“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.