It is proof that they are axioms, that they are at the base of knowledge and thus inescapable." Rand held that existence is the perceptually self-evident fact at the base of all other knowledge, i.e., that "existence exists." She further held that to be is to be something, that "existence is identity." That is, to be is to be "an entity of a specific nature made of specific attributes." That which has no nature or attributes does not and cannot exist.
The axiom of existence is grasped in differentiating something from nothing, while the law of identity is grasped in differentiating one thing from another, i.e., one's first awareness of the law of non-contradiction, another crucial base for the rest of knowledge. cannot be all red and green at the same time, it cannot freeze and burn at the same time...
Thus, for Rand, the fact that consciousness must itself possess identity implies the rejection of both universal skepticism based on the "limits" of consciousness, as well as any claim to revelation, emotion or faith based belief.
Objectivist epistemology maintains that all knowledge is ultimately based on perception.
The name "Objectivism" derives from the idea that human knowledge and values are objective: they exist and are determined by the nature of reality, to be discovered by one's mind, and are not created by the thoughts one has.
My philosophy, in essence, is the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.
The form in which an organism perceives is determined by the physiology of its sensory systems.
Whatever form the organism perceives it in, what it perceives—the object of perception—is reality.
She further elaborated on them in her periodicals The Objectivist Newsletter, The Objectivist, and The Ayn Rand Letter, and in non-fiction books such as Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology and The Virtue of Selfishness.Any other approach Rand termed "the primacy of consciousness", including any variant of metaphysical subjectivism or theism.According to Rand, it is entities that act, and every action is the action of an entity.A is A." Rand argued that consciousness is "the faculty of perceiving that which exists." As she put it, "to be conscious is to be conscious of something", that is consciousness itself cannot be distinguished or grasped except in relation to an independent reality.Expressed differently, existence has "primacy" over consciousness, which must conform to it.Rand defined an axiom as "a statement that identifies the base of knowledge and of any further statement pertaining to that knowledge, a statement necessarily contained in all others whether any particular speaker chooses to identify it or not.An axiom is a proposition that defeats its opponents by the fact that they have to accept it and use it in the process of any attempt to deny it." As Objectivist philosopher Leonard Peikoff argued, Rand's argument for axioms "is not a proof that the axioms of existence, consciousness, and identity are true.According to Rand, attaining knowledge beyond what is given in perception requires both volition (or the exercise of free will) and adherence to a specific method of validation through observation, concept-formation, and the application of inductive and deductive reasoning.For example, a belief in dragons, however sincere, does not mean reality contains any dragons.A process of proof identifying the basis in reality of a claimed item of knowledge is necessary to establish its truth.Says Rand, "The fundamental concept of method, the one on which all the others depend, is logic.