A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
22-02-2013, 08:18 PM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
(22-02-2013 08:11 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(22-02-2013 08:01 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  Reading Rand, I got the impression that she has no interest in the whole "Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him." thing... Seemed more 'cold bitch' than anything. Some decent stuff, but a lot of selfish garbage too.

We're all in this together, don't forget that.
That's hard to speak to since you didn't give any specific instances of anything. Chas did the same thing....

That sort of generalized passive aggression is quite common when people formulate a response from emotion rather than from logic.

Passive aggressive? I think not.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-02-2013, 08:23 PM (This post was last modified: 22-02-2013 08:45 PM by WeAreTheCosmos.)
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
(22-02-2013 08:11 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(22-02-2013 08:01 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  Reading Rand, I got the impression that she has no interest in the whole "Do not to your neighbor what you would take ill from him." thing... Seemed more 'cold bitch' than anything. Some decent stuff, but a lot of selfish garbage too.

We're all in this together, don't forget that.

That's hard to speak to since you didn't give any specific instances of anything. Chas did the same thing....

That sort of generalized passive aggression is quite common when people formulate a response from emotion rather than from logic.


Oh... ok.

Self importance over all things... got it.

There are so many conflicting philosophies flying around, but for me its ultimately about the pursuit of happiness, which I agree with... I also agree that there is an objective reality. I try to use logic in consideration of all things, but at the end of the day, I cannot be completely selfish and remain happy. If that means sacrificing some of my comforts... so be it.

I didn't call it "selfish garbage" because its wrong, but rather because I have no use for it. But one mans garbage is anothers treasure.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-02-2013, 08:29 PM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
(22-02-2013 08:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(22-02-2013 07:56 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  How so?
Wikipedia Wrote:Rand called her philosophy "Objectivism", describing its essence as "the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Wikipedia Wrote:In ethics, Rand argued for rational egoism (rational self-interest), as the guiding moral principle. She said the individual should "exist for his own sake, neither sacrificing himself to others nor sacrificing others to himself".
Okay...

The bit about happiness has been around for a long time, she just changed the wording, which is pretty common. According to Socrates, reason = virtue = happiness. And Aristotle pointed out that happiness is the only thing humans seek as its own end. I don't see a lack of compassion with any of those. As for egoism, when a person is in pursuit of his rational self interest, he must necessarily include others in attaining those ends. The rational part of that phrase would limit one to treating those you use to that end with compassion.

In simple terms, any time we harm another person, we harm ourselves. Thus, if I leverage you as a means to my end and I cause you harm in the process, I've not achieved my rational self interest.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-02-2013, 08:31 PM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
(22-02-2013 08:29 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  
(22-02-2013 08:05 PM)Chas Wrote:  
Okay...

The bit about happiness has been around for a long time, she just changed the wording, which is pretty common. According to Socrates, reason = virtue = happiness. And Aristotle pointed out that happiness is the only thing humans seek as its own end. I don't see a lack of compassion with any of those. As for egoism, when a person is in pursuit of his rational self interest, he must necessarily include others in attaining those ends. The rational part of that phrase would limit one to treating those you use to that end with compassion.

In simple terms, any time we harm another person, we harm ourselves. Thus, if I leverage you as a means to my end and I cause you harm in the process, I've not achieved my rational self interest.


I'd say you're interpreting that - reading what isn't there.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
22-02-2013, 09:58 PM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
"I'd say you're interpreting that - reading what isn't there."


And I'd say that's a perfectly legitimate conclusion coming from a person who hadn't invested an awful lot of time and energy into understanding first principles.And that's not meant to be a slight. I would also blame philosophers like Rand and most others throughout the years for not being able to articulate first principles in an easy to digest manner, except that philosophy is the mother of psychology and it's that connection which causes philosophy to be such a hot button issue for people. Unfortunately, Rand et al didn't study psychology and the results of their ignorance is a lot of people who either hate/distrust philosophy or who simply use it to justify unethical behavior.

Socrates' "first commandment" of philosophy was know thyself. That, I would argue, is the foundational principle of philosophical understanding and without it, not much about philosophy will make any sense at all.
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-02-2013, 07:11 AM (This post was last modified: 23-02-2013 07:29 AM by Chas.)
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
(22-02-2013 09:58 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  "I'd say you're interpreting that - reading what isn't there."


And I'd say that's a perfectly legitimate conclusion coming from a person who hadn't invested an awful lot of time and energy into understanding first principles.And that's not meant to be a slight. I would also blame philosophers like Rand and most others throughout the years for not being able to articulate first principles in an easy to digest manner, except that philosophy is the mother of psychology and it's that connection which causes philosophy to be such a hot button issue for people. Unfortunately, Rand et al didn't study psychology and the results of their ignorance is a lot of people who either hate/distrust philosophy or who simply use it to justify unethical behavior.

Socrates' "first commandment" of philosophy was know thyself. That, I would argue, is the foundational principle of philosophical understanding and without it, not much about philosophy will make any sense at all.


Well, it is a slight because I studied her philosophy many years ago. I rejected it.

As for passive aggressive - your comment
"coming from a person who hadn't invested an awful lot of time and energy into understanding first principles.And that's not meant to be a slight"
is a perfect example.


.................._
................/,_/)
.............../...//
........../'''./.../''`\
......./'/.../.../.../.|_
......(.(...(...(.../.)...)
.......\.....'....'...\/.../
........\................/
.........\............(
..........\.............\

2012 DLJ

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes Chas's post
23-02-2013, 11:07 AM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
(22-02-2013 05:34 PM)bbeljefe Wrote:  Respect for property rights and the principle of non aggression are nonsense?

No, the whole god-damned ideology was based on complete nonsense.

I haven't personally studied her Objectivism, but from the Wiki page, if it didn't completely misrepresent the fundamental basis of her ideas, that basis is fundamentally flawed. If the basis is fundamentally flawed, that will make things branching out, from that basis, based on nonsense. It would be either her own personal views on the world, translated into an ideology, ironically lacking objectivity, or it would just be her getting herself into a field, of which, she probably should have refrained from inquiry.

YouTube recommended me a video of Hitchens talking about Rand, and people following her ideas, and he mentioned how he found it funny that any person, especially in America, needed any more encouragement toward acting in their own self interests. I'd concur, and add how it is funny that I have yet to, personally, delve into, or come across, ethical ideas named after altruism or that continually bring up the concept-- Where are all of these altruistic people, who have to continually go around to, not only, justify why they are not bad people but to overcompensate by going to the extreme of saying that their natural inclination toward selfishness is actually the foundation of their virtue?

The Paradox Of Fools And Wise Men:
“The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser men so full of doubts.” ― Bertrand Russell
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-02-2013, 01:23 PM (This post was last modified: 23-02-2013 01:57 PM by kim.)
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
The bit of Rand's work that I have read, seems to put forth the notion that it's just fine and dandy to objectify anyone who seems willing to be objectified, whether they know what's going on or not. Seems a teeny bit sociopathic to me. A big teeny bit. I also see her work to be quite sexist and I think even that is a somewhat unfounded and skewed view of her influences.

Rand stated quite emphatically, her views were heavily influenced by Aristotle and her character studies of women in general, somewhat parallel Aristotle's own recorded view of the female. Aristotle says that "the courage of a man lies in commanding, a woman's lies in obeying.". Aristotle opines that a female is an incomplete male or "as it were, a deformity" and that in general "a woman is perhaps an inferior being".

However, Aristotle allows "perhaps" while Rand often seems unable or unwilling to reconcile something within her own female identities. I have observed Rand's female characters are often "inappropriately burdened", often too brave or too clever and when they are, she doesn't let them accept responsibility for their own actions, let alone their own sexuality. She does in fact, punish them and makes them victims of their own desires and their own identity.

It may be subtle but, in light of this and other observations of her work, I am of the opinion that Rand may have grievously misunderstood many things that influenced her - not only Aristotle, but her own sexuality.

Perhaps that's the reason she felt that if she could, she'd be doing a whole lot of objectifying but then, she couldn't; she's a woman - boo fucking hoo. Sexual identity in conflict is an interesting subject but if one chooses to write about it, one need not express it by promulgating a sexist attitude.

I usually don't care why people's shit is stupid; I just try to understand it and then steer clear. Not my problem. Drinking Beverage

I think in the end, I just feel like I'm a secular person who has a skeptical eye toward any extraordinary claim, carefully examining any extraordinary evidence before jumping to conclusions. ~ Eric ~ My friend ... who figured it out.
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
[+] 1 user Likes kim's post
23-02-2013, 02:13 PM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
"As for passive aggressive - your comment

"coming from a person who hadn't invested an awful lot of time and
energy into understanding first principles.And that's not meant to be a
slight"

is a perfect example."


No, not at all. I plainly stated that I didn't mean it to be a slight. You either take me at my word or you think I'm lying. Regardless, there was nothing passive about my comment.

As for your response to the above, you mentioned that you studied philosophy and rejected it. It seems to me there are two reasons why, although there could be more. On the one hand, you mastered the subject, decided it was an invalid science, and rejected it wholly. If that's the case, it calls into question intelligence of the thousands of people who have made a life long study of philosophy but could never come to a consensus. Not to mention the myriad people who've studied the subject as a personal interest. On the other hand, maybe you studied it for a while and for whatever reason, decided that it wasn't a topic of interest to you. In which case, you wouldn't be inclined to claim any authority when assessing matters of philosophy. ergo, you wouldn't make objective claims about the efficacy of a philosophical theory.

If the latter, then my observation is correct and again, is not a slight any more than it would be a slight for a football fan to mention that my understanding of the rules of football is incorrect... Because I admittedly don't have an interest in the subject.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
23-02-2013, 02:25 PM
RE: A Philosophy Professor Discusses Ayn Rand in his Ethics Class
"The bit of Rand's work that I have read,~"

You make some pretty good observations. This is why I see it as a mistake that Rand included fiction in her body of work. If a person expects to be taken as a serious scholar, especially in a touchy subject like philosophy, it's pretty important to both adhere to your principles in all you work and, IMO more importantly, in one's life.

Rand did neither. I don't know what the correct word for a female version of a womanizer is but whatever it is, it was Rand. She was without question a borderline sociopath who ignored first principles in her life and I've no doubt that that has a lot to do with how people assess her serious work in philosophy. But with that said, if Adolf Hitler were to claim that 2 and 2 make 4, his personal lack of integrity does nothing to affect the truth value of that statement.

Interestingly enough, a look into the childhoods of either of the two aforementioned individuals tells an enormous amount of truth about their motivations is adulthood.

The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their right names. - Chinese Proverb
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: