|Ah, Mr. Fly, I see that you've come buzzing around once again to pester and annoy those of us who actually consider Ayn Rand a respectable philosopher, since apparently your sole reason for being on this list is to discredit and belittle her. In your latest foray, you write: |
So Rand held the absurd notion that all our emotions are the result of the ideas we hold. It's just a question of programming the right ideas and then the good emotions will follow automatically. Yes, with the understanding that an emotion is a response to a value judgment, and that the programming is fully integrated and non-contradictory. This view of emotions, by the way, is not some crank opinion with no scientific backing. It is supported by Psychologist Dr. Magna Arnold in her two-volume work, Emotion and Personality (Columbia University Press, 1960).
[Rand] apparently really thought that our character has no inherited traits, that it's all "self-made". Yes, given the Objectivist view of "character" as that aspect of a person's nature or identity that is shaped by his moral values.
This is also consistent with the following howler: No one is born with any kind of "talent" and, therefore, every skill has to be acquired. [AR, Foreword to We the Living]. She doesn't seem to know the difference between "talent" and "skill". Of course "talent" is that what you're born with, and using that talent you can develop the skill. Aren't you being a bit unfair to call her statement a "howler"? A howler is a stupid blunder. Far from being a howler, Rand's statement is a perfectly legitimate use of the English language, since the term "talent" can be used to refer either to a natural endowment or to an acquired skill or ability. The American Heritage Dictionary defines "talent" as: 1. A mental or physical aptitude; natural or acquired ability."
But she literally believes in the tabula rasa, so Mozart had no talent, it was just a question of hard work and everyone who does the same work can achieve the same results as Mozart. Yeah, sure. She doesn't say that, nor is it implied by her statement. To say that every skill has to be acquired is not to say that everyone can acquire the same skill or the same level of skill. Nor is the latter implied by her concept of "tabula rasa," which refers only to her rejection of innate ideas. If anything is a howler, Mr. Fly, it is your interpretation of Rand's philosophy!