the next question is, who should you speak to? You should speak to those who are apparently open to reason, you should not pointlessly try to change the minds of the assembled mass of radical “Death to Israel!” protesters on campus. Do not bother to try to mass-convert an assembly of MAGA-extremists, do have a reasoned discussion with a MAGAite to bring out the core agreements and disagreements. It is not generally difficult to determine that a particular individual is a committed idealogue and that discussion is completely pointless. It may require a few iterations of the discussion to determine that you are just banging your head against the wall and your target has an uncurable mis-understanding of reality.

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