An Objectivist dictionary 

   Some people that words are tools to manipulate their social environment. 
Some believe that words ARE reality. I believe that words are tools used to 
think more clearly about reality and to communicate my thoughts to other 
   Many of the items here are not, strictly speaking, definitions - but they 
do provide some useful insight into the meanings of the concepts. 

   AS     :Atlas Shrugged  (hardback). 
   Basic  :Basic Principles of Objectivism lectures 
   DK     :The cogitations of David King. 
   DS     :The Disowned Self (hardback). 
   FNI    :For the New Intellectual (paperback). 
   HPD    :How You Can Profit From the Coming Devaluation (hardback - index) 
   IOE    :Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology (the original green 
   PRL    :The Psychology of Romantic Love (hardback). 
   PSE    :The Psychology of Self-Esteem  (hardback - index) 
   SEM    :Recordings of seminars held by Nathaniel Branden about l970 
   Think  :Principles of Efficient Thinking lectures 
   VOS    :The Virtue of Selfishness (hardback - index) 
   WAR    :Who Is Ayn Rand (paperback). 
   YY/Mmm/pp (e.g.: 67/May/11)  :The Objectivist Newsletter or The 
   MmmYY-pp  (e.g.: Apr87-10)   :The Objectivist Forum  


   * ABSURD That which denies the axiom of Identity. That which contradicts 
itself. That which contravenes an ostensive concept. 

   * ACHIEVEMENT The creation of values. 

   * ADMIRATION PSE-129 The pleasure a man takes in the character and 
achievements of another human being.  

   * ALIENATION Avoid unpleasantness and then avoid the fact that you are 
avoiding.  AS-833 They pretend to themselves that they are not pretending. 

   * ALTRUISM 62/Jul/27 Man must make the welfare of others his primary 
concern and must place their interests above his own; he has no right to 
exist for his own sake. 
   Notice that this phenomenon has two sides: one, expressed above, requires 
that YOU must live for the sake of others. The other side requires that 
OTHERS must live for your sake. 

   * ANGER is somewhat more complex an emotion than fear, because in most 
cases it also includes the emotions of hurt and disappointment, with their 
underlying evaluations of: "This injustice is causing me pain because I 
expected more from this person; I respected him and he is doing an unjust 

   * ANXIETY 67/Jan/12 Response to the threatened loss of a value.  66/Nov/7 
A state of dread experienced in the absence of any actual threat. What you 
experience when your body prepares for a challenge that is not here in 
reality. If the challenge actually exists your excitement and energy can 
flow into the activity of coping with the challenge. Since the challenge 
only exists in fantasy there is nothing you can actually do and all your 
energy and excitement gushes out in trembling and other symptoms of anxiety. 
This also happens if the challenge is present in reality but you don't dare 
attempt it yet. 
   Anxiety is a complex emotion; it feels similar to fear, but it differs 
from fear in that the latter is a response to a concrete which one 
experiences as threatening. In contrast, anxiety is free-floating fear, a 
fear without an apparent object. Something unknown, some hidden danger is 
experienced as threatening. 
   Anxiety is also the emotional consequence of self-doubt. In its pure and 
undisguised form, self-doubt is always experienced as anxiety. The universal 
evaluation underlying self-doubt is always something to the effect: "There 
is something wrong with me. I am not functioning right. I do not know how to 
make myself happy. There is a danger that my whole being is 'wrong' in some 
way. I cannot cope with life." And in extreme cases, the evaluation may 
simply have been "I am no good." 
   The severity of the anxiety will differ from case to case, depending on 
whether such a conclusion is localized or generalized, and how intensely it 
is held. For example, a person may feel self-doubt because he evaluates one 
particular action of his as unworthy of him. In this case, the self-doubt 
will be localized and therefore easier to bear than for the person who 
consciously or subconsciously evaluates himself as totally unworthy. In the 
latter case, self-doubt may be so severely entrenched that it permeates and 
conditions all of the individual's other emotions. In such severe cases, it 
can lead to the formation of a negative emotional metaphysics, which serves 
as a psychologically devastating framework within which the individual 
always functions - the malevolent universe premise. 

   * ART 63/Oct/37   65/Apr/16 A selective re-creation of reality according 
to an artist's metaphysical value-judgments. Metaphysical values are those 
which reflect an artist's fundamental view of the nature of man and the 
nature of the universe in which he lives. 

   * ATTRIBUTE Basic2 An aspect or characteristic of an object which can be 
isolated and identified conceptually but which in fact cannot be separated 
from an object and cannot exist by itself. 

   * AUTHORITARIANISM is the unnatural cord that reaches out to connect one 
person's muscles with another person's brain. 

   * AXIOM FNI-155 A statement that identifies the base of knowledge. 

   * BEAUTY DK A concept of consciousness. It is the integration of one or 
more experiences of pleasure with one or more observations of a 
manifestation of one's values. 

   As guidance in dealing with other people, the ethics of Objectivism 
stresses the virtue of justice, and especially the necessity of judgment. It 
does not explicitly give adequate emphasis to the outgoing, benevolent 
attitude that ought to be an important part of a life-affirming philosophy. 
Thus some of its advocates seem more comfortable pulling weeds than making 
flowers grow. 
   Can we can identify a virtue that involves a commitment to savoring the 
world's joys? To making the flowers of life grow? It might encompass what we 
call cultivation of taste, refinement in experiencing values, and a touch of 
adventurousness. Sometimes called "joie de vivre" this virtue consists of a 
kind of playful ability to discover or create reasons for joy in common 
everyday situations. It is an expression of conscious life-loving, as 
opposed to just passing through life in a dull and automatized way. This 
virtue results from one's sense of life; it springs from and requires a 
benevolent sense of life. Indeed, this virtue may be described as a 
generalized benevolence, directed not only towards other people, but toward 
existence in general and one's own life in particular. 
   You will recall that this is a central theme in all of Rand's heroes, and 
is especially emphasized in The Fountainhead, where Dominique is portrayed 
as lacking a benevolent sense of life. 
   It is the thing that Francisco did have. 

   * BLASPHEMY is what an old mistake says of a newly discovered truth. What 
last year's leaf says to this year's bud. 

   * BUREAUCRAT - One of the hallmarks of the bureaucratic mentality is the 
belief that the rules themselves are the reason the system exists, and not 
the accomplishment of the mission for which the system was originally 
   He becomes no more than a robot, going about a task whose meaning he has 
long ago forgotten, if indeed he had ever known it. 

   * CAPITAL Accumulated stock of value in excess of immediate consumptive 

   * CAPITALISM 63/Nov/44 65/Oct/47 65/Nov/54 A social system based on the 
recognition of individual rights, including property rights, and in which 
all property is privately owned. 
   The process of using wealth not for immediate consumption but for the 
creation of more wealth.  See Chapter 4. 
   See reference 

   * CAUSALITY 66/Mar/9 AS-1037 The law of identity applied to action. All 
actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and 
determined by the nature of the entity that acts; a thing cannot act in 
contradiction to its nature. 

   * CELEBRATION Basic16 An action undertaken not as a means to an end but 
as an end in itself, for the purpose of giving an objective expression to 
the enjoyment of a value achieved in the past. It objectifies the pleasure 
of consumption after the successful production of a value. 

   * CENSORSHIP 62/Mar/9 A government edict that forbids the discussion of 
some specific subjects or ideas. 

   * CERTAINTY DK A state of mind in which a person perceives a correlation 
between his mental images and Reality. See Chapter 3. 
   See reference 
   * CONFIDENCE AS-1019 Basic10 The knowledge that the judgment of one's 
mind is valid. 

   Compare the behavior of commuters dashing through a train station at rush 
hour with the behavior of a large, terrified crowd. The former resembles 
chaos in that although an observer unfamiliar with train stations might 
think people were running every which way without reason, order does 
underlie the surface complexity: each person is hurrying to a specific 
destination. The traffic flow could rapidly be changed simply by announcing 
a change in schedule. In contrast, mass hysteria is random. No simple 
announcement would make a large mob become orderly. 

   * CHARACTER 67/Mar/4 The sum of the principles and values that guide a 
man's actions in the face of moral choices. 
   * PERSONALITY PRL-75 The externally perceivable sum of all the 
psychological traits and characteristics that distinguish a human being from 
all other human beings.  67/Mar/4 The superficial mannerisms by which his 
principles are acted out. 

   * COERCION - A relationship in which a person is subjected to physical 
force (or the threat of it) in order to compel him to submit to the choices 
of another person. The separation of a person from his rightfully achieved 
values without his voluntary consent. Libertarians usually use the term 
"initiate force" when discussing this subject, but a more accurate term is 
"engage in coercion." This emphasizes that the principle underlying the 
behavior is time-independent. (See Chapter 6   * Preemptive force) 
   See reference 

   * COGNITIVE * NORMATIVE 65/Mar/10   65/Apr/15 Cognitive abstractions 
identify the facts of reality. Normative abstractions evaluate the facts, 
thus prescribing a choice of values and a course of action. Cognitive 
abstractions deal with that which IS; normative abstractions deal with that 
which OUGHT TO BE (in the realms open to man's choice). Cognitive 
abstractions form the epistemological foundation of science; Normative 
abstractions, of morality and of art. 

   * COINS HPD-178 Real money transformed into a recognizable shape and 
weight in order to facilitate exchange. 
   * TOKEN HPD-180 A money substitute in metallic form rather than paper. 

   * COMMON GOOD 65/Dec/55 An undefinable concept. "Good" and "Value" 
pertain only to an individual living organism, not to a disembodied 
aggregate of relationships. If taken literally its only possible meaning is: 
the sum of the good of all the individual men involved. But in that case the 
concept is meaningless as an ethical criterion: it leaves open the question 
of what is the good of an individual man and how does one determine it? The 
concept becomes an ethical blank check for those who use it. It means that 
the good of some men takes precedence over the good of others. 

   * COMMUNICATION DK Transfer of information from one mind to another such 
that both minds recognize the meaning of the information. 

   * COMPLEX    A complex system is one comprised of many agents, each of 
which interacts with its neighbors and can adapt to change. 

   * COMPROMISE 62/Jul/29 64/Jan/1 An adjustment of conflicting claims by 
mutual concessions. This means that both parties have some valid claim and 
some value to offer each other. And this means that both parties agree upon 
some fundamental principle which serves as a base for their deal. It is only 
in regard to concretes or particulars implementing a mutually accepted basic 
principle that compromise can occur. 

   * CONCEPT IOE-17 A mental integration of two or more units possessing the 
same distinguishing characteristic(s) with their particular measurements 
omitted.  65/Apr/15 A mental integration of two or more perceptual concretes 
which are isolated by a process of abstraction and united by means of a 
specific definition.  67/Jun/7 The meaning of a concept consists of the 
units - the existents - which it integrates, including all the 
characteristics of these units. 
   * ANTI-CONCEPT The Ayn Rand Letter pg 1 An unnecessary and rationally 
unusable term designed to replace and obliterate some legitimate concept. 
The use of anti-concepts gives the listener a sense of approximate 

   * CONCEPT OF CONSCIOUSNESS IOE-33 A mental integration of two or more 
instances of a psychological process possessing the same distinguishing 
characteristics with the particular contents and the measurements of the 
action's intensity omitted. 

   * CONCEPTUALIZE 66/Dec/13 To organize an indiscriminate perceptual chaos 
in terms of essential characteristics. 

   * CONSCIOUSNESS PSE-3 5 The faculty and state of awareness. The condition 
of an organism in cognizing, perceiving, or sensing.  WAR-63 The function of 
consciousness is perception, cognition and the initiation and direction of 
   Consciousness, or mind, is the action performed by a brain. 

   * COURAGE - BASIC10 The knowledge that to act on the judgment of one's 
mind is practical.  AS-1019 The practical form of being true to existence. 

   * CRIME - See Chapter 6 
   See reference 

   * CURRENCY HPD-178 Money substitutes in paper form. 

   * DECIDOPHOBIA The fear of making the decisions that give shape to one's 

   * DEDUCTION IOE-30 The process of subsuming new instances under a known 

   * DEFLATION HPD-178 A decrease in the amount of money substitutes that 
are in excess of the stored stock of real money. 

   63/Jan/3: An identification of the specific meaning of a concept, 
accomplished by isolating the facts of reality to which the concept refers 
and of which the concept is a mental integration. The purpose of defining 
one's terms is to afford oneself the inestimable benefit of knowing what one 
is talking about. 67/Jul/9: To keep a concept distinct from all others, to 
keep it connected to a specific group of existents. HPD-29: To draw a sharp 
line between what IS a certain thing and what isn't.  BASIC6: A statement 
that identifies the essential characteristics of the aspect of reality which 
a concept denotes.  IOE-76: A statement that identifies the nature of a 
concept's units. 
   See Chapter 3 
   See reference 

   * DEMAND DEPOSIT HPD-178 The storing of your money in a bank but having 
it still available on demand, for which you usually pay a fee. 

   * DEPRESSION HPD-178 62/Aug/33 The liquidation period following a 
prolonged inflationary cycle and/or a liquidation period in which 
governmental restraint of trade prevents orderly liquidation thereby 
prolonging a recession.  
   * DEPRESSION 67/Jan/12 Response to the loss of a value or the sense of 
being unable to achieve a value.  
   * SUFFERING 62/Jan/3 The emotion that results from the frustration of 
one's desire or the destruction of one's values. 

   * DESPAIR - The conclusion underlying despair is something to the effect: 
"I want something that I value very highly, something that I believe is 
crucial to my happiness, and I don't think I can ever have it." Included in 
this evaluation is a strong element of hopelessness about the future. If the 
conclusion applied only to the present - only to not achieving some value 
for the time being - the resulting emotion could be sadness, hurt, and 
disappointment, but not despair. The hopelessness in severe cases can take 
the form of the person's losing the desire to take any action - sometimes 
losing the desire even to get out of bed. It is always despair that leads to 
suicide. In cases of suicide, the devastating underlying conclusion doesn't 
apply to just one particular value, but encompasses the whole future of the 
person's life. 
   Gandalf: Despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. 

   * DETERMINISM 63/May/17 Denies the existence of any element of freedom or 
volition in man's consciousness. It holds that every action, desire and 
thought of man is determined by forces beyond his control. 
   But if man believes what he HAS to believe; if he is not free to test his 
beliefs against reality and to validate or reject them; if the actions and 
content of his mind are determined by factors that may or may not have 
anything to do with reason logic and reality; then he can never know if his 
conclusions are true or false. If his capacity to judge is not free there is 
no way for a man to discriminate between his beliefs and those of a raving 
lunatic. (Or to assert as truth the postulate of determinism.) 
   See the Fallacys file 

   * DEVALUATION HPD-178 Repudiation of the government's promise to honor 
its money substitutes at the stated rate of exchange. 

   * DIALECTICAL MATERIALISM WAR-16 AS-320,952 Man's mind and its content 
are determined by the material factors of production existing at a given 
time. Discovery of Freedom by R. W. Lane: The communist is looking for the 
Authority that controls men and taking it for granted that since the man 
does not control himself then the Authority that controls him must be his 

   * DISSOCIATION The failure of the power to recall things which normally 
should be remembered; an interruption or repression of memory. 

   * DOGMA A set of beliefs accepted from the voice of authority. 

   * DUTY 70/Jul/3 The distinction is between realistic necessity 
(obligation) and human whims (duty). A debt you owe to yourself to fulfill. 
Obligations you have assumed voluntarily. See Integrity, 

   * ECONOMICS is the production, transportation, exchange and consumption 
of wealth. It is also the study of these activities. There are two broad 
divisions of economics: Personal (in which a person produces wealth and then 
consumes that wealth himself) and Social (in which more than one person is 
involved in the production or consumption of wealth). 
   Macroeconomics: the study of the money supply, the GNP, and the 
regulation of credit on a nationwide scale. (A lecture on mass transit 
   Microeconomics: the study of the aggregate of individual market 
transactions. (A study of the average gas mileage of the local buses.) 
   Picoeconomics (Browneian economics): the study of the relationship of 
individual human beings to the economic world each lives in. (Directions to 
the nearest bus stop.) 

   * EGO - PSE-148 161 A man's ego is his mind - his faculty of awareness - 
the faculty that preserves the inner continuity of his own existence and 
generates his sense of personal identity. Ego and mind denote the same fact 
of reality: that which knows, judges and feels. 
   A person has a strong sense of identity when he knows what he thinks and 
values in the important areas of his life, and continues to pursue those 
values in action. One experiences a strong sense of identity as an emotional 
constant, which can be summed up in the feeling, "I know who I am." A person 
who tells you that he has spent the last six months with a guru in India 
trying to find out who he is, is confessing that he does not know his values 
and does not have a strong sense - or perhaps any sense - of personal 
   The key to personal identity is values. The more developed, integrated, 
and intensely held are a person's values, the stronger is his sense of 
identity . 
   If you know that you like to travel, or that you like to knit, or that 
you just like to walk in the forest - any activity that gives you pleasure - 
that will go toward building a feeling of "That is me." Furthermore, 
strongly-held values in any area of a person's life will make him more 
consistent, stronger, and more of a candidate for happiness. The more you 
know what you like, and what will make you happy, the more you know who the 
"you" that you "are" is. 
   No one is born with a strong sense of identity; it has to be developed. 
Such development can be observed most dramatically during adolescence: 
teenagers are normally involved in an intense process of separating and 
individuating themselves from their parents, eagerly trying to find the 
values which will make them uniquely themselves. 

   * EGOISM 62/Sep/39 Holds that man is an end in himself; that ethically 
the beneficiary of an action should be the person who acts.  WAR-31 Holds 
that self interest is man's proper moral goal. 
   The egoist is the person with the true ego; he has a rationally based 
sense of his self worth. The egotist is the one who falsely inflates his 
image. He is the braggart or the megalomaniac. These two terms, egoism and 
egotism, differentiate rational from irrational self-images. 

   * EMERGENCY * CRISIS 63/Feb/6 An event, limited in time, that creates 
conditions under which human survival is impossible. A situation which 
cannot continue without the occurrence of a disaster. In an emergency 
situation man's primary goal is to combat the disaster, escape the danger 
and restore normal conditions. Man cannot live his life by the guidance of 
rules applicable only to conditions under which human survival is 
impossible. (See Natural Rights in Chapter 5.) 
   See reference 

   * EMOTION 62/Jan/3 The psychosomatic form in which man experiences his 
estimate of the relationship of things to himself. The psychosomatic 
embodiment of a value judgment. VOS-27 Estimates of that which furthers 
man's values or threatens them.  66/Jan/14 Reactions to the appraisal of 
perceptions, as opposed to feelings which are reactions to the appraisal of 
sensations.  DK States of consciousness produced by actual or anticipated 
change in the relationship between a person and his values. 

   * EMOTIONAL OPENNESS - SEM 13 Communication of the value-significance of 
things and events. 

   * ENVY The motive of a man who is willing to make himself worse off in 
order to bring another down to his level. See Chapter 3. 
   See reference 

   * EPISTEMOLOGY 64/Oct/41 The science that studies the nature and means of 
human knowledge. Its primary purpose is to establish the criteria of 
knowledge and thus enable man to distinguish between that which he may and 
may not regard as knowledge. 

   * ESSENCE IOE-49 The essence of a concept is that fundamental 
characteristic of its units on which the greatest number of other 
characteristics depend and which distinguishes these units from all other 

   * ESTEEM Dec86-5 The recognition of character traits or qualities which 
you judge to be of significant (moral) value. 

   * ETHICS 65/Apr/15 70/Jun/4 VOS-15 The study of the proper values to 
guide man's choices and actions. 
   * MORALITY 64/Jun/21 64/Nov/48 65/Mar/10 That branch of philosophy that 
studies values. An abstract conceptual code of values and principles.  WAR-
24 A code of values accepted by choice.  (Morality in children: 65/Mar/9)  
Moral principles are requirements of man's survival proved by reference to 
the most fundamental aspects of his existence and to the deepest premises of 
philosophy. They are life-or-death absolutes. 
   DK Morality describes intra-personal actions whereas Ethics describes 
inter-personal actions. 

   * EUPHEMISM  An inoffensive way of identifying an offensive fact. Or, 
more likely, a way of avoiding the necessity of identification. 

   * EVALUATION PSE-91 The process of identifying the beneficial or harmful 
relationship of some aspect of reality to oneself. 

   * EVIDENCE is suggestive or indicative information, frequently based on 
observations or oral statements. * DATA, on the other hand, usually take the 
form of numerical information, suitable for processing and analysis. 

   * EXPERIENCE 70/Mar/2 The evidence of man's senses. 

   * EXPLANATION 68/Feb/9 To account for some aspect of reality which you do 
not understand on the basis of concepts which have already been validated. 

   * EXPLOITATION DK involves the making of two judgments of a situation 
from two different perspectives. The person being exploited judges his 
situation and concludes that he is choosing a desirable alternative. The 
person who sees the situation as exploitative is judging that there are more 
preferable alternatives available. 

   * FACT   "Fact" is a concept necessitated by our form of consciousness: 
we are not infallible. An error is possible, or a lie is possible, or 
imagination is possible. Therefore, when we say something is a fact, we 
distinguish primarily from error, lie, or any aberration of consciousness. 
And it serves another function: it delimits the concept "existence" or 
"reality." For instance, you may have noticed that Rand often used the 
expression "facts of reality." What is added to the term "reality" by saying 
"facts"? It is narrowed to mean: whichever aspects, events, or existents you 
happen to know about, these are the facts of reality - these are the things 
which you know to exist. 

   * FAIR - what informed people freely agree to. 

   * FAITH 62/Mar/11 The acceptance of an idea without evidence or proof or 
in spite of evidence to the contrary. Faith is that faculty which enables us 
to believe things which we know to be untrue. 

   * FAVOR 65/OCT/48 A favor means the unearned, since the earned is a right 
not a favor. 

   * FEAR 62/Jan/3 Your response to that which threatens your values. Fear 
is how you feel when you wait for something bad to happen, and fun is what 
you have when you figure out a way to make something good happen. 

   * FEELING 66/Jan/14 A positive or negative internal state which is a 
direct and immediate effect of sensory stimulation. 

   * FRAUD 63/Dec/46 Obtaining material values without their owner's consent 
under false pretenses or false promises. Receiving values then refusing to 
pay for them and thus keeping them by force (by mere physical possession) 
not by right, and without the consent of their owner. 

   * FREE WILL 64/Jan/3 64/Apr/15 holds that man is capable of performing 
actions that are not determined by forces outside his control; that man has 
the power of making choices which are causal primaries. Objectivism locates 
man's free will in a single action of his consciousness: to focus his mind 
or not to do so. Man has the power to regulate the action of his own 

   * FREEDOM WAR-43 See Chapter 5. 
   In a political-economic context it means only the absence of physical 
compulsion. A free society is that state of affairs where there are no man-
made restraints on the release of creative human energy. 
   See reference 

   * GENERAL PRICE LEVEL HPD-178 the available money supply divided by the 
goods and services available for sale. 

   * GOOD 64/Nov/47 65/Dec/55 An evaluation of the facts of reality by man's 
consciousness according to a rational standard of value. The good is an 
aspect of reality in relation to man. It must be discovered, not invented, 
by man. Dec83-7 That which a man finds of value through the independent 
judgment of his rational mind. 

   * GREATNESS AS-1145 To be master of reality in a manner no other has 

   * HAPPINESS 62/Jan/3 AS-1014 the consequence of fulfilled desire. The 
emotion that results from the achievement of one's values. 

   * HATRED 62/Jan/3 The consequence of fear. The wish for the destruction 
of that which endangers my values. 

   * HEDONISM - To hold pleasure as a global value is to operate on the 
principle of hedonism. This view of life is not limited merely to those who 
seek continual stimulation by food, drink, and sex. Another form of the same 
basic principle is represented by the adventurer, who seeks the stimulant of 
risk. And another form can be seen in the connoisseur, who seeks refinement 
in his pleasures. Pleasure as a central value may take many different forms. 
What unites them all is the attitude that the meaning of life lies in the 
immediate experience of pleasure. 
   But that immediacy is the problem with making pleasure one's central 
value. Human life is lived through time. As Aristotle observed, it is the 
integrated sum of a lengthy series of events. Someone who pursues pleasure 
as a central value tends to discover at some point that his life has not 
added up to anything, that he has drifted along without leaving a wake. 
Pleasure pursued as a primary value has a hollow core, unlike the kind of 
enjoyment that is a response to values one has created. It is pleasing to 
see a beautiful garden, but there is a much deeper sort of pleasure in the 
sight of a garden one has designed, planted, and cultivated oneself. 

   * HONESTY PSE-219 AS-859,1019 The refusal to seek values by faking 
reality - by evading the distinction between the real and the unreal. 
   * HUMANITIES - the study and/or evaluation of man and his actions. 

   * HYPOCRISY - to assert the falsity of that which is real while asserting 
the reality of that which is false. 

   * IDEA - A light turned on in a man's soul. 

   * IDEALISM 66/Sep/10 Aspiration to any values above the level of the 

   * IMPLICIT knowledge is that which is available to your consciousness but 
which you have not conceptualized. 

   * INDEPENDENCE AS-1019 PSE-219 A commitment to one's own perception of 
reality as an absolute standard of thought and action. The acceptance of 
intellectual responsibility for one's own existence. Responsibility must 
come from within, as a commitment to one's own values, rather than from the 
outside, as a duty to God, family, or community. Responsibility in action 
flows from a sense of self-ownership - from motivation by values rather than 
   "Self-responsibility is the key to personal effectiveness in virtually 
every sphere of life - from working on one's marriage to pursuing a career 
to developing into an increasingly whole and balanced human being. It 
constitutes the moral foundation of social existence and therefore has 
political ramifications as well." ... Nathaniel Branden 
   Government measures always imply more or less compulsion; and even where 
this is not directly the case, they accustom men to look for instruction, 
guidance, and assistance from without, rather than to rely upon their own 
   * INDIVIDUALISM 62/Apr/13 As an ethical-political concept it upholds the 
supremacy of individual rights. The principle that man is an end in himself, 
not a means to the ends of others. As an ethical-psychological concept it 
holds that man should think and judge independently, valuing nothing higher 
than the sovereignty of his intellect.  Feb86-9 

   * INDUCTION IOE-30 The process of observing the facts of reality and of 
integrating them into concepts. 

   * INFATUATION 68/Jan/3 Selectively focusing on one or two aspects of a 
total personality while ignoring or being oblivious to the rest, and 
responding as though the person were only those particular aspects. 

   * INFLATION HPD-29 An increase in money substitutes above the stock of 
real money in storage. The counterfeiting of paper money. 

   * INSANITY AS-567 A condition wherein a person is so far out of cognitive 
contact with reality (not in the content of his mind but in its method of 
functioning) that he can't tell what's real. Doing the same unsuccessful 
thing you have always done but expecting different results. 
   * INSIGHT  A sense of something beautiful boiling up inside me. 

   * INSTINCT See Chapter 3 
   See reference 

   * INTEGRITY AS-1019 63/Feb/6  The policy of acting in accordance with 
one's values - of expressing, upholding and translating them into practical 
reality.  PSE-219 Loyalty in action to the judgment of one's consciousness.  
Heinlein: Your agreement with yourself to abide by your own rules. 

   * INTELLECTUAL AMMUNITION Verbal bullets for people who want to shoot 
their mouths off. 

   * INTELLIGENCE 70/Aug/6 The ability to deal with a broad range of 
abstractions.  IOE-27 33 The standard of measurement that differentiates one 
type of consciousness from another is its range. It is a measurement of the 
range of your consciousness: the extent to which you are able to be 
conscious of the facts of reality, and able to form and manipulate concepts. 

   * INTUITION  It is usually thought to be the faculty of attaining 
knowledge without rational thought and inference, but this is a false 
concept. Intuition is actually just one of the ways in which the 
subconscious mind talks to the conscious mind. (See * Subconscious) 

   * IRRATIONALITY 62/Jan/3 The relationship of reason and emotion is that 
of cause and effect. Irrationality consists of the attempt to reverse this 
relationship: to let one's emotions determine one's thinking, and to judge 
what is true or false by the standard of what is "pleasant" or "unpleasant." 
Philosophically this attempt is the cause of mysticism; psychologically it 
is the cause of neurosis. 
   * IRRATIONALISM 69/Oct/2 The doctrine that reason is not a valid means of 
knowledge nor a proper guide to action. Irrationalism is the sheer defiance 
of reason and logic per se. One can be an irrationalist without being a 
   * MYSTICISM  Basic3  The claim to a non-sensory, non-rational form of 
knowledge. The claim that there are aspects of existence that can be known 
by means of a unique cognitive faculty whose judgments are above the 
authority of sensory observation or reason. 
   There is a fallacy underlying the mystical notion that we can understand 
the functioning of our mind (or anything else) by stopping the mind's usual 
sort of thinking and then attempting (usually by holding very still) to see 
and hear the fine details of mental life. This denies the fundamental 
process of how we come to understand anything complicated. If we suspend our 
conscious ways of thinking, we'll be bereft of all the parts of mind already 
trained to interpret complicated phenomena. 

   * IRRELEVANCY A topic not subsumed by the principle that underlies 
(explicitly or implicitly) the discussion. 

   * JEALOUSY   Jealousy represents a composite of a number of emotions, 
which are experienced as a single unit. The individual emotions which are 
included in it are anxiety, anger and distrust of one's partner. Underlying 
the element of distrust is the belief: "My romantic partner is not 
trustworthy." The anxiety results from this sense of untrustworthiness and 
also from a feeling of sexual self-doubt: "I feel unworthy sexually - I 
cannot satisfy my partner's sexual needs." The evaluation underlying the 
anger is: "Some injustice has been (or might be) done to me."  
   Jealousy is also the assertion of property rights over a human being. 

   * JOLLY DK How you feel when you have just spent half an hour listening 
to the music of Scott Joplin. 

   * JUDGE 62/Apr/15 To evaluate a given concrete by reference to an 
abstract principle or standard. 

   * JUSTICE PSE-219 IOE-49 AS-737,1019 The practice of identifying men for 
what they are and treating them accordingly. The practice of recognizing 
causality and individual responsibility in social relationships. The law of 
causality and/or the law of Identity applied to human behavior. Maximizing 
virtue within the limits of human judgment. Notions of justice or injustice 
don't apply to the results of an impersonal process, only to the general 
rules that are enforced. 
   Under justice individuals are held to be causal agents and are held 
responsible for the consequences of their actions. Under all the forms of 
determinism, you can't have justice, because individuals are not believed to 
be causal agents. Instead, they are regarded as billiard balls, as entities 
who are merely acted upon and therefore helpless in doing the things they 
   When you are visited by the consequences of your own choices, this is 
justice. What most people decry as "the injustice of the world" is suffering 
the consequences of someone else's choices. Justice is when you have to pay 
your own debts. Injustice is when you have to pay someone else's debts. 
   Though the rules and proceedings of justice be artificial they are not 

   * KNOWLEDGE 67/Aug/11 Correct identification of the facts of reality. 
Acquired not by logic apart from experience or by experience apart from 
logic but by the application of logic to experience. All truths are the 
product of a logical identification of the facts of experience.  DK The 
content of a mind which corresponds to truth. 
   * TRUTH IOE-46 The product of the recognition (i.e. identification) of 
the facts of reality.  Basic1 The recognition of reality.  An aspect of 
reality as perceived by a mind. 

   * LANGUAGE 65/Apr/15 A code of visual-auditory symbols that serves the 
psycho-epistemological function of converting abstractions into concretes, 
or more precisely into the psycho-epistemological equivalent of concretes: 
to a manageable number of specific units. (It can be either a tool for 
identifying and understanding reality or a tool for manipulating one's 
social environment.) 

   * LAW Basic13 A rule of action pertaining to the relationships of men 
inhabiting the same country. Tonie Nathan: Enunciations of principles of 
   Law is what government builds to assure its perpetuity. 

   * LAW OF IDENTITY Basic3 Law of Identity: A is A. Law of Contradiction: a 
thing cannot be A and notA. Law of Excluded Middle: a thing is either A or 

   * LEADER   * RULER   
   A leader is the lady who goes ahead with a torch, lighting the way for 
those who follow. 
   A ruler is the man who comes behind with a whip, driving them onward. 
   When you rule people you wind up having to do everything yourself, since 
you have to have everything done exactly YOUR way. But when you lead, you 
set the objectives and then allow your followers to do their jobs as they 
know how (and as only they know how). All you should do is step in when 
things go wrong or look like they're going to go wrong. The trick is in 
knowing when to step in. But when you rule, you step in all the time because 
you think only in terms of control. The followers get used to being told 
what to do and sooner or later will bog down because they're afraid of using 
their own judgment. 

   * LIBERTARIANISM is the statement of a political principle. As John 
Hospers described it: "a philosophy of personal liberty - the liberty of 
each person to live according to his own choices, provided that he does not 
attempt to coerce others and thus prevent them from living according to 
their choices. Libertarians hold this to be an inalienable right of man; 
thus, libertarianism represents a total commitment to the concept of 
individual rights."  It is a political philosophy, concerned with the 
appropriate use of force. It asks one question: Under what conditions is the 
use of force justified? And it gives one answer: only in response to 
   "A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under 
any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to 
advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this 
principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail 
to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they 
may claim." .... L. Neil Smith 
   This political principle is implemented through the social institution of 
* ANARCHY.    See Chapter 6 
   See reference 

   * STATISM 65/May/19 The opposite of libertarianism is statism, the 
principle that it is proper for the community (or a selected subgroup 
thereof) to compel the behavior of its individual members. This political 
principle is implemented through the social institution of government. 
   * STATEOLATRY The stateolatrist is a devout statist who views (usually 
implicitly) government as an object of religious worship. He is one 
manifestation of what Eric Hoffer described as a "True Believer." He regards 
government as being the ultimate foundation of morality and ethics, and as 
an absolute prerequisite to civilized human existence. 
   * GOVERNMENT 63/Dec/45 Capitalism The Unknown Ideal pg 46: An institution 
that holds the exclusive power to enforce certain rules of social conduct in 
a given geographical area.  Think8: A social agency that performs the task 
of formulating and enforcing the laws of a country.  
   DK: Government is the social institution by means of which the principle 
of coercion is implemented. In practice throughout history, the fundamental 
distinguishing characteristic of government has been that it is an 
institution established by the strongest gang of aggressors in a particular 
area at a particular time. Government is not itself a principle but is the 
institutionalization of an ethical principle. The gang of bandits becomes a 
government when it establishes an institution for the purpose of 
implementing its principle of coercion.  
   Government should be defined as an institution that SEEKS exclusive 
power, not as one that HOLDS exclusive power. Just as a business is a 
profit-seeking organization, not necessarily a profit-making organization. 

   * LIFE 63/Apr/13 The process of achieving values. Isaac Asimov: The 
ability to effect a temporary and local decrease in entropy by means of 
chemical reactions which are controlled by nucleic acid molecules. 
   The definition of "A life" is the sum of experiences and actions that 
constitute a person's existence. 

   * LIQUIDATION HPD-179 Normally, the sale of a property. With regard to 
recessions and depressions it refers to the acceptance of losses and the 
closing of businesses that existed only because of the miscalculations 
caused by inflation. 

   * LOGIC The art of non-contradictory identification of the facts of 

   * LOVE 62/Jan/3 65/Aug/37 Man's emotional response to that which he 
values. Desire is the consequence of love.  PSE-129 Romantic Love is the 
highest expression of the most intense union of pride and admiration. Its 
celebration is sex. The psycho-somatic response to the integral of the 
behaviors that make the shared ecstasy of sex possible. 

   * LUCK See Chapter 3. 
   See reference 

   * FREE MARKET: in which all economic endeavors are owned and controlled 
by individuals acting according to their own choices.  
   "A free market is one in which all exchanges are voluntary." 
   This statement is not really true. The statement describes an ideal state 
of affairs that cannot ever be completely achieved, since there will always 
exist some people willing to coerce exchanges. What all men of good will DO 
wish to achieve is the closest approximation to this ideal state of affairs 
that is humanly possible. We do not expect the impossible; we do not assume 
that in a free market the cost of using force is infinite.  
   * MARKET FAILURE: the inability of the (unfree) market to recover from an 
attack of government intervention. 

   * MATURITY 65/Nov/53 Psychological maturity pertains to the successful 
development of man's consciousness; the ability to conceptualize. 

   * MEASUREMENT IOE-13 The identification of a quantitative relationship by 
means of a standard that serves as a unit. 

   * MEDIATION involves impartial third persons who help the parties in 
dispute reach agreement. * ARBITRATION involves impartial persons who are 
given authority to determine the outcome of the dispute. Mediators generally 
work toward a compromise, but arbitrators reach decisions based on the 
merits of the case. * ADJUDICATION is the clarification of existing property 

   * MEDIOCRITY WAR-67 85   AS-358 70/Oct/2 An average intelligence that 
resents and envies its betters. Mediocrity know nothing higher than itself; 
it takes talent to recognize genius. 

   * MENTAL HEALTH 64/May/20 No clash between perception of reality and 
preservation of self-esteem.  67/Feb/11 PSE-94 The capacity for unobstructed 
cognitive functioning and the exercise of this capacity. Mental illness is 
the impairment of this capacity. 

   * METAPHYSICS 65/Apr/16 The science that deals with the fundamental 
nature of reality.  DK The study of the fundamental nature of the universe 
as epistemologically inferred rather than as existentially deduced. 
   Metaphyscs is not the science of any particular thing; it is the science 
of everything. As such, it can have only very minimal principles because all 
the details have to be discovered on their own, each being a matter of 
scientific specialization. 

   * MIGHT MAKES RIGHT 63/Jun/21 When might is opposed to right the concept 
of "might" can have only one meaning: the power of brute physical force 
which in fact is not a "power" but the most hopeless state of impotence; it 
is merely the "power" to destroy; it is the "power" of a stampede of animals 
running amok. 

   * MINE  To extract a resource that is not replenished. To harvest is to 
extract a resource that you then replenish. 

   * MONEY HPD-10,12,15 A commodity accepted in exchange by an individual 
who intends to trade it for something else. The final argument is that you 
can always use the nails SOMETIME in the future; they won't lose their 
value. And if YOU don't use them SOMEONE will. If the money commodity didn't 
have a separate value you couldn't confidently accept it in trade for what 
you have produced for you wouldn't know the worth of what you received. 
Heinlein: The universal symbol for value received. DK: A medium for the 
measured exchange of wealth. 

   * MONEY SUBSTITUTES Money receipts and demand deposits that are used in 
exchanges in place of real money. 

   * MONOPOLY 62/Jun/23 COERCIVE: A grant of special privilege by the State 
reserving a certain area of production to one particular individual or 
group. The exclusive control of a given field of production so that those in 
control are able to set arbitrary production policies and charge arbitrary 
prices, immune from the law of supply and demand. Such a monopoly entails 
more than the absence of competition; it entails the impossibility of 
competition. Every coercive monopoly that has ever existed anywhere was 
created and made possible only by an act of government. NON-COERCIVE: May 
exist on the free market but is bound by the law of supply and demand (such 
as a small town with one drug store which is barely able to survive). No 
commodity can be indispensable to an economy regardless of price. It can be 
only relatively preferable to other commodities. 

   * NATIONALISM A devotion to the social institutions of some particular 
nation, often coupled with a desire that the favored nation should conquer 
all other nations militarily, and always coupled with a degree of 
indifference or even hostility to the social institutions of other nations. 
   * CITIZENSHIP An attitude, a state of mind, an emotional conviction that 
the whole is greater than the part and that the part should be willing to 
sacrifice itself that the whole may live. 

   * NEED PSE-18 62/Mar/11 In order to maintain that something is a physical 
or psychological need one must demonstrate that it is a causal condition of 
the organism's survival and wellbeing. 

   * NEUROSIS DS 90 An attempt to protect one's self-esteem and preserve 
one's survival by self-destructive means. 
   * PSYCHOSIS Basic5 Loss of volitional control over one's rational 

   * NONSENSE See Chapter 3 
   See reference 

   * NOSTALGIA - commercial exploitation of a consensus that never existed. 

   * NUMBER IOE-58 A mental symbol that integrates units into a single 
larger unit (or subdivides a unit into fractions) with reference to the 
basic number of "one" which is the basic mental symbol of "unit." 

   * OBJECTIVE Basic1 Independent of consciousness. Reality is the OBJECT of 

   * OBJECTIVITY 65/Feb/7 Metaphysically it is the recognition of the fact 
that reality exists independent of any perceiver's consciousness. 
Epistemologically it is the recognition of the fact that a perceiver's 
consciousness must acquire knowledge of reality by certain means (reason) in 
accordance with certain rules (logic). 

   * OBSCENITY 65/Oct/47 AS-901 A peculiar kind of embarrassment when 
witnessing a grossly inappropriate human performance, such as the antics of 
an unfunny comedian. It is a depersonalized, almost metaphysical 
embarrassment at having to witness so undignified a behavior on the part of 
a member of the human species. Lyndon Johnson's speeches were obscene. 

   * ORIGINAL SIN AS-1025 To hold as man's sin a fact not open to his choice 
is a mockery of morality. To hold man's nature as his sin is a mockery of 
nature. To punish him for a crime he committed before he was born is a 
mockery of justice. To hold him guilty in a matter where no innocence exists 
is a mockery of reason. To destroy morality, nature, justice and reason by 
means of a single concept is a feat of evil hardly to be matched. 

   * OWNERSHIP DK The rightfully acquired ability to use and dispose of 
property. An individual justly owns whatever he has acquired without 
violating the principles of justice in acquisition and justice in transfer. 
   * PROPERTY 64/Apr/13
   Property is wealth produced or acquired without coercing others. Any 
object which requires the application of human knowledge and action in order 
to become of use to mankind, becomes property by virtue of (and by right of) 
those who apply the knowledge and effort. 
   See Chapter 4 for a further discussion of property.
   See reference
* PACKAGE DEAL - A "package-deal" is an attempt to dignify a bad concept by allying it with something more honorable. * PAPER MONEY HPD-179 Receipts for real money in storage. * PERCEPTS VOS-19 IOE-11 A group of sensations automatically retained and integrated by the brain. PSE-27 Through the stimulation of his various sensory receptors man receives information which travels to his brain in the form of sensations (primary sensory inputs). These sensory imputs as such do not constitute knowledge; they are only the material of knowledge. Man's brain automatically retains and integrates these sensations thereby forming percepts. Percepts constitute the starting point and base of man's knowledge: the direct awareness of entities, their actions and their attributes. * PERFECT - Feb81-3 Flawlessly complete satisfaction of a standard of value. The best possible in a given context. A perfect sphere is a sphere that is flawless in the context of man's form of perception. All concepts are derived from the perceptual level of man's awareness, and all standards of perfection must be consistent with this fact. * PHILANTHROPY There is reason to work for a better world even if we do not directly benefit ourselves. Philanthropy is an investment in authentic human values - an effort to leave a desirable social context for the survival of our species in the future. It is an act of love and hope for our children, that they may live in a proper world as they should. * PHILOSOPHY FNI-18 An integrated view of life. FNI-22 An integrated view of man, of existence, and of the universe. 70/Jun/4 The science that studies the fundamental aspects of the nature of existence, the fundamental, universal principles of existence. DK A set of principles which provides a consistent and comprehensive frame of reference from which to judge entities and actions. * PITY The Fountainhead 583 The awareness of a man without worth or hope. A sense of finality; of the not to be redeemed. There was shame in this feeling - his own shame that he should have to pronounce such judgment upon a man and that he should know an emotion which contained no shred of respect. * POLITICS 70/JUN/4 The study of the principles governing the proper organization of society. * POWER - Power is the ability to influence the actions of other people. It need not involve the use of coercion; people can be influenced by economic, intellectual, or psychological means as well. The power residing in leadership can be a legitimate object of concern for those whose primary aim is cooperative ventures in productive achievement. Many enterprises require large numbers of people to work together, over extended periods of time, toward common goals. Ideally, cooperation springs from each individual's autonomous commitment to the goal, and agreement about the proper means of achieving that goal. But agreement and common commitment do not occur by magic. They must be deliberately sought and maintained through the use of the arts of power: the ability to persuade, to inspire, to exercise authority, to build consensus and discourage factions. Wherever possible, it is best to lead by persuasion, explaining the reasons for a given course of action. But life does not always proceed at the pace of a philosophy seminar. In a ship at sea in a storm, or in a time-critical endeavor such as launching a spaceship, people must act together as a unit under the command of a leader who does not have time to explain. Most organizations require the exercise of such authority to some extent. The point is that if one's goal requires the cooperation of others, it is rational to seek the appropriate forms of power. But the pursuit of power outside this context - the pursuit ofpower as an end in itself, as a central value - is corrupt. The person who makes power his central value sees life in terms of coercive relationships; he strives constantly for dominance; he lives for the experience of running things, being in charge, shaping the destiny of others. He never recognizes the existence of an objective reality. His reality always lies within the minds of other people - that's why he always regards success as being control over other people rather than control over reality. Even if the means he employs are physical, it is ultimately the consciousness of others that concerns him: their willingness to obey, to submit, to give him the experience of control. His power must be maintained by bribes and threats, so he must cater to the hopes and fears of those he would control. In fact, therefore, he is controlled by the contents of their consciousness, which take precedence over his own perception of reality. As Gail Wynand discovered, "a leash is only a rope with a noose at both ends." * PRAGMATISM - the claim that costs and benefits can be measured without the use of principles. The pragmatist is someone who makes a virtue out of a necessity. But necessity is the justification of tyrants, and via pragmatism becomes the creed of slaves. The slave, in accepting pragmatism, creates in his own mind justifications for his submissive attitude. * PRAXEOLOGY - the science of the basic motivations, nature and consequences of human action. It implies that history is a logical continuum rather than merely a chronological one. It accounts for and ranks the causal forces at work in human history and provides a logical system for anticipating their overlapping, often delayed effects. * PRECEDENT Precedent is merely the assumption that somebody else, in the past and with less information, nevertheless knows better than the man on the spot. * TRADITION means doing things in the same grand style as your predecessors; it does not mean doing the same things. * PRESTIGE - Prestige consists in the positive opinion of others, in acceptance, approval, fame, honor, and status. Peter Keating is the archetype of those for whom this value is central. Like those who live for power, the Keatings live second-hand lives. Their primary business is to discover and conform to the values, expectations, beliefs, wishes, and fears of others, at the cost of their own independence. The need to act on one's own independent judgment, however, does not negate the fact that we are social animals and that most of our projects involve interaction with others. Therefore it is legitimate to want recognition of our accomplishments, as an expression of the fact that others share our standards, that we are not living among zombies moved by alien beliefs and values, that our social environment is intelligible. On a more practical level, it is legitimate to defend one's reputation against libel, slander, and other insults; and to cultivate one's reputation by devoting some effort to making the relevant facts known to those whose judgment one respects. Reputation is an asset that we earn by our past actions, and since we live by trade with others, it is an important source of opportunities for future gain - in all areas of our lives, not merely in our work. * PRESUPPOSE - To require as an antecedent. You cannot hold concept A (which presupposes concept B) unless you have first grasped concept B. * PRIDE 67/May/9 PSE-220 AS-1020 The pleasure a man takes in himself on the basis of and in response to specific achievements or actions. Self- esteem is "I can do." Pride is "I have done." * SELF-ESTEEM 64/May/17 67/Mar/1 67/Dec/1 It is the integrated sum of self-confidence and self-respect. It is the conviction that one is competent to live and worthy of living. Self-esteem is one's relationship with oneself. AS-1057 Reliance on one's power to think. Pseudo self-esteem is a false pretense at self-value. Self-esteem is based on a sum of many conscious and subconscious evaluations, which could be summarized in one universal conclusion: "I am basically fit for life. I do not have to doubt that fact. I do not have to test or renegotiate my worth every minute of my life." Self-esteem has three components: pride in one's past, pleasure in one's present, and confidence in one's future. They provide the individual with a certain inner calm and a sense of control - the knowledge that the most important issues about himself are settled and need not be continuously re-proven. In contrast to the negative emotional metaphysics of a self-doubting person, the individual who has settled the question of his worth will have a benevolent sense of life - a positive psychological framework within which he can approach life. In effect, he lives in a benevolent universe. Having a certain level of self-esteem does not, of course, prevent a person from experiencing self-doubt on occasion. No one is omniscient or infallible. Most people will at one time or another be involved in actions they may not be proud of. But any resulting self-doubt in such cases will rarely be generalized to the person's total being. * PRINCIPLE 64/Jan/1 A fundamental primary or general truth on which other truths depend. It is not the role of principle to provide particularized concretes for each individual but to enable their discovery. DK The fundamental distinguishing characteristic not of an object but of a set of interconnected actions. * PROBABILITY See Chapter 3 See reference * PRODUCTIVENESS PSE-219 AS-1020 The act of bringing knowledge or goods into existence. 65/Nov/52 Production is the application of reason to the problem of survival. To combine your personal forces with the forces of nature in such a way that the cooperation leads to some particular desired arrangement of material. The transformation of naturally existing entities into material that enables the achievement of human values. The result of this act is * WEALTH * PROFIT The result of helping yourself (which entails self- responsibility). Those who hate profit hate the idea of self-betterment. They are anti-life. * PROOF Basic3 A process of inference. It establishes that a proposition is true by deriving it from previous knowledge. The demonstration of a correspondence between an idea and an observed fact. The process of tracing an idea back to the data provided by the senses. See Chapter 3 * Reduction See reference * PROPOSITION 67/Jun/7 A combination of concepts. A proposition is a complete thought; a proposition is to a sentence as a concept is to a word. * PRUDE - The prude believes that his esthetic preferences are laws of nature. And he believes that the rules of his tribe are the laws of the universe. * PSYCHO-EPISTEMOLOGY 64/Oct/41 The study of the mental operations that are possible to and that characterize man's cognitive behavior. 69/Jul/4 The study of the interaction between the conscious mind and the automatic functions of the subconscious. WAR-154 One's method of using his consciousness and considering intellectual issues. * PSYCHOLOGICAL VISIBILITY PSE-186 67/Dec/6 PRL-77 Man needs the experience of self-awareness that results from perceiving his self as an objective existent. He is able to achieve this experience through interaction with the consciousness of other living entities. As for social metaphysicians it is not visibility they seek from others but identity. * PSYCHOLOGY PSE-3,5 The science that studies the attributes and characteristics which certain living organisms possess by virtue of being conscious. The science that studies the attributes and characteristics which man possesses by virtue of his rational faculty. * RACISM 63/Sep/33 The notion of ascribing moral, social or political significance to a man's genetic lineage. The notion that a man's intellectual and characterological traits are produced and transmitted by his internal body chemistry. The belief that a man is to be judged not by his own character and actions but by the characters and actions of a collective of his ancestors. * RATIONALIZE Basic6 To pick some random explanation to justify one's feelings and stick to it regardless of reason, logic, evidence or argument. Think 6 To attempt to justify conclusions that have already been accepted on the basis of one's feelings. * REASON 62/Jan/3 62/Mar/11 The faculty that perceives, identifies and integrates the evidence of reality provided by man's senses. PSE-4 Man's ability to extend the range of his awareness beyond the perceptual concretes immediately confronting him. PSE-5 To project a chain of inference that is independent of immediate sensory stimuli. * RATIONAL 65/Dec/55 Derived from the facts of reality and validated by a process of reason. * RATIONALITY PSE-219 The unreserved commitment to the perception of reality, to the acceptance of reason as an absolute - as one's only guide to knowledge, values and action. * RECESSION HPD-179 The liquidation period following an inflation. * REDUCTION Dec86-4 The means of connecting an abstract concept to reality by traveling backwards through the hierarchical logical structure involved in the formation of that concept. * REFERENCES See Chapter 3 See reference * REFLEX PSE-22 An automatic involuntary action which occurs as a consequence of a stimulus to a receptor. It does not involve the faculty of consciousness. * RELIGION A system of beliefs and practices resting on the assumption that events within the world are subject to some supernatural powers, such that human needs can be satisfied by man's entering into relations with such powers. The supernatural powers in question are called supernatural by virtue of the fact that they can be known, related to, or influenced primarily by means other than those of reason or sense experience. The fundamental characteristic of all religions is this belief in a supernatural power which can control everyday events. And a fundamental practice characteristic of all religions is the attempt to influence this power. * REPRESSION 66/Aug/8 A subconscious mental process that forbids entry into conscious awareness of certain ideas, memories, identifications and evaluations. An automatized avoidance reaction. * REVENGE It is often said that the best revenge is to live well. But this is only one-third of the subject: The good revenge is to live well. The better revenge is to live well, at your enemy's expense. The best revenge is to live well, at your enemy's expense - in such a way that he never knows what you have done. * REVOLUTION A violent transfer of power from one faction to another faction within the same class is called a coup, but this changes nothing. A transfer of power from one class to another is called a revolution, and this does change things - although the changes are not necessarily the ones the revolutionaries sought. Revolutions are always violent, for tyrants will always kill to retain power. * RIGHTEOUSNESS - Those for whom virtue is a global value see life in essentially moral terms. For a person of this type, the most important thing is to be a good person, to have a good character, to know that he has done the right thing - to be righteous. This attitude is explicitly endorsed by religious codes of ethics, according to which the purpose of this life is the purification of the soul through the acquisition of virtue. But there are many secular versions as well, such as the insistence on "politically correct" forms of speech as a sign of egalitarian purity. Indeed, any code of ethics, including Objectivism, can provide the context for virtue as a central value. The problem with this outlook is that virtue is not in fact its own reward. Virtue consists in the rules of conduct, the traits of character, that are required for living successfully. To make virtue one's highest end is to focus inward, forgetting that the purpose of virtue is to help us to live in the world. Virtue becomes a matter of duty rather than the effect of actions. Such people tend to become crabbed and cautious, more concerned with avoiding moral errors than with achieving any values. Because we are beings of self made soul, because our character is itself a crucial achievement, virtue ought to be a source of satisfaction in its own right - and a matter of concern in any action we take. But it nevertheless must take second place to achievement as a global value. * RIGHTS 62/Feb/7 63/Apr/13 63/Jun/21 64/Apr/13 64/May/19 VOS-97 AS-1061 WAR-43 See Chapter 5. See reference Rights are the conditions of social existence required by man's nature for his proper survival. * RIGHT TO WORK LAWS 63/Jun/23 Forbid employers and unions from contractually agreeing to an all-union workplace. * RITUAL - a prescribed meaningless ceremonial activity usually performed in groups to reinforce an illusion of unanimous acquiescence. Thus is substituted hypnotic behavior for chosen self-originated thoughts and actions. Your individuality softens; your thought is no longer clear and logical; you start granting some probability to absurd claims. Then those claims come to have social consequences when large groups insist on enacting them into law. The groups may subsequently proceed in almost any direction. The mighty river of legislation begins in these tiny trickles, which themselves condense out of faint clouds of mental fog. * ROMANTICISM 69/May/1 WAR-73 A category of art based on the recognition of the principle that man possesses the faculty of volition. * SACRIFICE There is an important distinction to be made between a sacrifice and a price. A sacrifice is the willful and knowing surrender of a higher value in favor of a lower value or of a non-value. When you make a sacrifice you are moving downwards in your value hierarchy. A price is a value you are willing to relinquish in order to gain a higher value. When you pay a price for something you are moving upwards in your value hierarchy. But bear in mind that you are neither omniscient nor infallible. When you engage in a value exchange, it may turn out that you have mistakenly given up a higher value for a lesser value. In this case, rather than making a profit, you have taken a loss. But this kind of loss is NOT a sacrifice. * SCHIZOPHRENIA Basic6 The inability to hold the mind focused on a single purpose. No logical relationship between one thought and the next. Definition by non-essentials. DS-128 Oriented exclusively to the internal world of personal experience and disconnected from the external world. Said of Buckminster Fuller's speech: non-linear endless improvisation. Meander mind. * ANACOLUTHON - Stutter speech. A syntactical inconsistency or incoherence within a sentence. * SCIENCE PSE-2 The rational and systematic study of the facts of reality. Physics discovers what is; engineers use this knowledge to create things that have never been. * SELFISHNESS Concern with one's own well-being. See CHAPTER 1 See reference * SENSATION VOS-18 The product of the automatic reaction of a sense organ to a stimulus from the outside world. * SENSE OF LIFE 65/Mar/10 A pre-conceptual equivalent of metaphysics. A subconsciously integrated appraisal of man's nature and the nature of reality, summing up one's view of man's relationship to existence. 66/Feb/1 3 The integrated sum of man's basic values. * SERVICE 63/Mar/12 Work offered for trade on a free market to be paid for by those who choose to buy it. The altruist definition is: unrewarded self-sacrificial unilateral giving while receiving nothing in return. * SIMILARITY IOE-18 The relationship between two or more existents which possess the same characteristic(s) but in different measure or degree. * SOCIAL METAPHYSICS 65/Feb/5 PSE-Chapter10 The psychological syndrome that characterizes an individual who holds the consciousnesses of other men, not objective reality, as his ultimate frame-of-reference. For the social metaphysician, reality is the content of other people's minds. * SOCIAL SYSTEM 65/Nov/54 A set of ethical-political-economic principles embodied in a society's laws and institutions which determine the relationships - the terms of association - among the men living in a given geographical area. * SOCIALISM 62/Dec/53 65/May/19 A theory or system of social organization which advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production - capital, land etc. - in the community "as a whole." (See the Ambiguous Collective fallacy.) See reference * FASCISM * COMMUNISM see Chapter 4 See reference * SOCIETY 62/Feb/7 For a New Liberty pg 37 A group or number of individual men who live in the same geographical area and who interact with one another. Society is not a separate entity endowed with some sort of autonomous existence apart from the individual men of whom it is composed. Society as such does not exist; only the individual men exist. 63/Apr/14 A civilized society is one in which coercion is banned from human relationships and in which the government, acting as a policeman, may use force ONLY in retaliation and ONLY against those who initiate its use. A Police State, on the other hand, is one in which the police can do with legal immunity what would be criminal if done by an ordinary citizen. * SOUL 66/FEB/3 A mind and its basic values. Aristotle: The inner meaning of the body's movement. See AS-858 for a discussion of the Soul- Body dichotomy. * SOVEREIGNTY The independent prerogative to determine your own values, actions, goals, thoughts and convictions. * SPIRITUALITY The reverence one feels at the sight of a great accomplishment. The value a person places on the symbolic expression of the importance of purpose in human life. * STANDARD vs PURPOSE See Chapter 3 See reference * SUBCONSCIOUS the content of your mind that you are not focused on at any given moment. It is simply a repository for past information that you once acquired through your senses, and conclusions that your mind formed about that information. The subconscious does perform certain important processes, but they are not in any way mystical or non-rational (even though they may be sometimes nonsensical). The conscious mind is always able to determine what they are and to correct them if necessary. Dreams, intuition, revelation, sudden insight and emotions are the expression of conclusions by the subconscious mind to the conscious mind. The subconscious can, through the process of automatization, be a repository of habits which have been learned well enough that they no longer need being attended to. It is an error to suppose that we should cultivate the practice of always thinking about what we are doing. Cognitive competence advances by extending the number of important operations which we can perform without thinking about them. Only by automatizing much of our behavior can we free our minds for the implementation of new ideas. Evolution has automatized much neural processing by incorporating it into subconscious circuitry. * SUBJECTIVE Basic1 Dependent on consciousness. Reality is the SUBJECT of consciousness. * SUBJECTIVISM 63/Jun/21 65/Feb/7 The belief that reality is not a firm absolute but a fluid indeterminate realm which can be altered in whole or in part by the consciousness of the perceiver i.e. by his feelings, wishes or whims. Pure subjectivism does not recognize the concept of identity i.e. the fact that man or the universe or anything possesses a specific nature. * SUICIDE 62/Sep/39 To save the life of a loved one (her death is the price). Fighting for freedom (slavery is the price). If life can have nothing more to offer him at that price then his dying is not a sacrifice. 64/Apr/15 He knows what human existence is and he will not accept anything less. He is unwilling to endure a non-human state of being with escape from death, not the achievement of life, as the best he can hope for. * TAUTOLOGY 67/May/13 Analytic truths represent concrete instances of the Law of Identity therefore are tautologies - propositions that repeat the same thing: 2+2=4. * TELEOLOGY IOE-34 The study of goal-directed behavior. * THINK PSE-38 39 A man is in focus when and to the extent that his mind is set to the goal of awareness, clarity, and intelligibility with regard to the object of his concern. To sustain that focus with regard to a specific issue or problem is to think. To be in focus is to set one's mind to the purpose of active cognitive integration. To focus is to move from a lower level of awareness to a higher level. To be in focus means that one must know what one's conscious mind is doing. AS-1038 The process of defining identity and discovering causal connections. Leonard Reed: when you shut your mouth and your head begins talking to itself. * THINKING IN PRINCIPLES Jun87-6 To abstract the essence of a series of concretes, then identify, by an appropriate use of logic, the necessary implications or results of this essence. You thereby reach a fundamental generalization, a Principle, which subsumes and enables you to deal with an unlimited number of instances. * TIME 62/May/19 Time is a measurement of motion. Motion presupposes entities that move. If nothing existed there could be no time. Time is "in" the universe; the universe is not "in" time. See "On The Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies" Part 1 for Einstein's view of simultaneity. To grasp the concept of Motion you have to grasp a change of spatial relationships among entities. If you see some stationary objects and one object that is moving, you grasp the fact that it is moving by seeing the changed relationship between it and the other objects, and that gives you the concepts of Time and Space. * TIME DEPOSIT HPD-180 The lending of your money to a bank not to be available for a specified period of time for which you receive a fee (interest). * TO BE See Chapter 3 See reference * TOLERANCE David Kelley: The core meaning of tolerance is "to endure, allow, or put up with something." This core meaning involves two essential elements: a) The object of tolerance - that which we tolerate - must be something with a negative value significance, something wrong, false, dangerous, painful, etc. b) To tolerate this object is to forebear from taking some action against it, to forebear from opposing, removing, or condemning it. Where these conditions do not obtain, the concept is not applicable. In particular, if something has a positive value significance, then there is nothing to tolerate. We do not endure or put up with the good, the true, the beautiful; we actively embrace them. Even if something is of neutral significance, neither good for us nor bad, there is nothing to tolerate; there is no action of opposing, removing, or condemning it from which we need to forebear. Today, tolerance is grounded chiefly on the premise of relativism: the doctrine that there is no objective basis for judging people as good or bad, ideas as true or false, cultures as primitive or advanced. For the anti- conceptual mentality, relativism is the only possible alternative to tribal prejudice because for him the refusal to judge is the only alternative to judging by concrete-bound criteria. If one does not think in terms of principles, one has no way of distinguishing those aspects of human conduct and character that are essential from those aspects that are optional. There is nothing for a white person to tolerate in one whose skin is black, because skin color has no value significance whatever. * TOTALITARIANISM - The deliberate use of institutionalized coercion. * TRADE is an exchange of wealth in a context from which coercion and the threat of coercion are absent. The alternative is theft. * UNIT IOE-12 An existent regarded as a separate member of a group of two or more similar members. Things viewed by a consciousness in certain existing relationships. * UNREAL AS-1017 That negation of existence which is the content of a human consciousness when it attempts to abandon reason. * VALUE VOS-15 That which one acts to gain and/or keep. (See AS-1018 for a presentation of the supreme values of Reason, Purpose and Self-Esteem.) Values are not things that sit inside your head, waiting to be realized. They are not wishes, hopes or dreams. Values are those things that you actually ACT to gain or keep. They are actual facts, not fantasies. Nothing is a value unless you actually MAKE it a value. This is true even if the only action you are presently able to take is to make plans for your future actions. "Value" is sometimes used ambiguously to mean alternatively that which "promotes life," or that which one "acts to gain and/or keep." For the Objectivist, there is little difference between these two senses, since the Objectivist acts to gain and keep that which in fact promotes his life. The concept of life is inextricably linked to the concept of value. The two concepts cannot be separated on a practical level. Each requires the other. Just as value presupposes a living valuer - "of value to whom and for what" - so life requires values, for without values the process of life is impossible: a man dies if he does not achieve values. The value of life preceeds the value of happiness. If you're not alive, you can't be either happy or unhappy. Therefore, life is a prerequisite to happiness, and must be held as a value primary to the value of happiness. To have a "Value Gestalt" is to have made the sum total of one's values, goals and life actions integrated into a directed whole. Ideally, one should make the ENTIRETY of one's existence a value. Rand argued that we must always know what we like and why we like it. This is in the interest of our own happiness. It follows that we need to know what we hate and why we hate it. I must know my values, and why I hold them; I have not merely the need to do, but the need to know WHAT I do, lest in my blind efforts to live I should be slaying myself. I must also know my disvalues, and why they are disvalues, lest in my ignorance I fail to protect myself from being destroyed. We need to be careful of how we use the term "subjective value" - whether it is meant in its economic or its moral sense. In economics, "subjective value" means merely "that which is of value to a subject," that is, to an acting human. The economic function of the term "subjective value" is to emphasize the fact that things don't have value in and of themselves apart from the value placed on those things by human beings. Of course, Rand properly denounced moral subjectivism. She wrote, "The subjectivist theory holds that the good bears no relation to the facts of reality, that it is the product of man's consciousness, created by his feelings, desires, intuitions, or whims, and that it is merely an arbitrary postulate or an emotional commitment." Opposed to a morally-subjective value is an "objective" value; that is, that which one acts to gain and/or keep and which IN FACT furthers one's life. We need to be very careful when we describe things as having "objective value." For instance, when we say "food needed for sustenance has objective value" we must be clear that we do NOT mean the food has any intrinsic value. Rather, we mean "such food does in fact further the maintenance of life." We mean that such food has an "instrumental" value to our primary good, life. Value presupposes a valuer, and some purpose. It is only in relation to some valuer and purpose that something can be said to have value. Things are not valuable because of human whim, nor are they valuable in themselves apart from the human context; things are valuable because of their relationship to the existence of human beings. Another important aspect of values is that they are idiosyncratic. A libertarian ethics recognizes that each individual can choose which are his own highest values, and that each has the right to prioritize his own set of values. Since each other person is an autonomous, self-sovereign individual, you ought not expect him to have a value hierarchy identical to yours, and thus don't expect him to behave in the same way you would in similar circumstances. * VIRTUE 67/Mar/4 AS-1012 1018 The action by which one gains and keeps a value. If you believe that you can have a value without there being an action involved, then you have been effectively deprived of that value. * VIBES DK Good vibes are when your perceptions correspond to your mental construct of what an enjoyable situation should be. Bad vibes are dissonant. * VOLUNTARY The essence of volunteer work is that people are not forced to do something they don't like. Instead they willingly contribute to activities which are important to them. Real people have real human needs like food, shelter, and caring. When the "official" system fails to provide these needs, individual people step in and do it voluntarily. Though this work is valueless in the official economy, it is some of the most important work done in the community. In fact, volunteer work is universally beneficial to the common good. Somehow, people just don't seem to volunteer to build missile factories or work on corporate advertising campaigns. Instead, they volunteer to do such things as feed the hungry, build houses, care for the sick and elderly, teach children, and clean up neighborhoods. * WHIM VOS-14 A desire experienced by a person who does not know and does not care to discover its cause. * WISDOM - The intelligent application of one's education. Wisdom is a concomitant of both intelligence and education and is, to at least some extent, an acquired rather than an innate characteristic. Its existence in a person is in large measure a function of the philosophical principles that underlie all of the person's mental activities. Wisdom is not additive; its maximum is that of the wisest man in a given group. To a fool time brings only age, not wisdom. Back to the Main Page