What is the nature of reality? What is real and what is not? How can I know what is true? What should I do? How should I act?
To answer questions such as these we need philosophy.
In this episode of ‘Living outside the Matrix’, Philosopher David Kelley tells the story of his early curiosity to know and understand, and his path into philosophy through asking searching and fundamental questions. Meeting Ayn Rand in the 70’s he found her ideas provided a logical framework for answering these questions, and one that has stood the test of time.
Dr Kelley talks of his interest in epistemology, the role and value of thinking, and his passion for teaching people to think.
Who needs philosophy? We all do.
Ayn Rand said, “Philosophy is a necessity for a rational being: philosophy is the foundation of science, the organizer of man’s mind, the integrator of his knowledge, the programmer of his subconscious, the selector of his values.”
If we see a philosophy is an integrated view of existence, It’s easy to see why everyone needs one in order to function as a human being. And we do all have one – the only question is whether we are conscious of it or not, whether we have chosen it or not, Whether we have thought it through or just accepted it as a pre-packaged cultural download?
A philosophy is a guide to living. It is the operating system of the mind. And given that our mind runs our life, it is essential to optimize our mental operating system. Since it is self evident that accurately connecting with reality is our means to all success in life, we need a philosophy of reason. This is why Objectivism is such a huge contribution to the sum of human knowledge.
Ayn Rands philosophy of objectivism was controversial when she presented it in the form of her masterpiece novel “Atlas Shrugged” in 1957, and it still is today. Some people are passionately opposed to it just as others passionately promote it. Her ideas challenge the root assumptions at the heart of the Matrix – Subjectivism and Mysticism. I challenge everyone to critically examine it for themselves and arrive at their own conclusions of what is true.
Objectivism with the Atlas Society
The Atlas Society was founded by David Kelley as The Institute for Objectivist Studies in 1990. When he founded the Institute David Kelley called for an open, intellectually tolerant Objectivist movement characterized by a benevolent and rational sense of life.
I consider The Atlas Society and the Ayn Rand Institute both valuable resources for discovering and understanding the thoughts, and ideas and insights of one of the best minds of all time. Rand herself would have argued that principles must not be compromised, yet the intellectual ‘ball’ falls at our feet, and it is up to us to pick it up and run with it into the future of our making. It is up to us to use this massive intellectual inheritance.
The challenge for us all is to discern truth from untruth, to know facts from fiction, to establish what is real and what is unreal. This is the only way to answer those questions at the top of the page. Strict adherence to reason, empirical evidence and scientific method can only serve this essential goal.
Check out the Atlas Society at the links below
- The Founding of the Atlas Society
- What we stand for
- Video: David Kelley on the Objectivist Movement
- Video: Truth and Toleration 20 years later
- A Note to Our Members About Open Objectivism
- Introduction to The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand: Truth and Toleration in Objectivism, by David Kelley
- “Objectivism,” Chapter 5 of the book The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand
- The Contested Legacy of Ayn Rand , full text of book
- Better Things to Do
- The Atlas Society vs. the Ayn Rand Institute: A Question of Objectivity and Independence
- Rage and Objectivism
- The Anatomy of Cooperation
I hope you have enjoyed this post/episode.
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