Objectivism: General Knowledge Test (02)

This test is designed to be taken after the Objectivism: General Knowledge (01) test. It is not intended to be an open book test. The test consists of 100 questions. Many of the questions have been taken directly from (also available as The Vision of Ayn Rand). Other sources are listed below. Only reading Ayn Rand's fictional work will not be sufficient preparation to excel on this test. This general assessment can help students of Objectivism and study-group organizers determine the ideal study materials and is not intended to evaluate one's agreement with Objectivism.

Note: All questions are formed from assertions and arguments made by the author of the book/material. When answering test questions, please keep in mind that the "correct" answer is based on those assertions. The Culture of Reason Center does not necessarily endorse the positions articulated in the subject material.

Test Score Range:
0-60: Minimal understanding (Low) - Basic study needed
61-69: Moderate understanding (Low-Mid) - Basic study needed
70-80: Good understanding (Intermediate) - Basic study review needed
81-90: Competent (High-Mid) - Proceed to more technical studies
91-100: Advanced  (High) - Proceed to more technical studies

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Objectivism: General Knowledge Test 02

1) What is philosophy? [PWNI, p.2 + RP, p.45]





2) What are the major branches of philosophy? [RP, p.45]





3) What distinguishes philosophy from the special sciences? [PWNI, p.2]






4) Fill in the blank: ___________________ is the identification of a primary fact of reality, which cannot be analyzed, i.e., reduced to other facts or broken into component parts. [IOE, p.55]






5) A consciousness conscious of nothing but itself is a contradiction in terms. [FNI, p.139]



6) The ability to regard entities as units is not man’s distinctive method of cognition. [IOE, p.6]



7) Existence exists implies two corollary axioms: [FNI, p.139 + IOE, p.55]





8) To grasp the axiom that existence exists, means to grasp the fact that nature, i.e., the universe as a whole, _________________ [TARL, p.178]






9) What is the relationship between the Law of Identity and the axiom that “Existence exists”? [FNI, p.139]






10) Objectivity is both a metaphysical and an epistemological concept. [TON,Feb,1965]



11) Objectivity, metaphysically is __________________. [TON, Feb,1965]





12) Fill in the blank: The concept of “action” logically requires and presupposes ____________. [TO,March,1966]





13) The law of causality is a relationship between entities and their actions. [TO,March,1966]



14) Causes are motions, and effects are motions. [TO,March,1966]



15) Fill in the blank: An action not caused by an entity would be caused by ___________. [FNI, p.170]





16) Fill in the blank: ______________ is the acceptance of allegations without evidence or proof, either apart from or against the evidence of one’s senses and one’s reason. [PWNI, p.85]






17) Fill in the blank: Logic is _______________________. [FNI, p.140]






18) What is the fallacy of the “stolen concept”? [TON, Jan,63]





19) Entailed by man’s basic choice, to think or not to think, are three broad and fundamental psycho-epistemological alternatives – alternatives in his method of cognitive functioning, which are: [TON,Oct,1964]



20) Fill in the blank: The Objectivist concept of free will entails ______________________. [TON,Jan,1964]





21) Volition is incompatible with the Law of Causality. [TO, p.43]



22) Who coined the the term “altruism”? [VAR, p.236]






23) Fill in the blank: Value presupposes ________________________. [VAR, p.238]





24 ) To ask one to prove that life is a value is an invalid request. [VAR, p.246]



25) The fact that a living entity is, determines what it ought to do. [VOS, p.18]



26) What is morality, or ethics? [VOS, p.13]





27) Who decides what is right or wrong? [TON,Feb,1965]







28) Match the following question to its proper implication: The person who asks: “Is it intellectual plagiarism to accept and even to use philosophical principles and values discovered by someone else?” [TON,Feb,1965]





29) The intrinsic theory of values holds: [CUI, p.13]




30) Fill in the blank: ________ is the act by which one gains and or/keeps values. [VOS, p.27]






31) Fill in the blank: _____________ is man’s basic virtue, the source of all his other virtues. [VOS, p.27]







32) Fill in the blank: The virtue of _______________ means the recognition and acceptance of reason as one’s only source of knowledge, one’s only judge of values and one’s only guide to action. [VOS, p.28]







33) The maintenance of life and the pursuit of happiness are not two separate issues. [VOS, p.32]



34) “Happiness” is the standard of ethics. [VOS, p.33]



35) An idea may be good in theory, but not work in practice. [PWNI, p.19]



36) Fill in the blank: The first and basic index of psychological maturity is ______________________. [TON,Nov,1965]





37) Fill in the blank: The mental habit of thinking in principles is an essential characteristic of ________________________. [ET,BB,L4]





38) An “Attila,” refers to ___________________. [FNI, p.8]




39) A “Witch Doctor,” refers to ______________. [FNI, p.8]





40) Fill in the blank with the best answer: An emotion is ______________________. [TON,Jan,1962]






41) Reason, as the human mode of survival, has two basic functions: [TO,May,1966]






42) Fill in the blank: Repression __________________. [TO,Aug,1966]





43) A person’s moral worth should be judged by the content of his or her emotions. [TO,Aug,1966]



44) Fill in the blank: ____________ is the study of the mental operations that are possible to and that characterize man’s cognitive behavior. [TON,Oct,1964]





45) “Individualism” as an ethical-psychological concept entails: [VOS, p.158-161]





46) “Extremism:” [VOS, Chapter 17]





47) Measurements, as such, have no value-significance-and acquire it only from the nature of that which is being measured. [VOS, p.197]



48) Fill in the blank: ________________ is the fallacy of failing to discriminate crucial differences. It consists of treating together, as parts of a single conceptual whole or “package,” elements which differ essentially in nature, truth-status, importance or value. [PWNI, p.33]





49) Identify the following fallacy: It consists of regarding “nothing” as a thing, as a special, different kind of existent. [IOE, p.60]





50) All men are inherently and automatically selfish. [VOS, Chapter 5]



51) Altruism declares: [TON, July, 1962]





52) Self-sacrifice means – and can only mean – mind-sacrifice. [VOS, p.45]



53) Every emotion proceeds from a value-judgement, but not every value-judgement leads to an emotion. [TON, p.89]



54) Fill in the blank: An anti-concept is __________________. [TO, p.865]





55) What is the philosophical meaning of the term “duty”? [TO, p.865]





56) The principle that “man’s life” is the standard of ethics implies that a man can never be justified in knowingly risking his life. [VAR, p.258-259]



57) Rights are a gift of society, a form of permission. [WIAR, p.43]



58) Reason and force are opposites. [WIAR, p.41]



59) Fill in the blank: The choice to deal with men by force rests on __________________. [WIAR, P.41]





60) Without property rights, no other rights are possible. [TON, Feb, 1962]



61) During the early years of radio, the airways were a chaotic no man’s land where anyone could use any frequency he pleased and jam anyone else. This is an example of: [CUI, p.134-135]





62) According to Ayn Rand, the two great values to be gained from social existence are: [VOS, p.125]





63) Fill in the blank: Compromise is ___________________. [VOS, Chapter 7]





64) There are four interrelated considerations which are involved in a rational man’s view of his interest: [VOS, Chapter 4]





65) A power seeker is a type of social-metaphysician. [TON, March, 1965]



66) The following statement describes which concept: “Men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitues a crime and what penalty they incur if they commit it.” [VOS, p.128-129]





67) “the group should permit the individual to be free because that will allow him best to serve its interest.” This is an example of which of the following: [WIAR, p.18]





68) Identify the author of the following: “The world seen through Fascism is not this material world which appears on the surface, in which man is an individual separated from all others and standing by himself…The man of Fascism is an individual who is nation and fatherland, which is a moral law, binding together individuals and the generations into a tradition and a mission, suppressing the instinct for a life enclosed within the brief round of pleasure in order to restore within duty a higher life free from the limits of time and space: a life in which the individual, through the denial of himself, through the sacrifice of his own private interests, through death itself, realizes that completely spiritual existence in which his value asa man lies.” [WIAR, p.19]





69) Objectivists advocate the political theory of “democracy” in its original meaning. [VAR, p.347]



70) Capitalism leads to coercive monopolies. [CUI, Chapter 5]



71) Government regulation is necessary to protect consumers from harmful merchandising practices. [CUI, Chapter 9]



72) Full honesty demands unsolicited truth-telling and bluntness on any subject. [VAR, p.277]



73) If a holdup man demands that you tell him where you have hidden your money, which he can’t find, it is not moral to lie to him. [VAR, p.278]



74) Without compulsory taxation, it would be impossible to finance the government’s proper functions. [VOS, Chapter 15]



75) The gold standard is an instrument of laissez-faire; each implies and requires the other. [CUI, p.96]



76) Indiscriminate tolerance and indiscriminate condemnation are two variants of the same evasion. [VOS. p.72]



77) If you do not know how to judge the character of a person, because the facts available to you are insufficient, and the evidence of his flaws is inconclusive, you must give him the benefit of the doubt. [VAR, p.286]



78) The following is an example of a certain kind of thinking error. Identify the name of the error: “The belief that Jesus, cigar boxes, and sex are identical.” [VAR, p.173-174]





79) Every act of evil has victims, and if one is to give an undeserved benefit, any kind of undeserved benefit, to an evildoer, one has to take it away from his victims; one has to do it at the expense of his victims. [VAR, p.288]



80) When is it proper to forgive an evil action? [VAR, p.499]





81) Many moral issues are not extremely complex; it is often easy to determine a man’s moral guilt. [VAR, p.500]



82) Time is not in the universe; the universe is in time. [VAR, p.102]



83) Philosophy, theology, and religion have all given rationally intelligible definitions and descriptions of the nature of God. [VAR, p.95]



84) Identify the following argument: “Observe the perfect order in the universe. Observe the clock-like regularity of the motion of the planets. Observe the progression of the seasons. Observe how conveniently man is made. He requires oxygen for his survival, and he has lungs. Surely, there must be a God, who arranged and planned all this. How else can such an order be explained?” [VAR, p.102]





85) Objectivism holds agnosticism as the proper position to take regarding the question of God’s existence. [VAR, Chapter 4]



86) The belief in God and the philosophy of Objectivism are opposites that cannot be reconciled
in anyone’s mind. No intellectual meeting-ground, no compromise, and no middle-of-the-road is possible between the belief in God and Objectivism. [VAR, p,119]



87) An agnostic believes in the possibility of God’s existence without reason. [VAR, p.110]



88) Fill in the blank: If one were to pick up a hammer and start beating oneself over the head, this would be an example of _____________________. [VAR, p.301]





89) The meaning of “integrity” as applied to consciousness is: ____________ . [VAR, p.272]





90) The meaning of “integrity” as applied to action is: ____________ . [VAR, p.272]





91) The alternative to the mystics’ doctrine of Original Sin is the doctrine of Original Virtue. [VAR, p.482]



92) There are two characteristics involved in all instances of the sanction of the victim: [VAR, p.491-492]





93) The distinguishing attributes of a government are: [VAR, p.343]





94) People need government: [VAR, p.344]





95) No one can be fully independent, because we all have to rely on experts in fields of knowledge outside our own. [VAR, p.267]



96) All defense-values are irrational intrinsically. [VAR, p.197]



97) Fill in the blank: To ____________ means: to pick some random explanation to justify one’s feelings and stick to it regardless of reason, logic, evidence, or argument. [VAR, p. 174]





98) Fundamentally, truth is that which is publicly verifiable. [VAR, p.172]



99) The Rule of Fundamentality states: [VAR, p.171]





100) The supernatural means that which exists in nature but is still unknown. [VAR, p.111]



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Reference Key:

VAR: Nathaniel/Barbara Branden, The Vision of Ayn Rand (The Basic Principles of Objectivism)
VOS: The Virtue of Selfishness
CUI: Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
TON: The Objectivist Newsletter (1962-1966)
TO: The Objectivist (Magazine 1966-1971)
TARL: The Ayn Rand Letter (1971-1976)
WIAR: Who is Ayn Rand? (by Nathaniel and Barbara Branden)
IOE: Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology
PWNI: Philosophy: Who Needs It
FNI: For The New Intellectual
[ET,BB,L4]: Principles of Efficient Thinking, Barbara Branden, Lecture 4
RP: The Return of the Primitive: The Anti-Industrial Revolution

VAR: 31 Questions
VOS: 18 Questions
CUI: 5 Questions
TON: 14 Questions
TO: 9 Questions
TARL: 1 Question
WIAR: 5 Questions
IOE: 3 Questions
PWNI: 4 Questions
FNI: 6 Questions
[ET,BB,L4]: 1 Question
RP: 1 Question
PWNI + RP: 1 Question
FNI + IOE: 1 Question