Betsy Speicher

How to Be an Impassioned Valuer

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How to Be an Impassioned Valuer by Andrew Bernstein.

Lecture suggested for rating by Bert.

Description from the AynRandBookstore.com (link)

What makes something a value in a man's life? What are the steps required for a harmonious allocation of time to competing values? What are the characteristics of the "value-intoxicated" personality?

This seminar answers these questions by focusing on four aspects central to the attainment of happiness: the understanding, the forming, the "hierarchizing" and the pursuing of values. Stressing the importance of "the explorer premise" and exhorting the listener to embrace the principle that "nothing is neutral," Dr. Bernstein constructs his case—built on example after vivid example—that impassioned valuing is living; anything less is a form of dying. This presentation is for those trying to identify their values and particularly for those striving to integrate their values into their daily lives.

(Audio CD; 5-CD set; 4 hrs., 4 min., with Q & A)

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This lecture by Andrew Bernstein has some good points, but also some parts I found boring and unclear. He breaks down the lecture into valuing on the perceptual level, conceptual level, evaluative level, emotional level, and then the action level. Here is a brief review of each part.

Perceptual- I liked some of the things he stressed such as the "Explorer's Premise" and to learn from reality as opposed to being an "Ivory Tower" learner. He gave examples of ideal explorers (one was Francisco in his childhood in Atlas Shrugged). He stressed the mix of learning from books and experience but I would have liked it if he would have went into more detail with this point. I have read about this in The Forum where members advocate doing projects in college as opposed to just book learning. This is a form of the "Explorer's Premises," but I liked how Andrew Bernstein made it more explicit in my mind.

Conceptual- If you have been studying Objectivism very in depth, most of this part should be review. Andrew Bernstein basically said to pay attention and learn from your experiences and don't deny reality. Some of the examples were too long for me, but if the point of not denying reality is not very concrete in your mind this may help.

Evaluative- Here he stressed not sitting on the fence with any issues. Although this was not knew to me, I still liked listening to him elaborate on it.

Emotional- This followed from the evaluative level and was straightforward. Basically since you should take stances on the issues you deal with, you should also have strong likes and dislikes.

Action- Here he mainly elaborated on how to choose what values should get your time and energy. This was also kind of review to me. Some of the best material I have read about this is in this forum.

Its hard for me to recommend it or not. I think that certain people may find it helpful while others may see it as a waste of time. Many of the points he made, I have been working on for some time, and many of them can be found in this forum. The hardest part is the actual doing them. Some examples were helpful, but on some he did not make clear enough of what he was advocating. It was not a theoretical lecture but more of a lecture on applying parts of Objectivism. Some reasons for why one should practice the philosophy the way he implicated were unclear to me. I did get a better understanding of valuing, and certain parts throughout the lecture did inspire me. If any of my summary sounds interesting, or if you are somewhat new to the idea that valuing is an important application of Objectivism, this may be a good starting point. Again, this forum has posts that cover the majority of the topics discussed although some may not be as explicit, but if you have read most of this material , I'd say it would be review to you.

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Some examples were helpful, but on some he did not make clear enough of what he was advocating. It was not a theoretical lecture but more of a lecture on applying parts of Objectivism. Some reasons for why one should practice the philosophy the way he implicated were unclear to me. ------------

Examples?

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Examples?

Are you asking for examples that were unclear to me or ones that show it was a lecture on application rather than theory?

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