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The Elements of Thinking in Principles

Craig Biddle

Presented at: OCON 2005

Date: Jul 02, 2005

Ayn Rand's cognitive clarity and moral certainty were consequences of her thinking in principles. Thinking in principles is, in essence, a process of identifying relevant fundamentals and applying them properly to a given situation. This course will examine and concretize crucial components of this method, emphasizing the practical, life-or-death implications of each.

We will discuss the nature, importance and interrelationships of: naming one's primaries, excluding the middle, classifying by essentials, respecting hierarchy, keeping context and dismissing the arbitrary. Using a wide variety of examples, we will see how—when properly understood and applied—these elements unify into the whole that is the hallmark of objectivity: the method of thinking in principles. Attendees will increase their understanding of what is involved in this vital method, which will better equip them to pursue their values, promote their lives and protect their rights. (The course presupposes an intermediate-level understanding of Objectivist epistemology and ethics.)


Parts: 4

Handout: none


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