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Libertarianism
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Politics series Jump to: navigation, search This article is about libertarianism, a liberal individualist philosophy favoring private property (the most common meaning of the term today in the US, Canada, the UK and most other English-speaking countries). ... Look up Politics on Wiktionary, the free dictionary Politics (disambiguation) Democracy History of democracy List of democracy and elections-related topics List of years in politics List of politics by country articles Political corruption Political economy Political movement Political parties of the world Political party Political psychology Political sociology Political...

Factions
Minarchism
Anarcho-capitalism
Paleolibertarianism
Neolibertarianism
Geolibertarianism
In civics, minarchism, sometimes called minimal statism, is the view that the size, role and influence of government in a free society should be minimal - only large enough to protect the liberty of each and every individual, without violating the liberty of any individuals itself. ... Anarcho-capitalism refers to an anti-statist philosophy that embraces capitalism as one of its foundational principles. ... Paleolibertarianism is a school of thought within American libertarianism founded by Murray Rothbard and Lew Rockwell, and closely associated with the Ludwig von Mises Institute. ... Neolibertarianism is a subset of libertarian thought that embraces incrementalism and pragmatism domestically and a generally interventionist foreign policy. ... Geolibertarianism (also geoanarchism) is a political philosophy that holds with other forms of libertarianism that each individual has an exclusive right to the fruits of his or her labor. ...


Influences
Objectivism
Austrian School
Classical liberalism
Individualist anarchism
Jump to: navigation, search The Austrian School is a school of economic thought that rejects opposing economists reliance on methods used in natural science for the study of human action, and instead bases its formalism of economics on relationships through logic or introspection called praxeology. ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with liberalism. ... Jump to: navigation, search Josiah Warren is the first American anarchist Individualist anarchism, while being advocated among some European philosophers in various forms, has a distinctive flavor in The United States of America. ...


Practices
Capitalism
Non-aggression
Jump to: navigation, search In common usage capitalism refers to an economic system in which all or most of the means of production are privately owned and operated, and where investment and the production, distribution and prices of commodities (goods and services) are determined privately in a free market, rather... The non-aggression principle or non-aggression axiom is defined as a prohibition against the initiation of force, or the threat of force, against persons or property (usually referred to as aggression or coercion). ...


Key issues
Parties
Economic views
Views of rights
Theories of law
Criticism
Libertarian Party can refer to several libertarian political parties, including: United States Libertarian Party Libertarian Party of Canada Movimiento Libertario of Costa Rica The Libertarianz of New Zealand Libertarian Society of Iceland There are also political parties that hold some of the same policies as the above parties but do... The Austrian School of economics and the Chicago School of economics are important foundations of the economic system favored by modern libertarians —capitalism, where the means of production are privately owned, economic and financial decisions are made privately rather than by state control, and goods and services are exchanged in... Libertarians and Objectivists limit what they define as rights to variations on the right to be left alone, and argue that other rights such as the right to a good education or the right to have free access to water are not legitimate rights and do not deserve the same... Libertarian theories of law build on libertarianism or classical liberalism. ... Libertarianism is a political philosophy that supports largely unrestricted property rights and opposes most government functions (such as taxation, prosecution of victimless crimes and regulations on businesses beyond the minimum required to prevent fraud or property damage) as coercive, even if a democratic majority supports it. ...

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Objectivism is the philosophy developed by Russian-born American philosopher and author Ayn Rand. Objectivism holds that there is an independent reality, of which human beings are conscious through their senses, in which reason is the only way of gathering knowledge and only the individual rational mind can process these data, in which the proper moral purpose of one's life is to pursue one's own rational self-interest, and in which the only moral social system is full laissez-faire capitalism with a government strictly limited to courts, police, and a military, because it is the only system where humans are barred from initiating the use of physical force upon each other (either within or outside the structure of said government). Jump to: navigation, search Philosophy is a discipline or field of study involving the investigation, analysis, and development of ideas at a general, abstract, or fundamental level. ... Jump to: navigation, search Novelist and philosopher, best known for her philosophy of Objectivism Ayn Rand (February 2, 1905–March 6, 1982; first name pronounced (IPA) (rhymes with mine)), born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, was best known for her philosophy of Objectivism and her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... A moral in basically me doing your mom. ... Self-interest can refer to these articles: Egoism Selfishness Ethical egoism Psychological egoism Individualism Objectivist ethics Hedonism Happiness Epicureanism Utilitarianism This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... Jump to: navigation, search In common usage capitalism refers to an economic system in which all or most of the means of production are privately owned and operated, and where investment and the production, distribution and prices of commodities (goods and services) are determined privately in a free market, rather... This article is about courts of law. ...


Rand characterizes Objectivism as a philosophy "for living on earth," grounded in reality and aimed at facilitating knowledge of the natural world and harmonious, mutually beneficial interactions between human beings. One major theme of Objectivist philosophy is a focus on the potential of the individual human being. Rand wrote:

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.[1]

Objectivism derives its name from the conception of knowledge and values as "objective," rather than as "intrinsic" or "subjective." According to Rand, neither concepts nor values are "intrinsic" to external reality, but neither are they merely "subjective" (by which Rand means "arbitrary" or "created by [one's] feelings, desires, 'intuitions,' or whims"). Rather, properly formed concepts and values are objective in the sense that they meet the specific (cognitive and/or biocentric) needs of the individual human person. Valid concepts and values are, as she wrote, "determined by the nature of reality, but to be discovered by man's mind." Template:Wiktionarypar objective Objective may be: Objective lens, an optical element in a camera or microscope. ... This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Cognitive The scientific study of how people obtain, retrieve, store and manipulate information. ...


"Objectivism" was actually a secondary choice for the name of her philosophy. Rand said that "Existentialism" is the more appropriate term for her philosophy, as the most basic axiom of the philosophy is the statement that "existence exists." However, Jean-Paul Sartre "corrupted" the meaning of the term "Existentialism." Jump to: navigation, search Existentialism is a philosophical movement that views human existence as having a set of underlying themes and characteristics, such as anxiety, dread, freedom, awareness of death, and consciousness of existing, that are primary and that cannot be reduced to or explained by a natural-scientific approach... Jump to: navigation, search Jean-Paul Charles Aymard Sartre (June 21, 1905 – April 15, 1980) was a French existentialist philosopher, dramatist, novelist and critic. ...


She was once asked to summarize her philosophy. Many use this as the official 'simplified' description. [2]

Contents


Objectivist principles

Metaphysics: objective reality

Main article: Objectivist metaphysics All of Objectivism rests on Objectivist metaphysics and Objectivist epistemology: the study of what is and how we know it. ...


The key tenets of the Objectivist metaphysics are (1) the Primacy of Existence, (2) the Law of Identity (Aristotle's "A is A"), and (3) the Axiom of Consciousness. In addition, (4) the Law of Causality is a corollary of the Law of Identity. The Primacy of Existence states that reality (the universe, that which is) exists independently of human consciousness. The Law of Identity states that anything that exists is qualitatively determinate, that is, has a fixed, finite nature. The Axiom of Self-Consciousness is the proposition that one is conscious. The Law of Causality states that things act in accordance with their natures. These propositions are all held in Objectivism to be axiomatic. According to Objectivism, the proof of a proposition's being axiomatic is that it is both (a) self-evident and (b) cannot coherently be denied, because any argument against the proposition would have to suppose its truth. Jump to: navigation, search Metaphysics (Greek words meta = after/beyond and physics = nature) is a branch of philosophy concerned with the study of first principles and being (ontology). ... Jump to: navigation, search Aristotle, marble copy of bronze by Lysippos. ... In epistemology, an axiom is a self-evident truth upon which other knowledge must rest, from which other knowledge is built up. ... In epistemology, a self-evident proposition is one that can be understood only by one who knows that it is true. ...


Epistemology: reason

Main article: Objectivist epistemology This article is about Objectivist epistemology. ...


Objectivism's epistemology, like the other branches of Objectivism, was present in some form ever since the publication of Atlas Shrugged. However, it was more fully developed in Rand's 1967 work Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Rand considered her epistemology central to her philosophy, once remarking, "I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows." Epistemology, from the Greek words episteme (knowledge) and logos (word/speech) is the branch of philosophy that deals with the nature, origin and scope of knowledge. ... Atlas Shrugged cover Atlas Shrugged is a novel by Ayn Rand, first published in 1957 in the USA. Spoiler warning: // Philosophy and writing The theme of Atlas Shrugged is that independent, rational thought is the motor that powers the world. ... Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, published in 1967, was Ayn Rands attempt to summarize the Objectivist theory of concepts, and to submit her solution to the problem of universals. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ...


According to the Objectivist epistemology, through sensory perception and a process of reasoning, man can achieve absolute knowledge of his environment. Objectivism rejects philosophical skepticism. As a corollary, it also maintains that anything that is not learned by objective, rational means is not true knowledge, rejecting faith as a means of attaining knowledge. Philosophical skepticism or nihilistic skepticism [1] (UK spelling, scepticism) is the philosophical school of thought in which one critically examines whether the knowledge and perceptions one has are true, and whether or not one can ever be said to have true knowledge. ... This article discusses faith in a religious context. ...


Ethics: rational self-interest

Main article: Objectivist ethics Jump to: navigation, search The Objectivist ethics is a subset of the Objectivist philosophy formulated by Ayn Rand. ...


The ethics of Objectivism is based on the theory that each person is responsible for achieving his or her own rational self-interest. Rational may be: the adjective for the state of rationality acting according to the philosophical principles of rationalism a mathematical term for certain numbers; the rational numbers the software company Rational Software; now owned by IBM, and formerly Rational Software Corporation This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which...


Politics: individual rights and capitalism

The transition from the Objectivist ethics to the Objectivist theory of politics relies on the concept of rights. A "right", according to Objectivism, is a moral principle that both defines and sanctions a human being's freedom of action in a social or societal context. Objectivism holds that only individuals have rights; there is, in the Objectivist view, no such thing as a "collective right" that does not reduce without remainder to a set of individual rights. Furthermore, Objectivism is very specific about the set of "individual rights" that it recognizes; as such, the Objectivist list of individual rights differs significantly from the ones adopted by most governments, for example. For the direction right, see left and right or starboard. ... Individual rights is a legal term referring to what one is allowed to do and what can be done to an individual. ...


Although Objectivism does not use the term "natural rights", the rights it recognizes are based directly on the nature of human beings as described in its epistemology and ethics. Since human beings must make choices in order to survive as human beings, the basic requirement of a human life is the freedom to make, and act on, one's own independent rational judgment, according to one's self-interest.


Thus, Objectivism contends, the fundamental right of human beings is the right to life. By this phrase Objectivism means the right to act in furtherance of one's own life — not the right to have one's life protected, or to have one's survival guaranteed, by the involuntary effort of other human beings. Indeed, on the Objectivist account, one of the corollaries of the right to life is the right to property which, according to Objectivism, always represents the product of one's own effort; on this view, one person's right to life cannot entail the right to dispose of another's private property, under any circumstances. Under Objectivism, one has the right to transfer one's own property to whomever one wants for whatever reason, but such a transfer is only ethical if it is made under the terms of a trade freely consented to by both parties, in the absence of any form of coercion, each with the expectation that the trade will benefit them. It can be considered axiomatic within Objectivism that human beings have the right to manipulate nature in any way they see fit, as long as it does not infringe on the rights of others. From this, the right to property arises. Coercion is the practice of compelling a person to act by employing threat of harm (usually physical force, sometimes other forms of harm). ...


On the Objectivist account, the rights of other human beings are not of direct moral import to the agent who respects them; they acquire their moral purchase through an intermediate step. An Objectivist respects the rights of other human beings out of the recognition of the value to himself or herself of living in a world in which the freedom of action of other rational (or potentially rational) human beings is respected.


According to Objectivism, then, one's respect for the rights of others is founded on the value, to oneself, of other persons as actual or potential trading partners (whether it be trading in a material or emotional sense). Here is where Objectivism's claim about conflicts of interest attains its full significance: on the Objectivist view, it is precisely because there are no (irresoluble) such conflicts that it is possible for human beings to prosper in a rights-respecting society.


Objectivist political theory therefore defends capitalism as the ideal form of human society. Objectivism reserves the name "capitalism" for full laissez-faire capitalism — i.e., a society in which individual rights are consistently respected and in which all property is (therefore) privately owned. Any system short of this is regarded by Objectivists as a "mixed economy" consisting of certain aspects of capitalism and its opposite (usually called socialism or statism),[3] with pure socialism and/or tyranny at the opposite extreme. Jump to: navigation, search In common usage capitalism refers to an economic system in which all or most of the means of production are privately owned and operated, and where investment and the production, distribution and prices of commodities (goods and services) are determined privately in a free market, rather... Laissez-faire is short for laissez faire, laissez passer, a French phrase meaning to let things alone, let them pass. First used by the eighteenth century Physiocrats as an injunction against government interference with trade, it is now used as a synonym for strict free market economics. ... Jump to: navigation, search The color red and particularly the red flag are traditional symbols of Socialism. ... Statism is a term that is used in a variety of disciplines (economics, sociology, education policy etc) to describe a system that involves a significant role for the state in economic or social affairs. ...


Far from regarding capitalism as a dog-eat-dog pattern of social organization, Objectivism regards it as a beneficent system in which the innovations of the most creative benefit everyone else in the society at no loss to anyone. Indeed, Objectivism values creative achievement itself and regards capitalism as the only kind of society in which it can flourish.


A society is, by Objectivist standards, moral to the extent that individuals are free to pursue their goals. This freedom requires that human relationships of all forms be voluntary (which, in the Objectivist view, means that they must not involve the use of physical force), mutual consent being the defining characteristic of a free society. Thus the proper role of institutions of governance (whether minarchist government proper or its equivalent institutions in an anarchist society) is limited to using force in retaliation against those who initiate its use — i.e., against criminals and foreign aggressors. Economically, people are free to produce and exchange as they see fit, with as complete a separation of state and economics as of state and church. Jump to: navigation, search The separation of church and state is a concept and philosophy in modern thought and practice, whereby the structures of state or national government are proposed as needing to be separate from those of religious institutions. ...


Influence on libertarianism

The libertarian Reason Magazine dedicated an issue to Ayn Rand's influence one hundred years after her birth.
The libertarian Reason Magazine dedicated an issue to Ayn Rand's influence one hundred years after her birth.

Main article: Libertarianism and Objectivism Image File history File links Ayn Rand cover for Reason Magazine. ... Image File history File links Ayn Rand cover for Reason Magazine. ... Since they arose in the late 1950s and early 1960s, Libertarianism and Objectivism have had a close yet sometimes contentious relationship, with Objectivism being a significant influence upon libertarian political philosophies. ...


Libertarianism and Objectivism have a complex relationship. Though they share many of the same political goals, Objectivists see some libertarians as plagiarists of their ideas "with the teeth pulled out of them,"[4] whereas some libertarians see Objectivists as dogmatic, unrealistic, and uncompromising. According to Reason editor Nick Gillespie in the magazine's March 2005 issue focusing on Objectivism's influence, Ayn Rand is "one of the most important figures in the libertarian movement... A century after her birth and more than a decade after her death, Rand remains one of the best-selling and most widely influential figures in American thought and culture" in general and in libertarianism in particular. Still, he confesses that he is embarassed by his magazine's association with her ideas.[5] In the same issue, Cathy Young says that "Libertarianism, the movement most closely connected to Rand’s ideas, is less an offspring than a rebel stepchild."[6] Jump to: navigation, search This article is about libertarianism, a liberal individualist philosophy favoring private property (the most common meaning of the term today in the US, Canada, the UK and most other English-speaking countries). ... The libertarian Reason Magazine dedicated an issue to Ayn Rands influence one hundred years after her birth. ... Nick Gillespie has been the Editor-in-Chief of Reason magazine since 2000. ... March is the third month of the year in the Gregorian Calendar and one of seven Gregorian months with the length of 31 days. ... Jump to: navigation, search 2005(MMV) is a common year starting on Saturday of the Gregorian calendar. ... Jump to: navigation, search Novelist and philosopher, best known for her philosophy of Objectivism Ayn Rand (February 2, 1905–March 6, 1982; first name pronounced (IPA) (rhymes with mine)), born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, was best known for her philosophy of Objectivism and her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. ... Cathy Young (Ekaterina Jung) was born in the Soviet Union in 1963 but emigrated to the United States in 1980 at the age of 17. ...


Though they reject what they see as Randian dogmas, libertarians like Young still concede that "Rand was the most successful and widely read popularizer of the ideas of individual liberty and the free market of her day. In the 21st century... Rand’s message of reason and liberty... could be a rallying point" for a less dogmatic political movement with similar goals like libertarianism.


Esthetics: Romanticism

The Objectivist theory of art flows fairly directly from its epistemology, by way of "psycho-epistemology" (Objectivism's term for the study of human cognition as it involves interactions between the conscious and the subconscious mind). Art, according to Objectivism, serves a human cognitive need: it allows human beings to grasp concepts as though they were percepts. Resources ArtLex. ...


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 metaphysics concretely, in perceptual form.


The human need for art, on this view, stems 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 held explicitly in mind. But a human being cannot hold indefinitely many concepts explicitly in mind either — and yet, on the Objectivist view, needs a comprehensive conceptual framework in order 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. Its function is thus similar to that of language, which uses concrete words to represent concepts.


Objectivism regards art as the only really effective way to communicate a moral or ethical ideal. Objectivism does not, however, regard art as propagandistic: even though art involves moral values and ideals, its purpose is not to educate, only to show or project.


Moreover, art need not be, and often 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), and its appeal is similar to the viewer's or listener's sense of life.


Generally Objectivism favors an esthetic of Romanticism, which on its Objectivist definition is a category of art treating the existence of human volition as true and important. In this sense, for Objectivism, Romanticism is the school of art that takes values seriously, regards human reason as efficacious, and projects human ideals as achievable. Objectivism contrasts such Romanticism with Naturalism, which it regards as a category of art that denies or downplays the role of human volition in the achievement of values. Jump to: navigation, search Romanticism was an artistic and intellectual movement in the history of ideas that originated in late 18th century Western Europe. ... Naturalism refers to a number of different topics: Philosophical naturalism: the view that nothing exists but the world — that there are no supernatural entities. ...


Response to Objectivist philosophy

Although many academics ignore Objectivism, some have published in academic journals on various aspects of Objectivism. Rand published most of her non-fiction essays in her own newsletter and earlier in the journal she edited, in which only those who largely agreed with Objectivism were published. She did not publish in conventional academic journals. Much of the non-fiction Objectivist corpus is available only in the form of audio recordings.


Academic institutional support for Objectivism has increased in recent years. Cambridge University Press is publishing Dr. Tara Smith's The Virtuous Egoist: Ayn Rand's Normative Ethics. There are or have been Objectivist programs and fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh (Dept. of History and Philosophy of Science), University of Texas/Austin, University of North Carolina/Chapel Hill, and several other universities. And there are some 50 members of The Ayn Rand Society, an affiliated group with the American Philosophical Society, Eastern Division. Leonard Peikoff published a comprehensive presentation of Objectivism entitled Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Other works have been directed at academic audiences, such as Viable Values by Tara Smith, The Evidence of the Senses by David Kelley, and The Biological Basis of Teleological Concepts by Harry Binswanger. An academic journal, the Journal of Ayn Rand Studies has been publishing interdisciplinary scholarly essays on Rand and Objectivism since 1999. Whether this new scholarship and institutional support will result in a dialogue between mainstream academic philosophy and Objectivism remains to be seen. The University of Pittsburgh is a state-related, doctoral/research university in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. ... The University of Texas System comprises fifteen educational institutions in Texas, of which nine are general academic universities, and six are health institutions. ... The University of North Carolina, often called the University of North Carolina System to avoid confusion, is a federation of all sixteen public universities in North Carolina. ... Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, (ISBN 0-452-01101-9) is a book by Dr. Leonard Peikoff, which he claims is the first comprehensive statement of the philosophy of Objectivism. ...


For detailed summaries of specific responses to Objectivism, see bibliography of work on Objectivism. Ayn Rand and Objectivism have been the subject of a wealth of literature, both in favor of Objectivist ideals and against it. ...


To critics, in simplest terms, the name and the philosophy mean, "Be objective - look at it my way." To access the facts of this objective reality, of course, one has to read the works of Ayn Rand.


"Randroid"

Randroid is a portmanteau of Rand's name with the word android, referring to those who profess Rand's philosophy in a robot-like manner, reciting what they read without questioning it. Among some critics of Rand's ideas, therefore, Randroid is used as a pejorative term for the followers of Rand's philosophy. It is sometimes used by followers of Objectivism to describe others within the group who are new or express what they consider to be a shallow understanding of the concepts. Recently, usually in a way that mocks how silly the term is to them, some Objectivists who make a hobby of studying the philosophy as well as Rand's works have called themselves this. It should also be noted, however, that Objectivism has been frequently referred to as a cult by its critics [7][8]. Jump to: navigation, search A portmanteau (plural: portmanteaux) is a word that is formed by combining both sounds and meanings from two or more words. ... An android is an artificially created robotic being that resembles a human being usually both in appearance and behavior. ... Jump to: navigation, search A humanoid robot playing the trumpet In practical usage, a robot is a mechanical device which performs its tasks either according to direct human control, partial control with human supervision, or completely autonomously. ... Jump to: navigation, search In religion and sociology, a cult is a cohesive group of people (often a relatively small and new religious movement) devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be far outside the mainstream. ...


Criticism of Objectivism

Some (such as Michael Shermer) see the philosophy as being a cult or having a cult-like mentality. Shermer stresses how members of the orthodox movement are expected to consider Ayn Rand "the greatest human being to ever live" and look at anyone that disagrees with Rand as "irrational." This would be the opposite of an individualist philosophy and would, ironically, be similar to a collectivist one. Like other things associated with Rand, this is fiercely debated. Michael Shermer is a science writer, founder of The Skeptics Society, and editor of its magazine Skeptic, which is largely devoted to investigating supernatural or pseudoscientific claims. ... Jump to: navigation, search In religion and sociology, a cult is a cohesive group of people (often a relatively small and new religious movement) devoted to beliefs or practices that the surrounding culture or society considers to be far outside the mainstream. ... Jump to: navigation, search Novelist and philosopher, best known for her philosophy of Objectivism Ayn Rand (February 2, 1905–March 6, 1982; first name pronounced (IPA) (rhymes with mine)), born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, was best known for her philosophy of Objectivism and her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. ... For judgements of value about collectivism and individualism, see individualism and collectivism. ... Collectivism, in general, is a term used to describe a theoretical or practical emphasis on the group, as opposed to (and seen by many of its opponents to be at the expense of) the individual. ...


Criticism of Rand's reading of the history of philosophy

Rand regarded her philosophical efforts as the beginning of the correction of a deeply troubled world, and she believed that the world has gotten into its present troubled state largely through the uncritical acceptance, by both intellectuals and others, of traditional philosophy.


Especially in the title essay of her early work, For the New Intellectual, Rand levels serious criticisms of canonical historical philosophers, especially Plato, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Herbert Spencer. In her later book, Philosophy: Who Needs It, she repeats and enlarges upon her criticisms of Kant, and she also accuses famed Harvard political theorist John Rawls of gross philosophical errors. Some have accused Rand of misinterpreting the works of these philosophers (see, e.g., Ayn Rand, Objectivists, and the History of Philosophy by Fred Seddon). Statue of a philosopher, presumably Plato, in Delphi. ... David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776) (N.B. The birthdate is May 7 by the Gregorian reckoning of his time; this date being used by the International Humanist and Ethical Union when celebrating his birthday) was a Scottish philosopher and historian and, with Adam Smith and Thomas Reid... Jump to: navigation, search Immanuel Kant (April 22, 1724 – February 12, 1804) was a German philosopher and scientist (astrophysics, mathematics, geography, anthropology) from East Prussia, generally regarded as one of Western societys and modern Europes most influential thinkers and the last major philosopher of the Enlightenment. ... Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (August 27, 1770 - November 14, 1831) was a German philosopher born in Stuttgart, Württemberg, in present-day southwest Germany. ... Jump to: navigation, search Karl Marx Karl Heinrich Marx (May 5, 1818 Trier, Germany – March 14, 1883 London, England) was an influential German philosopher, political economist, and revolutionary organizer of the International Workingmens Association. ... Jump to: navigation, search Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche (October 15, 1844 – August 25, 1900) was a German philosopher, psychologist, and classical philologist. ... Herbert Spencer. ... John Rawls (February 21, 1921 – November 24, 2002) was an American philosopher, a professor of political philosophy at Harvard University and author of A Theory of Justice (1971), Political Liberalism, and The Law of Peoples. ...


Rand's interpretation and criticism of the views of Immanuel Kant, in particular, have sparked considerable controversy.


Many critics take issue with Rand's interpretation of Kant's metaphysics: like early critics of Kant, Rand interprets Kant as an empirical idealist. It is a long-standing question of Kant scholarship whether this interpretation is correct; in the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason, Kant claimed that his transcendental idealism was different from empirical idealism. Contemporary philosophers such as Jonathan Bennett, James van Cleve, and Rae Langton continue to debate this issue. Jonathan F. Bennett (born 1930, New Zealand) is a British philosopher of language and metaphysics, and a historian of early modern philosophy. ...


Other critics focus on Rand's reading of Kant's ethical philosophy. Rand alleges that Kantian ethics is a version of selflessness, an ethics of self-sacrifice. Kant's defenders claim that Kantian ethics is primarily an ethics of reason, because the categorical imperative amounts to a demand that the intent behind one's actions be logically consistent, or in Kantian terminology, that "the maxim of one's act be universalizable." Though Rand denigrates Kant's system as the absolute opposite of Objectivism, some writers have even suggested that Rand drew on Kantian ideas without realizing it. "She despised Immanuel Kant but then actually invokes 'treating persons as ends rather than as means only' to explain the nature of morality,"[9] argues Dr. Kelley Ross. In Rand's favor, Kant clearly does maintain (in his Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals) that an action motivated by inclination or self-interest is entirely lacking in moral worth. Still, fewer commentators have agreed with Rand's characterization of Kantianism as self-sacrificial. The contemporary philosopher Thomas E. Hill has explicitly defended Kant against this charge in his article, "Happiness and Human Flourishing in Kant's Ethics," in the anthology Human Flourishing.


Another attack on Rand comes from her outright rejection of David Hume's ideas at the foundations of her philosophy. Hume famously maintained, "No is implies an ought," but Rand disagreed by arguing that values are a species of fact (see is-ought problem). She wrote, "In answer to those philosophers who claim that no relation can be established between ultimate ends or values and the facts of reality, let me stress that the fact that living entities exist and function necessitates the existence of values and of an ultimate value which for any given living entity is its own life. Thus the validation of value judgments is to be achieved by reference to the facts of reality. The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do." Some have suggested that Rand's solution begs the question by assuming that life is the highest value as a hidden premise of the argument. See also Objectivist Metaethics, Controversy over Ayn Rand. David Hume (April 26, 1711 – August 25, 1776) (N.B. The birthdate is May 7 by the Gregorian reckoning of his time; this date being used by the International Humanist and Ethical Union when celebrating his birthday) was a Scottish philosopher and historian and, with Adam Smith and Thomas Reid... In meta-ethics, the is-ought problem was raised by David Hume (Scottish philosopher and historian, 1711-1776), who noted that many writers make claims about what ought to be on the basis of statements about what is. ... Jump to: navigation, search The Objectivist ethics is a subset of the Objectivist philosophy formulated by Ayn Rand. ... Jump to: navigation, search Novelist and philosopher, best known for her philosophy of Objectivism Ayn Rand (February 2, 1905–March 6, 1982; first name pronounced (IPA) (rhymes with mine)), born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, was best known for her philosophy of Objectivism and her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. ...


Notes

  1. ^  Rand, Ayn. (1996) Atlas Shrugged. Signet Book; 35th Anniv edition. Appendix. ISBN 0451191145

See also

Jump to: navigation, search Novelist and philosopher, best known for her philosophy of Objectivism Ayn Rand (February 2, 1905–March 6, 1982; first name pronounced (IPA) (rhymes with mine)), born Alissa Zinovievna Rosenbaum, was best known for her philosophy of Objectivism and her novels The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged. ... The Objectivist movement was a movement to popularize Ayn Rands Objectivist philosophy that began with the founding of the Nathaniel Branden Institute in 1960. ... Nathaniel Branden Nathaniel Branden is a Canadian psychotherapist and author of self-help books and multiple articles on ethical and political philosophy. ... Leonard Peikoff circa 1970 Leonard Peikoff (born in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1933) is an Objectivist philosopher. ... Ayn Rand and Objectivism have been the subject of a wealth of literature, both in favor of Objectivist ideals and against it. ... Neo-Objectivism covers a large family of philosophical viewpoints and cultural values descended from Objectivist philosophy. ... In civics, minarchism, sometimes called minimal statism, is the view that the size, role and influence of government in a free society should be minimal - only large enough to protect the liberty of each and every individual, without violating the liberty of any individuals itself. ...

External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
What is Objectivism? (443 words)
Objectivism is a philosophy presented by the Russian-American novelist and philosopher Ayn Rand in her books and writings, especially The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957).
Rand was one of the most influential philosophers of the 20th century, and her ideas and values form a large part of the foundation of the modern-day libertarian movement.
Although Objectivism was at its height throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s, today there are probably several tens of thousands of people who self-identify as being part of the Objectivist movement, which promotes Objectivism in various ways and, like any movement, also serves as an international social club.
Moral Objectivism (7196 words)
Hence, to say that morality is objective is to say that whether an action is right depends on the nature of that action; whether a person is good depends on the nature of that person; etc. Well, that just sounds trivial.
Another way of stating the thesis that morality is objective is to say that values are 'part of the fabric of reality;' that is, there is some actual state of the world that corresponds to a value judgement.
By clarifying the theses of objectivism and subjectivism, I may have just drastically reduced the number of opponents I have, for many readers may have simply dropped out of the relativist camp by reason of hearing what exactly relativism is. Indeed, I suspect confusion with other issues may be relativism's strongest means of gaining support.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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