Objectivism 101: Philosophy

Objectivism 101: Philosophy

Objectivism 101 Diana Mertz Hsieh Lecture One: Philosophy Sunday, June 30, 2002 13th Annual Summer Seminar of The Objectivist Center Objectivism 101 Schedule 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Philosophy Reality and Reason Life and Happiness The Virtues Individual Rights Spiritual Fuel This Course Will

Sketch Objectivism as a system Compare Objectivism to other philosophical perspectives Discuss the practical consequences of abstract ideas Disagreements, doubts, and questions are

okay! Expect to participate in discussions! Ayn Rand the Novelist We The Living (1936) Anthem (1938) The Fountainhead (1943) Atlas Shrugged (1957) The Early Ayn Rand (1986)

Ayn Rands Novels Epic stories Novels of ideas The producer as the moral ideal Force of character of heroes Sacredness of individual human life Expert literary technique

Ayn Rand the Philosopher For the New Intellectual (1961) The Virtue of Selfishness (1964) Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal (1966) Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (1967)

The Romantic Manifesto (1969) The New Left/Return of the Primitive (1971) Philosophy: Who Needs It (1982) The Voice of Reason (1989) Ayn Rand the Person Born in Russia in 1905 Studied history and philosophy

Left Russia for U.S. in 1926 Married Frank OConnor Screenwriter, novelist, philosopher Died in New York City in 1982 Essence of Objectivism My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute. Ayn Rand About the Author Atlas Shrugged

What is Philosophy? Philosophy studies the fundamental nature of existence, of man, and of man's relationship to existence. philosophy deals with those aspects of the universe which pertain to everything that exists. Ayn Rand Philosophy: Who Needs It Philosophy: Who Needs It Questions of Philosophy

What is the world like? How do I know that world? What is my nature? How should I act? How should people in a society interact? What is art? Branches of Philosophy Metaphysics studies the nature of existence What is the world like?

Epistemology studies nature of knowledge How do I know that world? Ethics defines a code of values to guide action How should I act? Politics defines the proper social system How should people in a society interact?

Aesthetics studies the nature of art What is art? Philosophy In Sum Philosophy is our most basic view of the world and our place in it Metaphysics: reality Epistemology: knowledge Ethics: values Politics: social system

Aesthetics: art Philosophy as Universal The truths of philosophy apply to every person at every time Philosophy is not just a matter of perspective The truths of philosophy are accessible to

everyone Philosophy as Inescapable Philosophical ideas permeate our lives, whether we know it or not Religion is the most common form of philosophy Any attempt to avoid philosophy endorses

certain philosophical ideas Philosophy as Influential Individual lives Institutions Science Technology

Economies Cultures History The Uniqueness of Philosophy Philosophy applies universally to everyone Philosophy is an inescapable part of life

Philosophy is an influential force in life Implicit or Explicit? Implicit Philosophy: Philosophical ideas are passively absorbed from family, friends, religion, fiction, and culture OR Explicit philosophy: Philosophical ideas are consciously investigated, adopted, and integrated Implicit Philosophy

Implicit Philosophy: Philosophical ideas are passively absorbed from family, friends, religion, fiction, and culture Implicit philosophy is easy and automatic, but it is fraught with danger What are the dangers of implicit philosophy? Dangers of Implicit Philosophy

Greater risk of errors and contradictions Vulnerable to manipulation by others Psychological problems Difficulty in resolving moral dilemmas Explicit Philosophy Explicit philosophy: Philosophical ideas consciously investigated, adopted, and

integrated Explicit philosophy is difficult work, but brings many benefits What are the benefits of explicit philosophy? Benefits of Explicit Philosophy

Easier correction of philosophical errors Understanding whats important in life Developing reasoning skills Clarifying moral choices Enjoying lifes emotional rewards Eclectic or Systematic? Eclectic Philosophy: Philosophical ideas are chosen from wide variety of philosophical traditions, regardless of inconsistencies

OR Systematic Philosophy: Philosophical ideas in all branches of philosophy are interrelated and consistent Approaches to Philosophy Implicit Philosophy: Ideas passively absorbed Explicit

philosophy: Ideas consciously adopted Eclectic Philosophy: Unrelated and inconsistent ideas Systematic Philosophy: Interrelated and consistent ideas Preview of Objectivism

Metaphysics: reality Epistemology: reason Ethics: self-interest Politics: individual rights Aesthetics: spiritual fuel Todays Topics

Ayn Rand as a novelist and philosopher The nature of philosophy The five branches of philosophy Philosophy as universal Philosophy as inescapable The influence of philosophy Implicit and explicit philosophy Eclectic and systematic philosophy

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