The purpose of this blog is to explain the ideas of the philosophy of Objectivism to everyone, but especially those who demand thorough explanations and rigorous arguments. This site is especially aimed at college undergraduates, students of Objectivism and others with backgrounds in philosophy. Toward this end, this blog will answer some of the more intellectually sophisticated critiques of Ayn Rand’s philosophy, while maintaining high standards of intellectual discourse. Posts will vary considerably, both in subject and in intended audience.
This blog is not meant to be a forum for vigorous debate, but a place for people to discover some of the actual, deeper arguments behind Objectivist philosophy. It is my hope that this blog will encourage some students of philosophy and other humanities to take a look–or a second look–at Objectivism as a philosophy worth studying in its own right.
Also, there are a large number of people who have been strongly influenced by Ayn Rand’s novels, but who lack the time and/or philosophical understanding necessary to satisfactorily answer the criticisms of Objectivism by the philosophically initiated. This does not, in general, mean that they are mindless followers, or that they treat Objectivism like a religion, because one can have a basic, reasoned understanding of the broad principles of Objectivism without knowing all of the technical details, or having the philosophical acumen to defend it in a debate with a philosophy major.
Some of these people encounter a situation that seems to refute one of the Objectivist tenets, or an objection to the philosophy that they cannot find an answer to, and that undermines their confidence in the philosophy. These are some of the people who “went through an Ayn Rand phase, but out-grew the philosophy.” In my view, these are the people who did not gain an understanding of Objectivism deep enough to meet their intellectual needs. They gave up on the philosophy, not knowing that the answer was there, but they failed to take the steps necessary to reach it. My other hope for this blog is that it will facilitate the finding of answers to the tougher objections–and clear up the misunderstandings–that tend to discourage such students of Objectivism.
Note: I do not guarantee that all views I or any other posters express are in perfect agreement with Objectivism as defined by Ayn Rand. All philosophical views I put forward as Objectivism will represent my understanding of Objectivism and its applications. I may sometimes put forward my own views beyond what Objectivism says. I will strive to be careful to note when I depart from or go beyond the ideas of Ayn Rand and those works she endorsed.
On Comments: Once again, this blog is not intended as a forum for debate. (If you want long debates, find an Objectivist forum and have at it.) Criticisms of posts are acceptable in comments, so long as they are civil, on-topic and relatively short. Comments that employ ad hominem, or are hostile or derogatory will be deleted. Comments that are off-topic, excessively long, add nothing of substance to the blog, or that flout my express criteria for comments on a particular post, may be deleted at my discretion. Also, this blog is dedicated to the ideas of Objectivism, not to discussion of the life of Ayn Rand. Any comments that reference Rand’s personal life or behavior will be deleted. Any comments that criticize the behavior of particular Objectivists will be deleted.
A Note on Formatting: I intend bold text within a paragraph to be read with an ordinary emphasis, like that implied by italics in traditional print media. Text in bold italics should be read with a slightly greater emphasis. I rarely use ordinary italics for emphasis, and when I do, it should be read as a barely perceptible emphasis. The reason I format this way is that italics in the font of this blog have a low contrast with normal font. The difference is subtle enough that italics can be nearly passed over and thus interrupt the flow of reading. Italics have a high contrast in a bolder font like Times New Roman, and so work well. But I find they don’t work so well in most online print. By the way, did you notice the italics on the word “so” in the previous sentence?
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A musical theme for this blog. I choose it not because it’s my favorite piece of music ever, (though it is fairly high on the list) but because it fits how I feel about the blog. I only wish it were longer. This music may change from time to time.