Monday, June 26, 2006

Rand on Determinism

In reading this morning the "Introduction to the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition" of The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand, I came across this quote:

I could not endorse its literal meaning: it proclaims an indefensible tenet: psychological determinism.

I have long thought that Rand's rejection of "determinism" was not a rejection of causal determinism but rather other variants such as psychological determinism. Recently a friend suggested to me that since Objectivists reject determinism they should not be considered Brights as they do not have a naturalistic worldview. To be clear here, by "determinism" he meant causal determinism and by "naturalistic" he meant metaphysical naturalism.

I do not agree with those who think Objectivism rejects all forms of determinism. And please note that I have encountered both Objectivists and non-Objectivists who hold to this opinion. I think Objectivism rejects hard determinism, not causal determinism. This is why I state in my Optihumanist Principles that "Determinism and free will are compatible."

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