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Agreement With Objectivism In OO.net?

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To what extent do you agree with Objectivism?  

110 members have voted

  1. 1. Do you agree with Objectivism?

    • Yes, completely, in every element that I have studied.
      61
    • Yes, partly, but certainly in all the essentials that she named while describing Objectivism "on one foot" -- in metaphysics, objective reality; in epistemology, reason; in ethics, self-interest; and in politics, capitalism.
      25
    • Yes, in many elements.
      8
    • Yes, in a few elements.
      6
    • No, not at all.
      1


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Here is the definition of Objectivism that applies to the poll:

Objectivism is the philosophy that Ayn Rand created and recorded in her formal, published writings; in her prepared speeches; and in the philosophical works of others edited or otherwise approved by her.

Objectivism does not include her non-philosophical ideas such as her personal favorites (for example, in art) or her views on issues of the specialized sciences (for example, the history of the U. S. Civil War or the psychology of homosexuality).

[Edited to add Burgess's explanation of what is meant by: Objectivism "on one foot" ...]

... see p. 343 of The Ayn Rand Lexicon, the "Objectivism" entry number 2.

...Describing something while "standing on one foot" is a way of saying, in English, "Boil it down, because you aren't going to be able to stand there long!" Ayn Rand did explain her philosophy -- by essentials, as is apprpropriate for an objective philosophy.

Edited by softwareNerd
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So far, the poll results suggest the possibility that only about 55-60% of the participants in ObjectivismOnline.net are Objectivists. In other words, about 40-45% are not Objectivists. That picture roughly (nonnumerically) matches my experience in communicating with others here. That also matches what I see in the posts generally. About half are information exchanged between Objectivists (at varying levels of knowledge, which is good for trade), and the other half are contention with non-Objectivists.

Edited by BurgessLau
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So far, the poll results suggest the possibility that only about 55-60% of the participants in ObjectivismOnline.net are Objectivists.
I'm typically quite suspicious of inferences about what responses polls show, and I would be curious to see what the results would be if the second option were rephrased. For example, I have studied Objectivist aesthetics only a bit. Because I do not feel that I understand it, I would have a hard time saying that I accept the Objectivist aesthetics, just as I would have a hard time saying I accept quantum mechanics. If you asked "Do you reject the Objectivist aesthetics", I would say no. If the second question had said "but reject some part of Objectivism", then that answer would not have been viable. But given the phrasing of the second question, I did have to consider it. I voted for #1 based on what I thought you intended, but I wonder how the voting would have come out if the second question were phrased differently (or perhaps, if the first question had referred to aspects that you have "studied and understood").
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I voted for #1 based on what I thought you intended, but I wonder how the voting would have come out if the second question were phrased differently (or perhaps, if the first question had referred to aspects that you have "studied and understood").

Thank you for drawing attention to that. You beat me to the punch. I hope you don't mind if I include, in my comments below, a repetition of your point.

So far, the poll results suggest the possibility that only about 55-60% of the participants in ObjectivismOnline.net are Objectivists.

[...]

About half [of all posts/ communications] are information exchanged between Objectivists (at varying levels of knowledge, which is good for trade), and the other half are contention with non-Objectivists.

I get the impression that you are converting the results of the poll (which has several categories) into just two categories. The first category is: "Yes, [i agree] completely, in every element that I have studied."

I would like to draw attention to a couple of possibilities:

1. Some people who choose "Yes, [i agree] completely, in every element that I have studied" might have not studied very much.

2. Some people who choose some other option in the poll might have studied more than they have fully understood.

Now, "studied more than they have fully understood" might sound like an insult, so I will try to draw attention to one more point.

A synonym of "agree" is "assent". The only alternative to "assent" is "dissent". However, according to Answers.com, "dissent" (as a verb) has two possible meanings:

A. To differ in opinion or feeling; disagree.

B. To withhold assent or approval.

Now, correct me if I am wrong, but my understanding is that:

A. belongs in the Debate Forum, but

B. can appear in various places on the message board, with the more elementary issues to be confined to the Questions about Objectivism subforum. The description says: "Basic questions for those new to the philosophy of Objectivism." However, just as there are people who have been playing chess for more than two years, but who are still beginners in the sense of skill level, perhaps there are also people who not literally "new" to Objectivism, but who nevertheless have elementary questions.

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Objectivism does not include her non-philosophical ideas such as her personal favorites (for example, in art) or her views on issues of the specialized sciences (for example, the history of the U. S. Civil War or the psychology of homosexuality).

(Bolding in the above is mine.)

Two questions, hopefully neither too obtuse for consideration:

(1) Wouldn't Miss Rand's personal favorites in art be chosen as a consequence of her aesthetics? Thus if I reject something that she liked, am I also in some sense rejecting Objectivist aesthetics? (By this I don't mean Mike Hammer detective novels or "tiddlywink" music, though I'm honestly not quite sure where one draws the line between things indulged in as a leisure activity and things to be considered serious art . )

(2) Is there something unique about Objectivism as it is presented "in OO.net" that I should have pondered as I answered the poll? Upon reflection, I'm a bit mystified how to interpret that part of the question, since none of the answers seemed to me to address themselves to OO.net specifically. Or were we simply supposed to assume that OO.net presents Objectivism correctly, in contrast to other sites and organizations?

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(1) Wouldn't Miss Rand's personal favorites in art be chosen as a consequence of her aesthetics? Thus if I reject something that she liked, am I also in some sense rejecting Objectivist aesthetics?...
Good question. There is a difference in saying "this is good art" and saying "this is art I like".The quick answer is: no, you can like art that Ayn Rand didn't and still accept her theory of ethestics. To do justice to that topic would require a thread of its own. Check the "Aesthetics" sub-forum; you'll probably find a discussion on the topic.

(2) Is there something unique about Objectivism as it is presented "in OO.net" that I should have pondered ...
Burgess did not use "Objectivism in OO.net" to refer to some particular type of Objectivism; he is speaking of Objectivism and trying to find out if the members "in OO.net" agree with the philosophy.
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(2) Is there something unique about Objectivism as it is presented "in OO.net" that I should have pondered as I answered the poll? Upon reflection, I'm a bit mystified how to interpret that part of the question, since none of the answers seemed to me to address themselves to OO.net specifically. Or were we simply supposed to assume that OO.net presents Objectivism correctly, in contrast to other sites and organizations?

Owl, as usual, SoftwareNerd's comments are right on target. I would like to elaborate a little.

Please read the poll question carefully. It says nothing about "in OO.net." The title of the topic (the thread) asks about "in OO.net." The poll question is a means to an end, which is answering the question in the title of the topic.

Edited by BurgessLau
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