An excerpt from chapter 4 on Objectivity from Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff.

According to Objectivism, epistemology is necessary for practical purposes, as a guide to man in the proper use of his conceptual faculty. We are ready to concretize this claim. We can now begin to identify the rules men must follow in their thinking if knowledge, rather than error or delusion, is their goal.

These rules can be condensed into one general principle: thinking, to be valid, must adhere to reality. Or, in the memorable words of the old Dragnet TV series, which can serve as the motto of all reality-oriented thought: “Just give us the facts, ma’am.” But how does one reach “just the facts”? The answer lies in the concept of objectivity; it requires that one grasp the full philosophic meaning and implications of this concept.

When you grasp this concept, you will have an invaluable tool enabling you to assess and, if necessary, improve the quality of your own thinking. You will also understand why, out of all the possibilities, Ayn Rand chose to call her philosophy “Objectivism.”

Read the rest in Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand.

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