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Writings based on Objectivism, the philosophy of Ayn Rand

Ayn Rand's most popular novels are Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead, which present her philosophy, Objectivism, in vivid characterizations.

  Metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, esthetics, and  politics are the five main branches of philosophy that she identifies. Utilizing her methodology, one can be rational about all aspects of life. These essays present my understanding of Objectivism.

Older Essays

This is Your Mind

Independence Day Special 2005

Copyright Issues Statement

Independence Day Special 2011:

 Jesus or Ayn Rand?

Don't Blame Wall Street

Governments and Individual Rights

Anarcho-Capitalism rebuttal

Doctors and Individual Rights

Internet Freedom VS On-line Piracy

Laws Must be Specific to Preserve Freedom

To Students of Objectivism

Kant as Founder of Modern Art

Thinking in Terms of Principles

The Purpose of Art

On Objectivity -- The Method of Thought

Applications of Philosophy

Happiness by a Proper Standard

Morality and War

Induction and Anarchism

Immigration and Applied Egoism

Independence Day 2012:

  Losing the Battle

On Civil Society

Batman and Justice

Paul Ryan and Objectivism

Philosophy in the Workplace

Articulating Freedom

The Argument for Freedom


Black Friday Special, The Morality of Profit

Intellectual Property Rights

How The Internet Works

Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History

The Morality of Copyrights and Patents


Freedom of Speech -- a Sacred Right

Objective Value

Teleological Measurements




Ayn Rand as a Moral Hero

Moral Integrity

On Dualism

Protest NSA Spying

The Objectivist Trilogy

The DIM Hypothesis

Tolerance and DIM

Individual Rights

How We Know



































Date: Sun, 16 May 1999 
Free Will and Determinism
Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

Does the primary act of focusing (the basic root of volition) occur in a
state of (temporary) "tabula rasa"? That is, is an adult man
ever in a similar state as a newborn infant in that he has no
thoughts or ideas currently "on the plate" in his mind? I'm not
speaking of an illness (such as a coma), or a poisoning (such as
"zombification") that renders the mind impotent (at least for a
while), but rather when one first wakes up, is his mind blank?
From personal experience, if this occurs, it is alleviated
rather quickly as my "standing orders" kick in. As an analogy,
the fact of waking up is like a computer booting up. Initially,
something like the "BIOS" takes place before the operating
system kicks in. How much of this can be automatized? Or does it
always require a volitional act of focusing? Does the mere fact
of opening ones eyes and perceiving the world (upon first
awakening) "automatically" bring into play some kind of standing
order to focus? Can focusing become such a habit that it no
longer seems to require any effort, but actually does "in the

This may be somewhat impossible to answer, since the act of
focusing on what the mind does upon first awakening itself
requires an act of focusing. Or can we say that since we moved
from being unconscious to being conscious shows that a basic
volitional act of focusing upon first waking up *has* to occur?

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Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.



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Proud to be an Objectivist -- one who follows Ayn Rand's philosophy of Objectivism: I've earned it.