Donovan A.

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  1. We have redesigned our website. Come take a look: http://thecultureofreasoncenter.com/
  2. Some Challenging Questions from Understanding Objectivism Test (03) Ten questions that are often answered incorrectly: 2) According to Dr. Peikoff: Rationalism is an automatized, imperfect way of coping with confusion; it does not reflect on your seriousness or on your character. [p.210] True or False? 4) A rationalist (as Dr. Peikoff uses the term) regards ideas as a means of knowing the physical world. [p.211] True or False? 7) There's really only one axiom, the law of identity, because if you deny existence you're contradicting yourself, and if you deny consciousness you're contradicting yourself, so we can literally prove existence and consciousness. Therefore, we're just down to one, and that's the law of identity. [p.224] True or False? 10) If you are going to try to know everything about any one thing, you have to know everything about everything. [p.227] True or False? 11) Fill in the blank:________________ is basically antagonism, on principle, to integration. [p.229] A) Nihilism B) Empiricism C) Mysticism D) Compartmentalization 12) In practice, in many cases, you cannot tell the rationalist from the empiricist. [p.232] True or False? 13) Selflessness is inherent to rationalism [p.237] True or False? 21) Chaos in writing indicates empiricism. [p.260] True or False? 22) Unlike the rationalists, the empiricists characteristically do not feel vulnerable in the face of disagreement. [p.261] True or False? 24) According to Dr. Peikoff a person can be rationalist in one area and Objectivist in another, for example, one could be very rationalist in writing but not in teaching. [p.263] True or False?
  3. Understanding Objectivism Tests 03-05 are now complete! Understanding Objectivism Test (03) Understanding Objectivism Test (04) Understanding Objectivism Test (05)
  4. The Culture of Reason Center (CRC) now has a Meetup group! We will be announcing study group events for 2014 soon. Your membership may encourage new participation and any support would be greatly appreciated. We are located in Dallas, TX. Lectures/courses offered in the past: The Basic Principles of Objectivism by Nathaniel Branden The Principles of Efficient Thinking by Barbara Branden 15 Selected Ayn Rand Ford Hall Lectures The Philosophy of Objectivism by Leonard Peikoff The Virtue of Selfishness Audiobook Understanding Objectivism (Part 1) by Leonard Peikoff Objectivism & The Struggle for Liberty by David Kelley Edith Packer’s The Art of Introspection Villainy: The Nature of Evil by Andrew Bernstein Reason and Emotion by Edwin A. Locke
  5. Click here to take the test! This test has been designed to assess your comprehension of Understanding Objectivism: A Guide to Learning Ayn Rand’s Philosophy (UO) Lectures by Dr. Leonard Peikoff (Book Edited by Michael S. Berliner). Questions have been formed from the book version, chapters (lectures) 5 – 6 only. Subsequent tests will cover additional chapters of the book. It is not intended to be an open book test. There are 25 questions – each is worth 4 points. This test can be taken by students before and after reading UO (as a pre and/or post-test). Only reading Ayn Rand’s fictional work will not be sufficient preparation to excel on this test. This assessment can help students of Objectivism and study-group organizers determine the ideal study materials and is not intended to evaluate one’s agreement with Objectivism. Note: All questions are formed from assertions and arguments made by the author of the book/material. When answering test questions, please keep in mind that the “correct” answer is based on those assertions. The Culture of Reason Center does not necessarily endorse the positions articulated in the subject material. Test Score Range: 0-60: Minimal understanding (Low) – Basic study needed 65-70: Moderate understanding (Low-Mid) – Basic study needed 75-80: Good understanding (Intermediate) – Basic study review needed 85-90: Competent (High-Mid) – Proceed to more technical studies 95-100: Advanced (High) - Proceed to more technical studies In order to receive your test score, you will be asked to provide your name and email address. Your test score will be emailed to you. Your name and email address will be added to our general contact mailing list. Your name and test scores will not be published. All marketing emails sent from The Culture of Reason Center include the option to unsubscribe. Like this Test? Please Make a Donation to The Culture of Reason Center Constructive feedback is welcome Email: cultureofreasoncenter@gmail.com Other CRC Tests Include: Objectivism: General Knowledge (01) Objectivism: General Knowledge (02) Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology Test (Introduction, Chapters 1-8, Summary) The Virtue of Selfishness Test 01 The Virtue of Selfishness Test 02 The Virtue of Selfishness Test 03 The Virtue of Selfishness Test 04 The Ominous Parallels Test 01 The Ominous Parallels Test 02 Understanding Objectivism Test (01)
  6. Click here to take the test! This test has been designed to assess your comprehension of Understanding Objectivism: A Guide to Learning Ayn Rand’s Philosophy (UO) Lectures by Dr. Leonard Peikoff (Book Edited by Michael S. Berliner). Questions have been formed from the book version, chapters (lectures) 1 – 4 only. Subsequent tests will cover additional chapters of the book. It is not intended to be an open book test. There are 25 questions – each is worth 4 points. This test can be taken by students before and after reading UO (as a pre and/or post-test). Only reading Ayn Rand’s fictional work will not be sufficient preparation to excel on this test. This assessment can help students of Objectivism and study-group organizers determine the ideal study materials and is not intended to evaluate one’s agreement with Objectivism. Note: All questions are formed from assertions and arguments made by the author of the book/material. When answering test questions, please keep in mind that the “correct” answer is based on those assertions. The Culture of Reason Center does not necessarily endorse the positions articulated in the subject material. Test Score Range: 0-60: Minimal understanding (Low) – Basic study needed 65-70: Moderate understanding (Low-Mid) – Basic study needed 75-80: Good understanding (Intermediate) – Basic study review needed 85-90: Competent (High-Mid) – Proceed to more technical studies 95-100: Advanced (High) - Proceed to more technical studies In order to receive your test score, you will be asked to provide your name and email address. Your test score will be emailed to you. Your name and email address will be added to our general contact mailing list. Your name and test scores will not be published. All marketing emails sent from The Culture of Reason Center include the option to unsubscribe. Like this Test? Please Make a Donation to The Culture of Reason Center Constructive feedback is welcome Email: cultureofreasoncenter@gmail.com Other CRC Tests Include: Objectivism: General Knowledge (01) Objectivism: General Knowledge (02) Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology Test (Introduction, Chapters 1-8, Summary) The Virtue of Selfishness Test 01 The Virtue of Selfishness Test 02 The Virtue of Selfishness Test 03 The Virtue of Selfishness Test 04 The Ominous Parallels Test 01 The Ominous Parallels Test 02
  7. Thanks so much for the posts, but they are still not what I'm looking for. I remember Rand specifically dealing with the topic in a Q&A. I'm guessing it might have been at the Ford Hall Forum or in Peikoff's 76 Course.
  8. Hello friends, I recently participated in a discussion on the topic of force and rights. The issue of immunization was raised at one point and I remember Ayn Rand dealing with this topic somewhere. Does anyone know where I might be able to find her answer? I have already reviewed The Ayn Rand Lexicon, Objectively Speaking and Ayn Rand Answers and I didn't find anything. Any help on this would be appreciated. Best regards, Randall
  9. Question #4: 4) Dr. Peikoff maintains that the cause of Nazism is ______________. [p.20-25] The possible answers are: A) because the Germans lost World War I (This possible cause was named on p.20) B) the Great Depression (also named as a theory on p.20) C) secularism or the scientific spirit of the modern world (also named as a theory on p.20) D) none of the above (Peikoff's theory is that the science of philosophy "determines the destiny of nations and the course of history." p.23] When I decided form this question, I thought it would be helpful to emphasize that I was looking for Peikoff's theory as opposed to the many other theories which were also named in the same section. In fact, I think answers A, B and C are fairly widespread. This emphasis, in my opinion, wasn't absolutely necessary, but I provided it. If someone did not read the book, or they were not focusing while reading it, they might have been likely to select any of the wrong answers. The important point of the question is to identify the cause of Nazism which is put forth in The Ominous Parallels by Dr. Peikoff. Because Peikoff names several competing theories (p.19-25) I think a person could have been confused and could have ascribed the wrong theory to Peikoff. However, even if I had left out "Dr. Peikoff maintains," I don't think any rational test taker would object, thinking that I'm looking for a theory asserted by Chomsky or Rothbard, etc. No, I don't think the question would be wrong or unfair if worded without "Dr. Peikoff maintains." At this point, I have to say, I'm satisfied with the additional disclaimer I have added to all of the tests. But, I haven't been convinced that there is any serious need to "opinionate" most of the test questions.
  10. I appreciate that. I just think it is interesting that this objection is coming up now. When I provided the Objectivism: General Knowledge Test 01, I do not recall anyone raising this issue. Consider test question 1: Existence is the primary metaphysical fact, which does not require proof or explanation. [OPAR, p.7] True or False. Are you saying that this question should be reworded to: According to Peikoff, Existence is the primary metaphysical fact, which does not require proof or explanation.
  11. Did questions 5, 6 and 7 confuse you? Did you think the assertions were someone else's view (not Peikoff's)? For question 6, when attempting to answer did you think: I don't know, maybe Randall means true according to Noam Chomsky? Do you think the answers for questions 5, 6 and 7 are wrong? If you think the answers are wrong, I encourage debate and discussion. If you think a question is worded in a way that it is confusing as to whose view is being expressed (true according to whom) then I'm happy to reword a question.
  12. Could you please bring forward the questions you dislike and offer alternative phrasing?
  13. I think what Peikoff says about Snowden being a hero may have some interesting implications in regard to Nathaniel Branden in the Objectivist movement.
  14. Thanks Brant. These discussion are valuable even if I'm not always convinced by the criticisms. Candid feedback is important and I'd like to improve the project as I move forward. There will be more tests on The Ominous Parallels and on other works by Rand, Branden, and Peikoff, etc.
  15. I am not sure if this will satisfy Jonathan, but I have added the following statement: Note: All questions are formed from assertions and arguments made by the author of the book/material. When answering test questions, please keep in mind that the "correct" answer is based on those assertions. The Culture of Reason Center does not necessarily endorse the positions articulated in the subject material.
  16. Jonathan, You are dropping the context of the fact that the test is in reference to a specific book on a particular subject matter. Your attempt to toss page number references around in your last post in relation to nothing is meaningless. You haven't given any specifics about what questions you object to, other than that you think Peikoff is wrong about some of his assertions. I understand your point loud and clear. You see reality on the left and a book like The Ominous Parallels on the right. What you want isn't a test in relation to The Ominous Parallels, but on what you think is correct. That being so, you should make your own tests, in which there wouldn't be any page numbers as references, since one simply needs to go out and look at the color of stop signs. - R
  17. Jonathan, If you have specific issues with specific questions and if you would like to offer constructive suggestions on how you think certain questions could be improved, I'm open to what you have to say. In regard to claims being false, each question includes a reference and as I have said three times now, test questions (IMO) have to be formed from claims made in the book. That is what it means to have a test on content from a book. True/false or multiple choice answers have to be selected in relation to the claims made in the book and not on one's own views. - R
  18. I have corrected the commas for question 15 (Test 01).
  19. The issue is not agreement with a claim, but the phrasing of the questions. As I said in my last post, if Peikoff asserts that stop signs are green, and you, as the test-giver, want to test my knowledge of Peikoff's assertion, then your question should ask me what color Peikoff claims that stops signs are. You should not ask me what color stop signs are. If Peikoff claims that Kant was a kidnapper, rapist and murderer, your question should be "Which crimes does Peikoff accuse Kant of having committed," not, "Which crimes did Kant commit." See the difference? Test-takers should be expected to answer the questions that were asked, not the ones that you meant to ask but didn't. J If I understand you correctly, your criticism is that each question does not state: "Peikoff believes." Given the fact that the source material is The Ominous Parallels and not some other book, I think the point you are making is implied. Anyone familiar with taking tests should understand that. If this is confusing because you think Peikoff does not identify the color of stop signs correctly, i.e., you think he is wrong on some points, I'm sorry.
  20. Hello Jonathan, The test questions are taken straight from the book and many questions are direct quotes, which is what I think a test on Ominous Parallels should be. I designed these tests to assess comprehension of the material, not to assess agreement or actual correctness about the claims. It should be taken for granted that a true/false answer (especially in philosophy) is dealing with a claim made in the book by the author. Points are based on understanding (retention) of the claims, not agreement. One could potentially get a score of zero on these tests because one disagrees with everything, because one did not read the book, or because one cannot retain what was stated. If you disagree with a claim, that's fine. I encourage people to respectfully debate the claims and arguments on forums such as OL. These tests should simply be regarded as study aids in reference to the material. That being said, I very much welcome constructive criticism. I have revised the wording of some test questions in the past and I am open to doing so in the future if the criticism makes sense. I hope you will understand that making these tests is very difficult and very time consuming. I have made these tests to improve my own understanding of Objectivism and for my own enjoyment. I have provided them to the public, but I am not getting paid to do so and so far nobody (out of hundreds of test takers) has donated to support the effort. Thanks so much, Randall
  21. What I actually think is a far more interesting question is the relationship between social metaphysics and altruism. Ayn Rand wrote the following: "From the beginning of history, the two antagonists have stood face to face: the creator and the second-hander. When the first creator invented the wheel, the first second-hander responded. He invented altruism." http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/second-handers.html Cause or effect question: Does altruism cause social metaphysics or does social metaphysics cause altruism?
  22. Never mind. I found it: http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=reg_ar_qa
  23. Hello everyone, I need help finding a reference again. I recall listening to an Ayn Rand interview where she was asked if she knew where the idea of altruism came from. From my memory, I believe she stated: we don't know exactly. She may have also said something about the Orphics or Oriental mystics. Any help finding this interview would be outstanding and greatly appreciated. Best regards, Randall