Objective, Subjective, and My Explorations

“If you’re studying geology, which is all facts, as soon as you get out of school you forget it all . . . but philosophy, you remember just enough to screw you up for the rest of your life.”Steve Martin

I will be the first to admit that I have a thick head from time to time.  I also know that time has made my arguments softer in some areas and have to re-explore subjects.  Here is some things I have been thinking about for the last few weeks.

Last year I read Ayn Rand‘s novels.  I had read some of her books after graduating from college but they were compilations of her articles.  I had forgot most of the specifics in her arguments until reading her novels.  There is no doubt she is a person who values objective knowledge and she does not value subjective knowledge .  Her philosophy is called objectivism.

“The subjectivist theory holds that the good bears no relation to the facts of reality, that it is the product of a man’s consciousness, created by his feelings, desires, “intuitions,” or whims, and that it is merely an “arbitrary postulate” or an “emotional commitment.”” –  Ayn Rand, “What is Capitalism”

By contrast, Ludwig von Mises believes in the subjective use of knowledge.  I learned this thought process at George Mason University where I attended college.  It is a powerful way to view the world and, in my opinion, to help make better decisions.

“Economics is not about things and tangible material objects; it is about men, their meanings and their actions. Goods, commodities, and wealth and all the other notions of conduct are not elements of nature; they are elements of human meaning and conduct. He who wants to deal with them must not look at the external world; he must search for them in the meaning of acting men” -Ludwig von Mises, Human Action

To complicate this exploration further, I am taking a course by George Reisman where we read his book “Capitalism”.  Who does he sight as influences?  Well, Reisman sites Ludwig von Mises, Ayn Rand, and a bunch of other people.  Reisman is the only person I have read who has worked with both people.

Here is a fun article; Has Objectivism Gone Subjective? http://web.archive.org/web/20020124040704/http://www.linguafranca.com/9909/rand.html

It makes we want to rip my hair out!   Well, if I had hair.




About Christopher Hessenflow

Christopher Hessenflow is a financial planner in the Chicago area. He works with all sorts of people who are much more interesting than he is. He enjoys his career which lends him time to think and, sometimes, be creative. Chip was born bald.
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