The Art of Introspection
Jun 28, 2008
Ayn Rand wrote, "If men identified introspectively their inner states one tenth as correctly as they identify objective reality, we would be a race of ideal giants." (Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, p. 227) She also noted that most people are poor at introspection and unmotivated to do it. The goal of this course is to help build more ideal giants. The course (1) defines introspection and differentiates it from extrospection; (2) explains the meaning of Ayn Rand's statement by showing: why introspection is critical for insuring the validity of one's methods of mental functioning (psycho-epistemology); for identifying one's mental contents; for building mental health; for fostering success in one's work; and for building happiness (including romantic happiness); and (3) provides a series of exercises to develop skill at introspection, including skill at understanding emotions. Special emphasis is placed on identifying and correcting psychological defenses.