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Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature

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Does anyone actually follow this blog at all? It come up on my Google Alerts pretty frequently and I've never honestly found anything that bad with them. I think they miss the point with a lot of their arguments, but I'm too ignorant of the subjects (often things like, "Things what Rand did" or Economics or Economic History, or the differences between Rand and other philosophers) to actually give any meaningful judgement.

Have any of the mods here or more advanced students read this blog at all? What do you say in response to it?

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I've never honestly found anything that bad with them.

Give me an example of this.

What do you say in response to it?

I just took a brief look and it looks like a typical "sniping" blog. Well read enough to pass off poor argumentation just plausibly enough to make the uneducated think twice. Yet doesnt' offer alternate substance of it's own. The beauty of always criticising is that you never actually have to take an integrated stand on your own.

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Ok, a lot of what they say is not an argument. They just claim something is ridiculous, laugh at, make a sarcastic comment, etc etc without providing any context, or if the context is given, just making some claim that the author of the quote is a ridiculous person. I don't know if there's a name for the argument, but I'd call it the 'Am-I-right-or-what?'

Actually, I scoured their site for an hour for a good quote, but on doing so, discovered that there was not a single quote that was not a meaningless paraphrase, or taken-out-of-context*, or perfectly sensible but just mocked, had nothing to do with what they were trying to prove...

*By this, I don't mean they tried to attribute to her something she didn't mean. For example, "Life is the standard of value", they might quote. And they make the point that she meant "Life is the standard of value" - however, they try to use either deductive logic to disprove it, or they just laugh at the idea that you have to understand it in an integrated context with everything else (because apparently, this amounts to a dogmatic acceptance of the whole system).

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Ok, a lot of what they say is not an argument. They just claim something is ridiculous, laugh at, make a sarcastic comment, etc etc without providing any context, or if the context is given, just making some claim that the author of the quote is a ridiculous person. I don't know if there's a name for the argument, but I'd call it the 'Am-I-right-or-what?'

Rand called it the Argument from Intimidation

Actually, I scoured their site for an hour for a good quote, but on doing so, discovered that there was not a single quote that was not a meaningless paraphrase, or taken-out-of-context*, or perfectly sensible but just mocked, had nothing to do with what they were trying to prove...

*By this, I don't mean they tried to attribute to her something she didn't mean. For example, "Life is the standard of value", they might quote. And they make the point that she meant "Life is the standard of value" - however, they try to use either deductive logic to disprove it, or they just laugh at the idea that you have to understand it in an integrated context with everything else (because apparently, this amounts to a dogmatic acceptance of the whole system).

Well, see, you've answered your own question. :)

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Funny, I was just about to post a topic on this. Has anyone read the book?

Judging from the summaries posted, I am unsure of the efficacy of the effort.

It is unlikely that pointing out the errors in the book will make much difference, as it seems as if this book was aimed at a particular target market which will likely not heed any criticism, regardless. Given many of the comments, I am pretty sure he hit the target.

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It is unlikely that pointing out the errors in the book will make much difference, as it seems as if this book was aimed at a particular target market which will likely not heed any criticism, regardless. Given many of the comments, I am pretty sure he hit the target.

Will the ARCHN author heed criticism? Maybe not, but he certainly entertains it on the blog devoted to the book.

The input and comments generally run at a higher rate of intellectual RPM than cranky anti-Rand sites and hit-and-run pieces. What I mean is that the folks who argue on the side of Nyquist and his book have actually read Rand, continue to read Rand (and Randian texts, discussions, journals, etc) and are open to strong challenges.

For example, one of the latest blog entries has a hundred comments . . . and the commentary is useful for students of Objectivism insofar as the critics's arguments are laid out in detail.

For those who are more advanced, of course the whole point of Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature is irrelevant. What I mean is, if Rand was right about human nature, then Nyquist is wrong, and no amount of discussion can alter the facts.

If Rand was mostly right, or if Rand was almost entirely right, or if Rand and Randian orthodoxy is not the nec plus ultra, then discussion can be fruitful.

Many of the more intelligent contributors to ARCHN's blog are, of course, fans of Rand, and celebrants of her literary gifts and general cultural influence. Many consider themselves deeply committed to the same values that generally undergird Randian projects and Objectivist principles . . .

I think it is easy to dismiss the ARCHN blog as typical of or exemplary of 'anti-Rand' blunders and dogma, then. It might be a fief of Rand skeptics, but unless all criticism of Rand's conclusions on Human Nature should be dismissed a priori, then engaging with the heathens/gentiles/apostates is surely salutory.

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... unless all criticism of Rand's conclusions on Human Nature should be dismissed a priori, then engaging with the heathens/gentiles/apostates is surely salutory.
By this reasoning, anybody who thinks any knowledge is not a priori ought to find engaging in any discussion salutory. Obviously, that's false.

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[A]nybody who thinks any knowledge is not a priori ought to find engaging in any discussion salutory.

Nerd, forgive me if I seem like a knob, but I don't follow your reasoning. If I truncate the quote and ignore its referents, it looks like you could be arguing for the following:

He who finds knowledge to be a priori finds discussion pointless.

Now, in French, this reads much better:

Qui trouve la connaissance fixé en avant, sans expérience, ne sauriez qu'y en discuter soit sans but.

And, voila! you find yourself on my 'ignore' list.

Have a happy Xmas.

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Per an online translator...

Which finds knowledge fixed forward, without experience, would not know that to discuss it or there without purpose.

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A common mode of argumentation at this site is as follows:

Rand presents the right way and the wrong way about something, say egoism vs. altruism.

ARCHN will say "Rand's altruists are not a real human beings, actual altruists don't recognize themselves in Rand's portraits."

The appeal to reality is narrowly concrete and always reveals an inability to think in essentials or principles. Of course actual altruists are not consistent, they can't be and that is partly Rand's point. People jettison altruism anyway to get on with life, their lives would be much better if they knew what they were doing and consciously chose to reject altruism.

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Has anyone here come across the blog Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature, by Greg Nyquist?

It would be quite interesting to see some of you rip apart his articles. In his latest article, which is fairly well written, I noticed right away his tendency to hasty generalization. This makes me wonder what other illegitimacies he's popularizing.

What are your thoughts about his blog?

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Has anyone here come across the blog Ayn Rand Contra Human Nature, by Greg Nyquist?

It would be quite interesting to see some of you rip apart his articles. In his latest article, which is fairly well written, I noticed right away his tendency to hasty generalization. This makes me wonder what other illegitimacies he's popularizing.

What are your thoughts about his blog?

I've tried that link several times and it goes no where.

Broken?

Could you find a working one and repost?

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