FTNCI 062: Objectivism Book Study (Week 04) — Perception and Volition

The Objectivism Book Study is meeting through 2022 to study Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand, by Leonard Peikoff.

This week, the reading was:

Ch. 2 – Sense perception and volition 37-38
Ch. 2 – The senses as necessarily valid 39-44

We look at common philosophical arguments that lead toward skepticism and relativism, such as:

-Don’t our eyes deceive us when we see a bent stick in water, or a mirage in the distance, or railroad tracks converging at the horizon?
-How can the senses be called reliable in the case of someone who is color-blind?
-Is it “circular reasoning” to claim that something is true based on having observed it?

The topics in this chapter are what Leonard Peikoff calls the anteroom to Epistemology. They are issues on which a sound, objective Epistemology relies.

While, as Christians, we do not accept many of the positions of Ayn Rand’s Objectivism, we do find Rand and Peikoff’s account of the anteroom of Epistemology to be both correct and important. Peikoff’s book lays out much of the terminology and context a person would need to be able to discuss Epistemology with competence.

Some may wonder why these topics matter. The coming sections in OPAR resolve difficulties (or apparent difficulties) that have historically resulted in irrational views about method, such as Van Tillian Presuppositionalism or so-called Reformed Epistemology.

Once poor methods are accepted at the base of philosophy, the rest of your belief system will be affected. The issues we will discuss this week are foundational. They make sound philosophy itself defensible.

Such a defense will be necessary if the church is to stand against philosophical attacks it now faces, especially on topics of the truth of Christianity and the convictions Christians should hold about morality and social and political issues.

For that reason, culture warriors and anyone wanting to be a good communicator should make use of what this book has to say.

As we are learning the ideas in this book, especially its material on keeping our thought and communication reality-oriented and honest, we are becoming, in those words of Francis Bacon: more full, more ready, and more exact as thinkers and teachers.

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List of Dates and Readings

Why Christians Should Reconsider Ayn Rand

About Us (For the New Christian Intellectual)

Ayn Rand and Christianity?

Christianity + Western Civilization

The Plunder of the Egyptians

Americanism Book Study

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