I think you(nulli) misunderstood what he(prothero) was talking about. He didnn't say that the those types of mental endeavors you mentioned are inferior or no-exsistent.
Nor did I take it that way. You seem to be trying to draw a generalization out of a critique of the historical examples prothero mentioned. prothero seemed to me to be arguing that the greatness of Charles Darwin, Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, as well as the works of Mozart were the result of those men's singular vision. While artistic expression is harder to pin down, which is why I didn't address it (though I do not believe that Mozart's work is due to his singular genius either), there is a strong argument to be made against the Great Man theory in the history of science. In fact, for the last 50-60 years, nobody within the field of history of science has taken it seriously for the reasons I outlined above in the case of Darwin.
In fact those examples are what prot was talking about in terms of the superior way of doing science and thought.
Yes, I got that this is what prothero thought was a superior way of doing science and thought. The point is that it never actually happened
the way prothero seems to think it did, that his own historical examples undercut his thesis, and that it is certainly not applicable now when new, breakthrough research can have dozens or even hundreds of people working at the same experiment.
Your argument looks like this to me.
(I:Individual, G: Group)
(Prot) I > G
(Null) I< G because the I > G. Its a contradiction.
It is a contradiction. It is also not my argument.
In terms of what else you said about Atlas Shrugged, it's one of those books that you have to agree with the authors view point for it to be a pleasant read.
Well, that is true, but the converse is not necessarily true. Just because a person dislikes Atlas Shrugged
, it doesn't follow that they disliked it because they disagreed with the author's viewpoint. As I said above, I was a young conservative when I first encountered Rand's works in general, and I was still a young conservative (though wavering) when I undertook to read Atlas Shrugged
. Now it is true that Rand's philosophy, such as it is, is not entirely compatible with conservatism but it's as close as you can get without actually already being a devotee.
Nevertheless, agreeing with the author's viewpoint does seem to be the only way you can get around the dull, sermonizing style, the cardboard characters, improbable coincidences and impossible contrivances (like the perpetual motion machine that lies at the heart of Galt's Gulch).
I think this above paragraph is a bit too simple. Atlas Shrugged
is definitely a bad book-it's the worst one I've ever read-but there's also the element that I didn't notice at the time, but which became clear in retrospect: Rand spends a lot
of her time haranguing liberals and the entire New Deal project. In fact, she never includes a Great Depression so the New Deal seems arbitrary and perverse. Now, a liberal would read that and take offense. I didn't pay much notice at the time, because it wasn't my ox being gored, and I never read Rand again after abandoning my youthful conservatism. Nevertheless, I can see why that too would make Rand's work difficult to take for certain people.
Another example like that is the bible. Lots of people like the bible but I hate hows it written. I'm an athiest who doesn't like most of whats said in the book. So me reading it is like getting teeth pulled.
But do you hate how it's written because you're an atheist, or do you hate how it's written because it was cobbled together by committee out of dozens of individual religious texts, some of which are mutually inconsistent?
In other words, do you hate the Bible because it is badly written, or would you hate Paradise Lost
and The Divine Comedy
I thought it was one of the best books I've ever read and I know no substitute. If you no any other books or thinkers who promote egoism, selfishness, capitalism, atheism, and the like; point me in their direction. So far Anton Lavey is the only one who fits all of that without being an objectivist.
Egotism and selfishness are on display in Max Stirner's The Ego and His Own
, capitalism is defended by thousands of other writers from Adam Smith to Robert Nozick and Friedrich Hayek, and likewise atheism has several defenders, like J.L. Mackie in The Miracle of Theism
Now, if you want all those in a single book, I don't know of any, but I also question why
someone would need them together in a single book anyway. If I want vampires and werewolves in a single book, I can read Twilight
, but the mere fact of their existence in the same book doesn't make Twilight
any better than reading Bram Stoker's Dracula
and Guy Endore's The Werewolf of Paris