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The Economist Book of Isms by John Andrews

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Objectivism The practice (akin to objectivity) of emphasising what is independent of a person’s mind. As a philosophical term, objectivism refers to the belief that reality exists independently of the mind or human perception. The Russian-born American writer Ayn Rand (1905–82), a proponent of objectivism in works such as The Fountainhead and Atlas Shrugged, argued that “existence is identity; consciousness is identification”: consciousness cannot be conscious of itself, but only of something beyond itself – in other words, an objective reality independent of consciousness.

Obscurantism The practice of preventing facts from being fully known, of preventing enlightenment (the word is derived from the Latin obscurans, or “darkening”). The idea ...

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