Objectivism: General Knowledge Test (01)

This test has been designed to assess your basic knowledge of the philosophy of Objectivism. It is not intended to be an open book test. The first 50 questions focus on metaphysics and epistemology; 25 questions are on ethics, and 25 are on politics. Most of the questions have been taken directly from (also available as The Vision of Ayn Rand), and Leonard Peikoff's book, entitled: . 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 01

1) Existence is the primary metaphysical fact, which does not require proof or explanation. [OPAR, p.7]



2) The primacy of existence principle denies that reality is malleable by consciousness. [OPAR, p.18]



3) The law of identity states: [VAR, p.66]





4) The Law of Contradiction states: [VAR, p.67]




5) The Law of Excluded Middle states: [VAR, p.68]




6) Fill in the blank: Mathematics reveals the mechanics of _____________. [OPAR, p.90]




7) Proof is a process of inference. [VAR, p.72]



8) Fill in the blank: To be _____________ in one’s conceptual activities is volitionally to adhere to reality by following certain rules of method, a method based on facts and appropriate to man’s form of cognition. [OPAR, p117]





9) Fill in the blank: ____________ is a mental integration of two or more units possessing the same distinguishing characteristic(s), with their particular measurements omitted. [OPAR, p.88]





10) The concepts of “reason,” “logic,” “thought,” and “knowledge” are only applicable to beings possessing a volitional consciousness. [VAR, p.138]



11) Existence is Identity. [VAR, p.96]



12) All sense perceptions are necessarily valid. [OPAR, p.41]



13) Ayn Rand defined the following: “Value” is that which one acts to gain and/or keep. [VAR, p.238]



14) Match the following definition to the proper concept: “the faculty that identifies and integrates the material provided by man’s senses.” [VAR, p.45]





15) The primary choice, according to Objectivism, the one that makes conceptual activity possible, is: [OPAR, p.56]





16) Values exist because: [OPAR, p.208-209]





17) Consciousness is: [VAR, p.42]





18) Language is: [VAR, p.43]





19) Identify the example of the Fallacy of the Stolen Concept: [ET,NB,L9]





20) A child grasps each of the three fundamental axioms simultaneously. [OPAR, p.12]



21) The law of causality is the law of identity applied to action. [VAR, p.80]



22) It is self-evident that an entity must act in accordance with its nature. [OPAR p.15]



23) The cause of action is action. [VAR, p.80-81]



24) The three versions of the primacy of consciousness that have dominated Western philosophy are: [OPAR, p.21-22]






25) Who is the philosophic father of the personal version of the primacy of consciousness? [OPAR, p.22]






26) What human error leads to the mind-body dichotomy? [OPAR, p.29]





27) Ayn Rand referred to materialists as: [OPAR, p.33]





28) The fallacy of the frozen abstraction consists of: [VOS, p.94]





29) The principle of “Rand’s Razor” states: [OPAR, p.139]





30) According to Objectivism, invalid concepts are: words that do not attempt to integrate errors, contradictions, or false propositions. [OPAR, p.137]



31) What is implied by the notion of “reality as it really is?” [OPAR, p.50]





32) Focus is the same as thinking. [OPAR, p.58]



33) The exertion of mental effort can become automatic. [OPAR, p.59]



34) Why can’t a determinist hold anything as true, including his own theory? [OPAR, p.71]



35) Match the following definition to the proper concept: “an existent regarded as a separate member of a group of two or more similar members.” [OPAR, p.75]





36) Ayn Rand regarded her theory of concepts as proved, but not as completed. [OPAR, p.109]



37) According to Objectivism an “Abstraction” is: [VAR, p.165]




38) Match the following definition to the proper concept: “the identification of a relationship—a quantitative relationship established by means of a standard that serves as a unit.” [OPAR, p.81]





39) The idea that omitted measurements must exist in some quantity, but may exist in any quantity is the basic principle of which theory: [OPAR, p.90]





40) An ostensive definition is: [VAR, p.167]




41) Definitions are not contextual. [OPAR, p.97]



42) “Crow-epistemology” informally refers to which principle: [OPAR, p.108]





43) The opposite policy of the concrete-bound mentality is exemplified by: [OPAR, p.127]





44) What method of cognition is required to achieve objectivity? [OPAR, p.118]






45) Fill in the blank: _________________ is an improper form of specialization. It consists not merely in specializing, but in regarding one’s specialty as a dissociated fiefdom, unrelated to the rest of human knowledge. [OPAR, p.127]





46) Fill in the blank: ________ is the means of connecting an advanced knowledge to reality by traveling backward through the hierarchical structure involved. [OPAR, p.133]





47) Fill in the blanks with the best answer: Just as mysticism is allied with _______________, so skepticism is allied with _____________. [OPAR, p.183]






48) The four steps in the generation of an emotion are: [OPAR, p.155-156]






49) One can disprove a claim or “prove a negative” by demonstrating that the claim contradicts established knowledge; i.e., by relating the claim to a positive cognitive context, when this is available. [OPAR, p.168]



50) Certainty, like possibility and probability, is contextual. [OPAR, p.179]



51) Life is motion, a definite course of motion; if the motion is defaulted on or fails, what ensues is the antithesis of life: stillness, which is the essence of death. [OPAR, p.191]



52) Fill in the blanks: The ultimate value is __________. The primary virtue is _________. The proper beneficiary is _________. [OPAR, p.206]





53) The alternative of existence or nonexistence is the precondition of all values. [OPAR, p.209]



54) Only self-preservation can be an ultimate goal, which serves no end beyond itself. [OPAR, p.211]



55) Fill in the blank: __________ is a fundamental, primary, or general truth, on which other truths depend. [CUI, p.157]






56) Fill in the blanks: To live, man must hold three things as the supreme and ruling values of his life: __________ – ___________ – ___________. [OPAR, p.220]






57) Fill in the blank: __________ is the primary vice, which is the root of all other human evils. [OPAR, p.222]






58) Fill in the blanks: Every virtue, according to Objectivism, has two aspects: _______ and _________. [OPAR, p.226]





59) In Atlas Shrugged, Ayn Rand defines six major derivatives of the virtue of rationality: [OPAR, p.251]






60) Ayn Rand regarded the six major derivatives of the virtue of rationality (as defined in Atlas Shrugged) as necessarily exhaustive.[OPAR, p.251]



61) The concept of “egoism” identifies merely one aspect of an ethical code. It tells us not what acts a man should take, but who should profit from them. [OPAR, p.230]



62) Fill in the blank: ___________________ is the psychological syndrome that characterizes an individual who holds the consciousnesses of other men, not objective reality, as his ultimate psycho-epistemological frame of reference. [VAR, p.211]






63) Objectivism incorporates Aristotle’s concept of the “golden mean.” [VOS, p.14]



64) Identify the Objectivist meaning of “sacrifice.” [VAR, p.321]





65) Moral perfection: [OPAR, p.304]





66) Fill in the blank: _______________ means: the willingness to let one’s own virtues be used by others against oneself. It means the willingness to bear injustice, to take actions which help others against one’s own rational self-interest, and to concede moral validity to the claims of one’s own destroyers. [VAR, p.488]






67) Consciousness has two basic emotions: [OPAR, p.336]





68) A man can avidly pursue irrational values and thereby gain pleasure (of a sort) from the process of harming himself. [OPAR, p.336]



69) This philosophic view holds, usually in the form of an emotion or generalized feeling, that the good (that which one most deeply values and desires) has no chance on earth. That there is no way to achieve one’s deepest values among other men and the rule of human life is failure and misery. [VAR, p.515]






70 ) According to Ayn Rand: A proper moral judgment requires psychologizing. [OPAR, p.280]



71) In Objectivism, the granting of unconditional love is a virtue. [VAR, p.310-311]



72) The pursuit of knowledge is an end in itself. [OPAR, p.212]



73) Objectivism incorporates the “Golden Rule” (Do unto others as you would have them do unto you). [LPP, 02,27,12]



74) Select the best answer: The two basic methods by which men can deal with disputes are: [OPAR, p.310]





75) Fill in the blank: Individual rights _______________. [OPAR, p.351]





76) It is possible to uphold the right to life while denying the right to property. [VAR, p.341]



77) The theory of “collective rights” depends on the ethics of self-sacrifice. [OPAR, p.357]



78) Anarchism is the idea that there should be no government. Objectivism rejects anarchism because anarchism ignores the necessity of political philosophy, and logically, anarchism rests on the morality of subjectivism / hedonism, i.e., the doctrine that there are no objective moral standards, and that a man’s pleasure, his wishes, feelings, desires, or whims is the only standard of value and action. [OPAR, p.371/ VAR, p.346]



79) “Statism” means any system that concentrates power in the state at the expense of individual freedom. [OPAR, p.369]



80) Fascism is: a governmental system with strong centralized power, permitting no opposition or criticism, controlling all affairs of the nation (industrial, commercial, etc.), emphasizing an aggressive nationalism. [CUI, p.226]



81) Capitalism is a social system based on the recognition of individual rights, including property rights, in which all property is privately owned.[OPAR, p.380]



82) Fill in the blank: _____________ is a theory or system of social organization which advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production, capital, land, etc. in the community as a whole. [CUI, p.226]





83) Fill in the blank: ___________ is a theory or system of social organization based on the holding of all property in common, actual ownership being ascribed to the community as a whole or to the state.” [ARC, p.38]





84) A mixed economy is a mixture of capitalism and statism, of freedom and controls. [CUI, p.45]



85) The four characteristics of a dictatorship include: [VOS, p.122-123]





86) There is no such entity as “society,” since society is only a number of individual men. [VOS, p.15]



87) Fundamentally, there is only one way to violate man’s rights: [CUI, p.370]





88) Fill in the blank: ______________ is incompatible with freedom, with capitalism and with individual rights. [CUI, p.371]





89) Fill in the blanks: (According to Ayn Rand) The conservatives want to rule man’s_________________; the liberals, his_________. [OPAR, p.376]






90) Fill in the blanks: Politics is to economics as _______ is to _______. [OPAR, p.378]





91) The moral justification of capitalism is that it serves the public interests. [OPAR, p.392]



92) Fill in the blank: prices on a free market are determined by _____________________. [OPAR, p.396]






93) The philosophically objective and the socially objective are corollaries. [OPAR, p.397-398]



94) Fill in the blank: A man’s wealth under capitalism depends on two factors: _______________, and on ___________________. [OPAR, p.400]






95) When money ceases to be the tool by which men deal with one another, then ___________________. [OPAR, p.402]





96) Economic power is political power.[CUI, p.42-43]



97) There are no conflicts of interests among rational men. [OPAR, p.236]



98) Capitalism, by its nature, inevitably leads to periodic depressions. [VAR, p.386]



99) Rights are self-evident. [OPAR, p.355]



100) The standard of practicality is set by the result being pursued. [OPAR p.326/p.406]



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Reference Key:

OPAR: Dr. Leonard Peikoff, Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand
VAR: Nathaniel/Barbara Branden, The Vision of Ayn Rand (The Basic Principles of Objectivism)
ET, NB, L9: Efficient Thinking (guest lecture by Nathaniel Branden), Lecture 9
VOS: The Virtue of Selfishness
CUI: Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal
ARC: The Ayn Rand Column
LPP (02-27-12): Dr. Leonard Peikoff’s Podcast (02-27-12)

OPAR: 64 Questions
VAR: 21 Questions
ET, NB, L9: 1 Question
VOS: 4 Questions
CUI: 7 Questions
ARC: 1 Question
LPP: 1 Question
OPAR + VAR: 1 Question