realitycheck44

...your friends want to listen to Peikoff

12 posts in this topic

I'm a little hesitant to post this in the "You'll Know Objectivism Is Winning" section because this is a very small example. However, in response to Piz's request for more good things, I thought I would start sharing examples of good things I notice in my life instead of thinking they are too insignificant to post here.

My college (Webb Institute) is a very focused school and we only have one class in humanities a semester. This semester we have political philosophy, which is really like an introductory course in philosophy, taught by a professor who has eight graduate degrees, including four doctorates. Philosophically, he's very mixed. Anyway, we have to write a paper this week on Hobbes. Having just received my long-coveted copy of Leonard Peikoff's lecture series The History of Philosophy, I sat in the library Friday night and listened to all the relevant sections.

Here's the really cool part: my friend came by and wanted to listen to them as well. So on Saturday, we listened to an hour or so of the lecture (the relevant part about Hobbes), and had a great time. My friend was astounded by the scope of Peikoff's knowledge and the depth of his analysis. We had a great time afterwards being annoyed at the philosophy professor, and how much he missed in the lecture he gave us, both in material and analysis.

In fact, my friend told me today that all he wanted to do was listen to the lectures! Sadly, there's too much work to do for him to do this today. But he's very excited about listening to the lectures. The best part is, my friend is very, very different from me philosophically. Yet, he still thinks Peikoff is amazing, and was inspired by the analysis Peikoff offered.

So that's just another, very small example of how irresistible the power of Objectivism is. It offers answers, not just opinions. :)

Zak

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Start at the beginning with the pre-socratics and work your way through the lectures in order systematically. The lectures are designed as in integrated whole and build in a progression in terms of the major historical positions taken in philosophy and why as each philosopher built on or reacted to his predecessors. There is much more about almost any one philosopher that can be covered in a historical survey, but he identifies the essence of the positions taken in each of the branches of philosophy and compares the similarities and differences in that context in a way you won't find elsewhere.

In addition to enhancing your understanding of the major positions taken throughout history, the lectures explicitly provide many important insights into Ayn Rand's philosophy in the context of the evolution of philosophical thought and of the major problems raised and addressed in different ways throughout the history of philosophy. They will give you additional understanding of Objectivism and an additional appreciation of how much Ayn Rand did. There is much more to the lectures than just understanding individual philosophers in history.

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I agree with and understand everything that you said. I intend to do just that. However, I have to write a paper on Hobbes, and I don't have time to work my way through eight lectures this weekend. Are you suggesting that I not listen to his evaluation of Hobbes, when it could help me write my paper?

I'm not sure why you posted the way you did. The point of my post was merely to give an example of how great the power of Objectivism - one of the many examples I see every day of how willing many of my peers are to accept Ayn Rand's ideas- simply because she is so right. Not only that, but that they understand ideas do matter. Remember, we are talking about engineering students getting excited to listen to a CD of a philosophy lecture. I don't know about you, but that's pretty cool to me- and it illustrates just how good the lectures are. (Yes, I know, I can't fully understand how great the lectures are until I listen to them all the way through.)

I am not trying to speak for Piz here, but the tone of your post seems to be the exact thing that he has a problem with. I was trying to point out something good - there was no need to lecture me. (To clarify, it was not the content of the post, it was the condescending tone.)

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I agree with and understand everything that you said. I intend to do just that. However, I have to write a paper on Hobbes, and I don't have time to work my way through eight lectures this weekend. Are you suggesting that I not listen to his evaluation of Hobbes, when it could help me write my paper?

No, only that there is even more to the lectures than you have experienced so far. After you have gone through them systematically you will see how there is even more to the Hobbes lecture than you were able to notice by starting there, but you only have so much time for your paper.

I'm not sure why you posted the way you did. The point of my post was merely to give an example of how great the power of Objectivism - one of the many examples I see every day of how willing many of my peers are to accept Ayn Rand's ideas- simply because she is so right. Not only that, but that they understand ideas do matter. Remember, we are talking about engineering students getting excited to listen to a CD of a philosophy lecture. I don't know about you, but that's pretty cool to me- and it illustrates just how good the lectures are. (Yes, I know, I can't fully understand how great the lectures are until I listen to them all the way through.)

Your friend will get more out of them if he listens to them systematically, too, especially when he sees for himself the value of Ayn Rand's contributions in the context of the history of philosophy.

I am not trying to speak for Piz here, but the tone of your post seems to be the exact thing that he has a problem with. I was trying to point out something good - there was no need to lecture me. (To clarify, it was not the content of the post, it was the condescending tone.)

There is nothing "condescending" about straightforwardly explaining how and why there is even more than what you have experienced so far because of the structure and design of the lecture series. That is more than simply getting more by listening to more volume of material. I have explained this many times to encourage different people to listen to the lectures. They typically appreciate it. It is "the good". This is the first time anyone has ever resented it as if it were somehow negative, making such a contentious and unfounded accusation -- in the name of, of all things, Piz's concern with exactly that. :)

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I am not trying to speak for Piz here, but the tone of your post seems to be the exact thing that he has a problem with. I was trying to point out something good - there was no need to lecture me. (To clarify, it was not the content of the post, it was the condescending tone.)

There is nothing "condescending" about straightforwardly explaining how and why there is even more than what you have experienced so far because of the structure and design of the lecture series. That is more than simply getting more by listening to more volume of material. I have explained this many times to encourage different people to listen to the lectures. They typically appreciate it. It is "the good". This is the first time anyone has ever resented it as if it were somehow negative, making such a contentious and unfounded accusation -- in the name of, of all things, Piz's concern with exactly that. :)

I have limited time, but I think you deserve a quick response. First of all, my purpose was not in any way contentious. I was not trying to stir up any disagreement, merely to point out to you that I was puzzled, and a little upset, by the tone of your post. Normally I would not say anything about it- it happens all the time, both to me and by me. But I understand Piz's concern (I think), and I was trying to point out that the tone of your post was not very nice. Perhaps I am being hypersensitive, but I thought your post was unnecessarily pretentious. If you would have responded by being excited, more of a "just wait until you're able to listen to the whole thing!", I would have been excited as well. Instead, you glossed over the main point of my post to point out that I haven't any idea of how good the lectures really are, and the fact that someone else enjoys them is unworthy of notice, because one can't enjoy them fully without listening to the entire series in order.

Does that explain why I thought your post was condescending? It was not the straightforward answer; it was that you skipped over the entire point of my post to explain (in effect) that I should really have listened to the lecture from the beginning. Only now do I understand that you were actually excited and trying to get me excited to listen to the whole series.

Does my reaction now make sense? If you re-read your post and do not feel that I am correct in how I responded, than that is fine. But I think you should be aware of my initial reaction. Perhaps this should have been done privately instead of publicly, I'm not sure. ewv, please understand that I do have the utmost respect for your knowledge and ability. I do not mean this as a personal attack.

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Hi realitycheck44,

first class reply!

He was improperly speculating in a personal, resentful projection. That is a cause of a lot of the "fights" that unnecessarily break out on the Forum and, especially, other forums. There was nothing wrong with a "tone" of my very straightforward post, and accusations of "pretentiousness", etc. were and still are improper. If I could have anticipated such a reaction I would not have bothered.

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There was nothing bad in what ewv wrote.

It's a fact of reality that some people have spent a lot longer studying and thinking about Objectivism than those who are new to the philosophy (that would be, for example, ewv.) If advice that they give makes sense and is accurate, I suggest gratefully accepting it (rather than other, counterproductive and ultimately self-defeating, reactions.)

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I hadn't read this thread before now. I think we had a simple case here of misreading what was typed due to the unavoidable lack of tone, inflection, body language, eye contact, etc. that comes with internet posts. What followed was just a typical result of such a misunderstanding. Everybody take a deep breath and an ice cream break.

Note for the record, however, that no one speaks for me but me, so, any- and everyone, please don't include me (or, I should imagine, anyone else) in discussions in the manner of the posts following the first.

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He was improperly speculating in a personal, resentful projection. That is a cause of a lot of the "fights" that unnecessarily break out on the Forum and, especially, other forums. There was nothing wrong with a "tone" of my very straightforward post, and accusations of "pretentiousness", etc. were and still are improper. If I could have anticipated such a reaction I would not have bothered.
First of all, I already said I would not normally make any sort of deal with it. It was simply my take on what Piz was having a problem with. Again, and I've said this before, I am not in any way speaking for Piz. I have had this problem from time to time before, but I simply deal with it privately. In hindsight, I shouldn't have made that post. Not because I believe my position to be wrong, but because I generally don't try to stir up any sort of disagreement. But honestly, I didn't think it would be a big deal: I certainly wasn't trying to incite an argument. As I stated earlier, I am grateful for the advice, just a little disgruntled at the lack of excitement

Again, as I said, I did this so that you (ewv) would understand my reaction to your post. Sometimes people, myself included, are inadvertently rude or condescending. If you think I'm being hypersensitive, that's fine. Please do bother making remarks again. If you can do so in a way that gets people excited, that would be awesome. If you can't, that's fine too. Regardless, I still want your advice.

I covered the reasons for my reaction in my last post, so I will not get into them here. However, let me say that if ewv would have posted the same exact post in the other thread I have on Peikoff's lectures (in the R&R section), I would have thanked him for the advice. Hopefully I have communicated the reason for my response clearly enough that none of you hold this against me.

This is all I have to say on the topic. I hope some of the members on THE FORUM are excited about the fact that there are engineering students out there who have no particular interest in philosophy and are excited to listen to Peikoff's lectures. That was the sole purpose of this thread.

Zak

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I hope some of the members on THE FORUM are excited about the fact that there are engineering students out there who have no particular interest in philosophy and are excited to listen to Peikoff's lectures. That was the sole purpose of this thread.

Zak

Yes there are engineering students like that. When I was still in school there was a whole group of us. I didn't have philosophy (or Ayn Rand) as an undergraduate, so you are ahead in that department, but we still took ideas seriously and in graduate school (not for philosophy), discussions of Ayn Rand and philosophy were quite explicit. I would expect you to find more such people as you continue in your last years of college, and Leonard Peikoff's lectures should be of interest to almost anyone with the slightest interest in the subject. Our access to those lectures were only through paying to attend a group listening of the series, which was naturally limited to those already seriously interested in Ayn Rand. Now that you have the CDs yourself you have a big advantage in flexibility.

We took very good notes, making it possible to look things up later long after hearing recordings we no longer had access to (and I found most of the references and full quotes he used and included them in my notes). I suggest that you take the time to take good notes even though you have the CDs because it helps to "ingrain" the material and makes it so much faster to find and refer to topics that sporadically come up and to carefully review sections you need. But I would still encourage your friends to listen to entire lectures (and the whole series if possible) on the CDs to get the full context, exact wording, and emphasis.

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Yes there are engineering students like that. When I was still in school there was a whole group of us. I didn't have philosophy (or Ayn Rand) as an undergraduate, so you are ahead in that department, but we still took ideas seriously and in graduate school (not for philosophy), discussions of Ayn Rand and philosophy were quite explicit. I would expect you to find more such people as you continue in your last years of college, and Leonard Peikoff's lectures should be of interest to almost anyone with the slightest interest in the subject. Our access to those lectures were only through paying to attend a group listening of the series, which was naturally limited to those already seriously interested in Ayn Rand. Now that you have the CDs yourself you have a big advantage in flexibility.
First of all, thanks very much for your reply. I know I am very lucky that Ayn Rand's ideas are so readily accessible. I can't imagine how hard it was back when there was no internet to discuss ideas and no copies of lectures. On the other hand, I really wish I could have listened to Miss Rand lecture in person.
We took very good notes, making it possible to look things up later long after hearing recordings we no longer had access to (and I found most of the references and full quotes he used and included them in my notes). I suggest that you take the time to take good notes even though you have the CDs because it helps to "ingrain" the material and makes it so much faster to find and refer to topics that sporadically come up and to carefully review sections you need. But I would still encourage your friends to listen to entire lectures (and the whole series if possible) on the CDs to get the full context, exact wording, and emphasis.
Yes, I totally agree. I took notes on the Hobbes section - and I would often listen to a particuarly interesting part again once or twice to make sure I understood his argument correctly (another advantage of the CDs). However, I'll probably do alot of the listening in the car, so I'll probably end up listening to most of it casually at first, and then again to take notes. It was so hard not to listen to it from the beginning! Peikoff kept referencing arguments he had made earlier and I really wanted to listen to all of it, but just didn't have the time.

Thanks again for the advice. :)

Zak

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