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Objectivism 101 Diana Mertz Hsieh Lecture Four: The Virtues Wednesday, July 3, 2002 13 th Annual Summer Seminar of The Objectivist Center.

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Presentation on theme: "Objectivism 101 Diana Mertz Hsieh Lecture Four: The Virtues Wednesday, July 3, 2002 13 th Annual Summer Seminar of The Objectivist Center."— Presentation transcript:

1 Objectivism 101 Diana Mertz Hsieh Lecture Four: The Virtues Wednesday, July 3, th Annual Summer Seminar of The Objectivist Center

2 Objectivism 101 Schedule 1.SundayPhilosophy 2.MondayReality and Reason 3.TuesdayLife and Happiness 4.WednesdayThe Virtues 5.ThursdayIndividual Rights 6.FridaySpiritual Fuel

3 The Nature of Virtues  Virtues are actions by which we gain and/or keep our values  Virtues are commitments, in thought and action, to the types of actions required to achieve rational moral values

4 The Eight Major Virtues  Rationality  Productiveness  Independence  Honesty  Justice  Benevolence  Integrity  Pride

5 1: Rationality  Rationality is the commitment to objectively grasping and acting on the facts of reality  Rationality requires a commitment to… –The facts of reality –Full conscious awareness –The method of objectivity …at all times, in all areas of life

6 Rationality in Action  Rationality is the commitment to objectively grasping and acting on the facts of reality  Example One: While at the emergency room, the doctor asks you to hold your young child down during a painful procedure in which keeping still is of the utmost importance.  Example Two: A large and out-of-control forest fire is headed towards your neighborhood. The county sheriff recommends that residents prepare for evacuation.

7 2: Productiveness  Productiveness is the commitment to achieving the values that sustain your life  Productiveness means… –Creating values –Trading with others  Not mindless drudgery, not mooching or looting from others

8 Productiveness in Action  Productiveness is the commitment to achieving the values that sustain your life  Example One: You are studying hard for finals when a friend asks if you want to go to the last showing of a movie you’ve been wanting to see.  Example Two: You are just getting started in your work as a freelance programmer. A potential client offers you a job that will get your work noticed, although the pay will be low.

9 3: Independence  Independence is the commitment to forming and acting upon your own judgments  Two forms of independence: –Independence in thought –Independence in action

10 Independence in Action  Independence is the commitment to forming and acting upon your own judgments and living by your own mind  Example One: Two of your friends are urging you to break up with your new boyfriend, but only offer vague reasons.  Example Two: You see a doctor about your allergic reaction to certain foods. He recommends certain drug as treatment.

11 4: Honesty  Honesty is the refusal to fake the facts of reality  Two forms of honesty: –Honesty with oneself –Honesty with others

12 Honesty in Action  Honesty is the refusal to fake the facts of reality  Example One: Your hot-tempered boyfriend blows up during an argument and punches you. He then becomes very apologetic, promising that he will never hit you again.  Example Two: The office gossip pesters you incessantly for details of your horrible date last night, which you do not want to discuss.

13 5: Justice  Justice is the virtue of evaluating others objectively and acting accordingly  Two aspects of justice: –Objective judgment of others –Acting based on those judgments  A failure to judge others only encourages evil

14 Justice in Action  Justice is the virtue of evaluating others objectively and acting accordingly  Example One: Your friend Jane is in a feud with a mutual acquaintance, Jack. Jane wants you to disassociate yourself from Jack out of loyalty to her.  Example Two: You just caught your wife cheating on you for the first time. She is begging you for another chance.

15 6: Benevolence  Benevolence is the commitment to treating other people as potential trading partners  Three aspects of benevolence: –Civility –Sensitivity –Generosity

16 Benevolence in Action  Benevolence is the commitment to treating other people as potential trading partners  Example One: You return to the TOC Summer Seminar in the upcoming years. You hang out with your friends from 2002, but you are also introduced to many new people each year.  Example Two: A pedestrian gets struck by a car near where you are walking. She is obviously seriously injured, but still alive.

17 7: Integrity  Integrity is the commitment to acting in accordance with long-range values and moral principles  Integrity requires us: –To think past short-term gains to long-range consequences –To pursue and defend our values in face of opposition  Integrity is the virtue of acting on virtue

18 Integrity in Action  Integrity is the commitment to acting in accordance with long-range values and moral principles  Example One: Your mother asks you to convince your sister to dump her new boyfriend because he is black.  Example Two: Your boss offers you a promotion if you can find a way to weasel out of a contract without paying the pre-arranged penalties.

19 8: Pride  Pride is the commitment to one’s own moral perfection (moral ambitiousness)  Pride requires us to hold ourselves up the the highest moral standard –Recognize and remedy your moral failures –Recognize your moral successes “…as man is a being of self-made wealth, so he is a being of self-made soul…”

20 Pride in Action  Pride is the commitment to one’s own moral perfection  Example One: You forgot to meet a friend for a planned lunch. She’s mad at you for standing her up.  Example Two: You realize that you haven’t been very productive at work in the past few weeks.

21 The Eight Major Virtues  Rationality  Productiveness  Independence  Honesty  Justice  Benevolence  Integrity  Pride

22 Today’s Topics  Virtue  Rationality  Productiveness  Independence  Honesty  Justice  Benevolence  Integrity  Pride


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