The argument is, "the falsehood of this statement would make the entire context of this discussion impossible."
Doesn't that mean that you're trying to deduce a truth claim from its own premises? In other words, "I am talking. I know I am talking because I am talking." While it makes for a persuasive argument - that experience must be real because we are having it - it says nothing about our ability to have meaningful insights into that reality, as the loathed and despised Kant pointed out. Those still have to be constructed inductively, a posteori, and it's not clear that even Aristotelian logic can be demonstrated to have a priori existence. It may well have it, but there's no way to verify that as a first principle.
Where am I going with this? Well, it's certainly true that existence has this trait of "thrownness," as the filthy Nazi Heidegger called it. We're confronted with the existence of the world and, motivated by our desires and armed with our reason, we do in fact try to explain it to ourselves. But that doesn't bestow some sort of grace on reason placing it apart from all means of knowing our environment. Reason gives us power and takes power away. It is a tool, not an end in itself. Rand painted herself into an exceedingly familiar corner when she tried to get an "ought" from an "is."
Maybe that's why everything sounds slightly silly in reduction. "Man's salient characteristic is reason. Man depends on his reason and is special because he alone possesses it. Therefore, people are morally impelled to act in what they construe as their self-interest, but are prohibited from using any tools other than reason for determining what constitutes their self-interest, because rebellion against the rational faculty is the definition of evil (destruction, the deliberate instigation of unhappiness.) As for money, any society must have a medium of exchange. If a man acts rationally he will produce things or ideas valuable to himself and others, he will thus have things to exchange for money, provided evil crazy people haven't messed the system up."
For what it's worth, i think Rand was a very intersting philosopher, in the continental sense. Yesterday I drove by a carpet shop and got to thinking about how I would hate to work there. Then I imagined Rand saying to me, "Don't take the job there unless you are willing to become really interested in it. If you study polymers and glue and fibers and weaving, out of love, body and soul, you will not only make yourself happy, you will create a treasure of knowledge for yourself..." It was a splendid vision. Then I came back down to reality, and asked myself why the salesman I knew there was shiftless, depressed, and a drunk. Was he evil? Or is it too much to ask of every person that he be a hero and a genius?
Most people are of indifferent abilities, and they work from necessity rather than pleasure. I don't think it's the fear of God or of the Evil State that does it. I think society limits peoples' oppotunities; I think that people get married early out of a thoughtless passion, or too late out of over-scrupulosity; save too little out of carelessness or too much out of fear; fail to go to college because, while they need the education, their sick mother's drawn face would have kept them awake at night otherwise; they make mistakes and do their best and try to create sometimes and other times are too muddled up by life.
I don't think Objectivism offers much hope for the average person. I think that's why average people have little use for Objectivism. When I was in high school, my mother couldn't understand how it could possibly appeal to me emotionally. To her, the grandiloquence and titanic strength of Rand had no relevance to her own pedestrian, working life. She made a good wage and worked hard, but I can't but feel Rand would have looked at her contemptuously. After a while that made me contemptous of Rand.
Thanks for reading this far, if you did. I wouldn't care to say that I hate Objectivism or its adherents. I do think that Rand had a very crude worldview; that she failed to account for the values of the other people among whom she lived, and that she became convinced of her own moral superiority after a while. This makes her less and less attractive a companion for me as she get older and older. After a while, she's no Athena. She's just a harpy.
Anyhow, the point is this in one simple sentence: taking the primacy of reason from the experience of consciousness assumes what you mean to prove: that reason and self-interest are the highest end of man.
"For me -- ugghhh, arrgghh."
-Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, in Frank magazine, Jan. 20th 2003
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