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  1. Michael, With something as crucial as Rand's statement which is the center of Objectivist ethics, I think there's no room for ambiguity. Her words set me off wrongly years ago as I also interpreted it to mean "my life" - the standard of value- etc. I've been arguing this strongly as it dismays me to notice others going a similar route to mine. With an ethics as powerful as this, it can bite back if one's understanding of egoism strays into subjectivity. After all, I thought then, hers was an ethics of (rational) egoism, not so? So I - my life - must be the "standard". My interpretation made a kind of sense, semantically, (and rationalistically) however was all backwards. "Standard" is the key word, but it was too easy to skip past as inessential. And "man" is the key, not A man. Your argument is good, to bring in the "deduce reality from principles" error. Loaded also with those sterling characters in Rand's novels, one may also "deduce reality from" - her art. The solution, simplistically, would be to have induced principles from reality. But we were mostly all young and idealistic then with not a lot of life experiences... ("Purpose", could do with more unbundling. I think it's the concretization - an individual's purpose from the abstraction, man's life).
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