Rand... Leonard Peikoff presents the Objectivist view of human nature, stressing the centrality of reason and the integration of mind and body. He is the author of Loving Life: The Morality of Self-Interest and the Facts that Support It; Rational Egoism: The Morality for Human Flourishing; and the forthcoming Moral Truths Your Parents, Preachers, and Teachers Don’t Want You to Know. This is the Law of Identity: A is A. subscribe or Liberty cannot even be defined, let alone defended, apart from answers to questions such as: What is the nature of reality? Finally, as to the morality of hedonism, just because someone gets pleasure from or feels like doing something does not mean that it is in his best interest to do it. Any errors in the presentation are mine. In answer to this need, egoism provides a whole system of integrated, noncontradictory principles, the sole purpose of which is to teach man how to live and enjoy himself. Things in nature can be evidence only for the existence of things in nature (as, for instance, the fossil record is evidence for evolution); they cannot be evidence for the existence of things “outside of nature” or “above nature” or “beyond nature.” Nature is all there is; it is the sum of what exists; something “outside of nature” would be “outside of existence”—that is: nonexistent. My philosophy, Objectivism, holds that: 1. For a book-length nonfiction presentation of the principles of Objectivism, see Leonard Peikoff’s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. A collection of thirty-two essays on philosophy, culture and politics containing some of Ayn Rand’s most trenchant commentary on such issues as religion, objectivity, sex, abortion, foreign policy and the mixed economy. Evidence-free assertions, appeals to tradition, and appeals to authority are not rational arguments; they are textbook logical fallacies. The government is also required to summarily dispose of foreign aggressors who initiate or threaten to initiate force against its citizens or their interests. A link to it appears in “Related Lessons” below.  Leonard Peikoff, a professional philosopher and Rand’s designated intellectual heir,   later gave it a more formal structure. There is a world independent of our minds to which our thinking must correspond if our ideas are to be true and therefore of practical use in living our lives, pursuing our values, and protecting our rights. Objectivism also rejects the idea that predation—the sacrificing of others for one’s own alleged benefit—can promote one’s life and happiness. The premise essentially revolves around "looking out for yourself". ARI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. This is how scientists discover facts in their various fields, from the principles of agriculture to the existence of atoms to the structure of DNA; it is how inventors and engineers design life-enhancing machines and devices, from automobiles to heart pumps to MP3 players; it is how businessmen establish ways to produce and deliver goods and services, from refrigerators to movies to wireless Internet access; it is how doctors diagnose and cure (or treat) diseases, from polio to sickle cell anemia to breast cancer; it is how children learn language, math, and manners; it is how philosophers discover the nature of the universe, the nature of man, and the proper principles of morality, politics, and esthetics. It requires living by objective principles, including moral integrity and respect for the rights of others. Observe these atrocities, then ask yourself whether any of it would be possible if men had not accepted the idea that man is a sacrificial animal to be immolated for the sake of the “public good.” Read the speeches of those countries’ political leaders and ask yourself what arguments would be left to them if the word “sacrifice” were regarded not as a moral ideal, but as the anti-human evil which it is. Human life requires egoism. "Applied" Objectivism Contradicts Theoretical Objectivism. I’m director of education at OSI, and I’m writing to ask for your support in … — and how the answers to these questions give rise to an ethics of rational self-interest. Objectivism holds that there is no greater moral goal than achieving one's happiness. Nor can human sacrifice promote human life or happiness; it can lead only to suffering and death. Objectivism holds that the purpose of morality is to provide people with principled guidance for living and achieving happiness on earth. Objectivism equally rejects skepticism—the idea that knowledge is impossible, that it cannot be acquired by any means. The movement began informally in the 1950s and consisted of students who were brought together by … A moral society—a civilized society—is one in which the initiation of physical force against human beings is prohibited by law. Rand first expressed Objectivism in her fiction, most notably The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957), and later in non-fiction essays and books. Culturally, Objectivism advocates scientific advancement, industrial progress, objective (as opposed to “progressive” or faith-based) education, romantic art—and, above all, reverence for the faculty that makes all such values possible: reason. And the only social system in which such force is so prohibited—consistently and on principle—is pure, laissez-faire capitalism. This is grammar as it should be but never is taught. Objectivism also rejects the idea that man has no nature at all (i.e., the twisted, modern interpretation of man as a “blank slate”), making his character the consequence of social forces, such as upbringing or economic conditions. A person does not have to use reason; the choice is his to make. We cannot achieve such goals by wishing, voting, or praying. Rand originally expressed her philosophical ideas in her novels, most notably, The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. In this way, art provides spiritual guidance and fuel for living and achieving one’s goals. This audio content is accessible only to current Digital or Premium subscribers. The government acts only as a policeman that protects man’s rights; it uses physical force only in retaliation and only against those who initiate its use, such as criminals or foreign invaders. This is yet another reason to embrace and advocate capitalism—and the entire philosophy of reason on which it is based. This last is the predominant philosophical position today, particularly in the field of politics. Happiness is the state of mind that follows from the successful pursuit of rational, life-serving values. Man clearly can acquire knowledge, has done so, and continues to do so; this is evident in the fact that he has accomplished all that he has. To say, as libertarians do, that the “non-initiation-of-force principle” is an “axiom” or that liberty can be defended on any old philosophical base—whether Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, atheist, altruist, egoistic, subjectivist, relativist, postmodernist—or on no base at all—is simply absurd. Capitalism—not the mongrel system of the United States today, but genuine capitalism—is the only social system that consistently prohibits anyone, including the government, from assaulting people or stealing their property. Objectivism holds that man has free will—the ability to think or not to think, to use reason or not to use it, to go by facts or to go by feelings. The practical significance of this point is that if people want to achieve their goals—such as gaining knowledge, amassing wealth, achieving happiness, establishing and maintaining liberty—they must recognize and embrace the nature of reality. As a philosophical system, Objectivism includes a view of the nature of reality, of man’s means of knowledge, of man’s nature and means of survival, of a proper morality, of a proper social system, and of the nature and value of art. The standard of value according to a predator is his whim. Thus, Objectivism rejects the morality of altruism—the idea that being moral consists in self-sacrificially serving others (whether the poor, the “common good,” “mother nature,” or “God”). This is because Objectivists are radicals for reason—the foundation of which is: reality. Since the Objectivist philosophy challenges the past 2,000 years of thought, it is no surprise that some students may find it difficult at times to integrate the principles and totally break free from ideas rooted in altruism, collectivism and mysticism. The Basic Principles of Objectivism Lecture 16: Common Fallacies About Capitalism + $3.50; The Basic Principles of Objectivism Lecture 17: Romanticism Naturalism and The Novels of … On October 2, 1962, The Ayn Rand Program debuted on Columbia University’s campus radio station, WKCR, in New York City. People are fully free to act on their own judgment and thus to produce, keep, use, and dispose of their own property as they see fit; the only thing they are not “free” to do is to violate the rights of others. Objectively speaking, two such paintings do not have “equal” value; they do not “equally” serve the purpose of art; and they are not “equally” enjoyed by rational people. If they want to receive goods or services from others, they may offer to exchange value for value to mutual benefit; however, they may not seek to gain any value from others by means of physical force. Human sensory perception gives direct true knowledgeof objective reality 3. Thomas Aquina's, objectivism and absolutism. Ayn Rand created and defined her philosophy, Objectivism, in the pages of her best-selling novels, particularly, What is morality? The political expression of altruism is collectivism or statism, which holds that man’s life and work belong to the state — to society, to the group, the gang, the race, the nation — and that the state may dispose of him in any way it pleases for the sake of whatever it deems to be its own tribal, collective good. “Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed” or “Wishing won’t make it so.” 2. Moreover, neither I nor anyone else—other than Rand—can speak for Objectivism; the philosophy is precisely the body of philosophical principles set forth in her works. If accepted and practiced consistently, it leads to death. Ayn Rand held that, far from being a useless diversion, philosophy was critically important in human life: Every human action presupposes certain philosophical beliefs. Not so says egoism. Great book explaining the principles of objectivism in easy to understand language with insight into Rand's philosophy using examples of her work. According to this principle, the good is that which supports or promotes an individual’s life; the evil is that which retards or destroys it. Good art—like everything else on which human life and happiness depend—is a product of rational thought and creative effort. Moral objectivism. In other words, one’s ideas are supposedly either extremely “liberal” or extremely “conservative” or somewhere in between. 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