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galtgulch

Passing the torch!

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Jim wrote:

>The problem comes in when people think better philosophy is going to solve their everyday issues. Objectivism has helped me project goals, maintain high standards etc.

If you had to ask me what the best thing about Objectivism is, it's the inspirational or aspirational quality. Anything that promotes productivity, individualism, reason and capitalism is off to a good start. Using Objectivism for basic inspiration is a good thing.

>I think alienation originates before adopting the philosophy and doesn't get better unless people realize it's a psychological problem not a philosophical one.

Of course Rand would argue that psychology is mere by-product of someone's fundamental philosophy. (In Objectivism, everything is always reducible to philosophy). That's what the buzzword "psycho-epistemology" seems to mean. Thus there is the expectation built-in that once you've adopted the right philosophy your everyday issues - which include psychological attitudes - will also be straightened out. What can happen, I have noticed, is the reverse. Rand - and Peikoff - can paint such a wildly negative picture of society and the world at large that a sense of despair sets in. It can intensify the already existing sense of alienation - which might have come about any number of ways - quite powerfully. I know of a couple of people who've suffered from this. There is the evangelical excitement, which follows after first discovering the philosophy, but this seems to alternate with quite deep lows, quite possibly because they do as Rand recommends (via Galt's "total break" with your past) and try to cut themselves off from their previous lives. The more they cut themselves off from their previous lives, when times get tough the only thing they have to fall back on is Rand, and more Rand. (After all, you can't mix your food with "poison", etc) As most of Rand's advice is rather abstract, this is actually not much help, and this soon either gets weakened by rubbing up against reality, or the world gets weakened and the reliance on abstract rationalism grows. Eventually they either find a balance, which Rand would definitely not approve, but in which I think the general Objectivist inspiration is most likely to be a nett positive. Or they don't. And then you get the Rand-approved version, which ironically I think is the hazardous one.

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Ayn Rand was a great novelist. The popularity of her philosophy was leveraged off of that.

The only effective way to educate people about your philosophy is out of what you are good at. They respect something that demonstrably works. They respect human ability.

Edith Efron wrote about this in 1978 in "Reason" magazine, the May issue, I think, in an article called or about "The Petr Principle," after Petr Beckmann.

Phil, you've pissed me off with your overbearing, pedantic arrogance. Your resume illustrates that you've waged an heroic battle for decades trying to get people into Objectivism, but, frankly, something isn't working.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Daniel, I shouldn't have included you in my angry response to Jonathan, Dragnonfly, and Brant. I shouldn't have lumped your question in with theirs. On rereading it I see you meant it as a serious question.

Also, wanted to add that your most recent post in response to Jim contains a great deal of wisdom: No one should make a total break with their past unless they used to be Adolf Hitler. Nor should they make a total break with our culture, which happens to be Western civilization and it's pretty wonderful (and should be learned about) in many ways.

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--- That's a formulation which is both hostile ('mop the floor with you', accusation of 'lack of confidence') and a non-sequitur. Not being willing to debate someone can mean many things, not necessarily that you don't think you can win. And you know that, Jonathan, if you were able to back off from (thinly veiled) personal attack mode and look at it objectively.

I know that you could be unwilling to debate someone for any number of reasons. I said that it gives the impression that you're not confident, not that it proves that you're not confident.

CONCLUSION:

Like the earlier non-substantive "attack posts" of Dragonfly, the questions above I view as hostile. And as attempts to "play gotcha". Or rhetorical "dueling" as opposed to dealing substantively with a series of complex issues.

Dragonfly and I were substantively addressing the issue of whether or not avoiding countering challenges is a good way of spreading Objectivism. I agree with Dragonfly that it is not.

I've been in numerous discussions with Objectivists who were either unable or unwilling to answer my concerns or criticisms. Their failure to do so, and their anger about it, is a serious problem, and will need to be dealt with if they hope to spread Objectivism. Any proposal about educational programs should address the issue.

Rather than serious attempts to digest what I posted at great length in four or five quite detailed posts on this thread over the last couple of months. And also on Solo. So I'm done engaging with Dragonfly, Jonathan, Daniel, Brant in particular. And anyone else whose purpose is to think through the issue of the need to educate Objectivists to no greater degree than to undercut or attack.

In an earlier post I stated my view that your category #3 is the one that I think Objectivists need to work on most, by far. I expressed interest in hearing further details of your plans to address the problems.

A final word of advice to several of the more frequent posters on this list:

If you reread this thread across over a month, you will see that I spent -many hours- laying out a number of ideas and principles about education and training for Objectivists. While it is obviously not complete, people might want to consider taking some time to ***work out their own ideas and proposals***. If you don't thin there should be training for Oist, then propose what training libertarians need. But something. And then post them, instead of simply attacking mine or nitpickiing flaws or trying to lay rhetorical traps or posting "zingers" or turning into one-liner "question asking machines" which don't require much engagement.

Try to ***CREATE SOMETHING***.

Instead of trying to knock something down.

Instead of getting sarcastic or nasty or undercutting the preliminary attempts to lay down some constructive proposals by someone else.

That's what I'm doing. I'm adding specific concerns to the list of things that I think must be addressed in Objectivist educational programs.

J

Edited by Jonathan

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If you reread this thread across over a month, you will see that I spent -many hours- laying out a number of ideas and principles about education and training for Objectivists. While it is obviously not complete, people might want to consider taking some time to ***work out their own ideas and proposals***.

Phil,

I have done this, at least I made a start and I gave a couple of really good ideas (I think). You said more than once that you didn't have the time to examine them. I am still interested in your thoughts when you do get the time.

I don't really want to, but I feel I have to comment on an earlier post you made.

No, he'd teach them not to waste time on discussion lists populated actively by only a half dozen people and instead to spend his time presenting those views to large audiences or to intellectuals who are likely to...or in a position to...take the ideas and run with them rather than simply armchair debate them forever.

This could easily be interpreted as a snobbish dismissal of OL. I know you were angry, but did you really mean to make such a slight?

If you look at the view statistics, you will see that there are well over 3,000 views of this thread as of my posting. Obviously this is not generated by only a half a dozen people, even with a couple of hundred posts on the thread. We don't have a huge audience, but there is one. As this is a target audience of people interested in Objectivism, I would say that it is a respectable audience that should not be dismissed.

If you had to ask me what the best thing about Objectivism is, it's the inspirational or aspirational quality. Anything that promotes productivity, individualism, reason and capitalism is off to a good start. Using Objectivism for basic inspiration is a good thing.

Daniel,

Thank you for saying this. These qualities are precisely what I am trying to foster on OL. I think if you look at the regular posters (excluding the really young ones, who have not had time), you will see highly independent and intelligent people who are achievers in their own lives.

Of course Rand would argue that psychology is mere by-product of someone's fundamental philosophy. (In Objectivism, everything is always reducible to philosophy). That's what the buzzword "psycho-epistemology" seems to mean. Thus there is the expectation built-in that once you've adopted the right philosophy your everyday issues - which include psychological attitudes - will also be straightened out.

This comes with Rand's stated attitude that she knew the nature of every emotion she felt and she could program her emotions (her subconscious) by her conscious will and according to rationality. This is a full implementation of the term "psycho-epistemology" as in the meaning you gave.

To be fair, "psycho-epistemology" is a valid concept (and I say that not just because I admire and love Barbara and she came up with the term), but it has two basic meanings, if not more. One is the stated meaning of the interaction processes between the automatic functions of the subconscious and the volitional functions of the conscious. If applied properly, it leads to work like that of Steve Shmurak in analyzing affects, or even Nathaniel Branden in his work on emotional repression and self-esteem.

But in the other meaning, there is an unstated assumption that rational thought can control all aspects of the subconscious. This goes way beyond understanding the subconscious and even developing therapy for freeing it from maladies. It cuts to the heart of the "self-made soul" assertion and gives the impression that one can literally brainwash oneself, cleansing out the subconscious of all that is irrational and that does not stem from the will.

This is a point that represents one major error in Objectivism at the root: the issue of scope. This is not such a serious error as it might seem, but it is one that needs to be properly identified and taken into account, otherwise it will keep fueling the fire of those who point to oversimplified all-or-nothing statements (with good reason) and say, "That is wrong. Look at this for proof."

Since you come from the Popper school of thought where one instance of falsification invalidates the theory, there is a tendency to throw out the entire theory when an example where it is not true is evident, especially since Rand's rhetoric is sometimes thick with gratuitous and wide-sweeping insults. But if you look carefully, the false part is almost always the scope. There are very strong insights in the true part. (Frankly, I think knowing this is one of the reasons you find discussing Objectivism so valuable.)

A good example of what I am talking about is that we can program many emotions in Rand's manner, but not all of them as she claimed. Although we cannot change the nature or the existence of the ones we cannot program, we still can do some things with them like accept them (which is harder than it seems) or structure our activities to let them run a periodic course so they don't surge at awkward times. A proper development of looking at Rand's actual insight here is twofold: (1) identify which emotions actually can be programmed and develop techniques for doing that, and (2) identify which emotions are automatic and develop techniques for freeing them up, experiencing them, accepting them and dealing with them in daily living. (Nathaniel Branden is light years ahead on this second part).

It doesn't matter whether Rand was the first to develop this insight. She came across it honestly and preached it widely, so it is appropriate to call this a part of her thinking.

Ironically, I think religion in general has been far more successful in the first part (Rand's actual part) than Objectivism, self-help literature and even psychiatric therapy has been. Some real work needs to be done here.

(A further extension of this programming the subconscious idea is biochemical. There are powerful mood altering drugs now on the market. But this is beyond our discussion right now.)

What can happen, I have noticed, is the reverse. Rand - and Peikoff - can paint such a wildly negative picture of society and the world at large that a sense of despair sets in. It can intensify the already existing sense of alienation - which might have come about any number of ways - quite powerfully. I know of a couple of people who've suffered from this. There is the evangelical excitement, which follows after first discovering the philosophy, but this seems to alternate with quite deep lows, quite possibly because they do as Rand recommends (via Galt's "total break" with your past) and try to cut themselves off from their previous lives. The more they cut themselves off from their previous lives, when times get tough the only thing they have to fall back on is Rand, and more Rand. (After all, you can't mix your food with "poison", etc) As most of Rand's advice is rather abstract, this is actually not much help, and this soon either gets weakened by rubbing up against reality, or the world gets weakened and the reliance on abstract rationalism grows. Eventually they either find a balance, which Rand would definitely not approve, but in which I think the general Objectivist inspiration is most likely to be a nett positive. Or they don't. And then you get the Rand-approved version, which ironically I think is the hazardous one.

This is very true of the process I have observed, even in myself. But there is another part to add to it. Rand's heroes are all super-achievers and some, like Francisco D'Anconia, do it without much learning effort. Roark said his mistakes ended up in the trash can, and that was about all one saw of his learning process. (Well, there was a house he took apart and redid, but Rand's purpose in that case was not to show the learning, but Roark's commitment to integrity.) But real learning means making mistakes and screwing up badly on the way to achievement. Those who don't do this at times NEVER really achieve anything great.

Rand emphasized the adoption of an unhealthy and unrealistic attitude toward their own learning by youger converts by claiming that she had always held the same philosophy every since she was young, etc.

Back to our young Objectivist evangelist. He not only thinks the world is hopelessly screwed up and he has to save it, he also gets bewildered by the fact that when he tries to create something, it doesn't spring into existence perfect and much better than anyone else has ever done it. If he has really tried, he has come across failure time and time again. This is very painful. Objectivism tells him not to whine and he feels guilty about the failure and guilty about the fact that he hurts. So he simply shuts down and stops trying, but he doesn't stop dreaming.

This, added to your comments, is a perfect recipe for producing a snarky arrogant underachiever with a thin skin.

Now back to education. One of the reasons I think Objectivism should be taught just like any other philosophy (say, like Aristotle's work or Kant's work) is that it encourages the student to think for himself. To me, there is nothing more sacred than this.

Learning is hard work and so is achieving. Both are paths full of mistakes, failures and even heartbreaks. But the rewards of weathering it all and keeping at it are well worth it. The high points are some of the best there is in living. It just doesn't get any better than looking at a wonderful achievement and saying to yourself and to others, "I did that." The real irony is that an indoctrination type approach encourages the guilt and pain that snatches success and achievement from the student's life and turns him into an underachiever.

Michael

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Great post, Michael. I mean really great. Nothing good comes cheap or easy.

My question is marketing. Brant was right about Rand being a novelist, and I think that points the way forward. OL has the potential to encourage writing, but what it really takes is agents, publishers, and producers -- the middlemen like Kent Lansing and Austin Heller who made it possible for Roark to get started.

W.

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>No, he'd teach them not to waste time on discussion lists populated actively by only a half dozen people and instead to spend his time presenting those views to large audiences or to intellectuals who are likely to...or in a position to...take the ideas and run with them rather than simply armchair debate them forever. [Phil]

>This could easily be interpreted as a snobbish dismissal of OL. I know you were angry, but did you really mean to make such a slight? [Michael]

Michael, thank you for calling me on this and forcing me to reread it.

In my anger/frustration, I stated it too harshly. My point would not be that discussion lists (small or large) are always a waste of time. If a particular interaction or list succeeds in doing it well, one can certainly learn from give and take, from airing half-formed thoughts, having them supplemented or criticized. But one must not let that become a substitute for productive dissemination if, indeed, one wants to be heard by or influence the wider world.

Also, I just fully realized that the discussion you and Jim and Daniel [Michael, you just made a very thoughtful, excellent post with a lot of 'meat' to it...and I'll try to comment later] are having about programming the subconscious and about how Objectivists *misapply* the philosophy, is crucial to my whole topic of education and training ... and why I didn't just want to teach philosophy or Objectivism. In any education or training program (maybe the word training implies indoctrination and mindless acceptance, so I should use education?) you can't simply indoctrinate, you have to get people to think for themselves (yet you still have to present a core curriculum), you have to -heavily- focus on psychology and understanding the self, the emotions, the subconscious, etc. (That would be in parts 2 and 3 of my three-fold curriculum outline.)

It's crucial, though, to keep the distinction between what is philosophy and what is psychology, both in terms of to what extent one agrees with Objectivism (the philosophy...psychology is not part of it, those are Rand's views) and in terms of presentation/teaching/logical analysis...mushing things together is not the same as integrating them. All of this does not go in #1 in my curriculum but in #2 (study of man and what he has created) and #3 (study of skills).

Rand would mix her evaluations of people and the culture, what constitutes evasion, Kant as most evil man, women presidents, femininity, sex, etc. in with her philosophical essays. But they are, at least in principle or basically, separate. One could be 100% in agreement with the philosophy of Objectivism (as I am) and 100% in disagreement with -many- of her evaluations of people and of the culture (as I am).

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Phil, I am perfectly willing to engage you substantially, including reviewing your posts on this subject and even on SOLOP. But you really did rub me the wrong way. You don't start a fire by filling the fireplace with wood, but by making a little blaze and adding bigger and bigger pieces adjusting for inflammability as you go. Maybe it's not really arrogance on your part, but because you've already done so much work that you tend to bring too much to the party for starters. That can be imtimidating.

--Brant

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Some of Phil's positions on Objectivist education as posted on SOLOP

___________

"The Future of Objectivism"

"Novels are easy and philosophy is hard. And almost no one today is educated in high-level philosophical abstractions. They just don't -think- that way nor do they see the need (unfortunately)."

"A sense of life WITHOT AN EXPLICIT PHILOSOPHY DEFENDING IT from constant erosion, constant onslaughts, constant pragmatism, constant compromise can't win."

"Unless Objectivism wins--fully, consciously, explicitly in all the philosophy departments, in the minds and hearts of those who produce intellectual material, we can't reverse five thousand years of altruism, five thousand years of collectivism."

"Altruism and collectivism are five thousand years old. The collapse of one form of it won't kill it for very long.

"You can't replace something with nothing. You need an explicit philosophy."

____________

Elsewhere on SOLOP

"Like other ideas and movements in history and in culture, it seems as if Ayn Rand's novels and ideas don't gradually break through, but are dammed up and jump forward in spurts. Sort of like that underground river in Atlas."

_____________

"Objectivist 'Superiority' and Arrogance"

"A young person reads much of the Objectivist literature .... He develops a feeling of tremendous intellectual power and certainty. He finds all sorts of areas where his philosophy applies. But too often this leads to a certain smugness and arrested development. He thinks he is superior to his teachers, to the books around him. to 'the culture'...."

"Then he turns inward in terms of his learning and growth. He may study Objectivism repeatedly or extensively for example. But he feels enormous contempt for the culture and for his peers. So he doesn't learn enough -outside- of philosophy. The outside part could be social skills, could be how to start a business, could be professional knowledge, could be the arts and humanities and history."

"Then ... it catches up with him over the years. Despite his intellectual or philosophical arrogance he is unprepared to succeed. Because life and success in every field is enormously hard and demanding .... Because one needs to understand the culture and the people in it in a *very deep* manner.

"All this requires deep and years-long study sufficient to develop skills and knowledge in a multiplicity of areas. [Objectivism per se won't be of much help.]"

[basically Phil then says Objectivism is good for only 10% of any Objectivist's education.]

"The only solution I see is education...."

"Great men and great ideas ... are all around us outside of Oism."

_____________

On this thread see Phil's posts 14, 26, 37, 38, 41, 47, 49, 55, 60, 71, 72, 74, 79, 83, 88, 91, 141, 163, 172, 176, 186, 194, 207

also, MSK's 73, 77, 90, 92

and Robert Campbell's 36, 43, 56, 68, 76

and others', of course.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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Novels are easy and philosophy is hard.

False.

I wish there was an easy way to explain the history of ideas, but there isn't. I aced my philosophy courses in college, made the Dean's List. What I discovered from the experience was the shallowness and simplicity of most historical ideas: Plato, Aristotle, Jesus, Berkeley, Rousseau, Marx. The philosophy of science is much harder, as you know from reading some of the epistemology and science threads here.

Predicate (natural language) logic needs to be revived, following Rand's lead, so I agree that a survey is valuable, to show the emptiness of Russell's symbolic logic and refute Godel.

But it's plain foolish to claim that novels are easy. Nor can it be taught, like philosophy or logic.

W.

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Phil accepts the basic principles of Objectivism 100%. The title of this site is "Objectivist Living." This thread is about the education of people in Objectivism. This is his context and he obviously doesn't want to discuss his devotion to the philosophy. To challenge him outside his context, which is correct to this site and thread, is rude. In so far as I personally might have, I apologize.

--Brant

Edited by Brant Gaede

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> To challenge him outside his context, which is correct to this site and thread, is rude.

Brant, I don't think it's rude to challenge my agreement with Objectivism, to criticize it, or to claim Objectivism is wrong on x, y, z. It's just not what I'm -personally- interested in at this time or on this thread.

> You don't start a fire by filling the fireplace with wood, but by making a little blaze and adding bigger and bigger pieces adjusting for inflammability as you go. [brant]

I'll have to think about that. It's certainly puzzling that I'll write something very detailed or thorough and think it one of my best or most original posts and be greeted with essentially no interest on RoR, Solo, OL. (That just happened elsewhere with a post called "The Discontinuity of the Spread of Ideas" about why and how Rand is breaking through in spurts not in a steady ascent and why this pattern applies to other new ideas...I would have ported it over to Solo, but once I see lack of interest in one site past experience indicates it's the kind of topic that doesn't generate detailed or intense responses so I'm likely to drop it.)

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> To challenge him outside his context, which is correct to this site and thread, is rude.

Brant, I don't think it's rude to challenge my agreement with Objectivism, to criticize it, or to claim Objectivism is wrong on x, y, z. It's just not what I'm -personally- interested in at this time or on this thread.

> You don't start a fire by filling the fireplace with wood, but by making a little blaze and adding bigger and bigger pieces adjusting for inflammability as you go. [brant]

I'll have to think about that. It's certainly puzzling that I'll write something very detailed or thorough and think it one of my best or most original posts and be greeted with essentially no interest on RoR, Solo, OL. (That just happened elsewhere with a post called "The Discontinuity of the Spread of Ideas" about why and how Rand is breaking through in spurts not in a steady ascent and why this pattern applies to other new ideas...I would have ported it over to Solo, but once I see lack of interest in one site past experience indicates it's the kind of topic that doesn't generate detailed or intense responses so I'm likely to drop it.)

Phil, have you considered that most people don't want to teach, but preach? One is work, the other an indulgence.

Also, on SOLOP you indicated you have met thousands of middle-aged very intelligent Objectivists who haven't made much of their lives and considered this a criticism of such people. However, maybe the ostensibly successful Objectivists don't have the time or interest in the activities you were relating to, like clubs. For instance, the more successful you are in business, the tighter your focus on your business tends to be.

--Brant

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Great post, Michael. I mean really great. Nothing good comes cheap or easy.

My question is marketing. Brant was right about Rand being a novelist, and I think that points the way forward. OL has the potential to encourage writing, but what it really takes is agents, publishers, and producers -- the middlemen like Kent Lansing and Austin Heller who made it possible for Roark to get started.

Wolf,

Thank you.

You are right about information on agents, etc. I will try to open a topic in the Writing Techniques sections. It is not a writing technique per se, but it certainly is a technical reality of writers. Incidentally, I am not that informed here in the USA, but with the right approach, maybe we can attract some of the right people to help.

Michael

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Educating people in the basics of Objectivist philosophy is not an easy issue. Rand herself considered Epistemology the most fundamental part of her philosophy, and she was correct. The problem is that Epistemology is an extremely boring part of philosophy, for me and many people.

Im currently attempting to "corrupt" a baptist Christian (with some success... I have him seriously considering my arguments and over the holidays he has borrowed my copy of "The Virtue of Selfishness"). The main area of conflict is in ethics (in the sense that ethics is the area he is most attached to his religion). Now, "good" and "evil" are concepts, i.e. abstractions. How the hell can I argue about the nature of good and evil without looking at the nature of concepts? If the concepts are intrinsic in the Platonic sense, there is a perfect embodiment of good in another dimension (for Christians, it is obvious what this is). If concepts are intrinsic in the Aristotelian sense, then good is a simple natural property that exists within things regardless of valuers (this position seems to be the one G E Moore embraced). As such, in order to demolish Christian ethics, one has to reject the idea the concepts exist outside of the mind. However, as stated, Christian ethics bleeds into subjectivism, owing to the frequent Christian belief that the good is whatever god desires regardless of what it is. So as such to demolish that, you have to show that there is a connection between (properly formed) concepts in the mind and reality.

Now, lets be honest, this is not the most interesting thing to discuss. The Problem of Universals does not generate the firey, venomous arguments (which I find fun!) that ethics does. However, it is literally impossible to grasp Objectivist ethics (and hence politics) without understanding at least the basics of Objectivist epistemology. As such it is unavoidable. Objectivist education should obviously explain the basics of the epistemology, but in a straightfoward and simple manner that hammers the essential points in and provides easy to remember formulations.

I think that in addition, most Objectivist education will not happen in Objectivist think tanks. Over time, Objectivism will have to be dealt with in philosophy courses in universities. TOC has basically stated that this is its goal; that when Ayn Rand is treated simply as another philosopher and her views deserve serious consideration then we have done enough. If Objectivism wants to get into universities then we have to do a few things...

1) The Language Barrier. Objectivism usually does not use standard academic philosophy jargon. This is a problem. I studied philosophy after I embraced Objectivism and I had to frequently ask the professor for a 'translation.' It would make things a lot easier if Objectivism simply explained things in academic philosophy lingo in addition to Objectivese. For one, Objectivist epistemology is basically a form of Conceptualism, regardless of Rand's accidental misdefinition in ITOE. For more on this see: http://www.saint-andre.com/thoughts/abelard.html. Carolyn Ray also argues this, very effectively I think.

Of course, some Objectivese is essential, for example the Intrinsic-Objective-Subjective trichotomy, but this needs to be explained in context. The trichotomy refers to the relationship between reality and consciousness and forms the basis for Rand's solution to the problem of universals. I found when I was studying philosophy that the professor wrote in one of my essays that I was using the term 'objective' in an unorthodox way. In an "Academic Translation" of Objectivism, it is important we translate this trichotomy and explain it at length. Also, it needs to be explained that "Objective" as used by Objectivists can refer to either objective reality or to conceptual objectivity (i.e. anything from the relationship of consciousness to reality onwards).

2) Stop Bridge Burning. Objectivists should look for similarities between Objectivist philosophy and other philosophies. For one, we should start acknowleging more 'kindred spirits' than Aristotle and Aquinas. John Locke I think is obvious here. His epistemology is very similar to Objectivism and he endorsed our politics. Again, see Carolyn Ray for more details. The British and Scottish Empiricists that came after Locke may be more different but are still worthy of analysis for similarities. Also, the dreaded Nietzsche does need to be confronted. Although he was epistemologically Kantian, he does have one basic ethical similarity with Objectivism: the belief that ethics should be in the service of life. He also has an admiration for greatness, which follows from his ethics. The content of his ethics differs greatly from ours however, and that certainly should remain acknowleged.

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Ayn Rand was a great novelist. The popularity of her philosophy was leveraged off of that.

That's interesting. Korzybski wrote his 'philosophy' but no novels but A.E.VanVogt wrote 3 novels based on GS., the World of Null-A series. It was these Sci-Fi books that got many people interesed in GS, me included. This subsequently got L. Ron Hubbard interested and eventually spun off scientology. So it seems novels are a good way to spark interest but one shouldn't take then too seriously.

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