I think we are getting somewhere. I am on Part 3 of Atlas Shrugged and am thrilled that I have taken this book on.
Like many people out there, I used to look at thick books and get discouraged. I didn’t think I would ever be able to finish them. Now, I realize that the thick books are the ones worth reading.
Atlas Shrugged is divided into three parts, with ten chapters in each part. I can’t even begin to go over the content of each chapter, but from that I have gathered, Ayn Rand focuses on “what is.” I don’t want to use the word “empiricism” because I just used that word in one of my previous posts, but I can’t find a better word.
If you look up what is behind “A is A” you’ll find that it’s Aristotle’s Law of Identity. Everything that exists has a specific nature. Each entity exists as something in particular and it has characteristics that are a part of what it is. (source)
I am really enjoying this book. There have been so many terms that have led me to the computer to look up their meaning. Of course, one thing leads to another and I end up finding out that the day I just lived wasn’t a complete waste. I actually learned something. This book pulls back so many curtains, it’s terrible.
Strange thing… I was talking about Marxism just this morning. Last night I was reading about the Labor Theory of Value and thought it was interesting. I follow a blog that was put together by some people who are much smarter than I am. Much smarter than I will ever be. Anyway, they were talking about Karl Marx and Carl Menger and their differing views. I happen to agree with one of these men, but I won’t say which one. It seems that if someone has an opinion on economics these days, it’s the wrong opinion. Maybe I’ll write a post about the “Labor theory of value” another time.
The funny thing is, when I was just re-reading the Wikipedia page on Ayn Rand’s “Atlas Shrugged,” I came across this line:
In addition to the plot’s more obvious statements about the significance of industrialists to society, and the sharp contrast it provides to the Marxist version of the Labor Theory of Value, this explicit conflict is used by Rand to draw wider philosophical conclusions, both implicit in the plot and via the characters’ own statements.
Isn’t that interesting? See, I had a feeling this all this stuff can be wrapped up in a ball to hold in your hand. I wrote an earlier post on my other blog about how challenging learning about philosophy was going to be. I am beginning to notice that most of us who are interested in philosophy are talking in circles with each other. We get the basics and share them. Now, there are people out there who blow us away with their knowledge. They are great, but what’s even greater are those who don’t just have knowledge, but who create knowledge. I gave up on that a long time ago. Even if I did come up with something great, I am not sure I would even share it with anyone. I just don’t have the ego to argue something like that.
Here’s a funny story that goes hand in hand with the “Where the heck have I been?” statement I wrote about earlier. A few weeks ago, I was looking through YouTube for some video on Atlas Shrugged. I wanted to see if anyone was planning a movie based on the book. I didn’t really come across any clear answers, but I did come across some book reviews. There were a few of the typical “males” who reviewed the book and were taken aback by it power. It seemed as these guys had a newfound reason for living. I have seen them before.
What was interesting and a bit embarrassing was a girl who was in high school who also gave a review. Her YouTube page showed tons of books that she gave reviews on. So what’s embarrassing about that? Well, besides the fact that a high schooler has read more books before tenth grade than I will read in my lifetime, I guess nothing. Again, where the heck was I? Oh yeah, I figured this one out yesterday. I was out in the driveway playing with my car. I know, I know. My fault.
I’m not sure what to write about when I finish the book. I don’t want to give a review on it since that’s been done many times before. Perhaps I will simply inform you that I’m done and whether I liked it or not. Then, you can make the decision whether to read it or to go about your day. So far, I can suggest that you read it.