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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

Psycho-epistemology

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

Justice

Freedom of Speech -- a Sacred Right

Objective Value

Teleological Measurements

Induction

Causality

Cognition

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, 07 May 2002 
Movie Review: Spider-man
Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

I've just come back from seeing the movie "Spider-man," and I have to tell 
you that in my assessment it is one of the greatest literary tragedies ever 
to be put to the big screen.

The screen-writer, the director, and the actors have managed to transform a 
comic book level of good versus evil story-line into a excellent work of 
art that has extremely well done concretizations of abstractions suitable 
for emphasizing real-life conflicts of value.

What is most impressive is that these conflicts are plot-driven and stem 
from the nature of the characters themselves. It emphasizes free-will and 
self-actualization in a manner one does not find in supposedly more serious 
studies of human nature -- and it's theme is justice.

I've seen the movie twice now, and I am equally impressed at the tightness 
of the story-line -- I don't think there is one line of dialog or one scene 
that I would cut. I also think one can see the influence of great writers 
of the past in the story-line; such as the fatal flaw from Shakespeare, the 
self-rivalry from "Cyrano de Bergerac," and the tragic endings of Victor Hugo.

*** WARNING: THE FOLLOWING CONTAINS PLOT SPOILERS ***

The tragic nature of the story comes about precisely because Peter Parker 
is meek, that is he doesn't ardently pursue his values -- especially the 
love of his life since first grade, Mary Jane. By not pursuing her while he 
is a normal human being, he is placed into a position at the end of the 
story whereby he can never tell her that he is in love with her, because it 
would put her life at great risk.

Furthermore, the same series of events prevents him from ever telling his 
best friend, Harry Osborn, about his super-hero identity, because Harry has 
sworn a vengeance oath to kill Spider-man on sight, since Spider-man has 
killed Harry's father -- AKA the Green Goblin, the arch-villain of 
Spider-man (though Harry doesn't know this).

That level of conflict of value would be enough for most story tellers, 
which would make it a melodrama. However, this story goes a step further, 
lifting it up to the level of real drama, a conflict of value within the 
character himself based upon the conscious conclusion he draws from the 
events of the story.

As the story progresses, Peter as Spider-man concludes that *every evil 
that is brought upon his loved ones occurs because Peter is trying to be a 
hero.* **That** is the tragic conclusion that I think elevates this story 
into a real feat of drama. In other words, on at least some level, he 
concludes that it is his own good deeds that lead to his personal values 
being threatened with harm and annihilation.

When I realized this was his conclusion, tears welled up in my eyes.

The movie certainly left room for a sequel, as all the conflicts were not 
fully resolved in this episode, but let's hope that Spider-man changes his 
mind.

Being good does not encourage evil.

Matt Sissel Fine Art

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Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

tmiovas@appliedphilosophyonline.com

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Objectivist related book reviews on amazon.com

 

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