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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Why are Howard Roark’s rules his own?

In 'A Companion to Ayn Rand,' Greg Salmieri gives this view on why Howard Roark’s rules are his own:

“Roark’s rules are his own because of the relation in which they stand to the mental processes that he performs as an individual. This is true in two respects. First, though Roark was not the first to think of these rules, he did the thinking needed to understand them and the facts that give rise to them. Consequently, they stand in his mind as knowledge, rather than as edicts accepted on the authority of others; and, when he makes decisions by applying the rules, he is acting wholly on his own judgement. Second, whereas Keating proceeds by rote, Roark’s rules demand a great deal of original thought at each stage. He must first understand the relevant architectural problem by identifying the proposed building’s function and location and the nature of the available materials, then he must conceive some central idea as a specific solution to this problem, and then select every detail of the building in accordance with this central idea, thereby integrating the building into a harmonious whole.”

(Source: A Companion to Ayn Rand by Allan Gotthelf and Gregory Salmieri; Chapter: The Act of Valuing)

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