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"Open Mind" versus "Active Mind"

What objectivity and the study of philosophy require is not an "open mind", but an active mind -- a mind able and eagerly willing to examine ideas, but to examine them critically. An active mind does not grant equal status to truth and falsehood; it does not remain floating forever in a stagnant vacuum of neutrality and uncertainty; by assuming the responsibility of judgment, it reaches firm convictions and holds to them. Since it is able to prove its convictions, an active mind achieves an unassailable certainty in confrontations with assailants -- a certainty untainted by spots of blind faith, approximation, evasion and fear.

If you keep an active mind, you will discover (assuming that you started with common-sense rationality) that every challenge you examine will strengthen your convictions, that the conscious, reasoned rejection of false theories will help you to clarify and amplify the true ones, that your ideological enemies will make you invulnerable by providing countless demonstrations of their own impotence.

Source:  Ayn Rand, “Philosophical Detection,” Philosophy: Who Needs It, 21

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