Reading Philosophy

Apr 16, 2008 02:06 # 45715

harold_maude *** posts about...

Objectivism

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I found something, not that it has been lost, it just took me a while to find it.
I was reading about Ayn Rand. She was an author. Her books include: The fountian Head, and Atlas Shrugged.
There has been alot of things written about her books.
But it's her phillosophy that has found it's way into my view.
Objectivism.
From what I have read, it is the most reasonable approach to living that I have ever found.

Here are some of the phillosphies that I have lived under:
Catholisim
Non-denominalism
Sojournism

And now it would seem that her ideas and phillosophical statements make the most sense.
The idea that we are the end unto ourselves makes sense.
For how can anyone live to the specifications of anyone else?
I think I found my belief system after all this time, or at least part of the foundation of what I believe.

Apr 23, 2008 15:02 # 45725

Magicdead *** replies...

Re: Objectivism

Concerning objectivism, I don't think there is such a thing.
That there is no objectivism within oneself is sort of self-evident, as the whole experience of ego is subjective and we have no means of knowing ourselves objectively, as that would need an observer who isn't ourselve, which is impossible (for us).
So perception of ourselves is always subjective.

Objectivism holds that reality exists independent from consciousness; that individual persons are in contact with this reality through sensory perception; that human beings can gain objective knowledge from perception through the process of concept formation

(taken from wikipedia on ayn rands Objectivism).

Though I'm not entirely sure what she means by "concept formation", I do know that our perception of "the outside world" (including our body and so on) is flawed. We filter our perceptions, discard some things, exaggerate others, therefore whilst reality in itself may be objective, our perception of it is dictated by our minds and therefore subjective.

that the proper moral purpose of one's life is the pursuit of one's own happiness or "rational self-interest"; that the only social system consistent with this morality is full respect for individual rights, embodied in pure, consensual laissez-faire capitalism

(same page)
Someone whose "pursuit of his own happiness" involves the disrespect of the individual rights of others, would, while being true to the philosophy, contradict the statement that respecting those right is the only way to go with this philosophy.

But well, Ayn rand founds her theory on certain axioms, and deduces the rest from them. Now logic being the main way to deduce something and to think about reality and conceive reality, the only other form i know of being emotions (which are subjective and therefore not part of objectivism), it's a theory to which logic applies and therefore, the rules of logic applies. Now when it comes to logic, we soon arrive at gödels incompleteness theorem of first order logic, which basically states that every theory with theorems and axioms is either incomplete or contradicting itself (or at least, there are theorems that contradict other theorems).
So i guess this would apply to objectivism as well, so either it's incomplete, so it's not entirely suited as live philosophy, because you'd need other theories to fill in the gaps, or it's contradicting itself, which wouldn't make it very usefull, as you'd have to unravel the contradictions on an emotional, and not on a logical level.
But this applies to all theories of this kind (that is, theories derived from logic), so my point is that one theorie alone can never answer all questions and one theory alone never is the sole way to go.

So the most reasonable approach in my oppinion would be to have different theories for different aspects of live.

Oh, and I think the

Objectivism maintains that what exists does not exist because one thinks it exists; it simply exists, regardless of anyone's awareness, knowledge or opinion. For Rand, "to be conscious is to be conscious of something," so that an objective reality independent of consciousness has to exist first for consciousness to become possible, and there is no possibility of a consciousness that is conscious of nothing outside itself.

is just wrong, I believe if you cut off all nerves going away from a brain, therefore the brain having no perception of anything external, it would still possess a consciousness. And recent findings in neuroscience suggest that there are "mirror cells" in the brain with the sole purpose of thinking about oneself and one thoughts.

The idea that we are the end unto ourselves makes sense.

not sure if i get this sentence right, but if it's meant as in "having the end within itself", then basically this is a concept that's been in existence for at least 2300 years.

You might want to read up on the topic "entelechy", 'invented' by aristotle.

Entelechy is a philosophical concept of Aristotle. The term traces to the Ancient Greek word entelecheia, from the combination of the Greek words enteles (complete), telos (end, purpose, completion) and echein (to have). Aristotle coined the word, which could possibly be translated in English as, "having the end within itself." To Aristotle, entelecheia referred to a certain state or sort of being, in which a thing was actively working to be itself.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Entelechy

But I'm happy for you that you found a philosophy that works for you, though the search for philosophy is something that never ends and where there is no ultimate truth, so the most reasonable approach in my oppinion would be to keep on searching instead of settling with an approach.

"The wise have always said the same things, and fools have always done the opposite"-Schopenhauer

Apr 23, 2008 19:51 # 45727

harold_maude *** replies...

Re: Objectivism

I agree with you that the search never ends simply because as we grow we understand more and I know from my own long search for something that makes sense to help explain to us a bit more about who we are is a good thing.

I'm not sure as I continue looking into objectivism that I will agree with everything, to do that I would have to be a rencarnation of Ayn Rand.
But what I have found in it so far makes more sense than other philosophical notions.
That's not to say that there are not bits of wisdom and truth to be found among thoes phillosophies.
In that respect I am not an extreemist to any belief that I have come across that made sense.

The ultimate goal or place or purpose for me at least is truth.
Truth doesn't change, and at the same time truth changes us.
That statement I have found to be as close to acurate as possible.

I'm very sure of this, that if this what I have been looking for in my long search for a phillosophy, then it will prove to be more true than not.

Just at least for now, it's got the best arguments with reasonable explaintions that I have found.


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