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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: Tue, 9 Mar 1999
Metaphysical fundamentality
Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

Aristotle's conception of causality went a long ways in
correcting this mistake, he just didn't apply it consistently to
the stars (in this regard, he was a bit too much of an empiricist).

There seems to be a need in some people's thinking for there to
be an immutable physical thing in existence they can mentally
rest upon, or their idea of existence is blown to smithereens.
This actually occurred to some physicists who thought the
elementary particles were immutable. When it was discovered that
each of the elementary particles (electrons, protons, etc.)
could be created and destroyed in certain nuclear reactions,
their entire world view collapsed. They spent the rest of their
lives denying the reality of the experiments as if their life
depended upon it.

Change is a fundamental aspect of existence, and this holds true
for every aspect of existence. There are no immutable things in
existence -- not anywhere, whether we talk about the macro-level
or the micro-level.

The law of identity does not imply that there is something which
is immutable, the existence and action of which explains all
types of change. What it does say is that an entity can only
change insofar as it is that something. In other words, when
paper burns, it does not change its identity, but rather paper
burns because of its identity. This is the crucial point that
needs to be grasped to alleviate the Heraclitus flux, rather
than searching for an immutable "basic stuff" that never changes.

I would argue that the law of identity and its corollary, the
law of causality, forbids the immutable. If an entity was
immutable, it would not be able to act according to its nature,
thus violating the law of causality. To say that it can act, but
only via local motion, is to say it is immune from the law of

As I understand
it, certain nuclear reactions lead to the destruction of
"elementary particles" (electrons, protons, etc.) and give rise
to gamma rays, muons, and other things. No one has yet -- as far
as I know -- concluded that these elementary particles are
composed of gamma rays, muons, and whatnot; but I'm not sure why
they haven't.

 Nuclear reactions, especially of the type in
atom bombs, shows that the particles (plutonium or uranium) are
converted into gamma rays and high energy particles. This
implies the possibility that on the quantum level (or further
down), there can be a sort of cycling from particle to gamma ray
(and back again in other types of nuclear reactions). The exact
details of how this works is still unclear.

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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.