As you will learn from this collection of essays, most written by Ayn Rand, her philosophy of Objectivism entailed that she was neither a “liberal” (see chs. That commitment to rationality informs Rand’s distinctive intellectual approach, manifest in the essays in this book: she penetrates to the timeless, fundamental ideas underlying a given event, movement, or issue.
But her analysis widens to a profound issue in philosophy: the crucial importance of scrutinizing the validity of concepts and how we use them.
“Extremism,” Rand argued, was an example of a broader fallacy in thinking.
The enduring tragedy of American businessmen, she explains (ch.
15), is that they lend moral (and financial) support to their own destroyers.
While many people notice that various concepts and terms swirling about today may be fuzzy or questionable, few people make it a standing policy to question them. Yaron Brook, chairman of the board of the Ayn Rand Institute, engaged in a spirited and fast-moving conversation with prominent conservative commentator Ben Shapiro on Shapiro’s Sunday Special web series on August 25.
One lesson, then, is to make it a policy to be critical about the concepts we adopt and be alert to the fallacy of “package-dealing” in our thinking.
ARI began operations on February 1, 1985, three years after Rand's death, in Marina del Rey, California.
The first board of directors included Snider and psychologist Edith Packer.
Instead of assuming that the term is well-defined and helpful simply because it’s widely used, Rand asks: What facts in the world are supposed to give rise to this concept?
What, if anything, do they have essentially in common? It was an instance of what she called the fallacy of “package-dealing,” which involves grouping together under one term a set of “disparate, incongruous, contradictory elements taken out of any logical conceptual order or context.” “No mind,” Rand observes, “is better than the precision of its concepts,” and there are widely applicable lessons in her essay on how we can become better thinkers.