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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, 23 Feb 1999
Relativistic Mass
Thomas M. Miovas, Jr.

While I agree that it is improper to define "mass" as "quantity
of matter," I was never taught that this is the way Newton
defined the term. In my research to find Newton's definition of
"mass," it is always defined as "quantity of resistance to
change of motion" (or "quantity of inertia"). This is the way it
is defined in the three physics text books I have at home, and
on the web under searches for Newton and mass. Could you provide
a reference to Newton specifically that defines "mass" as
"quantity of matter"?

The problem with defining "mass" as "quantity of matter" is the
implication that elementary particles (electrons, protons,
neutrons, etc.) are made of various numbers of smaller particles
each having the same mass. For instance, a proton is much more
massive than an electron, so to have the mass it has one would
have to say it is made up of many more "primary" constituents
than the electron (which may be why Lewis made his comment about
Aristotle's prime matter). However, there is no evidence for
this whatsoever.

I prefer the "resistance to change of motion" formulation, and
so I am not against the idea of relativistic mass (which is not
to say I agree with every aspect of Relativity). At high enough
(relative) velocities, it simply becomes more difficult to
change the motion of a body (including particles), which is my
understanding of that aspect of Relativity.

Matt Sissel Fine Art

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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.