Objectivism 3: Ethics

In part three of this series on Objectivism, I argue Objectivist ethics is vitiated by three related problems: the equivocation between survival and flourishing, an unspoken but dominating common good, and the confusion of the category of “individual” with actual concrete individuals. Advertisements

Objectivism 1: Epistemology

This is a discussion and critique of Rand’s An Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology.  I primarily reference Kindle locations in the chapters “Cognition and Measurement” (CM), “Concept Formation” (CF), “Concepts of Consciousness” (CC), and “Definitions” (D).

Notes on Speculation, Critique, Necessity, and Contingency

This is a sketch of a possible project.  The hypothesis is that Kant’s project had two elements, the critical (i.e. discovering the limits of reason) and the speculative (i.e. banishing skepticism and defending science).  The critical elements have dominated philosophy since, leading to a confused relation between various kinds of modal judgements.

Insoluble Problems?

The left has three long term hopes: an economic alternative to capitalism, the end of the division of labor, and the end of state coercion.  On a global level, each of these hopes has seemingly insurmountable obstacles: international hostility, the economic requirements of technological projects, and the sacrifice of the present to the future.

The Appeals of the Left

Why should you be on the Left?  Because only the Left can deliver on the best promises of the Right: the freedoms and opportunities required to flourish.  Individualist ideologies offer freedom and self-determination, but in practice, leave most of the world with a minuscule opportunity-set.  Individual self-determination is only possible through a collective self-determination.

Contingency and Deliberation

This is an attempt to square the claims that anything can happen and that history is open with the way that limitations on action manifest themselves in the world.  The key is a political twist on a theme from Spinoza and Schelling: there is a distinction between the constituted and the process of constitution.