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Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology: Expanded Second Edition Paperback – Abridged, Audiobook, Box set

4.0 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Plume Books; 2 Expanded edition (1 Dec. 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452010306
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452010307
  • Product Dimensions: 14.2 x 2 x 21.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 267,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

AYN RAND is the author of "Anthem, The Fountainhead, " and "Atlas Shrugged", and numerous non-fiction essays on philosophy, ethics, politics, art, and literature. Her philosophy, Objectivism, has gained a worldwide audience of adherents and admirers. She died in March 1982.

Leonard Peikoff is universally recognized as the preeminent Rand scholar writing today. He worked closely with Ayn Rand for thirty years and was designated by her as heir to her estate. He has taught philosophy at Hunter College, Long Island University, and New York University and lectures on Rand's philosophy throughout the country. He lives in Southern California.


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By A Customer on 3 April 1999
Format: Paperback
After reading some of the negative comments below by some reviewers, one must question whether they have even read the book.
Rand used the term altruism, in its original meaning (as used by philosopher August Comte who coined the term): self-sacrifice.
To Rand, to sacrifice a greater value (say your beloved child), for the sake of a lessor value (some strangers you did not know) was wrong. (I agree).
To save your beloved wife from drowning would be selfish--because you loved her; to let her die to save some other stranger--when you loved your wife--would be unselfish.
Selfish, as Rand uses the term, means to act in ones own LONG-TERM rational self-interest.
It does not mean that one cannot have friends--only that "friends" who stab you in the back are not really your friends.
In fact, if you think about it: love is selfish. To paraphrase Rand, before one can say 'I love you', one must first learn to say the word 'I'.
Of course, if one actually READ the book, one would know this. If one reads the book, and still holds these distorted views of Rand's work, then one is either stupid, or dishonest.
This does not mean one may still not disagree--there are some things I disagree with Rand on; but, one should not stoop to dishonest smears, name-calling, and outright lies about her work.
IOE is difficult reading, and it is suggested the reader first consult Leonard Peikoff's Objectivism (also available through amazon.com) which serves as an excellent introduction to IOE, as well as a supplement in that it covers several important points on Miss Rand's epistemological views not covered in IOE.
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By A Customer on 3 July 1999
Format: Paperback
This is THE reference work on epistemology. Rand explains clearly how we derive concepts from reality and the conversation form of the book is very lively and enlightening. This is a must-have book for anyone interested in philosophy, period. A brillant account of human cognition. This book helped me understand the nature of concepts and how to apply this with real-life concepts.
The criticisms about this book are shoddy, to say the least. I usually don't comment on what others say, but this is too silly to pass up. "Scott Ryan" says that Rand's ideas hold the theory of a priori knowledge, but that is patently false. He also says that negation and necessity would be hard to deal with, but that is not obvious at all. Negation, for example, is part of logical operations on concepts, and its differentia is reversing (negating) said concept.
"A reader" says that we cannot use measurement-omission unless we know the concepts of length, colour, etc. But that is akin to saying that a baby needs to know what "identity" means before he acquires such. They are all perceptual characteristics which can be used implicitly.
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Brilliant. Peikoff by his own admission is a candle next to Rand's Super nova, but he makes the work of a genius more available because of that trait. I'm not even certain that Peikoff really understands every facet of Rand's brilliant mind, but he certainly gets her in more ways than most of us. He puts on the sunglasses so that we at least can glimpse the structure, if not the fine detail, or the eloquence of its sum.

However, a word of warning, diving into objectivism isn't something anyone should do without the necessary back ground to understand the context. The world generally sees Rand as a monster, those that have read Atlas Shrugged and declare themselves Randian acolytes probably haven't a clue about the brilliance of the philosophy. Rand herself would tell any acolyte that they must not accept at face value the value of any work, particularly hers. If you don't grasp objectivism it's perfectly understandable because it is almost alien, it inverts thousands of years of philosophy in order to come up with a very radical solution. The solution is every bit as important as Einsteins field equations, but, unlike Einstein she does not have the luxury of creating something that only effects the ideas of a tiny few who grasp the significance of a theory. Objectivism applies to everyone, in every way possible and that is a deeply polarising philosophy in a world which has not yet asked the question 'why it should man need a moral code' ? and if he requires one then how does he begin to know what it should be ? this is the field of ethics and it is a scientific field of study, not simply one of whimsical discussion.
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Format: Paperback
Of all Ayn Rand's own expository works that I've yet read, this is the most well-organized. As always, she treats the subject matter with a level of lucidity that I only came to fully appreciate after reading the works of other philosophers. The degree of precision -- and concision -- with which she treats every important topic is simply astounding. Her ability to isolate the essentials of any issue is displayed brilliantly in this book. Her theory of concepts, and her entire philosophy, is groundbreaking.
There are those who would detract from her towering achievement based on the questionable behavior of a few of her "followers"; however, the behavior of individuals has no bearing on the validity of her ideas. I highly recommend this book.
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