I scored 87. I found some of the questions strange and not justified by Rand's actual writings.
Dear Mr. Dwyer,
I am the person who produced the test. The vast majority of the questions come directly from Dr. Peikoff's OPAR; a few questions come from Nathaniel Branden's Basic Principles of Objectivism lectures; and a few others come from various lecture courses, etc. So far, 89 people have taken the test and the average score is 74%. The test consists of 100 questions (each question is worth one point) and my website states the general sources for the questions. The test is free and the only requirement is that people provide their name and their email address. This is my first attempt to formulate a test of this kind, and I am open to reconsidering some of the questions or answers.
For example, one of the questions that I got wrong is the following:
"It is self-evident that an entity must act in accordance with its nature." I answered: False.
I received 0 Points.
I should have received credit (1 point) for this answer. It is not "self-evident" that an entity must act in accordance with its nature. I have never heard Ayn Rand say anything like this. What she did say is: "Nothing is self-evident except the material of sensory perception." The idea that an entity must act in accordance with its nature requires a conceptual understanding that is not grasped simply by direct sensory perception.
The question that you did not answer correctly was taken directly from Leonard Peikoffís OPAR.
Cause and effect, therefore, is a universal law of reality. Every action has a cause (the cause is the nature of the entity which acts); and the same cause leads to the same effect (the same
entity, under the same circumstances, will perform the same action). The above is not to be taken as a proof of the law of cause and effect. I have merely made explicit what is known implicitly in the perceptual grasp of reality. Given the facts that action is action of entities, and that every entity has a natureóboth of which facts are known simply by observationóit is self-evident that an entity must act in accordance with its nature. "The law of causality," Ayn Rand sums up, "is the law of identity applied to action. All actions are caused by entities. The nature of an action is caused and determined by the nature of the entities that act; a thing cannot act in contradiction to its nature."- (My bold emphasis added) Ė OPAR, p.15.
Whoever drafted this test doesn't understand Objectivism, if what is meant by "Objectivism" is Ayn Rand's philosophy.
Evidently, the Ayn Rand Institute did not authorize this test, especially in view of the references given by its author(s) to Nathaniel Branden's books.
I would suggest reviewing the entire page referenced from OPAR, which provides even more content regarding this issue. It appears that the person who you think does not understand Objectivism is, in fact, Dr. Leonard Peikoff. If it can be demonstrated that Dr. Peikoff has made an error, I will replace the question.
I designed this test for people to assess their general knowledge of Objectivism and some of its most basic and logical implications. If this test were limited to only Ayn Randís work or works endorsed by Ayn Rand, references to OPAR would not qualify. Nathaniel Branden's Basic Principles lectures were endorsed by Rand, so they would fall into the category of "official Objectivism." Peikoff's OPAR is based on his 1976 lectures, which I have listened to, and as far as I can tell, OPAR is generally consistent with that material (material which Rand endorsed). I have worked very hard to make sure that the test questions fairly represent the philosophy. Ayn Rand clearly cannot endorse this test, so I had to use my best judgment in forming the questions.
My hope has been that this test would foster a deeper interest in Ayn Randís philosophy of enjoying life as a rational being. I would hope that this test would stimulate people to research and discuss the questions in a friendly and supportive manner. Of course, I anticipated some disagreement and debate regarding select questions and answers. I urge those individuals who take the test to judge for themselves whether they think the test is fair, and to offer candid feedback regarding its philosophical accuracy (which I very much welcome). I do prefer, however, that such feedback (hopefully constructive criticism) be emailed to me directly (firstname.lastname@example.org) rather than posted on a public forum without giving me the chance to review, discuss, or correct the issue.
The highest score so far is a 95%, closely followed by a 92%. The overwhelming majority of the participants who took the test have given very positive feedback. I do plan, in fact, on making more tests, some of which will be exclusively focused on works by Ayn Rand. I hope to find encouragement from my fellow Objectivist friends as I struggle forward to produce more tests, which is an extremely intense and time consuming process.
Donovan Albanesi, B.A.
The Culture of Reason Center