Aristotle to Aquinas to Ayn and Core Principles

Posted by mshupe 3 months, 3 weeks ago to Philosophy
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The rise of Western philosophy and the corruption of Western philosophy. How do we best confront the nihilism of Wilson, Dewey, Krugman, et al?
SOURCE URL: https://centerforindividualism.org/rational-philosophical-ideas-are-the-root-of-human-flourishing-irrational-philosophy-the-root-of-misery/#free-inventors-dl


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  • Posted by  $  25n56il4 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I will never understand the concept of gathering up a group to gain an opinion on something. The individual should make h/her own decisions. How can group think expand on something? What if you can't find a group? Do nothing? Inconceivable.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Relying on the opinions of others to justify your life and your values is anti-life, and illustrated in the characters Peter Keating, James Taggert, and Lillian Rearden. Having said that, we must be willing to learn from others who have ideas built on rational principles and change our conceptualization of things when a better set of principles is presented and can be defended by reason.

      For example, Rand was influenced by Nietzsche, and in particular Aristotle. While Rand expanded, improved on, and rejected some of Aristotle's philosophy, she also thought that mankind needed the philosophical base that Aristotle built, at least according to Harry Binswanger.
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      • Posted by  $  mminnick 3 months, 3 weeks ago
        Mankind does need a philosophical base. Without one there is no foundation upon which to build ideas and beliefs except the ephemeral "fads" which is no base at all.
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    • Posted by jdg 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Gathering a group makes sense if the only useful course of action to deal with a problem requires the use of politics or force. But for me those are the last two resorts, since politics is such a Kafkaesque waste of one's time and energy and both have such high expected cost/benefit ratios.
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  • Posted by DrZarkov99 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    I prefer Cicero to Aristotle, since the Roman philosopher was the first to define human rights as granted by their creator instead of by other men. For the non-religious, Cicero's definitions of rights are simply those we are born with. I admired Marcus Aurelius, but his stoicism was a little dark for me. Thomas Paine was also a favorite, which led me to Edmund Burke and a better understanding of the motives of the Founders of our nation. Nietzsche is one of the most misunderstood philosophers, simply because Hitler so distorted his ideas. Finally, I came to Ayn Rand, and her concept of a truly free individual existence. I'm not a purist, but I like to think my philosophical track has given me a base of independent, confident action, and a streak of rebellion against authority (there were those who wondered how I avoided court martial a number of times in my military career).
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    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Very good, and regarding Cicero and Aristotle, I'm no scholar, but I think Aristotle's unassailable defense of reason is his achievement. Bit he lived about 400 years before Cicero, and in a culture that had little or no conception of individualism. Certainly one had to precede the other.
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  • Posted by  $  mminnick 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    Relying on the opinion of others is mental suicide. If all of you opinions are from other people or groups sooner or later you will loose the ability to think and form opinions for yourself. You will become indistinguishable from the ones whose opion you have.
    Take the ideas and examine them. Cast them into your thought patterns and other fundamental ideas you hold. If the match make them your own in your own words a meaning shades. If they don't flow with yuour opinions and ideas throw them into the trash heap they belong in. Always think for yourself.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      Yes, and at the same time we're surrounded by people who solely rely on the opinion of others, or people who have strong opinions rooted in propaganda yet they think of themselves as intellectual or morally superior.
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  • Posted by Owlsrayne 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    It seems that there are too many people in this country who are sheep or who just follow the groupthink. This is well exhibited by the last election. They follow the Social Democrat party line and believe the fake narrative that is endorsed by general media. My wife and I are staunchly independent and we don't believe either party line.
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  • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 3 weeks ago
    "America has been producing a high incidence of young dope users"
    I suppose I'm one of them, but I think I produce the country, not vice versa. That's for Soviet Russia.
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    • Posted by 3 months, 3 weeks ago
      I think you, and all of us, produce ourselves. The American experiment is the most magnificent petri dish for self creation the world has ever known. The quote you highlight here is meant to illustrate the high time preference of immediate gratification vs. the low time preference of rational behavior.
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      • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 2 weeks ago
        "high time preference of immediate gratification vs. the low time preference of rational behavior."
        the Roman-Empire-like decadence that I sometimes see in the US
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        • Posted by 3 months, 2 weeks ago
          Yes, and Lawrence Reed wrote an essay titled Are We Rome? I need to look that one up. The more I learn, the more I realize how stark the parallels are. In our favor, Rand gave us the antidote.
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          • Posted by CircuitGuy 3 months, 2 weeks ago
            I requested it from the library. I wonder if we're more like the UK. It's a nice affluent place, but it's not a superpower. Maybe somewhere else will be the place where the next great leaps will occur. OTOH, I don't see it becoming practical to live in outer space or the oceans any time soon, so as President Reagan said we're the last hope at the moment.
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