Ayn Rand on Aristotle

Aristotle’s philosophy was the intellect’s Declaration of Independence. Aristotle, the father of logic, should be given the title of the world’s first intellectual, in the purest and noblest sense of that word. No matter what remnants of Platonism did exist in Aristotle’s system, his incomparable achievement lay in the fact that he defined the basic principles of a rational view of existence and of man’s consciousness: that there is only one reality, the one which man perceives — that it exists as an objective absolute (which means: independently of the consciousness, the wishes or the feelings of any perceiver) — that the task of man’s consciousness is to perceive, not to create, reality — that abstractions are man’s method of integrating his sensory material — that man’s mind is his only tool of knowledge — that A is A.

If we consider the fact that to this day everything that makes us civilized beings, every rational value that we possess — including the birth of science, the industrial revolution, the creation of the United States, even the structure of our language — is the result of Aristotle’s influence, of the degree to which, explicitly or implicitly, men accepted his epistemological principles, we would have to say: never have so many owed so much to one man.

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