Stephen Speicher

Introduction To Objectivist Epistemology

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6 posts in this topic

I think it only appropriate that Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology be the first non-fiction book rated on THE FORUM (though "ratings" are almost superfluous when it comes to the status of this book).

There are a number of non-fiction books that I go back to and read sections from over the years, but I doubt that I do this for any others as much as I have done this for ITOE. As I read this book again I peel away the layers, not because the writings are unclear -- quite the opposite, the writing is incredibly clear and precise -- but rather due to increasing the level of my understanding by continually integrating and applying the richness ofideas.

And, as much as I marvel at the clarity of thought in ITOE proper, I am always amazed at how Ayn Rand could speak at such depth and with such precision as she does extemporaneously in the appendix. Hopefully some day we will have a full transcript of this Q & A interchange, rather than just the excerpts.

What more important subject can there be than the proper use one's mind? And no book has succeeded more at accomplishing this than does ITOE. Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology forms the core of Ayn Rand's philosophy, and it is undoubtedly the single most important book in the history of philosophy.

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Stephen did not leave much to say about this book. I will only add that for myself, this is the book that taught me how to use my mind properly. Thank you Ayn Rand!

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I'll be shocked if there's anybody who doesn't give this book a 10. It's quite possibly the most important philosophical text since Aristotle's Analytics.

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I am tempted to say it's the most important book ever written. I've been through it 6 or 7 times over the past 4 years but still feel like I have a lot to learn from it.

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This was the first book I ever read by Ayn Rand. I'm glad I made that choice! The next book I read was Atlas Shrugged, and I don't know if it would have had the same impact on me-- although it definitely would have had an impact-- if i didn't have the philosophical basis provided by ITOE. Before I read ITOE I was a frustrated, failing Christian and a depressed, drugged teenager-- by the time I finished Galt's Speech I was an Objectivist and the happiest I had ever been. It's only gotten better since then!

Before I read ITOE I already knew that it was going to be Kant or Rand, for me, based on what I knew of the history of philosophy. I knew those were the two strongest, opposite poles. I couldn't have anticipated how drastically she would have come out victorious. By the time I finished ITOE, and about two paragraphs into Critique of Pure Reason, the next book I attempted, the matter was pretty much settled!

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