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Which clippings match 'Human Action' keyword pg.1 of 1
13 JULY 2014

The Fountainhead: a testament to uncompromising individualism

"The work of Rand, most of it published between the 1940s and 1960s, was very popular in the United States and gained a large and still active following. Rand developed her own school of philosophy called Objectivism, that centers on the principle of selfishness. In her novels and philosophical works, Rand advocates a form of rational and ethical egoism, and a political order based on laissezfaire capitalism. Her two novels, Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957) are lengthy portrayals of strong individuals who heroically and steadfastly pursue their lives according to Rand's philosophical principles."

(P.W. Zuidhof, p.84, 2012)

Zuidhof, P. W. (2012). "Ayn Rand: Fountainhead of neoliberalism?" Krisis: Journal for contemporary philosophy(1).




19431949American dreamarchitect • artistic vision • Atlas ShruggedAyn Rand • battle of wills • challenging conventionscollectivismcompromiseconventionalitycreative geniusdesign commissioningdesign conventions • Edward Carrere • egoegoism • ethical egoism • fear of failure • form and function • form follows function • Frank Lloyd Wrightfree willfunctionalism • Gary Cooper • Howard Roark • human actionidealism • independent-mindedness • individualism • integrity • International Styleisolated sort of geniuslaissez faire capitalismLe CorbusierLudwig Mies van der Rohemelodramamodernist architecturemodernist idealsmoral purposeneoliberalismnewspaper tycoonnon-conformistobjectivismoptimistic idealPatricia Neal • personal integrity • personal visionpowerquestioning traditionsradical architecture • rational egoism • rational self-interest • rise to power • romantic notion of the artist • rousing speech • self-interestselfishnessskyscraper • smear campaign • struggle in obscurity • The Fountainhead • uncompromising integrity • uncompromising vision • weak-mindedness • William Kueh


Simon Perkins
11 AUGUST 2011

The Republic: justice is a necessity and a requirement for civil society (in spite of the selfish potential of individual gain)

"Now that those who practise justice do so involuntarily and because they have not the power to be unjust will best appear if we imagine something of this kind: having given both to the just and the unjust power to do what they will, let us watch and see whither desire will lead them; then we shall discover in the very act the just and unjust man to be proceeding along the same road, following their interest, which all natures deem to be their good, and are only diverted into the path of justice by the force of law. The liberty which we are supposing may be most completely given to them in the form of such a power as is said to have been possessed by Gyges the ancestor of Croesus the Lydian. According to the tradition, Gyges was a shepherd in the service of the king of Lydia; there was a great storm, and an earthquake made an opening in the earth at the place where he was feeding his flock. Amazed at the sight, he descended into the opening, where, among other marvels, he beheld a hollow brazen horse, having doors, at which he stooping and looking in saw a dead body of stature, as appeared to him, more than human, and having nothing on but a gold ring; this he took from the finger of the dead and reascended. Now the shepherds met together, according to custom, that they might send their monthly report about the flocks to the king; into their assembly he came having the ring on his finger, and as he was sitting among them he chanced to turn the collet of the ring inside his hand, when instantly he became invisible to the rest of the company and they began to speak of him as if he were no longer present. He was astonished at this, and again touching the ring he turned the collet outwards and reappeared; he made several trials of the ring, and always with the same result–when he turned the collet inwards he became invisible, when outwards he reappeared. Whereupon he contrived to be chosen one of the messengers who were sent to the court; where as soon as he arrived he seduced the queen, and with her help conspired against the king and slew him, and took the kingdom. Suppose now that there were two such magic rings, and the just put on one of them and the unjust the other;,no man can be imagined to be of such an iron nature that he would stand fast in justice. No man would keep his hands off what was not his own when he could safely take what he liked out of the market, or go into houses and lie with any one at his pleasure, or kill or release from prison whom he would, and in all respects be like a God among men. Then the actions of the just would be as the actions of the unjust; they would both come at last to the same point. And this we may truly affirm to be a great proof that a man is just, not willingly or because he thinks that justice is any good to him individually, but of necessity, for wherever any one thinks that he can safely be unjust, there he is unjust. For all men believe in their hearts that injustice is far more profitable to the individual than justice, and he who argues as I have been supposing, will say that they are right. If you could imagine any one obtaining this power of becoming invisible, and never doing any wrong or touching what was another's, he would be thought by the lookers–on to be a most wretched idiot, although they would praise him to one another's faces, and keep up appearances with one another from a fear that they too might suffer injustice."

(The Republic, Plato, Internet Classics Archive)

[Plato describes a situation which I think is best understood in terms of the choice between individual and collective benefit. Where it serves our individual interests (as members and custodians of our society) to strive towards a collective ambition. In this way the recent mugging in London shows what happens when this ambition is inverted.]


2011becoming invisiblechaoschoicecivil disobediencecivil societycivilisation • collet • fearforce of lawfree will • gold ring • Gyges • human actionhuman naturehuman willindividual gainindividualityinjusticeinvisibilityinvisible • involuntary acts • justice • keeping up appearances • lawlegallibertymagic • magic ring • moral dilemmamoralityopportunityownershipparablephilosophypiracyPlatopowerpower corrupts • ring • self-controlselfishness • shepherd • social responsibilitysuffering injusticeThe Republictheftunjustunjust power • virtue


Simon Perkins
01 JANUARY 2011

The liberal and servile arts: internal justification versus external purpose

"'Liberal arts,' therefore, are ways of human action which have their justification in themselves; 'servile arts' are ways of human action that have a purpose outside of themselves, a purpose, to be more exact, which consists in a useful effect that can be realized through praxis. The 'liberality' or 'freedom' of the liberal arts consists in their not being disposable for purposes, that they do not need to be legitimated by a social function, by being 'work.'"

(Josef Pieper, 1998, p.41)

Pieper, J. (1998). 'Leisure, the Basis of Culture'. South Bend, Indiana, St. Augustine's Press.



Simon Perkins
16 OCTOBER 2009

What is Interpretive Research?

"Interpretive methods of research start from the position that our knowledge of reality, including the domain of human action, is a social construction by human actors and that this applies equally to researchers. Thus there is no objective reality which can be discovered by researchers and replicated by others, in contrast to the assumptions of positivist science"

(Geoff Walsham, 1993)

Walsham, G. Interpreting Information Systems in Organizations, Wiley, Chichester, 1993.

[Approaches to research that are 'interpretive' sit in contrast to empirical–analytic approaches.]


Simon Perkins

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