There are five main branches of Philosophy and each branch asks a question.

Answers are based on Aristotle and refined by Ayn Rand and further summarized and illustrated by John O

Metaphysics - What is Reality?

Existence exists, and furthermore, only existence exists. From this we can further deduce the law of identity A=A which is the basis of all knowledge.

Epistemology - How do we know what we know?

All knowledge comes to us initially via our senses as perceptions. Our minds over time integrate these perceptions into theories and concepts which build into a hierarchal system, also known as knowledge.

Ethics - What is Good?

That which promotes individual human life is good. The life of man is an end in itself and not a means to an end. You own your life. Man has an inalienable right to his own life.  From this right it can be deduced that man has a right to property produced by himself, or otherwise justly acquired. In this context the term man includes women.

Politics - How should we organize our society such that we live together harmoniously?

Laissez-faire or free market capitalism is the only system that is congruent with the ethics that you own your life, and is consistent with human nature. 

The marketplace has a civilizing, humanizing effect. If honesty didn't exist, the marketplace would invent it, because it's the most successful way to do business. In the free market we see, not a survival of the fittest, but a survival of the kindest. Survival of the most cooperative. Survival of the friendliest. A gentle Darwinism, if you will.

Innovation is rewarded by being first to market with a new product or service which may return high profits.

In a free market profits tend to equalize. When it becomes known that a particular business, makes very high profits, that fact in and of itself will attract investors to invest in or form companies that compete with that high profit business. Initially, the new competitor will have a zero percent market share and will therefore lower prices or improve quality in order to gain market share.

Competition, will motivate competitors to further innovate. Therefore, consumers benefit due to the reduced prices caused by the increase in competition. Also, the investors will gain from the high profits.

The process of attracting more investors and therefore more competition and therefore lower consumer prices continues until the profits of the business are considered only marginally attractive compared to other investment opportunities. In this scenario most everyone benefits and especially the consumer benefits.

This is an example of the consumer benefiting by the invisible hand of capitalism. Consumers are not necessarily aware of this process, nevertheless they benefit from it in the form of lower prices.

Competition results in the most efficient use of resources, both capital and human, and results in the greatest prosperity for the people.

There is a direct correlation between individual and economic freedom and prosperity.

The people deserve freedom and prosperity.

The best thing government can do to facilitate this process is nothing. A related question is what is the proper role of government?  The only proper role of government is to protect individual rights.

This task can be split into three areas. One, the military to protect individuals from foreign aggression.  Two, the police, to protect individuals from criminals that violate our rights to life and justly acquired property. Three, the court system, both criminal and civil. Civil to enforce mutually agreed upon signed legal contracts, etc.

Esthetics - What is beautiful?

That which glorifies mankind. And yes, mankind includes women. A garden is more beautiful than a jungle.

Further Reading

The Philosophy of Objectivism: A Brief Summary By Dr. Leonard Peikoff

Fallacies of Logic


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