Return to Psycho-Epistemology

Most people know nothing about psycho-epistemology. They take their habitual method of thought for granted, leaving it unidentified and unquestioned. Yet this kind of ignorance can be disastrous. . . . Men can automatize wrong methods of thought without even knowing it. In order to achieve intellectual control, therefore, in order to enjoy the full power over your mind that volition makes possible, you must identify your psycho-epistemological methods, and correct those, if any, which are not consonant with your adult knowledge.

This is a crucial discovery of Miss Rand’s—the discovery of psycho-epistemology, and of its roots, forms, and errors. Without such knowledge, men would be left at the mercy of unidentified mental habits that they hardly even suspected—habits that perhaps derived unknowingly from childhood errors that they long since had consciously renounced. Psycho-epistemology represents a whole science, a new branch of psychology.

Copyright © 1986 by Harry Binswanger. Introduction copyright © 1986 by Leonard Peikoff. All rights reserved. For information address New American Library.


Excerpts from The Ominous Parallels, by Leonard Peikoff. Copyright © 1982 by Leonard Peikoff. Reprinted with permission of Stein and Day Publishers. Excerpts from The Romantic Manifesto, by Ayn Rand. Copyright © 1971, by The Objectivist. Reprinted with permission of Harper & Row, Publishers, Inc. Excerpts from Atlas Shrugged, copyright © 1957 by Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead, copyright © 1943 by Ayn Rand, and For the New Intellectual, copyright © 1961 by Ayn Rand. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Ayn Rand. Excerpts from Philosophy: Who Needs It, by Ayn Rand. Copyright © 1982 by Leonard Peikoff, Executor, Estate of Ayn Rand. Reprinted by permission of the Estate of Ayn Rand. Excerpts from “The Philosophy of Objectivism” lecture series. Copyright © 1976 by Leonard Peikoff. Reprinted by permission. Excerpts from Alvin Toffler’s interview with Ayn Rand, which first appeared in Playboy magazine. Copyright © 1964. Reprinted by permission of Alvin Toffler. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Plume, a member of Penguin Group (USA), Inc.