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Virtue and Morals and Ethics and Ayn Rand

Discussion in 'Philosophy' started by The Sum of Awe, Oct 3, 2011.

  1. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Do they really misread, or are they just inspired to head in another direction?
     
  2. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    I think that's one of the reasons why for years Rand was not taken seriously by professional philosophers (one of the first college level courses on Rand was at an Ohio university, and it didn't happen until the 70s). Another reason was she tended to sue anyone who was critical of her ideas.
     
  3. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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  4. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Finally! Someone delivers an unassailable critique of Rand.
    Someone else should've written her books for her. I nominate Tom Wolfe.

    What? No Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut or Douglas Adams?
     
  5. Penumbra

    Penumbra Veteran Member
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    The link. Great article, imo. I think it's funny that he points out that his statements against a laissez faire system elicit more backlash than his combined statements against religion or free will.

     
  6. Dipintus

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    A fun fact: did you know that Jimbo Whales, the creator of wikipedia, is an objectivist?
    I think it's hilarious that one of the most successful projects started by an objectivist is completely based on people's goodwill.

    Also, I luaghed at Sam Harris article:
    "I often get emails from people who insist that Rand was a genius—and one who has been unfairly neglected by writers like myself."
    Unfairly neglected? More like mercifully ignored.
     
    #26 Dipintus, Nov 12, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2011
  7. wmjbyatt

    wmjbyatt Lunatic from birth

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    Yes it does. I don't know how much Rand you've rad, but she explicitly says, more than once, that all of our actions should stem from our love for ourselves. That is explicit narcissism. She knows she is narcissistic, and loves it.

    You're completely mistaken here. She DOES think that reason is the best way to go for ethics and morals. As a matter of fact, she thinks reason is the ONLY valuable pathway, and she believes that her entire philosophy stems from reason and reason alone (along with her axioms of Consciousness, Existence, and Identity). She drew very heavily and very freely from Aristotle, who was also a deeply avowed rationalist.

    [/QUOTE]

    Yes. She is. She wrote a book called "The Virtue of Selfishness." Saying she's selfish isn't really a critique of her philosophy: it's a salient hallmark.

    Again, I don't know how much Rand you've read, but your criticism here is completely useless. She was a crappy philosopher, and an even worse novelist and social theorist, but a philosophically valid criticism of her views requires a much stronger analysis than what you're presenting.
     
  8. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds Well-Known Member

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    Not true. I've studied her and her philosophy and often defend her. But I'm not a groupie and found her kool-aid bitter-sweet.

    Understanding Ayn Rand requires an understanding of the environment that created her. Her Philosophy isn't bad, it just doesn't hold up to human nature any more than Communism does. I think her biggest mistake was in deciding that human emotions were bi-products of the intellect and as such, controllable. Hers is a philosophy with a mind but no soul. There is much that can be taken from Objectivism, but over indulging in any philosophy is dangerous. IMHO
     
  9. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Makes sense to me.
    I see 99.9% of philosophy as bunk.
    But at times, it's illuminating & useful for us to read such bunk.
    It isn't as simple as one is right & the other is wrong, but rather whether we find merit in it.
     
  10. Trey of Diamonds

    Trey of Diamonds Well-Known Member

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    Sometimes you make sense. That scares me... :eek:
     
  11. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    Worry not.
    Doesn't happen often.
     
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  12. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    That is hilarious. Bang on, too! His description of her "dialogue" (in the second installment) is particularly good. Atlas Shrugged was the first novel I ever read in which I skipped over dozens and dozens of pages because they were simply unbearable to read. All of them were "dialogue" (IOW, repetitive monologues by insufferable idealogues, sparsely punctuated by the weakest and briefest of objections, delivered in utterly implausible circumstances, such as a cocktail party).

    If Ayn Rand did one positive thing for me, it was to break me of the habit of reading every word of every book I ever pick up from start to finish. I get through a lot more books now than I ever did before. :D
     
  13. Sunstone

    Sunstone De Diablo Del Fora
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    Americans are notoriously deficient when it comes to knowing much of anything about philosophy. That's why Rand is respected as a philosopher in America while laughed at for being a poser in other countries.
     
  14. Revoltingest

    Revoltingest Greased up & ready for action!
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    I've noticed that too.
    They often rail & flail at philosophers they dislike.
     
  15. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    As a Canadian, I can vouch for this. I just checked The Philosophy Book I keep in the library of my porcelain university and Rand is not listed.

    Also, my fancy man read Philosophy at Lancaster University and assures me Rand is not considered a philosopher in the UK either. Primarily this is because she didn't come up with anything new, not because of her objectionable world view.
     
    #35 Alceste, Nov 16, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2011
  16. wmjbyatt

    wmjbyatt Lunatic from birth

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    As a philosophy student in the US, I can assure you that Rand is not taken as a philosopher by the academic philosophical institution in the States, either.

    In her defense, though, she was once asked if she considered herself a philosopher or a novelist, and she said she considered herself a novelist who only philosophized enough to build her fictional worlds. On the other hand, she did write about twice as many philosophical texts as she did novelists, so that may just be another place where she's wrong.
     
  17. Otherright

    Otherright Otherright

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    Rand was a humanist. When she said that "Altruism is the greatest evil," her point was that we have motivation for everything that we do and that we do nothing without some form of reward, even if that reward was only to make ourselves feel good, or to placate our current ethical/moral structure.
    From this we can derive, in Rand's mind, that altruism is a lie, ergo "the greatest evil." I would implore you to read a bit on Rand's life, you'll quickly understand what made her a humanist and the conclusions she drew for her experiences.
     
  18. Otherright

    Otherright Otherright

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    She was in our curriculum. We did a segment on Objectivism.
     
  19. Sunstone

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    That's hilarious! You should sue your teacher.
     
  20. Alceste

    Alceste Vagabond

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    Seems she is only considered a "philosopher" in the US then (or parts of it). Seems Sunstone might be onto something.
     
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