Ayn Rand, in this work, reveals the most important identification of all time: knowledge can only be based upon the senses. Although she may not make the points explictly therein, (1) faith cannot lead to knowledge of existence, only knowledge of a closed system and (2) trust, being a form of faith in testimaony, cannot be consistently used as a basis for action. The Romans made a destinction between integritas and veritas: veritas is integritas plus etymology. Without truthfulness in our words and truthfulness about the meaning of our words, we have no means or transmitting knowldege. As the ancient Hebrews wrote in Leviticas 19:11: Thou shalt not cheat, or steal, or lie.
James Patrick McGrath
Copyright 12/11/2008 New York City Public Library at Bryant Park
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