Monday, June 18, 2007

Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand

This is a book that offers a good explanation of reality and the scientific mind set. The book is well written and easy to understand even for people that are not trained in philosophy. It covers a wide range of topics from Metaphysics to its application to Capitalism, and everything in between. Many people do not like the Philosophy of Ayn Rand for various reasons:

1. She is not a trained philosopher. She never had a degree. To many of the elitist philosophers of today this is an unpardonable sin.

2. She did not present her philosophy in the form of a treatise or other comparable work. She did it through novels such as Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead.

3. She said that the vast majority of philosophy is fundamentally wrong (surprise, surprise). She called one of the most revered philosophers (Immanuel Kant) a "monster". And what made it worse is that she was able to prove that almost all other philosophies were wrong using reality and our everyday experiences.

The book covers the three basic axioms of reality.

1. Existence exists. (The Law of Existence)
2. Consciousness is conscious. (The Nature of Consciousness)
3. A is A. (The Law of Identity)

She argued that despite what anyone might say they have to use these three basic axioms to even begin thinking about anything, let alone philosophy. She used these ideas to show that Hume denied the Law of Identity when he questioned the Law of Causality (i.e. Just because it happened that way once doesn't mean it will happen the same way tomorrow). This blight on our philosophical understanding has resulted in countless, useless conversations and discussions that have not contributed to our understanding of the world in any way. She then went on to blast Kant's denial that we can never come to know reality.

This book certainly was a breath of fresh air after learning about all the other philosophers and their denials of reality, knowledge, causality, existence and other things which make life possible.

I would recommend reading this book, but keep in mind that you have to understand the book in the frame work of Objectivism, or else you will be lost and think that she is coming to some very strange and erroneous conclusions. I should also point out that she is one of the most out spoken Atheists of the 20th century. She gives many arguments as to why traditional Christianity and other religions are fundamentally wrong. I have to say that I agree with her. Fortunately I don't believe that God has the attributes that they say he has (which are the very things Ayn Rand disagrees with), which make him an impossible, unknowable, incomprehensible, disconnected and uncaring God. So you might say that I disagree with Traditional Christianity for the same things that Ayn Rand condemns them for. The only difference is that I know about the eternal nature of man, which now that Ayn Rand is dead, she knows about too.


  1. I've been meaning to borrow that book from a friend of mine. He told me its amazing and really shines light on a lot of different areas of life. As a follower of objectivism and lover of Ayn Rand's work, I really need to get around to reading it.

  2. Sounds like a great book Ryan. I will have to check it out some from the library.


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