TUESDAY, October 1, 2013 6:30 PM Arrival Time


The Vision of Ayn Rand

The Basic Principles of Objectivism NBI Lecture Series

by Nathaniel Branden


Jackie Hazelton


Chapter 2, What Is Reason?

Pages 37-62


1. Do you have any follow up thoughts on the previous chapter?

2. Did the chapter contain anything surprising or that you didn’t know?

3. Was there anything you didn’t understand or had a question about?

4. Was there anything you thought was incorrect?

5. p. 40 Rand defines, “A concept is an integration of ow or more concretes which are isolated according to a specific characteristic and united by a specific definition.”  Rand uses the word “concretes” rather than “objects” and does not define concretes.  What are concretes?

6. p. 43 Brandon states “Concepts and language primarily are tools of cognition, not of communication, as many people assume.”  Do you agree?

7. p. 44 top Does a definition provide objectivity?

8. p. 44 bottom “Concepts or abstractions as such do not exist.  They are, as Miss Rand makes clear in her monograph, man’s method of classifying that which exists, and everything that exists is a concrete.”  What do you make of this statement?

9. P. 45 bottom Concerning the “principle” that knowledge is hierarchical, do you agree that men fail to grasp this, with disastrous consequences?

10.  p. 46 middle Do you understand “The Fallacy of the Stolen Concept”?  Can you give a different example?

11. p. 50 middle Is man born “tabula rasa”?  If not, how does that affect Brandon’s argument?

12. In this chapter there are some crucial words used that are NOT defined such as  thought, think, and thinking  beginning on p. 42, cognition beginning on p. 43, the mind’s purpose beginning on p. 51, logic beginning on p. 52 and value(s) beginning on p 54 mentioned with cognition.   What does Rand mean by these words?

13. Both Rand and Branden use the word “see” and “look”  in examples p. 42 “When you see a woman…” and p. 57 “three men look at the same woman.”  In both examples it appears that you can see qualities of character.  Do you think Rand and Branden meant seeing in terms of vision alone or in the sense of knowing?

14.  p. 59 middle Do you agree with Objectivism’s idea that, “a man’s emotions are the automatic summation of the thinking he has done or has failed to do in the past”?

15.  p. 59 Are values “objective”?  Can values be true or false?

16. Did Brandon provide you with adequate evidence (for your senses) to cause you to agree with his explanation on how knowledge is acquired?  Were all types of knowledge touched on?

17. Did Branden answer the question in the chapter title, “What is reason?”


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