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A "mistaken philosophy", but not irrational?

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It was based, using reason, on her experience up until that point, which was that there was no room for the good in the world, that people were only punished, not rewarded, for virtues, and that the only way you could prevent yourself from being destroyed was to do it yourself before anyone else had the chance.

After Roark's trial, when she learns that the good is not necessarily doomed, she changes her mind.

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It was based, using reason, on her experience up until that point, which was that there was no room for the good in the world, that people were only punished, not rewarded, for virtues, and that the only way you could prevent yourself from being destroyed was to do it yourself before anyone else had the chance.

After Roark's trial, when she learns that the good is not necessarily doomed, she changes her mind.

as far as her philosophy did not match reality, due to whatever error, couldn't the philosophy be called irrational? Or if you use false information to come to a false conclusion using a process of logic, that could be mistaken but not irrational?

i'm not trying to be hard headed here, i really just don't understand what is meant by her statement, so i apologize in advance if it seems like I just want to argue about it.

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as far as her philosophy did not match reality, due to whatever error, couldn't the philosophy be called irrational? Or if you use false information to come to a false conclusion using a process of logic, that could be mistaken but not irrational?
Yes to the latter: irrationality comes in when you don't use reason to get from knowledge to a conclusion. It would also be irrational to magically leap at a actually correct statement which you could not support experientially. The point in common here is that rationality is about a method, and not just the factuality of the conclusion itself.
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  • 3 weeks later...
In "The Art of Fiction" book, Miss Rand say that Dominique's philosophy is mistaken, but not irrational.

How is that possible?

Dominique had not yet read Atlas Shrugged and learned that if she sees a contradiction she needs to check her premises. Dominique's philosophy was logically reasoned from her premises, but one of those premises was that there were no "super" men like Howard Roark. Re-check that one premise and your entire philosophy changes from one of self-immolation to practical hero-worship.

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Dominique had not yet read Atlas Shrugged and learned that if she sees a contradiction she needs to check her premises. Dominique's philosophy was logically reasoned from her premises, but one of those premises was that there were no "super" men like Howard Roark.

The main premise of Dominique's philosophy was the belief that evil would eventually win. That was the mistake she made.

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as far as her philosophy did not match reality, due to whatever error, couldn't the philosophy be called irrational? Or if you use false information to come to a false conclusion using a process of logic, that could be mistaken but not irrational?

i'm not trying to be hard headed here, i really just don't understand what is meant by her statement, so i apologize in advance if it seems like I just want to argue about it.

Does that apply to any philosophy as long as the conclusion follows logical from its premises, even if they are wrong premises? Such as if some mistakenly thought that the earth existed for its own sake and became an environmentalist or if they thought men where not smart or moral enough to self-govern and became a statist and logically followed from those premises to level that PETA and Nazis are?

What I mean is that I thought an argument couldn't be described as rational unless the premises and the conclusion where correct.

"if A is true then B follows, A is true thus B follows" That would be a valid argument. Its logical, because it proceeds from a true premise to a true conclusion and is therefore rational. But I don't under stand how one could say that using a process of non contradictory identification to proceed from an invalid premise to an invalid conclusion is an example of rationality.

Unless, the fact that the method of non contradictory identification was used is essential in determining rationality, not the truth of the premise and the conclusion. Is that the case?

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The main premise of Dominique's philosophy was the belief that evil would eventually win. That was the mistake she made.

I think that was the mistaken conclusion she reached from a mistaken premise, but not a premise itself. If she had begun with that as a premise there would be nothing to conclude from it but itself.

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Does that apply to any philosophy as long as the conclusion follows logical from its premises, even if they are wrong premises? Such as if some mistakenly thought that the earth existed for its own sake and became an environmentalist or if they thought men where not smart or moral enough to self-govern and became a statist and logically followed from those premises to level that PETA and Nazis are?

What I mean is that I thought an argument couldn't be described as rational unless the premises and the conclusion where correct.

"if A is true then B follows, A is true thus B follows" That would be a valid argument. Its logical, because it proceeds from a true premise to a true conclusion and is therefore rational. But I don't under stand how one could say that using a process of non contradictory identification to proceed from an invalid premise to an invalid conclusion is an example of rationality.

Unless, the fact that the method of non contradictory identification was used is essential in determining rationality, not the truth of the premise and the conclusion. Is that the case?

You are overlooking something very crucial here: the facts of reality. There is much more to it than the mere internal consistency of one's ideas and arguments.

A person can be honestly mistaken about the issue of whether or not men are smart enough or moral enough to self-govern. Perhaps the person grew up around a bunch of worthless scumbags we were not thusly smart or moral. But to go from there to the point that one is a supporter of PETA or the Nazis - well, there are a LOT of facts of reality that one must evade in the process. A person who clings to his ideas when he is confronted with evidence to the contrary on a massive scale is irrational.

The fact that a person's ideas and arguments are not rational does not necessarily mean that the person is irrational. What makes such a person irrational is his deliberate refusal to check his premises when he is presented with clear and irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Irrationality is a refusal to see and a refusal to think. It is the act of placing other considerations above adherence to the facts of reality.

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