Tap to Read ➤

An Interesting Look at Objectivism and its Concepts

Anish Chandy Jun 10, 2019
The study of objectivism as a philosophy began when it came into prominence with the Ayn Rand novels. A fascinating insight into its various concepts.
It was in the books Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead that Ayn Rand propounded her theory of objectivism as a philosophy. Both of these books are considered to be extremely influential in terms of the concepts that they put forth. Objectivism is a philosophical system based on complete logical validation.
It rejects the concept that any philosophy is purely derived from abstract concepts or pure reasoning. It strives to use concepts that are derived from sensory perception. A lot of study has been conducted on the validity of sensory perception and how it varies from person to person.
One of the famous instruments that included sensory perception was the Myers-Briggs Type Instrument (MBTI), which gave the instrument taker an idea of the kind of person he/she was.
Every concept in Objectivism has been derived logically from previous concepts. The concepts that are being referred to include metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, politics, aesthetics etc. Axioms are an exception to the rule. An axiom is an irreducible self-evident truth, implicit in all acts of cognition, which cannot be logically refuted.
Only a handful of concepts can be called the foundation stones on which the other concepts are built on. Existence means that you and the objects around you exist. This cannot be refuted under any circumstances. Identity refers to the state in which you and the objects around you exist. Consciousness refers to the quality of perception that one has.
This can be introspective or extrospective. These are axioms that cannot be denied nor can be proven false because if you deny that you exist, proves that the very fact that you can profess your denial shows that you exist. Without existing you cannot deny. In order to deny you have to be conscious of your ability to make the denial.
Metaphysics deals with the concept of reality. It questions if reality is subjective or independent of our minds. It strives to ask questions about the pecking order of existence and consciousness. If it did not exist, our consciousness could not act, but at the same time existence does not necessitate consciousness.
Epistemology is defined as the method of finding reality through the reception and processing of external stimuli by our senses. Our perception of different objects depends on the context in which it is seen. Where do dreams and hallucinations play a role? What if the hallucinations were induced by the use of a narcotic substance?
The usage of drugs causes changes in our perception of things. It would lead to many circular arguments. Reason is another component of epistemology. It consists of logic, concept-formation and sense perception. It refers to making identification in a non-contradictory manner. The formation of concepts after perceiving things is another aspect of reason.
It is the sense perception that helps us form opinions of the external world. Objectivism functions on the concept that all knowledge is gained through the sense. Mathematics, or for that matter any subject will not receive precedence over the senses. Man must seek knowledge actively through observation, deduction, synthesis, experimentation, and so on.
Ethics deal with the way in which we are supposed to act once the reasoning has been formed. The ideal condition would be if everyone would work in their self interest.
We subconsciously do things that we think are beneficial, but are really destructive - such as shunning a source of well-being in the name of ideology, maintaining a dangerous addiction, or refusing to part with an abusive relationship. Objectivism soundly rebuked any ideology of sacrifice, any demand to subject man to degrading rules in order to "be moral."
There is no differentiating between the moral and the practical. Ethics is purely a means to a fulfilled life. By no means does it mean that in order to achieve our goals we exploit society to the hilt. It is in our best interests to cooperate harmoniously with society at large, since we all depend on other people for our survival and happiness.
Politics dictates the influence that the Government has over the land. The ideal form of Governance would be when all individuals can express their ethical beliefs without sacrificing someone else's ethics.
It mentions that the only right that has to be preserved is the right of self-ownership - the rule that states that the individual owns himself. Where does the role of art come in? Art is the expression of philosophy. The world cannot progress without it because if there is no art then all the ideas of the geniuses would not get exhibited in public.