Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Mrs. Logic; Ayn Rand never got into an argument she couldn’t win...
NYTMag ^ | Oct 18, 2009 | Sam Anderson

Posted on 11/01/2009 6:12:32 PM PST by Daffynition

Whenever Ayn Rand met someone new—an acolyte who’d traveled cross-country to study at her feet, an editor hoping to publish her next novel—she would open the conversation with a line that seems destined to go down as one of history’s all-time classic icebreakers: “Tell me your premises.” Once you’d managed to mumble something halfhearted about loving your family, say, or the Golden Rule, Rand would set about systematically exposing all of your logical contradictions, then steer you toward her own inviolable set of premises: that man is a heroic being, achievement is the aim of life, existence exists, A is A, and so forth—the whole Objectivist catechism. And once you conceded any part of that basic platform, the game was pretty much over. She’d start piecing together her rationalist Tinkertoys until the mighty Randian edifice towered over you: a rigidly logical Art Deco skyscraper, 30 or 40 feet tall, with little plastic industrialists peeking out the windows—a shining monument to the glories of individualism, the virtues of selfishness, and the deep morality of laissez-faire capitalism. Grant Ayn Rand a premise and you’d leave with a lifestyle.

Stated premises, however, rarely get us all the way down to the bottom of a philosophy. Even when we think we’ve reached bedrock, there’s almost always a secret subbasement blasted out somewhere underneath. William James once argued that every philosophic system sets out to conceal, first of all, the philosopher’s own temperament: that pre-rational bundle of preferences that urges him to hop on whatever logic-train seems to be already heading in his general direction. This creates, as James put it, “a certain insincerity in our philosophic discussions: the potentest of all our premises is never mentioned..."

[snip]

(Excerpt) Read more at nymag.com ...


TOPICS: Books/Literature; Religion
KEYWORDS: atheist; atlasshrugged; ayn; aynrand; leftwing; objectivism; rand; religion; yawn

1 posted on 11/01/2009 6:12:33 PM PST by Daffynition
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Daffynition
Once you’d managed to mumble something halfhearted about loving your family, say, or the Golden Rule, Rand would set about systematically exposing all of your logical contradictions, then steer you toward her own inviolable set of premises: that man is a heroic being, achievement is the aim of life, existence exists, A is A, and so forth—the whole Objectivist catechism.

And this is a problem because...?

2 posted on 11/01/2009 6:18:29 PM PST by CaptRon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: ADemocratNoMore; Aggie Mama; alarm rider; alexander_busek; AlligatorEyes; AmericanGirlRising; ...

Another article on Rand.


3 posted on 11/01/2009 6:25:00 PM PST by Publius (Conservatives aren't always right. We're just right most of the time.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

She supported Ford over Reagan because for her abortion trumped less regulation and lower taxes.

Russell Kirk confronted her about her militant atheism, and she fled the room in tears rather than answer him.


4 posted on 11/01/2009 6:28:28 PM PST by Dr. Sivana (There is no salvation in politics.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition
Note my tagline, I love Rand but I do note that she refused to be in the same room with William F Buckley because she was ticked off at his magazine running a critical review of "Atlas Shrugged". Buckley said he feared he caused the lady much choreographical difficulty, what with her having to arrive and depart before he showed up, or wait until he was gone to arrive. I guess sometimes her argument style was less logical, rational, skewering and more "$%#& you"!
5 posted on 11/01/2009 6:31:12 PM PST by pepsi_junkie (Who is John Galt?)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

6 posted on 11/01/2009 6:34:38 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

I’d tell her that my premises is that God exists and reveals Himself in the Bible.

Too late, though.


7 posted on 11/01/2009 6:50:37 PM PST by Marie2 (The second mouse gets the cheese.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition

What she needed was probably a good Arkansas or southern husband to keep her barefoot, pregnant, and happy for few years and then she would have understood the mysteries of life a little better. It would have put her in touch with the soil of Planet Earth.

parsy, who thinks she was a great person, but responsible for so much destruction


8 posted on 11/01/2009 6:50:40 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: parsifal

9 posted on 11/01/2009 6:57:36 PM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: JoeProBono

LOL! Very “heroic” in the Randian sense.

parsy, who thinks Ayn was a filly that needed a firm hand on the reins


10 posted on 11/01/2009 7:07:40 PM PST by parsifal (Abatis: Rubbish in front of a fort, to prevent the rubbish outside from molesting the rubbish inside)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 9 | View Replies]

To: JoeProBono

11 posted on 11/01/2009 7:28:08 PM PST by Roscoe Karns
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: parsifal
I agree, but most Southern Genumum wouldn't even touch her with someone else's ten foot pole.

Cheers!

12 posted on 11/01/2009 8:14:16 PM PST by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change without notice.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition
I think this essay points to the problem of trying to find morality through objective reason alone.
13 posted on 11/01/2009 8:37:01 PM PST by Question_Assumptions
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Roscoe Karns
ROTFL! Hadn’t seen that one!
14 posted on 11/01/2009 8:46:09 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Publius
I guess they figured a single dose of ad hominem wasn't going to enough.
15 posted on 11/01/2009 10:12:28 PM PST by Clinging Bitterly (MMM MMM MM!)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: Roscoe Karns

16 posted on 11/02/2009 12:50:39 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: parsifal

17 posted on 11/02/2009 12:52:56 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 8 | View Replies]

To: Roscoe Karns

18 posted on 11/02/2009 1:00:33 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Roscoe Karns

Buzzoff Nword


19 posted on 11/02/2009 1:11:15 AM PST by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Daffynition; Publius

BUMP!


20 posted on 11/02/2009 6:29:05 AM PST by Diana in Wisconsin (Save The Earth. It's The Only Planet With Chocolate.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: CaptRon
And this is a problem because...?

...the article continues beyond your attention span. ;-)

21 posted on 11/02/2009 5:28:24 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Gondring

Don’t know who you are, but I know you don’t know me so you can’t possibly know my attention span, a-hole. And you obivously missed my point. Or was your attention span too short? Hope we meet some day.


22 posted on 11/02/2009 5:31:31 PM PST by CaptRon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: CaptRon

LOL


23 posted on 11/02/2009 6:34:58 PM PST by Gondring (Paul Revere would have been flamed as a naysayer troll and told to go back to Boston.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
General/Chat
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson