All of Bradley Tjandra's Comments + Replies

[This is mainly just more literary interpretation. You might find that boring.]

It is interesting to hear you interpret the message of Willers to be

Eddie is an earnest idealist, trying to do his best by Dagny Taggart and her company, and that trait is his doom.

My interpretation of that ending scene is that Rand thought the prime movers (Dagny, Rearden, Galt) were the ones who made things work. You had people who were honest and capable, but not great, and they too would be left in a stagnating world if the prime movers were to leave. It was to galvanise ... (read more)

2Swimmer963 (Miranda Dixon-Luinenburg) 4y
(I don't find literary analysis boring at all!) It's been long enough since I read the book that I don't exactly remember all the bits, and it also makes sense that different themes could resonate for different people. I think your interpretation is probably closer to what Ayn Rand intended – she obviously doesn't think of Eddie as an antagonist, exactly, since he has positive traits and her antagonists generally don't. I agree, and probably she would agree, that Eddie was able to do more good by "finding his Dagny" (I mean, this is what I was trying to do at the time!) That being said, I...don't remember having the impression at all that he would have been welcome in Galt's Gulch, even if he had decided to pin his loyalty on Dagny herself rather than the railroad; I don't remember him even having an opportunity to find out that she was leaving or why. (I could just be misremembering this, though.)

Could you explain the difference (or relationship) between ontology and a utility function? Is there a reason you change between the two? And I thought ontology is more to do with what exists - would "axiology" be a better word?