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What about people who like the political ideas in Atlas Shrugged but are put off by all the sex?

asked Sep 21 '10 at 16:22

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c_andrew ♦

edited Jan 26 '11 at 13:02

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Greg Perkins ♦♦

An important idea in Objectivism is that our minds and bodies are one. This is in contrast to most leading philosophies today which tell us that the mind and body are separate, and that one or the other is a source of evil.

In Objectivism, it is understood that the desires of our body are informed by our beliefs. For example, people are not satisfied merely to eat. We wish to have a variety of foods, with stimulating textures, smells, and flavors, served on attractive dishes, and to eat in good company. Eating is not merely the satisfaction of a bodily need, but of a psychological one as well. As one of the most profound physical pleasures available to man, sex is naturally a very important topic in Objectivism.

From the Any Rand Lexicon:

Sex is a physical capacity, but its exercise is determined by man’s mind—by his choice of values, held consciously or subconsciously. To a rational man, sex is an expression of self-esteem—a celebration of himself and of existence. To the man who lacks self-esteem, sex is an attempt to fake it, to acquire its momentary illusion.

The theme of choice of values is fundamental to the whole story of Atlas Shrugged. As a result, sex is also an important part of it.

answered Sep 22 '10 at 02:11

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dennis ♦


I'll offer a correction.

There is an old yet crucial premise in philosophy called the mind-body dichotomy. The premise is that the mind and body are opposed to one another -- not that they are separate, except, perhaps, in death.

The mind and body are not one. They are two distinct aspects of a single existent: a living person. But in a healthy person, the mind and body are not opposed. Specifically, the mind is not "higher" and the body is not "base". They are both crucial, valuable components to a good life.

(Sep 22 '10 at 11:26) John Paquette ♦ John%20Paquette's gravatar image

"Philosophy---but sex" is the attitude of a person who doesn't really understand life. Philosophy is for life, and life is living, is doing. Sex is one of the ultimate acts, probably the most intensely alive one can be, if it is romantic. Romantic love has practically disappeared, sexual intercourse is an act of toiletry these days. Life, conditional, requires we recognize and pursue values, and the highest values, when embodied, are found in art and romantic love. Learn to value, to really value, and you will find romance entering your life, and you will find how philosophical sex can be.

(Nov 05 '10 at 20:09) Mindy Newton ♦ Mindy%20Newton's gravatar image

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Asked: Sep 21 '10 at 16:22

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Last updated: Jan 26 '11 at 13:02