Culturally, Objectivism advocates scientific advancement, industrial progress, objective (as opposed to “progressive” or faith-based) education, romantic art—and, above all, reverence for the faculty that makes all such values possible: reason. It maintains that if it is done properly, and practiced by everyone, the entire world could be a better place. All Rights Reserved, Time to Privatize the Weather Satellite Program, John Marshall: Dual Sovereignty, One Republic, Texas Anti-Abortion Bill Abnegates Rights, An Interview with Still-Life Painter Linda Mann. Great book explaining the principles of objectivism in easy to understand language with insight into Rand's philosophy using examples of her work. A person does not have to use reason; the choice is his to make. If accepted and practiced inconsistently—well, there is no reason to be inconsistent here. Genuine happiness comes from achieving values, not from stealing them; from thinking rationally and being productive, not from relinquishing one’s mind and becoming a parasite on the thought and effort of others; from earning romance and making passionate love, not from raping people. Altruism, contrary to widespread misconception, is not the morality of “being nice to people” or “doing things for others”; rather, it is the morality of self-sacrifice—that is, of serving others at the expense of one’s own life-serving values. This audio content is accessible only to current Digital or Premium subscribers. Thus, Objectivism rejects the idea that art is whatever any self-proclaimed or allegedly “accomplished” artist happens to slap together or place in a gallery. Basic Principles of Objectivism by Nathaniel Branden Lecture 10: Reason and Virtue This is yet another reason to embrace and advocate capitalism—and the entire philosophy of reason on which it is based. This fact gives rise to the principle of individual rights, which is the principle of egoism applied to politics. Objectivists are not conservatives, but, as Rand put it, “radicals for capitalism” (i.e., advocates of its root or foundation). Like everything in the world, art is something specific; thus, it is both knowable and definable. As to the alleged existence of a “supernatural” being who creates and controls reality, no evidence or rational argument supports such a thing. Neither individual beliefs nor widespread agreement nor a “supernatural” being’s will has any effect on the nature of the world. What reason is there to do so? In this recording of the first program in that series, Rand reads her inaugural Los Angeles Times column and then expands on its key points. Objectivism equally rejects skepticism—the idea that knowledge is impossible, that it cannot be acquired by any means. Egoism is the morality of non-sacrifice; it rejects all forms of human sacrifice—both self-sacrifice and the sacrifice of others—as a matter of principle. Moral objectivism. 2. Man survives by observing reality, identifying the nature of things, discovering causal relationships, and making the logical connections necessary to produce the things he needs in order to live. This last is the predominant philosophical position today, particularly in the field of politics. The purpose of art is to give physical form to such profound abstractions, to make them concrete and observable, and thereby to provide people with a perceptual representation of a particular idea or worldview. Objectivism endorses several different ideals. Altruism cannot be practiced consistently. Objectivism is a philosophical system developed and named by author Ayn Rand. Objectivism also rejects the idea that, within the range of what is art, no objective criteria exist for judging certain works as better than others. In 1962, the Los Angeles Times invited Ayn Rand to write a syndicated column on her philosophy’s application to current events. Altruism is not good for one’s life. In the winter and spring of 1958, I gave the first course of lectures entitled “The Basic Principles of Objectivism” which, although I did not fully realize it at the time, was to launch the Objectivist movement. The politics of freedom is the politics of self-interest; it cannot be defended with the ethics of self-sacrifice—or with a philosophy of unreason, unreality, or “super-nature”—or with no philosophy at all. upgrade your subscription. The Objectivist movementis a movementof individuals who seek to study and advance Objectivism, the philosophy expounded by novelist-philosopher Ayn Rand. It … The standard of value according to a predator is his whim. Man gains knowledge by perceiving reality with his five senses, forming concepts and principles on the basis of what he perceives, checking his ideas for consistency with reality, and correcting any contradictions he discovers in his thinking. According to egoism, therefore, insofar as a person pursues his life-serving values and refuses to sacrifice them, he is acting morally; insofar as he does not, he is not acting morally. If people want to live and be happy, only one of these moralities will do. Rand held that all people, whether they realize it or not, are guided in their thoughts and actions by philosophical principles and assumptions. In the space of a column, I can give only the briefest summary of my position, as a frame of reference for all my future columns. A volunteer social worker who gives away his time and effort for nothing at all is thereby being immoral. On this view, a software developer who trades his product with others for a profit is thereby being moral. The Basic Principles of Objectivism offers a detailed, systematic exposition of the philosophy defined by Ayn Rand and presented in The Fountainhead, Atlas Shrugged and For the New Intellectual. Such things are not “bad” art; they are not art at all. Existence just exists—and everything in it is something specific; everything is what it is and can act only in accordance with its identity. Ontology is the study of what it means to exist. Of course, life requires that people regularly forgo lesser values for the sake of greater ones; however, these are gains, not sacrifices. America and capitalism are perishing for lack of a moral base. Man — every man — is an end in himself, not the means to the ends of others. Nature is not evidence for the existence of “super-nature.” There is no evidence for the existence of a “supernatural” being; there are only books, traditions, and people that say he exists. Objectivism holds that reality is an absolute—that facts are facts, regardless of anyone’s hopes, fears, or desires.  Leonard Peikoff, a professional philosopher and Rand’s designated intellectual heir,   later gave it a more formal structure. Payments to OCON or the Ayn Rand Institute eStore do not qualify as tax-deductible contributions to the Ayn Rand Institute. The main ideas of objectivism are: 1. Today, the conflict has reached its ultimate climax; the choice is clear-cut: either a new morality of rational self-interest, with its consequences of freedom, justice, progress and man’s happiness on earth — or the primordial morality of altruism, with its consequences of slavery, brute force, stagnant terror, and sacrificial furnaces.” [For the New Intellectual]. Insofar as a person chooses to use reason, he is able to identify and pursue the things he needs for survival and happiness—things such as knowledge, food, shelter, medical care, art, recreation, romance, and freedom. Egoism upholds the principle of non-sacrifice—the idea that one should never surrender a greater value for the sake of a lesser value. There are objective universal moral principles valid for all people and all social environments. Egoism calls for the first; altruism calls for the second. ARI is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. The ethics is a code of benevolence and justice toward other people: holding evil-doers to account for their vices, but treating rational and productive people with good will and generosity. What is Ontology? The first element of Objectivism is the metaphysics (the branch of philosophy that deals with the first principles of things, including abstract concepts such as being, knowing, identity, time, and space). Reason is the means by which everyone learns about the world, himself, and his needs. There is a world independent of our minds to which our thinking must correspond if our ideas are to be true and therefore of practical use in living our lives, pursuing our values, and protecting our rights. This is what Jesus did. Whether a sculpture of a ballerina depicting the skill and grace possible to man—or a novel about great industrialists showing the productive achievement possible to man—or a landscape of a countryside portraying the world as open to man’s investigation and enjoyment—or a painting of a dismal, psychedelic pool hall portraying the world as unstable and inhospitable to man—art brings highly abstract convictions to the perceptual level. In any case, reason is man’s basic means of survival, and free will—the choice to use reason or not—is the essence of his nature. Objectivism also rejects the idea that predation—the sacrificing of others for one’s own alleged benefit—can promote one’s life and happiness. Capitalism—not the mongrel system of the United States today, but genuine capitalism—is the only social system that consistently prohibits anyone, including the government, from assaulting people or stealing their property. I did, as follows: If you want this translated into simple language, it would read: 1. This is why rational parents encourage their children to think before they act, to recognize that choices have consequences beyond the immediate moment, to learn and embrace the long-range requirements of human life and happiness. It all comes down to standards. The "Basic Principles of Objectivism" is Nathaniel Branden's original 20-lecture presentation of the basic principles of Objectivism -- the philosophy originated by novelist/philosopher Ayn Rand -- newly remastered onto 28 CDs. If an individual chooses not to face facts, not to think, not to produce, and so on—and thus develops a bad character—that is his fault. This principle is the recognition of the fact that giving up the requirements of one’s life and happiness is inimical to one’s life and happiness. According to this principle, the good is that which supports or promotes an individual’s life; the evil is that which retards or destroys it. An altruist might not die from his morality—so long as he cheats on it—but neither will he live fully. In sum, the key principles of Objectivism are: Reality is an absolute, reason is man’s only means of knowledge, man has free will (the choice to think or not), self-interest is moral, individual rights are absolute, capitalism is moral, and good art is crucial to good living. The entire philosophy of Objectivism, every 5 branches of it, from metaphysics to esthetics, is devoted to the elaboration and explication of these principles. Reality is not created or controlled by consciousness. In a system of full capitalism, there should be (but, historically, has not yet been) a complete separation of state and economics, in the same way and for the same reasons as the separation of state and church. I recommend this to those who may not yet know what they believe in. The distinction between applied and theoretical objectivism is not Ayn Rand's. Reality exists as an objective absolute — facts are facts, independent of man’s feelings, wishes, hopes, or fears. Objectivism also rejects the idea that man has no nature at all (i.e., the twisted, modern interpretation of man as a “blank slate”), making his character the consequence of social forces, such as upbringing or economic conditions. For a book-length nonfiction presentation of the principles of Objectivism, see Leonard Peikoff’s Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. My philosophy, Objectivism, holds that: 1. Grammar is the science that studies the methods of combining words into sentences. Let us turn now to art, which, according to Objectivism, like ethics and politics, rests on a rational, objective foundation and serves a specific life-promoting purpose. Facts are facts, independent of any consciousness. And, like everything man-made, it is properly judged as good or bad by the standard of the requirements of human life on earth. Objectivists are not “liberals,” but absolutists for freedom. There is a great deal to Objectivism, much more than can be addressed in a book, let alone an essay. Contrary to conservatism, “liberalism,” and libertarianism, the politics of freedom depends on the ethics of egoism—which depends on the philosophy of reason—which is grounded in the basic nature of reality: the fact that things (including human beings) are what they are and can act (and live) only in accordance with their identities. Objectivism obviously failed to accomplish that mission and today has become a major contributor to that corruption. A principle is “a fundamental, primary, or general truth, on which other truths depend.” Thus a principle is an abstraction which subsumes a great number of concretes. Ayn Rand’s philosophy, Objectivism, rejects this false alternative and offers an entirely different view of the world. Great work and I will be reading more of Branden. Likewise, a parent who values his child’s education more than he values a new sports car, and who forgoes the car in order to pay for the education, is being moral; a parent who values the education more than the car, but forgoes paying for the education in order to purchase the car, is being immoral. But one cannot achieve happiness by wish or whim. A rose is a rose; it can bloom; it cannot speak. 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