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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.

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This is Your Mind

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To Students of Objectivism

Kant as Founder of Modern Art

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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
background"?

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.