We will discuss the last 2 chapters to finish The Vision of Ayn Rand. This will be the last
Arizona Objectivists meeting at the Hazelton home. Jackie is stepping down as leader.
Other members may assume leadership of the group so watch for a communication later in the year.

When reading, if you think of a discussion question(s), please email it. I will include all the discussion questions in the reminder email on Wednesday, April 1. Thanks, Jackie

TUESDAY, April 7, 2015 6:30 PM Arrival Time

The Vision of Ayn Rand
The Basic Principles of Objectivism NBI Lecture Series
by Nathaniel Branden

Jackie Hazelton

Chapter 20, The Benevolent Sense of Life
Pages 505-527 (23 pages)
Epilogue: The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand
Pages 529-555 (27 pages)

Chapter 20, The Benevolent Sense of Life

1. p. 505.1 What is a “sense of life”? Is it a feeling? Is it a perception? From Jackie

2. p. 505-11 The phrase ’sense of life’ would seem to refer to the world in which one lives, yet Branden’s chapter is about neurosis (repression/suppression) and characters in Rand’s novels. Why would he be unable to write about the larger world? From Jim

3. p. 508.7 “Ignorance is NOT bliss, not in any . . aspect of man’s life . . “. What do you think of this statement? Is there no situation where not knowing something, one would be better off (happier not knowing)? From Cindy

4. p. 512.2 ” . . most of you have come to accept irrationality . . . as the metaphysically normal . . . and inevitable in human nature.” Do you find this to be so in your mind? From Cindy

5. p. 515.5 Is the malevolent universe premise truly an error? Depending on your situation, there are facts of reality that support it. p. 516.4 “‚Ķbecause one’s desire for rationality, for greatness, for human understanding is metaphysically right.” p. 526.0 Is the “benevolent universe premise” supported by reality and is it necessary premise for Objectivism? From Jackie

6. p. 517.1 Do you think “Dominique is an exceptionally noble representative” of the malevolent universe premise? From Cindy

7. p. 525.5 “We are living in an age which future generations will recognize to be the age of pre-reason.” If this is so, do we now live in an age of reason? From Cindy

8. p. 525.2 Branden says we have to “learn how to live for our values”. Can you explain how you have done that? On the other hand, have you ever had to compromise your values in your life? From Cindy

9. Benevolence is defined as the disposition to do good (Webster’s 7th Collegiate Dictionary). Is this chapter aptly titled? From Cindy

10. Does the Objectivist emphasis on reason preclude or diminish learning from experience? From Jim

11. In ‘Rationalism and Politics’ Michael Oakeshott writes that a characteristic of the rationalist is the inability to believe that anyone who thinks honestly and clearly will think different from himself. Does this observation apply to Branden? From Jim

Epilogue: The Benefits and Hazards of the Philosophy of Ayn Rand
Now that we have reached the end of the book:

12. Is there one new thing you have learned about Rand’s ideas? From Jim

13. Is there one new thing you have learned about your own ideas? From Jim

14. p. 530.5 Why do you think people find it to be a struggle to apply Rand’s teachings to their own lives?

15. p. 538.3 Mysticism and Reason “If someone disagrees with your notion of “the reasonable,” it can feel appropriate to accuse him or her of being “irrational.” Are Objectivists too quick to do that?

16. p. 541-3 Emotion Does Objectivism encourage you to ignore your feelings? When there is a clash between mind and emotion, what is needed, says Branden, is not a renunciation of emotion, but a better balance between emotion and thinking. Thinking needs to be added to the situation; emotion does not need to be subtracted from the situation.

17. p. 547 Moralism Are people forever damned by errors of morality? Is there redemption in Objectivism?

18. p. 553.1 Is Objectivism too simplistic? “Rand held the view that human beings can be understood exclusively in terms of their premises, that is, in terms of their basic philosophical beliefs, along with they free will choices. This view is grossly inadequate to the complexity of the actual facts.”

19. p. 533-7 What are the benefits of the philosophy of Ayn Rand? Do you agree? Are there any that are important to you that Branden did not mention?
- p. 534.4 a comprehensive and intelligible view of the universe
- p. 535-7 a radiantly rational inspiration vision of hope

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

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