OBJECTIVISM Ayn Rands Philosophy Meet the Author Born 1905 as Alisa Rosenbaum in St. Petersburg (Petrograd)/ died 1982 in NYC 12 years old during February Revolution 1917

October Revolution under Lenin rule, her family was displaced and their business & property was nationalized Faced harsh conditions living in Petrograd at times, nearly starving At Petrograd State University, she began reading Plato, Aristotle, and Nietzsche Granted a visa to visit American relatives in 1926 & she became a screenwriter/ American citizen in 1931 Russian- American novelist/ screenwriter/ philosopher/ playwright We the Living Rands first novel, published 1936 Rands most autobiographical novel but still fiction

Rand stated that We the Living "is as near to an autobiography as I will ever write. It is not an autobiography in the literal, but only in the intellectual sense. The plot is invented, the background is not..." Set in Soviet Russia- focuses on the individual vs. the state Objectivism in Brief

Rejected faith and religion/ reason as the only means of knowledge/ knowledge through the senses (Aristotle) Initiation of government force = immoral Supported laissez-faire capitalism/ against collectivism and anarchism The moral purpose of ones own life = the pursuit of happiness 1. Metaphysics: Objective Reality Metaphysics: the study of being

What is there? What is it like? Nature, to be commanded, must be obeyed. Francis Bacon There is no mental process that can change the laws of nature or erase facts, and there is nothing more to those facts than what man can perceive. Aristotle IF Facts are facts (no universal truths above us or greater than us anti Plato and religion) AND Man does not create or invent facts but uncovers them

THEN No supernatural beliefs exist/ there is no God/ there is no religion 2. Epistemology: Reason Epistemology: the study of the nature of knowledge and the grounds of knowledge You cant eat your cake and have it too.

How do we know what we know? You cannot both possess your cake and eat it/ meaning, one cant or shouldnt have or want more than one deserves or can handle/ similar to you cant have it both ways Reason is mans only means of acquiring knowledge therefore, the unreasonable/illogical such as faith, feeling, mysticism, etc. cannot exist. You cannot have both reason and beliefs in the unreason. Religions claim that God or the supernatural is so different from everything we know that it is beyond our reasons ability to understand; however, since everything we know has identity, God cannot be proven to exist. I am against God for the reason that I dont want to destroy reason. --Ayn Rand The very existence of God means that we cannot trust or abilities to know

anything 3. Human Nature Objectivism rejects any form of determinism, the belief that man is a victim of forces beyond his control [such as God, fate, upbringing, genes, or economic conditions). You have the freedom to think for yourself; therefore, you have the power to create your own future and make your own decisions. No one and nothing is controlling you. Your circumstances are the result of you yourself! 4. Ethics: Self-interest

Man is an end in himself. Ayn Rand Man must live for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself; he must work for his rational self-interest, with the achievement of his own happiness as the highest moral purpose of his life. an individual's primary moral obligation is to achieve his own well-beingit is

for his life and his self-interest that an individual ought to adhere to a moral code Rejected altruism = sacrificing oneself for others Rejected hedonism = following animalistic desires does not promote ones life Mans ethics (code of right and wrong) is based upon what is required for man to do for his survival that is rational. Violence or mindless brute behavior is not in mans rational self-interest because this behavior could land him in jail, dead, injured, etc. and only prevent him from achieving what he wants. So, pursuing what makes you happy is not a rationalization for violence. Ethics in Brief The essence of Objectivist ethics is summarized by the oath her Atlas Shrugged character John Galt adhered to: "I swearby my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live

for mine."[ 5. Politics: Capitalism Give me liberty or give me death. Patrick Henry calling for American independence from Great Britain The only social system that bars physical force from human relationships is laissez-faire capitalism. Capitalism provides freedom to pursue ones desires in an environment that protects individual rights. So, laws and punishment are still needed if you are trying to infringe upon others freedom and rights by stealing, killing, harassing, etc.

Against the redistribution of wealth because Rand believes that every person has the power to shape his/her future. If you want it, go and get it. Its not someone elses fault you dont have it; its your own fault. Rand would have been against any attempt to raise taxes on the top 1% because it is an infringement of individual rights. 6. Esthetics Art is a selective re-creation of reality according to an artists metaphysical value-judgments. Art is a representation of an artists beliefs thrust upon the reality of the world

Think of this in terms of theme every artist has his/her own beliefs or themes about reality and shows them through his/her art Romanticism Rand held that Romanticism was the highest school of literary art: What the Romanticists brought to art was the primacy of values... Values are the source of emotions: a great deal of emotional intensity was projected in the work of the Romanticists and in the reactions of their audiences, as well as

a great deal of color, imagination, originality, excitement, and all the other consequences of a value-oriented view of life. The Romanticists created subjective art responded to how their experiences made them feel Rand calls her work Romantic realism. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v= 1ooKsv_SX4Y Objectivism Quote Log Set up a 6 column chart in the Notes section:

Metaphysics Epistemology Human Nature Ethics Politics Aesthetics Look for quotations that connect to each part of Rands philosophy in We the Living. Record approx. 5 quotations for each column & briefly explain each.

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