Sunday, March 4, 2012

Reading The Philosophy of Objectivism As "FLOATING SIGN" For Rand's Fiction

Part I:

Ayn Rand's enduring influence rests on her talent as a popular novelist, and not on any ability as a serious philosopher. While one can broadly agree with her positions on egoism and capitalism, the bases on which she claimed these rest — namely, her notions of metaphysics and epistemology — are incorrect when intelligible, and when correct, trivial.

Though apparently rejecting philosophical materialism, Objectivist metaphysics is simply an encore of the "naive materialism" debuted publicly by H. G. Wells in his "Outlines of History" (1919): an amusing scenario of Where It All Came From and Where It Is All Going, starring those two famous comics, Matter and Energy.

The epistemology as presented in the Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology is a farraginous mess, with definitions of concepts like "Unit" that are so idiosyncratic as to make the entire system (not to mention one's time trying to grasp it) a complete waste.

Alas. One cannot create a philosophical system in the same manner that one creates a novel, i.e., by making it up in accordance with one's inner truth. Though we willingly suspend our disbelief when entering the fictional world Ayn Rand created in her novels, we are unwilling to do the same when reading her non-fiction philosophy.

No comments: