Axiom of Self-Consciousness
This axiom amounts to the first-person judgment, "I am conscious" (each person can truthfully assert this for himself). She writes that "consciousness is conscious," affirming both that the thinker is conscious and that he is conscious of something external to himself. She writes, "If nothing exists, there can be no consciousness: a consciousness with nothing to be conscious of is a contradiction in terms" (Atlas Shrugged, p. 1015). Though the axiom of consciousness has antecedents (most famously in the thought of Descartes), Objectivism distinguishes itself by holding that the Primacy of Existence is co-fundamental with the axiom of self-consciousness, so that consciousness and its contents are no more certain or fundamental than mind-independent reality.