“Thinking in principles” is a process Ayn Rand began at age 12 and held to throughout her life. What exactly are principles? Why does thinking in principles provide such immense cognitive power? This three-hour course explains: principles as cognitive fundamentals, the contextual absolutism of principles, and, using individual rights as a case study, what are the unavoidable consequences of violating principles.
Topics include: a theory of fundamentality; principles as cognitively fundamental generalizations; the psycho-epistemological role of principles; principles as “cognitive bridges”; the Rationalistic misuse of principles; how principles can be both simple, almost “tautologous,” yet enormously informative; the contextuality of principles; the absolutism of principles; how the violation of a principle institutes the opposite principle; the role of free will in applying principles in action.
This course was recorded at the 2011 Objectivist Summer Conference in Fort Lauderdale, FL.