Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Criticisms of Ayn Rand's philosophy

Rate this topic


Recommended Posts

I was watching some interviews that Ayn Rand participated in (Mike Wallace, Phil Donohue--these can be viewed on Youtube), and I saw comments that people left, criticizing Rand and her philosophy. I noticed, as I do when I talk to most anyone who disagrees with her, that these people danced around the issue, often trying to appear smart by using a bunch of "big philosophy words", but not really making any valid points. I don't understand how you could really listen to what Rand says, and have any reason to try and argue with it. These people make fools of themselves by trying to simply criticize for the sake of disagreeing, instead of coming up with debatable, arguable points. Could this be because they are simply afraid of her philosophy and its truth, or because they feel the need to be immature and ignorant? Keep your eye out for Rand bashers and you will notice the trend.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 76
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

There are three kinds of critics I have identified which seem impervious to reason:

1- The critic that really doesnt get it. These people are so concrete bound that they are entirely incapable of discussing principles. To them, specific issues are all you can ever discuss. Try to establish a principle, they start throwing issues at you. Try to apply principles to all their issues, they invent even more absurd situations to throw at you. To them, life is apparently constant lifeboat situation.

2- The critic that can't emotionally accept it. Abortion can be moral? But its a human life! No public schools? But think about the children! Full economic freedom? But big business would take over!

3- The critic who thinks "it can't be so simple". This is the group I get most frustrated with. They are intellectually capable of understanding, but deep down they refuse to accept that knowledge is possible. No matter how well you explain the principles and reasoning behind them, no matter how many real world examples you bring up - they always think Objectivism is "too cut and dried", "too black and white", in other words, too certain. They want the wiggle room.

The ones you can reach are usually the ones that agree with you almost instantly as to what should be, and only have to be persuaded that it is actually is possible, that it actually would work. That the moral is the practical.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Is it possible to be honest, and disagree with some tenet of Objectivism, say abortion?

Yes.

In other words, do honest critics of Objectivism exist? Are they all evaders?

Yes. No.

Can Objectivism progress, or is it a finished work?

There's a false dichotomy implicit in this formulation of the question. Objectivism is a specific system of philosophical principles laid down by Ayn Rand. It is what it is. In that sense, it can't change. But Objectivism is not the same thing as "any true philosophy". Ayn Rand was human, and therefore fallible, and that capacity for error applies to her philosophical principles. Moreover, there are issues in philosophy which Objectivism does not address, e.g. the detailed rules for validating inductive generalizations and the nature of propositional knowledge. Objectivism does not mark the end of philosophical progress, so in that sense philosophy (as distinct from Objectivism) is not a finished work.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

There's a false dichotomy implicit in this formulation of the question. Objectivism is a specific system of philosophical principles laid down by Ayn Rand. It is what it is. In that sense, it can't change. But Objectivism is not the same thing as "any true philosophy". Ayn Rand was human, and therefore fallible, and that capacity for error applies to her philosophical principles. Moreover, there are issues in philosophy which Objectivism does not address, e.g. the detailed rules for validating inductive generalizations and the nature of propositional knowledge. Objectivism does not mark the end of philosophical progress, so in that sense philosophy (as distinct from Objectivism) is not a finished work.

Please specify the false dichotomy.

Is the following correct, on your view?

Since, Objectivism "is what it is" and "cannot change" then it cannot progress; however, a new philosophy can arise distinct from Objectivism but compatible with it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I realize this question was not posed to me, but Objectivism is a "closed" philosophy. That is, no one can add to the philosophy and legitimately call it "Objectivism." However, Objectivism does not exhaust the field of rational identifications in philosophy. So there could still be new rational philosophical principles to be discovered, but these are not part of Objectivism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I realize this question was not posed to me, but Objectivism is a "closed" philosophy. That is, no one can add to the philosophy and legitimately call it "Objectivism." However, Objectivism does not exhaust the field of rational identifications in philosophy. So there could still be new rational philosophical principles to be discovered, but these are not part of Objectivism.

What about extensions? Even a closed system can be extended in it application scope.

Bob Kolker

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Going into a little more detail:

Is it possible to be honest, and disagree with some tenet of Objectivism, say abortion?

Yes. It is possible to commit errors of knowledge. If you don't understand the Objecitivst principles that apply to abortion, or don't understand Ayn Rand's application of those principles, her reasoning, it is possible to disagree with her conclusions - while being completely honest. You would still be wrong, of course.

In other words, do honest critics of Objectivism exist? Are they all evaders?

Honest critics do exist, I have met a few. They usually have not really understood the philosophy completely, from its axiomatic metaphysical basis down to ethical and political principles that they can actually apply. They usually dismiss the Objectivist ethics and politics as impractical, they think it can't "work". While they are intellectually honest, failing to actually put in the effort to understand the basis of Objectivism is their fault.

Can Objectivism progress, or is it a finished work?

Objectivism is a finished work. There is controversy about what part of Ayn Rand's work is Objectivism. Personally I hold that all philosophical principles and applications that she provided and explicitly integrated are Objectivism. Others hold that every statement of philosophical principle or application she ever made is Objectivism, whether she provided the reasoning for it or not. There are plenty of other threads where you can see this discussion.

If it can progress, can it do so without honest ciriticsm?

Objectivism itself is closed, but that does not mean that philosophy is at an end. There are still philosophical issues to be "nailed down" (such as Induction, as khaight mentioned) and innumerable applications of philosophy remain and new ones will continue to be created (the ethics of cloning, the ethics of eliminating aging, the politics of space exploration etc).

Philosophers may create volumes of philosophical knowledge compatible and integrated with Objectivism. These extentions are, however, not part of Objectivism itself.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What about extensions? Even a closed system can be extended in it application scope.
This is such a simple fundamental point that I am continually baffled at how people fail to get it. "Objectivism" refers something specific, namely the philosophy of a particular person, Ayn Rand. She is dead, and therefore, she cannot extend her philosophy. You can extend all you want, and you can argue that your extension is consistent, as far as you have figured out, with Ayn Rand's own philosophy, but short of reverse time travel, there is no way to actually verify the conjecture that such-and-such "extension" of the philosophy is indeed part of her philosophy. So any proposed extension does not yield something that is part of Objectivism.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is such a simple fundamental point that I am continually baffled at how people fail to get it. "Objectivism" refers something specific, namely the philosophy of a particular person, Ayn Rand. She is dead, and therefore, she cannot extend her philosophy. You can extend all you want, and you can argue that your extension is consistent, as far as you have figured out, with Ayn Rand's own philosophy, but short of reverse time travel, there is no way to actually verify the conjecture that such-and-such "extension" of the philosophy is indeed part of her philosophy. So any proposed extension does not yield something that is part of Objectivism.

I take the definition of 'Objectivism' as stipulative, so I need not dispute over it.

Nevertheless, let me explain the confusion over this "simple fundamental point." In conventional usage, you find philosophies referred to in three ways. One way is to refer the the founder, as in 'Cartesian philosophy.' Another is to refer to the main idea of the philosophy, as in 'Dualism.' Another is to speciate one of the previous terms, as in 'Cartesian mathematical philosophy' or 'Kantian Dualism.'

When the founder of the philosophy is referenced, say 'Humean philosophy,' we conventionally understand that to be Hume's philosophy. So that we could refute a claim about Humean philosophy only by pointing to what Hume said. So, terms used this way conventionally indicate an historical understanding of Hume's philosophy.

When the main idea of the philosophy is referenced, say "Methodological Skepticism," we conventionally understand that term to include all philosophies that also include that main idea. For example, Hume and Descartes are both methodological skeptics. However, Humean philosophy is not equivalent to Cartesian philosophy. Referencing the main idea as a term emphasizes the role of the ideas, not the historical creator of the idea. On this conventional usage, we conceive of philosophy logically, and much less historically. Then one can create a later philosophy that is Dualist, irrespective of the original historical founder of Dualism.

Speciating the previous terms allows for more accurately locating the point. For example, 'Kantian Dualism' indicates that we will consider the historical philosophy of Kant in light of the ahistorical concept of dualism.

Since the term 'Objectivism' refers to the main idea of a philosophy, conventional usage would indicate that we are referring to an ahistorical collection of concepts. On the conventional view, just as there are many forms of Christianity, Dualism, Skepticism, Epiphenominalism, etc., then there can be variegated forms of Objectivism. Objectivists do not use these conventions.

Objectivists use the term 'Objectivism' is a non-conventional way, which use is perfectly acceptable. Just don't be surprised that people tend to apply conventional categories. Best to explain how your usage differs, and resign yourself to the fact that you will be doing it often fro people outside the field. That's the price you pay for non-conventional usage.

I've had to explain many non-standard usages from mathematics. I feel your pain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Since the term 'Objectivism' refers to the main idea of a philosophy, conventional usage would indicate that we are referring to an ahistorical collection of concepts.
Well, even given "conventional usage", you can't refer to an Adam Smith capitalist as a "Marxist". So we have to ask, what exactly is that philosophy known as "Objectivism". And indeed, it is, in fact, that very set of philosophical principles set out by Ayn Rand. I am not denying that some people might take it into their heads to think "Oh, Objectivism, that must mean the philosophy of Che Guevara! After all, he had an objective, didn't he?". But I would insist that that is a perversion of the term.
Objectivists use the term 'Objectivism' is a non-conventional way, which use is perfectly acceptable.
In fact, we are using the term in a completely and totally conventional way. There is no competing convention (in philosophy: we clearly don't mean the obscure wanker trend in literature). The term "Objectivism" does in fact already have a clear and known referent, but if you have some evidence that the term alread referred to something else, I invite you to present that evidence (or, if you didn't realize what you had implied, you could acknowledge the error and we'd move on).

Perhaps the problem arise from a mistaken view of yours that all word-meaning is "stipulative"? Check out ITOE, and then we can get specific on intrinsicist, arbirtarist and objectivist (or Objectivist) views of word-meaning.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, even given "conventional usage", you can't refer to an Adam Smith capitalist as a "Marxist". So we have to ask, what exactly is that philosophy known as "Objectivism". And indeed, it is, in fact, that very set of philosophical principles set out by Ayn Rand. I am not denying that some people might take it into their heads to think "Oh, Objectivism, that must mean the philosophy of Che Guevara! After all, he had an objective, didn't he?". But I would insist that that is a perversion of the term.

I agree, why would you think I wouldn't.

In fact, we are using the term in a completely and totally conventional way. There is no competing convention (in philosophy: we clearly don't mean the obscure wanker trend in literature). The term "Objectivism" does in fact already have a clear and known referent, but if you have some evidence that the term alread referred to something else, I invite you to present that evidence (or, if you didn't realize what you had implied, you could acknowledge the error and we'd move on).

No you aren't. Simply read any popular or academic philosophy text and you will find scores of examples. I gave many in my post. I agree, under your definition the term 'Objectivism' has a clear and known (but not well-known) referent. But so does the word 'Objectivism' construed under the conventional usage. Which is not to say that the meanings are the same, or even that the conventional usage is more correct.

Perhaps the problem arise from a mistaken view of yours that all word-meaning is "stipulative"? Check out ITOE, and then we can get specific on intrinsicist, arbirtarist and objectivist (or Objectivist) views of word-meaning.

Oh no. The only mistake here is your's. You've made untrue claims about my claims, and you've incorrectly determined that I'm disputing your definition of 'Objectivism.' Your reply is essentially a long non sequiter.

I'm simply explaining why people confuse the meaning of 'Objectivism' and why it will continue to happen.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm simply explaining why people confuse the meaning of 'Objectivism' and why it will continue to happen.

Then again, many people confuse and misuse much more commonly used conventional terms, so it's not surprising that when you broach a more intellectual topic (such as philosophy) that you may have to do some "esplainin". This is not something unique to or problematic of the philosophy of Objectivism.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Then again, many people confuse and misuse much more commonly used conventional terms, so it's not surprising that when you broach a more intellectual topic (such as philosophy) that you may have to do some "esplainin". This is not something unique to or problematic of the philosophy of Objectivism.

Very true, indeed. As I wrote before, I have to do this all the time in mathematics. I feel your pain.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

...but if you have some evidence that the term alread referred to something else, I invite you to present that evidence (or, if you didn't realize what you had implied, you could acknowledge the error and we'd move on).

Thanks for the invitation.

The OED reports the meaning of the word 'Objectivism' thusly:

The tendency to lay stress upon what is objective or external to the mind; the philosophical doctrine that knowledge of the non-ego is prior in sequence and importance to that of the ego; the character (in a work of art, etc.) of being objective. So, Objectivist, one one who holds or advocates the doctrine of Objectivism (also attrib.); objectivistic, characterized by Objectivism.

They give two references to popular and academic use that pre-date Ms. Rand's birth.

1872 W.G. Ward in Dublin Rev. Jan 71. It is a favorite argument of Mr. Mill's, that Objectivism keeps moral science in a stationary state. ibid. Objectivists hold as strongly as Phenomenalists, that the morality of actions is importantly affected by their consequences.

1876 Mivart Less. Fr. Nat. 24 The dogmas of the Objectivists philosophers enunciates

1883 Edersheim Life Messiah (1886) I.208 True religion is ever objectivistic, sensuous subjectivistic.

I'm not sure what it is, but from your invitation I am now entitled to some sort of concession from you.

What will your concession be, I wonder?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

No you aren't. Simply read any popular or academic philosophy text and you will find scores of examples. I gave many in my post.
Examples of what? Of the undefinedness of many philosophies? That has no cash value for figuring out what "Objectivism" refers to. The fact that there are many kinds of e.g. "rationalism" is a consequence of the fact that the philosophy was not well-defined in the first place -- not logically consistent, not complete, not an entire, integrated system. Your suggestion seems to be that because some philosophies are chaotic and therefore the set of ideas referred to by those philosophies are inconsistent, therefore all philosophies must be defined contradictorily. If you are trying to define a school of ideas which are mutually inconsistent, then of course it would make sense to define the particular school in terms of whatever set of mutally consistent propositions are associated with that philosophy. It would be ridiculous to take a logically consistent, integrated philosophical system and demote it to chaotic status just because there are many other schools of philosophy that are logically inconsistent, considered as a whole. Is it then seriously your argument that since some philosophies are logically inconsistent, this defines the nature of Objectivism -- a "guilt by association" argument? That is the only reason that I can see for your irrelevant mention of Kantian dualism, Cartesianism, Humeanology and so on. I will concede that if your argument is "other philosophies are ill-defined, therefore Objectivism is ill-defined", then I did not understand your argument, and did not assume that you actually made such an argument in public. If that really is the logic you're using, then there obviously cannot be any rational response to such a claim. That's why I didn't assume you were making that argument.

Note also that by changing the topic to the ill-definedness of other philosophies in a reaction to my post reminding Kolker that Objectivism is a well-defined and closed system, your reply was non-responsive. To be more blunt about it, your long non-sequitur reply about Kant, Hume and Descartes has no bearing at all on questions about Objectivism, so I did you the courtesy of ignoring the relevant parts and presumed that you had something relevant to say. If we strip away the tangential comments and errors (the founder / main idea claim) and the idea that all philosophies are by definition ill-defined (petitio principii in action, for those who want to prove the incoherence of a philosophy by presupposing the necessary incoherence of all philosopies), not to mention the plainly false claim that "Objectivism" refers to the "main idea" of a philosophy (in fact, "Objectivism" refers to the sum total of the philosophy), then it turns out that you didn't actually say anything.

They give two references to popular and academic use that pre-date Ms. Rand's birth.
Perhaps you didn't understand my statement about usage. I am not claiming that Ayn Rand's philosophy has a claim to historical first use. The OED isn't an authoritative source for explaining the nature of philosophical schools. There is a subtle distinction between "conventional usage" which implicitly refers to conventions of a particular time ("the modern world") and "historical usage", which can refer to an earlier use of a term. Are you proposing (and on what basis?) that in contemporary usage (not century-old usage), "{O/o}bjectivism" refers to some school of philosophy which includes Alfred Edersheim's The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah? I'll need a lot more evidence to accept your claim that there is a competing referent for the term "Objectivism".
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'll need a lot more evidence to accept your claim that there is a competing referent for the term "Objectivism".

David, I don't think that that is his claim. He isn't claiming anything at all about Objectivism, he is claiming something about the assumptions of those new to Objectivism:

don't be surprised that people tend to apply conventional categories.

He's basically saying that since most philosophies that are named after ideas or concepts instead of people are general categories of philosophies instead of a philosophy of a specific person (i.e. Dualism is not any single person's philosophy, it is a group of related philosophies), many people might assume that Objectivism is the same and it therefore isn't closed. He is not saying that those who assume that are correct in assuming it and he is not saying Objectivism is wrong in calling itself Objectivism. He is just saying that those new to the philosophy might make an understandable assumption and that Objectivists should be prepared to correct it. What bearing that observation had on the rest of the topic, I'm not sure.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

David, I don't think that that is his claim. He isn't claiming anything at all about Objectivism, he is claiming something about the assumptions of those new to Objectivism:

He's basically saying that since most philosophies that are named after ideas or concepts instead of people are general categories of philosophies instead of a philosophy of a specific person (i.e. Dualism is not any single person's philosophy, it is a group of related philosophies), many people might assume that Objectivism is the same and it therefore isn't closed. He is not saying that those who assume that are correct in assuming it and he is not saying Objectivism is wrong in calling itself Objectivism. He is just saying that those new to the philosophy might make an understandable assumption and that Objectivists should be prepared to correct it. What bearing that observation had on the rest of the topic, I'm not sure.

Yes. That's it exacty. This isn't unique to Objectivism. In mathematics we use the non-exclusive or, and we have to explain that to people all the time because in conventional usage 'or' can refer to the non-exclusive or the exclusive or operation.

These kinds of rhetorical problems are not unusual, and so it's rather indecorous to write

This is such a simple fundamental point that I am continually baffled at how people fail to get it.

Really, there is no reason to be baffled.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Really, there is no reason to be baffled.
So are you saying that, on average, people are complete morons incapable of getting the simplest facts and logical relations, no matter how often you express the most elementary of facts? If that is not what you are saying, then I don't see how you would not also be totally puzzled at how so many people repeatedly get confused over what, exactly, "Objectivism" refers to. If you think that people are basically idiots, then, okay, I can see how that leads to the "how can you expect rational behavior out of irrational animals" reaction.
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Examples of what? Of the undefinedness of many philosophies? ... Your suggestion seems to be that because some philosophies are chaotic and therefore the set of ideas referred to by those philosophies are inconsistent, therefore all philosophies must be defined contradictorily. If you are trying to define a school of ideas which are mutually inconsistent, then of course it would make sense to define the particular school in terms of whatever set of mutally consistent propositions are associated with that philosophy. It would be ridiculous to take a logically consistent, integrated philosophical system and demote it to chaotic status just because there are many other schools of philosophy that are logically inconsistent, considered as a whole. Is it then seriously your argument that since some philosophies are logically inconsistent, this defines the nature of Objectivism -- a "guilt by association" argument?

Well, you're establishing a pattern of dishonest rhetoric. The pattern is to misstate what I've said, ignore requests to provide evidence for the misstatements, and then to draw outlandish conclusions from your fantastic claims.

Cogito easily explained my meaning.

David's misstatement: Your suggestion seems to be that because some philosophies are chaotic and therefore the set of ideas referred to by those philosophies are inconsistent, therefore all philosophies must be defined contradictorily.

Jeff's challenge: Provide evidence that I made such a claim.

Jeff's prediction: David will fail to do so.

There's no need to respond your non sequitur. Give us evidence that I have made such claims.

That is the only reason that I can see for your irrelevant mention of Kantian dualism, Cartesianism, Humeanology and so on. I will concede that if your argument is "other philosophies are ill-defined, therefore Objectivism is ill-defined", then I did not understand your argument, and did not assume that you actually made such an argument in public. If that really is the logic you're using, then there obviously cannot be any rational response to such a claim. That's why I didn't assume you were making that argument.

Well you are unimaginative then. The reason I used examples --- like 'Kantian Dualism,' 'Cartesian philosophy,' and 'Humean philosophy' --- is to establish conventional patterns of usage. Examples of conventional usage are excellent for establishing the existence of patterns of usage. This is very obvious.

That's all. It is quite a simple point, David. Again, Cogito easily recounted it.

I have made no claims of ill-definedness. You're just making this up.

Note also that by changing the topic to the ill-definedness of other philosophies in a reaction to my post reminding Kolker that Objectivism is a well-defined and closed system, your reply was non-responsive. To be more blunt about it, your long non-sequitur reply about Kant, Hume and Descartes has no bearing at all on questions about Objectivism, so I did you the courtesy of ignoring the relevant parts and presumed that you had something relevant to say.

David's misstatement: Jeff changed the issue to ill-definedness of other philosophies.

Jeff's challenge: Provide evidence that I made such a claim.

Jeff's prediction: David will fail to do so.

It is you who have brought up the issue of ill-definedness. I've made no claims whatsoever on the issue.

I'm simply establishing conventional patterns of usage. Hence, my examples of conventional usage are perfectly relevant. Unfortunately, your fanciful claims are purely straw men.

Others on the forum have accurately stated my point. I can't be responsible if you can't.

If we strip away the tangential comments and errors (the founder / main idea claim) and the idea that all philosophies are by definition ill-defined (petitio principii in action, for those who want to prove the incoherence of a philosophy by presupposing the necessary incoherence of all philosopies), not to mention the plainly false claim that "Objectivism" refers to the "main idea" of a philosophy (in fact, "Objectivism" refers to the sum total of the philosophy) then it turns out that you didn't actually say anything.

David's misstatement: not to mention the plainly false claim that "Objectivism" refers to the "main idea" of a philosophy

Jeff's challenge: Provide evidence that I made such a claim.

Jeff's prediction: David will fail to do so.

I only pointed out conventional usage. I've claimed that many people, quite naturally, think that 'Objectivism' refer to the "main idea." People get that idea from the conventional usage of the word 'Objectivism.'

I've never claimed that usage as correct. I have claimed that conventional usage is not the usage on the forum. That's saying something not nothing. Again, Cogito grasps this quite easily. For some reason, you can't. Odd.

Perhaps you didn't understand my statement about usage. I am not claiming that Ayn Rand's philosophy has a claim to historical first use. The OED isn't an authoritative source for explaining the nature of philosophical schools. There is a subtle distinction between "conventional usage" which implicitly refers to conventions of a particular time ("the modern world") and "historical usage", which can refer to an earlier use of a term. Are you proposing (and on what basis?) that in contemporary usage (not century-old usage), "{O/o}bjectivism" refers to some school of philosophy which includes Alfred Edersheim's The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah? I'll need a lot more evidence to accept your claim that there is a competing referent for the term "Objectivism".

True. The OED is not an authoritative source for "explaining the nature of philosophical schools;" however, it authoritative --- indeed the most authoritative --- on lexicography, even in philosophy.

The usage of the term 'Objectivism' and 'Objectivist' have been consistently and conventionally used in philosophy, in the same way since the mid-1800's.

Well, again we see a rhetorical dishonesty at work in your writings. Edershiem's work is evidence of the term 'objectivistic' not of 'Objectivism' and 'Objectivist.' My writings clearly specified only 'Objectivism' and 'Objectivist.'

For you to be unaware of the consistent usage of 'Objectivist' and 'Objectivism' in Western philosophy, you must be purposefully ignorant. You must never have attempted to look for evidence. In short, you must not be an honest commentator, achieving the status of the skeptic who chooses to ignore facts.

Examine these search results at Stanford for conventional usages of the term 'Objectivism' http://plato.stanford.edu/search/searcher....m%20objectivist

My "Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy" has many examples.

Honestly, you'd have to have be pretty untutored in Western philosophy to deny the conventional usage.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So are you saying that, on average, people are complete morons incapable of getting the simplest facts and logical relations, no matter how often you express the most elementary of facts? If that is not what you are saying, then I don't see how you would not also be totally puzzled at how so many people repeatedly get confused over what, exactly, "Objectivism" refers to. If you think that people are basically idiots, then, okay, I can see how that leads to the "how can you expect rational behavior out of irrational animals" reaction.

More dishonest rhetoric. The technique now is to use the false premise --- "So are you saying..." "If you think that..." --- to falsely insinuate I've made claims, when in fact I have'nt. It's really a spectacularly dishonest bit of sophistry.

I'm quite aware that you "don't see how would not also be totally puzzled at how so many people repeatedly get confused over what, exactly, 'Objectivism' refers to."

I have an explanation, grounded in facts, and established by huge amounts of evidence, and by a perspicuous logic. You don't. That's why you are confused, and I'm not.

I'm very aware that you don't know the explanation. I'm also very aware that others have had no trouble grasping it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is what I meant. You are all debating philosophy, but not objectivism. I see it as more than a simple philosophy, but as a code by which to live, by basing every action off of strict, rational thought. This cannot be argued against, and that was my original point. This is one of the main bases of objectivism. What Jeff seems to be questioning are the more in depth, philisophical terms. I don't know, maybe they can be questioned, I don't know much about it, as I am only a freshman in college. However, I do know that Ayn Rand's philosophy says to base all decisions, actions, and thoughts off of logic. To me, that would be hard for any person, philisophical genius or not, to debase.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

To me, that would be hard for any person, philosophical genius or not, to debase.

You would think so... Unfortunately, those who debate it have a secret weapon: Deny reason (the method of debate, but they easily ignore that contradiction), and then you can't use reason to back up anything. Anything becomes supportable except a method which demands a rigorous use of logic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Jeff, one small issue:

You are capitalizing the word "Objectivism" when referring to the term used commonly since the 1800's. That is incorrect: the un-capitalized version, which does not refer to the philosophy of Ayn Rand was the one used since the 1800's.

And Jon: you are making the opposite mistake - referring to Ayn Rand's philosophy with the un-capitalized word which in fact referred to the common usage term.

This is why capitalization is important: things get confusing!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
×
×
  • Create New...