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For a couple years now Charles Tew has been building a show on his YouTube channel. He calls himself an Objectivist philosopher. He once solicited viewers from this very forum, and claimed that he wouldn't blame us for thinking he might be a crackpot. All he asked was that we give him a listen and judge for ourselves. So, let's get to it!

I'll begin with a recent video from a couple weeks ago, in which Tew offers his negative opinion of Rucka's parody music.

Starting at the 10:30 mark, note that he's specifically asked about Rucka's song "Am I Gay?" At first Tew says that he can't give an answer because he hasn't listened to the song. Then in the next breath he admits to listening for a few seconds and turning it off because it was "vile." Immediately, we see an initial glimpse of Tew's evasiveness. He might be excused for not watching the whole video, but why pretend like he can't answer the question, only to answer it in the next sentence?

Soon we get to Tew's general view. "I think Rucka's comedy music is nihilistic filth." Now, normally, merely expressing such an opinion wouldn't be a huge issue, except that Tew had been friendly with Rucka, had spent many hours live-streaming together, had praised some of Rucka's songs, had called Rucka a model Objectivist, and had even acted as a consultant for Rucka's music. In this context, Tew anticipates that many people, including Rucka himself, will ask why he didn't state his opinion earlier. To which he offers a few excuses.

First, he explains that "it's not possible to point out or say everything you're thinking all the time." He makes it seem like he didn't speak up because he was overwhelmed by the nature of his conversations with Rucka. For example, he's "drunk often in those conversations, so it's hard to notice things." But even when he's sober, "there are just a million considerations." And how about the times when he does notice things? "There are countless times Rucka said something, and I've noticed there was something really wrong about it, but I didn't come up with a good way to respond to it, or to articulate what was wrong, prioritize what I should say until much later. So it's hard to do that in the moment."

In all this, notice how Tew acts as if the real issue is his poor conversational skills or his drunken stupor. He entirely evades the fact that it's about his evaluation of Rucka's music, which has been sitting online for years. Tew didn't need to come up with some impromptu logical critique while drunk. He simply had to visit Rucka's channel in his free time, and analyze and judge the videos carefully. He then could be prepared to discuss it with Rucka in the future.

It's ironic that Tew at one point accuses Rucka of having "a real antipathy toward forethought," when he couldn't be bothered to prepare an honest opinion of his friend's music, nor stay sober long enough to comprehend and intelligently answer Rucka's list of questions.

Tew blames people for "invalidly inferring" that he approved of Rucka's music. He says "this is a very naive view, where you're thinking, well, if you disapprove of something, why didn't you say it?" So, on one hand, it's his audience's problem with logic. Yet, later he admits that even Ayn Rand would have condemned him. "I know Ayn Rand would say that I am the evil one here, because without my sanction, this kind of nihilism would have no chance." Wait, what sanction? His sanction of Rucka's music? I guess that wasn't an "invalid inference" after all.

At last we come to Tew's most revealing point. He tries to take some of the blame for the situation. "I do think that I have contributed to some people getting the wrong impression by allowing things to pass by that I wouldn't have allowed if I weren't so pessimistic or Dominique-like so often." His pessimism is so acute that he doesn't believe his sanction matters, because sanction doesn't matter in a world without other rational people like him. "People see that I allow this kind of thing [Rucka's nihilism], and good people will turn away, and I'll never find my kind of people. But, that's a non-issue, because my kind of people don't exist. So it's hard for me to care very much about sanction."

Tew associates moral sanction with finding his kind of people. But since his people aren't out there, he sees little reason to bother with moral sanction. And herein lies a deeper evasion. He fails to appreciate the fact that his kind of people do indeed exist. They are those who tolerate evil. They are those who blame others for their own shortcomings. They are those who evade reality.

Edited by MisterSwig

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I observed a few minutes of a few videos here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8iOCGZj09rvCXhXeya4vkw  My impressions were not favorable. In one video he called the session with Jordan Peterson at OCON 2018 a disaster. I was there, and the audience surely didn't judge it a disaster. His Why Socialism Fails based an an analogy with computers was poor. Hayek's explanation was far better.

In another video he talks about mathematics. I don't remember which one. He prefaced his remarks with his not being a mathematician, but what he said about math did not sit well with me. As I recall, he said mathematics is about reality. Yes and no. It is also about our concepts. Show me a matrix, differential equation, integral or complex number in reality that wasn't written by some human being, then I will reconsider.

Edited by merjet

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48 minutes ago, MisterSwig said:

In all this, notice how Tew acts as if the real issue is his poor conversational skills or his drunken stupor.

I've read into this a little bit. From what I've gathered, he has a very unhealthy relationship with alcohol (I hesitate to say alcoholic), a deeply pessimistic attitude, mixed with some pretty bad depression. So it's not drunkenness per se, but the attitude that leads him to drink in the first place. He literally seeks to dull the anger that he feels all the time towards the world. It's a classic reason for people to abuse alcohol.

This is not psychologizing, he actually said as much (59:15 for his specific remarks):

I'm not pointing out the moral failing of Tew so much as I am pointing out that I find it sad when people seek to blame things outside themselves for deeply psychological problems that originated within themselves.

Edited by Eiuol

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My comments should be interpreted as stand-alone and not as related to Rucka or alcoholism. The guy is just weird. What's up with the super old picture that obviously is not what you look like? Are you trying to catfish your audience? Most of what he says is just unoriginal and uninteresting. The universe is eternal. The choice to live is an irreducible primary. Free will is the choice to focus. Okay, yes I too have read Peikoff. Combine that with constant pretentious posturing and ad hominem, with all the standard Randian tropes ("you're evading and have failed to focus your mind!"), crankish delusions that he's the greatest living philosopher of our time and ARI is immoral because it didn't accept him to OAC, and no one is as smart and virtuous as him, etc. 

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On 7/11/2019 at 3:17 PM, Eiuol said:

He literally seeks to dull the anger that he feels all the time towards the world.

If you watch the entire video that you posted, he at one point says he doesn't drink every day, maybe once a week. Sometimes he goes weeks without drinking. But when he drinks, he drinks a bottle or two of wine, which probably classifies him as a binge drinker. Maybe he waits until his negative feelings are intolerable, then he treats them with a large dose of alcohol.

Frankly, I'm not falling for this rationalization. If he drinks to fix emotional pain, then why did he drink "often" during his conversations with Rucka? He considered Rucka "a model Objectivist" and claimed to enjoy their talks. So why did he need to get inebriated for those chats? They should have been some of his happiest, most rewarding times. Here he had a bright, popular artist genuinely interested in his ideas. He should've been guzzling Adderall, not Boone's Farm.

I'll have more to say on this later. Thanks for posting that video.

Another observation: at 1:28:25 he says that of all Ayn Rand's characters, he is most essentially like Leo in We The Living. And yet he hopes to be our next Peikoff? This sounds delusional. Not only was Leo trapped in a full-blown communist nation, he did not have an Objectivist community to support him.

Edited by MisterSwig

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Tew continues his comments about Rucka in this next video.

There is a lot to cover here, so for now I'll focus on his initial discussion about swearing. His main problem with Rucka's music seems to be the profanity. "Swearing promiscuously is nihilistic. The reason people do it is to be ugly for its own sake." Then he catches his overgeneralization and adds: "It's also possible that you're doing it out of cowardice." Basically, some people use bad words to fit in with their potty-mouthed friends. Then Tew quickly abandons the nuance and returns to the overgeneralizing: "That's the thing with swearing: it's just an attempt to destroy standards." This confusion takes place over the first four minutes of the video. Then he puts the cherry on top of his imaginary sundae. "So swearing really is about tearing down standards and promoting subjectivity."

Being nihilistic. Check.

Destroying standards. Check.

Promoting subjectivity. Check.

But, hold on, I thought this was about Rucka. Did Tew forget that particular people swear for particular reasons? It's almost like he has some ideal reason for why people swear, and then each individual who swears must be a mere reflection of that ideal. The only potentially objective case he touched was the example of the coward, and then he dropped that idea like a hot potato.

Tew claims to be following in Rand's and Peikoff's footsteps. I wonder if he even tried googling them on this subject.

Notice how Peikoff tries to relate swearing to an objective world. He takes the fact that some people curse like a sailor, and then he tries to explain generally what's going on in such a person's mind, because, you know, words start in the mind before coming out the mouth. He argues that it's a form of deception. These people are trying to fool themselves and others into believing that they've said something with meaning, when really they've got nothing to offer but obscene impotence. If Tew had focused on his thought about cowards, he might have arrived at a similar conclusion: that cowards swear profusely to fit in with the group, and they have to do this because they're trying to fool the group into believing that they have something to contribute, that they're part of the group. The coward believes that if he spoke his true beliefs without cursing, the group would reject him as a non-conformist.

This might be a stretch, but I suspect that Tew's trademark snickering laugh is his form of swearing promiscuously. He seems to do it when he has nothing to say, yet wants to indicate that he's got a brilliantly funny thought in his head. I don't know any comedian who laughs at his own thoughts that much.

Finally, Tew wants us to believe that swearing is obviously nihilistic. "Every child knows what's wrong with swearing." If that's true, then why couldn't he utter this basic fact to Rucka when asked about it online? Does drinking, or live-streaming, reduce his mental agility below the level of a child?

Edited by MisterSwig

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Is it really worth the time to analyze Tew's views? Nothing is wrong with discussing the purpose and morality of profanity, but the video seems superficial. It's mainly his impression, without any contention to grab a hold of for us to criticize. There isn't anything there. Sometimes this is fine when you're having a quick conversation with someone, but this is a 15 minute podcast. He doesn't elaborate either, so it ends up being the very profanity that he doesn't like - spewing out words without any particular meaning behind them, dressing words with adjectives that convey anger and frustration. "Nihilistic filth" is just as profane as "motherfucking trash". There is no deep analysis of language here on how curse words become filled with the meaning they have, or all the ways curse words can be used, or getting offended by certain uses of curse words when it's actually a misunderstanding.

These videos I find very funny. Even better, they give me more to think about than anything that Tew said. 

 

 

Edited by Eiuol

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Before moving on with my analysis, I'll address Eiuol's question:

10 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Is it really worth the time to analyze Tew's views?

I have a deep interest in the health of the Objectivist movement. I've been part of it for over two decades now. And I think it's important that we come to an objective evaluation of Charles Tew. He has set himself up, gaining a considerable YouTube following, as a philosopher in the name of Objectivism. And, furthermore, he has very publicly and brutally condemned a fellow Objectivist. Someone should take up Tew's challenge and determine whether he's a cultish crackpot, for the long-term benefit of this community that we all value. He needs to be identified for what he really is, and, to be objective and fair, this requires a lot of time and analysis to accomplish. I don't want someone reading this and thinking, "Oh, Swig doesn't know what he's talking about, I'm going to give Charles the benefit of the doubt." No, this needs to be done thoroughly and clearly at least once. I have the ability to do it, I care about the community, and so I'm going to finish the job. I will at minimum complete the Rucka-related videos, and then consider whether to continue.

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Let's discuss the rest of this video, starting at 5:15.

https://youtu.be/DDhyhuNhs_0

Tew addresses Rucka's parody music specifically. He says: "And then Rucka gets all precious. I remember once when I said, 'oh, yeah, you were playing Kesha's song at the beginning.' He's like, 'oh, well, it's my song.' Um, no, it's not. It's her song, and you changed the words." Let's momentarily put aside the question of whose song it is and examine Tew's assertion that Rucka got "all precious" over this song. He is insinuating that Rucka expressed irrational ownership over the song, as if Rucka doesn't understand that he used Kesha's music. Now, even if music were the essential feature of a song, Tew displays no sympathy for his friend's perspective. And with the "precious" comment, he's essentially mocking Rucka's pride in the work.

To rationalize his criticism, Tew must ignore a basic fact about songs in general. There is no song without the words that are sung to music. Without words, you would only have vocal utterances, but no story or message in the sense of a modern pop song--or even in the sense of King David singing a biblical psalm while accompanied by his chief musician. Tew doesn't acknowledge any of this, and so he can carry on with his rant: "Again, [Rucka] just doesn't understand. He doesn't know what he's talking about. This is another manifestation of what I talked about, him putting the cart before the horse, trying to reverse cause and effect. He tries to do something and then pretend, 'oh, that's part of my craft. I have a real craft of making this music.' I've heard him describe his music as 'conceptual.' What the hell does that mean? He's just flinging Objectivist terms out there like they mean anything."

Does Tew actually believe that conceptual is an Objectivist term? It would help if Tew offered some actual evidence for these weirder claims. But he never does that. I guess if you don't know that a song is conceptual in nature, dealing with stylized sentences and meaning, then you might be baffled by Rucka's comment. But most real songwriters will get it: the music is at worst mere beat-keeping, at best it's a rhythmic and melodic integration with the song's verbal message. Songwriters have different methods of course, but the great ones usually begin with the words (or a general idea) and figure out the appropriate music for that concept. Take the famous Elton John and Bernie Taupin collaboration, for example. Basically Elton can't write song music without first receiving Taupin's lyrics, because he's not composing a piano concerto. He's making a song.

I find it potentially revealing that Tew had such a strong, negative reaction to Rucka's claim of having a "conceptual craft." Why should it be so hard to grant this point to his Objectivist friend? Even if Rucka were a nihilist, couldn't he be a crafty conceptual one? I think Tew might resent concepts in general, because he has a lot of trouble consistently relating them to reality. This is probably why he spends so much time playing video games. He's admittedly not that interested in the real world (eschewing "practical politics," for example), which is odd for a self-professed Objectivist philosopher, who should be a radical for capitalism. For what is Tew a radical? Giving up and berating his followers in public?

Tew says that he has a "harsh" style because he cares about Objectivism. "I'm not harsh because I don't care about spreading Objectivism. I'm harsh because I do care and I want to spread Objectivism uncompromised. I want to spread the actual philosophy, not some watered-down pseudo-Objectivism." Tew probably means that being a principled Objectivist requires not tolerating the bad stuff in your midst. You must be prepared to scourge the wicked when necessary. But this obviously doesn't match with his delayed treatment of Rucka. He says: "When somebody sees you associating your filth with Objectivism and claiming that's a product of it, that is bad. It's bad for everybody who cares about Objectivism and its practical results." Not only did Tew fail to excoriate Rucka for over a year and a half, but he is the one who initially courted Rucka on Twitter and YouTube.

1237112691_Screenshot_20190713-2008432.thumb.png.ec2683439fe51f3120865470d758df12.png

You only have to listen to the first three minutes of Tew's reaction video to witness how much he claimed to admire Rucka. It's in that video where he proclaims that Rucka is "the model for what most people should be."

https://youtu.be/t2MYk1RLnbY

Coming from Tew, who, by the way, is currently "sympathetic" to making Rucka-like songs illegal, that's high praise for a parody rapper. Perhaps Tew only recently developed hatred for songs that use other people's music and change the lyrics. But I doubt he would admit such a thing, because that might call into question his boast of having "truck-like" abstractions roaring through his skull. You know, like Ayn Rand. With such a powerful brain, it's not believable that he missed Rucka's alleged nihilism, which he now thinks is so obvious that anyone can see it and associate it with Objectivism even. So it must be the case that he just doesn't care about all that. But of course that attitude conflicts with his stated desire to disassociate Objectivism from nihilistic filth, as if anyone would make that connection without his dogmatic proclamation against Rucka's music. So he's caught in this logical trap of his own making, because Mr. Tew doesn't understand parody songs--and he doesn't understand how to be objective.

Surprisingly, at the 8:50 mark, he does attempt to describe something particular and real out there in the world: Rucka's "style." Unfortunately, he doesn't seem to understand style either. So instead he rattles off more abstract insults. Rucka's style "lacks values." It has a "fraudulent nature." Tew insists that the Aladdin song about Obama "doesn't say anything," which is hard to believe given the already funny idea of connecting Obama and Aladdin. I haven't even watched the parody yet, but I'm assuming this is another example of Tew's inability to understand parody songs.

Finally he reduces Rucka's music down to infantile silliness. "I guess the statement he's making is, 'hey, isn't this silly?' Okay, that's literally comedy for infants." Aside from the misuse of literally, note the absurd implication here: that comedy for infants represents nihilistic filth. What does silly, infantile humor have to do with nihilism? Were The Three Stooges nihilists? No, it's called slapstick and vaudeville, and they make fun of impossible, ridiculous, stupid stuff.

Tew does refer to a particular "irreverence" for life that he dislikes about Rucka's songs, and this might be the closest he gets to an example of real nihilism. "Someone who makes 9/11 jokes cannot respond to Howard Roark, to the extent he makes those jokes." I don't know which jokes he's talking about, because he doesn't indicate where they can be found. I've only watched a few Rucka videos so far, and I don't recall any jokes like that. Maybe I'll find them in the Aladdin/Obama song. Anyway, without that context, I can't agree or disagree with Tew here. But for now let's assume he's right that Rucka made some nihilistic jokes. By Tew's own standard, I ask: to what extent does that make Rucka's body of work nihilistic? Rucka has many songs, each with potentially dozens of jokes. What percentage or threshold of irreverence must be met before his music can properly be deemed nihilistic filth?

If Rucka has a few vicious jokes in a sea of otherwise silly (and, yes, vulgar) content, then, okay, call him out on those particular examples. But to broadly categorize his work as nihilistic filth is evasive, especially given the utter absence of clear evidence. I suppose Tew expects us to simply watch Rucka's videos and agree that he's provided an "objective assessment." And so, in good faith, I will watch more of Rucka's parodies. I, however, so far have little confidence in Tew's ability to be objective.  

Edited by MisterSwig

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This may be a broader topic than what you guys are talking about, but I think this is all predicated on that there is such a thing as "the Objectivist movement" and that it has a clear and district meaning and purpose. What even is "the Objectivist movement" and what task or problem is it solving that requires its existence? Why does it have a health and what would this be that I can even know it? Can anyone point to any example of this movement, who is in it, what has it accomplished? Does it even need one? What is the difference between a philosopher working on Rand being in a movement versus not being in one? How would this work differ as "operating with a movement" versus not? What would just any old group of people doing whatever they do look like as "operating in The Objectivist movement" as versus doing the same exact things just as regular people doing whatever they're doing? Do we need to be in "the Objectivist movement" to discuss any set of topics or talk philosophy at all?

Rand 1968 "A Statement of Policy" denies both the existence or need for any organized Objectivist movement (and of course raises many more confusing questions for what she even means.) Is there even enough content in her Objectivism to be a coherent ideology for a "movement" and does it even have a criteria of membership in said movement, or a program of action, or even a coherent and realistic single end for action? It's clear to me that the answer is no it does not. I realize this is a larger topic but that leads us to the following:

Implicit in all of that is that (1) Tew even is an actual philosopher, and that he's saying anything substantial or has done any important and original philosophic work one can point to. And (2) that his YouTube videos are even significant, important, or relevant to this "movement" you speak of, whether in terms of substantial content or number of views and popularity. And it's also clear the answer to 1 and 2 is both no.

Rather it seems to be, the whole idea that there even is "the Objectivist movement" is widely pathological, and leads to things like everyone condemning and "sanctioning" one another qua "representative of our movement" or "hurting our cause" (whatever that is) whereas normal folk just look and go, "What? Y'all are weird." Implicit in this is the assumption that the space is zero-sum, that engagement with Rand can only be done in that space, and that everyone must give moral sanction to everyone else or "they're out."

Edited by 2046

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9 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

I have a deep interest in the health of the Objectivist movement.

I don't think there is a such thing as the Objectivist movement. Or at least, if there is, I don't think any movement so narrowly defined can last. People organized around a set of ideas in either a social or political way makes sense. Supposing you you mean similar minded people, Tew doesn't seem anything but superficially similar. He is filled with anger and minimal benevolence. Maybe he desires to be more positive and feel better about life, but he certainly isn't that way now.

What you have is a person who is psychologically unwell. Arguing against him won't help that. Arguing against him won't help the people who will find appeal in his extreme pessimism. There is something deeper going on than what you can change the argumentation or persuasion. How would you change his emotional reaction? Definitely not this way.

If you care, for example, about social and political values that are common among people who like Rand, and feel that you can improve things - better to do something more direct. Address drinking and alcoholism, address Tew as an individual with his own experiences. Engaging him or criticizing him at high levels of abstraction avoids and ignores the real problems. 

I'm just addressing you in most of this Swig. Tew is a pretty tragic case, and I find it pretty masochistic to bother with him. Unfortunately, with people like him, usually the worst happens before they change for the better. It would be better for you to be productive on your own with your own projects, rather than "rescuing" a movement that doesn't exist and a person trapped in his own despair.

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2 hours ago, Eiuol said:

Supposing you you mean similar minded people, Tew doesn't seem anything but superficially similar.

I mean organizations, like ARI, and various groups, like campus clubs and online forums, all devoted to spreading Objectivism throughout the culture. The people in these groups can be considered part of the general movement to change the world's ideological systems. Christianity has been going strong for two thousand years. I don't see why Objectivism should be stopped so soon, if you believe it to be superior to Christianity. Not sure what the problem is with the idea of an ideological movement. I considered it pretty obvious, no?

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ARI is just a think tank, I wouldn't call it part of a movement. In any case, even if it tries to make itself into part of a movement, that's misguided. It doesn't do anything in particular to change things. The most it really is, is an organization that keeps track of Rand's estate and promotes interest in her as a thinker.

But the people you're talking about are so loosely connected that we can't call that a movement. If you want to call that a movement, okay, it just lacks anything like political purpose, or social purpose. All we have is some people say something like "hey guys, let's talk about these interesting ideas, maybe I can persuade you to change your mind about some things". The only problem with calling this a movement is that I think it makes one more complacent thinking that their discussion will change something, even though they certainly won't change a thing this way in the culture at large.

Since you ultimately care about changing the world, why bother with Tew? Discourse is purely academic, and while it has value for us to determine which values matter, it has no value in terms of bringing about change. So don't worry about a guy who has big problems psychologically. Perhaps the more academic people are in a better position to change things - but it seems safe to say that the people who care about ideas won't (and clearly don't based on his viewership) look to Tew as a beacon of rationality.

Christianity isn't a good example. It's extremely broad, and only some variations of it can really be said to change the world. Not to mention that the part of Christianity that did gain power and clout (the Roman Catholic Church) involved a lot of war and extensive political manipulation. We could call that a movement, because there were specific political ends. It wasn't a loose organization of people who share a pretty general ideology and people who discuss philosophy. 

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22 hours ago, 2046 said:

Implicit in all of that is that (1) Tew even is an actual philosopher, and that he's saying anything substantial or has done any important and original philosophic work one can point to.

Tew has over a hundred Patreon followers providing him with a modest income every month. Whether you accept it or not, he's establishing himself as a professional philosopher. In the end, it doesn't matter that he dropped out of college. A degree doesn't make you something, other than a degree-holder. As for his philosophical work, it seems that his articles are behind a pay-wall. But he has much philosophical content on YouTube for free.

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@MisterSwig

Consider Galt's speech with regards to honesty. Elsewhere Miss Rand exhorts her readers to do their own due diligence while providing the core tenets for each branch of her philosophy.

Ayn Rand named Peikoff her intellectual heir. Is Objectivism a licensed trademark, or to lay claim to being an Objectivist a form of trademark infringement?

The fact that you are personally able to evaluate Tew's philosophic position for yourself and conclude he is something other than what he claims to be, should be evidence enough that others can, too, discover this for themselves, albeit you may serve as a catalyst to hasten the process for some of those that come across your elucidations on the matter.

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As far as I know Rand never named anybody but Branden as her intellectual heir. Can you provide a citation about Peikoff? (Not that the phrase means anything anyway)

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Will a podcast work?

As near as I can read the question, it asks:

Quote

What does it mean to be an intellectual heir, which is what Ayn Rand called you?

Is it important that there always be an intellectual heir for her work?

There is also the  Objectivism Wikipedia page on the matter.

It was an act that is surrounded by its own share of controversy.

 

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1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

Consider Galt's speech with regards to honesty. Elsewhere Miss Rand exhorts her readers to do their own due diligence while providing the core tenets for each branch of her philosophy.

I'm not asking anyone to accept my view without doing their own due diligence. Did I miss something?

1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

Ayn Rand named Peikoff her intellectual heir. Is Objectivism a licensed trademark, or to lay claim to being an Objectivist a form of trademark infringement?

No. Anyone can claim to be an Objectivist.

1 hour ago, dream_weaver said:

...albeit you may serve as a catalyst to hasten the process for some of those that come across your elucidations on the matter.

That's my hope. But as I told Eiuol privately, I have more selfish reasons for analyzing Tew, related to personal interests and projects.

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1 hour ago, Reidy said:

As far as I know Rand never named anybody but Branden as her intellectual heir. Can you provide a citation about Peikoff?

All it means is that in the final edition of The Ayn Rand Letter, she wrote that Dr. Peikoff's 1976 course was "the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structure of Objectivism, i.e., the only one that I know of my own knowledge to be fully accurate." It doesn't mean that Peikoff's word is Objectivism--just his course. However, there were some changes between the course and the book version. So OPAR is considered Peikoff's interpretation of Rand, which he acknowledges in the preface. There won't be another intellectual heir to Rand, because she's dead. And Peikoff said he's not naming one for himself.

Edited by MisterSwig

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6 hours ago, MisterSwig said:

Tew has over a hundred Patreon followers providing him with a modest income every month. Whether you accept it or not, he's establishing himself as a professional philosopher. In the end, it doesn't matter that he dropped out of college. A degree doesn't make you something, other than a degree-holder. As for his philosophical work, it seems that his articles are behind a pay-wall. But he has much philosophical content on YouTube for free.

Is that all it takes to make someone a philosopher: followers that are willing to pay for wisdom? Following Socrates' distinction, that may make one a Sophist, but not a philosopher. I'm not nor did I say he has to be a degree-holder (which is the number 1 stock midwit response to what I said.) In fact, there's no guarantee being a degree-holder makes you a philosopher either. Sam Harris has degrees in philosophy and neuroscience, and has way more followers and patreon supporters, and is not a philosopher. Many degree holders don't contribute anything and make bad arguments all the time. But what it does do is show that generally speaking the person has met some kind of minimum standard, and that you have had many of your arguments filter-tested by your peers routinely, and that you are in touch with the current state of problems and debate about those problems.

The fact is Tew has done nothing in philosophy. His videos about Objectivism show a level of superficiality appropriate to someone outside of professional philosophy who has read a few Rand-related books and is parroting what he takes them to be saying. Understandably this might upset someone to hear. One might lash out and blame the snobby academy and its corruption and they don't get me I'm smart. But really it's better to hear it so you don't waste your time, or can make improvements.

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27 minutes ago, 2046 said:

Is that all it takes to make someone a philosopher: followers that are willing to pay for wisdom? Following Socrates' distinction, that may make one a Sophist, but not a philosopher.

It might be funny to start calling him a sophist. But nobody really uses that word anymore, not to describe teachers.

Screenshot_20190715-205045.thumb.png.25c3914bad428a5c00d65ddf8adf22b2.png

 

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1 hour ago, MisterSwig said:

n the final edition of The Ayn Rand Letter, she wrote that Dr. Peikoff's 1976 course was "the only authorized presentation of the entire theoretical structure of Objectivism, i.e., the only one that I know of my own knowledge to be fully accurate." It doesn't mean that Peikoff's word is Objectivism--just his course.

This is a quite different statement from the ones she made about Branden. She approved works of Peikoff that she had already seen. By contrast, she said Branden's word was Objectivism and that she approved his future statements in advance. (Come to think of it, "intellectual heir" has a meaning after all, namely this blank-check endorsement that she did not give to Peikoff.)

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On 7/11/2019 at 6:14 PM, merjet said:

I observed a few minutes of a few videos here. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC8iOCGZj09rvCXhXeya4vkw  My impressions were not favorable. In one video he called the session with Jordan Peterson at OCON 2018 a disaster. I was there, and the audience surely didn't judge it a disaster. His Why Socialism Fails based an an analogy with computers was poor. Hayek's explanation was far better.

In another video he talks about mathematics. I don't remember which one. He prefaced his remarks with his not being a mathematician, but what he said about math did not sit well with me. As I recall, he said mathematics is about reality. Yes and no. It is also about our concepts. Show me a matrix, differential equation, integral or complex number in reality that wasn't written by some human being, then I will reconsider.

Merlin 

For a more in-depth treatment of Math being about the world (nothing to do with Tew) see Robert E. Knapp’s book.

https://mathematicsisabouttheworld.com/

I’m slowly making my way through it.  In the first chapter I find his style awkward and repetitive (this might change in later chapters) but the substance so far, once distilled, is illuminating.

I can’t wait to get to the chapter on group theory.

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56 minutes ago, StrictlyLogical said:

Merlin 

For a more in-depth treatment of Math being about the world (nothing to do with Tew) see Robert E. Knapp’s book.

https://mathematicsisabouttheworld.com/

I’m slowly making my way through it.  In the first chapter I find his style awkward and repetitive (this might change in later chapters) but the substance so far, once distilled, is illuminating.

I can’t wait to get to the chapter on group theory.

Thanks. I ordered the book from Amazon and expect delivery in 3 days. I will try to put any comments I have upon reading it in the Math and Reality thread. 

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