Guest ASelameab

Higher Level Philosophical Studies

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I am bored. I am trying to find essays or studies that are more philosphical challenging that the essays the Capitalism magazine or ARI puts out. I know Binswanger is a solution, and I have already order his book and pamphlets. (His audio lectures are rather expensive.) Can anyone offer any suggestions?

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Perhaps you should specify what part of philosophy interests you the most, so that various members can suggest further readings in that area. For example if you like Capitalism Magazine and its focus on politics, then you might enjoy the many quality books on capitalism and rights, by the Austrians like Carl Menger and Von Mises, Adam Smith, John Locke, etc. Maybe even Aristotle's Politics, if you're really in the mood for a very different view of politics than what you might be used to. All these authors will get you thinking, if you're into the politics branch of philosophy. The same goes for every branch -- there is always something further to read (written by Ayn Rand or otherwise) to enhance your understanding of that branch of philosophy. So I would start by saying what specific area interests you most.

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Perhaps you should specify what part of philosophy interests you the most, so that various members can suggest further readings in that area. For example if you like Capitalism Magazine and its focus on politics, then you might enjoy the many quality books on capitalism and rights, by the Austrians like Carl Menger and Von Mises, Adam Smith, John Locke, etc. Maybe even Aristotle's Politics, if you're really in the mood for a very different view of politics than what you might be used to. All these authors will get you thinking, if you're into the politics branch of philosophy. The same goes for every branch -- there is always something further to read (written by Ayn Rand or otherwise) to enhance your understanding of that branch of philosophy. So I would start by saying what specific area interests you most.

Good points. I have already read all of the sources you have suggested (Aristotle, Locke, Smith, Mises). I am looking studies in metaphysics and epistemology, primarily. But I am always more interested in more extensive studies in all the other fields.

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Have you tried Aristotle's Metaphysics? Also, look into the Organon. Both of those should be of great use in Metaphysics and Epistomology.

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I am bored. I am trying to find essays or studies that are more philosphical challenging that the essays the Capitalism magazine or ARI puts out. I know Binswanger is a solution, and I have already order his book and pamphlets. (His audio lectures are rather expensive.) Can anyone offer any suggestions?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I take your post to mean that you are telling everyone on THE FORUM that in your time of study of Objectivism you have gathered all that Ayn Rand, Leonard Peikoff, Harry Binswanger, Edwin Locke, Gary Hull, Tara Smith, etc, etc., have written and understood it. Am I supposed to think that you have digested and integrated "OPAR", "Abstraction from Abstractions", Physco-Epistemology, Viable Values and many more? Because, if this is true, you are truly a genius.

To be able to confront your contradictions from your youth, such as the religious background you have discarded, and then implement rational ideas at every level is an amazing thing for someone to do so quickly.

On the flip-side the Ayn Rand Bookstore has a ton of further study materials, in so many different areas that I have a list almost 3 pages long of what I intend on buying. I have also paid thousands on the information I have already bought, and I spent it happily. When someone spends a life time to understand something, I will happily pay so that I do not have to use my time in the same endeavor. Spending $200-300 on a lecture course is worth every cent of knowledge that I receive in return.

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Have you tried Aristotle's Metaphysics?  Also, look into the Organon.  Both of those should be of great use in Metaphysics and Epistomology.

Yup, I have read that. Syllogisms rock.

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Yup, I have read that. Syllogisms rock.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

If you have read all of these things, why don't you consider reading them again? You could read the works of Aristotle twenty times and still learn something new each time. I say this because I think it'd be better to solidify yourself in one Metaphysics/Epistomology, learning through-and-through the workings of it until you integrate it as a system. Integration doesn't happen just by scanning a book and moving to the next. It happens by fully focusing on what you are reading; reading it and pondering over the points made; and thinking extensively about what you have read.

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I am bored.

No reason for that. Try a systematic study of the history of philosophy, getting to know the bad guys as well as the good. Try W. T. Jones' excellent A History of Western Philosophy, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1952, and/or Wilhelm Windelband's A History of Philosophy, The Paper Tiger, 2001.

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No reason for that. Try a systematic study of the history of philosophy, getting to know the bad guys as well as the good. Try W. T. Jones' excellent A History of Western Philosophy, Harcourt, Brace and Company, 1952, and/or Wilhelm Windelband's A History of Philosophy, The Paper Tiger, 2001.

Thanks for your suggestions. (Stephen, I appreciate your suggestions. I have heard of those books already (strongbrains.com).)

What I am looking for college/thesis level writing - difficult and really textbook-y. I don't want to re-read anything (with hopes of squeezing every last drop). I want something NEW. If the current academia is able to keep a steady slew of philosophical thought coming, so should we.

(For example, this:

http://enlightenment.supersaturated.com/essays/

It would work for me, but

1) It is defunct - so no new essays

2) It supports the TOC, so some essays are crap

3) Well, I can't actually think of a 3, so forget it)

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What I am looking for college/thesis level writing - difficult and really textbook-y. I don't want to re-read anything (with hopes of squeezing every last drop). I want something NEW.

Try Robert Mayhew's book, The Female in Aristotle's Biology, which I reviewed in this post. .

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Try Robert Mayhew's book, The Female in Aristotle's Biology, which I reviewed in this post. .

Thanks, I will look into it.

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I am bored. I am trying to find essays or studies that are more philosphical challenging that the essays the Capitalism magazine or ARI puts out.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I would like to make recommendations. First, I need context-setting information:

1. Why do you want to do "more philosophical[ly] challenging" reading?

In other words, what is your purpose? Is it part of your central purpose in life -- or some other purpose? If the former, then what is your CPL? If the latter, then which one?

(For anyone new to Objectivism and not familiar with the idea of a central purpose in life, I recommend starting with the articles on "Purpose" and "Happiness" in The Ayn Rand Lexicon.)

2. At what level are you reading?

You say in a later post that you have read Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Have you done so at a full abstract-integrative level, or did you read mainly to see what is there?

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Amse, you said you have read Von Mises, Locke, etc, and now you want something more. I must mirror the concerns expressed by others, and wonder if you are reading for breadth, not for depth. The point is not to read something, i.e. to scan your eyes over it and say you've read it, but to truly understand it, integrate it, and make it your own; some members of this forum, for example, have said that they take over a day to read one page of a particularly deep book.

What I am suggesting, therefore, is that you pick one area that interests you, read and truly understand the various books that have been written on it throughout history, and then engage in discussions with others to jog your understanding and test your comprehension. After first reading Atlas Shrugged and then the rest of Ayn Rand's works, I felt that I have learned everything there was to learn in philosophy, or in anything else (such was her talent). It took encountering other students of Objectivism, posing questions, attempting to answer the questions of others, for me to I realize that I actually understood far less than I thought.

All this is why I recommend you raise some issues on this forum, or reply to issues raised by others, and test your understanding. Betsy Speicher has a number of Ethical Dilemmas in the Ethics subforum, and they may be an great place for you to start. I personally would be interested in your responses.

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I am bored. I am trying to find essays or studies that are more philosphical challenging that the essays the Capitalism magazine or ARI puts out. I know Binswanger is a solution, and I have already order his book and pamphlets. (His audio lectures are rather expensive.) Can anyone offer any suggestions?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You say you've already read Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, but that would be worth slowly re-reading (for a good understanding) if you are looking for something more challenging. Also, have you read the expanded second edition, with its appendix in which Ayn Rand discusses her philosophy with some professors? That's worth reading. (And you can check your understanding of the material by trying to answer the professors' questions before you read Ayn Rand's answer.) That book also contains Peikoff's essay on the analytic-synthetic dichotomy, which is very much worth reading and studying, since the issue comes up so often today.

All of the material in this book is difficult to understand. I haven't met anybody yet who understood it all the first time he read it.

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I would like to make recommendations. First, I need context-setting information:

1. Why do you want to do "more philosophical[ly] challenging" reading?

In other words, what is your purpose? Is it part of your central purpose in life -- or some other purpose? If the former, then what is your CPL? If the latter, then which one?

1. Just so we understand each other, could you provide a definition of CPL, either from the Lexicon or yourself?

2. By philosphically challenging I mean material that is more abstract and/or "theoretical" in nature; while at the same time having a solid base in reailty.

a. To provide definitions for both "abstract" and "theoretical" (working definitions):

i. "abstract" -

1.

2. theoretical: based on general principles or theories rather than on specific instances

(Source: http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dic...efid=1861583123)

ii. "theoretical" -

2. dealing with theory: dealing with theory or speculation rather than practical applications 3. speculative: inclined to or skilled in speculative contemplation or theorizing

(Source: http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dic...efid=1861719559)

3. I want to read more complicated material in order to develop a more acute mind and to also sharpen my inductive powers.

2. At what level are you reading?

You say in a later post that you have read Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology. Have you done so at a full abstract-integrative level, or did you read mainly to see what is there?

I read at three levels:

1. Purely info seeking. I first read just to see what an author is saying, what conclusions have they arrived at.

2. I then question how they arrived at their conclusion. I backtrack their reasoning and see it it makes sense.

3. I check and see if I agree with what they are saying. If so, I tend to move on. If not, or if I am unsure or in the least hesitant, I reread the material to see who made a lapse of judgement. I find myself doing this a lot with Objectivist writers.

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Amse, you said you have read Von Mises, Locke, etc, and now you want something more. I must mirror the concerns expressed by others, and wonder if you are reading for breadth, not for depth. The point is not to read something, i.e. to scan your eyes over it and say you've read it, but to truly understand it, integrate it, and make it your own; some members of this forum, for example, have said that they take over a day to read one page of a particularly deep book.

Read the previous post. I spend a lot of time reading material, so I only choose stuff that I have a strong interest in. I just recently finished an study of Ancient Greece, where I read around 5 primary source materials, and a couple secondary sources too.

What I am suggesting, therefore, is that you pick one area that interests you, read and truly understand the various books that have been written on it throughout history, and then engage in discussions with others to jog your understanding and test your comprehension.....

I agree. I am past that stage, as I can see you are as well. Before the summer began, I sat down and decided the subjects that interested me the most, and which ones I would want to extensively study. Here's a rough list of what subjects I chose (some funny, others serious!) -

1. Victor Hugo

2. Harry Potter

3. Environmentalism

4. Romantic Literature

5. Philosophy (in general)

6. 19th Century Romantic Literature

7. (Currently) Higher level philosophy

All this is why I recommend you raise some issues on this forum, or reply to issues raised by others, and test your understanding. Betsy Speicher has a number of Ethical Dilemmas in the Ethics subforum, and they may be an great place for you to start. I personally would be interested in your responses.

Cool, I will look into that. When I am faced with a problem (moral ones especially), I think about it non-stop until I solve it. I find it really bugs me. Depending on their complexity, it might take me a while.

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You say you've already read Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, but that would be worth slowly re-reading (for a good understanding) if you are looking for something more challenging. ....

That's a good idea. I, as a general rule, don't just blow by books. I spend a great deal of time on them, and I spent a CRAP load of time on IOE. I will re-read it though, you have a point. I may pick up something "new" - or at least it wil keep me busy until school starts!

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1. Just so we understand each other, could you provide a definition of CPL, either from the Lexicon or yourself?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I suggest you read the whole excerpt but here are two quick points that come from "Purpose," The Ayn Rand Lexicon, p. 398:

1. "Productive work is the central purpose of a rational man's life ..."

2. "A central purpose serves to integrate all the other concerns of a man's life."

In my words, my ultimate purpose in life is maintaining and enhancing my life. (See "Ultimate Value" in ARL.) To achieve that ultimate purpose, I have secondary purposes. Mine are (1) my central purpose in life, my beloved work; (2) creating and maintaining friendships; and (3) my favorite leisure/recreational activities (which re-create me, so to speak, after periods of intense work). While my work is my central purpose, the others are peripheral purposes. But "peripheral" does not mean unimportant.

Ayn Rand's ultimate purpose in life was happiness. Her central purpose in life was to portray the ideal man in fiction, including his philosophy. When she completed that career, she turned to defending and expanding the ideal man's philosophy, which was her philosophy, Objectivism. (See Jeff Britting's little biography, Ayn Rand.)

Howard Roark's ultimate purpose in life, I infer, was happiness. His central purpose in life was to design and build buildings. This is an example of two facts: the ultimate purpose in life for all men should be the same, happiness. But each man chooses a personal CPL based on his nature as an individual and on his individual circumstances.

Way down on the scale of human achievement, my UPL is happiness, and my CPL is telling success stories from the past. My CPL is the core of my life. It is not the whole of life, but it is the core.

Sometimes defining a CPL takes a lot of time. Have you selected one for yourself? If so, it can be one guide in helping you decide what to read.

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I want to read more complicated material in order to develop a more acute mind and to also sharpen my inductive powers.

If that is your goal, I would suggest putting the books aside sometimes and going out to investigate, solve problems in, question, and observe REALITY -- first-hand, in person, and up close.

See if and how the ideas you have learned apply to your own observations and experiences. Question people who share and disagree with your ideas. Form conclusions and make predictions from your observations and then go back and check to see if your conclusions hold and your predictions were accurate.

THAT's how to sharpen your inductive powers.

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I spend a lot of time reading material, so I only choose stuff that I have a strong interest in. I just recently finished an study of Ancient Greece, where I read around 5 primary source materials, and a couple secondary sources too.
Just to see what you mean (and also to further understand your modus operandi), could you please specify the primary source materials you've read on the subject? And, broadly speaking, how long did it take you to complete your study of Ancient Greece?

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Sometimes defining a CPL takes a lot of time. Have you selected one for yourself? If so, it can be one guide in helping you decide what to read.

I would have to say:

Amse's central purpose in life is to achieve his own happiness. He intends to so this (primarily) by engaging in excruciatingly difficult and exhausting work - but work which he loves to do with fervor, excitement; with pride. Amse intends to be a lawyer. A secondary value that Amse's wishes to attain is a romantic partner, a wife, who wants the same fundemental things out of life as I. Lastly, Amse wants friends he can value, hobbies he can enjoy, and another beagle. (My last one was given away :D .)

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If that is your goal, I would suggest putting the books aside sometimes and going out to investigate, solve problems in.....

THAT's how to sharpen your inductive powers.

I do that already though.....

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Just to see what you mean (and also to further understand your modus operandi), could you please specify the primary source materials you've read on the subject? And, broadly speaking, how long did it take you to complete your study of Ancient Greece?

I wanted to get a flavor of the culture of Greece, so I studied 5 general areas; the literature, philosophy, fine art (visual arts, drama, poetry), science, and history. Here are the books I read:

(I don't remember the translators, but here are the primary sources on AG)

(These also aren't the exact titles)

1. Selections from Herodotus

2. Dialouges of Plato

3. Book on Greek art

4. Essays by Hippocrates

5. Plays by Aeschylus

6. Plays by Sophocles

7. Poems by Hesiod

In terms of secondary sources, I read the following:

1. The Greeks (Kitto)

All in all, this took me a couple weeks. I had a lot of free time.

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