Presentation on theme: "Objectivism 101 Diana Mertz Hsieh Lecture Six: Spiritual Fuel Friday, July 5, 2002 13 th Annual Summer Seminar of The Objectivist Center."— Presentation transcript:
Objectivism 101 Diana Mertz Hsieh Lecture Six: Spiritual Fuel Friday, July 5, 2002 13 th Annual Summer Seminar of The Objectivist Center
Objectivism 101 Schedule 1.SundayPhilosophy 2.MondayReality and Reason 3.TuesdayLife and Happiness 4.WednesdayThe Virtues 5.ThursdayIndividual Rights 6.FridaySpiritual Fuel
Aesthetics Aesthetics is the study of the nature and purpose of art What is art? Why do we need art? How should we evaluate art?
Why Bother With Aesthetics? Aesthetics is the study of the nature and purpose of art Three reasons to bother: –Art serves a similar function as philosophy –Understanding your own preferences in art –Integration of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics
What is Art? Art is the selective recreation of reality according to the artist’s metaphysical value- judgments Primary forms of art: Painting, Music, Sculpture, Literature
Metaphysical Value Judgment Metaphysical value judgments are deeply held philosophical views about the nature of the universe, of mankind, and of the relationship between the two Deep implicit philosophy Sense of life
Abstract and Concrete Perceptual awareness is concrete knowledge particular things in the world Conceptual awareness is abstract knowledge of the world We need to be able to connect our abstract knowledge of the world with our perceptual experience of it –Real-life examples in philosophy –Art
Abstract and Concrete “Art is a concretization of metaphysics. Art brings man's concepts to the perceptual level of his consciousness and allows him to grasp them directly, as it they were percepts.” -- Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto
A Vision of Life “Regardless of the nature or content of an artist’s metaphysical views, what an art work expresses, fundamentally, under all of its lesser aspects is ‘This is life as I see it.’ The essential meaning of a viewer’s or reader’s response, under all of its lesser elements, is: ‘This is (or is not) life as I see it.’” -- Ayn Rand, The Romantic Manifesto
What is Good Art? Metaphysical evaluations concern the philosophical ideals represented in the work Aesthetic evaluations concern the skill by which those ideals have been represented Emotional response versus rational judgment
Aesthetics Aesthetics is the study of the nature and purpose of art –What is art? –Why do we need art? –How can we judge art?
Three Cultures Pre-Enlightenment Culture Enlightenment Culture Anti-Enlightenment Culture Recommended Listening: Alan Kors’ The Birth of the Modern Mind (via The Teaching Company)
Enlightenment Culture Reason Happiness Human achievement and progress Individualism Freedom and trade Examples: Voltaire, Thomas Paine, John Locke, T.J Rodgers, Alan Kors, Ayn Rand
Pre-Enlightenment Culture Faith Duty and sacrifice Hard work Family values Authority and tradition Paternalistic and pragmatic capitalism
Bushland versus Goreland Bush counties in red / Gore counties in blue
Cultural Demographics Percentage of United States: Pre-Enlightenment “Heartlanders”: 29% Anti-Enlightenment “Cultural Creatives”: 24% Enlightenment “Moderns”: 47% (Source: "The Emerging Culture" by Paul H. Ray in American Demographics, Feb 1997.)
Enlightenment Culture Reason Happiness Human achievement and progress Individualism Freedom and trade Defending the Enlightenment near you: –Web site: http://www.dianahsieh.com –E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Objectivism as a System Metaphysics: reality Epistemology: reason Ethics: rational self-interest Politics: individual rights Aesthetics: spiritual fuel
Issues in Objectivism Romantic love Irrational people Family relations Monopolies Pollution Objectivism in academia Abortion Animal rights Public schooling Intuitions Ethics of emergencies Instinct Duty Faith Mercy Racism Homosexuality Poverty Sense of life Moral habits Femininity and masculinity Social metaphysics Rationalization Mixed economy Aristotle Kant Monogamy and polyamory Appeasement Compromise Recommended reading
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