Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Atlas Shrugged on Science

"Science? Aren't you confusing the standards involved?. It is only in the realm of pure science that truth is an absolute criterion. When we deal with applied science, with technology, we deal with people. And when we deal with people, considerations other than truth enter the question."

from "Atlas Shrugged" by Ayn Rand


  1. Whoops....
    Whether intentional or not I have no way of knowing, but this quotation and the title put on it may be misleading; you supply no context or application of this quote. This statement is not made philosophically by Rand, nor is it a statement made by one of her heros, representing her beliefs, in the book; I believe it is made by one of the 'bad guys' in an attempt to show that he believed 'the practical' is different than 'the truth', especially with regard to dealing with people. In other words, it is justification for lying, manipulation, power and control.

    So, this quote might be "from Atlas Shrugged", but it exactly the opposite of what would come from the mouth of Ayn Rand with regard to science -- it is not 'from Ayn Rand' in that sense. Rand held that in all realms, including science and 'people', reason is the only measure of integrity and truth, that the good person must give and expect reason and absolute truth at all times.

    John Donohue
    Pasadena, CA

  2. "Whoops...?" How quaint.

    Guess the title should have been a quote about science IN "Atlas Shrugged" WRITTEN BY Ayn Rand.

    I was just intrigued by the statement, not making a statement.