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A principle is "a fundamental, primary, or general truth, on which other truths depend." Thus a principle is an abstraction which subsumes a great number of concretes. It is only by a means of principles that one can set one's long-range goals and evaluate the concrete alternatives of any given moment. It is only principles that enable a man to plan his future and achieve it.
["The Anatomy of Compromise", CUI, p144]

Some principles of Objectivism:

  • Facts are not "malleable."
  • No alternative to a fact of reality is possible or imaginable.
  • Consciousness has identity.
  • The faculty of reason is the faculty of volition.
  • The unit must be appropriate to the attribute being measured.
  • Measurement-omission.
  • The definitional principle is: wherever possible, an essential characteristic must be a fundamental.
  • Crow epistemology.
  • Unit-economy.
  • Thinking, to be valid, must adhere to reality.
  • "Existence is Identity; Consciousness is Identification."
  • The law of contradiction.
  • Human knowledge on every level is relational.
  • Knowledge follows a necessary order.
  • Rand's Razor.
  • The arbitrary cannot be cognitively processed.
  • Life as the standard of value.

In ethics, principles for behavior are known as virtues.