Chart: The Structure of Objectivism


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Objectivismchart2copy.png

Since I am a visual learner and make charts for a living, I created this illustration based on what I have learned so far to help my own understanding of Objectivism. As far as I know it has not been actually been reduced to an easy to understand visual so this is my attempt at doing just that. Comments?

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Kat, I very much like the idea of doing this as a way to see the big picture. And your chart is clean, elegant, and attractive. I like very much your two vertical levels: cognitive and normative.

On my first reading, I can see a need for a couple changes or corrections: i) Psycho-epistemology and volition are not purely epistemological. I would put them as 'bullets' under the Nature of Man; ii) in the space vacated under epistemology, I would add these bullets: conceptual thinking & propositional thinking; iii) Esthetics is not an offshoot exclusively of Ethics, so I would replace the line to Ethics with a line to the Nature of Man; iv) Metaphysics -- I would add two more bullets: Causality & Metaphysical Dualism (dualism is the view that the universe has two phenomena, neither one reducible to the other: matter & consciousness -- as opposed to metaphyisical monism, such as idealism or materialism which says there is only one 'substance' in the universe).

Phil

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I appreciate the feedback Phil. I will be revising this and putting out a new one when I hear back from some more people. This was started out as an org chart and expanded from there in order to show the relationships between the branches of philosophy. All five connect in some way, which show how Objectivism is an integrated philosophy. I also try to show the hierarchy by using size and color.

Kat

the chart monkey

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Well, when I learned about a ... chart ... on this forum, I finally had to register here so I could post my praise.

I congratulate Kat for employing visual learning tools to convey "the big picture" and encourage her to do more of this type of work. I know it drives some people batty, but as an engineer, I love it!

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Kat, I might have comments or suggestions at a later time, but right off the top of my head (and a little off the sides, please!), I think the whole idea is great. I love flow-charts and diagrams of this kind, showing the logical relationship among ideas and domains of knowledge.

One suggestion for now: once you're happy that your diagram is how you want it, in its final form, you might consider offering it to David Kelley and Will Thomas for inclusion in their forthcoming (?) book The Logical Structure of Objectivism.

For that matter, you might want to go to the TOC website and see if you can find the BETA version (or whatever's available) of their manuscript and see to what extent your diagram is consistent with their own development of O'ism's logical structure. You might even have some ideas for improving their treatment!

Good work!

REB

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Kitten,

I am extremely proud of you. Keep up the good work and think deeply about what these wise people on this thread have told you. You are putting together something of lasting value for Objectivism. (Kisssssss...)

Luke, it is great to see you here. I hope you enjoy our little group and contribute from time to time. If I had known you would have been seduced so easily by a chart, I would have had Kat do one a long time ago. (I should have known, anyway...)

Michael

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Thanks, guys for all the compliments.

It's great to see you here, Luke. I know you are a chart monkey like me and can appreciate the fine art of information graphic design. I have a revision in the works and will post it soon. I have two subcategories in the new one. I don't know if adding a subcategory for rights between ethics and politics is orthodox Objectivism, but it seems to be more important than simply a bullet point under politics. I incorporating some of Phil's suggestions and also connecting the subcategory, the nature of man, to ethics as well. More connections. More integration. Applying Objectivism to living in the real world is what I am trying to get across visually. Again, I welcome ideas.

I also like the idea of presenting it to TOC. I would love to contribute something like this to David Kelley's next book. I wonder if he even remembers me. We met briefly a few months ago. Thanks, Roger, for that idea. I will get in touch.

Kat

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Kat, the thing I like most about your chart is it's simple and essentialized. You have already selected one to five points falling under each of the major categories such as Ethics, Politics. It's important that you don't add more or material of secondary importance (or make it an obsessive-compulsive laundry list).

It's an overview, something desperately needed. If I recall, Kelley already has a huge monster chart in the LSO which looks like the tracks of the entire New York City subway system. So don't try to duplicate that or let all the long-winded academic geeks overcomplicate you...LSO's type of chart is what LSO needs--it's a more academic, detailed book intended to cover every nuance of Objectivism.

Yours is what the average person (and even the intellectual) needs: Your chart is a big picture outline with just enough detail. (I can see that you're a professional at knowing how to do visuals.)

Don't make the mistake of adding a lot of crap.

--Phil

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  • 2 weeks later...

Kitten,

You know, the more I look at this, the more I like it.

Anybody have any more suggestions? I am thinking of a dotted line (to denote secondary connection) between politics and esthetics, mainly mentioning freedom of speech, economics and group art forms (performing arts).

Michael

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I have the flu. Maybe I'll have more suggestions once my mind comes back to me. Right now I'm a vebegtal, vategbubble, vegatableau....

...dammmit.

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