10

The issue has been explained in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy's entry on Ayn Rand: She wrote polemical, philosophical essays, often in response to questions by fans of Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead; lectured on college campuses; and gave radio and television interviews. Her views of past and contemporary Anglo-American philosophy, however, ...


10

First, I have read only secondary works on Rawls and have not read "Theory of Justice" itself, but it is on my list. Unlike Rand, Rawls was an analytic philosopher with a distinguished background, and was among the first to propose ways in which the Anglo-American tradition could revisit "value" questions such as justice, which had long been proscribed by ...


9

If she [Ayn Rand] has nothing to do with philosophy and her arguments are not philosophical in nature, what is the point? Ayn Rand was a philosopher. She wrote about epistemology in "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology". She wrote about moral and political philosophy in many books. She wrote a book called "Philosophy: Who Needs It": the title essay of ...


6

You ask "What am I missing in Rawls's theory of justice?" after having said that "Rawls says the rich should be free to get as rich as they want to, as long as the poor get to pick up of a few crumbs here and there." What you are missing is that this is not true at all for Rawls. It's quite simple; you seem to be misunderstanding the second principle of ...


6

First, Objectivist principles are intended to be rational guidelines for maximizing long-term happiness. Accidents and emergencies are, by definition, exceptional events, and behavioral principles aren't always applicable. Secondly, Objectivism is against altruism in the sense of an obligation to sacrifice to others. It isn't globally opposed to acts of ...


6

Some libertarians oppose patents and copyrights in principle, see Kinsella's manifesto Against Intellectual Property. A common view is that due to its reproducibility (e.g. "theft" does not deprive the owner of the use of his/her creation or invention) "intellectual property" lacks a crucial feature of being "property". The alternative interpretation is of a ...


6

You should stop conflating people like Friedman with Ayn Rand. Friedman was far less consistent than Rand in his advocacy of freedom. So I'm going to address the sort of thing I think Rand would say. Also, Rand wasn't a libertarian in part because libertarianism is such a big tent that it includes people like Friedman who advocated anti-capitalist policies: ...


5

Rand's Objectivisms' central tenets are that reality exists independently of consciousness, that human beings have direct contact with reality through sense perception, that one can attain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation and inductive logic. Rand didn't say much about induction except that she didn't know how it ...


5

While I like Lucretius diplomatic answer, there's also a Randian one that is more likely to arouse hostility itself - an answer that should be obvious to anyone standing on Objectivist theory. I take "Rand is ignored by academics" to mean "Rand is ignored as a philosopher by established philosophers." - as opposed to IT professionals, for example. I use ...


5

There are three key concepts involved in Objectivism when tackling the is-ought problem. They are "Man" (referring to mankind, but in terms of the individual person), "Value", and "Morality." Understanding these concepts, in addition to every concept upon which they depend as Objectivists define them, will help you understand how Objectivism dispenses with ...


5

This probably refers to the infamous "murderer at the door" passage from Kant's essay On a Supposed Right to Lie from Philanthropy (1797), written near the end of his life. The essay was a response to Constant who offered the following criticism: "The moral principle, “it is a duty to tell the truth” would, if taken unconditionally and singly,...


5

John Piper tells this analogy about love and satisfaction in relation to God, but I think the principle applies to any human relationship: I buy — because we’re in our 50th year of marriage now, okay, even though it’s 49th — and I hold this bundle of roses. They cost $200, right, give or take. I hold this huge bundle of roses behind my back and instead of ...


4

Objectivism Lite Rand differs from Rawls' Theory of Justice in a very fundamental way on this. In fact I would argue so different as to be opposed. Rawls is essentially presenting a justification for wealth redistribution for the purpose of achieving "greater equality" and using an ethical argument to get there, while Rand presented arguments opposed to ...


4

You might discribe Nietzsche's work as 'predominantly a collection of his opinions and unsubstantiated postulates and proposals'. So what? You are going to have to qualify 'so much' in relative terms and specific posts; looks to be 1-2 threads a month. Doesn't sound disproportionate. Hobbes is mentioned more frequently than the prestige of his thought ...


4

Rand defines capitalism as follows: “Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.” (Rand, Ayn, Capitalism the Unknown Ideal). In such a system initiation of physical force is banned from human relationships because of the emphasis on the protection of ...


4

Any action can be described as 'selfish' if that just means that one derives pleasure or satisfaction from it or if one argues in a closed circle of motivation that one must have derived (or expected to derive) pleasure or satisfaction from it else why would one do it? The key point is whether (intentional) benefit to another, without any necessary (non-...


4

Rand's Objectivism is really Locke's 'State of Nature' argument (SoNa) on steroids. It imagines a world in which everyone is a rational, self-sufficient individual whose relationships to other people are strictly casual, functional, and arbitrary, and whose only real relationship is to property. Locke used this SoNa as the beginning point of his philosophy ...


3

Bohm believed in an objective reality that had a hidden part which is difficult for us to measure, observe or think about, but not impossible. That made Bohm's thought (although he had been socialist by mistake) very similar to the philosophical views of Ayn Rand.


3

I think you may be misunderstanding the value of the merely in Kant's formula of humanity formulation. It is not that it becomes okay to sometimes treat people as means; it is that it becomes okay to treat people as means so long as you recognize them properly as ends. Sticking with your factory analogy, you cannot on Kant's view treat your employees like ...


3

Some of Leonard Peikoff's work is very good, such as "Understanding Objectivism." Elliot Temple has made some improvements on Objectivism, such as correcting some problems with Objectivist epistemology: http://www.curi.us/1581-epistemology-without-weights-and-the-mistake. See also: http://fallibleideas.com/. George Reisman's book "Capitalism" explains a ...


3

Rand explained what sort of behaviour and ideas she considered honest: http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/honesty.html Honesty involves acting rationally by trying to understand and judge ideas and behaviour. Lying would be behaviour that doesn't match that standard. Suppose a person reads about an idea that refutes his current ideas and he can't answer the ...


3

Rand uses the term evasion to refer to self-deception. This is the willful refusal to accept reality and the evidence of your senses by suspending your judgement deliberately refusing to identify and integrate evidence. See http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/evasion.html for further discussion. You can see this deliberate, intentional attempt at evasion in ...


3

I think Rand's rather persistent presence is due to three factors. 1 She is a NAME and is often described in the media as a philosopher. Many questioners are simply rather curious about her on that basis, particularly if they have had no contact with academic philosophy. 2 She does present a body of loosely connected ideas which looks superficially like a ...


3

A key idea of the Objectivist philosophy is that arguments must be made in terms of essentials for conclusions to be valid and validatable. This is why, for example, the concept of a human as a rational animal leads to fewer flawed conclusions than other not essential descriptions such as “the animal that makes tools” or the “animal that that is social.” ...


3

I think there's kind of two questions actually getting asked here. The first question is: "why would it ever make sense to bring non-philosophical thought into philosophical inquiry?" Though I am no fan of Ayn Rand, I see no good reason why we ought to exclude from discussion the relevant (or maybe only plausibly relevant) thought of any individual simply ...


2

I'm having a hard time reading many of the Objectivist responses, because they seems to be based on a completely mistaken understanding of the differences between Aristotle and what could be broadly termed "idealist" philosophy. First, to say that "Perception is reality" in Kantian terms does not in the least mean that the reality human beings perceive doesn'...


2

No, it would be wrong to interpret Objectivism as a blending of Nietzsche's Übermensch because Objectivism covers several areas of philosophy. (I'll leave aside American individualism because that's too vague a concept for my point.) Even if Objectivist ethics were¹ identical to Nietzsche's Übermensch's, Objectivism covers metaphysics, epistemology and ...


2

Rand's moral philosophy is normative (obviously) and derived from consideration of consequences, but it is not consequentialist in its framing of moral principles and rights. Rand argued that moral philosophy requires principles that can be applied in the absence of the ability to foresee particular consequences, in the sense of the full outcomes of actions....


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