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If, in fact, "the moral should be the practical", should we not also examine our world in a practical way to see if our philosophy even works?

For example, what if a tremendous amount of economic and sociological evidence came out that the government should be involved in X and we found ourselves in a perfect situation where the government should do X. Should it?

asked Oct 07 '13 at 20:40

TheBucket's gravatar image


edited Oct 07 '13 at 22:43

Greg%20Perkins's gravatar image

Greg Perkins ♦♦

The statement, "The moral is the practical," is a statement of fact, not a normative statement of what "should" be or "ought" to be. It is a rejection of the moral-practical dichotomy. It applies only to a morality that is reality-based and rationally integrated. If moral principles are merely "pulled out of the air" or deduced from some a priori idea having no connection to reality, then they certainly will involve a moral-practical dichotomy. For further discussion of the moral-practical dichotomy, refer to that topic in The Ayn Rand Lexicon.

The question also hypothesizes economic and sociological "evidence" purportedly showing what the government allegedly "should" or "should not" do. But again, Objectivist principles of government are not pulled out of the air. They, too, are reality-based and rationally integrated, and consequently in close harmony with reality. No special science like economics or sociology (if the latter qualifies as a science at all) can replace fundamental philosophical identifications, since these are what all sciences rely on and presuppose. Philosophy is what makes other sciences possible. No special science can conclude that government should initiate physical force and violate individual rights, for example, without relying on some underlying (statist) philosophy.

There is also no rational way to define what "works" and what doesn't without relying on standards of judgment identified by a philosophy.

answered Oct 08 '13 at 22:33

Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

Ideas for Life ♦

Doesn't that make an a priori judgement that objectivist philosophy is reality-based and rationally integrated always i.e always correct?

(Oct 08 '13 at 23:03) TheBucket TheBucket's gravatar image

Anyone who wants to know the basis of Objectivism should examine it for himself. It's completely open and accessible for all to see and study, although studying Objectivism (or anything else) certainly requires cognitive effort. One's knowledge is not a priori if one obtains it by looking at reality, identifying what one observes in conceptual terms, and integrating all of one's concepts and principles (connecting and relating them, and resolving contradictions).

(Oct 09 '13 at 21:55) Ideas for Life ♦ Ideas%20for%20Life's gravatar image

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Asked: Oct 07 '13 at 20:40

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Last updated: Oct 09 '13 at 21:55