Ann Rands Authoritarian Theory

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Ann Rands Authoritarian Theory

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Ayn Rand - The Morality of Objectivism

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Henry had 3 brothers: Charles Rands and 2 other siblings. Henry married Caroline Elizabeth Rands. Henry married Catherine Rands. Because of its characterization of concepts as "open-ended" classifications that go well beyond the characteristics included in their past or current definitions, Objectivist epistemology rejects the analytic-synthetic distinction as a false dichotomy [37] and denies the possibility of a priori knowledge.

Rand rejected "feeling" as sources of knowledge. Rand acknowledged the importance of emotion for human beings, but she maintained that emotions are a consequence of the conscious or subconscious ideas that a person already accepts, not a means of achieving awareness of reality. She defined faith as "the acceptance of allegations without evidence or proof, either apart from or against the evidence of one's senses and reason Mysticism is the claim to some non-sensory, non-rational, non-definable, non-identifiable means of knowledge, such as 'instinct,' 'intuition,' 'revelation,' or any form of 'just knowing. Faith, for Rand, is not a "short-cut" to knowledge, but a "short-circuit" destroying it.

Objectivism acknowledges the facts that human beings have limited knowledge, are vulnerable to error, and do not instantly understand all of the implications of their knowledge. Rand argued that neither is possible because the senses provide the material of knowledge while conceptual processing is also needed to establish knowable propositions. The philosopher John Hospers , who was influenced by Rand and shared her moral and political opinions, disagreed with her concerning issues of epistemology.

Psychology professor Robert L. Campbell writes that the relationship between Objectivist epistemology and cognitive science remains unclear because Rand made claims about human cognition and its development which belong to psychology, yet Rand also argued that philosophy is logically prior to psychology and in no way dependent on it. The philosophers Randall Dipert and Roderick T. Long have argued that Objectivist epistemology conflates the perceptual process by which judgments are formed with the way in which they are to be justified, thereby leaving it unclear how sensory data can validate judgments structured propositionally.

Objectivism includes an extensive treatment of ethical concerns. Rand defines morality as "a code of values to guide man's choices and actions—the choices and actions that determine the purpose and the course of his life". The existence of inanimate matter is unconditional, the existence of life is not: it depends on a specific course of action. Rand argued that the primary emphasis of man's free will is the choice: 'to think or not to think'. In any hour and issue of his life, man is free to think or to evade that effort. Thinking requires a state of full, focused awareness. The act of focusing one's consciousness is volitional.

Man can focus his mind to a full, active, purposefully directed awareness of reality—or he can unfocus it and let himself drift in a semiconscious daze, merely reacting to any chance stimulus of the immediate moment, at the mercy of his undirected sensory-perceptual mechanism and of any random, associational connections it might happen to make. Whether in fact a person's actions promote and fulfill his own life or not is a question of fact, as it is with all other organisms, but whether a person will act to promote his well-being is up to him, not hard-wired into his physiology. In Atlas Shrugged , Rand wrote "Man's mind is his basic tool of survival.

Life is given to him, survival is not. His body is given to him, its sustenance is not. His mind is given to him, its content is not. To remain alive he must act and before he can act he must know the nature and purpose of his action. He cannot obtain his food without knowledge of food and of the way to obtain it. He cannot dig a ditch—or build a cyclotron—without a knowledge of his aim and the means to achieve it. To remain alive, he must think. The primary virtue in Objectivist ethics is rationality , as Rand meant it "the recognition and acceptance of reason as one's only source of knowledge, one's only judge of values and one's only guide to action".

The purpose of a moral code, Rand said, is to provide the principles by reference to which man can achieve the values his survival requires. If [man] chooses to live, a rational ethics will tell him what principles of action are required to implement his choice. If he does not choose to live, nature will take its course. Reality confronts a man with a great many "must's", but all of them are conditional: the formula of realistic necessity is: "you must, if —" and the if stands for man's choice: "if you want to achieve a certain goal". Rand's explanation of values presents the proposition that an individual's primary moral obligation is to achieve his own well-being—it is for his life and his self-interest that an individual ought to obey a moral code. The only alternative would be that they live without orientation to reality.

A corollary to Rand's endorsement of self-interest is her rejection of the ethical doctrine of altruism —which she defined in the sense of Auguste Comte 's altruism he popularized the term [60] , as a moral obligation to live for the sake of others. Rand also rejected subjectivism. A "whim-worshiper" or "hedonist", according to Rand, is not motivated by a desire to live his own human life, but by a wish to live on a sub-human level. Instead of using "that which promotes my human life" as his standard of value, he mistakes "that which I mindlessly happen to value" for a standard of value, in contradiction of the fact that, existentially, he is a human and therefore rational organism.

The "I value" in whim-worship or hedonism can be replaced with "we value", "he values", "they value", or "God values", and still it would remain dissociated from reality. Rand repudiated the equation of rational selfishness with hedonistic or whim-worshiping "selfishness-without-a-self". She said that the former is good, and the latter bad, and that there is a fundamental difference between them. For Rand, all of the principal virtues are applications of the role of reason as man's basic tool of survival: rationality, honesty, justice, independence, integrity, productiveness, and pride—each of which she explains in some detail in "The Objectivist Ethics".

Some philosophers have criticized Objectivist ethics. The philosopher Robert Nozick argues that Rand's foundational argument in ethics is unsound because it does not explain why someone could not rationally prefer dying and having no values, in order to further some particular value. He argues that her attempt to defend the morality of selfishness is, therefore, an instance of begging the question. Nozick also argues that Rand's solution to David Hume 's famous is-ought problem is unsatisfactory. In response, the philosophers Douglas B. Charles King criticized Rand's example of an indestructible robot to demonstrate the value of life as incorrect and confusing.

Blair defended Rand's ethical conclusions, while maintaining that his arguments might not have been approved by Rand. Rand's defense of individual liberty integrates elements from her entire philosophy. According to Rand, "man's mind will not function at the point of a gun". Persuasion is the method of reason. By its nature, the overtly irrational cannot rely on the use of persuasion and must ultimately resort to force to prevail. Objectivism claims that because the opportunity to use reason without the initiation of force is necessary to achieve moral values, each individual has an inalienable moral right to act as his own judgment directs and to keep the product of his effort.

Peikoff, explaining the basis of rights, stated, "In content, as the founding fathers recognized, there is one fundamental right, which has several major derivatives. The fundamental right is the right to life. Its major derivatives are the right to liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness. Objectivism maintains that only societies seeking to establish freedom or free nations have a right to self-determination.

Objectivism describes government as "the means of placing the retaliatory use of physical force under objective control—i. Rand argued that limited intellectual property monopolies being granted to certain inventors and artists on a first-to-file basis are moral because she considered all property as fundamentally intellectual. Furthermore, the value of a commercial product derives in part from the necessary work of its inventors. However, Rand considered limits on patents and copyrights as important and said that if they were granted in perpetuity, it would necessarily result in de facto collectivism. Rand opposed racism and any legal application of racism.

She considered affirmative action to be an example of legal racism. She therefore said she opposed capital punishment "on epistemological, not moral, grounds". Objectivists have also opposed a number of government activities commonly endorsed by both liberals and conservatives, including antitrust laws, [] the minimum wage , public education , [] and existing child labor laws. Some critics, including economists and political philosophers such as Murray Rothbard , David D. Friedman , Roy Childs , Norman P. Barry , and Chandran Kukathas , have argued that Objectivist ethics are consistent with anarcho-capitalism instead of minarchism. The Objectivist theory of art derives from its epistemology, by way of "psycho-epistemology" Rand's term for an individual's characteristic mode of functioning in acquiring knowledge.

Art, according to Objectivism, serves a human cognitive need: it allows human beings to understand concepts as though they were percepts. Objectivism defines "art" as a "selective re-creation of reality according to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments"—that is, according to what the artist believes to be ultimately true and important about the nature of reality and humanity. In this respect Objectivism regards art as a way of presenting abstractions concretely, in perceptual form.

The human need for art, according to this idea, derives from the need for cognitive economy. A concept is already a sort of mental shorthand standing for a large number of concretes, allowing a human being to think indirectly or implicitly of many more such concretes than can be kept explicitly in mind. But a human being cannot keep indefinitely many concepts explicitly in mind either—and yet, according to Objectivism, they need a comprehensive conceptual framework to provide guidance in life. Art offers a way out of this dilemma by providing a perceptual, easily grasped means of communicating and thinking about a wide range of abstractions, including one's metaphysical value-judgments. Objectivism regards art as an effective way to communicate a moral or ethical ideal.

Moreover, art need not be, and usually is not, the outcome of a full-blown, explicit philosophy. Usually it stems from an artist's sense of life which is preconceptual and largely emotional. The end goal of Rand's own artistic endeavors was to portray the ideal man. The Fountainhead is the best example of this effort. This symbolism should be represented in all art; artistic expression should be an extension of the greatness in humanity. Rand said that Romanticism was the highest school of literary art, noting that Romanticism was "based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition", absent which, Rand believed, literature is robbed of dramatic power, adding:.

What the Romanticists brought to art was the primacy of values Values are the source of emotions: a great deal of emotional intensity was projected in the work of the Romanticists and in the reactions of their audiences, as well as a great deal of color, imagination, originality, excitement, and all the other consequences of a value-oriented view of life. The term "romanticism", however, is often affiliated with emotionalism, to which Objectivism is completely opposed.

Historically, many romantic artists were philosophically subjectivist. Most Objectivists who are also artists subscribe to what they term romantic realism , which is how Rand described her own work. Several authors have developed and applied Rand's ideas in their own work. Rand described Peikoff's The Ominous Parallels , as "the first book by an Objectivist philosopher other than myself". Some scholars have emphasized applying Objectivism to more specific areas. Machan has developed Rand's contextual conception of human knowledge while also drawing on the insights of J. Regarding the topic of ethics, Kelley has argued in works such as Unrugged Individualism and The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand that Objectivists should pay more attention to the virtue of benevolence and place less emphasis on issues of moral sanction.

Kelley's claims have been controversial, and critics Peikoff and Peter Schwartz have argued that he contradicts important principles of Objectivism. The political aspects of Rand's philosophy are discussed by Bernstein in The Capitalist Manifesto In psychology, Professor Edwin A. One Rand biographer says most people who read Rand's works for the first time do it in their "formative years". Academic philosophers have generally dismissed Objectivism since Rand first presented it. During the s, Rand's works were more likely to be encountered in American classrooms. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Redirected from Objectivism Ayn Rand.

Philosophical system developed by Russian-American writer Ayn Rand. For objectivity in philosophy, see Objectivity philosophy. For other uses, see Objectivism disambiguation. Objectivism Rational egoism Individualism Capitalism Romantic realism. Related topics. Objectivism and homosexuality Objectivism and libertarianism Objectivism's rejection of the primitive Randian hero. See also: Romantic realism. See also: Objectivist movement. Accessed March 2, Lingua Franca. The New York Times. Retrieved September 18, New York: Signet. ISBN The Objectivist Newsletter.

In Rand , pp. The quotes within this passage are of Rand's material elsewhere in the same book. In Rand , p. Fall Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. Spring Reason Papers 12 : 57— Reason and Value: Rand versus Aristotle. Objectivist Studies Monographs. OCLC Online Etymology Dictionary. Douglas Harper. Retrieved May 27, Journal of Libertarian Studies. The Personalist. Reprinted along with Nozick's article in Reading Nozick , J. Paul, ed. Blair, Paul Spring Reason Papers Retrieved September 14, The Objectivist understanding of rights is explored at length in Smith March 7, October 3, Wortham, Anne The Other Side of Racism.

The Voice of Reason. Edited by Leonard Peikoff. New York: New American Library. Ayn Rand Lexicon. Ayn Rand Institute. Archived from the original on March 24, Retrieved June 19, Orange County Register. In Peikoff , p. Atlas Society. Retrieved May 29, The Objective Standard. Archived from the original on March 28, Ayn Rand and the World She Made. New York: Doubleday. Journal of Humanistic Psychology. S2CID Archived from the original on July 17, Capitalism Magazine. Retrieved April 22, New York: Public Affairs.

Rutland Herald. Archived from the original on December 26, Retrieved July 20, The Penguin Dictionary of Philosophy. Penguin Books, , p. Den Reason Papers. Retrieved August 8, The Chronicle of Higher Education.

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