Ayn’s objectivism

by Andrea Elizabeth

This statement in the Wikipedia article is most intriguing:

Rand argues that consciousness, “the faculty of perceiving that which exists,” is an inherently relational phenomenon. As she puts it, “to be conscious is to be conscious of something”, that is consciousness itself cannot be distinguished or grasped except in relation to an independent reality.[10] “It cannot be aware only of itself—there is no ‘itself’ until it is aware of something.”[11] Thus, Objectivism holds that the mind does not create reality, but rather, it is a means of discovering reality.[12] Expressed differently, existence has “primacy” over consciousness, which must conform to it. Any other approach Rand termed “the primacy of consciousness”, including any variant of metaphysical subjectivism or theism.[13]

Before, objectivism is described as the ability to perceive reality. Now it is saying that it is the relationship with the observed that must be cultivated, or rather, discovered. For this relationship not to be subjective, it seems to me that everyone’s relationship would have to be the same, thereby negating any individualist interpretation of the nature of reality, such as is described in the “Introduction” to Atlas Shrugged: “Ayn Rand held that art is a ‘recreation of reality according to an artist’s metaphysical value judgments.'”

“Recreation” could be different than objective observation, but “relationship” implies less emphasis on individual existence as a defining state, too. Unless reality is defined by “others”. That may be what binding and loosing is about. I believe this intercession will come to play on judgment day as well.