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