By Prometheus Pyro
Edited by Winter Hámori
Prometheus, the titan who brought the fire of the gods down to man, has long stood as a symbol for enlightenment. His fire has served to represent knowledge, reason, understanding, and their spread as tools for improving life.
The purpose of this website is to present, primarily, the methods of thinking necessary for knowledge of reality and skillfully living in it. The main author of this website, at the time of writing this, has spent roughly a dozen years studying philosophy in general with a special interest in methodology. Part of the purpose of this website is to concentrate the fruits of that labor into one location and to present it for free.
The idea is to make enlightment more accessible by removing such obstacles as the cost of and the time needed to study more books and lecture courses than I would care to count (although there are some few books and lectures especially worth studying, they will be recommended here). By making enlightenment conveniently accessible, I hope to spread it more rapidly. An enlightened world is a better world. (As this is all presented for free, donations are encouraged and appreciated).
Fundamentally, these methods mean epistemology, as the study of our means of knowledge. It equally means psycho-epistemology, which deals with such things as habitual methods of dealing with ideas on a subconscious level. It is not enough to agree with ideas about clear, objective thinking without knowing how to really apply those ideas in order to make them a part of your own mental habits. That is what it really means to be enlightened, not merely agreeing that what’s true is true, but understanding why it is true and really knowing how to apply it.
Another goal of this website is to not merely present abstract ideas or even to completely validate them, but to show them in practice. It is not merely to teach philosophy or even proper method, but to teach the use of proper method.
Philosophy is an integrated structure, so a presentation of epistemology and its application will also necessitate a presentation of metaphysics (the study of the basic nature of existence), on which the methods of epistemology are based. It also means the application of ethics in life and action. While not primarily about ethics, the subject will serve to illustrate essential methods, as well as showing what they look like in action.
When teaching a subject, the focus is to be on factual ideas and approaches to said subject; those which begin with reality and remain connected to it. As it would be inappropriate to dedicate time in a factual presentation of physics to explain Cartesian physics, it would be a waste of space to focus here on philosophies and methods not grounded in reality. It may be appropriate to mention invalid philosophy so as to set the context for a valid idea, or to explain the history of a subject when doing so provides context, or as to create a foil to proper method. But, beyond such uses, you will not find philosophy taught as it is typically taught elsewhere within this website. This is not a history of philosophy, nor an overview of the different schools of thought. Here you will find factual philosophy and the objective methodology used to reach and validate it.
There are two major sources for the kind of philosophy to which the authors of this page owe an intellectual debt. They are Ayn Rand, and, through her, Aristotle. This is not an attempt, however, to speak for Ayn Rand, her philosophy of Objectivism, nor anyone else’s. Only Ayn Rand can speak for Ayn Rand or Objectivism.
This is not a website about Objectivism. It is a website about philosophy created by a student of Objectivism. I do not take credit for originating most of the ideas presented here, only for their presentation and any unique or original application. This website does not represent anyone's ideas other than the authors'. Anyone mentioned or quoted here, or from whom the formulation of a particular argument originated before it was used on this site, cannot be assumed to have held any other ideas defended by this site. No one but the author of a given essay is responsible for its content.