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Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature Paperback – August 15, 2001
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About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
It is for that reason that I read Greg Nyquist’s Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature. Mr. Nyquist is a critic of Ayn Rand, but he takes a different approach than most of her critics. He does not spend much time examining the details of her philosophy, except to note where Objectivism is contradictory or incomplete. He does not refute Objectivism on a philosophical basis. In fact, at some points he concedes, for the sake of argument, that Objectivism is the most ideal philosophy imaginable. He also does not criticize Ayn Rand on a personal basis, except to show where her personality characteristics shaped Objectivism.
What Greg Nyquist does instead is ask whether Ayn Rand and Objectivism actually works. Mr. Nyquist does not have much use for windy speculations about metaphysics or wordy conjectures about the way things ought to be. He is a practical man. He wants to know whether the assumptions about humanity and the world made by Ayn Rand that form the basis of Objectivism are actually in accordance with the observed facts.Read more ›
To a great extent the Introduction is one long rant and could be skipped or read after the rest of the book. Such a start undercuts the author's credibility and highlights his emotional dislike of Rand. Then there are his own flawed ideas. For example, he says there is no such thing as induction, yet repeatedly makes generalizations about Rand.
Chapter 1 - Theory of Human Nature
The author gives two basic conceptions of human nature - naturalistic and utopian. He considers himself an extreme naturalist and Rand a utopian. Are there no other alternatives? Rand was surely an idealist (ordinary sense, not the philosophical one). She thought the world could be a better place. If he completely disagrees with that, he is as much fatalistic as naturalistic.
He regards her philosophy not as the search for truth, but her means of projecting the ideal man. Her standard of human greatness is so unrealistic no man could ever meet it. Only her fictional characters could. Of course, some of them are near superhero status, but that doesn't imply real people can't be geniuses, rational, courageous, or have integrity.
The author says Rand's theory of human nature is based on the human mind having complete control over the body and will.Read more ›
AYN RAND CONTRA HUMAN NATURE
--- By Greg S. Nyquist ---
Expanded Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Theory of HUMAN NATURE
Introduction -- 1
(1) Motive of Rand's Philosophy: The "ideal" man -- 3
(2) Rand's Theory of Human Nature -- logical criticism of theory -- 10
(3) Empirical criticism of theory -- 23
........1. Do innate predispositions exist? -- 24
........2. Are emotions entirely the product of thinking? -- 31
........3. Is it possible for men to subject every aspect of their lives to the dominion of reason? -- 38
(4) Practical criticism (i.e., what would happen if people believed it to be true?) -- 41
Chapter 2: Theory of HISTORY
Introduction -- purpose of Rand's theory of history -- 48
(1) Exposition of Rand/Peikoff's theory of history -- 51
(2) Logical criticism of theory - analysis of key premises -- 64
........1. Man's character is the product of ideas -- 64
........2. Human beings are the product of philosophical ideas -- 64
........3. Man must formulate the abstract ideas through a process of deliberate conscious reasoning -- 66
(3) Empirical criticism of theory -- study of three factual claims -- 69
........1. Did Christianity cause the Dark Ages? -- 70
........2. Did altruism cause American statism? -- 81
........3. Did German philosophy cause Aushwitz?Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book has been debunked at length but my question for Amazon is what to the critical review by A Person ?Published on May 4, 2010 by M. Hardesty
The best technical presentation of Ayn Rand's thought is Leonard Peikoff's "Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand. Read morePublished on January 21, 2007 by Greek Scholar
In search good supplement to my continuing rehabilitation from my Ayn Rand addiction, I looked to this book. Read morePublished on January 9, 2007 by Graham Powrie
With a multimillion-selling oeuvre of fiction and polemic, promoted by both her followers and herself as the greatest philosopher of the 20th Century, and possibly of all time, Ayn... Read morePublished on November 7, 2006 by Daniel Barnes
Greg Nyquist is the kind of guy that would probably annoy a person who enjoys day-dreaming and dallying in flights of fancy. Read morePublished on March 28, 2003 by Abolaji Ogunshola
Are there many men who had a lower opinion about
human nature than Nyquist ?
A professional Rand basher, who critizes her for being so harsh and intolerant of other peoples views, spends an entire book brow beating his deceased opponent. What a hypocrite. Read morePublished on April 19, 2002