2 Answers

  1. The central argument of Rand ethics is already suspect, as Robert Nozick noted long ago:�

    1) Only living people have values.

    2) Life is a necessary condition for the existence of values.

    3) A necessary condition for having a value is a value.

    4) Life is the highest value.

    This… not obvious. First, in theory, there is nothing to prevent us from saying that we are all “programmed” to die, and that it is death that is the experience of the highest value. Philipp Meinlander held similar views. In this case, we may prefer death to the presence of some other values.

    Secondly, it is not obvious that the necessary condition for the emergence of values is valuable in itself. Cancer is a necessary condition for the cure of cancer, for example.�

    Third, a necessary condition is not the same as a sufficient condition. Values are formed as a result of mimesis, that is, the imitation of other people who are excluded from Rand's ethical reasoning.�

    And that's why it's already quite controversial:�

    5) For each person, the highest value is to prolong and improve their own life.


    6) Self-sacrifice is irrational.

    Life is a necessary condition for Alexander Matrosov's values to be formed. But this does not mean that the life of Alexander Matrosov should be more valuable than anything else, including for himself.�

    Finally, Rand argues that a person's highest rational goal is to achieve their own happiness. But it is easy to imagine a situation in which rationality and happiness are not connected in any way. This is the situation of a man who lived a happy life, but never found out the truth – everyone around him hated him for his selfishness. According to the Rand doctrine, can we say that a person with pink glasses is “rational”? Is it rational to wish such a life for yourself or your children?

    In general, the problem of objectivism is that the concept of “rationality” in Rand is not obviously loaded morally, metaphysically, etc.In other words, it is not the philosophy of objectivism that proves its rationality, but what is declared rational is what is consistent with Rand's theses.

  2. The weak point is that this is obviously a non-working concept. Human society cannot be organized in this way in principle. Even purely theoretically. Simply because it is impossible to organize the judicial system within the framework of objectivism. Law is inherently subjective. Not any specific (Roman, case – law), but in general-law as such. Humanity does not know how to make laws in such a way that they allow us to judge objectively, that is, taking into account only the objective circumstances of the case. Subjective factors (motive, awareness, etc.) always play a more important role in the consideration of a case than objective ones. Whether a person is guilty or innocent in the first place depends not on what he did objectively, but on why he did it and whether he understood the consequences. And this is not some mistake. This is a fundamental property of law. It has been arranged in this way since the time of Hammurabi.

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