First was British Colonialism that spread Western Civilization and the English language to India. Then the technological revolution gave to the best and the brightest young people in India, young engineers and computer people, new opportunities that have swept away many traditional limitations and brought them to or in contact with the US.
One of the biggest factors in the growth of Objectivism in India was ONE PERSON -- the late Tara Malkani. Here is an article about her that ran in the CyberNet:
Roark was seeking a proud woman who was as passionate valuer, aloof and independent, and hard to win. He wanted a woman who was a challenge and Dominique definitely was.
Yes, you have the right ... to be wrong.
Sure. Let's look at what actually happened in the story.
Dominique showed up at the quarry, dressed in delicate, expensive clothing. She saw a striking looking man who is brazen enough to stare at her. (She wanted to be seen, but he was REALLY seeing her and she found his boldness attractive.)
The foreman called her "Miss Francon" -- the owner of the quarry. (She was glad because she wanted to put that impudent man staring at her in his place.)
He continued to look at her and smiled insolently. (He knew what she was doing and he was not intimidated.)
The thought of his physical strength obsessed her (as an expression of his boldness and self-confidence). She tried to avoid going back to the quarry, but returned anyway.
She stared at him openly. "When he raised his head, she did not turn away. Her glance told him she knew the meaning of her action, but did not respect him enough to conceal it. His glance told her only that he had expected her to come. He bent over his drill and went on with his work. She waited. She wanted him to look up. She knew that he knew it. He would not look again." (They were very aware of each other and there was a silent power struggle going on.)
She came back to the quarry again. When she found herself accidentally close enough to speak to him:
""Why do you always stare at me?" she asked sharply.
She thought with relief that words were the best means of estrangement. She had denied everything they both knew by naming it. For a moment, he stood silently, looking at her. She felt terror at the thought that he would not answer, that he would let his silence tell her too clearly why no answer was necessary. But he answered. He said:
"For the same reason you've been staring at me."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"If you didn't, you'd be much more astonished and much less angry, Miss Francon."
"So you know my name?"
"You've been advertising it loudly enough."
"You'd better not be insolent. I can have you fired at a moment's notice, you know."
He turned his head, looking for someone among the men below. He asked: "Shall I call the superintendent?"
"No, of course, not. It would be too simple. But since you know who I am, it would be better if you stopped looking at me when I come here. It might be misunderstood."
"I don't think so."
(She was attracted to him, but afraid of getting close to him. She was in denial of her own desire. He called her bluff.)
Dominique was aware that she is talking to an educated man and asked:
"You don't belong here, do you? You don't talk like a worker. What were you before?"
Roark gave her the bare minimum information. (He was trying to make her curious .. and interested.)
Dominique found she was obsessed with thinking about Roark and repulsed by romantic advances from other men (when she used to be indifferent).
Staying away from the quarry didn't work.
"But she felt too certain and the house was too safe. She felt a desire to underscore the safety by challenging it."
She invented a pretext to get him to come to her house -- the "broken" marble fireplace -- and invited him to fix it -- which he accepted.
"She walked away, disappointed. She felt that their secret understanding was lost; he had spoken as if it were a simple job which she could have offered to any other workman. Then she felt the sinking gasp inside, that feeling of shame and pleasure which he always gave her: she realized that their understanding had been more intimate and flagrant than ever—in his natural acceptance of an unnatural offer; he had shown her how much he knew—by his lack of astonishment."
When Roark came, she invited him into her bedroom. When he saw the marble, he called her bluff:
"He knelt, took a thin metal wedge from his bag, held its point against the scratch on the slab, took a hammer and struck one blow. The marble split in a long, deep cut.
He glanced up at her. It was the look she dreaded, a look of laughter that could not be answered, because the laughter could not be seen, only felt. He said:
"Now it's broken and has to be replaced." "
She deliberately stood close to him as he worked.
"She approached him and stood silently over him. She had never stood so close to him before. She looked down at the smooth skin on the back of his neck; she could distinguish single threads of his hair. She glanced down at the tip of her sandal. It was there, on the floor, an inch away from his body; she needed but one movement, a very slight movement of her foot, to touch him. "
She tried to keep him there with small talk.
"There must be things you'd like to talk about."
"Oh, yes, Miss Francon."
"I think this is an atrocious fireplace."
"Really? This house was designed by my father."
"Yes, of course, Miss Francon."
She sat seductively posing on the edge of the bed.
"It is very important to distinguish between the various kinds of marble. Generally speaking, there are three kinds. The white marbles, which are derived from the recrystallization of limestone, the onyx marbles which are chemical deposits of calcium carbonate, and the green marbles which consist mainly of hydrous magnesium silicate or serpentine. This last must not be considered as true marble. "
(He let her know he was an educated man who knew what he was talking about.)
"True marble is a metamorphic form of limestone, produced by heat and pressure. Pressure is a powerful factor. It leads to consequences which, once started, cannot be controlled."
"What consequences?" she asked, leaning forward.
(He's WARNING her that what she is doing will have consequences and she knows it.)
"The recrystallization of the particles of limestone and the infiltration of foreign elements from the surrounding soil. These constitute the colored streaks which are to be found in most marbles. Pink marble is caused by the presence of manganese oxides, gray marble is due to carbonaceous matter, yellow marble is attributed to a hydrous oxide of iron. This piece here is, of course, white marble. There are a great many varieties of white marble. "
(More showing off.)
"You should be very careful, Miss Francon..."
Roark left and Dominique asked him to return to set the stone. Roark sent someone else instead. If she was really just interested in the fireplace, it wouldn't have mattered WHO came -- but it did!
""Why didn't you come to set the marble?"
"I didn't think it would make any difference to you who came. Or did it, Miss Francon?"
She felt the words not as sounds, but as a blow flat against her mouth. The branch she held went up and slashed across his face. She started off in the sweep of the same motion."
At that point, it was obvious to both of them exactly what she wanted.
One of the positives that has come out of this is now I know exactly where Robert Tracinski stands. If he thought that way, why didn't he write about the problem before? I don't care what he retracts, if he even cares to do so, because his allegations were way too damning. I still had respect for him after the debate he engaged in about the agents of history and culture; however, now, that amount of respect has significantly diminished. He might as well totally 'jump ship,' if he already hasn't, and join the conservative movement that he's concerned himself with for many years now.
mrocktor: I agree with you. There's no reason to mince words on this point: Dr. Peikoff used a strong arm tactic to get his way. That is his prerogative, and he is well within his rights and means to make such requests. However, this brings up a good question: how much authority does Peikoff, due to his philosophical and legal status, have over the institute as an organization.
Those interested in Whewell, and especially the debate he got into with John Stuart Mill over the nature of induction, may find interesting Reforming Philosophy: A Victorian Debate on Science and Society by Laura J. Snyder, the author of the SEP article. I wrote a review of it for The Objective Standard.
For your discussion about the relevance of an epistemologist's metaphysical views, see especially the discussion on page 131 regarding Mill's idealism. He considered himself a follower of Berkeley -- "To be is to be perceived" -- and defined matter as "a Permanent Possibility of Sensation."
There is now a book that examines the history of the debate over the substance, depth, and breadth of Whewell's Kantianism, Whewell's Critics by John Wettersten. I can't recommend the book generally, but it's a place to turn if you want to study this long-running debate about how Kantian Whewell was and whether it matters.
Also, do not overlook that what makes Whewell so interesting in the history of induction is that he was the most mature in a line of thinkers developing Francis Bacon's theory of induction. Do not overlook Bacon's own Novum Organum and other works in the Baconian tradition, especially those by Thomas Reid and John Herschel.
It's best to see Whewell as he saw himself, as a Baconian struggling with (what we'd call) axiomatic concepts and how it is that perceptions and not sensations are the foundations of human cognition and how it is that new concepts get formed. You'll understand Whewell better that way than if you read him as a Kantian and then try figuring out whether his deviations from Kant were fruitful or not.
Regardless of the intellectual debate, an organization like ARI must have a consistent stance and a chain of command. ARI might be making the right or the wrong decision, but having no unified, official stance and issue like this will always be wrong. So I agree with Peikoff's email that one of them had to go.
As to my personal opinion on The Logical Leap, I have not had a chance to check it out yet.
The clear expression of priorities here is worth noting. "Regardless of intellectual...ARI must have consistant...and ...command." This puts face above facts, and control above truth.
"ARI might be...right or wrong...but...no...official stance...wrong." Here, again, right, truth, and reason are subordinated to face, reputation, and appearance.
Ropoctl has it right. He speaks the sentiments expressed in Peikoff's letter as well as agreeing with them. But if reason is an absolute, reason never takes a back seat. And if ARI isn't about reason, it isn't about Ayn Rand.
Peikoff has said, and I think it's been agreed in the past by most, that you can't add to Objectivism. You can merely apply. APplication of it is not necessarily applying it consistently. Any theory posited not only can be criticized but must be.
I looked up the work "inchoate" which McCaskey uses in regards to the presentation of induction, and basically it means that it is not formed correctly or is incomplete, so McCaskey is disagreeing with the presentation of induction in both Harriman's book and in Dr. Peikoff's lecture series on induction. Definitions of inchoate. This might imply that McCaskey thinks that the Objectivist epistemology is also inchoate, which would imply a non-acceptance of the Objectivist epistemology.
I certainly agree that all new theories coming out of leading Objectivists need to be scrutinized to see if they are both coherent with Objectivism and with reality, and I don't think Dr.Peikoff would disagree with that. But obviously from the letter presented, Dr. Peikoff is proud of his achievement and proud of Harriman's contribution, so I would see where he would think calling these inchoate would be an insult. It will be interesting to see the correspondence of McCaskey and the other scientists if that is ever released.
Anyhow, not having taken the course and not having read Harriman's book, I won't be able to comment further on the disagreements. I'm ordering the book so that I can read it over.