Critical reading is a big part of understanding argument. Although some of the material you read will be very persuasive, do not fall under the spell of the printed word as authority. Very few of your instructors think of the texts they assign as the last word on the subject. Remember that the author of every text has an agenda, something that he or she wants you to believe. This is OK—everything is written from someone’s perspective—but it’s a good thing to be aware of. For more information on objectivity and bias and on reading sources carefully, read our handouts on evaluating print sources and reading to write .
After having long shed a youthful infatuation with the works of Russian American writer Ayn Rand and her philosophical system of Objectivism , in 2004 Caplan wrote in his essay 'An Intellectual Biography', "I rejected Christianity because I determined that it was, to be blunt, idiotic . I rejected Objectivism and Austrianism, in contrast, as mixtures of deep truths and unfortunate mistakes. Let me begin with the deep truths. The Objectivists were right to insist that reality is objective , human reason able to grasp it , and scepticism without merit. They correctly hold that humans have free will , morality is objective , and the pursuit of self-interest typically morally right ."