When I start responding to a comment on a previous post and find that my answer is getting longer than a paragraph, that means it’s time to either stop or to make a proper blog post out of it. This morning a newish (I guess) listener named Lewis posted a comment on a post I wrote last summer on “reason” as used by Ayn Rand and others. We’ll be covering Rand in episode #78, which we’ll be recording in less than two weeks. By that point, I should have my thoughts together; this is just some initial spitballing that I wouldn’t mind hearing some of your reactions to.
Objectivism identifies three “conceptually irreducible primaries” that are the stopping point of inquiry. They are supposed to be epistemically basic and sufficient to found (and they’re the only possible basis for founding) the rest of Rand’s system. This idea of unavoidable, basic starting points and a Descartes-like justification of a system runs directly counter to the picture that Deleuze gives of a multiplicity of possible planes of immanence each of which encourages a set of philosophical concepts. I say “encourages” because it doesn’t logically entail them, but is compatible with them and does contain the problems that the concepts are then designed by the philosopher to address. The analytic philosopher in me has trouble really understanding Deleuze’s picture, and it sure would be nice if instead something more like Rand’s (or Descartes’s, or Russell’s) picture with experientially and logically undeniable starting points were instead correct.