Understanding Objectivism Test (01)

This test has been designed to assess your comprehension of Understanding Objectivism: A Guide to Learning Ayn Rand's Philosophy (UO) Lectures by Dr. Leonard Peikoff (Book Edited by Michael S. Berliner). Questions have been formed from the book version, chapters (lectures) 1 - 4 only. Subsequent tests will cover additional chapters of the book. It is not intended to be an open book test. There are 25 questions - each is worth 4 points. This test can be taken by students before and after reading UO (as a pre and/or post-test). Only reading Ayn Rand's fictional work will not be sufficient preparation to excel on this test. This 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
61-70: Moderate understanding (Low-Mid) - Basic study needed
71-80: 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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Understanding Objectivism Test 01

1) Identify the three leading arguments (according to Dr. Peikoff) against philosophy: [p.2]

2) Objectivism says you must like skyscrapers. [p.14]

3) Dr. Peikoff maintains that If someone reads a book on Objectivism (reading in full focus), is sincere, concludes that the philosophy makes sense, and decides that he agrees with it, then he understands it. [p.19]

4) According to Dr. Peikoff, definitions can sometimes be positively harmful to your mental process. [p.22]

5) Dr. Peikoff holds that there are three variants of the mind/body dichotomy that should be singled out as the real heart of the dichotomy (focusing on how they would be a problem to Objectivists): [p.25]

6) Rationalism is a form (or a symptom) of the mind/body dichotomy. [p.26-29]

7) According to Dr. Peikoff, fundamental philosophic ideas are almost never profoundly controversial. [p.45]

8) Dr. Peikoff calls the process of taking a concept back to its concretes: [p.58]

9) Emotions are essential to automatize the process of concretization. [p.60]

10) Induction is the process of coming to conclusions on the basis of earlier abstractions. [p.63]

11) Deduction is the process of coming to conclusions on the basis of observation. [p.63]

12) According to Objectivism, you should always tell the truth. [p.71]

13) According to Dr. Peikoff the following is a proper characterization of honesty: “the essence of honesty is facing reality – not evading, exercising your mind.” [p.71-72]

14) The mental process of concretizing without a principle and without structure is called: [p.77]

15) The issue of principles is not the same issue as the fact that life has objective requirements.[p.90]

16) By what method do humans know the future? [p.93]

17) There are two roots of the concept of “principle”: [p.93-94]

18) Is rationality a concrete or an abstraction? [p.95]

19) Identify the following concept: “first we learn a given idea; then we leave it, we move to something else, we learn other subjects; then we encounter the original idea again, but now with more knowledge, with a deeper context.” [p.101-102]

20) According to Dr. Peikoff, there are contexts in which it is justified to lie to a person who is not threatening the use of force. For example, it can be perfectly moral to lie to protect one’s privacy from a busybody that has no right the information in question. [p.103]

21) In Lecture Four, Dr. Peikoff provides a checklist for examining the methodology used in a presentation. Which of the following is not listed on that checklist? [p.112 -113]

22) Objectivism maintains that it is bad to force a mind. [p.126]

23) It’s easy to see that force is bad for the victim, that it’s against his life. But it’s more difficult to prove that force is evil for the perpetrator. [p.127]

24) The government should prohibit whatever is immoral. [p.140]

25) The principle of “Occam’s Razor” states: [p.143]

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