I like this article very much and find it very interesting and so much so that I only have one but.


In this:

Propositions: For a long time, Objectivists have talked about the need to do for propositions what Ayn Rand’s Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology did for concepts. It was, after all, an introduction, and this is one of the issues that naturally falls under a fuller treatment of epistemology.

I think Dr. Harry Binswanger already did this for propositions in his book: How We Know.

That is, read Chapter 5 in that book and I think you will agree. Dr. B has “ … [do’ed] for propositions what Ayn Rand … did for concepts.”

Anyway, I think he has, and someday I plan to capture my very positive feelings (excitement) about his book and make them explicit and write an explicit review of his “How We Know” book on Amazon.


For right now, I just don’t have time.

Thanks for your ever continuing good works. (And the opportunity to praise Dr. Binswanger in print.)

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That's a very good list. I have a lot to say on this topic, but will condense it to a few key points.

Firstly, I've learnt a lot the past decade on some of these issues - particularly around gender differences and sexuality, and it's been almost entirely from sources outside of Objectivism. I consider myself an Objectivist and so everything I've learnt I've attempted to integrate with Objectivism, largely successfully I believe. But I don't see it as an expansion or elaboration of Objectivism - rather new facts that are sit outside it and consistent with it.

Related to that, a lot of knowledge is highly dependent on our own personal context and interests, so I don't think we should expect too much from Ayn Rand as a person, or even Objectivism as a system. For instance you and I both have teenage boys, Ayn Rand never had children, and so I'm confident our knowledge around 'family' is superior to hers. I think she appreciated her lack of knowledge in this area too, and the reason that almost none of her fictional characters have children, which in real life is statistically improbable.

Secondly, if I may be mildly critical, I think you might have a blind spot as to the light that evolutionary psychology can shed on several of the areas you've raised - particularly masculinity/femininity and sexuality. Men and women are quite different psychologically, and evolutionary psychology is very valuable in understanding the differences and why they exist. Ayn Rand touched on these differences in her writings about a woman president, and also the psychology of her main female characters in their attitude to the ideal man. That's even despite the fact that in many other respects, Ayn Rand was more a of man than most males (a rare trait that Margaret Thatcher also shared). Social conventions are increasingly hostile to the reality of these differences, and so it's particularly important for those of us with teenage boys that we understand them, and appreciate that where current social expectations are pushing them is largely unnatural and not in their interests.

Ev psych, at least the sources I've gained knowledge from is not 'deterministic' in the way you dismiss it. I'm confident that if you read (or listened to on Audible) The Ape that Understood the Universe by Steve Stewart-Williams your views on this would change and your understanding improve significantly.

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Altered states of consciousness, mate selection, having children, and the tempermental differences between human beings.

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The mention of art jogged my memory about having read Ronald E. Merrill's _The Ideas of Ayn Rand_ almost thirty years ago. I don't remember the details, but I recall that he discussed the topic of art and even proposed what he thought was an improvement on Ayn Rand's definition of art.

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Each item on the list sounds like a lifetime of work, if not more. There seems to be a tendency towards dogma in all philosophy once the original thinker is gone. I applaud your efforts to continue to improve Objectivism, while still honoring it's founder.

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