Subject

Review/comment about Ayn Rand's easy-peasy book ITOE ("Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology").

Book Commentary
 January 16, 2014

 

Easy peasy

 

 

Blog version

(see Amazon.com for Amazon version or see its reprint below)

  

What some of Ayn Rand's enemies recognize but many of her friends don't is that because this book is easy peasy it is dangerous.

Because of my own first hand experience I know this to be true.

That is, this book is easy peasy IF you understand that it was written for the man-in-the-street-human being not man-in-the-ivory-tower-philosophy student.

For example, who besides me hasn't had a dream where your dream circle swooshed in on a red cup and in the same dream scene also on red painted fingernails from a long, slender hand dangling in the scene and then the next day on your 4th birthday woke up thinking about red as-a-thing?

And then why, some decades later when they read this on the first page of Chapter 2 of ITOE and [inserted] their own first hand experience while doing so: ...

 

2. Concept-Formation

            A concept is a mental integration of two or more units [cup & fingernails with something same about them] which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) [same look] and united by a specific definition [this cup and those fingernails look the same].

            The units involved may be any aspect of reality: entities, attributes [same look], actions, qualities [same look that is different from the rest of the stuff--hand and table cup sits on--in the circle], relationships, etc.; they may be perceptual concretes [fingernails, cups] or other, earlier-formed concepts.  The act of isolation involved is a process of abstraction: i.e., a selective mental focus [dream circle] that takes out or separates a certain aspect of reality from all others (e.g., isolates a certain attribute [color] from the entities [fingernails attached to a hand and a cup standing by itself nearby in an otherwise all black & white dream] possessing it, or a certain action from the entities performing it, etc.).  The uniting involved is not a mere sum, but an integration, i.e., a blending of the units into a single, new mental entity .... [red!!!] ...

... why they didn't end up keeling over from way way way too many multiple (mental) orgasms as the foreplayful Ms. Rand connected the dots--dot after dot after dot--for said individual such as myself, I'll never know--actually I do know, that is, actually, internally speaking I did keel over.  That is, a self who suffered greatly from the rampant Kantian abuse shoved down his throat by the mere fact of the fact that he took education seriously and was educated in the Kantian driven American Public Education School System as same existed from 1951 to 1987 wherein he was "educated". (Granting that the first half of this period contained enough Classical Education influence to prevent total and complete mind destruction, in balance it still required a big dudette coming along at exactly the half way point in my education to save me.)

All's I can say is, "Thank god for Ayn Rand."

The dangerous part is both theoretical and factual.

Theoretically, that is, IF ONLY I could now go back to my 10th grade high school class and have the teacher-lead-whole-class laughing at me for ME saying in response to the teacher's question, "of course there is a sound when the tree falls in the woods without anyone around" and they all laughing in unison at me and saying you just don't get it do you Deering, you can't know this THAT'S THE POINT would I ever have a thing or two to tell them.

Thing 1: if you too want to know that you can know then read Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

Thing 2: Not all teachers are rational.

Thing 1a: If you want to know HOW you know then read Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

Factually, if after your sixth or seventh read through of this book where each time around the part just above last time's easy peasy parts that you didn't get then but now all of a sudden these new parts seem easy peasy too then welcome to the world of the knowers.

It is a fun world, but as I said it is not without danger ... as the following letter of mine sent to a local editor attests to:

Dear Editor The Minneapolis Star:

I read with interest the article Struggle expected before U.S. gets National Health Insurance in the February 7 edition of your paper.

I am reminded how easy, how struggle-less, life would be if it were not for those selfish few, whoever they are, who insist on fighting for their rights at the expense of society's right to be taken care of by the federal government.

I just do not understand why some people think individuals have rights that supersede those of society. Where in god's name did they ever get such a notion. I thought everyone accepted, as universal truth, that like the sun, by its nature, is the base and source of energy on earth, so society, by its nature, is the base and source of mans rights on earth.

I will go so far as to grant to that troublemaking, selfish minority that this country was founded on the love for individual rights. But then, he has to grant me the fact that for some time now it has been run on the principle of majority edict (if 6 out of 10 people determine by vote that the earth is flat, it is flat damn it --the other four are just deluded). I suspect those same four guys are responsible for the struggle referred to in the article.

Nonetheless, we are still a democratic nation. So, I think President Carter should change his words concerning the insurance coverage from 'universal and mandatory' to individual and voluntary. Then the government should divide the projected cost of 100 Billion plus dollars by the 200 million plus people who will be covered by it and send them their bill in the mail requesting their voluntary contribution.

I then can send my $2000, four member family bill back, stamped -- Kiss My Ass!

 

   Sincerely yours,

   Gary D. Deering

   2/ 7/ 77

 

Of course it goes without saying that some dangerous things are just down right fun--not to mention, that some of these can even be more satisfying than sex.

 

 [Post Comment]

 

*  *  *  *  *


 

Review/comment about Ayn Rand's
easy-peasy book ITOE ("Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology").

Easy peasy

Amazon.com @ book Version

What some of Ayn Rand's enemies recognize but many of her friends don't is that because this book is easy peasy it is dangerous.

Because of my own first hand experience I know this to be true.

That is, this book is easy peasy IF you understand that it was written for the man-in-the-street-human being not man-in-the-ivory-tower-philosophy student.

For example, who besides me hasn't had a dream where your dream circle swooshed in on a red cup and in the same dream scene also on red painted fingernails from a long, slender hand dangling in the scene and then the next day on your 4th birthday woke up thinking about red as-a-thing?

And then why some decades later when they read this on the first page of Chapter 2 of ITOE and [inserted] their own first hand experience while doing so: ...

 

2. Concept-Formation

            A concept is a mental integration of two or more units [cup & fingernails with something same about them] which are isolated according to a specific characteristic(s) [same look] and united by a specific definition [this cup and those fingernails look the same].

            The units involved may be any aspect of reality: entities, attributes [same look], actions, qualities [same look that is different from the rest of the stuff--hand and table cup sits on--in the circle], relationships, etc.; they may be perceptual concretes [fingernails, cups] or other, earlier-formed concepts.  The act of isolation involved is a process of abstraction: i.e., a selective mental focus [dream circle] that takes out or separates a certain aspect of reality from all others (e.g., isolates a certain attribute [color] from the entities [fingernails attached to a hand and a cup standing by itself nearby in an otherwise all black & white dream] possessing it, or a certain action from the entities performing it, etc.).  The uniting involved is not a mere sum, but an integration, i.e., a blending of the units into a single, new mental entity .... [red!!!] ...

... why they didn't end up keeling over from way way way too many multiple (mental) orgasms as the foreplayful Ms. Rand connected the dots--dot after dot after dot--for said individual such as myself, I'll never know--actually I do know, that is, actually, internally speaking I did keel over.  That is, a self who suffered greatly from the rampant Kantian abuse shoved down his throat by the mere fact of the fact that he took education seriously and was educated in the Kantian driven American Public Education School System as same existed from 1951 to 1987 wherein he was "educated". (Granting that the first half of this period contained enough Classical Education influence to prevent total and complete mind destruction, in balance it still required a big dudette coming along at exactly the half way point in my education to save me.)

All's I can say is, "Thank god for Ayn Rand."

The dangerous part is both theoretical and factual.

Theoretically, that is, IF ONLY I could now go back to my 10th grade high school class and have the teacher-lead-whole-class laughing at me for ME saying in response to the teacher's question, "of course there is a sound when the tree falls in the woods without anyone around" and they all laughing in unison at me and saying you just don't get it do you Deering, you can't know this THAT'S THE POINT would I ever have a thing or two to tell them.

Thing 1: if you too want to know that you can know then read Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

Thing 2: Not all teachers are rational.

Thing 1a: If you want to know HOW you know then read Ayn Rand's Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.

Factually, if after your sixth or seventh read through of this book where each time around the part just above last time's easy peasy parts that you didn't get then but now all of a sudden these new parts seem easy peasy too then welcome to the world of the knowers.

It is a fun world, but as I said it is not without danger ... as the following letter of mine sent to a local editor attests to:

Dear Editor The Minneapolis Star:

[Not reprinted here]

[I have to stop here because of amazon's limitations--it can't differentiate between swear words used inappropriately (profanity--that is, swear words as substitutions for appropriate abstract concepts that the user does not know and is too lazy to learn) and ones used appropriately (emotional end-state descriptors).  Since my letter-to-the-editor (lte) has two appropriately used swear words in it and since I accept amazon's rules about me qua "reviewer/commentator" on their website not making them differentiate I can't put this lte here.  However, for those aforementioned friends who are still interested you can read the full "review/comment" at my degageblog.]

 

I sometimes think that "Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology" is the greatest book Ayn Rand ever wrote.

But then of course other times I think it is "Atlas Shrugged".

Either way, if you like thinking about thinking then there is a really good chance you will like ITOE.

If on the other hand you love knowing and knowing that you know then there is a really really good chance you will love ITOE.
 

  

PS: here's a small tip on how to help you make this book be easy peasy(ier) for you if it already isn't, 

1. Buy the original non-expanded version first (my 4th Printing copy--Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, pub: The Objectivist, Inc.--was printed in 1973) and read and study it first because it is physically a littler book (quarter inch thick) that can seem less daunting then this FOUR TIMES BIGGER (one-inch thick) Expanded Version. Also, some of the material in the Expanded Version's expanded section prevents you from learning the material on your own without having to rely on more experts to give you the answers. (You will end up relying on them only after you have to--see more following).

2. Read it and re-read it as required for the next year or so as you give yourself a chance to learn on your own all you can about epistemology in general and objectivist epistemology in particular (which ultimately--if both match reality--are the same thing).

3. When you get to the point where you can't easily continue your understanding of the book's ideas by simply re-reading it (and thinking about the book's ideas in-between these re-reads) then get this expanded version and read it's expanded parts and

4. then continue on as required to learn all you can about epistemology in general (and in particular, eventually, your own personal epistemology, i.e., psycho-epistemology, i.e., your own personal thinking modus operandi as herein resides your biggest source of self improvement you'll ever find) and   

5. then, voila! after several years you too can conclude: "...this stuff is easy peasy ..." (notice, when you are 3 years old several years is a lifetime but when you are thirty it's only about 10% of a lifetime ... voila, easy peasy/piece of cake are tele÷metric--that is, relative--terms ... ).

 

PPS

1. If you can't get a copy of the original non-expanded version then buy two copies of this the paperback Expanded Version and

2. put one copy away for future use, and

3. take the other copy, turn to page 88 and tear off the rest of the book from pp 89 to the end and throw it away and

4. cross off page 88 (title page for Dr. Peikoff's Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy article*) with a giant X and then

5. what's left is the original non-expanded version for you to read and study and reread and continue studying for the first year or so ... then go to number 3 in the PS above and continue on your way to easy-peasy ville ...

FPS

Objectivism can be intimidating or at least it was to me but I refused to let this intimidation stop me and I highly recommend that you persevere also as the reward of ... knowing and knowing that you know is ... invaluable.
  

-----------------

* I can't remember for sure if I read this article before or after ITOE (since for me it was just under a half a lifetime ago when I read it) but I think I did and so since it was an invaluable article for me--or as I've published elsewhere: "[the] Analytic-Synthetic Dichotomy article ... single handedly uncrooked well over half of my 17 years worth of American-Public-Education-induced, intellectually twisted, psycho-epistemology"--it might prove to be the same for you so you can read this as a standalone thing independent of its inclusion here in ITOE.

 

 

 

 

  

 
  
 
 
 
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