Archive for March, 2012

SAT Apr 21 - The Missing Link in Objectivism

WHEN:
SATURDAY, April 21, 2012 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Missing Link in Objectivism
Talk at FreeMinds 2010 by Dr. Nathaniel Branden
Dr. Branden was 80 years old at the time of the talk and this was his last talk.

READING:
The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem by Dr. Nathaniel Branden

DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton

ABSTRACT:
Objectivism offers a noble vision of the human potential and of the virtues our life on earth requires.  But it does not tell us about how to get there from here.  In the course of Dr. Branden’s psychotherapy practice, he has learned a good deal about the problem from his clients.  He shares  some of these findings with us.

It was not his conscious purpose, but he has become convinced that he book, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, provides the missing link.  Dr. Branden does not mean to suggest that Objectivism owes the world a treatise on personal development; rather, his message is that there are psychological issues that need to be addressed and understood if our goal is personal transformation.

BIO:
With a Ph.D. in Psychology and a background in Philosophy, Nathaniel Branden is a pioneer in the field of self-esteem and personal development.

Author, lecturer, and therapist, he is also a corporate consultant who teaches clients how the principles of self-esteem can help them to meet the challenges of modern business.  Many of his books have been translated into 18 foreign languages and worldwide his books have sole four million copies.  His books include The Psychology of Self-Esteem, How to Raise Your Self-Esteem, The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem, The Art of Living Consciously, and his memoir, My Years with Ayn Rand.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.

TUE Apr 3 - The Fountainhead Session 4

WHEN:
TUESDAY, April 3, 2012 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
The Fountainhead Session 4
We are discussing Ayn Rand’s epic novel The Fountainhead in one session per month in 2012.

DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jim Kirk Chapter 13
Jackie Hazelton Chapters 14-15

READINGS:
The Fountainhead, Part 1, Chapters 10-13
Pages 156-200 in the Centennial Edition
Pages 164-209 in the Bobbs-Merrill hardback
Pages 151-193 in the Signet paperback

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: by John Kannarr
The Fountainhead

Part I - Peter Keating

Chapter XIII [pp. 164-177 Bobbs-Merrill hardback; pp. 151-163 Signet paperback]

1. Is it true that there is nothing Roark could say to people about his buildings? What would you tell him to say? Are the defining qualities of his buildings objective or subjective characteristics? [164-166;151-153]

2. What does it mean to say that Roark is “too arrogant to boast”? [166-167;153]

3. Why does Mrs. Wilmot want Roark for an architect? Are there any arguments that Roark could offer her that would be likely to reach her? [167-168;153-155]

4. Roark offers strong arguments to Mr. Mundy about what he, Mundy, appears to be doing in asking for a particular type of house. Does this seem to be consistent with previous statements about Roark’s inability to understand other people? [169-170;155-157]

5. In spite of their differences, Mundy says that he likes Roark. Does that make any sense? [170;157]

6. When talking to Mr. Janss, Roark seems to be describing his vision of integrity. Is this consistent with earlier statements Roark himself made about “some one principle” to cover his “kind of people” that he couldn’t quite explain? [165-166,170-172;152-153,157-159]

7. We don’t find out (here at least) how the Fargo department store project turns out. Does that detract from the story? [173;159-160]

8. Why does Roark agree to pay for certain changes to the house he has designed, even though it involves rebuilding an already completed wing? What does that tell us about Roark’s concept of a building’s integrity? [176;162-163]

9. How does the Architects’ Guild take revenge upon Roark for his non-conformity to their practices? Is the Sanborn residence uninhabitable, as they claim? [177;163]

Chapter XIV [pp. 178-189; pp. 163-174]

10. Why does Peter no longer show any respect toward Lucius N. Heyer, after being so solicitous towards him earlier in the novel? Why does Peter’s changed attitude puzzle Heyer so? [178-179;163-164]

11. What sort of issues does Peter consider in designing for the Cosmo-Slotnik competition? What does Roark attend to instead? Roark says he doesn’t enter competitions. What does that say about his opinion of those who judge such competitions? Why would he “go blank” with such projects when he designs others with no such hindrance? [180-182;165-167]

12. What is it about the Enright House project that intrigues Roark? When Enright’s gatekeeper turns Roark away, why does Roark give up so easily? What might Roark have done differently? [183-184;169]

13. What does Cameron say that seems to presage the theme of Atlas Shrugged? Why does Rand not develop that theme in this novel? [184-186;170-171]

14. How would you describe Dominique’s treatment of Keating? Do her actions match her words? Why does Keating persist in his pursuit of Dominique? Does he really believe that getting the partnership with Francon depends on marrying her? Why does he experience such conflicting feelings about her, and why can’t he make up his mind? [186-189;171-174]

Chapter XV [pp. 190-209; pp. 174-193]

15. What does Keating fear above all else? [190;174-175]

16. What change occurs that (temporarily at least) causes Keating to lose his fear? [191;175-176]

17. After Heyer’s death, how does Keating manage to change his feelings of guilt into justification and innocence? [194-195;178-179]

18. Why do the words of the award for the Cosmo-Slotnik building eat at Keating? Which features of the building are most celebrated? [195-198;179-182]

19. Keating says that Roark’s problem is that he thinks he is better than everyone else. Is that what or how Roark thinks? Keating says that if Roark will just “drop that fool delusion,” Roark will be successful and will “be one of us!” Does Keating think that argument will persuade Roark? [200;183-184]

20. What does Keating mean when he suggests that Roark should “work like a normal person?” Why is that so important to Keating? [200-201;184-185]

21. Keating asks Roark why he thinks he “can do this to people.” What does Keating mean by that? What sort of metaphysics do Keating’s statements represent when he tells Roark, “You can’t touch me! I have the whole world with me!”? [202;186]

22. Is Weidler dishonest with Roark when he tells him Roark has gotten the commisssion for the bank building, or does he truly not understand what Roark’s reaction would be to the “compromise” being offered? [203-204;187-188]

23. Weidler calls Roark’s decision “fanatical and selfless.” Roark calls it the most selfish act “you’ve ever seen a man do.” How are they using the terms selfish and selfless differently? [206;189-190]

24. Why doesn’t Mike want Red (Roark) to take a building trade job in New York City? How is this attitude similar to that of Keating and the bank chairman and Weidler? Is it different in any way? [207-208;190-191]

25. “But in a trash basket on a corner a crumpled sheet of newspaper was rustling, beating convulsively against the wire mesh.” Besides being a great descriptive image, does this reflect the idea of Roark’s struggle? Why do you think Rand added the passage in which this line occurs? [208;192]

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.

SAT Mar 12 - Setting the Stage for the Rennaisance

WHEN:
SATURDAY, March 17, 2012 7:00 PM Arrival Time

TOPIC:
Setting the Stage for the Renaissance
Talk at FreeMinds 2009 by Emily Merrill

DISCUSSION LEADER:
Jackie Hazelton

ABSTRACT:
Merrill presents Ayn Rand’s view of history, what Rand viewed as the best of times and worst of times, i.e. The Middle Ages.  Merrill, whose speciality is the Middle Ages, takes us through the Middle Ages, starting with the fall of the Roman empire, explaining what set the stage for the Renaissance to happen.
Rough Timeline
476  Fall of The Roman Empire
476-1000  The Dark Ages
1000-1300 High Middle Ages
1300-1453 Late Middle Ages
1453-1650 Renaissance
1650-1800 Enlightenment
1700-1900 Industrial Revolution

In The New Left: The Anti-Industrial Revolution, The Left: Old and New, Rand wrote:
“The Renaissance was specifically the rebirth of reason, the liberation of man’s mind, the triumph of rationality over mysticism, a faltering, incomplete, but impassioned triumph that led to the birth of science, of individualism, of freedom.”

“The 19th century, with its political freedoms, science, industry, business, trade, all the necessary conditions of material progress, was the result and the lasting achievement of the intellectual power released by the Renaissance.”

“The Middle Ages were an era of mysticism, ruled by blind faith and blind
obedience to the dogma that faith is superior to reason.”

In Atlas Shrugged, in John Galt’s Speech:
“The supernatural doctrines of the Middle Ages, kept men huddling on the mud floors of their hovels, in terror that the devil might steal the soup they had worked eighteen hours to earn.”

“The infamous times you call the Dark Ages were an era of intelligence on strike when men of ability went underground and lived undiscovered, studying in secret and died, destroying the works of their mind when only a few of the bravest martyrs remained to keep the human race alive.”

Again from Rand:
“There is only one power that determines the course of history, just as it determines the course of every individual life, the power of man’s rational faculty, the power of ideas.

BIO:
Emily Merrill has a BA in history from Smith College and an MA in medieval history from King’s College in London.  At the time of this talk, she was just starting a PhD in history at the University of Pennsylvania.  Merrill is the daughter of Ronald E. Merrill who wrote The Ideas of Ayn Rand so she is familiar with Objectivism.

WHERE:
Jackie & Lyman Hazelton’s Home
480-516-3281
Use http://www.mapquest.com/ to get directions from your location.

QUESTIONS:
Jackie Hazelton
(c) 480-516-3281
(e) AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net

RSVP:
Reply to this message to AZObjectivists_at_cox_dot_net or
Call Jackie Hazelton at 480-516-3281

BRING:
Snacks or beverage to share or a monetary donation.